From The British Library "Untold Lives, Sharing Stories from the Past". 2 January, 2012
Among the thousands of manuscripts uncovered from a walled up library cave at Dunhuang, northwest China, at the turn of the twentieth century, were a group of Buddhist scrolls copied by a man in his eighties. The texts are all linked by a similar colophons, identifying the old man as the scribe and documenting his advancing years. One of the scrolls, S.5451, today held at the British Library, shows the man at 83 years old demonstrating his piety by copying out a Buddhist scripture in his own hand, using ink mixed with his own blood. The colophon reads:
Copied by an old man of 83, who pricked his own hand to draw blood [to write with], on the 2nd of the 2nd month of 'bingyin', the 3rd year of Tianyou (27 February, 906).
Education & Training Coordinator, The International Dunhuang Project
Jimmy Y.Yu, Bodies of Sanctity: Ascetic Practices in Late Imperial China
James Baskind, Mortification Practices in the Obaku School, Essays on East Asian Religion and Culture, Edited by Christian Wittern and Shi Lishan, Kyoto 2007