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Wooden Rice Chest

unknownRepublic of Korea/Since the Liberation of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

Duiju, also called duji, or duju, is a tool used to store rice or other grains. It is also called rice duiju or adzuki bean duiju according to the grains stored inside. A rice chest shelters the grains within from moisture and harmful insects. It was generally placed at the main room or pantry, and mostly managed by the women of the household. When being kept on the floor, it was often placed under small jars such as seasoning jars or liquor jars on its lid. Hinges made of cast iron or brass were attached near the lock. Some variations of the chest have no lock or hinges, and the lid is opened separately from the body. Its size varies, from a large chest that can contain a large quantity of rice, to small ones for storing about 55-70 ℓ of adzuki beans or sesame seeds. Some of the larger chests are two-tiered, the bottom of which contains other grains or tools, while the upper tier holds grains. Duiju was often made of thick pine or zelkova wood, and those made of locust wood are considered the highest quality. Such woods were chopped into logs or planks and made into rice chests. As for a chest made from a log, the top and the bottom are blocked with planks, and a door is fitted at the top to allow the content to be scooped up or poured in. Those produced with planks are made by setting up four pillars and covering the four sides and the bottom with planks before installing the top board. The top board consists of two plates, with the rear one fixed to the back of the chest’s body and the front one used as the door. The door is attached with hinges as well as a lock. Since it is a household item for storing staple food such as rice, there is an old saying, “If the underside of a duiju is scratched, the rice starts to taste better,” which means that people regret and yearn for something only after losing it.

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  • Title: Wooden Rice Chest
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Since the Liberation of Korea
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Width 86.5 Length 50 Height 32.5
  • Type: Eating/Tableware/Storage and Transportation/Wooden Rice Chest
  • Medium: Wood

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