<p style='text-align: justify;'>Woodblock printing flourished during the Song (宋) period (960-1279) in China. Song editions (宋版) are regarded as important and precious because of the high quality of printing associated with the period and the excellent textual critiques these editions often include.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>With the support of the Wang 王 family, many Buddhist texts were printed at a temple called Yuanjue Chanyuan 円覚禅院 in the village called Sixi 思渓, Huzhou 湖州, China. These publications are called Sixi 思渓 editions. Among Sixi editions, there are two types - the early and the latter editions. The former can be called Qiansizang 前思渓蔵.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>Our copy of 大般若波羅蜜多経 (Daihannya hatamitakyō) belongs to the early Sixi 思渓 edition (前思渓蔵). The names of the 刻工 (carvers) on our edition support our belief that it is a Qiansizang edition.</p> <p style='text-align: justify;'>According to one of the ex-libris stamps, our copy used to be held at Sanshō-ji 三聖寺 Temple in Kyoto, which existed from the middle of the 13th century up to 1873. It must have been transported to Japan from China in early times.</p>
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