Orihon (accordion) printed book of Vol. 498 of the Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom or Mahaprajnaparamita sutra, entitled in Japanese Daihannya haramitta kyo. SUTRA OF PERFECTION OF WISDOM: KASUGA-BAN.
Orihon (accordion) printed book of Vol. 498 of the Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom or Mahaprajnaparamita sutra, entitled in Japanese Daihannya haramitta kyo.
Orihon (accordion) printed book of Vol. 498 of the Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom or Mahaprajnaparamita sutra, entitled in Japanese Daihannya haramitta kyo.

“Horei Bunko”

Orihon (accordion) printed book of Vol. 498 of the Sutra of Perfection of Wisdom or Mahaprajnaparamita sutra, entitled in Japanese Daihannya haramitta kyo.

Five columns per page, 17 characters per column. 93 pages. Tall narrow 8vo (255 x 92 mm.), orig. binding of semi-stiff pale brown wrappers (text leaves rather wormed & repaired), wrappers heightened with black speckles (the decoration on large portions of the upper cover has faded away). [Nara]: printed on final leaf “1410."

A rare early printed sutra, from the famous collection of Frank Hawley, printed at Nara in 1410. It has been printed on high-quality thick paper (gampi, or mulberry fibers), and printed in bold, thick strokes, using black sumi ink, typical of Kamakura and Muromachi kasuga-ban printings (kasuga-ban is a general term for publications of the Nara monasteries).

The translator of this text into Chinese was Xuanzang (596?-664), the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, monk, and scholar. He travelled to India in 629, where he studied Sanskrit, and returned to China in 645 with a quantity of scriptures in his luggage.

PROVENANCE: With the seal of Sekisuiken Bunko, formed by Mitsuo Isii (1881-1966), judge, banker, and collector and scholar of Zen materials. With the later seal (“Horei Bunko” or “Hawley Collection”) of Frank Hawley (1906-61), British journalist and book collector, who is most famous for his remarkable collection of Ryukyu-related materials (now at the University of Hawaii).

A very good copy and rare. The wrappers and text are rather wormed and repaired.

❧ K.B. Gardner, “Centres of Printing in Medieval Japan: late Heian to early Edo period” in British Library Occasional Papers 11. Japanese Studies (ed. by Yu-Ying Brown), London: 1990, p. 159–”The term Kasuga-ban became used more loosely, in a wider sense, to denote publications of the Nara monasteries in general, not only of the Kofukuji. The printing of Kasuga-ban in this broader sense flourished throughout the Kamakura period and up to the end of Muromachi ca. 1570.” Mizuno, Buddhist Sutras. Origin, Development, Transmission, pp. 178-79.

Price: $12,500.00

Item ID: 7364