A statue of the Manjusri bodhisattva, or guardian king, from Mahayana Buddhism, to which Korean Buddhists belongs. The bodhisattva sits astride a lion. Buddhism spread from China into Korea and Japan. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.
During most of the recorded history of East Asia (Japan and Korea), China was the dominant force and exerted a great influence on the culture—religion, government, art, communication—of the other two nations.