National TreasureSegment of Kongo Hannyakyo Kaidai (Commentary on the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra)

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  • Height 27.6cm Width 202.4cm
  • Heian period/ 9th century
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲550

This commentary on the Kongô hannya kyô (E., The Diamond Sutra, Skt., Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra) was written by the priest Kûkai (also known as Kôbô Daishi, 774-835). This handwritten manuscript is considered a draft, because the text contains both running scripts (J., gyôshô) and cursive characters (J., sôshô) with occasional erasures and corrections. Though only a draft, it is an extremely valuable text for what it tells us about Kûkai's handwriting style. A companion piece to this segment is also housed at the Nara National Museum.