The Glory of Chinese Printing

Printing in the Five Dynasties and the Song Dynasty
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Portrait of the King of the Heaven (engraved and
printed by Cao Yuan Zhong in the Five Dynasties)
The printing industry thrived during the Song Dynasty (960 A.D. --- 1279 A.D.). Government departments from the central to the local levels engaged in printing activities. The private printing industry expanded, leading to the existence of printing houses throughout the country, and the creation of a few areas of concentration.

All types of texts were printed including Confucian classics, history, philosophy and belles-lettres. The scale of Buddhist publications was considerably larger than ever before. Apart from the printing of books, new items appeared including the printing of paper money and trademark for advertisement.

An important revolution in printing technology during the Song Dynasty was the invention of movable type printing. A commoner by the name of Bi Sheng used movable type blocks for printing during the Qingli years (1041 A.D. --- 1048 A.D.) of the Northern Song Dynasty. This invention ushered in an era of movable type printing and is a significant milestone in the history of printing.

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Buddhist Scripture engraved and printed in the kingdoms of Wu and Yue in the Five Dynasty Portrait of Bodhisattva Manjusri (printing from the Five Dynasties)
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The records in the History of the Song Dynasty about the printing blocks kept at the GuoZiJian (where was the highest educational administration) in the early Song Dynasty

Ode of ShiLei (ShiLei means the meaning derived from events and literary quotation), Published by the Local government : Salt And Tea Regie Demartment of Two Zhe Estern Lu (Lu was administrative area in Song Dynasty)

Pen-ts'ao YanYi (The correction and complements of Pen-ts'ao), published by the Local ZhuanYun (Transportation) Department of the Song Dynasty The Book of Rites With Annotations, published by the local government : GongShiKu (official hotel) of Fu State in the 4th year of ChunXi years in the Song Dynasty
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KaiBao Buddhist Scripture (engraved and printed in ChengDu , 971 A.D., the 4th year of KaiBao years, Northern Song Dynasty)

JiSha Buddhist Scripture, published in JiSha YanSheng temple in PingJiang prefecture, Southern Song Dynasty
(JiSha : sand and gravel in water, YanSheng : Holy Extension)

Annotations for History of the Former Han Dynasty (engraved and printed by Liu Yuan Qi in his own family school in JianYang county, Song Dynasty)
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Ce Fu Yuan Gui, engraved and printed in the Mei Shan workshop (Shan means Mountain), in the Southern Song Dynasty.
(Ce Fu was the imperial library, Yuan Gui meant big tortoise, tortoise-shell was used for a state's important oracle, so it meant imperial reference for ruling a state. )
Collected Writings by Master Gong Kui (engraved and printed in the Song Dynasty, it was the very beginning of Song Style Characters.) A collection of poems by Madam Yu Xuan Ji (engraved and printed by the Chen family's bookstore in Hangzhou, in the Southern Song Dynasty)
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Exchange Medium (Jiaozi) (a kind of paper money in SiChuan, Northern Song Dynasty) Copper plate for printing paper money -- Check Medium (Huizi), the Southern Song Dynasty. Liu family's Kong Fu Needle Shop in Ji'nan (Rubbing from an engrarved copper plate, the copper plate is the earliest adverisement material evidence extant, it was from Northern Song Dynasty)

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