2005 年 54 巻 1 号 p. 382-375,1271
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge of the development of literacy in ancient India by researching the custom of writing epistles found in the Pall Jataka. Because this text contains many descriptions of epistles, some of which were written by townsmen and a merchant's wife, we can assume that the custom of writing epistles was more widespread than our current estimate. We can also find some indication regarding the types of materials that were used for writing epistles. Since we are aware of only two examples in canonical verses (gatha) and others in later commentaries (Jatakatthavannana, etc.), we cannot definitely ascertain the inception and duration of the custom of writing epistles in India. However, this research can help us acquire other information on this phase of development of literacy in ancient India.