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Alchi  

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)...

Article

Bazaar  

Mohammad Gharipour

Bazaar, which is rooted in Middle Persian wāzār and Armenian vačaṟ, has acquired three different meanings: the market as a whole, a market day, and the marketplace. The bazaar as a place is an assemblage of workshops and stores where various goods and services are offered.

Primitive forms of shops and trade centres existed in early civilizations in the Near East, such as Sialk, Tepe in Kashan, Çatal Hüyük, Jerico, and Susa. After the 4th millennium BC, the population grew and villages gradually joined together to shape new cities, resulting in trade even with the remote areas as well as the acceleration of the population in towns. The advancement of trade and accumulation of wealth necessitated the creation of trade centres. Trade, and consequently marketplaces, worked as the main driving force in connecting separate civilizations, while fostering a division of labour, the diffusion of technological innovations, methods of intercultural communication, political and economic management, and techniques of farming and industrial production....

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

Masayuki Miura

[Jap. Itsukushima jinja]

Japanese Shinto shrine in Miyajima, Saeki Province, Hiroshima Prefecture. It is 15 km south-west of Hiroshima on the island of Itsukushima, one island among many in the Seto Inland Sea. The island has traditionally been included among the three most beautiful sites in Japan. The name Itsukushima (Majestic Island) denotes a place where kami (Shinto deities) are worshipped, and in ancient times the entire island was acknowledged as a sacred site. The shrine is dedicated to the worship of the goddess Ichikishima hime no mikoto, who ensures safety at sea, and her two sisters, as well as to the five male ‘cousin’ deities who are collectively called Marōdo no kami (‘guest gods’). At the shrine, there are two honden (‘main sanctuaries’); Honsha (‘head’ or ‘main shrine’) for the worship of the three goddesses; and the Marōdo Jinja (‘guest shrine’) for the worship of the male guest deities. Many of the buildings of the Itsukushima Shrine, which are constructed of wood, are located on the sandy beach of Itsukushima cove. During high tide the sea-water flows under the floor of the buildings, making the shrine appear to float on water. Itsukushima is the only shrine in Japan sited in such a manner. Conceptually and architecturally, its closest parallels are in Amida Halls such as the Phoenix Hall (Hōōdō) at Byōdōin....

Article

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 ...

Article

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 (...