Art| Korea Ancient Texts: Hunminjeongeum and Sokpo Sang-jol
The Hunminjeongeum (1446) is Korea's seminal text and can be seen as a statement of identity. It marks the promulgation by King Sejong the Great of the new script, Hangul, invented to convey the language spoken by Koreans. The Greek and Korean alphabets are the only invented writing systems where each letter conveys a vowel or a consonant. A member of the Altaic family of languages, Korean is fundamentally different from the languages spoken by its powerful neighbour, China. The incomplete column on the right-hand page reads '[Our] national language.' On the left, it says, 'Different from Chinese.'
The first printing with movable type of a Hangul text - from the Sokpo Sang-jol (Episodes from the Life of the Buddha), 1449.
Click on the link for Linda Sue Park's poem, Inventing the Alphabet, first published in the Asia Literary Review, Volume 4, Spring 2007.