Rodman Makes Paper at Cheongju’s Early Printing Site

Today, we visited the city of Cheongju, in the province of Chungcheongbuk (just south of the Gyeonggi province where Seoul is located), for a lunch of Ginseng soup and broiled chicken (supposedly good for what ails you), along with kimchi, seaweed, buckchoi and other veggies. After lunch, we walked a bit around Cheonju and then headed to Jikji, the Cheonju Early Printing Museum.

The Cheonju Early Printing Museum is famous because it is here that artifacts were found that show evidence of the earliest printing with movable metal printing type by Koreans in 1377, even before Gutenberg’s famous Bible was printed.

You may ask, “How do we know this?” Because in 1985, while excavating to find evidence of the nearby Heungdeoksa Temple, archaeologists stumbled upon movable metal type in the artifacts of the temple and quickly surmised that the temple did, in fact, house the earliest metal movable type dating back to 1377. ┬áSo as they were re-creating the temple, they added a museum housing the artifacts relating to the movable metal type.

Best of all, we were treated to a lab exercise in making paper from pulp, drying the paper, printing the paper and assembling a book from the paper. See the related picture of me and my “assistant” helping me make my book (it was more like I was HER assistant in this project, as she was just amazing). But we had a great time and it was quite a learning experience about how pulp creates the paper and the movable type becomes a book … neat activity!