File:8th-century Hyakumanto Dharani at McGill University Rare books and Special collections.jpg

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English: Hyakumanto Dhāraṇī (百萬塔陀羅尼經) are the oldest known printed texts from Japan. Printed in about 770 CE, they were a set of one million Buddhist dharani (charms) printed on paper (one example shown above, intentionally rotated for a clearer, complete display in wikipedia project). Each printed copy was put inside small dedicated wooden pagoda. Once complete, these were distributed to Japanese temples.

The million charms of Empress Shotoku (百万塔) are a legacy treasure left from the Nara period of Japanese history. The text is in Sanskrit which was transliterated first into Chinese, and then from Chinese to Japanese characters. They represent a diffusion of ideas and knowledge across religions and cultures in human history over thousands of miles. The only other earlier known printed text in the world is from early 8th-century Korea, discovered inside a Buddhist temple. It is also a dharani (darani), and the content is from the same Buddhist sutra as one shown above.

The photo above is of a 2D pages of a printed text that was published about 770 CE. Therefore Wikimedia Commons PD-Art licensing guidelines apply. Any rights I have as a photographer is herewith donated to wikimedia commons under CC 4.0 license.
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Author Ms Sarah Welch


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current06:00, 29 March 2020Thumbnail for version as of 06:00, 29 March 20202,064 × 388 (441 KB)SteinsplitterBotBot: Image rotated by 90°
08:38, 22 November 2018Thumbnail for version as of 08:38, 22 November 2018388 × 2,077 (446 KB)Ms Sarah WelchReverted to version as of 16:25, 10 November 2018 (UTC)
08:04, 22 November 2018Thumbnail for version as of 08:04, 22 November 20182,064 × 388 (441 KB)SteinsplitterBotBot: Image rotated by 90°
16:25, 10 November 2018Thumbnail for version as of 16:25, 10 November 2018388 × 2,077 (446 KB)Ms Sarah WelchUser created page with UploadWizard
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