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Segment of Kongo Hannyakyo Kaidai (Commentary on the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra)
National treasure
Height 27.6cm Width 202.4cm
Heian period/ 9th century
Kyoto National Museum
This commentary on the <i>Kongô hannya kyô</i> (E., <i>The Diamond Sutra</i>, Skt., <i>Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra</i>) was written by the priest K&ucirc;kai (also known as Kôbô Daishi, 774-835). This handwritten manuscript is considered a draft, because the text contains both running scripts (J., <i>gyôshô</i>) and cursive characters (J., <i>sôshô</i>) with occasional erasures and corrections. Though only a draft, it is an extremely valuable text for what it tells us about K&ucirc;kai's handwriting style. A companion piece to this segment is also housed at the Nara National Museum.