etc  ( World’s First Metal Type )

   Metal type is known to be invented first in Korea between the end of the 11th century and early 12th century.

   In Juche 47 (1958) bronze-cast types, made in the early 12th century in the days of Koryo (918-1391), was unearthed near the site of Sinbong Gate on Manwoltae on Mt Songak in Kaesong. This means that they were cast over 300 years earlier than those of Europe and that they are the first-ever metal types in the world.

   With the invention of metal types, Koryo printed Komunjinbodaejon, believed to have been printed in 1170, and Kogumsangjongryemun of 50 volumes between 1234 and 1241 by means of metal types.

   Buddhist scripture Jikjisimgyong printed in 1377 at Hongdok Temple in Chongju, Chungchong Province, is known in the world to be the oldest book printed with metal types. 

   UNESCO informed all countries of the history of this book and displayed it in the comprehensive exhibition, called History of Books, held in Paris, France in Juche 61 (1972) as an event for International Year for Books.

   In November Juche 104 (2015) and in April Juche 105 (2016) several metal types of the days of Koryo were unearthed in Manwoltae, site of the royal palace of Koryo. 

   The copper type engraved with a letter is preserved in the Kaesong Koryo Museum, demonstrating the developed type-casting and printing techniques of that period (between the end of the 11th century and early 12th century).

   The invention of metal type by Koreans constitutes an epoch-making event in the history of cultural development of humankind, and thus the Korean people greatly contributed to printing and publishing in the world. 

Korean folklore


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Traditional foods