OUR STORY

"Both 5th Century Red Beard and 19th Century Tesshu are part of my own lineage of Zen Buddhist training, and in using his image I endeavor to bring that spirit into the work I do.”
– Alex Greene, Founder

Who is Red Beard?

Red Beard refers to the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma, who travelled from India to China and established the Zen school of Buddhism there in the 5th Century. He was said to have blue eyes and a red beard and many legends and iconography have developed around him since that time. In modern day China, Korea, and Japan, Red Beard is often used as a symbol of blessing, strength, or good luck. In Japan, he is often invoked at New Year’s time with papier-mâché dolls symbolizing good fortune.

Red Beard is a frequent theme in Zen artwork.  Zen portrayals of him are often rather serious, conveying the fierce strength, determination, and concentration needed for him to successfully plant his teaching in China. Our logo is from an ink painting brushed by the famous 19th Century Japanese swordsman, calligrapher, and Zen master Yamaoka Tesshu.

Our Story

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