Complete Collection of Buddhist Scriptures Printed from 80,000 Wooden Blocks
Korea has a lot of historical ruins and relics which we can boast of to the world.
The complete collection of Buddhist scriptures printed from 80,000 wooden blocks, which is on display in Pohyon Temple in Mt. Myohyang, is one of the valuable national treasures which shows the development level of printing techniques of Korea.
It is a collection of Buddhist scriptures which compiles the Buddhist scriptures and other Buddhism-related books of Koryo Dynasty.
This collection is called the complete collection of Buddhist scriptures of Koryo as it was printed in the period of Koryo Dynasty.
Already in the first half of the 11th century Korea had printed the first version of the complete collection of Buddhist scriptures, but it was burned away by the foreign aggressors.
Printing of the collection of Buddhist scriptures comprising 6,793 volumes of over 1,530 categories was completed between 1236 and 1251, and this is the one which still remains.
The complete collection of Buddhist scriptures is associated with the creative wisdom of many printers and the masses of people, and for the high level of printing technique, it is now listed as a proud cultural heritage of the Korean people and registered as a world heritage.
At that time handicraftsmen and other people made over 80,000 printing blocks from birch, ash trees and other trees.
On each block were engraved 23 lines of characters with 24 characters on each line, rails were added to both ends of a block to prevent twist, and it was lacquered to prevent worm-eating
The printing blocks are so exquisite that they look as if they were excellent sculptures.
This complete collection of Buddhist scriptures is not only a valuable cultural heritage of the Korean nation, but also material testimony to the fact that Koryo Dynasty laid a solid technical foundation for inventing and using metal prints for the time in the world, as shown by the level of development and promotion of wood printing.
President Kim Il Sung said that the complete collection of Buddhist scriptures and the wood prints used for it constitute a valuable national treasure which shows the development level of printing techniques in Korea, and that it is a great pride for the country and nation that our ancestors made over 80,000 printing blocks to print thousands of volumes of Buddhist scriptures already hundreds of years ago.
The complete collection of Buddhist scriptures printed from 80,000 wooden blocks is now recognized as the most perfect standard collection of Buddhist scriptures among the old collections of Buddhist scriptures remaining in the world.
The complete collection of Buddhist scriptures printed from 80,000 wooden blocks sheds brilliant light as a valuable treasure of the Korean nation and a world cultural heritage, proudly boasting of the resourcefulness and talents of the Korean nation.