Hyakumanto Dharani (So-rin)

On exhibit


No. 33154

Dharani sutra which were stored in Hyakumanto. They are the oldest existing printed matter in the world. Four kind of scripts, namely Konpon, So-rin, Jishin-in, and Rokudo, are included in Dharani sutra which were produced based on the theory about Mukujoko Dai Dharani sutra that if a three-storied small Pagoda was built and Dharani sutra was stored inside it, this would provide the merits of absolving sins and making the country safe. It is not known if the printing method used was woodblock or copperplate (copper relief printing plate). They were produced at the wish of Empress Shotoku and were distributed in various Buddhist temples, and 3,000 or more are now kept in Horyu-ji Temple.