Historic Early China War Commemorative Amulet Cloth-0009
Adding to our Early China War Amulets listings is this historic China Incident commemorative cotton amulet cloth, a good luck item from the Shanghai Ryuka Koji or Shanghai Longhua Buddhist Temple. Measuring approximately 14.50″ high X 14.50″ wide, the cloth is dated January 18, 1938 (Showa 13), and is signed by Mei-kaku, who may have been the Temple priest who blessed the amulet and provided the large center Temple seal. The smallest seal is a little over .50″ square, while the one in the center measures a very large 4.00″ square! The small and medium sized seals are smudged and difficult to read, however, the largest seal is stamped with an enormous double sided dragon, symbolic of the Temple’s namesake, with it coming to be known as the “Luster of the Dragon Temple”. The Temple itself is the largest and most authentic ancient temple complex in the City of Shanghai (see photographs of the Temple Shrine and Pagoda).
The Longhua Temple is dedicated to the Maitreya Buddha, who is a bodhisattva (a person who has the ability to reach Nirvana but puts off doing so in order to save suffering, sentient beings). According to Buddhist teachings, Maitreya will appear on the Earth in the future and will achieve complete enlightenment. At that time, his task will be to teach the pure Dharma.
The Battle of Shanghai ended near the end of November, 1937 with the collapse of the Wufu and Xicheng Lines of defense. Soon thereafter, Japanese troops found themselves moving toward the outskirts of Nanking. By mid-to-late December, 1937, the Battle for Nanking was over and by January 1, 1938, a Japanese led government would be in control of the City.
It is likely that the Japanese soldier who obtained this piece was a member of the forces involved in these most notable and controversial of Early China War Battles. A trip to such a historic Buddhist Temple to receive blessings for battle success would be commonplace; Ki Buun Chokyu!