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The Paper Road

Cat: HIS
Pub: 1994
#: 9707

Chin Shunshin



The Paper Road


Chin Shunshin (Chen Shunchen) 陳舜臣
1994 1994年
  1. Invention and introduction of Paper:
  2. Paperlike paper:
  3. Paper and water:
  4. Paper price in Luoyang:
  5. Things delivered with paper
  1. 紙の発明と伝来:
  2. 紙以前の紙:
  3. 紙と水:
  4. 洛陽の紙価:
  5. 紙が運ぶもの:
; ; Battle of Talas 751; Cài Lún 105; Cordoba; Dūnhuáng; Eunuchism; Luòyáng; Paper to Japan 5C; Papyrus; Parchment; Pattra; Ream; Samarkand; Wheat power & grindstone;
  • There are great four inventions in the world history, all of these occurred in China; 1) paper, 2) printing technique, 3) gunpowder, and 4) mariner's compass. Paper was invented in Han dynasty, printing technique in Sui-Tang dynasty, gunpowder and mariner's compass in Song dynasty. These inventions were introduced to Europe via Islamic world.
  • The road connecting the East and the West world is called 'the Silk Road', through which there were various things of comings and goings. Among these invisible things like human thought and religion are particular important; which were surely conveyed written on the Paper.
  • Thus, the paper was a prominent invention in the history of information in view of the transmission of human thought and idea.
  • China pioneered to make paper money as early as 1072 in Sòng Dynasty; Europe adpoted it much later in 18C.
  • 中国が世界に先駆けて発明したのが、1) 紙、2) 印刷術、3) 火薬、4) 羅針盤があり、これを四大発明と総称する。紙は漢代、印刷術は隋唐、火薬と羅針盤は宋代に発明され、イスラム世界を通じてヨーロッパに伝わった。
  • 東西世界の交通路は「絹の道」と呼ばれるが、この絹の道には、絹以外にもさまざな文物が往来した。特に、思想や信仰のように目に見えないものの往来が重要である。これらは、おそらくに書かれて往来したに違いない。
  • ということは、特に、紙は人々の情報・思想の伝達という意味で、情報の歴史に特筆されるべき発明である。
  • 紙幣についても中国は宋が1072に発行している (交子,会子)。欧州では紙幣発行は18Cになってから。

>Top 1. Invention and introduction of Paper:

  • Paper:
    History of Later Han dynasty reports that the paper was invented and presented to the emperor by eunuch Cai Lun (Ts'ai Lun), in 105 in the first year of He Di of Later Han dynasty. Now, the character of 'Chi' (paper) originally represents a kind of silk.
    • However, a piece of paperlike paper was discovered near 'the Wandering Lake' in Xinjiang province in 49 BC in Former Han dynasty. This paperlike paper is 154 years earlier than the one invented by Cài Lún. But this paperlike paper was rough on the surface still remaining fibers of hemp.
  • Silk Road:
    Silk made in the East world transported via land route, which is called 'Silk Road' to the western world. Paper invented in the East also transported to the West. The invention of paper was achieved with a cut-and-try approach, and satisfactory paper probably appeared at the time of Cai Lun. Paper is inexpensive as well as not heavier and not bulky than bamboo tablets.
    • Appearance of paper contributed and even now is contributing diffusion of human thought and knowledge.
    • Silk is a special product in East Asia, but hemp cloth is made historically in various worldwide places. Human beings likely wore hemp cloth since Neolithic era.
    • From the experience of immersing hemp, thin plates could be made from immersing and then drying up low-grade cocoons. This plate was thought to be called 'paper' in Han dynasty, which was so-called 'paper' before real paper.
    • Everyone finds pleasure in wearing silk. But the paper is used only for writing, and for people who are illiterate or show no interest about knowledge, thought, or record disregard paper due to non necessity, which was the cause of inactive trade of paper unlike silk.
  • >Top The Battle of Talas:
    In 751, the army of Tang (lead by Gao Xianzhi) and the Islam army of Al Abbasiya (lead by Abu Muslim) fought near the riverside of Talas (now in Kazakhstan). Among the prisoners of defeated Tang army, a papermaking craftsman was included, who transferred papermaking technology to make the first Western paper factory in Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan).
    • In the middle of 8C, there was no paper in the West, whose copying material was clay plate, on which cuneiform characters were inscribed using hard stem of reed. This clay plate was durable but too heavy.
    • It is sad but true that culture and technology propagate by war.
    • Nomadic tribe compel peasants and craftsmen to continue their jobs, because their technology were not specialty for nomad. For nomad, cattle breeding by riding on the horse regarded as the only humane way of life.
  • The Koran: (al-Quran)
    In Arabic 'Koran' means reading or recitation. The Koran is the collection of the passages revealed to Muhammad during 22 years of his prophetic life (610-632), which is written rather in shorter times than the Bible. In the Koran, God is the only one and eternal existence, neither bears nor was born of nobody. There is no concept as son of God.
    • During the third Caliphate Uthman, a secretary named Zaid bin Sabit and others complied the words of Muhammad into the Koran in Quraysh dialect accent.
    • The oldest Koran likely existed in Islam mosque in Tashkent; approximately sized 80 x 60 x20 cm made of deer parchment covered by Chinese made paper. The characters were written in Kufic, which is classic, heavy and bold script. (now used in printing in Naskhi, cursive form of script). Tradition credits this is bloodstained Koran of Uthman when he was assassinated while reading this.

1. 紙の発明と伝来:

  • 後漢の和帝元興元年(105)、宦官の蔡倫が作って献上したと後漢書などの史書にある。なお「紙」という文字はもともとあったが、一種の絹を意味していた。
    • なお、前漢時代の紀元前49年に、新彊の「さまよえる湖」(The Wandering Lake)の近くで紙?が出土した。これは蔡倫の紙発明より154年も前となる。但し、この紙は極めて木目が粗く、まだ麻の筋が残っていたという
  • シルクロード:
    • 新しい紙の出現は、思想や知識の普及に大きく貢献し、現在も私たちに恩恵を与えつづけている。
    • 絹は東アジアの特産だが、麻織物は世界各地で古くから生産されていた。人類は新石器時代から、麻の織物の作って着たといわれている。
    • 麻を水に浸すことに着想を得て、低質の繭を原料に水で漂すして乾かすと薄片ができる。それを漢代になって「紙」を読んだようだ。「紙以前の紙」である。
    • 絹は誰でもそれを身につけて喜ぶ。だが、紙は筆記のための道具である。字を識らない人、学術、思想、記録に関心のない人にとっては、紙は無用のものであり、絹のような活発な流通は行われなかった。
  • タラスの戦い
    • 8世紀半ばの西方には紙がなかった。古代西方世界での古い筆写材料は粘土板に、葦の堅い茎で楔形の記号を刻みつけて書いた。保存性に優れるがあまりにも重い。
    • 戦争で文化や技術が伝搬するのは、悲しいことだが事実である。
    • 遊牧民は、自分の好まない仕事を、強制連行してきた農民や職人に仕事をさせる。遊牧民にとって、人間らしい営みは馬にのって草原を駆けめぐって牛羊を牧することである。
  • コーラン:
    • 第三代カリフのウスマーンになって、ムハンムドの文書役ザイド・ビン・サービトなどがウハンムドの言葉をアラビア語のクライシュ族の発音に統一した。
    • タシケントのイスラム寺院に最古のコーランがあるという。80 x 60 x 20cmの大きさで、鹿皮に中国製の紙によって裏打ちされている。角張った太い感じの古い書体のクーフィー体で書かれたいる。(印刷体はナスヒー体)このコーランは「血染めの聖典」という言い伝えがある。第三代カリフのウスマーンがコーランを読んでいたとき刺客に襲われたという。

>Top 2. Paperlike paper:

  • >Top Papyrus:
    Around 2500 BC in ancient Egypt, papyrus was made of a plant of sedge family; making slices of the cellular pith laid lengthwise, with other layers crosswise on it. The whole was immersed in the Nile river, then pressed and dried, and rubbed smooth. This papyrus looks a cloth rather than a paper. The defect of it was hard to write, brittle, and hardly to get due to monopoly goods of Egypt
    • Paper is heavy for its volume, and hardly exported carrying on the back on camels of caravan unless high-valued goods.
  • >Top Parchment:
    In 3C BC, Eumenes II of Pergamon in Anatoria (now Turkey) established big library containing 200 thousand books made of newly developed parchment, which is superior in writing than papyrus. Parchment was made from untanned skins of animals, usually sheep, calves, or deer. Parchment is prepared by cleaning skin, dipping in water a full day , then in limewater fortnight, removing hairs and smoothing surface, again putting in limewater and drying as stretched out on the frame. This parchment is much easier to write and stronger than papyrus but very expensive.
  • Pattra:
    In India, leaves of tala tree were used as writing material, which resemble those of palm tree. This was called 'Pattra' meaning 'leaf' in Sanskrit, on which characters were inscribed by sharp pen, then oil was poured into to get painted black characters.
    • In 627 Xuanzang Sancang (Genjo Sanzo), a famous Buddhist monk traveled from China to India across deserts and snowy mountains; in a sense from paperful to paperless country. Enormous volume of sutra he brought were written on this pattra.
  • Book burning:
    Books are believed to be possessed by the author's spirit. Thus book burning was done to wipe out the thought written in the books. However proliferation of paper and printing technology made such action impossible. This is one of the distinguished contributions of paper.
  • >Top Papers in Dūnhuáng (Tonko):
    There are a big scale of cave temples in Dunhuang. In their sealed 17th cave room, ten thousands of domument composed of Buddhist scriputures and others written in various languages were discovered in around 1899.

2. 紙以前の紙:

  • パピルス:
    • 紙は容積の割に重く、よほどの利益がなければ、ラクダの背に乗せて輸出されなかった。
  • 羊皮紙:
    アナトリアのペルガモン王朝(現トルコ領)のエウメネス2世は、20万巻を蔵する大図書館を作った。パピルスよりも優れ筆写材料として羊皮紙 (parchment)を開発した。羊のほかに牛や鹿の河も使われる。獣皮を水洗して一昼夜浸し、次に石灰水に二週間つけ、毛と表皮をそぎ落とし、再び石灰水につけて、枠に張って干し滑らかにする。これはパピルスよりもはるかに書きやすく、強靱であったが、ただ高価である。
  • 貝多羅:
    • 玄奘三蔵は、627年、流沙雪嶺をこえて天竺に行った。それは紙のある土地から紙のない土地へ行ったことになる。玄奘三蔵が持ち帰ったおびただしい経文は貝多羅に書かれていた。
  • 焚書:
  • 敦煌の紙:

>Top 3. Paper and water:

  • Hydraulic power:
    In ancient China, flood control is the most important policy, then development of irrigation works, thereafer improvement of river transportation. Utilization of hydraulic power was not their urgent requirement, probably because of their rich labor powers. For wheat eating culture, milling is essential which developed grindstone and water wheel. China invented how to make paper, while the West prepared convenient tools for papermaking.
  • >Top Sogdian:
    From the viewpoint of history of world culture, the function of Sogdian of Iranian lineage was important. The Sogdian were famous of their wide-range commercial activities with their talented and indomitable way of life pursuing richiness across many differences of tribes, borders, and religions. Samarkand was the center of their activities. The habit of eating wheat powder and grindstone (a set of rotary runner and bedstone) were brought to China probably by this Sogdian people.
  • It is peculiar culture that only Kanji using countries and Ismic countries who make characters themselves as an art and show keen appreciation of the script. (Calligraphy)
  • In central Asia, cultured people of Turkish group used Arabic language as religious description, and Persian language as art and literature.

3. 紙と水:

  • 水力:
  • ソグド人:
    世界文化史上、イラン系の国際商人ソグド人の果たした役割は大きかった。ソグド人はみずからの才覚で、豊かな生活の求めて、国籍、国境を超え、また信仰にこだわらず、世界を股にかけて活躍する不屈の生き方にほかならない。サマルカンドはその中心舞台の一つである。 粉食の習慣と石臼(石を重ねた上臼と下臼)はソグド人が中国にもたらしたと考えられる。
  • 文字が書として芸術となり、鑑賞されるのは漢字圏とイスラム圏だけである。
  • 中央アジアのトルコ語系の文化人は、宗教的著述はアラビア語、文芸的著作はペルシャ語を用いていた。

>Top 4. Paper price in Luoyang:

  • Eunuchism:
    There were excellent people among eunuch. In long Chinese history, the best two were Cai Lun (2C) and Zheng He (14C). Zehng He was a sun of leading Muslim parents in Yunnnan province, and became Chinese admiral and explorer. Great works could be completed by getting inspiration. The birth of paper surely made earsplitting sound, but people of those days or even present days could not recognize it.
  • >Top "Paper price soared in Luòyáng":
    This is a proverb meaning 'The book had a tremendous sale', because a writer named Zuǒsī in Jìn (Chin) dynasty (3C) published his writing spending ten years, which became a tremendous sale in then capital city Luòyáng, and many people rushed to buy valuable paper to make their own copy of the book.

4. 洛陽の紙価:

  • 宦官:
  • 洛陽の紙価を高からしむ:
    晋の文人左思(3C)が十年の歳月を費やした"三都賦" はベストセラーとなり、人々は紙を買って手写したので、洛陽の紙価が高騰した。

>Top 5. Things delivered with paper:

  • Paper introduction to Japan:
    Between 4C to 5C, 16th year of Oojin emperor, Wangren (Wani) of Baiji (Kudara) came to Japan with ten rolls of analects of Confucius and one roll of thousand characters. This is the first introduction of paper to Japan.
    • Chronicle of Japan (Nihonshoki) describes that two monks, Tanzheng (Doncho) etc. sent from Gaoli (Korai), who transferred papermaking technology to Japan. (2 years earlier than the dispatch of Ono-no-imoko)
    • Wood tablets was used as writing material for a while after diffusion of paper.
  • >Top Paper to Europe:
    In 12th century, paper was made for the first time in Europe in Iberian Peninsula, where enjoyed most highest culture derived from occupied Islams; Cordoba (Cordva), seemed the capitl of whole Europe.
    • >Top In Japanse, a thousand sheet of paper is called 'Ren', which is derived from Spanish 'resma', English 'ream', originated from Arabic 'rezma.'
    • Iberian Peninsula became the culturually advanced area due to production of paper, thereafter unique characters as Colombus and Vasco da Gama appeared.
  • Symbol of East-West cultural relations:
    Paper born in the East traveled to the West via land route with which thought, knowledge, and art are accompanied. Then quintessence of culture of the West came to the East via sea route. Thus, paper would be the symbol of East-West cultural exchange.

5. 紙が運ぶもの:

  • 紙の日本伝来:
    • 日本書記に、推古天皇18年(610)高麗王、僧曇徴、法定の二人の僧を、彩色および紙墨を作り、と記載あり。製紙の初出である。(小野妹子派遣の2年後)
    • 紙が普及したあとも、木簡はかなり長い間筆写材料として用いられた。
  • 紙、ヨーロッパへ:
    • 日本で紙千枚を「連」というが、スペイン語ではresma、英語ではreamで、もとは一包みを表すアラビア語rezmaに由来する。
    • イベリア半島は紙を生産することで、文化の先進地となって、やがてコロンブスやヴァスコダガマのような人物を生んだ。
  • 東西文化交流のシンボル:
  • Recently the author made a speech saying that human history could not be progressive at all.
  • Thinking over history of the invention of paper and exchange of knowledge and idea between the East and the West, our present age looks like to destroy this flourish district using modern high-tech weapons. Granted that even if this battle is unavoidable, then can we leave something valuable for cultural history like the case of the battle of Talas in 751?
  • 著者の最近の講演によれば、人類の歴史は必ずしも進歩しているとは言えないという。
  • 紙の発明から、それの伝搬を通じて、東西の知恵の交流の歴史を思い起こすと、現代は、この豊かな歴史をはぐくんだ土地を見捨てて、近代兵器を使って破壊尽くそうとしている。百歩譲って、戦いはやむを得ないとしても、では、751年のタラスの戦いの場合のように、その後、文化史的な価値を残すことができるのであろうか?

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