中國四川省成都출토 梁代碑像側面의 神將像고찰
Guardian Figures on Both Sides of the Liang Dynasty Buddhist Steles Discovered in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Since the discovery of Buddhist steles from the Liang Dynasty in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in the 1950s, they have frequently been described as representative Buddhist sculptures of the Southern Dynasties, mostly from the Liang Dynasty in the sixth century. These sculptures from Chengdu in particular drew my attention as they feature two standing Buddha images with inscriptions stating that they were made after an image made by King Ashoka of India. The famous sixteen-foot image cast for the Hwangnyongsa temple in Gyeongju in the late sixth century was also known to be modeled after the legendary Buddha image believed to have been sent by King Ashoka. Another important feature of the Liang Dynasty steles is the presence of bodhisattava images holding round attributes with both hands, which I have connected the type as an iconographical model for the Baekje bodhisattvas holding a round jewel with both hands, often called Bongboju bosal (捧寶珠菩薩). Some of these Chengdu steles have been exhibited in recent years in Japan and in the USA, but the exhibition catalogues mostly show only the frontal or rear views of the steles, and not the images on their two sides. Some of them have been illustrated in Chinese publications but the plates are mistakenly identified to a wrong stele. So the purpose of this article is to observe six representative steles whose side figures are grouped mostly into three types of guardians. And this grouping also coincides with the figures on four other steles described in Chinese articles in Wenwu. By observing them, one can find very interesting types unique to these Chengdu steles. Guardian Type 1 This guardian type 1, which I categorize as shenwang (神王), is characterized by a guardian holding a long rod with its lower part shaped with an uneven surface. The image generally wears a shawl over the shoulders which is tied in front and a short skirt. Sometimes the image stands with one leg relaxed. The stele, one from Wanfosi dated 525 (pl. 2-2) and another one from Xi'an road dated 545 (pl. 5-3) belong to this type. Two more steles discovered in the business district of Chengdu, now in the Sichuan Provincial Museum, and two more in the Sichuan University Museum, are also reported to have this type of guardian. Guardian Type 2 Type 2 guardian, which I categorize as tianwang (天王), wears a suit of armor of a half coat with a high-necked collar, together with a rather high headdress. The type is represented both in standing pose and in half-seated pose. The standing one holds a long sword clasped in both hands, a feature similar to directional guardians (pl. 3-2, 3-3, 6-3). The seated guardian with one leg down holds its hands in a praying gesture (pl. 1-2). Guardian Type 3 This type 3 guardian looks very unusual, since it seems to have curly hair, two round, bulging eyes and again holds a long, baton-like stick similar to that seen in type I guardian(pl. 4-2, 4-3). It may belong to the same type as type I but the stele which has this figure on its sides mentions in its inscription that among many figures it has tianyoushen (天遊神), which I believe refers to this figure. While major categories can be largely divided into three, there are still similar types of guardian to type I but they are smaller and are represented on the rear side of the stele, often on either side of the space for the inscription. One interesting observation can be made regarding the type 2 guardian. An independent guardian statue was also discovered at the Wanfosi temple site (pl. 7). The statue also wears a suit of armor with high-necked collar and a skirt similar to the type 2, called tianwang. What is more intriguing is the similarity between these Liang Dynasty guardians and the Japanese four wooden directional guardians in the Golden Hall of the Horyuji temple in Nara (pl. 8). These Horyuji guardia..
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