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WMO, Vol. 9, Supplement (19), 2023 Print E-mail

of the Orient

Volume 9, Supplement (19), 2023

Special Issue:
Tangut Studies: Prospects and Problems for the 21st c.

ISSN 2410-0145

Issued twice a year

The entire issue as a *.PDF file


Irina F. Popova. To the Blessed Memory of Professor Kychanov — 3

Kirill Bogdanov. A Portrait of State Preceptor Xibi Baoyuan: Case Study of Identification — 10

This article is a case study of the engraving in the Tangut Buddhist text Xibi State Preceptor’s Compendium of Admonitions to the World written by the Buddhist monk of high rank, State Preceptor Xibi Baoyuan. For a long period of time left and right parts of this illustration existed separately in two editions of this book. For this reason, this text’s author in the illustration was identified incorrectly. The study of this engraving’s fragments allowed to join two engraving parts in their original form and helped to identify the genuine portrait of Xibi.

Key words: Tangut Fund IOM RAS, Tangut state, engravings, Tangut Buddhism

Viacheslav Zaytsev, Chung-pui Tai. Nikolai Nevsky, Ishihama Juntarō, and the Lost “Extended Manual” of Tangut Characters with Tibetan Phonetic Glosses — 18

Shortly before his return from Japan to Russia in 1929, the prominent Russian Orientalist and Tangutologist Nikolai (Nicolas) Aleksandrovich Nevsky (1892–1937), best known for his successful decipherment of the extinct Tangut language and script, prepared and left in Japan some kind of a glossary, an extended manual of Tibetan phonetic glosses for more than 500 Tangut characters, which was planned to be sent to the Tōyō Bunko for publication. However, this work was not published, and the manual was lost for decades and literally forgotten by scholars. This article is an investigation into the fate of this lost work prepared by Nevsky and a report on its re-discovery. Based on the study of his academic activities in Japan, it presents four photographic copies of Tangut fragments with Tibetan phonetic glosses and seven non-inventoried Nevsky’s notebooks from the Ishihama Collection of the Osaka University Library. Our careful examination and preliminary study of these notebooks reveals that three of them are most likely the complete lost manuscript of the extended manual and the four photographs are its integral part.

Key words: Tangut script, Tangut language, Tangut characters, Tibetan phonetic gloss, Tangut fragment, N.A. Nevsky, Ishihama Juntarō

Nikita Kuzmin. Pilgrimage in Western Xia: Research on Tangut Wall Inscriptions in the Mogao and Yulin Caves — 49

The Tanguts who established Western Xia (982–1227) were active and devoted Buddhist pilgrims. They visited the Buddhist cave complexes of Mogao and Yulin in the Greater Dunhuang area and left several hundred lines of wall inscriptions. The paper examines various types of the remaining Tangut pilgrimage inscriptions and formulates their common textual formula. The comparative study of the resemblant Chinese, Tangut, and Uyghur inscriptions reveals their structural and vocabulary similarities and suggests the existence of the multilingual “inscriptional discourse” in the greater Dunhuang area in the 10th–14th cc. Finally, the content analysis of the inscriptions illuminates the features of the Buddhist pilgrimage as a local social and religious phenomenon and provides a precious primary textual source for the study of Western Xia.

Key words: Western Xia, Dunhuang, Tanguts, inscriptions, pilgrimage

Arakawa Shintaro. The Tangut Dictionary by E.I. Kychanov and the Study of the Shapes of the Tangut Script — 63

The late Professor, Dr. Evgeny Ivanovich Kychanov not only created a solid academic foundation for the research on history, society, law, and religion of Xixia, but also made a significant contribution to the study of the Tangut language and script. One of them is the Tangut Dictionary (Kyoto University, 2006). The author, as a co-editor of the dictionary, typed Tangut characters in the special font, checked phonetic-reconstruction forms, and worked on the arrangement of the characters in the index. Although the dictionary’s method to find the character index is unique, it is useful for the study of the shapes of the Tangut script from the viewpoint of current research. The author discusses some topics from the viewpoint of linguistics.

Key words: Tangut script, Tangut language, Tangut lexicography, Tangut dictionary, E.I. Kychanov

Nie Hongyin, Sun Yingxin. The Mixed Homonymic Characters: Procedures for Primary Teaching as Recommended by the Tanguts — 77

The newly discovered Tangut xylograph Essential Selection of Mixed Homonyms Often-Transmitted is a primer designed to teach beginners over 2000 Tangut characters commonly used in Buddhist scriptures. Referring to various dictionaries and primers, the compilation approach of the booklet is modeled after the Chinese traditional primer entitled Mixed Characters, which was widely circulated at that time, but its notes focus on the interchangeability of homonymic characters in various manuscripts, rather than on providing phonetic or semantic explanations. The two prefaces of the book prove to be a unique material for showing how the Tanguts treated their own script, and how a Tangut teacher taught beginners to read and write such complex characters. Unfamiliar with the Chinese concept of radicals, the Tanguts regarded their characters as combinations of various components formed by simplest strokes and glyphs. They believed that it would be easier for students to learn Tangut characters by piecing the components together than trying to write full characters directly. Complete translations of the two prefaces to the book are presented for the first time in this paper.

Key words: Tangut, Xixia, script, primary education, writing, philology, Buddhist scriptures

Sun Bojun. Tangut-Chinese Elements in the 12th Century Dialect of Hexi — 107

The Hexi dialect of the 12th c. recorded in Tangut literature, such as Fanhan Heshi Zhangzhongzhu, was a Tangut-Chinese language, i.e., an ethnic variant of the ancient Chinese Northwest Dialect. Under the influence of their native languages, non-Chinese people tend to make phonemic alternations, additions and deletions when they speak Chinese. These phonetic variants have nothing to do with diachronic evolution and cannot be brought into the sequence of Chinese phonological development as real forms of dialectal evolution. In researching Ancient (Middle) Chinese on the basis of the Chinese and non-Chinese transcriptions, only by stripping out phonetic variants and by carefully analyzing phonological divergences between Chinese and non-Chinese languages can we restore ancient forms better.

Key words: 12th c. Gansu Corridor dialect, Tangut-Chinese, Northwest dialect in Tang and Five Dynasties, Ethnic variant of Chinese

Wang Peipei. New Translations of Some Tangut Words — 124

Some important documents, such as the Tangut legal texts “Revised and Newly Approved Code of the Heavenly Prosperity Reign (1149–1168)” (Tiansheng lüling) and “New Laws of the Pig Year” (Hainian xinfa), are not fully clarified. One reason is that some Tangut words cannot be understood correctly. The main key to finding exact meanings of Tangut words are translations of Chinese classics. In this paper it is shown how using the Tangut translation of a Chinese leishu, “Forest of Categories” (Lei lin), and finding correct interpretations of nine words results in reasonable translations of legal provisions.

Key words: Tangut Code, Tiansheng lüling, Hainian xinfa, Lei lin

Chung Tsui-fun. A Study on the Chinese Manuscript “Eight Gross Transgressions” (Bazhong Cuzhong Fanduo 八種粗重犯墮) from Khara-Khoto — 136

The “Heishuicheng Manuscripts Collected in Russia” (俄藏黑水城文獻) Volume 6 contains the Chinese manuscript Ф211V Ф288V Ф266V “Dasheng ruzang lu juan shang 大乘入藏錄卷上”, and its verso side preserves a number of Western Xia written manuscripts. The purpose of this paper is to study one of the manuscripts on the verso side, namely “Bazhong Cuzhong Fanduo” (八種粗重犯墮) which means “Eight Gross Transgressions”. Individual tantric classes have their own enumeration of precepts. Anuttara Yoga Tantra tradition abides by precepts such as the twenty-five uncontrived activities, samaya of the five Buddha families, the fourteen root downfalls, and the eight gross transgressions. Among them, the “Eight Gross Transgressions” manuscript, unique to Anuttara Yoga Tantra, is an important tantric material. Analysis of its content suggests that the manuscript “Bazhong Cuzhong Fanduo” belongs to the precepts of the Anuttara Yoga Tantra. The paper contains the manuscript’s full transcription as well as a comparison with the parallel text of ltung ba sbom po [Gross Transgressions] in Derge Tanjur and sDom-gSum rNam-Nges [Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows].

Key words: Heishuicheng manuscripts, precepts of Anuttara Yoga Tantra, Bazhong Cuzhong Fanduo

Zhang Jiuling. The Preface to the Shiwang Jing: An Early Legend of Revival — 150

The main text of the Tangut version of the Scripture on the Ten Kings was based on the Tibetan version, but its preface, translated from Chinese, contains a folk legend about a child who returns alive from Hell after Yama admires his respect for deities and sages. A similar legend is recorded in Chinese Buddhist canon no earlier than the Ming Dynasty, therefore the Tangut preface proves to be the earliest sample of the same work. With the help of Chinese texts, it may be possible to decipher the Tangut version of the cursive handwritten preface in inv. No 819 kept at the IOM, RAS and the version in a xylograph that recently appeared on the Chinese relic market.

Key words: Tangut, Xixia, Buddhism, folklore, unorthodox scripture

Kong Xianghui. Kychanov’s Study of the Tiansheng Law from the Perspective of Vocabulary Translation and Interpretation — 163

Kychanov’s translation and interpretation of the Tiansheng Law is the accumulation of decades of his research and a landmark work in Tangut scholarship. Working with a legal code without any reference text, the author faced the biggest challenge from numerous Tangut technical terms. Kychanov’s profound scholarly skills are evident in the Russian translation of the vocabulary, his grasp of the East Asian medieval laws and his comparative study of the Chinese legal code texts. On the whole, the author’s translation of legal texts is groundbreaking, even though his translation contains some problems of mistranslation. However, the defects do not outweigh the merits, and this work is still worthy of study and reference by current scholars.

Key words: Kychanov, Tiansheng Law, legal vocabulary, translation

Li Yu. A Study of the Fragment Инв. No.7887-1 as a Supplement to Tiansheng lüling — 176

The plate of the fragment Инв.No.7887 was published in the Heishuicheng Manuscripts Collected in Russia Volume 9 and again in Volume 14. This led to a misunderstanding. The current academic study of Инв. No.7887 was, in fact, limited to Инв.No.7887–2. Translation and study of the fragment Инв.No.7887–1 made it clear that its content was about the provisions on how to deal with children born by women who committed adultery, on inactivity of women who pay a reward with labor, on widows not to be supervised by 大小侄母 and on women who are forced to divorce by parents-in-law and so on. Comparison with the relevant provisions of Tiansheng lüling 天盛律令 showed that the contents of Инв.No.7887–1 are supplements and revisions to Tiansheng lüling. Based on this preliminary analysis, the contents of Инв.No.7887–1 are thought to be temporary legal provisions formulated in the late Xixia 西夏 period to solve some new litigation cases in the society. Such legal documents, supplementary to the basic code of Xixia, are expected to attract attention of the academic community.

Key words: Heishuicheng Manuscripts Collected in Russia, legal document, Tiansheng lüling

Ma Xiaofang. On the Tangut Version of the Abhisamayālaṁkāra Series Preserved at the IOM RAS — 185

This paper introduces the Tangut version of the Abhisamayālaṁkāra Series kept at the IOM, RAS, including the original śāstra and its commentaries. These documents indicate that the Abhisamayālaṁkāra was very popular and several commentaries were available in the Tangut region in the 12th c. In addition to Maitreya’s original text and the most famous commentary by Pandita Haribhadra, we consider two other commentaries showing that translations different from Tibetan ones may be derived from Tangut understanding and exegesis of Maitreya and Haribhadra’s works.

Key words: Abhisamayālaṁkāra, Xixia, Tangut, Buddhist, sūtra

Meng Xia, Natalia Tsareva. E.I. Kychanov’s Translation of the “Revised and Newly Approved Code of the Heavenly Prosperity Reign” in the Context of the Development of Modern Translation Studies — 195

E.I. Kychanov was well known in Chinese academic circles since 1980s, and his translations of ancient Tangut manuscripts into Russian are often used by Chinese scholars as reference material. This article focuses on the scholar’s translation of the Tangut “Revised and Newly Approved Code of the Heavenly Prosperity Reign (1149–1168)” and analyzes some features of his translation work, his chosen strategies and methods, and also comments on the Chinese specialists’ attitude to E.I. Kychanov’s translation of the Tangut legal text.

Key words: E.I. Kychanov, translation activities, translation strategies and methods, ancient Tangut manuscripts

Last Updated ( 06/11/2023 )

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