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The Chinese Buddhist canon refers to a specific collection of Chinese language Buddhist literature that is deemed canonical in Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism. The traditional term for the canon is "Great Storage of Scriptures" (traditional Chinese: 大藏經; simplified Chinese: 大藏经; pinyin: Dàzàngjīng; Japanese: 大蔵経; rōmaji: Daizōkyō; Korean: 대장경; romaja: Daejanggyeong; Vietnamese: Đại tạng kinh).
The Chinese Buddhist canon includes Āgama, Vinaya and Abhidharma texts from Early Buddhist schools, as well as the Mahāyāna sūtras and scriptures from Esoteric Buddhism. The Taishō Daizōkyō is the standard modern edition as systematized by Japanese scholars, published in Japan from 1924 to 1929. The Taisho has fifty-five volumes and 2,184 texts, in the following categories:
A supplement to the Taishō Daizōkyō was published in 1934. It contains forty-five volumes with 736 other texts, including Japanese texts, texts recently found at Dunhuang, apocryphal texts composed in China, iconographies and bibliographies.
There are many versions of the canon in East Asia in different places and time. An early version is the Fangshan Stone Sutras (房山石經) from the 7th century. The first printed version of the Chinese Buddhist canon was the 開寶藏 Kaibao Canon, printed by order of Emperor Taizu of Song in the fourth year of the Kaibao era (971). The blocks used to print the Kaibao Canon were lost in the fall of the Northern Song capital Kaifeng in 1127 and there only about twelve fascicles of copies surviving. However, the Kaibao formed the basis for future printed versions that survive intact.
The earlier Qianlong Tripitaka (乾隆藏) and Jiaxing Tripitaka (嘉興藏) are still completely extant in printed form. The Zhaocheng Jin Tripitaka is the most complete earliest tripitaka to survive to this day. The Tripiṭaka Koreana and the Qianlong Tripitaka are the only tripitakas for which we still have the complete set of wood blocks. The Tripiṭaka Koreana or Palman Daejanggyeong was carved between 1236 and 1251, during Korea's Goryeo Dynasty, onto 81,340 wooden printing blocks with no known errors in the 52,382,960 characters. It is stored at the Haeinsa temple, South Korea.
One of the most used version is Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō (Taishō Tripiṭaka, 大正新脩大藏經). Named after the Taishō era, a modern standardized edition originally published in Tokyo between 1924 and 1934 in 100 volumes. It is also one of the most completely punctuated tripitaka. The history of the Chinese Buddhist canon, including versions that have not survived, has been studied through the use of catalogs. A well known catalog that is included in the Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō the Kaiyuan Shijiao Lu 開元釋教錄 (Taisho no. 2154). Other catalogs are included in Volume 55.
The Xuzangjing (卍續藏) version, which is a supplement of another version of the canon, is often used as a supplement for Buddhist texts not collected in the Taishō Tripiṭaka. The Jiaxing Tripitaka is a supplement for Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty Buddhist texts not collected, and a Dazangjing Bu Bian (大藏經補編) published in 1986 are supplements of them.
The Chinese Manuscripts in the Tripitaka Sinica (中華大藏經–漢文部份 Zhonghua Dazangjing: Hanwen bufen), a new collection of canonical texts, was published by Zhonghua Book Company in Beijing in 1983-97, with 107 volumes of literature, are photocopies of early versions and include many newly unearthed scriptures from Dunhuang. There are newer Tripitaka Sinica projects.
Mostly written in Classical Chinese. The Mi Tripitaka (蕃大藏經) is the Tangut canon. Eric Grinstead published a collection of Tangut Buddhist texts under the title The Tangut Tripitaka in 1971 in New Delhi. The Taishō edition contains classical Japanese works. The Dunhuang edition contains some works in old Western Regions languages. The Tripitaka Sinica mentioned above features a Tibetan section.
Further information: Buddhist apocrypha
A number of apocryphal sutras composed in China are excluded in the earlier canons, such as composed stories the Journey to the West and Chinese folk religion texts, and High King Avalokiteshvara Sutra. Modern religious and scholarly works are also excluded but they are published in other book series.
See also: Chinese translation theory
Currently the Beijing Library has 4813 scrolls...regional libraries have a total of 44 scrolls...555 scrolls belonging to the Jin Tripitaka were discovered in Tibet's Sakya Monastery in 1959--[in total approximately 5412 scrolls of the Jin Tripitaka (which if complete would have had approximately 7000 scrolls) have survived into the current era. The earliest dated scroll was printed in 1139; its wood block was carved ca. 1139 or a few years before.]
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