Chiyono (personal name)
born:   1223
died:   1298    75 years

place:  Japan
Zen master:  J. Bukko Kokushi (Ch. Wuxue)
Zen disciples:  none recorded
Chiyono is known from the story of her carrying the
lacquer bucket, of which the bottom broke, the water
falling out--and she gained enlightenment.  Other
than being one of the rare women in Zen history with
a story attributed to her, she also has as a master
the Chinese adept
Wuxue, who was one of the first
Chinese Chan masters who came to Japan and
taught across the language barrier.  He is usually
known by his Japanese posthumous name of

No Water, No Moon, ch. 1
          oshobob  The Living Workshop                                           
                                                   Zen Masters
a life-like statue made in the 13th
century Japan, of the female Zen
master near the end of her life, head
shaved in the Zen tradition.
A woodblock print of Chiyono and the
broken bucket done by Japanese artist
Yoshitoshi 1839-1892.
Mugai Nyodai (Zen name) 無外如大
That's what happened: this nun, Chiyono,
studied for years and years and nothing
happened. Mind can study about God, about
enlightenment, about the ultimate. It can
even pretend that everything has been
understood. But God is not something you
have to understand. Even if you know
everything about God, you don't know him;
knowledge is not 'about'. Whenever you say
'about', you belong to the outside. You may
be moving round and round, but you have
not entered the circle...

                          No Water, No Moon, ch. 1
Chinese simplified:  无外如大
[It is also said about Chiyono that when she first tried to get accepted as a spiritual aspirant, she encountered a great deal of resistance from abbots as she was very beautiful and might have distracted monks from their meditations, so she burned and scarred her face so this would not be such a problem.]