Hanji : Traditional Korean Paper
Jeonju Hanji, a millennium of history
Jeonju Hanji, long been tributed to the king, is the science in which the paper breathes alive. It contains wisdom of the ancestors for a thousand years. To commercialize them and use them in daily lives, Hanji industry support center has been built to provide a base for technology development and new market opening, fostering of human resources marketing support, and etc. Already, Jeonju Hanji got verification of the commercial value for decorating the residence of U.N. Korean representatives and General, being used in Tunisia national library’s old book restoration, etc.
When seeing based upon the past data and literature,the use was very various and special as it was used from diplomatic papers to documents presented to the king from the Goryeo dynasty. The reputation of this Jeonju Hanji lasted long enough to the Joseon Dynasty. In Joseon Dynasty, paper mulberry producing area was all across the country, excluding the North Gwanbuk area or alpine region where it was impossible to produce Hanji, but Hanji produced in Jeolla Province was especially famous nationawide.
In late Chosun Dynasty, Hanji production area was formed around the area in which the transportation is convenient and the paper mulberry, which is the raw material of hanji, is rich and where the condition of the water is good. The place where the paper tribute was designated most was Jeolla Province and Gyeongsang Province. And among them,
The Jeolla Province was the main area of hanji production, it is verified from data of the late Joseon Dynasty.
The Jeolla Province and Gyeongsang Province produced 70~80% of Korean Hanji according to data in 1910 and 40% was produced in Jeonbuk(the northern part of Jeolla Province). And the production amount of Jeonbuk was 1,772, which is far more amount comparing to 1,515 of 572 of Kyongbuk or Choongbuk. Especially the production in Jeonju, Imsil, Namwon, and Sunchang was abundant in Jeonbuk. It was reported that Jeonju did a very important role collecting and trading Hanji produced nearby. The publication industry of the Jeonju was a lot activated with Seoul and Daegu based on this Hanji. It is clear that not only Hanji material industry and Hanji manufacture industry, Jeonju also was the center of Hanji distribution industry.
Jeolla Province remains the center of paper production to the period of Japanese occupation. This is recorded in the 『 regional product of Jeollabuk-do 』 in the period of Japanese occupation. The first page of this book is about Joseon paper which is the regional product of the Jeonbuk.
Jeonju Hanji became the best in Korea historically from the Goryeo Dynasty because procurement of the paper mulberry was easy and the quality of the water which controls the quality of the paper was superior to the other areas. And the water had no iron which made it perfect for making hanji. Moreover, the demand for Hanji was high along with Jeonju’s high cultural level, so the Hanji industry has been greatly developed.