Tripitaka Koreana

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Tripitaka Koreana
팔만 대장경
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
The Tripitaka Koreana in storage at Haeinsa.
Type Cultural
Criteria iv, vi
Reference 737
UNESCO region Asia and the Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1995 (19th Session)
Tripitaka Koreana
Hangul
also
Hanja
also
Revised Romanization Palman Daejanggyeong
also Goryeo Daejanggyeong
McCune–Reischauer P'alman Taejanggyŏng
also Koryŏ Taejanggyŏng

The Tripitaka Koreana (lit. Goryeo Tripitaka) or Palman Daejanggyeong ("Eighty-Thousand Tripitaka") is a Korean collection of the Tripitaka (Buddhist scriptures, and the Sanskrit word for "three baskets"), carved onto 81,258 wooden printing blocks in the 13th century.[1] It is the world's most comprehensive and oldest intact version of Buddhist canon in Hanja script, with no known errors or errata in the 52,330,152 characters which are organized in over 1496 titles and 6568 volumes. Each wood block measures 24 centimeters in height and 70 centimeters in length.[2] The thickness of the blocks ranges from 2.6 to 4 centimeters and each weighs about three to four kilograms. The woodblocks are almost as tall as Mount Baekdu at 2.74 km when stacked, measure 60 km long when lined up, and weigh 280 tons in total.[3] The woodblocks are in pristine condition without warping or deformation despite being created more than 750 years ago.[4][5] The Tripitaka Koreana is stored in Haeinsa, a Buddhist temple in South Gyeongsang province, in South Korea.

There is a movement by scholars to change the English name of the Tripitaka Koreana.[6] Professor Robert Buswell, a leading scholar of Korean Buddhism, called for the renaming of the Tripitaka Koreana to the Korean Buddhist Canon, indicating that the current nomenclature is misleading because the Tripitaka Koreana is much greater in scale than the actual Tripiṭaka, and includes much additional content such as travelogues, Sanskrit and Chinese dictionaries, and biographies of monks and nuns.[7]

The Koreana Tripitaka was designated a National Treasure of South Korea in 1962, and inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007.[8][1]

History[edit]

Tripitaka Koreana sutra page in 1371.

The name Goryeo Tripitaka comes from "Goryeo", the name of Korea from the 10th to the 14th centuries.

Work on the first Tripitaka Koreana began in 1011 during the Goryeo–Khitan War and was completed in 1087.[9] The act of carving the woodblocks was considered to be a way of bringing about a change in fortune by invoking the Buddha's help.[10][11] The first Tripitaka Koreana was based primarily on the Northern Song Tripitaka completed in the 10th century,[12][13] but other scriptures published until then, such as the Khitan Tripitaka, were also consulted in order to identify items in need of revision and adjustment.[9] The first Tripitaka Koreana contained around 6,000 volumes.[9]

The original set of woodblocks was destroyed by fire during the Mongol invasions of Korea in 1232, when Goryeo's capital was moved to Ganghwa Island during nearly three decades of Mongol incursions, although scattered parts of its prints still remain. To once again implore divine assistance with combating the Mongol threat, King Gojong thereafter ordered the revision and re-creation of the Tripitaka; the carving began in 1237 and was completed in 12 years,[2] with support from Choe U and his son Choe Hang,[14] and involving monks from both the Seon and Gyo schools. This second version is usually what is meant by the Tripitaka Koreana.[15] In 1398, it was moved to Haeinsa, where it has remained housed in four buildings.

The production of the Tripitaka Koreana was an enormous national commitment of money and manpower, according to Robert Buswell, perhaps comparable to the US missions to the Moon in the 1960s.[16] Thousands of scholars and craftsmen were employed in this massive project.[15]

Evaluation[edit]

The Tripitaka Koreana is the 32nd national treasure of Korea, and the Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the depository for the Tripitaka Koreana, has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[17] The UNESCO committee describes the Tripitaka Koreana as "one of the most important and most complete corpus of Buddhist doctrinal texts in the world".[18] Not only is the work invaluable, it is also aesthetically valuable and shows a high quality of workmanship.[19]

Haeinsa, the temple in which the Tripitaka Koreana is stored, is notable for its scientific design to ensure the optimum condition to best preserve the woodblocks, which have remained in pristine condition for more than 750 years.[5]

The historical value of the Tripitaka Koreana comes from the fact that it is the most complete and accurate extant collection of Buddhist treatises, laws, and scriptures.[2] The compilers of the Korean version incorporated older Northern Song Chinese, Khitan, and Goryeo versions, and added content written by respected Korean monks.[2][20] Scholars can get an idea of the older Chinese and Khitan versions of the Tripitaka from the Korean version today. The quality of the wood blocks are attributed to the National Preceptor Sugi, the Buddhist monk in charge of the project,[2] who carefully checked the Korean version for errors.[20] Upon completing the Tripitaka Koreana, Sugi published 30 volumes of Additional Records which recorded errors, redundancies, and omissions he found during his comparisons of the different versions of the Tripitaka.[21] Because of the accuracy of the Tripitaka Koreana, the Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese versions of the Tripitaka are based on the Korean version.[2]

The Tripitaka Koreana was one of the most coveted items among Japanese Buddhists in the Edo period.[16] Japan never managed to create a woodblock Tripitaka, and made constant requests and attempts to acquire the Tripitaka Koreana from Korea since 1388.[22] 45 complete printings of the Tripitaka Koreana were gifted to Japan since the Muromachi period.[16] The Tripitaka Koreana was used as the basis for the modern Japanese Taishō Tripiṭaka.[15]

Copy of a Tripitaka Koreana woodblock at Haeinsa complex grounds used to allow visitors to make an inked print of the Heart Sutra while at the temple. See: for image of woodblock print.

Each block was made of birch wood from the southern islands of Korea and treated to prevent the decay of the wood. The blocks were soaked in sea water for three years, then cut and then boiled in salt water. Next, the blocks were placed in the shade and exposed to the wind for three years, at which point they were finally ready to be carved. After each block was carved, it was covered in a poisonous lacquer to keep insects away and then framed with metal to prevent warping.[23]

Every block was inscribed with 23 lines of text with 14 characters per line. Therefore, each block, counting both sides, contained a total of 644 characters. The consistency of the style, and some sources, suggests that a single man carved the entire collection but it is now believed that a team of 30 men carved the Tripitaka.[2][20]

Modern edition[edit]

The modern edition has 1,514 texts in 47 volumes.

Volume Text Title
32 1064 Written by Huiyuan Yinyi (慧苑): Korean title: Shin Yeok Dae Bang Gwang Bul Hwa Eom Gyeong Eum Ui, Chinese title: xin1 yi4 da4 fang1 guang3 fo2 hua1 yan2 jing1 yin1 yi4 (新譯大方廣佛華嚴經音義), English title: Huiyuan's Dictionary.
34 1257 Written by Ke Hong (可洪), a monk of the Later Jin Dynasty (後晉): Chinese title: xin1 ji2 zang4 jing1 yin1 yi4 sui2 (新集藏經音義隨函錄)
35 1258 Written by T'ai Tsung (太宗) of the Northern Song Dynasty (北宋) (976–997): Chinese title: yu4 zhi4 lian2 hua1 xin1 lun2 hui2 wen2 ji4 song4 (御製蓮華心輪回文偈頌)
35 1259 Written by T'ai Tsung: Chinese title: yu4 zhi4 mi4 zang4 quan2 (御製秘藏詮)
35 1260 Written by T'ai Tsung: Chinese title: yu4 zhi4 xiao1 yao2 yong3 (御製逍遙詠)
35 1261 Written by T'ai Tsung: Chinese title: yu4 zhi4 yuan2 shi4 (御製緣識)
38 1402 Collected by Sugi in the 38th Year of reign of King Kojong (高宗) of the Koryo Dynasty (高麗) (1251): Chinese title: gao1 li4 guo2 xin1 diao1 da4 zang4 jiao4 zheng4 bie2 lu4 (高麗國新雕大藏校正別錄)
39 1405 Chinese title: Da4 zang4 mu4 lu4 (大藏目錄)
45 1500 Collected by Yŏn Sŏnsa (連禪師) during the reign of King Kojong (1214–1259) of the Koryo dynasty, and published with an appendix by Chŏn Kwang-jae (全光宰) in Chinan (晉安), Gyeongsang Province (慶尚道) in the 9th month of the 35th year of the reign of King Kojong (1248) of the Koryo dynasty: Chinese title: nan2 ming2 quan2 he2 shang4 song4 zheng4 dao4 ge1 shi4 shi2 (南明泉和尚頌證道歌事實)
45 1503 Written by Ch'ing-hsiu with the help of two disciples, Ch'ing (靜) and Yun (筠) in the 10th year of the reign of Emperor Li Jing (保大) of the Southern Tang Dynasty (南唐) (952): Chinese title: zu3 tang2 ji2 (祖堂集)
45 1504 Collected by Ch'en Shih during the Ming Dynasty (明) (1368–1644): Chinese title: da4 zang4 yi1 lan3 ji2 (大藏一覽集)
46 1505 Written by Hyesim in the 13th year of the reign of King Kojong of the Koryo Dynasty (1226): Chinese title: chan2 men2 nian1 song4 ji2 (禪門拈頌集)
47 1507 Written by Kyunyŏ (均如) (923–973), of the Koryo Dynasty. Ch'ongi (天其) found this passage in Gap Temple (岬寺), in the spring of 1226: Chinese title: shi2 ju4 zhang1 yuan2 tong1 ji4 (十句章圓通記)
47 1508 Written by Kyunyŏ: Korean title: Sŏk hwa ŏm ji kwi jang wŏn t'ong ch'o, Chinese title: shi4 hua1 yan2 zhi3 gui1 zhang1 yuan2 tong1 chao1 (釋華嚴旨歸章圓通鈔)
47 1509 Written by Kyunyŏ: Korean title: Hwa ŏm gyŏng sam bo jang wŏn t'ong gi, Chinese title: hua1 yan2 jing1 san1 bao3 zhang1 yuan2 tong1 ji4 (華嚴經三寶章圓通記)
47 1510a Written by Kyunyŏ (均如): Korean title: Sŏk hwa ŏm gyo pun gi wŏn t'ong ch'o, Chinese title: shi4 hua1 yan2 jing1 jiao4 fen1 ji4 yuan2 tong1 chao1 (釋華嚴旨歸章圓通鈔)
47 1510b Written by Hyŏk Yon-jong (赫連挺), the 1st month of the 29th year of the reign of King Munjong (文宗) of the Koryo Dynasty (1075). Chinese title: (大華嚴首座圓通兩重大師均如傳幷序)
47 1511 Total of Wang Tzu-ch'eng of the Yuan Dynasty (元) (1280–1368) with a foreword by Yi Sun-bo (李純甫) written in 2nd year of the reign of King Kangjong (康宗) of the Koryo Dynasty (1213): Chinese title: li3 nian4 mi2 tuo2 dao4 chang3 chan4 fa3 (禮念彌陀道場懺法)
47 1514 A Catalogue: Korean title: Ko-ryŏ tae-jang-gyŏng po-yu mong-nok, Chinese title gao1 li4 da4 zang4 jing1 bu3 yi2 mu4 lu4 (高麗大藏經補遺目錄)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Printing woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and miscellaneous Buddhist scriptures". UNESCO Memory of the World. United Nations. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks" (PDF). UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Cultural Heritage Administration (South Korea). World Heritage in Korea. 길잡이미디어. p. 188. ISBN 9788981241773. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Kim, Tong-hyung (4 November 2013). "'Tripitaka Koreana' may be renamed". The Korea Times. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  7. ^ Yun, Suh-young (3 September 2013). "'Name of Tripitaka Koreana should be changed'". The Korea Times. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Printing Woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana in Haeinsa Temple, Hapcheon". Cultural Heritage Administration. Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  10. ^ Turnbull. Page 41.
  11. ^ https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/bitstream/handle/1773/24231/Hyun_washington_0250E_12384.pdf?sequence=1 p. 191.
  12. ^ Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 451.
  13. ^ https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/bitstream/handle/1773/24231/Hyun_washington_0250E_12384.pdf?sequence=1 p. 191.
  14. ^ Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c Jr, Robert E. Buswell; Jr, Donald S. Lopez. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. pp. 442–443. ISBN 9781400848058. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c Bae, Ji-sook (3 September 2013). "Scholar suggests name change for Tripitaka Koreana". The Korea Herald. Herald Corporation. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Haeinsa Temple Janggyeong Panjeon, the Depositories for the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks". UNESCO. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  18. ^ WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE (4–9 December 1995). "CONVENTION CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF THE WORLD CULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE". UNESCO. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  19. ^ Park Sang-jin : „Printing Blocks Remain in Perfect Condition after 760 Years“ . Koreana - a Quarterly on Korean Art & Culture
  20. ^ a b c "Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa Temple". Cultural Properties Administration. Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  21. ^ Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  22. ^ Park, Sang-jin. Under the Microscope: The Secrets of the Tripitaka Koreana Woodblocks. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 6–12. ISBN 9781443867320. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  23. ^ Mason, David A. (4 March 2010). "Tripitaka Koreana: ural Treasure". The Korea Times. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 

Cited works[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°48′N 128°06′E / 35.800°N 128.100°E / 35.800; 128.100