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The present paper represents the first attempt to expand Dou Huaiyong’s recent contributions to the field of the Chinese name-taboo practice or bihui 避諱. Exclusively dealing with gaixing 改形 (modify the shape), a taboo method recognized only by Dou Huaiyong, the paper delves into his use of the term gaixing and a group of orthographies that might overthrow the recognition. Although it abandons the term gaixing and promotes a new phrase gaijian 改件 (modify the components), the paper finds Dou Houiyong’s core conclusion agreeable, taking gaijian as a taboo method that appeared in the year 658 by analyzing 500 stones carved between 618 and 663. While doing so, this paper introduces for the first time gaijian to the English scholarship, proposing to re-examine how the Chinese name-taboo practice developed in the early Tang dynasty.

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Thirteen ancient Chinese manuscripts have been seen as texts of a long lost 8th-century early Chan Buddhist chronicle, the Lidai fabao ji. A number of textual indications, however, suggest that they cannot be taken as the Tang sources, because their texts have been redacted between 907 and the early 11th century. The original Tang source, Lidai fabao ji, remains mysterious to date.

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Although it has been traditionally accepted that quebi 缺筆, one of the name taboo (bihui 避諱) methods, appeared in Tang Gaozong’s reign (649 – 683), a number of unexamined examples attest that quebi may have appeared in Tang Taizong’s reign (626 – 649). This advancement enhances the usage of bihui to conduct research and urges us to rethink the 7th-century development of bihui.

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