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Article

Clare Harris and M. E. Heston

[Kuchi Bandar]

City on the coast of Kerala, India. Facing the Arabian Sea, Cochin experienced strong contacts with Europe and other parts of Asia from early times, and signs of Portuguese, Chinese, Jewish, early Christian, Dutch and British influence are evident everywhere.

Clare Harris

St Thomas the Apostle is said to have visited the area in ad 52, making Cochin the oldest European settlement in India. The Moplah Christian colony dates from this period, and the first Jewish community in Cochin is said to have been established at around the same time; both Jewish and Syrian Christian communities are reported to have been well developed by the 8th century. A friar named Jordanus was in Cochin in 1347, Chinese travellers stopped there in 1409, and a Persian visited in 1442. Many of the early visitors to the port were seeking spices from the Kerala hinterland: in 1500 the Portuguese explorer Pedralvares Cabral (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Chinese porcelain made for export to the West in the 18th century. The monochrome decorations depicted Christian subjects such as the nativity and crucifixion. There is no evidence that the porcelain was commissioned by the Jesuits, but the European engravings on which the decorations were based may have been brought to China by Jesuit missionaries....

Article

Khocho  

M. Yaldiz

[Karakhoja; Qočo; Chin. Gaochang]

Site 47 km south-east of Turfan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The most important complexes of monasteries in the Khocho area are Idikutshahri, Lenger, Senghim and Bezeklik. To the west of the town is the Chinese necropolis of Astana. The earliest evidence of settlement in the area is that a ruler of the Tujue dynasty, probably of Turkish origin, had an inscription placed on a temple of Maitreya, the Future Buddha, in Khocho in ad 445. Chinese, Sogdians and Tokharians also lived here between the 5th and 7th century. Khocho was occupied by forces of the Tang dynasty in 640. A brief Tibetan interregnum (c. 790–843) ended when the Uygurs established their kingdom here. From the evidence of their manuscripts and art objects, the Uygurs not only observed the Buddhist cult but also practised Nestorian Christianity and Manichaeism (see also Central Asia §II 1., (v)...

Article

Toru Asano

(b Tokyo, June 23, 1891; d Tokuyama, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Dec 20, 1929).

Japanese painter and collector. Son of the progressive journalist Ginkō Kishida (1833–1905), he decided to leave school when he was 15, became a Christian and devoted himself to church activities. At the same time he painted and struggled with the decision of whether to live as a Christian or as a painter. In 1908 he entered the Aoibashi Western Painting Study Centre and studied plein-air painting under Seiki Kuroda (1866–1924), exhibiting two years later at the fourth Bunten, a show sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education. From the end of 1911 to early 1912 he was inspired by the work of modern French painters, which he discovered through the magazine Shirakaba (‘White birch’) and through illustrated books. The Self-portrait Wearing a Coat (1912; Tokyo, priv. col., see Hijikata, ed., 1980, pl. 1) was clearly painted under the influence of Vincent van Gogh and Tsukiji Settlement...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Sarah Morgan

Doctrinal position on the nature of Jesus Christ followed by the Nestorian or Assyrian Church, more properly known as the Ancient Church of the East. The name is derived from Nestorius (c. ad 381–c. 451), who was Patriarch of Constantinople (now Istanbul) between 428 and 431. The theological views that came to be associated with him had arisen in the late 4th century among Christian thinkers of the Antioch school, who rejected the Orthodox dogma as established at the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Antiochenes taught that Christ had two distinct natures, human and divine, whereas the Nicene formula maintained that these two natures were perfectly united in Christ. The Christological debate intensified when Nestorius, a follower of the Antioch school, succeeded to the patriarchate. After he was deposed, the doctrine he represented was declared heretical. By the mid-5th century the Nestorians had split away from the Orthodox Church and controlled the see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Iraq, later spreading into Iran. For the next 800 years the Nestorian Church flourished, establishing important missionary communities in Central Asia, India and China, where inscribed stelae commemorating its expansion have been found. Converts were also made among the Turks and Mongols. From the 11th century the Nestorian Church began to decline under the attacks of the Mongols (now converted to Islam), until in the 14th century it was forced to remove itself into Kurdistan, where it survived into the 20th century....