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Japan on the Silk Road

Encounters and Perspectives of Politics and Culture in Eurasia

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Edited by Selçuk Esenbel

Japan on the Silk Road provides for the first time the historical background indispensable for understanding Japan's current perspectives and policies in the vast area of Eurasia across the Middle East and Central Asia. Japanese diplomats, military officers, archaeologists, and linguists traversed the Silk Road, involving Japan in the Great Game and exploring ancient civilizations.The book exposes the entanglements of pre-war Japanese Pan-Asianism with Pan-Islamism, Turkic nationalism and Mongolian independence as a global history of imperialism. Japanese connections to Ottoman Turkey, India, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and China at the same time reveal a discrete global narrative of cosmopolitanism
and transnationality. The global team of scholars brings to light Japan’s intellectual and political encounters with the peoples and cultures of Asia, in particular Turks and Persians, Hindus and Muslims of India, Mongolians and the Uyghur of Inner Asia, and Muslims in China.
Contributors include: Ian Nish, Christopher Szpilman, Sven Saaler, Selcuk Esenbel, Li Narangoa, Komatsu Hisao, Brij Tankha, Erdal Küçükyalcın, A. Merthan Dündar, Katayama Akio, Miyuki Aoki Girardelli, Klaus Röhborn, Mehmet Ölmez, Banu Kaygusuz, Oğuz Baykara, and Satō Masako.

Maṇḍalas in the Making

The Visual Culture of Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang

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Michelle C. Wang

The first scholarly monograph on Buddhist maṇḍalas in China, this book examines the Maṇḍala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas. This iconographic template, in which a central Buddha is flanked by eight attendants, flourished during the Tibetan (786–848) and post-Tibetan Guiyijun (848–1036) periods at Dunhuang. A rare motif that appears in only four cave shrines at the Mogao and Yulin sites, the maṇḍala bore associations with political authority and received patronage from local rulers. Attending to the historical and cultural contexts surrounding this iconography, this book demonstrates that transcultural communication over the Silk Routes during this period, and the religious dialogue between the Chinese and Tibetan communities, were defining characteristics of the visual language of Buddhist maṇḍalas at Dunhuang.

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Michelle C. Wang

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Michelle C. Wang

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Michelle C. Wang