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Wooden Inscriptions and the Culture of Writing in Sabi Paekche

Wooden Inscriptions and the Culture of Writing in Sabi Paekche <p>abstract:</p><p>Surviving inscriptions from the Korean kingdom of Paekche 百濟 (ca. c.e. 250–660) are extremely few in number. Recent archaeological discoveries have uncovered an unprecedented cache of Paekche writing in the form of wooden tablets, known as <i>mokkan</i> 木簡, dateable to the period when the kingdom&apos;s capital was at Sabi 泗沘 (c.e. 538–660). This article first looks at the distribution of <i>mokkan</i> finds within the Sabi capital and argues that <i>mokkan</i> were one material surface utilized in the context of a multi-faceted written culture that included other media such as paper and stone. This article proposes that because wood was a relatively cheap, reusable, and disposable medium, <i>mokkan</i> became the material surface of choice for the acquisition of literacy and experimentation with Sinographic script. This meant that <i>mokkan</i> were not only a space for learning individual characters (calligraphic practice), but also for practicing composing sentences according to the rules of Sinitic syntax and in established Sinitic literary forms (composition practice). As a result, <i>mokkan</i> offer a unique window into the development of literary writing among Paekche elites during the late sixth and early seventh centuries. This article explores four examples of Paekche <i>mokkan</i> containing inscriptions that fall into the category of "composition practice," and argues that these compositions suggest literary form was an increasingly valued component of inscriptive practice in Paekche.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Perspectives University of Hawai'I Press

Wooden Inscriptions and the Culture of Writing in Sabi Paekche

Asian Perspectives , Volume 58 (1) – Apr 25, 2019

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1535-8283

Abstract

<p>abstract:</p><p>Surviving inscriptions from the Korean kingdom of Paekche 百濟 (ca. c.e. 250–660) are extremely few in number. Recent archaeological discoveries have uncovered an unprecedented cache of Paekche writing in the form of wooden tablets, known as <i>mokkan</i> 木簡, dateable to the period when the kingdom&apos;s capital was at Sabi 泗沘 (c.e. 538–660). This article first looks at the distribution of <i>mokkan</i> finds within the Sabi capital and argues that <i>mokkan</i> were one material surface utilized in the context of a multi-faceted written culture that included other media such as paper and stone. This article proposes that because wood was a relatively cheap, reusable, and disposable medium, <i>mokkan</i> became the material surface of choice for the acquisition of literacy and experimentation with Sinographic script. This meant that <i>mokkan</i> were not only a space for learning individual characters (calligraphic practice), but also for practicing composing sentences according to the rules of Sinitic syntax and in established Sinitic literary forms (composition practice). As a result, <i>mokkan</i> offer a unique window into the development of literary writing among Paekche elites during the late sixth and early seventh centuries. This article explores four examples of Paekche <i>mokkan</i> containing inscriptions that fall into the category of "composition practice," and argues that these compositions suggest literary form was an increasingly valued component of inscriptive practice in Paekche.</p>

Journal

Asian PerspectivesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Apr 25, 2019

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