In the 21st Century, our people can enjoy ‘reading a book indoors and finding the great light of the ancient times shining on my face’, break the constraints of time and space and contact various foreign and domestic great writers of all times by reading books and learn with great scholar Confucius’ expectations of ‘keeping Tao (road or way) in mind, acting in accordance with De (virtue or morals), behaving on the basis of Ren (benevolence or humanity) and acquiring many Yi (arts or techniques). By drinking water and thinking the water source, we will realise the invention and application of woodblock printing plays a very important role in the great development of human civilization.
Especially, in this modern time, there are great changes because material technology controls and rules civilizations and arts. While the other ancient civilizations, such as the Sumerians who were first creators of words, the Egyptian culture who were creators of pyramid building, and the Mayan culture, had all disappeared from history due to the battles between nations, we think about our ancestors of the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties and find they still valued culture and respected books and created woodblock printing, even during the period of An - Shih Rebellion and fragmented regime caused by soldiers, to preserve and spread Chinese culture all over the world. It shows that ‘attaching importance to woodblock printing’ is the descendants and offsprings’s reflection and performance of valuing and cherishing old civilization.
The theme of this study is ‘Literature Study of Woodblock Printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties’. Chapter 1 is the introduction to state the motivation and the expected results of this study. Chapter 2 is to analyze the background of time, culture and techniques in which woodblock printing was created and developed, that is, it was born over a thousand years of long brewing process of Chinese culture. Chapter 3 and 4 are the collection and collation of the historical documents of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties done by various experts and scholars as well as the traditional researches of authentic documents. And, on the basis of these materials, it is to observe the application range of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties and the overview of the interaction development between this technique and the society and culture at that time. Chapter 5 is to specify and interpret, on the basis of the documents in the preceding paragraphs, the characteristics of the documents of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties. Chapter 6 is the conclusion of the influence of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties on later generations.
Because the existing authentic documents of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties are collected in the great museums all over the world, the writer of this paper can’t see all these documents personally so that this paper is developed and accomplished on the basis of the researches of the experts and scholars in former times and our time. It is expected that the authentic documents of woodblock printing in the Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties can be gradually collected together from all over the world and more authentic documents can be found and announced so that the process in which our ancestors in Tang Dynasty and Five Dynasties had made great efforts to create and develop woodblock printing can be better understood, preserved and promoted by the future generations.