Nakahara Nantembo (1839-1925)
Staff on Folding Fan, mounted in frame.
Ink on paper. 24.6"W x 19.98"H
Nantenbo took his sobriquet from the wooden staff he carried, made from a large nandina (Jp. nanten) shrub branch. He often took to hitting his students with this staff when needed during training, and often painted images of the staff appropriately inscribed:
If you speak Nantenbo
If you don’t speak, Nanten[bo]
In this work, the final character for bo (staff) is represented by the image of the staff itself.
See Audrey Seo, The Art of 20th Century Zen for discussion of similar image.