What is Jikji?

Movable metal type printing is known worldwide and is considered the most important invention in human history. knowledge which was only for the upper class was spread to everyone through the invention of the printing technology. Printing technology not only allowed common people to be able to receive education, it is also recognized as an invention that caused revolutionary and historical changes.

Johannes Gutenberg, was a German goldsmith, who is acknowledged as the inventor of the metal type printing. Many people believe that Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible was the first book printed with movable technology. However, in 1377 there was a Korean book named Jikji 78 years earlier than the printing of Gutenberg.

Jikji is evidence of what was the printing technology in East Asia. There are even documents that prove Japan learned bronze and wooden movable type printing from Korea.There is also the world’s oldest book printed from woodblocks called Mugujeonggwang Daedaranigyeong.

Then how did Gutenberg get an idea of the metal type printing?

Gutenberg met a papal delegation before his invention of the printing technology. The papal delegation visited the Korean kingdom and brought back some documents that illustrated Korea’s movable metal type.

VANK is motivated to promote the truth about the movable metal type printing technology. Just as how Gutenberg is widely known globally, Jikji and Korea should also now be acknowledged for being the first to invent this technology.