Cai Lun (Ts'ai Lun) - Inventor of Paper
In ancient times writing and inscriptions are generally done on bamboo tablets or silk pieces called chih. But because of the price of expensive silk and the weight of bamboo, making both media is not convenient to use. Tshai Lun [Cai Lun] then got the idea of making paper from bark, remnants of hemp, cloth, and fishing nets. Currently paper has been used everywhere and is known as 'paper from Marquis Tshai'.
Cai Lun made paper from mulberry bark. The inside was soaked in water and pounded so that the fibers loose. Along with the skin, soaked flax, used cloth, and fishnet. After being mush, this material is pressed to thin and dried. Then be the paper that the quality is still not as good as now.
In 105 AD he presented a paper sample to the Emperor Han Hedi. Notes about the discovery of this paper are contained in the official historical writing of the Han Dynasty. It is said that the emperor was very excited about the discovery of Cai Lun, and Cai Lun was promoted, got the title of nobility and became a cukong.
Later he was involved in an anti-court conspiracy (He was involved in palace intrigue as
Supporters of the Empress Dou) who made him kicked out of the kingdom. At 121, Consort Song grandson of Emperor An of Han ruled after the death of Queen Deng and Cai was ordered to report to the prison. Before he reported, he committed suicide by drinking poison after bathing and dressed in fine silk robes. Cai was respected and revered. Fei Zhu of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) wrote that a temple in honor of Cai Lun had been established in Chengdu.
The creator of this very important discovery is little known outside of East Asia. After Cai discovered the papermaking process in 105, the paper became widely used as a writing medium in China in the 3rd century. This allows China to develop its civilization (through literature and literacy) much faster than using previous writing materials (especially bamboo and silk).
In the 7th century, Chinese paper-making techniques have spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In 751, several Chinese paper makers were captured by the Arabs after the Tang forces were defeated in the Battle of the Talas River. Paper-making techniques then spread to the West. When paper was first introduced to Europe in the twelfth century, it gradually revolutionized the way that written communication could spread from one region to another. Along with contacts between Arabs and Europeans during the Crusades, the widespread use of Scholastic Age foundation paper in Europe.