Fukushima Keido Roshi: Every Day Is a Good Day

EveryDayGoodDayEvery Day Is a Good Day
Fukushima Keido Roshi,
Ink on Paper, 13.5″ x 53″

“One of the most famous koan comes from the Master Yun-men (Japanese: Ummon, died 949), speaking to his Zen students. ‘I don’t ask you about before the fifteenth day, but try to say something about after the fifteenth day.’ He then answered for them, ‘Every day is a good day.’ Literally the five words in this phrase are ‘Day day this good day.’ The pictographic character for’sun’ also means ‘day,’ and it occurs three times in the five words. Avoiding direct repetition of form, Fukushima writes ‘day’ at the top in its usual square form with a dot inside, then uses a repeat sign for the second character, and finally makes the fifth word an unusual and creative variation in a triangular shape. This may suggest that every day is good, but each day is also different.”