At the beginning of every new year, Zen masters often painted the appropriate animal of the Oriental Zodiac for their followers and patrons. The boar was a favorite subject for many Zen artists for the reasons stated in the inscription.
Kono Sokan, who always used his Zen master name Daien on his brushwork, trained under such illustrious masters as Ashikaga Shizen, Matsuoka Kankei and Yamazaki Taiko. Daien also seriously practiced Shingon( Japan's Tantric Buddhism) for a time. Daien served as head abbot of the of Hoko-ji Branch of Rinzai Zen,†and he†was very active in social welfare. Daien rescued†more than†300 orphans from China after WW II. He had turned the meditation hall at his temple in†Choshun †into a temporary orphanage, and brought all of the children with him when he returned to Japan.