|Institution:||The Ohio State University|
|Keywords:||Art History; Architecture; Archaeology; Religion; Asian Studies; Religious History; Mireuksa, Baekje dynasty, Korean Buddhist temple, King Mu,Queen Sataek, East Asian temple plan, Chinese cave temple, Maitreyaart, History of art, Buddhist art, Korean art, Korean Buddhism,Maitreya practice, Iksan, Korean archaeology|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=osu1431044236|
The Mireuksa, literally, “Temple of the Future Buddha Maitreya,” was built during the reign of King Mu (r. 600–41) of the Baekje dynasty (18 BCE–660CE), Korea. It was constructed as the grand imperial temple of the kingdom, and has a distinct ground-plan with three pagodas and three image halls. No other temples with such a layout have been discovered in East Asia to date. Therefore, this temple has attracted the attention of numerous scholars of Buddhist studies.Although the impressive remains of the Mireuksa have been the topic of several monographic studies in Korean, a comprehensive analysis has been lacking. By means of a thorough examination of the written documents, material remains, temple plan, contemporaneous images of Maitreya (Ch. Mile, Kr. Mireuk, Jp. Miroku) in East Asian Buddhist art, and most importantly, the historical temple –construction traditions of East Asia, I hope to provide such a comprehensive study. The investigation of the written evidence about the Mireuksa, in particular, the golden reliquary plate that was written and installed in the west pagoda in 639, has revealed important evidence of Buddhist practice associated with the temple construction. Fulfilling the devotional purpose of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s relics, the reliquary plate reveals the belief of the king and the queen as Buddha, based on the Buddha–land concept, and also a definitive declaration of royal authority. Along with an ardent dedication to Buddhism, the inscription also provides the Baekje court’s deep awareness of Buddhist practice, including veneration of the Buddha relic, and beliefs in karma, and concept of tathagatagarbha (Buddha essence in every individual).The comprehensive exploration of the Mireuksa temple plan within the East Asian temple construction tradition has shown that the temple design of the Mireuksa is derived from the “one pagoda, one image hall” plan, namely the Yongningsi plan in China, the Baekje plan in Korea, and the Shitennoji plan in Japan. The temple’s three separate sections recall a general concept found in Chinese cave temples built with the “multiple shrine, but single” concept design during the Northern and Southern dynasties, e.g., the Dunhuang Mogao Caves 272 and 275, the Tanyao Five Caves, the Yungang Caves 9 and 10, and the Three Binyang Caves at Longmen. But, the parallel tripling of pagodas and image halls in the Mireuksa was, so far as is known, an innovative Baekje design uniquely suited to Maitreya’s methodologies.Although no direct evidence exists for the Buddhist images of the Mireuksa, we can assume the temple’s possible iconography from the physical evidences at the site, the literary sources, and the context of the Maitreya practices in East Asia. The Mireuksa reified the three teaching assemblies of the Buddha Maitreya at the time of Ketumati, which can be seen in several early Chinese examples. From the survey of Buddha Maitreya in East Asia, we can reiterate the well known assumption that the practice of Maitreya had arrived in China from Gandhara and associated… Advisors/Committee Members: Huntington, John (Advisor).