Jipsin

Jipsin

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Clothing

Writer LeeKwanho(李官浩)

Shoes made of plants or straw such as rice straw, hemp, and cattails to protect the wearer’s feet.

The types of straw shoes vary depending on material and use. By material, they are classified as jipsin (Kor. 집신, lit. straw shoes), made of rice straw; samsin, made of hemp; wanggolsin, made of sedge, which is an industrial crop; cheongolchisin, made of the twisted inner bark of kudzu vines; and budeulsin, made of cattails found growing in low swampy areas. Straw shoes made of sedge or hemp are more solid and durable than those made with rice straw.

By use, straw shoes are categorized as gounjipsin, makchi, eomjipsin, and donggunisin. Gounjipsin are shoes for women made of soft straw. Makchi are so called because they were roughly made (mak). They are crude shoes made with rough, thick rice straw and were generally worn by servants. In addition, eomjipsin, which were worn by the chief mourner (sangju), are straw shoes loosely and roughly woven on purpose. Dunggunisin are straw boots for winter which prevent sliding and keep the feet warm on a snowy day. Although the kinds of straw shoes are varied according to material and purpose, they all go by the generic name of jipsin.

As making jipsin required no special skills most households made their own. However, the yangban (nobility) had their servants make them or bought them ready-made. People living in poverty made jipsin and sold them at the markets, and merchants selling straw shoes were a common sight at the markets until the first half of the 1900s.

Jipsin were worn even before the ancient Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE to 688 CE) of Korea. They are the representative item of traditional Korean footwear, and aside from protecting the feet they were also used as ceremonial footwear or for various other purposes in daily life. In particular, jipsin are distinct in that they were made of easily available materials such as rice straw, sedge, and cattails. However, these traditional straw shoes had a major drawback; they were easily worn out, unlike modern footwear, so travelers had to go to the trouble of carrying several pairs in their packs when traveling a long way. Jipsin, based on the materials and production techniques used, were also an indicator of the wearer’s social status and economic conditions. Moreover, these straw shoes, which were firmly established as traditional footwear and worn until the 1920s when rubber shoes were first made, were an environmentally friendly and beautiful item essential to everyday life.

Jipsin

Jipsin
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Clothing

Writer LeeKwanho(李官浩)

Shoes made of plants or straw such as rice straw, hemp, and cattails to protect the wearer’s feet.

The types of straw shoes vary depending on material and use. By material, they are classified as jipsin (Kor. 집신, lit. straw shoes), made of rice straw; samsin, made of hemp; wanggolsin, made of sedge, which is an industrial crop; cheongolchisin, made of the twisted inner bark of kudzu vines; and budeulsin, made of cattails found growing in low swampy areas. Straw shoes made of sedge or hemp are more solid and durable than those made with rice straw.

By use, straw shoes are categorized as gounjipsin, makchi, eomjipsin, and donggunisin. Gounjipsin are shoes for women made of soft straw. Makchi are so called because they were roughly made (mak). They are crude shoes made with rough, thick rice straw and were generally worn by servants. In addition, eomjipsin, which were worn by the chief mourner (sangju), are straw shoes loosely and roughly woven on purpose. Dunggunisin are straw boots for winter which prevent sliding and keep the feet warm on a snowy day. Although the kinds of straw shoes are varied according to material and purpose, they all go by the generic name of jipsin.

As making jipsin required no special skills most households made their own. However, the yangban (nobility) had their servants make them or bought them ready-made. People living in poverty made jipsin and sold them at the markets, and merchants selling straw shoes were a common sight at the markets until the first half of the 1900s.

Jipsin were worn even before the ancient Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE to 688 CE) of Korea. They are the representative item of traditional Korean footwear, and aside from protecting the feet they were also used as ceremonial footwear or for various other purposes in daily life. In particular, jipsin are distinct in that they were made of easily available materials such as rice straw, sedge, and cattails. However, these traditional straw shoes had a major drawback; they were easily worn out, unlike modern footwear, so travelers had to go to the trouble of carrying several pairs in their packs when traveling a long way. Jipsin, based on the materials and production techniques used, were also an indicator of the wearer’s social status and economic conditions. Moreover, these straw shoes, which were firmly established as traditional footwear and worn until the 1920s when rubber shoes were first made, were an environmentally friendly and beautiful item essential to everyday life.