Sutra copying

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A section of the Diamond Sutra, handwritten by Zhang Jizhi on 18 July 1253 during the Song dynasty

Sutra copying is the East Asian practice of hand-copying Buddhist sutras.


Sutra copying is considered a merit in Buddhism.[1] The effort of Sutra copying is considered an expression of piety,[1] and recognized as a devotional practice, since it comprises worship, literature, and calligraphy.[2]


The practice of sutra copying originated in China.[2] Sutra copying was imported to Korea in the third century.[2] During the Nara period (710-794) in Japan, the practice of sutra copying became very popular in society.[3]


  1. ^ a b Atkinson, Alan G. (1994). "Catalogue, with introduction to Buddhism and Buddhist subjects in Chinese art". Latter days of the law: images of Chinese Buddhism, 850-1850. Lawrence, Kansas: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. p. 294. ISBN 9780824816629. 
  2. ^ a b c Stevens, John (1981). Sacred calligraphy of the East. Boulder, Colo., London: Shambhala. pp. 101–102. ISBN 9780394748320. 
  3. ^ Sansom, G.B. (1978). Japan: A Short Cultural History. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804709548. [page needed]