The Buddha and the Sacred Site

Map of All the Countries in Jambudvipa (Nansenbushu bankoku shoka no zu)

  • 9
  • Hotan (Japanese, 1654–1738)
  • Japan
  • Edo period, 1710
  • Woodblock print
  • H. 45 1/4 x W. 57 1/8 in. (115 x 145 cm)
  • C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley

Jambudvipa is the Indian name for the great continent south of the cosmic Mount Meru, the archetypal pilgrimage site. Anavatapa, the great lake at the center of the world, is marked like the vortex of a powerful tornado near the center of the great landmass that stretches across the page. Drawn by a Japanese Buddhist monk of the Kegon sect and published in Kyoto in 1710, this map is based on earlier Japanese Buddhist world maps that illustrate the pilgrimage to India of the Chinese monk Xuanzang (602–664). Hotan has not drawn the route of this famous pilgrim here, but the toponymy of India and Central Asia accords with Xuanzang's account.

PHOTO CREDIT: C. V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley


©2009 Asia Society 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street New York, NY 10021: