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Article

T. I. Zeymal’

Buddhist monastery of the 7th century ad to first half of the 8th, in the valley of the Vakhsh River, 12 km east of Kurgan-Tyube, southern Tajikistan. During this early medieval period it belonged to Vakhsh (U-sha in Chinese sources), one of the 27 domains of Tokharistan. Excavations between 1960 and 1975 by the Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan, and the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, exposed the entire site; most of the finds are on loan to the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The buildings, which covered an area of 100×50 m, were constructed of mud-bricks (c. 490×250×110 mm) and rammed earth, with walls surviving to a height of 5.5 to 6.0 m. The site comprised two square complexes linked by an enfilade of three rooms (see fig. (a)). The south-eastern complex or monastery (b) had domed cells (c) for monks, a hall or refectory (d), service quarters, store-rooms and a small sanctuary (e). An open courtyard in the centre had a fired brick path across it, linking the enfilade to the sanctuary. A corridor around the perimeter of the courtyard was divided into four right-angled sections by a deep iwan, or vestibule, in the middle of each side. One of these vestibules led into the sanctuary, the second into the meeting-hall, the third into the enfilade and the fourth to the monastery exit (j) and also on to a vaulted ramp (k) that originally gave access to the roof and the now lost second storey....

Article

Astana  

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 ad 273. From other unearthed written evidence it is thought that Astana ceased to be used in the late 8th century. It appears that most of those buried here were Chinese.

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 (...

Article

Bonnie Abiko

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 ad 552 (traditionally the year of the introduction of Buddhism into Japan) to 710, when the imperial capital was moved to Nara. In some contexts, for example ceramics or tomb-building, this century and a half is usually considered part of the Kofun period, while in others it is either termed Asuka (as in discussion of some forms of religious and secular architecture) or subdivided (as for large-scale sculpture) into the Asuka (552–645) and Hakuhō (645–710) periods (the last is also referred to as ‘Early Nara’).

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 ...

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Bazaklik]

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 ...

Article

Bizen  

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 ad (see Japan, §IX, 2, (ii), (a)). At the end of the Heian period (794–1185) the potters moved from the old Sue-ware sites around Osafune village to Inbe, just to the north. In response to increased agricultural development, the new kilns manufactured kitchen mortars (suribachi), narrow-necked jars (tsubo) and wide-necked jars (kame). During the 13th century the wares show less of the grey-black surfaces typical of the old Sue tradition and more of the purple-reddish colour characteristic of Bizen. In the 14th century Bizen-ware production sites shifted from the higher slopes to the foot of the mountains. Kilns expanded in capacity, ranging up to 40 m in length. Vast quantities of Bizen wares, particularly kitchen mortars, were exported via the Inland Sea to Kyushu, Shikoku and numerous points in western Honshu, establishing Bizen as the pre-eminent ceramics centre in western Japan. By the 15th century the Bizen repertory had expanded to include agricultural wares in graded sizes; wares then featured combed decoration and such functional additions as lugs and pouring spouts. Plastic–forming was assisted by the introduction of a fusible clay found 2–4 m under paddy-fields. This clay, which fires to an almost metallic hardness, is still in use today....

Article

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 ...

Article

Yi Sŏng-mi

[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 (...

Article

Bent L. Pedersen

[ Chao Ch’ang ; zi Changzhi]

(b Guanghan, Sichuan Province, c. ad 960; d after 1016).

Chinese painter . He was a painter of birds, flowers and insects, following the style of Teng Changyou ( fl ad 907–20). Although paintings attributed to him are not genuine, they provide an indication of his style. These works can be divided into two groups: one of relatively small paintings of flowers and another of larger pictures, with birds, insects, trees, rocks and flowers.

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 ...

Article

Carol Michaelson

[Ch’en]

Chinese dynasty that ruled in southern China between ad 557 and 589. It was the last of the so-called Six Dynasties (222–589), who were the ‘legitimate’ successors to the Han dynasty (206 bcad 220) and made Jiankang (now Nanjing) their capital.

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 (...

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[Li Ch’eng; zi Xianxi; hao Yingqiu]

(b ad 919; d 967).

Chinese painter. His ancestors, members of the imperial clan, were natives of Chang’an (now Xi’an, Shaanxi Province), the Tang-dynasty (ad 618–907) capital. During disturbances at the end of the 9th century the clan split into two branches. Li’s grandfather, who settled in Qingzhou (now Shandong), and his father both held official posts. From 956 to 958 Li was in government service in Bianliang (now Kaifeng), at the invitation of his friend Wang Pu, then Commissioner of Military Affairs for Emperor Shizong (reg 944–54). Li came to know many important scholar–officials, but, despondent after the death of Wang, took to poetry, music, painting and drink. His paintings became sought after, but he remained at first socially aloof. Later he became a habitual wanderer, until, some time after 964, he accepted an invitation to live in Huaiyang (Henan Province), where he died of overindulgence in wine.

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 (...

Article

Chongye  

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 adc. 9th 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 ...

Article

M. Yaldiz

[Dandan-uilik; Dandan-uiliq]

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 ad. Finds include two manuscripts (both London, BM)—a canonical text of Mahayana Buddhism, the Prajñāparamitā (Skt: ‘Perfection of wisdom’), in an East Iranian language, and a Vajracchedikā (‘diamond-knife’; sharp as a diamond) version in Sanskrit—as well as wall paintings and small wooden painted panels (?8th century; London, BM) with various motifs. One of the latter shows two riders, one above the other surrounded by a halo, the one above on a horse, the one below on a camel; each holds a dish in his right hand (Yaldiz, pl. 117). On another small wooden panel are two figures facing each other, surrounded by almond-shaped haloes: on the left a fan-bearer, on the right a figure with an animal-like head (Yaldiz, pl. 118). Stein believed this to be an illustration of the rat legend recorded by the Chinese pilgrim ...

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[ Hsü Tao-ning ]

(b Chang’an [modern Xi’an], Shaanxi Province, c. ad 970; d c. 1052).

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....

Article

Joan Stanley-Baker

[ Wu Daoxuan, Wu Tao-hsüan ; Wu Tao-tzu ]

(b Yangzhe [modern Yu xian, Henan Province]; fl c. ad 710–60).

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 (...

Article

Henrik H. Sørensen

[Teng-feng.]

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 (ad 220–80). When Emperor Xiaowendi (reg ad 471–99) of the Northern Wei (386–534) moved the dynastic capital from Datong in north-western Shanxi Province to Luoyang, the mountain was selected as an ideal place to establish Buddhist temples.

The Fawang Temple (Fawang si) is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary on Mt Song, supposedly dating to ad 234. It features a large, square, brick pagoda of the mid-8th century ad, 15 storeys and 40 m high, built in the same style as the Xiaoyan ta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) in Xi’an. Other buildings in the Fawang Temple, including the Precious Hall of the Great Hero (the main hall), the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings and the Ksitigarbha Hall, date from the Qing period (...

Article

Dorothy C. Wang

[Tun-huang.]

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 ...

Article

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 ad 785 by the Tendai-sect patriarch Saichō [Dengyō Daishi] (767–822). Enryakuji is the head temple of the Sanmon branch of the Tendai sect, and, together with the Shingon-sect temple Kongōbuji in Wakayama Prefecture, it is one of the two principal seats of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism (mikkyō). Hie Shrine is its major tutelary Shinto shrine. Enryakuji occupies c. 4 sq. km on the slopes of Mt Hiei, a sacred mountain long worshipped as the abode of some of the main guardian deities of Kyoto. In the Heian period (ad 794–1185) it comprised 3000 buildings, and although these now number only about 70 it remains an imposing temple–shrine complex. It is divided into three compounds, called ‘pagodas’ ()—the Tōtō (East Pagoda), Saitō (West Pagoda) and ...

Article

Peter C. Sturman

[ Chou Fang ]

(b Chang’an (now Xi’an), Shaanxi Province; fl c. ad 765–800).

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 ...

Article

J. Edward Kidder jr

Japanese tomb in Ikaruga-chō, Nara Prefecture. Excavated in 1985, it was probably a late 6th-century ad keyhole-shaped mound (zenpōkōenfun; see Japan, §III, 2, (ii)), in which the stone passageway and chamber were orientated south-south-east. The mound had been built of soil from earlier tombs. The burial chamber is unusually high (4.1 m); this is a feature of tombs of the Nara and Kyoto areas. It contains a large, red-painted, house-shaped sarcophagus (iegata sekkan) made of Mt Nijō tufa; the Mt Nijō quarry provided stone for many sarcophagi in the region. The body and lid are each one slab, and the shape of the sarcophagus—wide and raised at the north-eastern end to accommodate head and shoulders—follows an old Chinese style that was quite rare in Japan. It is now thought that the coffin was installed after the floor of the tomb was laid and before the wall slabs were erected (it is only 800 mm from the back wall). In ...

Article

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; ad 720) and Shoku Nihongi (Chronicle of Japan, continued; ad 797) record that Fujiwara was the seat of the ancient Japanese monarchy and central government from ad 694 to 710. Empress Jitō (reg 686–97) ordered the construction of a new capital at the site of Fujiwara in 690, in part to fulfil an earlier desire expressed by her husband Tenmu (reg 672–86). The site chosen was an area in northern central Yamato Province that was bounded by four ancient regional highways. The word Fujiwara is not a variation on a royal or palace title (or on the ideographs thereof), as was usual in the Asuka-Hakuhō period (552–710). Scholars therefore believe that it was either adapted from a local place name—Fuji ga hara—or assigned in connection with burgeoning Fujiwara family influence at court. In 694 Jitō moved her government north to Fujiwara, abandoning the old capital at nearby Kiyomigahara in Asuka....