Shittan gusyo [or] gusho [Sanskrit for Beginners]. CHOZEN.
Shittan gusyo [or] gusho [Sanskrit for Beginners].

Sanskrit for Beginners

Shittan gusyo [or] gusho [Sanskrit for Beginners].

37; 51 folding leaves. Two vols. Large 8vo, orig. yellow wrappers (covers rubbed & somewhat soiled), one (of two) orig. block-printed title labels on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan, probably Kyoto]: on final page of Vol. II: “1668.”

First edition and very rare. Chozen (1613-80), a senior Shingon priest and scholar at the Chishaku-in Temple in Kyoto, was a leading teacher and scholar of Siddham (or Shittan). Siddham was the script of Sanskrit and was used to write the Buddhist scriptures that were transmitted from India to China and then on to Japan. Siddham script was introduced into Japan by the monk Kukai in the 9th century, and the school he founded — Shingon — was a chief center for Shittan and its script for many centuries.

The characters of Siddham are known as bonji in Japanese. Chozen studied old scripts of Siddham and devised a unique calligraphic style of the script (known as Chozen ryu), which is used in this book.

The Sanskrit syllabary is presented here employing Chozen’s calligraphy. In the first volume, each character is calligraphically printed, along with an extensive discussion of the sound, printed in kanji and katakana. The second volume consists of 18 chapters on the most common ligatures.

Very good. There is some worming, touching the text, and minor dampstaining.

Price: $3,500.00

Item ID: 7378

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