[National Treasure] Printing Woodblocks of Miscellaneous Buddhist Scriptures in Haein Temple, Hapcheon
Name: Printing Woodblocks of Miscellaneous Buddhist Scriptures in Haein Temple, Hapcheon
Period: Goryeo (918-1392)
Location: South Gyeongsang
Status: National Treasure No. 206
These are woodblocks carved during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and currently kept in Haein Temple in Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang.
It contains Buddhist scriptures, works of prominent monks and collections of poems and writings.
Unlike the Tripitaka Koreana (National Treasure No. 32) produced by Daejangdogam, a central government agency, these woodblocks are carved either by the local government or an individual temple.
They are now sealed in the East and West Print Hall, the storages located between the places where the Tripitaka Koreana is kept. Since the woodblocks are carved after dipping the boards of silver magnolia into salty water to remove fat and smooth down the grain, their original form was preserved.
The woodblocks contain various scriptures of Mahayanist Buddhism, including Geumgang Sutra and the Avatamsaka Sutra as well as the collections of poems and other writings by prominent monks and individuals from the Silla and Goryeo Period. Most of these scriptures include the account of publication, revealing the way they were circulated and other trends of the Buddhist faith during the Goryeo Period.
The collections of poems and writings, on the other hand, include no account about their publication and most of them are presented in incomplete sets. Nonetheless, these materials are of historical importance because of their rareness. They are considered important materials in studying not only the woodblock print and the art of engraving in the Goryeo Period but also the history of Buddhist philosophy and culture.
The photos and text for National Treasure are provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration. For more information, call (042) 481-4650 or visit www.cha.go.kr.