- Volume 4 Issue 2
Following the introduction of Buddhism to China by Xuanzang (玄奘 602-664), the visual tradition of an itinerant monk became a popular subject. This theme developed into a Buddhist figure with an accompanying tiger, especially in Korea where tigers were an object of worship and ritual. This paper examines Korean examples of post-itinerant monk Buddhist figures accompanied by tigers, in particular the portrayal of itinerant monks as arhats and sansins. The supernatural powers of arhats were diverse, and they often tamed the tigers who then accompanied them on their journeys. The arhat, who was introduced during the Unified Silla period and gained popularity during the Goryeo period, was loved by the general public during the Joseon Dynasty as a familiar presence that brought good fortune. Special portraits of monks accompanied by a tiger, known as sansindo (山神圖), form a unique Korean genre. Sansin religious beliefs formed through a fusion of the newly introduced Buddhism and the age-old indigenous worship of sacred mountains and tigers. Most Buddhist temples include a sansin shrine containing on altar with sansin statues and portraits. Tigers in the portraits of itinerant monks and the stories of Buddhist monks who tamed tigers became famous and widely accepted in Korea, a nation already rich in tiger lore. Folklore and indigenous shamanism contributed to the establishment of Buddhism in Korea, and tigers played a central role in this.
- Cheong Hyo Shim. "A Study on Tigers in Sansindo Mainly Drawn in the late 19th Century" 19세기 후반 산신도에 표현된 호랑이 연구. Art History and Cultural Heritages 미술사와 문화유산 2 (November 2013): 181-208.
- Feltham, Heleanor. "Encounter with a Tiger Traveling West." Sino-Platonic Papers 231 (October 2012): 1-23.
- Kim Haewon. "Baosheng Buddha, Xingdaoseng, and Clouds: Rereading the Itinerant Monk from Dunhuang" 寶勝如來, 行道僧, 구름 - 敦煌 將來 行脚僧圖 다시 읽기. Misul Jaryo 미술자료 94 (2018): 117-146.
- Kim Haewon. "Mathura and East Asian Pilgrims." Art History and Visual Culture 3 (2004): 236-267.
- Kim Ho-geun, and Yoon Yeolsu. The Korean Tiger 한국호랑이. Seoul: Youlhwadang, 1988.
- Mason, David A. Spirit of the Mountains: Korea's San-Shin and Traditions of Mountain-Worship. Seoul: Hollym Corporation, 1999.
- Rhi Juhyung, ed. Pilgrim Monks from East Asia and Buddhist Sites in India 동아시아 구법승과 인도의 불교 유적. Seoul: Sahoipyoungnon, 2009.
- Shin Kwanghee. Korean Arhat Paintings 한국의 나한도. Seoul: Center for Art Studies, 2014.
- Sieger, William B. "Emil Nolde's 'Legend: St Mary of Egypt: 'Vita Activa'/'Vita Contemplativa.'" The Burlington Magazine 147, no. 1223 (2005): 100-107.
- Wong, Dorothy C. Buddhist Pilgrim-Monks as Agents of Cultural and Artistic Transmission. Singapore: National University of Singapore, 2018.
- Wong, Dorothy C. "The Making of a Saint: Images of Xuanzang in East Asia." Early Medieval China 8 (2002): 43-95.
- Yoon Yeolsu. Handbook of Korean Art Folk Painting. Translated by Wonjun Nam. Seoul: Yekyong Publishing Co., 2012.
- Yoon Yeolsu. "A Mountain God Picture and Buddhism in the Late Joseon Dynasty" 조선후기 산신도와 불교 습합(習合)신앙, 佛敎文化硏究. Bulgyo Munhwa Yeongu 불교문화연구 5 (2005): 203-221.