Daming monastery, (in) Yangzhou, Jiangsu, CN

Raw data

"Dàmíngsì - Also called the 法凈寺 Fajingsi. Large Buddhist complex at the north end of Slender West Lake in Yangzhou.

Daming Temple, on the top of the Shugang Hill in the northwestern suburbs of Yangzhou, was built in the 5th century when Emperor Song Xiaowu of the Southern Dynasty 420-589 reigned. It was renamed "Qiling Monastery" in the Sui Dynasty 581 - 618 and Fajing Monastery in the Qing Dynasty when Emperor Qianlong was in power. In 1980, it's name reverted to Daming Temple.
During its history of more than 1500 years, it was destroyed and rebuilt many times, lastly leveled down to its foundations during the Taiping Rebellion. The present structure dates from 1934.
Qiling Pagoda was originally built during the Sui Dynasty. It was nine storied and was a quite imposing structure. Famous poets Li Bai, Bai Juyi and Liu Yuxi visited here several times and composed poems. In 1993 a restoration project began and was completed in 1996. The new pagoda has nine layers with a height of 70 meters.
Daming Monastery is where the Tang Dynasty monk Jianzhen studied and became abbot of the temple. Jianzhen played a role in the development of Buddhism in Japan. He tried to reach Japan five times but failed. Finally, on the sixth attempt he succeeded in crossing the seas. There he preached and taught until his death. He is buried in the Toshodaiji Temple in Nara. In 1973 a memorial hall was built at the northeastern corner of the Daming Temple honoring Jianzhen and commemorating the renewed friendship between China and Japan.
"During the golden years ( 7th-8th centuries) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Japan sent various envoys, including students, monks, and scholars to China.
Chinese envoys also sailed to Japan for cultural exchanges, among them Monk Jian Zhen made a significant contribution in the history of Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges.
Surnamed Chunyu, Jian Zhen was born in 688 in Yangzhou City of East China's Jiangsu Province. He began to study Buddhism at age 14 in Yangzhou's Dayun Temple. Under the guidance of his teacher, Jian Zhen became well versed not only in Buddhism, but also in literature, art, medicine, and architecture.
In 713, Jian Zhen, who by that time had become a renowned Buddhism master, returned to Yangzhou from Changan to preach Buddhism. He attracted a following of over 40,000. In addition he also organized the transcription of over 33,000 rolls of scriptures, and designed more than 80 temples and monasteries. Many Japanese monks studying Buddhism in China admired him.
In 742, two Japanese monks studying Buddhism in China made a special trip to Yangzhou to invite Jian Zhen to do missionary work in Japan. During the next ten years, he made six attempt to cross the seas to Japan. On the fifth attempt in 748, he was blown to Hainan Island and had to work his way back overland to Yangzhou. Jian Zhen became blind after this trip, while Eiei, one of the Japanese monks accompanying him, died of disease.
Undeterred by his blindness, Jian Zhen made the sixth attempt five years later at the age of 66. On October 19, 753, he left from Longxing Temple in Yangzhou and started off for Japan from Huangsipu in Suzhou on a ship of the Japanese envoys returning to Japan. On December 20, he finally reached Japan by following the Ryukuan Island chain up to Kyushu. When Jian Zhen and his entourage arrived in Nara, the capital of Japan, they were welcomed by the Japanese Emperor.
Jian Zhen lived in Nara, Japan for ten years until his death in 763 at the age of 76. He passed away in Japan's Toshodai Temple, where his tomb remains today."

Input by: tmciolek, Oct 24, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 24 Oct 2012

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Daming monastery, CN.

General location of the Daming monastery, CN.
Lat 32.42243 Long 119.40805
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China: Jiangsu Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 32.42243 Long 119.40805 - based on visual identification of the whereabouts site in satellite imagery and Panoramio photographs, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 24 Oct 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0400-32p 0433-66p 0467-99p - tmciolek 14 Jan 2013
  • 0400-32p 0433-66p 0467-99p 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 14 Jan 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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