Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower  晉祠梳妝樓

https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048b

Names

  • Dressing Tower (English)
  • 梳妝樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 梳妆楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Shūzhuānglóu (Pinyin)
  • Shu-chuang-lou (Wade-Giles)
  • 梳洗樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 梳洗楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Water Mother Tower (English)
  • 水母樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 水母楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Jinci Dressing Tower (English)
  • 晉祠梳妝樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 晋祠梳妆楼 (Simplified Chinese)

Building Information

First built in the 42nd year of the Ming Jiajing reign period (1563), repaired in the 24th year of the Qing Daoguang reign period (1844). The building is two stories with three arcuated chambers or caverns (洞) in the first story and a three-bay second story. The central cavern in contains a gilt bronze image of the water goddess as a village girl. Stairways are located in the second two caverns. The upper story is an open worship hall with narrative wall paintings on the north and south walls and the water goddess in more regal garb consistent with representations of high ranking goddesses elsewhere. She is housed within a wooden statuary niche located along the west wall.

This building was originally a Dressing Tower for the Sage Mother whose title was, officially, the Spirit of the Jin Springs (Jinyuan zhi shen 晉源之神). The building was still understood as a Dressing Tower as late as 1826 (Taiyuan xianzhi (1826)). In 1874 the Provincial Governor Bao memorialized the throne to add a title to the “Water Mother 水母” in the hall to the right of the Sage Mother Hall, which would be the tower. At that time two plaques were bestowed by the emperor, one with the characters “惠普桐封” to be placed on the Sage Mother Hall, and the other with the characters “功資樂利” the hall to its right. It is thus possible that the building came to be called the Water Mother Tower by the mid-ninteenth century. In 1878 Provincial Governor Zeng requested that the Water Mother be given her own title, consequently two characters were added making her “Water Mother who Expounds and Transforms 敷化水母.”1

Date 1563
Dynasty Ming 1368 - 1644 2

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 MILLER, Divine Nature of Power, 187-188.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 WILKINSON, Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Contained in Place


How to Cite This Entry

Tracy Miller, “Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified October 16, 2020, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048b.

Bibliography:

Tracy Miller, “Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by . Entry published October 16, 2020. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000048b.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, entry contributor, “Jin Shrines, Dressing Tower 晉祠梳妝樓

Additional Credit:

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