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Asuka period (飛鳥時代, あすかじだい, 550-710 AD, or 592-645 A.D.)

Mini2:a5_asuka_period_calligraphy.jpg"Asuka period: | 法華義疏 (ほけぎしょ, Hoke Gisho), Prince Shōtoku's (聖徳太子, しょうとくたいし, 574 – 622 C.E.) commentaries to Lotus Sutra in semi-cursive script (行書, ぎょうしょ, gyōsho), Asuka period, early 7th century C.E., currently in Tokyo Imperial Household collection."

The Asuka period is a remarkable time in the history of Japanese calligraphy, art in general, and also marks a significant change in the political status of Japan in ancient Asia. It is when Prince Shōtoku (聖徳太子, しょうとくたいし, 574 – 622 C.E.) proclaimed Japan the Empire of the Rising Sun (today’s 日本, にほん, i.e. “Nihon”, which means “the place of the sun’s origin”), which significantly altered relations with China. He was also a great admirer of Buddhist teachings and enthusiastically promoted its philosophy in Japan. Prince Shōtoku was the one who strengthened the popularity of shakyō (写経, しゃきょう, i.e. “hand copying of sutras”), that further led to the rapid development of calligraphy (書道, しょどう, shodō,lit. “the way of writing (i.e. a path through life via calligraphy) art in Japan.

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Page last modified on December 12, 2011, at 06:11 AM