A Chinese gentleman sitting in a chair while listening to music and watching a dancer, close-up detail in a 12th-centurySong Dynasty remake of the 10th-century original Night Revels of Han Xizai.
Chinese armchair made from roots. Qing Dynasty, Qianlong reign, 18th century
Before the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), the predominant sitting positions in the Han Chinese culture and neighboring cultures such as the Japanese Culture, Korean Culture, Turkic Culture in Central Asia and Tai Kadai Cultures to the southwest were the seiza and lotus position on the floor or sitting mats. The earliest images of chairs in China are from sixth-century Buddhist murals and stele, but the practice of sitting in chairs at that time was rare. It was not until the twelfth century that chairs became widespread in China. Scholars disagree on the reasons for the adoption of the chair. The most common theories are that the chair was an outgrowth of indigenous Chinese furniture, that it evolved from a camp stool imported from Central Asia, that it was introduced to China by Nestorian missionaries in the seventh century, and that the chair came to China from India as a form of Buddhist monastic furniture. In modern China, unlike Korea or Japan, it is not common to sit at floor level.