The Hidden History of Korea's Printing Innovation (Video)
Situated just 30 miles northwest of Seoul, a narrative unfolds that underscores Korea's devotion to the written word. Even before Johannes Gutenberg introduced movable type to Europe in 1440, Korea had already etched its own story. It had taken the lead in printing the first book using moveable metal type. Today, Han-Soo Park stands as the lone steward in South Korea dedicated to upholding this tradition. His Letterpress Workshop finds its home within Paju Book City, a haven for literary enthusiasts.
Here, the craft comes alive as raised metal types meet paper in a dance of precision—an artistry in itself. Park's commitment mirrors Korea's historical journey, an echo from the past. While modern printing methods, like digital printing, took over during the 1980s, Park remains steadfast. Each metal type he works with embodies a nation's dedication to its written heritage—a quiet but resolute ode to the power of words and history.
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Top image: Traditional Korean printing press. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Great Big Story.