1,000 Years for Tripitaka Koreana Buddhist Woodblocks

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And as the year closes we take a last look at the Tripitaka Koreana, UNESCO world cultural heritage woodblocks engraved with the complete copy of the Buddhist sciptures. It celebrated it's 1000th anniversary this year, one of the pieces have been put on public display, before it's put away for another hundred years. Let's take a look.

Haeinsa Temple, in South Korea has been the site of many legends and tragedies.

But probably the most glorious is being the resting place of the Tripitaka Koreana. The engraved woodblocks are UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, and are the most complete copy of the Buddhist scriptures. This year marks its 1000th anniversary.

[...]

The Tripitaka Koreana wasn't made just once.
The first woodblocks were destroyed during Mongol attacks in 1232. This final set was made 20 years later, as an appeal to the heavens to protect the nation from invasion.

[Om Shinjia, Buddhist Visitor]:
"When I first saw it I thought how desperately our ancestors were trying to protect us from the Mongol's attack. I'm very proud...."

The carved woodblocks were made from white birch that was boiled in sea water for three years. It was then dried for three years, before being carved on. The whole process took 16 years to finish.

[Jeanelice Schrementi, English Teacher]:
"I thought this must've been very hard to make."

The Tripitaka Koreana lies in ancient buildings, specially designed to keep the temperature and humidity just right. One piece has been taken out, to allow visitors to get a closer look. But this won't happen again in our lifetime.

[No titlebar]:
"This is a very precious experience for me. It won't be taken out to show the public in a long time, not for another 100 years."

Emma Hall, NTD news, Haeinsa, South Korea

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