Important Cultural PropertyMunsusari munbori gyeong (Gayasirsa Sutra; Sutra on Manjusri's Questions on Enlightenment)

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  • Accordion book
  • Height 25.8cm, Length 357.3cm
  • Kyoto National Museum
  • B甲675

This manuscript is an outstanding example of a Korean Goryeo-dynasty (918-1392) copied sutra with silver letters on indigo paper. The postscript tells us that it was part of a complete set of the Buddhist canon written in silver lettering that was presented as an offering by King Chungnyeol (r. 1275-1308) of Goryeo in 1276 (Zhiyuan 13, the second reign year of King Chungyeol). The sutra is transcribed with steady brushstrokes, and a deity, recalling the swift-footed guardian Skanda (J., Idaten), is painted in gold and silver on the frontispiece. In the form of fourteen characters per line, this text has its sutra box number written in the "thousand character" system below its title but has lost a portion of its end. It also appears that at the time this manuscript was returned to its former mounting as an accordion book, the margins were cut for they are rather narrow at the top and bottom.
King Chungnyeol donated several sets of the entire Buddhist canons in silver lettering in his lifetime. As expected of a king's offering, this work, too, was masterfully transcribed.