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Last of the old style Chinese printers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, December 15, 2011
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Invented in 1041, it is one of the four great ancient Chinese inventions. The old-style of printing texts used characters individually sculpted on wood seals.

You would think that this ancient method had long since been replaced by ink-jet and laser printers. But our reporter Ma Zechen takes us to a small village in East China's Jiangxi Province where local residents are still hanging on to their brushes and knives.

In this seemingly ordinary house is an extraordinary treasure that can't be found anywhere else. The secret of old-style Chinese printing. Composed of thousands of tiny seals, the plates cover almost all the frequently used characters. But this is no dusty old museum, but a storehouse containing finished works. But where are their owners?

In this old temple 10 km away from the workshop, the artisans busy with their latest project, printing a genealogy book for a local family. The knives and brushes are all self-made and the working conditions are a far cry from a modern workshop.

The team is led by Jiang Zhixing. He's in charge of crafting the detachable characters, while two other people choose the required characters and set them up for printing.

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