1661 · Yucheng, Shandong
This is a popular religious — Buddhist, but noncanonical — work, written in classical Chinese. While it evokes and invokes the Buddha, it is the work of a small, populist sect, and is not mainstream Buddhism.
The work is printed in the less familiar "fanfold" manner and unsewn rather than in the "Chinese style" that Westerners are most familiar with. It is printed printed from woodblocks, three to a sheet, which are the glued together to form an "accordion style" book. => It features a multipage "frontispiece" of the Buddha and related religious imagery on six preliminary pages.
Provenance: The Howell Bible Collection, Pacific School of Religion (properly released). With a note laid in reading: "This is a volume of a Chinese Buddhist sacred book, which has been for two centuries in a Shantung family. The woman who owned it became convinced of its uselessness, & exchanged it for a New Testament & a hymn book. It is now presented to the Pacific Theological Seminary by Rev. Arthur H. Smith, P'ang Chuang, Shantung, China."
The Rev. Smith (1845–1932) was a missionary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions who spent 54 years as a missionary in China .
(We are grateful to Dr. Martin Heijdra of the East Asian Library at Princeton for assisting us in identifying this work.) Covers detached but present; soiled and totally faded and discolored. Tattering and dog-earing of text leaves; many split at the folds or at pasted areas. Far from perfect condition but => complete. (Inventory #: 34760)