The dating of chinese bronze mirrors dating for 5 years not engaged

Those of the Tang period (618 - 906 AD) show all twelve, or sometimes the 28 or even 36 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and those of an earlier period depict the four celestial emblems referred to above.But the very earliest mirrors show only the three: the Ch’i-lin, the Feng-huang, and the Dragon.

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A mythological animal of Chinese origin, and a member of the NAGA (Sanskrit) family of serpentine creatures who protect Buddhism.

Japan’s dragon lore comes predominantly from China.

In China, the four date back to at least the 2nd century BC.

Each creature has a corresponding season, color, element, virtue, and other traits.

Frequently painted on the walls of early Chinese and Korean tombs, the animals served primarily an apotropaic function warding off evil spirits.

In Japan notable examples of the shishin are found on the walls of the tomb chamber in the tumulus Takamatsuzuka 高松塚 of the Asuka period, and on the base of the Yakushi Triad, Yakushi Sansonzō 薬師三尊像 at Yakushiji Temple 薬師寺, both in Nara.

Images of the reptilian dragon are found throughout Asia, and the pictorial form most widely recognized today was already prevalent in Chinese ink paintings in the Tang period (9th century).

The mortal enemy of the dragon is the bird-man Karura and the Phoenix.

The four were probably introduced to Japan from China sometime in the 7th century AD, for their images are found on the tomb walls at Takamatsuzuka 高松塚 in Nara, which was built sometime in the Asuka period (600 - 710 AD).

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