Description At the right is Daruma, the 5th- or 6th-century Indian monk who founded Zen Buddhism. The characters on the left say "No merit." This is a reference to a conversation Daruma purportedly had with the emperor of China. When the emperor asked how much merit he had acquired for his good works, Daruma replied, "No merit." Daruma's enigmatic answers to the emperor's other questions also centered on nothingness.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Inscription] 無功徳; [Transliteration] mukodoku; [Translation] no merit
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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