Jik Ji Sim Che Yo Jeol
(1377 C.E., UNESCO Memory of the World)

The original name of Jik Ji Sim Che Yo Jeol is Baek Un Hwa Sang Cho Rok Bul Jo Jik Ji Sim Che Yo Jeol. Often abbreviated to Jik Ji, this book refers to two things. One is the literary work containing the essentials of Zen Buddhism compiled by Baek Un Hwa Sang, a great Zen master from the end of the Go Ryeo Dynasty. The other is the physical book, the world's oldest book printed by movable metallic type. Jik Ji was printed at Heung Duk Sa, a Buddhist temple outside Cheong Ju, in 1377 C.E. This is a full 78 years before Johannes Gutenberg of Germany printed the Bible.

Jik Ji is 24.6cm x 17.0cm and has a sewn binding with red thread woven through five punched holes. Made of traditional Korean mulberry paper Hanji, the book consists of two volumes, but the first volume has yet to be found and only the second volume is being kept at the East Asian Section of the National Library of France.