Thursday, January 29, 2009
Initially, I thought about writing a simple introduction about PuJeok which I have on my e-bay store. But it is the thing which has over 5,000 years of history. There is no way I cover all these at once, so I decided to split it into a couple of stories. Feel free to ask if you have any questions. I’m not its specialist but will try to figure out.
Two most important materials in producing PuJeok are ‘paper’ and ‘red ink’.
Red ink, Kyung-Myun-Ju-Sa, is made from cinnabar. 'Kyung Myun Ju Sa' means a red rock which is so clear that you can even reflect your face on it just like on a mirror. Its main elements are mercury and sulfur, and it’s a very rare rock found only in a few places in the world. It has been used in healing psychic disease in folk remedy and still employed in neurology in oriental medicine.
It is said that blood of horses or foxes used as a red ink in the past. But nowadays, most PuJeok is made of Kyung Myun Ju Sa. From primitive ages, a red color has been considered as having holy power of driving away evil sprits and generating good energy. So it was used in various spiritual or religious activities including making PuJeok.
Yellow Paper, Koei-Hwang-Ji means a paper made from Koei-Hwa(flower). It requires hard works and efforts to get this paper. First, selectively harvest Koei flowers on July 7th in lunar calendar and. Then dry them and extract yellow dyes. In last month of the year, dye mulberry paper with the yellow dyes in nine times. Wow, it takes almost half a year to make this piece of paper!
Sometimes special woods(thunder-stroked peach, for example), rocks, bronzes are used to make PuJeok. Also 99.9% gold power, silver powder, musk are added in cases.
From past to now various materials have been used to make PuJeok. But one common thing is that regardless of what it is, it requires tons of efforts to get prepared. And I believe it is those efforts and people’s desires what makes PuJeok, a single piece of paper, so special.