Xumi Zuo, also known as “Vajra Zuo” or “Xumi Altar”, originated from India and is a pedestal for placing Buddha and Bodhisattva statues. Mount Meru refers to Mount Meru, which is the center of the world in ancient Indian legends. Another theory refers to the Himalayas. The overall structure of Sumitos is simple and clear, divided into three sections, with the middle slightly concave and the upper and lower ends protruding.
With the introduction of Buddhism to China, the stone statue of Sumitomo followed closely and also arrived at this feng shui treasure land. It is precisely because ancient Chinese architecture already had a prominent pedestal that the Sumitomo was quickly accepted and began to shine brightly in China, showcasing its unique charm.
The earliest Xumizuo in China appeared in Yungang Grottoes in Datong, Shanxi Province during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Xumizuo in this period has a simple shape, only some simple decorative patterns, and has obvious characteristics of Buddhist art. With the development needs of Buddhist architecture at that time, the Xumi Tower gradually evolved into the foundation of later high-end buildings. By the end of the Tang and Song dynasties, the development of the Xumi zodiac had reached its peak. During this period, the use of the Xumi zodiac had significantly increased and had become a common form of building base, especially under buildings in murals. Its shape and decorative composition began to become complex and diverse.
At this point, the Suguru has evolved from a sacred and noble object to a more common decorative form of architectural pedestal. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the shape and decoration of the Xumizuo were no longer as full and rich as before, but their skills and craftsmanship reached a certain level. The form of Xumizuo has also gradually spread to the people, and it is widely used as the base of buildings and decorative components, such as memorial archways, stone lions, incense burners, etc.
The Xumizuo in the Yungang Northern Wei Grottoes is a form of ascending and descending astringency, with a waistband in the middle. Until the Tang and Song dynasties, there were many astringents in the upper and lower parts, and there were decorations such as lotus petals. The waist section is significantly raised and divided into several sections by a waist column. This type of structure was called “separated version column construction” in the Song Dynasty. But in the southern part of the Song Dynasty, some people did not need to use waist columns but instead used protruding curves with drums.
On the Tang Pagoda, there are two layers of Buddha statues, tower buildings, altar platforms, shrines, furniture, and even antiques and rockeries supported by the Sumiya. The Sumitomo has evolved from a sacred and noble object to a decorative form of building pedestal composed of soil lining, corner, lower beam, lower beam, waist, upper beam, and upper beam, which is often used for noble building foundations.
Later on, some furniture, such as screens, often used this form of base. A type of pedestal with protruding sides and concave middle gradually evolved from the Buddha seat. The earliest examples can be found in the grottoes of the Northern Wei Dynasty, with a relatively simple form and few carvings.
Since the Sui and Tang dynasties, it has been increasingly used as a base for noble buildings such as palaces and temples. Its shape has gradually become complex and magnificent, with the emergence of flower decorations such as lotus petals and rolling grass, as well as corner columns, power gods, inter-column columns, and doors.
The Song Dynasty’s “Creating Methods” stipulated the detailed practices of Xumizuo, while the Northern Song Dynasty’s great craftsman Li Jie’s “Creating Methods” clearly mentioned the system of Xumizuo’s construction. From top to bottom, there are various types of bricks embedded in them, which are cumbersome and complex to make. However, it was popular during the Song Dynasty. Although there may be slight differences in the actual process, it is generally consistent.
Since the Yuan Dynasty, the waist of Sumizuo has become shorter, and the gates and power gods are no longer commonly used. The lotus petals are plump and plump. At this time, Xumizuo was more applied to columns and pot doors, but the shadow of the Song Dynasty can still be seen in its form. Decorate with flowers and geometric patterns. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Xumi zodiac began to diversify and develop, with simpler forms but more exquisite decorations, breaking away from the traditional forms. You can smell a strong atmosphere of life from it, and it began to appear widely in various places. But in buildings of similar sizes, the scale of the Qing-style Xumizuo railing is smaller than that of the Song style.