"I wanted to go home and see my mom and the kids all the guys... I can't see it. Where is this embarrassing and sad thing?"
- Excerpts from the 2012 restored "Nashin Girl Hangul Letter"

The oldest Korean letter found to date has been designated as a treasure.

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced on the 2th that it has designated the "Nashin Girl Hangeul Letter," two letters written in Korean by Na Shin Girl, who was a military official during the Joseon Dynasty, as a nationally designated cultural property treasure.

Na Shin Girl's letter came from the tomb of his wife, Xinchang Meng, in 9 in the Vault-dong of Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, along with about 2011 artifacts such as jeogori and pants, which were found folded several times at the bedside of the person buried in the tomb.

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▲ What it looked like at the time of the discovery of the "Nashin Girl Hangul Letter"

The letters are filled with longing for mothers and children, requests to take good care of agricultural work, to look into small family affairs, and to send necessary items such as "cheollik," a garment worn by military officials during the Joseon Dynasty.

Judging from the fact that the old place name "Yongan Island" (永安道) of Hamgyeong, which was written during the period of 1470~1498, and the fact that Na Shin Gul served as a military officer in Hamgyeong in the 1490s, it is assumed that the letter was written in the late 15th century.

Earlier, the Chungbuk National University Museum's "Cheongju Unearthed Suncheon Kim Clan Clothing and Writings" was said to be the oldest Hangeul letter written in the 16th century, but Na Shin Girl's letter turned out to be earlier than this.

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The discovery of this letter is particularly significant in that it allows us to understand the extent to which Hangeul was spread to the public after the promulgation of the Hunmin Jeongeum in 1446.

If you look at the fact that Na Shin-gal, a junior military officer, wrote letters in Korean eloquently and unhinderedly, you can see that Hangeul was widely used in Hangeul even among frontiers and low-level officials far from the capital less than 50 years after the promulgation of the Hunmin Jeongeum.

We can also see that from the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty, not only women but also men were familiar with the use of Hangeul.

The Cultural Heritage Administration stated, "It is the oldest Korean letter found to date, and it is a valuable document that informs about linguistic life in the 15th century, such as the use of titles and exalted words for the other party," and "It has great academic and historical significance as a linguistic fodder that tells the actual situation of the Hunmin Jeongeum promulgation, as well as the actual situation of the lives and family management of the early Joseon people, agricultural culture, women's lives, the dress of the gatekeepers, and the history of the Korean language."