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Han Buddhism

Han Buddhism refers to the Buddha's religion spreading in Han dominated areas and mingling with the Han culture. Han Buddhism emerged during the Han Dynasty, and has its roots in magic, much like Taoism upon its conception, and was popular predominantly in the royal family and aristocracy. This differed from the version of Buddhism studied during the Three Kingdoms Period. Han Buddhism is believed in by part of the Han people and the Bai, Naxi, Yi and Lahu ethnic minorities. It is subdivided into many sects in China during the developing process, including Tiantai Sect, Sanlun Sect, Falv Sect, Lv Sect, Jingtu Sect, Chan Sect, Huayan Sect and Mi Sect.
Since its introduction into China, Han Buddhism has combined with traditional Chinese culture. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386 - 589), Buddhism grew rapidly due to adherence and belief in the religion by emperors. In the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), the famous Yungang Caves and Longmen Caves constructed during this period, and the Buddhist population amounted up to 2 million. Up to the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-557), official figures put the Buddishm figures at more than 4 million. The number of temples climaxed to 1768 and with as many as 24,000 monks and nuns. Monks were to become a new class in China and Buddhism took a firm hold on the country.

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