Jik This

‘Jikji’ is the oldest document printed by movable metal type. It is a UNESCO Heritage. It was invented in Korea. If you don’t think that Koreans–specifically those in Chungbuk Province–don’t have their knickers in a twist about Jikji, you are wrong.  Any document that comes to me out of Chungbuk somehow always makes a reference to Jikji.  And the reference is always followed by a phrase like “which occurred 78 years before Gutenberg’s Bible”.

If you think I’m not sick of hearing about the glories of Jikji, you would be wrong once again (boy, are you a bad guesser!). So I wikied some info about moveable type.

 China first created moveable type from clay in 1040.  Koreans started messing around w/ movable type in the 1200s, but guess who it influenced? Guess who Jikji influenced? Guess how many renaissances Jikji started? Guess how many copies exist today? No one, no one, none and 1. 

Let’s look at Gutenberg on the other hand.  Most research says that Gutenberg’s invention was independent of the technologies in East Asia. The same alloy he used then is used now.  Extant copies of the Bible that he printed: 11 complete Bibles, 1 New Testament, and 42 partials. Number of Renaissance Movements begun: 1. Ok, only one but still. It was a pretty good one.

So even tho Chungbuk will like to tell you that it is the cradle of the Information Technology age because someone once developed movable metal type there, well, gentle reader, I leave the judgement up to you.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nikkip
    Feb 13, 2007 @ 09:19:15

    wow. i’ll just go ahead and leave the judgement in your hands–frankly, it looks like you care a lot more than i.


  2. norba920
    Feb 13, 2007 @ 09:54:02

    thanks for the info, m. you know how i love obscure facts. and i’ve made up my mind.


  3. ~m
    Feb 13, 2007 @ 11:18:51

    Glad to be of service, you guys. Nikki, I’ll let Rob judge for you, too


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