Seok makes his homis out of recycled truck springs or metal left over from manufacturing processes. His workshop produces three different sizes, each of which takes around 30 minutes for a blacksmith to craft.

He was not the only homi user surprised by the new attention the tool has attracted. Kim Ji-myung, chairwoman of the Korea Heritage Education Institute, wrote in the Korea Times in 2017, that she was surprised to find them on Amazon. “To Koreans who live in the countryside, homi are like air. That is to say, they have always been a ubiquitous presence around village homes, and in the hands of the elderly women who typically work Korea’s small-scale farms,” she wrote. “There is a saying, ‘Only a fool would steal a homi.’ This saying probably comes from the fact that homi is inexpensive and plentiful.”

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.