31 Dec. 2022
Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb, Seven Past Buddhas, Buddhism and funerals.
The Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb excavated in Datong in 2015 caused quite a stir in academic circles, with its interior painted with Buddha images, an isolated case never seen before in similar stone house of Northern Wei Dynasty excavated in the region. The stone house has been discussed and studied by a number of scholars since its excavation. This study focuses on the image of the Seven Past Buddhas on the upper south wall of the interior stone house, in an attempt to investigate the special meaning and role of this image in the funerary context through the study and sorting out of this image. In addition to the abstract and conclusion, this study consists of four specific chapters. In the section of the introduction, the main problems that exist at present are summarised by sorting out and analysing previous academic results on the study of the Seven Past Buddhas in Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb, one of which is that the study of the image of the Seven Past Buddhas in Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb is not deep enough, and the other is that the study on the role of the Seven Past Buddhas in Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb is obviously weak. On this basis, the specific research object, content and idea of this study are determined. The first chapter provides a brief overview of Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb, the excavation information and the configuration of the images. The second chapter describes the relationship between the style, composition and colour of Seven Past Buddhas from the perspective of the former pictorial analysis, and carries out a reflection on the sequence and interrelationship between the painting of the Buddhas and the production of the stone house through the observation of the material. In the third chapter, the meaning, style and spatial layout of the images of Seven Past Buddhas in Buddhist art are examined from the perspective of iconography, and the identity of Seven Past Buddhas in the Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb is examined in relation to the physical material. In the fourth chapter, the meaning and role of Seven Past Buddhas in the Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb are analysed from the perspective of iconography, illustrating the role of Seven Past Buddhas with the cite of the contents of "The Lotus Sutra", "Buddha Dhyana Samadhisagara Sutra", and the "Book of Wei Dynasty — Records of the Shizu", returning to the material itself, and examining the meaning and significance of Seven Past Buddhas in its original context. In conclusion, the interaction between Buddhism and funerals has occurred since the very beginning of its introduction. By examining the particular case of Funeral Stone House of Xing Hejiang's Tomb, it is of great significance to reveal both folk Buddhist thought and the concept of funerals in Pingcheng Period of the Northern Wei Dynasty.
© 2023, the Authors. Published by ISCCAC
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