TAKAHASHI Takahiro Kansai University, Faculty of Literature, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (70188019)
TAKAHASHI Seiichi Kansai University, Faculty of Literature, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (00025082)
KOBA Motoharu Kansai University, Faculty of Literature, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (40141949)
YABUTA Yutaka Kansai University, Faculty of Literature, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (80027987)
YONEDA Fumitaka Kansai University, Faculty of Literature, Professor, 文学部, 教授 (00298837)
The present research aimed at understanding the so-called Hinayana caves of India. Generally classified into two phases, i.e. the early or Hinayana phase, and the later or Mahayana phase, preceding studies has biased towards the Mahayana caves including Ajanta caves, as most of them are adorned with sculptures and murals. Considering the circumstance, the present research focused on the minor Hinayana caves that have been neglected because many of them lack artistic expression instead of their contribution to the development of Buddhist art.
The field research in 2003 was mainly practiced around Mumbai, the capital city of Maharashtra state, where 80% of all caves in India are located. Among them the major sites of the Hinayana caves such as Kanheri, Nasik, Karle and Junnar were investigated.
In 2004, Junnar caves were especially focused on the basis of the field research in the preceding year. Accommodating at the town of Junnar, the research team investigated the six groups among the whole groups of Junnar caves, except for one that was inaccessible because of heavy rain. At the same time, the field research was also practiced at the minor sites of Wai and Sirwal, both of which seem contemporary with Junnar caves and were hardly known in the preceding studies.
Furthermore, the research team investigated literary material both in Japan and abroad based on this field research. As a result, the existence of other minor caves contemporary with Wai and Sirwal, including Kuda, Karad, and Mahad were revealed.
The field research in the final year was practiced for as many minor caves as possible, including those mentioned above. Also visiting the major sites of the Mahayana caves such as Ajanta, Ellora, and Aurangabad, the research team documented the comprehensive figure of the Hinayana caves and their influential relationship with the Mahayana caves.