Emperor Wuzong of Tang

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Emperor Wuzong of China's Tang Dynasty is known chiefly for his persecution of Buddhism. A strong supporter of Daoism, like most of his predecessors, he seized assets from Buddhist institutions in order to help bolster the Imperial finances. Wuzong claimed to have defrocked as many as 260,500 monks and nuns, and issued regulations limiting Buddhism to 49 monasteries, and 800 monks, in the entire country. Many monasteries were destroyed, along with their images of worship, and few Tang Dynasty temple buildings or wooden or bronze statues survive today. The Tang style is evident, however, in surviving buildings and sculptures in Korea and Japan.


  • Conrad Schirokauer, et al, A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations, Fourth Edition, Cengage Learning (2012), 121.