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Japanese delegation memorizes Chinese Buddhist legend in Zhangjiagang

A delegation of Consulate General of Japan in Shanghai visited Puduyuan Scenic Spot, Zhangjiagang in memory of Jianzhen, a Chinese monk, on Jan 2. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A delegation of Consulate General of Japan in Shanghai visited Puduyuan Scenic Spot, Zhangjiagang in memory of Jianzhen, a Chinese monk, on Jan 2.

Jianzhen, an eminent monk in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), made six attempts to visit Japan from 743 to 753 at the invitation of the Japanese monk and emissary Yoei.

He failed to make it the first five times, while his last attempt left him blind due to an infection. However, Jianzhen's resolve to go to Japan did not die and in 753, the strong-minded monk finally made it to Kagoshima, the southwestern tip of Kyushu Island. Puduyuan Scenic Spot is where Jianzhen started his last and only successful voyage to Japan.

During his 10-year stay in Japan, Jianzhen not only introduced Buddhism to the country, but he also brought China's calligraphy, architecture, music and medicine to the island country.

Representatives from China and Japan also attended the ceremony for celebrating Jianzhen's expedition during which they joined together to toll a bell and unveiled a ceremonial rudder that was used to represent Jianzhen’s sail.

The event helped promote mutual understanding and cooperation between Japan and China.

Zhangjiagang has built a friendly cooperation relationship with Marugame, Fukui-ken, and Niigata-ken in Japan in economy and culture. The city also attracted a group of outstanding Japanese companies. The city now has 78 Japanese companies with a total investment of $1.39 billion.

Chinese and Japanese representatives unveiled a ceremonial rudder that was used to represent Jianzhen’s sail. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese and Japanese representatives joined together to toll a bell at Puduyuan Scenic Spot. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]