The commentary written by the Silla monk Wonhyo 元曉 (617-688) on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, which is entitled Daeseung gisillon so 大乘起信論疏 is of extreme importance in the historiography of the commented text. Although Wonhyo’s commentary was written in Silla, but it influenced Buddhist cultures in the neighboring countries, including China and Japan.
Wonhyo’s commentary was found in both the Taishō and Korean canons, but the text is from an Edo-period Japanese edition dated to 1696. It is odd that an older manuscript has not been found until now. Fortunately, I was able to find fragments of Wonhyo’s commentary in the Dunhuang and Turpan archives.
There are five fragments found in the Dunhuang manuscripts, plus one from Turpan (see attached), which make a total of six. The distribution of these fragments suggests that Wonhyo’s commentary was transmitted across East Asia and went all the way to Central Asia. The discovery of the fragments of Wonhyo’s commentary will be useful in studying the history of Buddhist cultural exchange between countries in Asia, thus they are important materials leading to our further research on this issue.