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A five-ringed tower found passed from China to Japan 1000 years ago

Friday 31 July 2009

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All the versions of this article: [English] [中文]

24 july

Japan — The Nara national museum and the Quan yong monastery in the Higashiyama district in Tokyo annonced 24 july that, with an X ray picture examation, a "Gorintō" (five-ringed tower) carring Buddhist relics was found inside a statue of Bodhisattva on exhibition, passed from China to Japan during the Southern Song dynastie, 800 years dated from now, reported by the china review news organisation.

According to the kyodo news cooperation, in the perspective of Mikkyō, the "esoteric Buddhism of japa, the tower of five rings represents the 5 éléments that make up the world: the air, the earth, the water, the wood et the void. The Japanese people started to use the tower for memorial monuments and tombs since the 9th centry, and such design could hardly be seen out side the
teritorry of Japan. " Such rare discovery offers a precious historical data to the study of the cultural exchanges between China and Japan." indicates the Nara
museum.

At the hight of 3.6 cm, the tower stands inside the chest of the statue of 144 cm high, known as the Guanyin of imperial concubine Yang, and its nature stays to be identified. At the bottom fo the tower lie three pieces of Buddhist relics. The first discovery of the tower dates back to 2001, while a recent x ray exmination lanced by the museum provides more details for a feather researche.

The statue of Bodhisattva is carried from China to the monastery Yong Quan in 1230 by monk Zhan Hai, disciple of the fonder of the monastery the monk Zu Reng. A researcher from the cimeliarch of the temple says that the statue was probably made by the chinese craftsmen under the demande of Zhan Hai, who wished to brought a good luck to his sail back to Japan, and the five-ringed tower is maybe his idea too."

The statue is now part of an exhibition in Nara national museum until 2 august, the theme of which is "Ning bo (a chinese harbor city near the East sea )the holly place, the root of japanese buddhism of 1300 years.

Translated by : Chen YU

- Source : China review news organisation



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