Tōdaiji Fujumonkō

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Tōdaiji Fujumonkō (東大寺諷誦文稿, "Tōdai Temple Buddhist Prays Manuscript") is an early ninth century Buddhist text. It is best known as a valuable resource for Japanese historical linguistics as well as Buddhist history.[1][2]


Tōdaiji Fujumonkō was composed sometime between 796 and 830. It is one volume in length. The compiler is unknown, but speculated to have been a priest belonging to the Dharma character school. The original manuscript did not contain a title, but one was later added.[1][2]

The manuscript was designated as a National Treasure of Japan in 1938, but removed due to its destruction in 1945 in the fires resulting from the war. Only reproductions remain.[2]


The text is 396 lines in length. It is primarily a collection of prayers recorded at Buddhist memorial services.[1][2]


Tōdaiji Fujumonkō is primarily important as a resource for early Early Middle Japanese. It is the oldest example of text written in kanji with katakana annotations. In addition, it exhibits many elements of Old Japanese grammar and vocabulary and maintains the phonetic distinction between /ko1/ and /ko2/. It also contains accounts in several dialects.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ a b c d Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten Henshū Iinkai (1983:1309)
  2. ^ a b c d e Yoshida (2001:31, 135)
  3. ^ Omodaka (1967:881-882)