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W. A. P. Marr

Buddhist monastery in a small valley on the left bank of the River Indus, c. 64 km west of Leh in Ladakh, India. Tradition attributes the monastery’s origin to the Tibetan scholar and temple-builder Rinchen Sangpo (ad 958–1055), the ‘great translator’, and although its buildings mostly date from the 11th century, the site is replete with his memory, from the ancient tree he planted to his portraits and images in the temples. A treasure-house of art, Alchi has been preserved because of its isolation from trade routes and the decline of its community, the monks of the Dromtön sect of the Kadampa order.

Ringed by a wall and votive chortens (stupas), the religious enclave (Tib. chökhor) comprises three entrance chortens, a number of shrines and temples, the Dukhang (assembly hall) with its courtyard and monastic dwellings (see Tibet §II, and Indian subcontinent §III 6., (i), (a)...


Frederick M. Asher

and Gaya [Bodhgayā and Gayā]

Pilgrimage centres and towns located on the Phalagu (Niranjana) River in Bihar, India. From an early date Gaya has been a site for the performance of śrāddha, rites for recently deceased parents. This ancient tradition and the general sanctity of Gaya in the 5th century bc probably drew Siddhartha Gautama to its outskirts, to the place now known as Bodhgaya, where, following profound meditation, he became a Buddha (Enlightened One). The tree under which he meditated (the bodhi tree) became an object of veneration; initially it was surrounded by a hypaethral temple (Pali bodhighara), the general form of which is known from relief sculptures of the 2nd–1st centuries bc at Bodhgaya and other sites (see also Indian subcontinent, §III, 3). A stone slab (Skt vajrāsana) at the site, dating to the 3rd century bc, carries motifs similar to those found on contemporary Mauryan pillars (see...


J. Marr and Christopher Tadgell

[Daulatābād; anc. Devagiri, Deogiri]

Fortress site in central Maharashtra, India, a key link in the chain of forts that once controlled the Deccan. The conical mountain of granite, rising over 180 m, was originally a Buddhist monastic site; some of its excavated shrines were incorporated into the earliest defences, which were probably created in the 9th century ad by a feudatory of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. In 1187, the Yadava king Billama V (reg 1185–93) made Devagiri his capital, after which a succession of dynasties vied for its control. Devagiri first fell in 1293 to the powerful Sultanate armies of ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316). The Jami‛ Masjid (congregational mosque) was founded in 1318; recycled temple pillars figure in its construction. After the Tughluq dynasty took control of the Sultanate in 1320, they continued a policy of expansion into the Deccan. In 1328, feeling that Delhi was too far from his military operations, Muhammad Tughluq (...


Dorothy C. Wang


Site of Buddhist cave sanctuaries located 25 km south-east of the county town of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China. In the wider definition Dunhuang also includes the Yulin caves at Anxi and the Xi qianfo dong (Western Cave of the Thousand Buddhas). From the 4th century to the 14th, Buddhist cave sanctuaries were continuously carved out in four or five tiers on the cliff face of an alluvial hill that faces east over the Dang River. At its height as a Buddhist complex in the 8th century ad, the complex is believed to have comprised more than 1000 caves. A total of 492 caves with wall paintings and sculptures survive, the earliest of which date to the early 5th century ad. A hoard of old and rare manuscripts was also found at Dunhuang, including the world’s oldest complete printed book (see China, People’s Republic of, §XIV, 3).

Dunhuang was first established as a garrison town in the ...



Samuel C. Morse

School of Japanese sculpture that flourished during the 12th century. It was founded by and named after Ensei (d 1134) and was one of the two major schools of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the later Heian period (794–1185), the other being the In school (see also Japan, §V, 3, (iii), (c)). Ensei was a pupil of Chōsei (d 1091), the chief disciple of Jōchō, who had developed a refined, elegant style that satisfied both the secular and spiritual pretensions of the 11th-century aristocracy. Sculptors of both the En and In schools were patronized by the most influential figures of the capital of Heian (now Kyoto), at whose behest they rejected innovation in favour of close replication of the formal qualities of Jōchō’s imagery. They worked mainly in wood. Ensei’s only surviving work is a seated Healing Buddha (Jap. Yakushi, Skt Bhaishajyaguru; 1103...



Samuel C. Morse

Major school of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the late Heian (ad 794–1185) and early Kamakura (1185–1333) periods (see Japan, §V, 3, (iii)). The school took its name from Injō (d 1108), who was the chief disciple of Kakujō (d 1077), son of Jōchō, who had developed a gentle, elegant style of wood sculpture suited to the refined tastes of the mid-Heian aristocracy of the capital (modern Kyoto). Art historians generally consider Kakujō to have been the first-generation master of the school, which specialized in producing for their patrons close formal replicas of Jōchō’s imagery. There were two workshops (bussho) of the In school in Kyoto: the Shichijō–Ōmiya workshop, established by Injō, and the Rokujō–Madenokōji workshop, set up in the mid-12th century. Initially in competition with the other main exponent of Jōchō’s style, the En school, the In was pre-eminent in the second half of the 12th century. After this, the work of the school became increasingly mannered and began to decline in popularity. In the early Kamakura period it was eclipsed by the dynamic realism of the ...


Bruce A. Coats

[Kūtaiji; Kūdaiji; Kubonji]

Buddhist temple and garden near Nara in the Sōraku District, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It is a temple of the Pure Land (Jōdo) sect of Esoteric Buddhism. The present compound contains a honden (main hall), a pagoda and a pond garden. Alone among Pure Land temples, Jōruriji retains its original 12th-century garden designed to look like the Western Paradise. Temple records indicate that the temple was established in 1047 with the construction of a honden dedicated to Yakushi (Skt Bhaishajyaguru; the Buddha of healing). It was reconstructed in 1107 as a hall for the worship of Amida (Skt Amitabha; Buddha of the Western Paradise) and moved to its present position in 1157.

The Amida Hall (Amidadō) stands on the western side of the pond. It is a wooden post-and-beam structure in the yosemune zukuri (‘hipped-gable roof construction’) format, 11 bays long and 4 bays deep, and is the only extant example of a ...



Hiromichi Soejima

[An Amida Butsu]

(fl Nara area, 1183–1223).

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the Kei school of Buddhist sculpture and is thought to have been a disciple of Kōkei. The first reference to Kaikei occurs in the Lotus Sutra (Jap. Hokkekyō or Myōhō renge kyō; 1183; Ueno priv. col.), transcribed by Unkei and others, in which he is recorded receiving a kechien (establishing a tie with Buddha, in order to be entitled to his benefits). It is believed that he sculpted the Miroku (Skt Maitreya) for the temple of Kōfukuji in Nara (see Nara, §III, 7) in 1189 (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.). In 1192 he made a wooden image of the Miroku for Daigoji in Kyoto (in situ; see Kyoto, §IV, 3, (i)). From then on, until he was received into the official priesthood (sōgō), he usually went by his artist’s name (), An Amida Butsu.

In 1194 he carved the wooden ...



Hiromichi Soejima

(fl c. Nara region, 1151–1200).

Japanese sculptor. He played a great role in the formation of a new style of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and was the first of the sculptors working in this mode to whom the term Kei school is applied. He was one of the Nara busshi (‘Nara Buddhist sculptors’) based at the temple of Kōfukuji in Nara (see Nara, §III, 7). Contemporary documents indicate that the first work attributable to Kōkei was an image of Kichijōten (Skt Srimahadevi; the goddess of wealth and beauty) made in 1151 (untraced). Kōkei’s name appears in the inscription on the wooden statue of the Dainichi nyorai (Skt Mahavairocana tathagata; the Buddha who expounded Esoteric Buddhism) carved in 1176 by his son Unkei for the temple of Enjōji in Nara (in situ), thus suggesting that Kōkei supervised this work. It is conjectured that Kōkei was the disciple of the ...


Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan

[Kōya, Mt; Kōyasan; Kōyasanji; Kōyasan Kongōbuji]

Japanese Buddhist temple and shrine complex in Ito district, Wakayama Prefecture. Lying about 70 km south of Osaka on Mt Kōya (Kōyasan), a plateau on the eastern slope of the Takamine range, it was founded in the 9th century ad as the headquarters of the Shingon sect (see Buddhism §III 10.) and is one of the two main centres of Esoteric Buddhism (mikkyō) in Japan (see also Enryakuji). At Amano Jinja (Amano Shrine) on the north-western flank of the uplands, Niu Myōjin and Kōya Myōjin, the chief Shinto tutelary deities of the complex, are enshrined. The complex now occupies c. 12 sq. km of hilly terrain, encompassing some 125 structures and housing important art works.

Kongōbuji’s founder, Kōbō Daishi (see Kūkai), had spent the years 804–6 in China studying the system of tantric belief that was to be the basis of Shingon teachings and was seeking a suitable location to perform the religious exercises and Esoteric rituals required by these beliefs. In 816 he received from Emperor Saga (...


Junghee Lee

Korean dynasty that ruled from ad 918 to 1392. The Koryŏ kings were lavish in their patronage of Buddhist art of the major groups such as Sŏn and Kyo (see Buddhism §III 9.). Wang kŏn, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg ad 918–43), founder of the dynasty, made Buddhism central to his rule and commissioned the building of the royal palace (see Korea, §II, 3, (iii), (a)) at Songak (now Kaesŏng), Kyŏnggi Province; which he had made the capital in 919. King T’aejo also established Buddhist temples in and around the capital and built a number of temples in the provinces as did the kings who succeeded him. Under his rule numerous annual Buddhist ceremonies were established to honour the Buddha and thus protect the country from foreign invasions; these ceremonies were performed until the end of the Koryŏ period.

The Koryŏ kings commissioned professional painters of the Tohwawŏn (Academy of Painting) (...



Pierre Pichard and Richard M. Cooler

[Pali Arimaddanapura]

Capital of the first kingdom of Burma from the 11th to the 14th century. Famous for its temples and other religious monuments, Pagan was probably founded in the 9th century ad. The city’s official Pali name, meaning ‘crusher of foes’, appears in contemporary stone inscriptions. The name Pagan is first mentioned (as Pukam) in Chinese sources c. 1004 and in a Cham inscription from Po Nagar in Vietnam dated 1050. Pagan’s foreign relations were mostly with eastern India (Bengal and Orissa), Sri Lanka, the Mon kingdoms to the south and China. The chief influences on its architecture and arts came from Burma itself (Pyu and Mon), from eastern India and from Sri Lanka.

Pierre Pichard

The city is on a bend of the Irrawaddy River in the arid region of central Burma, described in ancient inscriptions as tattadessa (the parched land). Its subsistence was always dependent on the rice-producing areas of Kyaukse, some 170 km upstream, and Minbu, 110 km downstream. The site is an alluvial terrace on the east bank of the river. It is bordered on the south-east by a low hill range; a higher range closes the western horizon across the river. At the foot of the south-east range a dam was built in the 12th century to store water during the meagre rainy season (June to November). A few other reservoirs were set up in the plain, but no evidence of irrigation channels has been found. Several streams cross the site from the east to the Irrawaddy; they are dry most of the year, their sandy beds used as cart tracks. Most of the plain is cultivated (palm trees and dry crops such as millet, sesame, cotton and groundnuts). About 36,000 people live in several villages within the archaeological area of some 13×8 km....



Ken Brown

School of Japanese specialists in Buddhist painting (ebusshi), which flourished from the late Heian (ad 794–1185) to early Muromachi (1333–1568) periods. It rivalled the Kose school of ebusshi in Nara, specialists in refined, decorative Buddhist painting. The school was supposedly founded in the 11th century by Takuma Tamenari (fl c. 1053), the artist to whom wall paintings at the Byōdōin are attributed by legend. Takuma Tametō (fl c. 1132–74), a priest with connections to the aristocracy and to the monastic community on Mt Koya, is also associated with the genesis of the school. His Kontai Butsuga chō (‘Album of Buddhist paintings in dark and light colours’), an album of Buddhist iconographic drawings (Nara, Yamato Bunkakan, and other collections), offers an important early example of the ebusshi’s method. Tametō’s sons, Takuma Tametoki (fl mid-12th century), (1) Takuma Shōga and ...