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A Study on the Early North Sung Period Buddhist Literatures Found in the Pagoda of Suzhou Ruiguangsi

  • Journal of Korean Library and Information Science Society
  • Abbr : JKLISS
  • 2014, 45(1), pp.81-102
  • DOI : 10.16981/kliss.45.1.201403.81
  • Publisher : Korean Library And Information Science Society
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science

Il-Gie Song 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In 1978, there was an investigation before the repair of the pagoda in Suzhou Ruiguangsi (蘇州 瑞光寺) and many Buddhist literatures were found in the center of pagoda’s 3rd floor. This study is the analysis of the forms and values of the literatures. Since there were 123 ea of precious literatures made from Tang (唐) period to early North Sung (北宋) period among the found Buddhist literatures, they have very important meaning in the bibliography for the time. Suzhou Reiguangsi (蘇州 瑞光寺) was built by the first king of Wu (吳), Sun Quan (孫權). He built this Buddhist temple to meet Monk Xingkang (性康) from Kangjuguo (康居國). When it had been first built, it had been called Puji Chanyuan (普濟禪院) and it was renamed as current Ruiguangsi (瑞光寺) after the major expansion in the early period of North Sung (北宋). The Ruiguangta (瑞光塔) was built by Sun Quan (孫權) in A.D. 247 immediately after the temple had been built. Sun Quan built this pagoda as a 13-floor pagoda to pray for the easy passage into eternity of his mother, national prosperity and welfare of the people. As time passed by, the pagoda was largely damaged and it was newly built in A.D. 1017 (天禧 1) of early North Sung (北宋) period; while it was named as Duobaota (多寶塔). The literatures found in Ruiguangta consist of 107 ea of 3 sets dharani (陀羅尼) scripture and 16 volumes of 5 books, total 123 ea. Especially, there were 7 books of full set transcript of Lotus Sutra (法華經) in relatively complete form. This sutra written in gilt lettering on dark blue paper was made in Middle Tang (中唐) period and it is believed to be the only one existing in East Asia as a scripture written in gilt lettering on dark blue paper (紺紙金字寫經). There were also 6 books of small letter edition of Lotus Sutra (法華經) in complete form, which was published during the early North Sung (北宋) period. This specific edition is incorrectly stated in most general reference books published in China as having been engraved in early Tang period (初唐) since a Japanese scholar wrongly introduced it as having been engraved together with Nakamura edition (中村本). It is meaningful that this error can be corrected by the finding of this study.

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