Uyghur Legitimation and the Role of Buddhism — Yukiyo Kasai
In the middle of the 8th century, Uyghurs, a Turkic speaking nomadic tribe, established their Empire, the East Uyghur Kaganate (ca. 744–840), in Mongolia. After the demise of this Kaganate, most of them moved into the eastern part of the Tianshan (天山) area, where they founded a new kingdom, the West Uyghur Kingdom (second half 9th c.–13th c.). This kingdom continued to exist even after the rise of Činggiz Khan (1162?–1227), to whom the Uyghur king at that time voluntarily submitted. Throughout this extended period, the Uyghurs experienced many cultural, religious, and political changes that had an impact on representations of their rulers’ power.
This chapter discusses how the Uyghur rulers officially tried to legitimate their power based on their different beliefs and political relationships.
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