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Jikji, and One NGO's Lonely Fight to Bring It Home (eBook)

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At some point in the early 1890s, Victor Collin de Plancy, the French ambassador to Korea, added an old Buddhist-oriented book to his already sizable collection. He had no idea that Baegun hwasung chorok buljo jikji simche yojeol (“Jikji,” for short) was the oldest extant document printed on movable metal type. In the decades that followed, its value in the eyes of historians and cultural anthropologists has risen enormously—evidence most of all that the printing press derives from East Asia and not Johannes Gutenberg’s workshop in Mainz, Germany. Jikji, and One NGO’s Lonely Fight to Bring it Home—dedicated to the fearless Dr. Park Byeong-seon—traces the Jikji story from its composition by a monk named Baegun to its printing at Heungdeok Temple in Cheongju, Korea in 1377 to Collin de Plancy to its present circumstances in a lockbox at the National Library of France.

At some point in the early 1890s, Victor Collin de Plancy, the French ambassador to Korea, added an old Buddhist-oriented book to his already sizable collection. He had no idea that Baegun hwasung chorok buljo jikji simche yojeol (“Jikji,” for short) was the oldest extant document printed on movable metal type. In the decades that followed, its value in the eyes of historians and cultural anthropologists has risen enormously—evidence most of all that the printing press derives from East Asia and not Johannes Gutenberg’s workshop in Mainz, Germany. Jikji, and One NGO’s Lonely Fight to Bring it Home—dedicated to the fearless Dr. Park Byeong-seon—traces the Jikji story from its composition by a monk named Baegun to its printing at Heungdeok Temple in Cheongju, Korea in 1377 to Collin de Plancy to its present circumstances in a lockbox at the National Library of France.


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