Scrub UpGet clean with the Korean tradition of jjimjilbang.

Scrub UpGet clean with the Korean tradition of jjimjilbang.

Few objects are as reliable as a fresh bar of soap. When we stand in our showers and lather our bodies we are doing something that our ancestors have done for more than 4,000 years—though unlike them, we tend to do it alone. The history of public bathing is important to Karen Kim, founder of soapmaker Binu Binu. Kim makes natural soap in the tradition of the jjimjilbang—Korean bathhouses that promote intergenerational bonding and simple good health. Unlike the Japanese onsen or Turkish hammam, the jjimjilbang is no place to laze around. One goes there to get clean, plain and simple, perhaps with the vigorous body scrub known as seshin. “It’s less about luxuriating or pampering, and more simply pragmatic,” Kim says. Kinfolk contributing editor Leonard Koren, founder of Wet maga...

ISSUE 52

Take a look inside

The full version of this story is only available for subscribers

Want to enjoy full access? Subscribe Now

Subscribe Discover unlimited access to Kinfolk

  • Four print issues of Kinfolk magazine per year, delivered to your door, with twelve-months’ access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

  • Receive twelve-months of all access to the entire Kinfolk.com archive and all web exclusives.

Learn More

Already a Subscriber? Login

Your cart is empty

Your Cart (0)