[Vol. 21 No. 2] TREE MOTIFS IN SEVENTH-CENTURY SILLA STELES

 

Title
Title Tree Motifs in Seventh-century Silla Steles
Author
Author

Kim Sunkyung

Volume

Vol. 21 No. 2

Pages

pp. 461~480 (all 20 pages) 

Publication Date

2018.12.15

Keyword

Buddhist stele (佛碑像), Unified Silla, jeweled tree (寶樹), Amitābha (阿彌陀), Maitreya (彌勒)

Abstract

Stone steles served multiple purposes in different cultures: as a territorial marker, an edifying tablet, a political edict, a votive altar, a funerary monument, or a celebratory reminder of remarkable individuals or events. Chinese steles carved with images of Buddhist deities are monuments that testify to the process of adoption and adaptation across different cultural traditions. As products of the Buddhist appropriation of non-Buddhist Chinese steles, steles with Buddhist imagery are hybrids.
The visual dialogue between two realms—the mortuary and the religious—underwent another twist when Buddhist steles first appeared on the Korean peninsula in the seventh century. The carvings on Korean steles displayed the usual prominent Buddhist deities and the formulaic language of a dedicatory inscription, but were made in the former territory of a defeated kingdom under a new administrative reign. Hence, they tell us about the fluctuating boundary between political entities, the social identity of the donors, and desired destinations of the devotees. Although “set in stone,” they never easily manifest a single fixed reading of the visual messages embedded in them.
In order to better understand the paradoxically fluid character of unyielding stone, this article discusses some anomalous elements of these steles. Focusing on a few peculiar examples of steles from 6th century China and 7th century Korea, this article explores the roles of subsidiary motifs, such as trees and pavilions, found across geographic/cultural borders.

Full-text


 

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462 [Vol. 21 No. 2] TABLE OF CONTENTS ACTA KOREANA 2018.12.15 1385
461 [Vol. 21 No. 2] EDITOR'S NOTE ACTA KOREANA 2018.12.15 947
460 [Vol. 21 No. 2] GUEST EDITOR’S NOTE: THE INSIDERS AND OUTSIDERS OF KOREAN CULTURE OLGA FEDORENKO 2018.12.15 1081
459 [Vol. 21 No. 2] WORSHIPING THE GODDESSES OF P’ALBONG MOUNTAIN: REGIONAL VARIATION, AUTHENTICITY, AND TRADITION CLARK W. SORENSEN 2018.12.15 944
458 [Vol. 21 No. 2] AT THE GATES OF BABEL: THE GLOBALIZATION OF KOREAN LITERATURE AS WORLD LITERATURE JENNY WANG MEDINA 2018.12.15 966
457 [Vol. 21 No. 2] EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE: AN ETHNOMUSICOLOGIST LIVING AND WORKING IN KOREA HILARY VANESSA FINCHUM-SUNG 2018.12.15 926
456 [Vol. 21 No. 2] NO FRAME TO FIT IT ALL: AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHY ON TEACHING UNDERGRADUATE KOREAN STUDIES, ON AND OFF THE PENINSULA CEDARBOUGH T. SAEJI 2018.12.15 943
455 [Vol. 21 No. 2] TREE MOTIFS IN SEVENTH-CENTURY SILLA STELES KIM SUNKYUNG 2018.12.15 938
454 [Vol. 21 No. 2] BETWEEN MORALITY AND CRIME: FILIAL DAUGHTERS AND VENGEFUL VIOLENCE IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY KOREA KIM JUNGWON 2018.12.15 1044
453 [Vol. 21 No.2] NEW TRENDS IN COMMENTARY ON THE CONFUCIAN CLASSICS: CHARACTERISTICS, DIFFERENCES, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF RHETORICALLY ORIENTED EXEGESES OF THE MENGZI YOU MINJUNG 2018.12.15 971
452 [Vol. 21 No.2] RESEMBLING THE OPPONENT: NATIONALIST AND COLONIALIST HISTORIOGRAPHIES IN MODERN KOREA SHIN SEUNGYOP 2018.12.15 915
451 [Vol. 21 No. 2] THE GENEALOGY OF KOREAN MODERNISM IN POETRY: FOCUS ON TRANSLATIONS OF W. B. YEATS KIM HANSUNG AND CHOI JUNGA 2018.12.15 927
450 [Vol. 21 No. 2] TRANSLATION: YU SORANG CHŎN TRANSLATED BY CHO SOOKJA 2018.12.15 897
449 [Vol. 21 No. 2] TRANSLATION: SELECTED POEMS BY YI TAL TRANSLATED BY CHRISTINA HAN AND WING S. CHU 2018.12.15 889
448 [Vol. 21 No. 2] BOOK REVIEWS: THE FORESIGHT OF DARK KNOWING: CHŎNG KAM NOK AND INSURRECTIONARY PROGNOSTICATION IN PRE-MODERN KOREA BY JOHN JORGENSEN DON BAKER 2018.12.15 868
447 [Vol. 21 No. 2] BOOK REVIEWS: ELUSIVE BELONGING: MARRIAGE IMMIGRATIONS AND "MULTICULTURLISM" IN RURAL SOUTH KOREA BY MINJUNG KIM TOBIAS HÜBINETTE 2018.12.15 910