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WMO, Vol. 9, 2(18), 2023 Print E-mail

of the Orient

Volume 9, No. 2(18), 2023

ISSN 2410-0145

Issued twice a year

The entire issue as a *.PDF file


Nie Hongyin. Tangut Pillars of Uṣṇīṣavijayā in Baoding Prefecture: The Last Monuments of Xixia Descendants — 3

In the Park of Lotus Pond in the Baoding city of China, there is a pair of stone pillars of Uṣṇīṣavijayā erected in 1502, which proves to have been the latest Tangut relics existing so far. A textual investigation of their inscriptions indicates that they were built in memory of two monks of the Xingshan Temple, which was first established in the southeastern corner of the city in the 13th c. and repeatedly rebuilt later. After a reconstruction at the end of the 15th c., three Tangut monks first came and lived in the temple, two of whom died within a dozen years, and they were the buried monks for whom the pillars were erected. The pillars were originally located in a graveyard next to the Hanzhuang village outside the city, and, as mentioned in the inscription, near the village there was a considerable settlement of descendants of the Tangut warriors conscripted and transferred by the Yuan government to protect the Central Kingdom.

Key words: Baoding city; Tangut inscription; Buddhist relics; temple; dhāraṇī

Du Weimin. Introducing the New Tangut Literature Series (TLS) — 27

This article introduces the first ten texts published in colour in the new Tangut Literature Series (TLS) started in 2021 jointly by the Ningxia University, China, and the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. All ten works of exceptionally high research value have been thoroughly studied and were published in black and white in 1990s in the collection titled Heishuicheng Manuscripts Collected in Russia. Their publication in the new TLS series is important as it makes visible all the colour stamps and punctuation marks on the manuscripts and woodprints.

Key words: Tangut studies, Tangut literature, Khara-Khoto, Pyotr Kozlov, Ningxia University, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS

Aleksandr A. Iliukhov, Tatiana A. Pang. The Manchu-Chinese Manuscript Emu tanggû orin sakda-i gisun sarkiyan 百二老人語録 in the Collection of the IOM, RAS — 33

A unique Manchu-Chinese manuscript “The stories of one hundred and twenty old men” Emu tanggû orin sakda-i gisun sarkiyan is kept in the collection of the Institute of Oriental manuscripts. It is a rare sample of Manchu original literature that was compiled by a Mongol Sungyûn (Songyun 松筠) in 1790. The text was edited by Furentai, and in 1809 was translated into Chinese by a famous connoisseur of Manchu and Chinese literature Fugiyûn (Fujun 富俊). The bilingual manuscript from the IOM, RAS bears red personal seals of Fujun and the red seal of the printing house Shao-yi-tang 紹衣堂 that prove that the copy belonged to the translator. The text consists of 120 stories told by 120 old men. They mostly concern the life of simple Manchu bannermen, their everyday problems and financial difficulties often caused by Chinese merchants. The author solves them according to the Confucian moral teachings. Much attention is paid to training of the army and education. Descriptions of daily life in this work are of interest for historians, while its Manchu text is a good source for studies of Manchu original literature and language. The compilation history of “The stories of one hundred and twenty old men” is described in three prefaces to the manuscript. Their English translation, accompanied by a transcription of Chinese and a transliteration of Manchu originals, is given in this article.

Key words: Manchu literature, Manchu manuscript, Sungyûn, Songyun, Fugiyûn, Fujun, Emu tanggû orin sakda-i gisun sarkiyan, IOM, RAS

Olga Klimova. Yasōdokugo 野叟獨語 [A Monologue of an Elderly Rural Man] by Sugita Genpaku as a Source on Early Russian-Japanese Relations — 57

This study introduces and examines the work of Sugita Genpaku (20.10.1733–01.06.1817) — Yasōdokugo 野叟獨語 [A monologue of an elderly rural man] — a valuable historical document that describes the reaction of the Japanese government to the expedition of Khvostov and Davidov to Sakhalin in 1806–1807. It was written at the beginning of the 19th c., the period which is considered a turning point in the early Russian-Japanese relations, when Russia began to be perceived as a major dangerous enemy. This unique document, which is hardly ever mentioned in research, stands out in the long list of Japanese archival documents of the 19th c. as one of the very few that depict Russia as a possible trade partner and not an enemy. It was originally written by Sugita Genpaku in 1807 and was published for the first time in 1934 as a part of the multi-volume book called Dainippon shisō zenshū 大日本思想全集 [Complete collection of intellectual history works of Great Japan]. Nevertheless, it has been ignored by most scholars throughout the world, including those in Russia and Japan. This study introduces the most interesting parts of the work, which describe the response of the Japanese government to the actions of two Russian officers, lieutenant Khvostov (1776–1809) and midshipman Davidov (1784?–1809), in Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in 1806 and 1807. This article answers the following questions: what was the image of Russia in Japan? What impact did the expedition to Sakhalin have on Japanese government and society? What was the best way to address the challenges Japan was facing and could trade with Russia help to solve them?

Key words: Sugita Genpaku, Sakhalin, Russia, Japan, Khvostov, Davidov

Anthony E. Terekhov. The Place of Shen-nong in the System of Legendary History of the Apocryphal Text Chunqiu Minglixu — 80

Shen-nong (Divine Farmer) is one of the sovereigns who was believed to rule All-Under-Heaven in ancient times. Although from the 1st c. BC onwards his place in the legendary history of China was generally defined, some conflicting accounts still remained. One of these contained in now lost apocryphal text Chunqiu Minglixu, notable for its unique system of ancient history. Although Shen-nong is only twice mentioned in the surviving quotations from this apocrypha, fragments of other lost texts that were influenced by Minglixu testify its special treatment of Shen-nong. They allow to conclude that in this apocrypha’s system of ancient history there were two Shen-nongs: the first one, the August Shen-nong, ruled at the dawn of history and was endowed with cosmogonic activities, while the second one, also called Yan-di from the Da-ting clan, reigned much later and was perceived as a founder of his own dynasty.

Key words: China’s legendary history, Shen-nong, Yan-di, Chunqiu Minglixu, Chinese apocrypha

Anton D. Pritula. The Case of the East Syriac Lectionary Sir. 26: Improvement or Forgery? — 95

Among Syriac manuscripts of the Institute of the Oriental Manuscripts in Saint Petersburg, there is an East Syriac lectionary Sir. 26. Being an Evangeliary (Evangelion), it is meant for the Gospel lections of the whole liturgical year. The manuscript contains a number of miniatures that were added to it later, as pointed out by Nina V. Pigulevskaia. The additional folia with the miniatures contain also the date of completion and the name of the person involved. Besides, a part of the representations is marked in his hand as ‘a new image’, while the others are called ‘an old image’. Their iconographic features and the data provided by the notes enable us to see in a new light various tendencies that appeared in the manuscript production of the Chaldean (East Syriac Catholic) Church in the 19th — early 20th cc. Besides, the ‘restorer’ wrote quatrains in the miniatures that used to accompany the latter, hence they became an important element of the manuscript illumination.

Key words: East Syriac lectionary, European art market, manuscript miniature, calligraphy, Alphonse Mingana

Tatiana A. Anikeeva, Ilona A. Chmilevskaya. Arabographic Manuscripts of the Akhty and Rutul Regions of the Republic of Dagestan — 114

The paper presents the results of two field expeditions in 2022–2023 to Southern Dagestan: within the framework of these archaeographic expeditions, the manuscript collection of the Akhty State Museum of Local Lore (village of Akhty, the Akhty district of the Republic of Dagestan), including manuscripts, documents, lithographs and early printed books in Arabic, Turkic and Persian languages, as well as a small private manuscript collection in the village of Khlyut (the Rutul district of the Republic of Dagestan) have been fully described and digitized. Materials of these collections allow us to draw a number of conclusions about the specifics of the transformation of intellectual tradition in Southern Dagestan, its differences and similarities compared with other regions of Dagestan, and the peculiarities of the distribution of manuscripts from the Middle East, Shirvan and the Ural-Volga region in this area.

Key words: arabographic manuscripts; Turkic manuscripts; digitization; Southern Dagestan; private and state collections

Safarali Shomakhmadov. Five Years of the Serindica Laboratory in the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS: Results and Prospects — 122

The article presents a review of the main results achieved in the first five years by the Serindica Laboratory at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The author points out that initial planning of the Laboratory’s work made it possible to implement a cross-regional approach to the study of Central Asian manuscripts. This article also examines the prospects for further research to be conducted by members of the Laboratory.

Key words: Written heritage, Central Asian manuscripts, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Serindia Collection, Serindica Laboratory

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