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Jessica Rawson, Zhou Lijun, William R. Sargent, Henrik H. Sørensen, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, Jerome Silbergeld, Peter Hardie, Haiyao Zheng, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Puay-Peng Ho, Bent L. Pedersen, Tan Tanaka, Petra Klose, Frances Wood, Robert L. Thorp, Ann Paludan, Peter Wiedehage, Carol Michaelson, Stephen B. Little, Stephen J. Goldberg, Friedrich Zettl, James Cahill, Caroline Gyss-Vermande, Roderick Whitfield, Michael Sullivan, Susan H. Bush, James Robinson, Maggie Bickford, Robert E. Harrist jr, Richard Vinograd, Ellen Uitzinger, Ann Barrott Wicks, Colin Mackenzie, Robert W. Bagley, Li Xueqin, Jenny F. So, Nigel Wood, Margaret Medley, S. J. Vainker, Mary Tregear, Regina Krahl, Yutaka Mino, Laurence Chi-Sing Tam, Rose Kerr, Guy Raindre, Nicholas Pearce, John Guy, C. J. A. Jörg, Barry Till, Paula Swart, Rosemary Scott, Rosemary Ransome Wallis, Sarah Handler, John E. Vollmer, Albert E. Dien, Sören Edgren, Yang Boda, Joe Cribb, Verity Wilson, Jane Portal, Zhong Hong, Donald B. Wagner, Ho Chuimei, Bent Nielsen, B. V. Gyllensvärd, J. A. Marsh, Cordell D. K. Yee, F. Richard Stephenson, Keith Pratt, Henryk Jurkowski, Jan Chapman, Uta Lauer, Sarah Waldram, Richard Rutt, Mayching Kao, Chu-Tsing Li, Michel Beurdeley, Jessica Harrison-Hall, Basil Gray and Wang Tao

[Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo]

Located in eastern Asia, the third largest country in the world in area (9,562,904 sq. km) and the most populous (approx. 1.35 billion people, almost one fifth of the world’s population).

China’s highly developed material culture stretches back as early as the 7th millennium bc, when Neolithic (c. 6500–1600 bc) potters created forms and decorative schemes that would recur throughout the long continuity of Chinese art. The succeeding Bronze Age art of the Shang (c. 1600–c. 1050 bc) and Zhou (c. 1050–256 bc) periods, mostly in the form of cast bronze vessels and carved jades, developed those early decorative schemes into ritual items and potent motifs and carried the craft of bronze-casting, in particular, to the highest levels of technical sophistication. Even in these early periods, calligraphy, in the form of inscriptions on bronze ritual vessels and on oracle bones, played an integral part in Chinese ritual and art. Calligraphers and painters came into their own with the introduction of brush and ink, using composition, line and brushwork to express the emotions of the human spirit, as well as to record narratives of history and religion. Along with the art of poetry, painting and calligraphy were to become the most highly valued of the arts of China....



Richard Louis Edmonds, Bonnie Abiko, F. G. Notehelfer, Christine M. E. Guth, William Samonides, Sylvan Barnet, H. Byron Earhart, William H. Coaldrake, Mary Neighbour Parent, H. Mack Horton, J. Edward Kidder jr, Eizo Inagaki, Nobuo Ito, Lucie R. Weinstein, Anne Nishimura Morse, Donald F. McCallum, Samuel C. Morse, Hiromichi Soejima, Chie Ishibashi, Tamon Miki, Kyotaro Nishikawa, John Winter, Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis, Kōzō Sasaki, Karen L. Brock, Joan H. O’Mara, Ken Brown, Richard P. Stanley-Baker, Carolyn Wheelwright, Shugo Asano, Richard L. Wilson, Mitsuro Sakamoto, Carol Morland, Stephen Addiss, Sadako Ohki, Motoaki Kono, Michiyo Morioka, Ellen Conant, Shigeo Chiba, Claire Illouz, Audrey Yoshiko Seo, John T. Carpenter, Fumiko E. Cranston, Helmut Brinker, Irmtraud Schaarschmidt-Richter, Masaaki Arakawa, Richard L. Mellott, Gina L. Barnes, Rupert Faulkner, David Hale, Andrew Maske, Hiroko Nishida, Frederick Baekeland, Matthi Forrer, Amy Reigle Stephens, Ellis Tinios, Richard Kruml, Lawrence Smith, Ann Yonemura, Monica Bethe, Kazutoshi Harada, Thomas Leims, Victor Hauge, Takako Hauge, Terry Hiener, Patricia J. Graham, Jerald P. Stowell, Joe Cribb, Lea Baten, George Kuwayama, Elizabeth Palmer, David Waterhouse, Kazuko Koizumi, Tal Streeter, Raymond Bushell, B. Hickman, Henryk Jurkowski, Norihisa Mizuta, Willem van Gulik, Peter Bleed and Laurance P. Roberts

East Asian country composed of some 3900 islands stretching north-east to south-west along the east coast of the Asian continent (see fig. ). The four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku. Japan occupies an area of 377,708 sq. km, with a population (in 1992) of slightly over 124 million.

Richard Louis Edmonds

In this dictionary the modified Hepburn or Hyōjun romanization (rōmaji) of Japanese phonemes is used. Macrons are used throughout in all romanized Japanese, except on very well-known place names such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Honshu. For names of people born (or active) before the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the family name precedes the given name; the reverse order of names is used for people born (or active) after 1868. Individuals are, however, variously known in Japan by their family names, given names, nicknames (...


T. Kh. Starodub and Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

Central Asian republic bounded by Russia to the west and north, China to the east and Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the south (see fig.). The Caspian Sea forms much of the south-west frontier, and the Aral Sea constitutes part of the border with Uzbekistan. Apart from the Ural Mountains in the north and the Tian shan Range and Altai Mountains in the south-east it is essentially steppe. The population is estimated at 15.3 million (2006). At the end of 1997 the capital was moved from Almaty, close to the border with Kyrgyzstan, to the smaller but more central Astana.

Central and northern Kazakhstan was from the first appearance of man in Central Asia the preserve of nomadic tribes whose herds grazed the steppe; historically it has parallels with southern Siberia (...



Moira Gibbs, Gina L. Barnes, Henrik H. Sørensen, Susan Pares, Hong Sŏn-p’yo, Chang Kyung-Ho, Park Eon Kon, Kim Dong Hyun, Kim Bong-Gon, Cho You Jeon, Joo Nam Chull, Son Young Sik, Kang Woo-Bang, Kwon Young-pil, Kim Youngna, Byun Young-Sup, Kim Chŏng-Hŭi, Ahn Hwi-Joon, Yi Sŏng-mi, Kim Kumja Paik, Cho Seon-Mi, Hye-ri Oh, Yun Yong-Yi, Lisa Bailey, Elizabeth D. McKillop, Joe Cribb, Kwon Yoon-Hee, Ahn Kui Sook, Lee Jongseok, Junghee Lee, Yi Wan-Woo and Kim Sam Dae-ja

Country in East Asia. The post-World War II division of the peninsula into the Republic of Korea (Taehan min’guk; South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Chosŏn minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk; North Korea), both founded in 1948, was perpetuated in the outcome of the Korean War (1950–53) and has led to the separate development of the two states.

A long history of racial and cultural homogeneity and of political unity lasting from the mid-7th century ad to the mid-20th has fostered the evolution of a distinctive language and culture in the Korean Peninsula. Its geographical position between two often powerful neighbours, China and Japan, has exposed it to invasion and even occupation by either side but has also allowed it to act as a conduit between the two. Thus Buddhist doctrine and art, brought from China to Korea in the 4th century ad, owed some of their propagation in Japan in the following centuries to Korean monks. In many areas Chinese models were influential, but these were always modified to meet the Korean desire for simplicity, purity of line and spontaneity....


T. Kh. Starodub

Republic in Central Asia bounded by Uzbekistan to the west, Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east and Tajikistan to the south (see fig.). Much of the country is taken up by the Tianshan Mountains, while Lake Issyk-Kul occupies a large area in the north-east. The capital, Bishkek, was established as a Kokand fort, Pishpek, in 1825 but is primarily a 20th-century city. The population is estimated at 5.2 million (2005).

The history of Kyrgyzstan reflects its mountainous terrain and its position on the Silk Route. The Silk Route site of Ak-Beshim has been excavated, as has the nearby Islamic site of Burana, with its 10th–11th-century minaret. The term Kirgiz first occurs in 8th-century ad Turkic inscriptions, when the tribe was settled in the upper Yenisei River. The region was ruled by a succession of Turkic tribes: the Türgesh; the Qarluqs; and, from the 10th to the 12th century, the Qarakhanids. After the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, power passed to the Chaghatayids (...



Philip Stott, R. H. Taylor, Noel F. Singer, Pierre Pichard, Virginia Di Crocco, Marie Gatellier, Rudolpho Lujan, Patricia M. Herbert, D. A. Swallow, Michael Hitchcock, Ward Keeler, Richard M. Cooler, Dawn F. Rooney, Sian E. Jay, Robert S. Wicks, Sylvia Fraser-Lu and Ruth Barnes


Country in South-east Asia occupying the westernmost part of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula, with a seacoast on the Bay of Bengal. (For the regional context of Burmese art forms see South-east Asia, §I.)

The wide variety of styles and forms, techniques, materials and subject-matter found in the art of Burma through the centuries has to a great extent been determined by the geography of the country, its links with its neighbours, particularly India, the ethnic and linguistic diversity of its inhabitants and their early adoption of Buddhism. The geographical heart of Burma is a dry central zone, drained by the Irrawaddy River. This is surrounded on three sides by high mountains, which border, from west to east, Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand (see fig.). Originally, much of the mountain country was clothed with tropical semi-evergreen rain-forest and hill evergreen forest, while the central plain, being sheltered from the monsoon rains, was much drier, with savanna forest and thorn scrub. The intermediate zones provided monsoon forest with teak, a supreme wood for building and carving. The dry central plain became the historic core of the country, where an early use of irrigation allowed the development of such great civilizations as ...



Adam Rose and Yen Chuan-Ying

[T’ai-wan; Formosa]

Island off the coast of Fujian Province, China, which since 1949 has been part of the Republic of China (Zhonghua minguo). Taiwan continues to be considered a province of China by both the Republic of China and the mainland People’s Republic of China. The province consists of the island of Taiwan, the P’eng-hu (Penghu; Pescadores) islands, which lie between Taiwan and the mainland, the island of Lan-yü (Lanyu), off the south-east coast of Taiwan, and a scattering of mostly uninhabited islands. Taiwan island is 35,760 sq. km in area, being 693 km long and 156 km wide at its broadest point. A long eastern spine of mountains has 40 peaks over 3000 m.

Possible references to Taiwan in Chinese sources go back to the Shang shu (‘History of the Shang’), and known historical contacts date to the 3rd century ad. The first eyewitness account, however, is that of Wang Dayuan (...


T. Kh. Starodub

Republic in Central Asia bounded by Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, China to the east and Afghanistan to the south (see fig.). The capital Dushanbe in the west was a village until 1929 when the Transcaspian Railway reached it, making it suitable for its new role.

The history of the territory reflects its position as a gateway to the Transoxiana plains. From the 6th century bc it was part of the Achaemenid empire until taken by Alexander the Great c. 334 bc. Thereafter it fell within the Greco-Bactrian orbit (mid-3rd century bc–2nd) until overrun by Yueh-chih and possibly also Shaka (Scythian) nomads c. 145 bc. Subsequently the Yueh-chih/Tokharians and one of the Yueh-chih tribes, the Kushanas, held sway: the Kushanas were powerful from the 1st to the 3rd century ad when Ardashir I (reg 224-41) incorporated the region into the Sasanian empire. The Sasanians were overwhelmed by the Huns in 425. Significant Turkic invasions followed, and in the 6–8th centuries the Turkic Khaqanate was dominant. Major pre-Islamic sites have been excavated at ...


Philip Stott, John Villiers, Henry Ginsburg, Alistair Shearer, M. C. Subhadradis Diskul, Stanley J. O’Connor, Hak Srea Kuoch, J. Dumarçay, Michael Smithies, Miranda Bruce-Mitford, John Shaw, Dawn F. Rooney, Virginia Di Crocco, Patricia Naenna, Elaine T. Lewis, Sian E. Jay, Robert S. Wicks, Sonia Krug and Somporn Rodboon

[Muang Thai; formerly Siam]

Country in South-east Asia occupying the centre of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula, bounded on the west and north by Burma, on the east by Laos and Cambodia and on the south by Peninsular Malaysia.

The standard system of classification and periodization followed in Thai historical and art-historical studies is based on a scheme introduced in 1926 (by HRH Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, founder of Thai archaeology), in which art styles are associated with the names of kingdoms that at various times have ruled in different parts of Thailand. This scheme has been adopted by most museums worldwide and is followed by many scholars. However, in 1977 an alternative system of classification was proposed (by the Thai art historian Piriya Krairiksh) based in the first instance on the art styles of the three dominant ethnic groups in the region—Mons, Khmers and Thais—and subdivided according to the areas in which each of those groups was at different times dominant (Central, North-east, North etc). The art of Peninsular Thailand was placed in a separate category. The main disadvantage of the earlier system of classification is that the precise location and extent of the kingdoms after which the styles are named are not known in every case. The main disadvantage of the alternative scheme is that it is not always certain that the art of any area was produced by the ethnic group then dominant in that area, so that objects in the style of an ethnic group do not necessarily correspond to the area defined by it and, conversely, objects in divergent styles can occur within a single geographical category. The traditional classification is followed in this survey, with only a few minor modifications, but attention is drawn to the anomalies and inconsistencies created by both systems....



Heather Stoddard-Karmay, Gilles Béguin, Deborah E. Klimburg-Salter, N. G. Ronge, Veronika Ronge, Paola Mortari Vergara Caffarelli, Chandra L. Reedy, Jane Casey Singer, Günter Grönbold, Philip Denwood, Joe Cribb, John Clarke, Mireille Helffer, Yoshiro Imaeda, David Jones and Amy Heller

[Tib. Bod; Chin. Xizang Zizhiqu; Tibetan Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China]

Himalayan region bordered by India, Nepal, Bhutan and Burma to the west and south and by China to the north and east. An independent country until 1951, it is presently controlled by China. With a historical cultural relevance extending far beyond the borders of the present Tibetan Autonomous Region, Tibet and its art—largely based on Vajrayana Buddhism—are becoming increasingly better known worldwide. The activities of an articulate Tibetan community in exile since the late 1950s and a growing international interest in Tibetan Buddhism have given impetus to the appreciation of Tibetan culture, as have spectacular special exhibitions of its art (see §VIII below).

D. L. Snell and H. E. Richardson: A Cultural History of Tibet (London, 1968/R London and Boulder, 1980) R. A. Stein: Tibetan Civilisation (London, 1972, 2/Paris, 1981) G. Tucci: Tibet (Geneva, 1975) S. Batchelor: The Tibet Guide (London, 1987)

The Tibetan language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group of languages; the ...


Philip Stott, Nora Taylor, John Villiers, Nguyen Quynh, J. Dumarçay, Gerald Hickey, Dawn F. Rooney, Robert S. Wicks, Phan Ngọc Khuê, Miranda Bruce-Mitford and Robin Ruizendaal

Country on the east coast of the Indo-Chinese peninsula. It is bordered by China to the north and by Cambodia and Laos to the west (see fig.). The capital is Hanoi, and other population centres are Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and Hue. Vietnam’s present frontiers date from 1802, when it was unified after almost 200 years of disunity (see §I, 2 below). In 1954 the country was partitioned, with the Communist north being separated from the American-backed south, but it was reunified in 1976 as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Philip Stott

Vietnam stretches more than 1800 km from the mountainous plateau on the border with Yunnan Province, China, to the tropical delta of the Mekong River in the south, one of the great rice-growing areas of Asia. The backbone of this long thin country comprises the central mountains of the Annam Cordillera. Major settlement has generally been confined to the narrow strip of coastal lowlands, especially the wide valleys of the Song Hong (Red River) and Song Da (Black River). The country’s climate is governed by monsoons, and the seasons are much more marked in the north than in the south. Vietnam is rich in reserves of coal, oil and iron ore, but its economic development at the end of the 20th century continued to be hampered by problems of integration. The population in the 1990s was ...