Stone, Stonemasons, and Stone Monuments : Migrant Chinese Artisans in Medieval Japan

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022

Conference

TitleAssociation for Asian Studies 2022 Annual Conference (AAS 2022)
LocationHawaiʻi Convention Center & Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort (in-person and virtual)
PlaceUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period24 - 27 March 2022

Abstract

In the late twelfth century, four Chinese stonemasons migrated to Japan from the Chinese coastal city Ningbo. They participated in the most important building project in Japan then—the reconstruction of the prestigious Tōdaiji monastery in Nara after the Genpai War. One of these masons later took the Japanese-style name I no Yukisue, and his descendants inherited both the Japanese clan name and stonemason as a family profession. When Chinese artisans migrated to Japan, they also facilitated the circulation of materials and knowledge. Upon the Chinese masons’ request, the overseers of the Tōdaiji reconstruction project transported high-quality stones quarried from the vicinity of Ningbo all the way to Nara. The Chinese stonemasons also introduced new tools and techniques—such as carving on hard stones—to Japan. Exploring textual records, archeological reports, and visual evidence, this study investigates the network that moved the artisans and their objects of technique between China and Japan and sheds light on the relationship between artisans and religious monuments from a transnational perspective.

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Citation Format(s)

Stone, Stonemasons, and Stone Monuments : Migrant Chinese Artisans in Medieval Japan. / Li, Yiwen.

2022. Paper presented at Association for Asian Studies 2022 Annual Conference (AAS 2022), Honolulu, Hawaii, United States.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review