The Korean nation invented metal types during the Koryo Dynasty that existed between 918 and 1392, greatly developing the publishing.
It is proved well by the oldest books printed in metal type and metal types existing along with the materials on historical records.
Doctor and Associate Professor Hwang Myong Chol, Director of the History Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences, says:
“‘Tonggukrisanggukjip’, a collection of prose and poetry, has a record that 28 copies of the preface of the book ‘Kogumsangjongrye’ was printed in metal type on the Kanghwa Island between 1234 and 1241. At present, it is the oldest record related to the metal types in the world.
Besides, different books dealing with the facts of those days were printed in metal type. It proves that printing in metal type was widely conducted on a considerably high level at the beginning of the 13th century and metal types were invented in Koryo at least in the first half of the 12th century.”
In 1377 the book “Jikjisimgyong” was published in Koryo. The book was displayed at the general exhibition “History of Books” held in Paris of France as an event of the “Year of International Books” under the sponsorship of the UNESCO in Juche 61(1972) and estimated to be one of the oldest existing books printed in metal type.
In recent years, four metal types have been unearthed at Manwoltae, the site of the royal palace of the Koryo Dynasty.
In terms of their calligraphic characteristics, they were cast between the first half of the 12th century and the first half of the 13th century. After all, it was made clearer that metal types were cast as one of the state affairs in Koryo at that time.
It can be said that the period of invention of the metal types in Korea was hundreds of years ahead of the 15th century when the metal types were invented and used in Europe.
Like this, the Korean ancestors invented and used metal types in the earliest period in the world and it is a great pride of the Korean nation.