Jo Dec 8, 2023

Our country has a huge number of cultural relics and remains worth boasting to the world.

The 80 000 blocks of the Complete Collection of Buddhist Scriptures, which is on show in Pohyon Temple on Mt. Myohyang, is one of the precious national treasures demonstrating the advanced level of typography in our country.

The 80 000 blocks of the Complete Collection of Buddhist Scriptures are a systematic Buddhist library of Buddhist scriptures and the books concerned with Buddhism.

As it was compiled during the Koryo dynasty, it is also called the Koryo Tripitaka.

The very first complete collection of Buddhist scriptures had already been born in our country in the first half of the eleventh century but it was burnt away by foreign aggressors.

The present collection was completed in over 1 530 kinds and 6 793 volumes from 1236 to 1251.

It is permeated with the creative wisdom of people including lots of typographers. The excellent typography employed for it makes it one of the proud cultural legacies of our people and the world’s cultural assets.

In those days, the people and handicraftsmen managed to make more than 80 000 blocks of pakdal trees and birch trees.

Each block has 23 lines with 14 letters each. Wooden ties are attached at both ends of blocks to avoid twist and the surfaces are lacquered to keep worms away.

The wood blocks are elaborate enough to resemble a fine sculpture.

The collection, a precious cultural legacy of our nation, shows the level of development and promotion of woodblock printing. It serves as a material evidence demonstrating that firm technical foundations for invention and use of metal types for the first time in the world were laid in Koryo at that time.

The collection is now recognized as the most perfect standard collection of all the old collections of Buddhist scriptures existing in the world.

The complete collection is shining brilliantly as our priceless national treasure and as a world cultural legacy, proudly boasting of the wisdom and resourcefulness of our nation.