Japanese Buddhist Art and its Contexts from the 6th to the 18th centuries: an Introduction
26 - 30 July 2010, London
Course 18: Dr Meri Arichi
Japanese Buddhist Art and its Contexts from the sixth to the 18th centuries: an Introduction
Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the sixth century from China via Korea. The Nihonshoki, the oldest surviving history of Japan, states that in the year 552 the King of Korea sent an envoy to Emperor Kinmei of Japan with gifts of Buddhist scripture, ritual paraphernalia, and a gilt bronze statue of the Buddha. This passage indicates that images played an important role in propagating the faith from the earliest stage. The adoption of Buddhism by the ruling class encouraged the building of temples, the creation of images, and encouraged the study of Buddhist doctrine in Japan. The establishment of new sects during the medieval period resulted in the diversification of Buddhist teaching. The styles of architecture, sculpture and paintings reflect the different emphasis placed by each school. Over the centuries Buddhism exerted a profound influence on the formation of Japanese culture, and the rich heritage of Buddhist art surviving in many temples and museums today provide valuable glimpse into the history and society in Japan. This course will examine works of art dating from the sixth to the 18th century, and consider the doctrinal, philosophical, and social contexts in which Buddhist art functioned in Japan.
Course Fee £420