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Fazang The Technical Innovator.

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Chapter Summary

Fazang’s familiarity with principles fundamental to the scientific disciplines now known as mathematics and physics should not come as a surprise, given his probable role in improving and diffusing-if not inventing-the technology of woodblock printing. Fazang’s name became linked to the art of xylography shortly after modern scholarship learned of the archaeological discovery. The Pulguksa discovery excited Korean scholars, most of whom jumped to the conclusion that it was produced in Korea. The two major arguments concern the medium and the special characters that it employs. It is important to note that the same dhāraṇī sūtra had been translated a few years prior by Śikṣānanda in a text that unfortunately has not survived. Some special, urgent needs must have catalyzed the production of a new translation. These were embedded in particular political and religious factors.

Keywords: dhāraṇī sūtra; Fazang



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