Napcheong Yugi was founded in the vicinity of Seoul in 1956 by Sir Bong Ju, Lee. He was born at Napcheong, North Korea in 1926 and came to South Korea in 1948, just before the Korean War. After moving to several places, he now has a fairly large plant on 40 acres in Mungyung City, Gyngsangbook-Do, Korea, and another plant near Seoul.
In 1983 he was designated National Treasure Number 77 by the Korean Ministry of Culture. He is a Bangjja Yugi Jang, or Master Craftsman of Bangjja Yugi. His 1st son, Mr. Hyung Geun, Lee, who has been working with him since the 1960s, succeeded to his title in 2015 after open competition with other contenders. Mr. Hyung Geon, Lee also studied metalwork in Seoul and graduated with a master degree in metal craftsmanship.
Napcheong Yugi has 60 workers manufacturing Bangjja Yugi in Mungyung, Gyungsangbuk Do and in Anyang, Gyungi Do, Korea.
The 78:22 copper to tin ratio, the so called ¡°golden ratio,¡± has been carefully preserved in both Korea and in Turkey, where the alloy and Bangjja technology are still used to manufacture bronzeware.
Zildjian is the number 1 cymbal manufacturer in the world (www.zildjian.com) founded in Turkey 400 years ago, during the Ottoman Empire. It is one of the oldest manufacturers in the world.
Mr. Amarde Zildjian is CEO of the company, a third generation immigrant to the USA from Turkey, and a 13th generation descendant of the founder Avedis Zildjian. He, his son Robert (CEO of Canadian cymbal manufacturer Sabian) and CTO Daniel Parker visited Napcheong Yugi in 1981 to see Bangjja technology similar to that of their ancestors in both alloy ratio and hammering technology. They visited Napcheong Yugi again in 1982 and invited Sir Bong Ju, Lee to their factory in Boston, Mass., USA to teach them Korean Bangjja Technology for a couple of months.
In the showroom of Zildjian Company there are large selections of percussion instruments displayed, and they regard the Gong and other Bangjja goods made by Sir Bong Ju, Lee as the most valuable.
Korean Bronzeware, Bangjja Yugi, is delicately hammered metalwork that exists in no other country.
Napcheong is exporting this unique product to other countries, not only for tableware which is already being used in restaurants and homes, but also for decorations and musical instruments and other household items that have many uses.
Hyung Geun, 1st son of Sir Bong Ju Lee, is now succeeding to his father¡¯s technology, and his son, Ji Ho Lee, Sir B J Lee¡¯s grandson, is also working in their family business.