Korea Cultural Influence

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Significant Major Influences through Art Over the years, art has been a factor of cultural influence through trade routes and systems between cities. Many artifacts have been traded, gifted and found in countries that relate to similar works in another. In Ancient China, the first of Buddhists receptacles have dated back to the late fourth century, and in about three centuries later, the same relics have been found in Korea. These receptacles are Buddhist Reliquaries, or more specifically Sarira caskets which are “relics of the historical Buddha.” (Herzog, Royal Ontario Museum Site). Buddhist Reliquaries from China, that have influenced Korea, demonstrate the important use of art and trade to impact art styles, form new religious systems …show more content…
The discovery of these artifacts ultimately defines the close connection between the two countries and their respective development of religious order and art. Buddhism arrived in Korea in the fourth century during the Three Kingdoms period, “the first major art period of Korean art” (Korean Art, Britannica), when the peninsula was ruled by three monarchies. The religion had a major effect on Korea’s art, through the transfer of art pieces, “inspiring inventions such as woodblock printing and moveable metal type as well as a number of monuments, sculpture painting, metal works and ceramics.” (Chang, Jackson 187). The Sarira reliquary, which originated in India, were “made to enshrine the sari, or calcified remains, from the cremation of Buddha or renowned monks.” (Shin, 84-85). These relics are essentially caskets, made of Gilt Bronze, and …show more content…
The first sarira casket in Korea was “sent by Chinese Emperor Wudi of Liang to Silla in 549 AD.” (Herzog, Royal Ontario Museum Site). About a century later, when Silla conquered the other two kingdoms, “Buddhism enjoyed a renaissance, with a number of temples being built in the Kyongsang province.” (Encyclopedia of East Asian Art). Originally Silla was the weakest kingdom, being isolated in southeast Korea, “but gradually gained power after the assimilation of Buddhism.” (Muller, Korean Buddhism). However, Buddhism already made an establishment in the northern Goguryeo kingdom around the fourth century, having developed ties with the former Qin Emperor. And also in the Baekje kingdom “through its frequent interchanges with the Southern Dynasties.” (Hong, 189). But since Silla was relatively isolated, the evolution of Buddhism there started a lot later, around the fifth century. During Silla’s reign, the sarira caskets and other art pieces had been created ever since the appearance of the first Buddhist reliquary a century earlier. This meant with the appearance of this artifact, along with many other Buddhist images, it had a major impact on the growth of a new belief system. Korea was religiously influenced by China’s Buddhist views and thus shaped them into their own. For example, “Buddhist historians characterized the Silla as having

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