Record of the Western Regions of the Great T’ang Dynasty, The ［大唐西域記］ (Chin Ta-t’ang-hsi-yü-chi; Daitō-saiiki-ki): Abbreviated as The Record of the Western Regions. A twelve-volume account by the Chinese priest Hsüan-tsang, recording his travels through Central Asia and India between 629 and 645 in search of Buddhist scriptures. Based on firsthand observation of the places he visited and reports he collected about those he did not, Hsüan-tsang’s work describes in detail the topography, culture, language, folklore, history, situation of Buddhism, and politics of 138 states. The first volume includes his preface and covers thirty-four countries in Central Asia. The first half of the second volume describes the geography, language, manners, and customs of India; the latter half of the second volume through the first half of the fourth volume deal with northern India; and the latter half of the fourth volume through the first half of the tenth volume cover central India. Since Hsüan-tsang’s primary interest was Buddhism, volumes eight and nine are devoted to Magadha, where Buddhism was first established. The latter half of the tenth volume gives an account of the eastern part of India, and the eleventh volume, of the western part. The twelfth volume describes the Central Asian countries through which Hsüan-tsang passed on his return journey. The Record of the Western Regions is one of the most comprehensive records of travel to India ever written in the Orient, and it is still valued as a major reference for Central Asian and Indian studies.