The earliest print technology was developed in China, Japan and Korea. It was a system of hand printing.


  •   China became the first country to start print, from AD 594 onwards.
  •  The books were printed by rubbing paper against the inked surface of woodblocks.
  •  The Imperial State in China was the major producer of printed material for a long time. The huge bureaucratic system in China recruited its personnel through civil service examinations and a vast number of printed material was required for these examinations.
  •  From the 16 th century, the number of candidates for these examinations increased and Hence, the demand of print increased too.
  •  As Urban Culture bloomed, uses of print diversified. The print was now used by merchants, to collect trade information . And the sense of a reading culture emerged. It became a leisure activity.
  •  Rich women began to read and publish their poetry and plays. Even courtesans began to write about their lives.
  •  This reading culture was accompanied by new technology imported from the west. Western printing techniques were adopted and mechanical presses were imported in the late 19 th century. There was a gradual shift from hand printing to mechanical printing.
  • SHANGHAI became the hub of new print culture.

A Page From Diamond Sutra - Teachoo.jpg

A page from DIAMOND SUTRA.


  •  Hand Printing Technology in Japan was introduced by Chinese Buddhist missionaries around AD 768-770.
  • The oldest Japanese book was called the Buddhist  DIAMOND SUTRA , was printed in 868 AD and contained six sheets of text and woodcut illustrations.
  •  Pictures were printed on textiles, playing cards and paper money. Books were cheap and abundant.
  •  In the late 18 th century,in flourishing urban circles at Edo (later renamed to Tokyo), housed collections of paintings, which depicted an elegant urban culture.
  •   Libraries and bookstores had variety of hand printed material of various types- books on women, musical instruments, calculations, cooking, proper etiquette, tea ceremonies and even famous places.

Portrait of Marco Polo - Teachoo.jpg

Portrait of Marco Polo 


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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.