Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Printing
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

               Block Printing & Movable Type Printing
Movable type printing
(huózìyìnshuāshù 活字印刷术) is one of the four great inventions in ancient China. Since the invention of paper in Han Dynasty (hàncháo 汉朝), the writing material is more convenient and economic than that of bamboo sheet and silk. However, it costs a lot of time to copy books, because a scholar had to do the transcription word for word if he wanted to own a new book, which cannot meet the demand of the developing society at that time. In the Sui  (suí 隋) and Tang (táng 唐) dynasties, the technology of block printing was invented, and therefore the speed of printing was increased. But when a book was to be printed, many wooden blocks had to be engraved. It wasted a lot of time and need a large quantity of boards. Moreover, the wooden blocks was hard to keep, and it is not easy to correct the mistakes that found in the blocks.

Movable Type PrintingTill the Northern Song Dynasty (běisòng 北宋) more than 900 years ago, Bi Sheng (bìshēng 毕昇) invented movable type printing after the repeating experimentation. He engraved the characters on small pieces of clay, and heated them until they became hard moveable characters. In the course of presswork, the moveable characters were placed into a whole block in accordance with manuscripts to be delivered to the printing. All those moveable characters could be removed from the block after the presswork for the later reuse of them. This technique invented by Bi Sheng was both economical and timesaving, thus brought the technique of printing into a new era.

Bi Sheng
The movable type printing has covered the shortage of the block printing. The movable characters can be re-used and they are easy to keep.

China’s movable type printing was first introduced easteward to Korea and Japan, and then westward to Persia and Egypt. The invention of the technique of printing greatly sped up the international development of culture and exchanges. It is no doubt that the movable type printing is one of the greatest contributions to the world.



印刷术
      印刷术是中国古代的四大发明之一。我国古代劳动人民经过长期实践和研究才发明的。 

      自从汉朝发明纸以后,书写材料比起过去用的甲骨、简牍、金石和缣帛要轻便、经济多了,但是抄写书籍还是非常费工的,远远不能适应社会的需要。至迟到东汉末年的熹平年间(公元172-178年),出现了摹印和拓印石碑的方法。大约在公元600年前后的隋朝,人们从刻印章中得到启发,在人类历史上最早发明了雕版印刷术。 

     雕版印刷是在一定厚度的平滑的木板上,粘贴上抄写工整的书稿,薄而近乎透明的稿纸正面和木板相贴,字就成了反体,笔划清晰可辨。雕刻工人用刻刀把版面没有字迹的部分削去,就成了字体凸出的阳文,和字体凹入的碑石阴文截然不同。印刷的时候,在凸起的字体上涂上墨汁,然后把纸覆在它的上面,轻轻拂拭纸背,字迹就留在纸上了。 到了宋朝,雕版印刷事业发展到全盛时期。雕版印刷对文化的传播起了重大作用,但是也存在明显缺点∶第一,刻版费时费工费料,第二,大批书版存放不便,第三,有错字不容易更正。

  北宋平民发明家毕昇发明了活字印刷术,改进雕版印刷这些缺点。他总结了历代雕版印刷的丰富的实践经验,经过反复试验,在宋仁宗庆历年间(公元1041-1048)制成了胶泥活字,实行排版印刷,完成了印刷史上一项重大的革命。

    活字制版正好避免了雕版的不足,只要事先准备好足够的单个活字,就可随时拼版,大大地加快了制版时间。活字版印完后,可以拆版,活字可重复使用,且活字比雕版占有的空间小,容易存储和保管。这样活字的优越性就表现出来了。

      中国的活字印刷术先向东传到了朝鲜、日本,接着向西传到波斯、埃及。印刷术的发明大大加快了世界各国文化发展、交流的速度。活字印刷术是中国对世界的一大贡献。

 

Sponsor Ads

China Yellow Pages