If you pose the question, “Which foreign country owns the most Chinese treasures?” The answer is definitely Japan. Since the time of the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, Japan has been learning from Chinese culture and has imported many Chinese artworks. After thousands of years of accumulating these pieces, they had many Chinese treasures.
During the many conflicts from foreign countries in the 20th century, China lost many of its artifacts. Among the foreign powers, Japan, which knows Chinese culture best, has the most relics from China.
The following are some Chinese treasures that were taken to Japan:
Red and White Cotton Roses. It’s a representative of nature painting of the Song Dynasty. Created by Li Di in 1197, it used to be collected by the Old Summer Palace and is in the collection of Tokyo National Museum. [Photo/people.cn] Luodian Zitan five-string pipa created in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). An ordinary pipa has four strings but this one has five. It can be played as a guitar or as a three-string instrument. As the only surviving one of its kind since the Tang Dynasty, it is a national treasure. It went to Japan during the Tang Dynasty and is now in the Japanese Imperial House. [Photo/people.cn] The King of Na gold seal is a solid gold seal believed to have been cast in China and given by a Chinese emperor to a diplomatic envoy from Japan in the year 57 AD. It was discovered in the year 1784 on Shikanoshima Island in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. The seal is currently in the collection of the Fukuoka City Museum in Japan. [Photo/people.cn] Bronze Tiger Eat Man Statue created in the late Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century BC). The bronze treasure is currently in Izumiya Museum in Japan. [Photo/people.cn] Chinese Tang Honglu well Stele of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It is the biggest and heaviest relic that China has lost. It was looted from China in 1908 and now is in the possession of the Japan Imperial Palace. [Photo/crt.com.cn] Yohen Temmoku Tea Bowl created during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Different colors shine in the bowl, depending on the angle in which it’s viewed. Inside, it looks like a starry sky, so Japanese call it “a universe in a bowl”. It’s currently on display at Tokyo Seikado Bunko. [Photo/people.cn] Wuzhunshifan Portrait. It represents the highest level of portraiture in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It’s currently in Tofukuji Temple. [Photo/people.cn] Sang Luan Tie by Wang Xizhi, a Chinese calligrapher traditionally referred to as the Sage of Calligraphy, who lived during the Jin Dynasty (265–420). It’s believed to have been brought to Japan by the Chinese monk Jianzhen, who helped to propagate Buddhism in the country. [Photo/people.cn]