Bonmokyo koshakuki [Commentaries on Brahma's Net Sutra]

Price: 45,000.00 USD

135 pp. Five columns per page. On the final leaf: "Kan ge matsu" ("end of latter part"). Tall narrow orihon (accordion style; 291 x 12,455 mm. long), orig. wrappers (minor worming). [Nara: Saidaiji Temple, 1302-18]. The Buddhist temple of Saidaiji, one of the "Seven Great Temples" of Nara, was founded in 765 and is the main temple of the Shingon Risshu sect of Buddhism. The founder of this sect was Eison (1201-90), a disciple of Jokei. "Eison was one of the leading figures in the Kamakura-period revival of the Risshu sect and played a very active role in the development of printing at Saidai-ji. In his capacity as abbot, he seems to have initiated a considerable printing program, from which twelve works have survived, ranging in date from 1256 to 1290...An interesting feature of the Saidai-ji works printed on Eison's instructions is that at least half of them are bound in orihon style. Although orihon binding gained wide acceptance by Kyoto monks as the Kamakura period passed, generally the more conservative monks adhered to the tradition kansu-bon format, and Eison's use of orihon binding represents a break with Nara tradition. After Eison's death, the Saidai-ji monks continued to print a number of works which, to judge from those produced in Eison's lifetime, conformed to the program he had laid down. This was presumably done as a mark of respect, and Kamakura-period printing continued at Saidai-ji until at least 1318."-Chibbet, The History of Japanese Printing and Book Illustration, p. 46. The publications from the temples of Saidaiji, Negoro, and Todaiji are today extremely rare on the market. There were several editions of the Bonmokyo koshakuki, including one or more published during Eison's life. There are punctuation marks and the occasional reading mark in red and black brush. In fine condition and a remarkable survival.

Available From

Jonathan A. Hill
325 West End Ave.
New York, NY 10023
+1 (646) 827-0724