2022 FROGBEAR Phase 2 Cluster Activities

2022 FROGBEAR Phase 2 Cluster Activities

Detail, Nine Dragon Wall, Jingshan Temple (徑山寺). Anne Baycroft. Cluster 2.2, 2019.

Phase 2 Cluster Activities

Due to COVID-19, field visits for 2020 and 2021 were cancelled. We plan to proceed with these field trips as international travel is permitted. Please sign up for our newsletter to say informed. Learn about our 2021 ONLINE Summer Training Program HERE.


The application period is now closed.

1.4 Enriched Reading Practices

Cluster Leaders: Bryan Lowe and Lori Meeks

Partners: Kyoto University, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Kyoto Prefecture Research Center for Archaeological Properties

Site: ONLINE, through Zoom

Dates: June 25-29, 2022

  Date/time U.S. Pacific
Date/time U.S. Eastern
Date/Time Japan
Session 1 6/25, 5:00-6:30 PM 6/25, 8:00-9:30 PM 6月26日午前9時から10時30分
Session 2 6/26, 4:00-5:30 PM 6/26, 7:00-8:30 PM 6月27日午前8時から9時30分
Session 3 6/27, 9:00-11:00 AM 6/27, 12:00-2:00 PM n/a
Session 4 6/27, 4:00-5:30 PM 6/27, 7:00-8:30 PM 6月28日午前8時から9時30分
Session 5 6/28, 9:00-11:00 AM 6/28, 12:00-2:00 PM n/a
Session 6 6/28, 4:00-5:30 PM 6/28, 7:00-8:30 PM 6月29日午前8時から9時30分
Session 7 6/29, 9:00-11:00 AM 6/29, 12:00-2:00 PM n/a

Session speakers, topics:

  1. Kondō Yasushi 近藤康司先生: Ōnodera and Inscribed Rooftiles 大野寺と文字瓦
  2. Yoshikawa Shinji 吉川真司先生: Keynote Address: Ancient Japanese Buddhism as Seen from Excavated Materials with Writing 基調講演:出土文字史料からみた日本古代仏教
  3. Bryan Lowe ブライアン・ロウ: Introduction to excavated sources with writing, databases, and group project 出土文字資料、データベース、グループプロジェクトの紹介
  4. Hishida Testsuo 菱田哲郎先生: Inscribed Pottery and Kamoidera 墨書土器と神雄寺
  5. Participants: Group project グループプロジェクト
  6. Baba Hajime 馬場基先生: Mokkan and Buddhist History 木簡と仏教史
  7. Participants: Discussion ディスカッション

Languages: Japanese and English required;  knowledge of Chinese characters


This cluster considers how people engaged with reading and writing in premodern Japan. While much attention to writing in Buddhist Studies focuses on elite authors, such as scholarly monks and literary luminaries, our cluster attends to writing by figures on the margins, including women and lay practitioners outside of the court.

This year’s activities will focus on excavated materials with writing: wooden slips (mokkan), inscribed pottery (bokusho doki), and roof tiles with writing (moji kawara). Some of these objects have been studied by historians and scholars of literature such as Marjorie Burge, Joshua Frydman, David Lurie, and Joan Piggott, but they have received almost no attention from Anglophone scholars of Buddhism.

The aim of this online workshop is to familiarize participants with new textual sources that offer windows into the lives of non-elites and to provide participants with training necessary to use these excavated sources. Each day will focus on a different set of materials: wooden slips (mokkan), inscribed pottery (bokusho doki), and roof tiles with writing (moji kawara). The first day will begin with a keynote lecture outlining the broader significance of archaeology for the study of Japanese Buddhism followed by a workshop on mokkan. The second day will turn to inscribed pottery and will include a hands-on collaborative mapping project. The third day will feature a lecture on inscribed roof tiles and a debriefing to discuss the mapping project as well as future research directions.


2.3 Continuous Revelations

Cluster Leaders: Vincent Goossaert and Barend ter Haar

Site: ONLINE, through Zoom

Dates: May 26, 27, 31, June 2 (5am-7am PDT / 2pm-4pm Western Europe / 8pm-10pm China / 9pm-11pm Japan)

Languages: The instruction will be entirely in English; ability to read Classical Chinese is required


This online workshop combines the FROGBEAR cluster on continuous revelations and the CRTA project of an open-access online catalog of Chinese religious texts (https://crta.info/wiki/Main_Page). It aims to introduce the participants to (1) the history of the genre of baojuan, (2) to the range of baojuan literature, and (3) to collaborative tools to locate and study this literature.

The workshop consists in 4 sessions of 2 hours each, in May-June 2022, 5am-7am PST / 2pm-4pm Western Europe / 8pm-10pm China / 9pm-11pm Japan. Participants are expected to follow all four sessions.

1/ Thursday May 26: history of baojuan; overview of the historiography (key references will be sent to participants before the workshop); contemporary performances.

2/ Friday May 27: locating and reading baojuan texts. Introduction to the library and online resources, and the most important collections; materiality approaches (baojuan and other vernacular genres). Guided reading.

3/ Tuesday May 31: the CRTA database: rationale, purposes, discussion of selected CRTA entries on baojuan texts, showing how this is a tool for understanding the dynamics of the circulation of religious texts; explanation on how to use downloaded CRTA data.

4/ Thursday June 2: hand-on training in editing CRTA entries. Each participant will have selected a text and created an entry in the meantime; we will read them and discuss both technical aspects and contents.


3.1 Multicultural Dunhuang: Manuscripts and Paintings

Cluster Leaders: Imre Galambos and Michelle C. Wang

Site: British Museum and British Library, London, UK

Dates: August 1-5, 2022 (arrival July 31, departure August 6)

Languages: English required, and reading knowledge of modern and classical Chinese


The tenth century in Dunhuang marked a period of great political, social, and religious transformation as the local rulers, known as the “Return to Allegiance Army” (Guiyijun), who ruled from 848–1036, declared their independence from the Tibetans and nominally “returned” Dunhuang to Chinese rule. The Guiyijun increasingly sought political alliances with the neighboring Uyghurs and Khotanese, developed a sophisticated painting academy that carried out large-scale projects at the Mogao caves, and distinguished themselves as patrons of cave construction and renovation, and of religious manuscripts and portable paintings.

Co-organized by Dr. Michelle C. Wang and Dr. Imre Galambos, the summer 2022 fieldwork trip to London aims to bring together an interdisciplinary cohort of art historians and scholars of manuscripts. We seek to develop research methods by which the contents of the Dunhuang “Library Cave” are reconciled with the mural paintings of the Mogao Caves, paying close attention to methodologies that are applicable to both by focusing especially on the material features of these primary sources. We also aim to shed light on the material traces of Buddhism and transcultural contacts between the local population of Dunhuang and neighboring kingdoms and states, particularly during the period of Guiyijun rule in Dunhuang. In summer 2022, our fieldwork will be based at the British Museum and British Library. Circumstances permitting, we will examine Dunhuang portable paintings and manuscripts from the Stein Collection, and participate in lectures delivered by experts at both host institutions and guest scholars. Participants will be trained in the study of Dunhuang portable paintings and manuscripts and learn about ongoing projects.

Expected cost per participant (not including airfare): $1100 CAD (lodging and local transportation for 6 days). Meals will be provided.


Cluster 3.4 Typologies of Text-Image Relations

Cluster Leaders: Christoph Anderl

Site: ONLINE, via Zoom


May 23-25 (3am-9am PDT | 6am-12pm EDT | 12-18 pm CET | 6pm-9pm CST)
May 26 Introduction (time TBD depending on location of participants)
May 27-31 (in at least 3 time-zone groups, TBD depending on location of participants)

Languages: Support for Chinese / (occasional) translations will be provided; basic Modern Chinese is desirable but not absolutely necessary; familiarity with East Asian scripts


As compared to the “central” Dazu area, which is close to Chongqing, many of the Anyue sites are relatively distant and not so easily accessible. However, as the Dazu and the Anyue sites are directly related in terms of the temporal and geographical spread of specific motifs, narratives, genres, artistic styles, etc., the Anyue area can provide materials that are indispensable for a reconstruction of the Buddhist textual and visual programs of the entire Sichuan region and will be of great importance for the study of the development of Buddhist image and text production in the form of rock carvings and rock caves in China. Thus, by focusing on several important sites in the Anyue district, this (virtual) cluster visit aims at narrowing the scholarly gap both in documenting the important Buddhist sites and in studying text-image relations. The cluster activities were originally organized in close collaboration with local institutions and experts, most importantly the Institute for the Study of Chinese Popular Culture (中国俗文化研究所) at Sichuan University.

This year cluster’s activities are divided into two main parts:

(1) A three-day online seminar on theoretical/methodological issues in the field of text-image relations, including lecture presentations, case studies, student presentations and roundtable discussions. Please see conference website here – http://frogbear.org/image-text-reality-in-buddhism-interrelation-internegation/

(2) A virtual field work focusing on several important sites in the Anyue district. With the background of the theoretical part and introduction to key sites in the framework of the seminar, the virtual field studies involve studies directly related to specific sites in Anyue. The work will be based on high-resolution images taken during previous field trips and other materials. The researchers will study these materials, extract images, write descriptions and prepare them for input in the FROGBEAR project database. Fieldwork research will be primarily based on the photographic materials, and will also involve specific research questions related to the particular features of the individual sites. Researchers will work in groups (divided according to time zones), similar to those involved in “real” fieldwork, and also applying “division of labor” approach.

Please see full details here – https://frogbear.org/cluster-3-4-typologies-of-text-image-relations-2022/