International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The History of Pre-Gutenberg Woodblock and Movable Type Printing in Korea
Hye Ok Park

In this paper I will present the early history of printing technology, developed in Korea from the seventh through the fourteenth century A.D., centuries before Gutenberg’s printing of 42-line Bible in Europe with a primary focus on the world’s oldest extant Dhārani Sutra, called “무구정광 대다라니경 =無垢淨光大陀羅尼經= Unsoiled and Purified-Brightened Dhārani Sutra,” which was discovered inside a pagoda at a Buddhist temple in Kyongju, Korea, during a renovation in 1966. The significance of my paper will be in presenting the arguments and evidences to prove its origin amidst heated debates between the Chinese and Korean scholars, while recognizing the active exchange of information and knowledge that have yielded enhancements upon each other’s accomplishments despite the political, nationalistic, and colonialist atmosphere that existed in the region.

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