Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163), whose common surname was Xi, was from Ningguo (now Anhui). His Buddhist name is Dahui, his common surname is Xi, and his name is Miaoxi. He was a native of Ningguo, Xuanzhou (now part of Anhui). He became a monk at the age of 12. "The Biography of Eminent Monks of the Ming Dynasty" states that "spiritual roots are pre-existing, and wisdom generates knowledge" (see Volume 5 of the book). He became a monk at the age of 17 at Huiyun Temple in Dongshan under Master Yi Huiqi, and received full ordination the following year. He once paid homage to Zen Master Wanwu Keqin (1063-1135) in Hangzhou. Later, he became well-known for his proficiency in Buddhism. When he was the abbot of Jingshan Temple in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province for the seventh year in Shaoxing, more than 700 disciples and monks came to him. Zong Gao was the fifth famous Zen master of the Yang Qi sect in the Song Dynasty. His posthumous name was Pujue. He founded "Kanhuo Zen". His Zen thoughts had a great influence at that time and later generations. In the eleventh year of Shaoxing, Emperor Gaozong of the Song Dynasty, Zong Gao was framed for "slandering the government" with Zhang Jiucheng because he criticized Qin Hui's surrender policy of negotiating peace with the Jin people. In 1156, he was restored to monk status due to Emperor Gaozong's pardon and became the abbot of Wanshou Temple in Jingshan and others. Later, Emperor Xiaozong of the Song Dynasty conferred the title of "Zen Master Dahui". The world calls him "Great Hui Zonggao".


Ruler slip on paper, running script 38.0 x 65.5cm Collection of the Tokyo National Museum, Japan (gift from Matsudaira Naoryo)
This piece is a letter sent by Mahatma Zonggao to his friend Wuxiang layman when he was exiled in Meizhou. The writing is full of momentum, and it is the most valued work among Mahatma Zonggao's calligraphy. It was first collected by the tea ceremony master and Zen monk Egetsuki Sowan in the early Edo period, and then was owned by the feudal lord Matsudaira Fumei who was also a tea ceremony master.