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Tripitaka Koreana (팔만대장경)

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The Tripitaka Koreana and the Janggyeong Panjeon at Haein-sa Temple

해인사 팔만대장경과 장경판전

 

The Tripitaka Koreana, or "Palman Daejanggyeong," are printing woodblocks produced in 1251 during the Goryeo Dynasty. Preserved in almost perfect condition, the Tripitaka Koreana enshrined at Haein-saTemple is the oldest extant woodblock tripitaka in the world. A tripitaka contains the entire Buddhist canon divided into three categories, or "baskets": the sutra basket contains the Buddha’s teachings; the vinaya basket contains the precepts and rules to be observed by Buddhist monks and nuns; and the Abhidharma basket contains annotations and commentaries on the sutras. These 81,258 woodblocks epitomize the development of Goryeo era printing technology. These woodblocks facilitated the publication of Buddhist books, thereby furthering research into and the dissemination of Buddhism. In 2006, the printing woodblocks of the Tripitaka Koreana were registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World as a documentary heritage.

 

UNESCO also designated Haein-sa’s Janggyeong Panjeon, the repository of the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks, as a World Cultural Heritage in 1995. This was in recognition of the Janggyeong Panjeon's scientific design which has successfully preserved the woodblocks for more than 700 years without relying on modern technology. The Janggyeong Panjeon has built-in design features which can protect and preserve the printing woodblocks for extended periods. Designed to maintain optimum temperature and air circulation, the Janggyeong Panjeon prevents deformation and decay of the woodblocks.

- excerpt from Buddhist English (Elementary 2) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism 

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