The Glory of Chinese Printing

Printing in Liao, Western Xia and Jin

Contemporary with the Song Dynasties were the regimes of ethnic minorities such as the Liao, Western Xia and Jin. The level of printing in those areas was on a par with that of Central and Southern China.

In 1991, a nine volume Buddhist scripture -- Ji Xiang Bian Zhi Kou He Ben Xu (Continuation for Propitiousness Everywhere Reading Edition), which was written in Western Xia characters and bound in butterfly format, was found in a square pagoda at BaiSiGou in HeLan County, NingXia Autonomous Region. Archaeologists and experts have determined that these volumes were printed in the latter part of the Western Xia (second half of the 12th century) using wooden movable type. This scripture has been taken to be the earliest extant example of wooden movable type printing and it occupies an important position in the history of Chinese printing.

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Printed and hand painted Buddha images (It was from Liao Dynasty, which was found in the Wood pagoda in present-day Ying county)
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Shang Sheng Jing Shu Ke Wen (Shang Shen meant : To be reborn into s superior state of existence. Jing Shu : Buddhist classics and words. Ke Wen : Glosses, to break a sutra or treatise etc. down into small sections for exegesis and analysis -- a common practice in traditional East Asian Buddhist scholarship.), engraved and printed by the Yang family in YanJin (BeiJing), 990 A.D., 8th year of TongHe years, Liao Dynasty.

Meng Qiu (which means the ignorant ask me, the extended meaning is : books for enlightening, or the primer.), engraved and printed in the Liao Dynasty.

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The ChongQing New version of Amending and Incorporating the Five Tones in the Collection of Rhymes (by JunChuan JingZhen, 1212 A.D., the 1st year of ChongQing years, Jin Dynasty.)

Four Beauties (engraved and printed by the Ji family in PingYang prefecture, Jin Dynasty, unearthed in the old Black Water City.)

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