Курильницы бошаньлу в ароматической культуре Китая: символика и социальные функции

Translated title of the contribution: Boshanlu censers in China's incense culture: Symbols and social functions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper is dedicated to the evolution of boshanlu censers (博山炉) within the context of China’s fragrance culture development. Having initially appeared in the burials of the Western Han dynasty nobility and surviving its heyday during the East Han, this kind of ritual vessel was commonplace up until the end of the Northern and Southern dynasties era (V-VI centuries). Over the course of almost 700 years, the boshanlu censer was commonly used not only as burial inventory, but also in various cult practices, palace ceremonials and for domestic, sanitary and medical purposes. Due to their external beauty and wide functionality, censers served as an indicator of high social status for the aristocracy. Symbolically, these censers reflect the Taoist ideas of the holy xian (仙) and the search for immortality. With the spread of Buddhism in China, boshanlu censers depicting Buddhist symbols acquired great importance in Buddhist ritual practices. Subsequently, boshanlu censers penetrated the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago, where at the beginning they were also used as a Buddhist item. However, unlike in Korea, they never attained great popularity in Japan. Despite their centuries-old existence in China as well as some use in Korea and Japan, boshanlu censers are most commonly associated with the Chinese Han dynasty. Nonetheless, they are not only masterpieces of decorative art and fragrance culture, but a certain cultural symbol, where the ideology of the early stages of the Chinese civilization is reflected in a concentrated form
Translated title of the contributionBoshanlu censers in China's incense culture: Symbols and social functions
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)510-524
Number of pages16
JournalВестник Санкт-Петербургского университета. Востоковедение и африканистика
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

State classification of scientific and technological information

  • 03.61 Ethnography and historical anthropology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Boshanlu censers in China's incense culture: Symbols and social functions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this