The Korea Herald

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Korean govt. looks to hire 5th professional calligrapher since 1962

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : May 3, 2024 - 14:54

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(Ministry of Personnel Management) (Ministry of Personnel Management)

The Korean government is seeking to employ a professional calligrapher as a civil servant to be responsible for crafting letters of appointment for high-ranking civil servants in the name of the South Korean president, according to the Ministry of Personnel Management.

The ministry on Thursday announced its plan to hire a professional calligrapher by May 13.

The position of calligrapher is the rarest among Korean public officials, with only four calligraphers hired by the government in the 62 years since the position was created in 1962.

The calligrapher's main job is to write presidential appointment letters -- reportedly as many as 7,000 letters a year.

The Korean government has a policy of giving a handwritten letter expressing the sincerity of the president for the appointment to boost the pride and morale of public officials.

To qualify for the position, an applicant must have a master's degree from a department such as art or calligraphy, or a bachelor's degree in a related field and at least two years of work or research experience in a related field.

For those who pass the document screening process, practical skills -- mainly Korean font writing abilities -- are evaluated, according to the ministry.

Last year, the ministry abandoned a calligrapher recruitment effort due to a lack of suitable candidates. “At the time, 21 candidates applied for the position, but no suitable candidates were found,” the ministry said.