Uighur Wooden Movable Types Newly Discovered in the Naito Collection
377 , 2017-04-01 , 関西大学東西学術研究所
研究ノート (Study Notes)
When Naito Torajiro (Konan) went to Europe, from late summer of 1924 until January 1925, to examine the Dunhuang manuscripts preserved in London and Paris, Paul Pelliot presented him four pieces of Uighur wooden movable types. These movable types were a part of Pelliot's finds from one of the Mogao caves in Dunhuang in 1908. These pieces, long left unattended, were recently found in the Naito collection of the Kansai University Library by the present author. This essay explains the current state of these movable types and their history. Pelliot also donated Uighur movable types, on occasion, to institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Toyo Bunko in Tokyo. Subsequently, the second Russian expedition, led by Oldenburg, also acquired Uighur movable types in 1914. More pieces were discovered at Dunhuang by the Dunhuang Institute of Arts between 1944 and 1949, and more recently, by Dunhuang Academy between 1988 and 1995, during the course of a systematic excavation. Based on the different types of defects noted on them, it appears that the Uighur movable types discovered so far were not used. However, they are worthy of attention as evidence of the Uighur people attempting to adapt the technique of movable type to printing Uighur books despite difficulties presented by linguistic peculiarities.