Bodhidharma Calligraphy, by Hakuin
Bodhidharma: "Direct pointing to one's mind and seeing into one's own nature to achieve Buddhahood".
About Bodhidharma, also called Daruma in Japan
He was the Indian, or maybe Persian, monk who introduced Buddhism in China. He's said to have arrived in the south of China by boat around the year 520. After a failed attempt to spread his teachings in this region, he went north up to Lo-yang. He got settled in the Shao-lin monastery on Mount Sung, where he practiced and taught. He is considered to be the inventor of the Shaolin Kung Fu. We don't know exactly if he died in the temple or if he went back to India. His successor in the lineage he started was one of his disciples called Hui-k'o.
About Hakuin Ekaku (1685 - 1768)
Also known as Shinki-dokumyo Zen-ji, Shoju-Kokushi, Kokurin or Sarajuka-Rono, he was a master of the Zen Rinzai school. He received the Dharma transmission from Dokyo Etan (Shoju-Rojin) and was the instigator of the Zen Rinzai revival during the Edo period. He became abbot of Shoin-ji in Hara, Shizuoka when he was only 33 years old. He was a talented writer and he composed popular songs. Many of his books were written in kana syllabic alphabet, with no complicated Chinese kanjis, so that everybody could read them. He put most of his energy to bring zen teachings to ordinary people and he reestablished the Ryutaku-ji monastery in Mishima in his old days. He raised many influential and outstanding disciples like Torei En'ni, Suiou Genro or Gazan Jito.