Buddhist monastery of the 7th century
T. I. Zeymal’
Buddhist monastery of the 7th century
Henrik H. Sørensen
Site of an ancient cemetery for Khocho, 40 km south-east of Turfan in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The burial ground, which contains over 400
tombs, covers a large area and is divided into three sections: a north-western group with the earliest graves, a north-eastern group consisting of later, commoners’ graves, and a later northern group intended for the nobility. A wooden document found at the site indicates that it was in use before
Many tombs contained a couple, or in some cases a man and several wives. A few single burials have also been found. In several cases the exact dating of a tomb is possible owing to memorial inscriptions on clay slates placed next to the bodies. The early tombs were made by digging a vertical entry shaft into the ground with chambers on the sides, while the later tombs have an access ramp sloping down to the burial chamber, sometimes with side rooms and antechambers. The tombs made for the nobility are usually decorated with wall paintings depicting such motifs as birds and flowers, stylized landscapes and figures; many are in the style of the early Tang period (...
Period in early Japanese history (see Japan, §I, 2). It is variously defined and dated, depending on the criteria under consideration, but conventional dates are from
The most far-reaching development in Japan during this period was the formal introduction of Buddhism. When, in 552, the king of Paekche in Korea (Jap. Kudara) presented Emperor Kinmei (reg 531 or 539–71) in Japan with a bronze image of the Buddha, some canopies, banners and copies of Buddhist ...
Site in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, 56 km north-east of Turfan. It is the site of the most outstanding complex of Buddhist cave temples in Khocho and is located in the steep side of an extensive terrace above the Murtuk River. At one time access to the caves was via free-standing timber buildings or terraces constructed in front of them, but by the time the caves were discovered by Albert von Le Coq at the beginning of the 20th century these were largely in ruins. In type the caves conform to those in the Kucha region (see Kizil; see also Central Asia, §II, 2).
The cave temples contained sculptures made of unfired clay, but it was mainly the wall paintings (removed by von Le Coq for safekeeping, few survive; see below) that in their unsurpassable diversity provided evidence of a flourishing Buddhist community. The most impressive were the paintings depicting consecration of a ...
Richard L. Wilson
Japanese centre of ceramics production. High-fired ceramic wares were manufactured from the end of the 12th century in and around the village of Inbe, Bizen Province (now Okayama Prefect.). This region had been a centre for manufacturing Sue-style stonewares and Haji-style earthenwares from the 6th century
Donald F. McCallum
[Kuratsukuri no Tori; Shiba Kuratsukuribe no Obito Tori]
(fl early 7th century).
Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the inception of Buddhist image production in Japan and is generally considered to be the first great master of Japanese Buddhist sculpture (see also Japan §V 3., (i)). Tori Busshi is believed to have worked on the most important monumental sculpture of the Asuka period (c. 552–710), the bronze Great Buddha (Jap. Daibutsu) enshrined in the Asukadera (Japan’s first fully fledged temple complex, on the Yamato Plain c. 25 km from Nara). In addition, his name is inscribed on the mandorla of the gilt-bronze Shaka Triad of the Golden Hall (Kondō) at Hōryūji in Nara (623). He may, however, have operated primarily as a supervisor rather than a craftsman. Scholars usually associate most Asuka period images with his studio, which produced work modelled on the stone sculpture of Chinese Buddhist cave temples of the Northern Wei period (386–535). This is termed ...
[cha Haech’ŏn; ho Koun]
(b Kyŏngju, North Kyŏngsang Province, 857; d 915).
Korean calligrapher. He is considered to be one of the two most prominent calligraphers of the Unified Silla period (668–918), the other being Kim Saeng. Ch’oe was also a famous statesman, Confucian scholar and man of letters. In 868, at the age of 12, he travelled to China, and in 874 he passed the Chinese civil service examination for foreign scholars. In 885 Ch’oe returned to Korea and served in various official capacities.
Several examples of his calligraphy survive in the form of stelae, the most famous of which is the Chin’gam sŏnsa taegong t’appi (887), a stele dedicated to the Sŏn Buddhist master Chin’gam and now in the Ssanggye-sa Temple, Hadong, South Kyŏngsang Province. The title in seal script and the main text in regular script show his calligraphy at its best. In character composition Ch’oe seems to have modelled his calligraphy loosely on the style of the Chinese master Ouyang Tong (...
Bent L. Pedersen
[ Chao Ch’ang ; zi Changzhi]
(b Guanghan, Sichuan Province, c.
. He was a painter of birds, flowers and insects, following the style of Teng Changyou (
Zhao is known to have studied his subjects thoroughly before painting them. The flowers he depicted tended to be the cultivated varieties he saw in the gardens of contemporary Sichuan Province or in the capital, Bianliang (now Kaifeng, in Henan). Although the flowers possess many realistic features, they are sometimes painted in a formal way, producing a decorative effect. Zhao was famous for rendering flowers in such a way that the thickness of the ink and colour pigment could be clearly seen. This is evident in the fan painting ...
Chinese dynasty that ruled in southern China between
In 557 Chen Baxian (later Emperor Wudi; reg 557–9) deposed the Liang (502–57) emperor and established the Chen dynasty. The government attempted to resuscitate the economy but the area under its rule was the smallest of the southern dynasties, with fewer territories than its predecessors and a northern border reaching only to the southern bank of the Yangzi River. The Chen government was strong enough initially to resist incursions by the Northern Qi (550–77) and Northern Zhou (557–81) but was not in a position to take advantage of the divisions in the north.
Jiankang continued to be a cultural and political centre to which merchants and Buddhist missionaries came from South-east Asia and India, and it became one of the world’s greatest cities. The capital was also a major Buddhist centre; several Buddhist temples, many of them caves or niches, had been constructed in the preceding Liang period. To the north-east of the city lay an imperial burial ground, notable for its carved tomb guardians in the form of chimeras (...
[Li Ch’eng; zi Xianxi; hao Yingqiu]
Chinese painter. His ancestors, members of the imperial clan, were natives of Chang’an (now Xi’an, Shaanxi Province), the Tang-dynasty (
Li Cheng exemplifies the Chinese phenomenon of a profoundly admired artist whose true style was, within a century of his death, obscured by unreliable attributions, the relationships of which to the original can no longer be determined. His fame was established early in the Northern Song period (...
Henrik H. Sørensen
[’phyongs rgyas; Qonggyai]
Site at the north-eastern end of the Chongye Valley south of the town of Tsetang (Zêtang) on the southern bank of the Tsangpo River (Yarlung Zangbo) in south-east Tibet. It is the setting for the royal tombs of the Yarlung dynasty (mid-7th century
Estimates of the number of tombs vary between ten and thirteen. Buried on this site were Songtsen Gampo (reg c. 620–49), Mangsong Mangtsen (reg 649–76), Tride Tsugten (reg 704–55), Trisong Detsen (reg 755–c. 794), Mune Tsenpo (reg 797–800), Tride Songtsen (reg c. 800–15), Ralpachen (reg 815–36), Langdarma (reg 836–42), Ö Sung (843–905), Lhe bön (d 739) and Chögyi Gyalpo. Trisong Detsen’s tomb lies away from the other tumuli behind a low ridge to the north. The tombs consist of massive mounds of earth. Songtsen Gampo’s and Mangsong Mangtsen’s are huge: the former, which dominates the site, rises to a height of more than 15 m and has rectangular sides measuring 250×70 m. The other tumuli are considerably smaller, although Ralpachen’s tomb is also on an impressive scale. None of the tombs has been fully excavated, but a reconstruction of ...
Site on the eastern edge of the oasis of Khotan, on the southern Silk Route, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. The site, which was investigated by Aurel Stein in 1900–01, contained the ruins of six dwellings and eleven places of worship, probably built between the 7th and 9th centuries
[ Hsü Tao-ning ]
(b Chang’an [modern Xi’an], Shaanxi Province, c.
Chinese painter . Originally a vendor of medicinal herbs, he initially painted landscapes to attract potential customers. After attaining fame, he ‘frequented the manorial homes of princelings and officials’, for whom he painted murals, hanging scrolls and handscrolls. He was a familiar guest of the rich and powerful in both Chang’an and the capital, Bianliang (modern Kaifeng), in Henan Province. Famous clients included Huang Tingjian’s father, Huang Shu (1018–58). Huang Tingjian later eulogized one of Xu’s paintings:
I met Drunken Xu in Chang’an …
Quite tipsy, he would wield a worn brush dripping with ink,
With the force of an avalanche, his hand never stopping.
In a few feet, mountains and rivers would stretch over ten thousand miles,
And fill the hall with a bleak and chilly air.
A rustic monk returns to his temple, followed by the boy.
A fisherman is hailed by the traveller waiting to ford the stream....
[ Wu Daoxuan, Wu Tao-hsüan ; Wu Tao-tzu ]
(b Yangzhe [modern Yu xian, Henan Province];
Chinese painter . Later known as Wu Daoxuan, he is a legendary figure said to have depicted human beings, landscapes, architecture, Buddhist deities, demons, birds and animals. Reportedly, he derived his inspiration from wine and had a mercurial, responsive brushstyle, producing breathtaking vistas of natural scenery and figures across vast areas of temple wall.
Hearing of his extraordinary talents, the Emperor Xuanzong (Minghuang; reg 712–56) summoned Wu to his palace at Chang’an (modern Xi’an). Between 742 and 755 the emperor dispatched Wu to the Jialing River in Sichuan Province to paint the scenery. On his return, Wu stated, ‘I have made no draft, but have committed all to memory.’ He proceeded to paint the walls of the hall known as the Datong dian with 300 or more li (c. 150 km) of Jialing River scenery in a single day. Five dragons in the Inner Hall, painted by Wu on another occasion, supposedly had scales so lifelike that each time it was about to rain, they emitted misty vapours (the dragon symbolized imperial power over rain and irrigation). Contemporary accounts report that Wu covered 300–400 wall surfaces in Buddhist and Daoist temples in the two Tang-dynasty (...
Henrik H. Sørensen
County in Henan Province, China, east of the city of Luoyang. The presence of Mt Song (also called Mt Xiaoshi, Mt Songyue or Mt Songgao) means that the county is primarily known as a centre of Buddhism. Mt Song was a Buddhist sanctuary as early as the Three Kingdoms period (
The Fawang Temple (Fawang si) is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary on Mt Song, supposedly dating to
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
Dunhuang was first established as a garrison town in the ...
Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
[Hieizanji; Hieizan Enryakukji; Sanmon.]
Japanese Buddhist temple on Mt Hiei (Hieizan), north-east of Kyoto, in the city of Ōtsu, Shiga Prefecture.
Enryakuji was founded in
Peter C. Sturman
[ Chou Fang ]
(b Chang’an (now Xi’an), Shaanxi Province;
Chinese painter . He was active at the Tang dynasty (618–907) court in the capital, Chang’an, after the An Lushan Rebellion (756). He painted both religious and secular figures but is particularly associated with the depiction of palace ladies ( see also China, People’s Republic of §V 3., (vii) ), a genre in which he is considered peerless. He was reportedly of noble birth. His father served as a Master of Ceremonies in a princely household and then as Investigating Censor. Between 766 and 779 under Emperor Daizong (reg 762–79), Zhou Fang served as an administrator of Yuezhou (modern Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province); not long after, he held the position of administrative aide in Xuanzhou (modern Xuancheng, Anhui Province). From Xuanzhou, Zhou Fang seems to have returned to the capital.
In his time, Zhou Fang was celebrated as a painter of religious subjects, particularly the ‘water-and-moon Guanyin’, a version of the ...
J. Edward Kidder jr
Japanese tomb in Ikaruga-chō, Nara Prefecture. Excavated in 1985, it was probably a late 6th-century
Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan
[Fujiwarakyō; Fujiwara no miya; Shinyaku no miyako]
Japanese site, south of the city of Nara in the city of Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, in what was once Yamato Province. It is traversed by the Asuka River and surrounded by mountains in the north, east and west. Historical sources such as Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan;