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Print Culture of the World

The earliest kind of print technology was developed in China, Japan and Korea. This was a system of hand printing. China had woodblock printing since around the sixth century. Paper was also first invented in China. The Chinese produced ‘accordion book’ which was folded and stitched at the side. Superbly skilled craftsmen could duplicate, with remarkable accuracy, the beauty of calligraphy.

The imperial state in China was the major producer of printed material. They had textbooks printed in vast numbers for examination. By the seventeenth century, urban culture had blossomed with new readership preferring varied interests in reading such as fictional narratives, poetry, autobiographies, anthologies of literary masterpieces and romantic plays. This new reading culture was accompanied by a new technology. Western printing techniques and mechanical presses were imported in the late nineteenth century into china.

The Buddhist missionaries from China introduced hand-printing technology into Japan around 768–770. The oldest Japanese book, printed in 868 A D is the Buddhist ‘Diamond Sutra’.

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