What is hanji?
Hanji is characteristic as it uses paper mulberry bark as its main ingredient unlike Chinese and Japanese paper. It is a handmade paper produced in Korea.
The word 'jongyi' originated from 'jeopi' referring to paper mulberry bark, which later changed from jeopi-> jobi -> johae -> jongyi. Jongyi is close to hanji.
There is no exact time line of when the technique of making paper was introduced to Korea, but by researching ingredients and method used at the beginning step of making paper, the origin of paper can be assumed
The first paper was invented in China around the second century B.C. by Chae Ryun of Han dynasty who used raw fiber to make paper. It is assumed that making paper in Korea started along with the propagation of Buddhism in 372, during King Sosurim of Goguryeo.
of traditional hanji,
the best in the world
Along with the invention of letter and paper, it became a significant foundation of civil progression to mankind as a information delivery measure and contributed to cultural development of mankind. Effort to make good quality paper with easy preservation for long time was national project continued globally since the invention of letter. Our own hanji which has excellent quality was completed with endless effort and trials.
Our ancestors accepted paper making technology from China, but unlike Chinese who used yam, bamboo shoots, our ancestors used paper mulberry(Broussonetia kazinoki) which contains ideal amount of lignin and holo-cellulose. Also, by using lye and hibiscus(hibiscus root), our ancestor made hanji which has the best quality and lasts over 1000 years.
Reference -[Naver Encyclopedia] Excellence the world's best 'traditional hanji' (Science story in our tradition, April 30, 2012, Gyohaksa)
- It soaks up dust and odor.
- It cleanse air.
- It protects skin by blocking UV light harmful to man.
- Light that shines through hanji is soft for eye.
- It lasts over thousand years.
- Its strong and durable character makes warmth.
- It's warm during winter and cool during summer.
- It is soft and calm based on its mix between natural ingredient and dye.