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Korean Ink Stick Famous for Its Quality


Pyongyang, December 1 (KCNA) -- The Korean ink stick with a long history was well known to the world for its good quality and color.

According to historical records, Tam Jing, a monk active in the Koguryo Kingdom (B.C. 277 - A.D. 668), went to Japan in 610 to teach how to make ink stick. Hye Cho, a famous traveler of Korea, disseminated a method of making Songyon ink stick to a neighboring country on his way to India in the 8th century. Songyon ink stick, made of soot of resinous part of pine-tree, was famous for its soft color.

In Koryo period (918-1392), Maengju, Sunju and Phyongro ink sticks were very popular. They were exported to different countries. A certain country requested Koryo to send 10 000 ink sticks at one time in 1221. And a village in Maengju (now Maengsan) made 50 000 ink sticks for two months.

In the period of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910), professional departments for making ink stick were set up in central and local governments to further develop its making technology. At that time, Tansanook and Haeju ink sticks were famous. Haeju ink stick had gained popularity after the 18th century.


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