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The enshrinement of the Tripitaka Koreana printing woodblocks at Haein-sa Temple and the temple's elevated status in subsequent years


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Yim, Deug Guen




Master of Arts in Religious Studies


Guruge, Ananda W. P.
Lancaster, Lewis R.
Long, Darui


This paper was developed primarily in an effort to analyze the documents related to the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks' enshrinement at Haein-sa and survey the historical background of that time. According to my analysis, I have concluded that the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks were enshrined at Haein-sa sometime between November of the 5th year of King Chungsugwang's reign (1318) and May (leap month) of the 9th year of King Gongminwang's reign (1360). In particular, the record of May of the 7th year of King Taejo's reign (1398), which has been widely embraced by researchers, I deem insufficient to establish an accurate timeframe for the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks' enshrinement at Haein-sa. The reasons for moving the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks to Haein-sa are as follows: Geographically, it ensured lasting stability; Haein-sa had the resources and capabilities to preserve important national documents, such as the History of the Goryeo Dynasty; it had research capabilities, experience in doctrinal studies and the manpower and resources to reproduce Tripitaka Koreana printing woodblocks which was a practical consideration for the repair or replacement of damaged printing blocks after the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks were moved to Haein-sa. The enshrinement of the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks elevated the status of Haein-sa. This is confirmed by the fact that the Buddhist community, as well as the general public, has regarded the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks as an important national cultural heritage since the 13th century.

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