During the 7th and 8th centuries, many Chinese monks made a perilous pilgrimage to India, the holy land of Buddhism. None traveled farther than Hyecho, a Korean monk who, at age 18, set off by sea from China. After traveling over much of north India, he went as far as Persia before returning to China along the Silk Road. Fragments of his travel journal were discovered in 1908. This project will virtually follow in Hyecho’s footsteps to offer a new approach to the study of Buddhism, looking at the entire Buddhist world at a single historical moment through the eyes of one monk. Hyecho's encounter with the Buddhist world was largely through art and material culture. The project will have a number of outcomes, including a monograph, a new undergraduate course, a study abroad opportunity, and an interactive map with app.
Published website http://hyecho-buddhist-pilgrim.asian.lsa.umich.edu