October 9, 2020
Isn’t that an absolute beauty? Of course he is! … but I’m referring to the Hangeul behind him! This image of Hangeul and Hanja (Chinese Characters) is from one of the treasures of South Korea. It is called the “Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon” and it is the only book of its kind in the world, a guide that depicts the usage of Hangeul, the newly created language by its creator: King Sejong. Today I will be treating you on a very special journey! We are going to visit the National Hangeul Museum!
Today is the perfect day to learn about this museum. Today Korea and our beloved Ilwoo Oppa is celebrating his beautiful language, today is National Hangeul Day!
I visited this museum in June of 2019. This museum is very close to the National Museum of Korea and between them a lovely garden full of treasures! This museum tells the story of how Hangeul was created in its permanent collection. It also has a special exhibits hall, a learning center and a children’s museum. It had a lot of interactive exhibits, some are easy to figure out even without knowing any Hangeul. They also gave me a great guide in English that helped me understand some key facts that I would have never known. I will be using this guide as a base for this writing and will share many images from it. I documented my visit to this museum throughly! I took many photos, because I knew I’d want to share it here someday with all of you! I am so happy to be finally doing it and for such a special day!
How do you get to this museum? Here is the info right from its museum guide:
And here is other useful info:
Now let’s begin this virtual tour! Ready?! Here we go!
So I recommend visiting this museum when you visit the National Museum of Korea as they both share the same grounds. Here is a glass map that shows all the areas:
I remember my reaction when I saw the structure of the National Hangeul Museum… immediately I thought “What a cool building!”
When you go up stairs it basically brings you to the second floor, the location of the permanent collection.
This is the floor map of the museum:
And this is the cover of the English guide:
In the first part of the guide there is an “Introduction to Hangeul” that made me realize just how genious of an invention it was… read on…
Introduction to Hangeoul
Hangeul is a script devised in 1443 by King Sejong(reign 1418- 1450), the 4th monarch of the Joseon dynasty. Before Hangeul, there was no script that could transcribe Korean at will and wholly. The ruling class had a dual linguistic life in that the language was Korean but the script was Chinese characters. Korean was transcribed by borrowing the sound and meaning of Chinese characters, and this was not an easy thing to do for the commoners. King Sejong, therefore, devised a script that could be learned and used easily for the people who were otherwise unable to express their thoughts. The original name “Hunminjeongeum” means ‘the correct sounds for instructing people,’ which a wise man can learn in a morning and even a simpleton in ten days. Today, it is widely known as “Hangeul”(meaning ‘a Korean script’). Cr. National Hangeul Museum.
8 Basic letters are shaped after objects.
28 Letters Made with Variations of Basic Letters. Currently 24 of the 28 are in use.
On the Second floor you see the main and permanent exhibit:
“The Journey that Hangeul Went Through.”
It has three parts:
Part 1. The Creation of Hangeul.
When you walk into the exhibit, you see a huge timeline with little windows and in them you can see King Sejong and the creation story of Hangeoul. I made a video of the Timeline and took some photos of the windows:
Here are some photos of the timeline. If I have time I will translate it to English. You will see a photo of my phone at the time with a translation. It was so helpful in understanding all the writing on the walls! Tiring too! (By the way notice the time… yes! there is a 13 in it! ^ ^)
Then you came to a sort of theater,it showed this great video that told the story of Hangeul and I was able to record most of it. It’s absolutely fascinating! And while you are watching a replica of the “Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon” (Hunminjeongeum= Hangeoul), the book that records the inventor, the objective, the graphic principles and usage of Hangeoul keeps you company! The only such book in the world! National Treasure 70.
This is what the area looked like. Cr. Pinterest, Jungsang
Here is the video:
This is another video I found… it belongs to the museum too, it tells the story of Hangeoul through time, sadly it does not have English subtitles.
Part 2. Easily Learned and Conveniently Used
Part 3. The Globalization of Hangeul
This is a sweet poem about the language:
There was also a…
Hangeul Learning Center
It had some neat interactive displays to learn Korean.
I didn’t go inside as I had no kid with me… sadly! The design was so, so cool! But I found what it looks like in there at the museum’s official website:
Way too cool! This is the brochure:
It also had…
A Special Exhibit Hall: Hangeul Writings from Three Generations of the Princess Deogon Family.
This was the brochure of this exhibit:
Last but not least, I visited the store. I went crazy… in fact this was the place where I shopped the most. They had so many beautiful designs for everything! Here is the store and some of my precious buys. I treasure them so much!
My favorite buy was this book about the history of Korean Advertisement… as a graphic designer my eyes couldn’t stop delighting! I fin the designs with other writing characters so refreshing! And Korean, or Hangeul is my favorite script of any language. As a lover of Art Deco, the geometry of Hangeul absolutely… kills me!
That back cover with exclamation signs… just WOOw!!! And these postcards with the Hangeul Consonants and cultural bits was so original! The graphics so colorful and beautiful!!!
And these pencils… I adore them… I bought like 30 pencils of different kinds during this trip… it is one of my favorite ways to remember the places I visited and cheap!
Well I hope you enjoyed our journey to the Hangeul Museum in Korea and now it is time to say 잘 가! (Goodbye for now!)
If you would like to learn Hangeul or Korean, go HERE for some recommendations! I have been studying Korean for three years now. The first year, I did it all by myself. Memorizing and memorizing! There are a lot of free resources and great Apps waiting to help you! It is such a beautiful language to learn and so good for your brain!
Ñapa? Bonus? Alright, I have one… how would you like to see Ilwoo writing in Hangeul, his beautiful unique autograph and well wishes? Here he is:
Would you like to read some of his writing? go HERE.
Have a great weekend! And America have a great long weekend! Yeah!