Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

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Korean Buddhism Culture Memory of the World Related to Korean Buddhism
Jikji Vol 2

Memory of the World Related to Korean Buddhism

Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism


Published in 1377, Jikji is an abbreviation of Jikji simche yojeol (Essential Passages on Directly Pointing to the Nature of Mind). This is the oldest extant book in the world printed from movable metal type. Volume 1 has not been found, and only Volume 2 is extant consisting of 38 chapters.
Jikji was compiled by Ven. Baegun Gyeonghan (1299–1374) to teach Buddhadharma to his students. He first consulted numerous teachings of the Buddha and patriarchs, including verses, poems, songs, books, hymns in praise of the Buddha, dharma talks, and recorded question and answer sessions. He then extracted the content deemed important to realizing the essence of Seon Buddhism and published it in two volumes. After Ven. Baegun Gyeonghan entered nirvana, his two disciples named Seokchan (d.u.) and Daljam (d.u.) published a first edition with movable metal type in 1377 at Heungdeoksa Temple in Cheongju. Later, Collin de Plancy, a French diplomat stationed in Korea in the late 1800s, took Volume 2 out of Korea; it is now owned by Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
Predating the Guttenberg Bible by 78 years, Jikji (vol. 2) is the oldest extant book in the world printed by movable metal type. Recognized for its great influence on the archival culture of humanity, Jikji was registered as a Memory of the World in 2001.
In 2005, the Jogye Order translated the original Chinese text of Jikji into Korean and English, and published them; they were then exhibited at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In 2021, the Order made extensive revisions to these editions and published 2nd editions. In 2022, the Order also published a French translation of Jikji. In this way the Jogye Order promotes to the world the value of the oldest extant movable metal type and propagates the philosophy of Seon Buddhism embodied in Jikji.

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