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Heian jidai@•½ˆÀŽž‘ã
KEY WORD :@art history / general terms
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The Heian period (794-1185), during which Heiankyou •½ˆÀ‹ž (later, Kyoto) became the political and cultural capital of Japan. The period is divided into Early ; *Kounin-Jougan jidai Om’åŠÏŽž‘ã or simply Jougan jidai ’åŠÏŽž‘ã (794-894), Middle ; *Fujiwara jidai “¡Œ´Žž‘ã (894-1086) and Late ; Insei (Cloistered Rule) jidai ‰@­Žž‘ã (1086-1185). Early Heian culture was still under the influence of the Chinese Tang dynasty, but in 894 imperially sponsored embassies to China were abolished because it was thought that the Tang dynasty would soon be overthrown and a new, Japanese culture *kokufuu bunka ‘•—•¶‰» began to develop. The end of the period is almost universally placed at 1185, the year in which the Minamoto Œ¹ shogunate was established in Kamakura Š™‘q. During the early part of the Heian period, two new sects of esoteric Buddhism were introduced from China to Japan: these were the Tendai “V‘ä which focused on *Shaka Žß‰Þ (the historical Buddha) at the center of devotion, and Shingon ^Œ¾ which worshipped Vairocana (Birushana ”ùḎՓß) the Buddha of Essence. Both sects established temples in the mountains, adapting their building arrangements to suit the environment. Murouji Žº¶Ž› in Nara, is the only esoteric temple from this time that remains untouched by fire. The images worshipped at these isolated temples were provincial variations of urban prototypes. They were made by local workers, sometimes the monks themselves, and were carved out of single tree trunks, a style that seems traceable to the Kushan Indian and the Gandaharan style. A good example is the *Yakushi –òŽt (9c) at Jingoji _ŒìŽ› in Kyoto. Shingon also brought with it a pantheon of deities inspired by Indian Hindu gods. These images had multiple arms and heads and fierce countenances to indicate their intensity of purpose. Both sculpted and painted mandalas, or cosmic graphs were used to focus believers' meditation. See *mandara ™Ö䶗…. A life-sized sculptural mandara is set on a large altar in the Lecture Hall *Koudou u“° of Touji “ŒŽ› (Kyouougokokuji ‹³‰¤Œì‘Ž›) in Kyoto, and the famous painted *Ryoukai mandara —¼ŠE™Ö䶗… (Two World Mandara ) also belongs to this temple. The middle part of the Heian period was dominated by the Fujiwara family who inspired exquisitely elegant art forms. Pure Land Buddhism joudokyou ò“y‹³, based on the worship of *Amida ˆ¢–í‘É and rebirth into the Western Paradise saihou joudo ¼•ûò“y, became popular with the court and, in time, the common people as well. Byoudouin Hououdou •½“™‰@–P™€“° (1053) in Kyoto is an example of an aristocratic residence complete with temple, garden and pond that was constructed in order to replicate in this world, the Western Paradise in all its splendor. Literature flourished under the Fujiwara with the creation of such notable works as GENJI MONOGATARI Œ¹Ž•¨Œê (The Tale of Genji) written around 1000 CE by a noblewoman of the court, Murasaki Shikibu Ž‡Ž®•”, and KAGEROU NIKKI å‘åx“ú‹L (Gossamer Years), written by the mother of Fujiwara no Michitsuna, Fujiwara no Michitsuna no haha “¡Œ´“¹j•ê (977), and with the development of the thirty one syllable poem waka ˜a‰Ì. The late Heian period, characterized by the rule of cloistered, retired emperors insei ‰@­, was even more opulent than the middle period, as the imperial family spent lavishly on the new clan temples and secular projects such as the creation of one hundred paintings illustrating excerpts from GENJI MONOGATARI (see *genji-e Œ¹ŽŠG) and poems of the thirty-six poets, the SANJUUROKUNIN SHUU ŽO\˜ZlW, on scrolls of gorgeous colored papers with gold and silver decorations. The elaborate and beautiful HEIKE NOUKYOU •½‰Æ”[Œo (Sutras Dedicated by the Heike) were also produced during this period. Finally, the lengthy peace and prosperity of the era was broken by conflicts over competition for power between the Minamoto (Genji Œ¹Ž) and Taira •½ (Heike •½‰Æ) clans.
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