Record of Korean Tea


Written by Yi Deok-ni (1728 - ?) in about 1785 while in exile in Jindo, South Jeolla Province. He had been there since 1776.


Previously unknown, except for one mention in Cho-ui’s DongChaSong, a partial text of the work Cho-ui there called “DongChaGi” was first published in 1992 by the Ven. Yongun, from a fragmentary copy with the title ChaGi. In 2006 a complete manuscript text was discovered in Gangjin by Professor Jeong Min, in a book copied out by Yi Si-heon (1803 - 1860), who had been a pupil of Jeong Yak-yong during his exile in Gangjin. The work is here titled GiCha (記茶) and forms part of an anthology of Yi Deok-ni’s poems with the title GangSim (江心). In particular, most of the final section of the work is only present in this latter copy.

             The text includes the very significant information that in 1760 a Chinese ship loaded with tea arrived (probably by accident) somewhere on the southern coast of Honam and its cargo provided many people with their first taste of tea. Since it indicates that the stock lasted for the next ten years, it may be assumed that it was in the form of caked tea rather than leaf tea.




[1. 布帛菽粟 土 地之所生而自 有常數者也不在 於官必在 於民少取 則國用不足多取 則民生倒懸金銀 珠玉山澤 之所産而孕 於厥初有減 而無增者也觀於 秦漢之賞賜黃金 率以百千斤爲○至於 宋明之際白金 以兩計古今 之貧富於斯 見矣今若 有非布帛菽粟之爲民所天金銀 珠玉之爲國所富而得 於荒原隙地自開 自落之閑草木可以 裨國家而裕民生則何 可以事在財利而莫 之言也

Hemp and silk, soy beans and millet are produced by the land in quantities determined by itself. They do not belong to the government but to the people. If only a small quantity is harvested, there will not be enough for the nation’s needs, while if much is harvested people will be exhausted. Gold, silver and jewels are nature’s gift, and they can only diminish after first originating, they cannot expand. At the time of the Qin dynasty, if we see what was given as remuneration, yellow gold was given, weighed out in units of 100 or 1,000 geun. Once we come to the Song and Ming periods, instead of yellow gold, white gold was counted in nyang etc. and here can be seen the old and current division between poor and rich. Let us admit that nowadays, the people, like hemp and silk, soy beans and millet, is not considered important and instead the nation is considered rich in terms of its gold, silver and jewels. In that case, if what is obtained from common plants that blossom and flourish in remote, abandoned fields can help the nation and provide for the people’s needs, how could that not be related to a growth in wealth?


[2. 茶者 南方之嘉木也花於 秋而芽於冬芽之 嫩者曰雀舌鳥嘴其老 者曰茗 著於神農 列 於周官降自 魏晉浸盛歷唐 至宋人巧 漸臻天下 之味莫尙 焉而天 下亦無不飮茶之國北虜 最遠於茶鄕嗜茶 者無如 北虜以其 長時餧肉背熱 不堪故也由是 宋之撫遼夏明之 撫三關皆用 是以爲餌.

Tea is a fine tree growing in the southern regions. It blossoms in autumn, in winter it buds. The young buds are like sparrows’ tongues, and are called 雀舌 jakseol, or like birds’ beaks and are called 鳥嘴 jochwi. Coarse leaves that have long been growing are called myeongseol or gacheon. It was made known to the world in the time of Shen Nung, and it is listed in the Zhou Guan 周官 - Offices of the Zhou. It was already popular in Wei and Qin dynasties. During the Tang and Song dynasties people became more skillful until no taste was found superior to it throughout the world, until there was no nation in the world that did not drink tea. The barbarians in the northern regions are farthest from the regions producing tea, yet there is no people that enjoys tea as much as they do. Because they always ate nothing but meat, they suffered terribly from back fevers. On this account, when the Song blockaded the Liao-ho River and the Ming repressed them, they always used tea as bait.


[3. 我東産茶之邑 遍 於湖嶺. 載輿 地勝覽, 攷事 撮要等書者, 特其 百十之一也. 東俗 雖用雀舌入藥, 擧不 知茶與雀舌, 本是 一物. 故曾 未有採茶飮茶者. 或好 事者, 寧買 來燕市, 而不 知近取諸國中. 庚辰 舶茶之來, 一國 始識茶面. 十年 爛用, 告乏 已久, 亦不 知採用, 則茶 之於東人, 其亦 沒緊要之物, 不足 爲有無, 明矣. 雖盡 物取之, 利之嫌.

[4. 舟輸西北開市處, 以之 換銀, 則朱 提鍾燭, 可以 軼川流而配地部矣. 以之 換馬, 則冀 北之駿良駃騠, 可以 充外閑而溢郊牧矣. 以之 換錦段, 則西 蜀之織成綺羅, 可以士女而變 幟矣. 國 用稍優, 而民 力自, 更不消言. 則 向所云得於荒原隙地, 自開 自落之閑草木, 而可 以裨國家裕民生者, 殆非 過言

In our Eastern Land (Korea) tea grows in various localities of Honam (the south-west) and Yeongnam (the south-east). The places listed in the (geographical texts) Dongguk yeoji seungnam (東國輿地勝覽) and the Gosa chwalyo (故事撮要) etc are only one tenth, one hundredth of the total. It is customary in our land to use what is known as “jakseol” in medicines but most people do not realize that “cha” and “jakseol” are the same thing. The reason is that for a long time now nobody has made “cha” (tea) or drunk tea. Supposing some dilletante buys tea at a market in China and brings it back, nobody knows how to appreciate it although our lands are close. Once tea reached Korea by ship in Gyeongjin year (1760), the whole country learned what tea looks like. It was drunk widely for the next ten years, and although stocks were exhausted a long time ago now, nobody knows how to pick and make more. Since tea is not so important for our countrymen, it is obvious that they are unconcerned whether it exists here or not. If it is identified and chosen, nobody would object if the state monopolized the profits.

             If tea were transported by ship to the north-western regions where markets are held, and exchanged for silver, quantities of silver (equal to those of Zhuti and 鍾 燭?) could be shipped back and distributed to every region. If we exchanged tea for horses, we could fill the space before the gates and the farms around the cities with the finest steeds from the region to the north of Jizhou. If we exchanged tea for silks, gentlemen and their ladies could wear fine clothes made of silk woven in western Shu, and we could even use it to make flags with. Needless to say, if our nation’s finances improve a little, the people’s strength will also grow. In that case, it is no exaggeration to say that harvesting common plants that blossom and flourish in remote, abandoned fields can help the nation and provide for the people’s needs.


[5. 中國之茶 生 於越絶島萬里之外然猶 取而富國禦戎之奇貨. 我東 則産於笆籬堦, 而 視若土炭無用之物. 並與 其名而忘之. 故作 茶說一篇, 條列 茶事于左方, 以爲 當局者建白措施之地云爾

In China, tea only grows in very remote regions, yet they have chosen it as a form of national wealth and make it a defense against the barbarians to the north. In our Eastern Land (Korea), it grows in hedges and on steps but is considered to be good-for-nothing stuff. Indeed, even its name has been forgotten. Therefore I have written this text about tea, dividing the things concerning tea into various sections as follows. I propose that those in authority ought to put these measures into practice.




Main Text


[1 茶有雨前 雨 後之名雨前 者雀舌 是已雨後 者卽茗 也. 茶之 爲物早芽 而晩茁故穀 雨時茶葉未長須至 小滿芒種方能 茁大自臘 後至雨前自雨 後至芒種皆可 採取或以 葉之大小爲眞至別者豈九 方相馬之偏也

Tea is called ‘Ujeon’ (before Gogu) and ‘Uhu’ (after Gogu). Ujeon is called ‘jakseol’ (sparrow-tongue) while Uhu is ‘myeongseol’. What is known as ‘cha’ buds early, but the buds only open later. At Gogu (April 20) the leaves have not begun to grow and the leaves are only really well grown at around Soman (May 22) or Mangjong (June 6). From late winter (last lunar month of the year) until Gogu, from after Gogu until Mangjong, production is always possible. Someone distinguishes large and small leaves as ‘real’ and ‘false.’ Compare that with the wisdom shown by Jiu Fanggao (horse expert who saw beyond external appearances to the true inner qualities).



[2. 茶有一槍一旗之稱. 槍卽 枝而旗卽葉也. 若謂 一葉之外不堪 採則荊 州玉泉寺茶以大 如掌爲稀 奇之物. 凡草 木之始生一葉大於 一葉漸成 其大豈有 一葉頓長如掌者乎. 且見 舶茶莖有 數寸長葉有四 五連綴者. 盖一 槍者謂初茁一枝一旗 者謂一枝之葉也此後 枝上生枝則始 不堪用矣

With tea, there is the saying ‘one spear and one flag’. The spear is the stalk and the flag is the leaf. Now if that means that only the first leaf should be picked, the tea growing at Yuquan (Jade Spring) temple in Hubei would a rare and special thing since each leaf is said to have been the size of a man’s palm. But it takes time for a leaf to emerge and grow large, so how can one leaf suddenly be the size of a palm? Besides, looking at the tea sold by the Chinese ship, there were stems with four or five big leaves several inches long attached to them. The ‘one spear’ refers to the most recently sprouted stalk, ‘one flag’ refers to the leaves on that stalk. Once another stalk sprouts on a branch, the lower stem cannot be used.



[3 茶有苦口師, 晩甘侯之號 又有以天下之甘者 無如茶 謂之甘草 茶之苦 則夫人皆能言之 茶之甘則意謂嗜之者之說 近因採取 遍嘗諸葉 獨茶葉以舌之 有若淡蜜水漬過者 始信古人命物之意 非苟然也 茶是冬靑 十月間液氣方盛 將以禦冬 故葉面之甘 尤顯然 意欲於此時採取煎膏 不拘雨前雨後 而未果然也 煎膏實東人之臆料硬做者 味苦只堪藥用云 - 倭國香茶膏 當以別論 我國所造最鹵莽

Tea is sometimes said to be “bitter in the mouth, sweet later” and, as if to say there is nothing sweeter than tea in the world, it is also known as ‘sweet plant’. Regarding tea’s bitter side, everyone can easily speak. I think that those who enjoy it are of the opinion that it is sweet. Recently, while making tea, I tasted a great variety of leaves. When I licked individual leaves it was like sipping water sweetened with honey. Then I was convinced like people in olden times giving names to everything that one should not be prejudiced. Tea remains green in winter. In the 10th month, the sap increases and it resists the cold with that. That is why the surface of the leaves comes to taste sweeter. I suspect that if one picked leaves at that time and boiled them down to a concentrated juice, it would not matter that it was not just before or after Gogu, but I am not sure. People in Korea only think of making caked tea for medicinal purposes so thaey take no care. (Japan’s ‘fragrant tea juice’ is different and should be considered separately; here in Korea tea is made in a very rough manner.)



[4. 古人云 墨 色須黑茶色 須白色之 白者謂餠 茶之入香藥造成者月兎 龍鳳團之屬是也 宋之 諸賢所賦餠茶而玉 川七椀則乃 葉茶葉茶 之功效己大餠茶 不過以味香爲勝且前 丁後蔡以此 招譏則不 必求其法而造 成者也

In old times, people used to say, “Ink must be black, tea must be white.” The white color refers to the result of adding perfumes to caked tea. That is known as “Moon Rabbit” or “Dragon-Phoenix rounds” etc. What the higher classes of the Song Dynasty celebrated was always caked tea. But the tea celebrated by Yuchuanzi Lu Tong in his “Song of Seven Cups” was leaf tea. The qualities of leaf tea were already highly rated. Caked tea was not considered superior in taste or fragrance. Because of this Ding Wei in earlier times and Cai Xiang later were criticized. Therefore there is no need to revive that method of making tea.



[5. 茶 之味 黃魯直詠茶詞 可 謂盡之矣 餠茶以香藥合成 後 用渠輪硏末入湯 是一味 似 非葉茶之比 然玉川子 兩 腋習習淸風生 則何嘗用香藥助味哉 唐 人亦有用薑鹽者 坡公所而向時一貴家宴席用蜜和茶 而 進一席 讚頌不容口 眞 所謂鄕態沃蜜者也 正堪撥去吳中守陸子羽祠堂

Regarding the taste of tea, it can be claimed that the poems of Huang T'ing-chien (Lu Chih) say it all. Caked tea was made using perfumes, then it was ground in a mortar and the powder mixed with water; it seems that the superb flavor could not be compared with leaf tea, yet Lu Tong talks of a breeze rising beneath his armpits, and how could that effect be produced by perfumes? During the Tang Dynasty, people also used ginger and salt so that Su Shi Dongpo wrote mockingly that once at a rich man’s banquet honey was added to tea; everyone praised it but they could not drink it. The result must have been rustic and sticky; an insult to the memory of Lu Yu.



[6. 茶之效, 或 疑東茶不及越産. 以余 觀之, 色香 氣味, 少無 差異. 茶書 云: “陸 安茶以味勝, 蒙山 茶以藥用勝. 東茶 盖兼之矣. 若有 李贊皇陸子羽, 其人 則必以余言爲然.

Regarding tea’s medical qualities, there are people who suggest that our (Korean) tea is no match for the tea from China’s southern regions. In my opinion, there is no difference at all, whether in color, fragrance, virtues and taste. The “Book of Tea” says: ‘Luan tea is good in taste, Mengshan tea is good as medicine.” Korean tea mostly combines both qualities. Despite what Li Jiao and Lu Yu wrote, they would reckon I was correct.



[7. 余於癸亥春 過 尙古堂飮遼 陽士人任某所寄茶而葉 小無槍想是 孫樵所謂聞雷而採者也時方 春月庭花 未謝主人 設席松下 相待傍置 茶爐爐罐 皆古?彛 器各盡 一杯.

適 有老傔患感者, 主人 命飮數盃曰: “是可 以療感氣.” 距今 四十餘年. 其後 舶茶之來, 人又 爲泄痢之當劑. 今余 所採者, 非但 遍試寒暑感氣, 食滯 酒肉毒胸腹痛皆效. 泄痢 者尿澁欲成淋者之有效, 則以 其和水道故也. 痎瘧 者之無頭疼, 有時 截愈. 則以 其淸頭目故也. 後病癘者, 初痛 一二日, 熱啜 數椀, 而病 遂已. 病癘 日久, 不得 發汗者, 飮輒 得汗. 則古 今人之所未論. 而余 所親驗者也.

In the spring of Gyehae year (1743) I visited Sangodang (Oaryongam) and drank tea that (Kim Gwang-su) had been sent by a certain gentleman from Liaoyang 遼陽; the leaves were small, with no stalks, so that I thought it was like the tea mentioned by Sun Qiao 孫樵, plucked to the sound of thunder. It was the third lunar month, the flowers had not yet faded in the garden. Our host had prepared places beneath the pines, close to a tea-brazier; brazier and utensils were all Chinese antiques and we each enjoyed a cup.

There was an elderly servant who was bothered by a cold, and our host urged him to drink several cups, saying that tea was a good treatment for a cold. That was forty years ago. Later, when tea was brought by the (Chinese) ship people said it was good medicine for dysentery. The tea that I make nowadays has not just been proved effective against colds in winter and summer but has also been shown to be effective for indigestion, excessive drinking or eating, and stomach-ache. It also helps people suffering from discomfort in urinating when suffering from dysentery, as tea soothes the urinary tract. After drinking it, people with malaria recover quickly after drinking it, their headache vanishes, because tea makes the head and eyes clear. Finally, if someone who has been falling sick with a contagious fever for a day or two drinks several cups, the sickness passes; and if someone has long been sick with a fever and cannot sweat, if they drink it, sweat begins to flow at once. This has not been much discussed previously but I have experienced it personally.



[8. 余頃於飮濁酒數盃後, 見傍 有冷茶, 漫飮 半盃入睡. 喉痰 卽盛, 唾出 十餘日始瘳. 益信 冷則反能聚痰之說. 聞漂 人之來到也, 於缾 中瀉出勸客, 豈非 冷者耶. 又聞 北譯徐宗望之食兒猪炙也, 一手 持小壺, 且啗 且飮, 是必 冷茶也. 想熱 食之後, 冷亦 不能作祟也.

Recently, after I had drunk several cups of makkeolli, I noticed some cold tea nearby and drank half a cup of that, then fell asleep. Immediately my throat grew congested. I spat phlegm for ten days before I recovered. So I concluded that cold tea can provoke phlegm. I have heard that the men on the ship selling tea used to pour it from bottles for people to taste, and surely that must have been cold? I have also heard that the chinese interpreter Xu Zongwang, when he was eating roast pork, used to hold a bottle of tea in one hand, from which he drank as he was eating, and that must have been cold tea. I think that after eating hot food, cold tea would not be a problem.



[9. 茶能使人少睡. 或終 夜不得交睫. 讀書 者, 勤於 紡績者, 飮之 可爲一助. 禪定 者亦不可少是

Tea powerfully reduces sleep. It can even keep eyes from closing all night long. If someone is busy reading or weaving, tea drinking can help. Those engaged in Seon / Zen should not stint themselves in using it.



[10. 茶之生 多 在山中多石處聞嶺 南則家邊竹林處處有之竹間 之茶尤有效亦可 於節晩後採得以其 不見日故也

Tea grows plentifully on stony hillsides. I have heard that in Yeongnam houses are often surrounded by bamboo groves and that the tea growing among the bamboos is particularly effective, and that it can still be picked even late in the season because it never sees sunlight.


[11. 茶之採 宜 於雨餘以其 嫩淨故也坡詩 云: 細雨 足時茶戶喜.

Tea is best picked after rain has cleared. Then the leaves are tender and clean. One poem by Su Dongpa says: “When there is plentiful soft rain the tea-farmer is happy.”



[11. contd (not in JM)

按文獻通考 採茶之時 縣 官親自入山使民 之老幼男女偏山 披求採綴 蒸焙先以 首採而精者爲貢茶其次 爲官茶餘則 許民自取蓋茶 利甚大有關 國家如此

If we consult the Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考 (Song dynasty encyclopedia) when tea is to be picked, the local township officials go up into the hills and distribute the inhabitants, old and young, men and women, across the hillsides to pick, then they dispense with steaming, use the best quality of leaves to make tribute tea, then the next best to make officials’ tea, then the next (if any) is used for the ordinary folk’s tea; the profit is thereby maximized for the good of the state.



From section 11  JM 56-7

同福小邑也 頃聞一守令採八斗雀舌 用 以煎膏夫八 斗雀舌待其 成茶而採之則可 爲數千斤又八 斗採掇之勞足當 數千斤蒸焙之役其多 少難易懸絶而不 得用以利國則豈 不惜哉].

Dongbok is a small township and last time I was there one official said he had picked 8 mal of jakseol (buds) that he had used to make a medicinal potion. If he had waited for them to grow to the size for cha before picking, he might have made several thousand geun of tea. And after all the labor involved in picking 8 mal it would have been worthwhile steaming and drying several thousand geun. There is a great difference between that much and little, hard and easy. How can I help feeling sad that this was not made use of to benefit the state?




[14. 茶書文有片甲者, 早春 黃茶. 而舶 茶之來, 擧國 稱以黃茶. 然其 槍枝已長, 決非 早春採者. 未知 當時漂來人, 果傳 其名如此否也. 有自 黑山來者, 言丁 酉冬漂海人指兒茶樹, 謂之 黃茶云. 而兒 茶者, 圻內 所謂黃梅也. 黃梅 花黃, 先杜 鵑發. 葉有 三角如山字形, 有三 筋莖葉. 皆帶 薑味. 峽人 之入山也, 包飽 以食. 各邑 取其嫩枝煎烹, 以待 使客. 且其 枝截取, 二握 爲主材. 和茶 煎服, 則感 氣傷寒及無名之疾, 彌留 數日者, 無不 發汗神效. 豈亦 一種別茶耶

In the Book of Tea we find mention of something called ‘scrap of armor’ which is a yellow tea gathered early in the spring. With the arrival of the ship selling tea, the whole country was talking of its ‘yellow tea.’ But with its already well-grown pointed stalks it was certainly not picked in early spring. I am not clear if the name was actually used by the sailors who came drifting on that occasion. There was someone from Heuksan-do island who said that someone who had drifted ashore in Jeongyu year (1777) pointed at a Lindera obtusiloba (spicebush) and said it was ‘yellow tea.’ The same tree grows around Seoul and is called ‘hwangmae, yellow plum’ (or ‘ginger tree’). This tree has yellow flowers that blossom early, before azaleas. The leaves are triangular with three points. It tastes of ginger. Rural folk wrap balls of rice in the leaves when they are up in the hills and eat to their fill. In every village people gather tender stalks, boil them and serve the result to visitors. They use about a double handful of broken-off stalks for a serving. If it is boiled together with tea and drunk, it cures persistent colds and chills, as well as other unnamed ailments, by provoking sweating, it is marvellously effective. What difference can there be?





From the final section, Chajo (茶 條),


a) 籌司前期, 馳 關湖嶺列邑, 使開 報有茶無茶, 而有 茶之邑, 則使 守令査出貧人之無結卜, 及有 結卜而不滿十員以下者, 及疊 納軍役者, 以待 之.

The central government should first send a questionnaire to each township in Honam and Yeongnam, obliging them to report if tea grows there or not. In places where tea grows, in addition a list should be made of the poor people who have no house, or householders with less than 10 in the household, and those not required for military corvée duty, engaging them for duty.



b) 籌司前期出郞廳帖百餘張, 揀選 京城藥局人精幹者, 待穀 雨後, 給夫 馬草料, 分送 于茶邑. 詳探 茶所, 審候 茶時, 率本 邑査錄之貧民, 入山 採掇, 敎以 蒸焙之法, 務令 器械整齊. -焙器 銅篩第一, 其餘 當用簾. 而諸 寺焙佐飯笥. 浸去 油氣, 入飯 後竈中, 則可 一竈一日焙十斤. 揀擇 精美, 蒸焙 得宜, 斤兩 毋濫, 通計 一斤茶償錢五十文. 初年 則梢五千兩. 取萬 斤茶, 貿倭 紙作貼, 分送 于都會. 官舟 送于西北開市處, 亦須 郎廳中一人押解納庫, 仍爲 償勞之典.

Before harvesting time, a hundred mobilisation warrants should be prepared and people from Seoul’s pharmacies who work well should be designated. Once Gogu is past, horsemen, horses and commissions should be prepared, and they should be sent to the tea-producing townships where they must carefully survey the places where the tea grows. Once the weather has been examined and the best time for picking determined in each place, the previously listed poor folk are to be taken up into the hills to do the picking. Once the correct method of steaming and drying the leaves is taught, they have to keep all the equipment clean and tidy. Copper is best for the cauldron used for drying. Bamboo screens are useful, too. It will also be found helpful to use rice-baskets for drying, once any traces of rice flour have been removed. If the drying is done on top of a wood-fired stove, it is possible to dry 10 geun in a single day. Only the finest tea leaves should be selected for steaming and drying; too great a wieght is no good. One geun of tea should cost 50 mun / pun. If the first year’s budget is fixed at 5,000 nyang, that would yield 10,000 geun of tea. It could be wrapped in specially bought Japanese paper and sent to the large cities. It could then be sent by official ship to the foreign export market in the north-west, with one official in charge of the stock, who would be remunerated for his labors.



c) 曾見舶茶, 帖 面印寫價, 銀二 戔. 而貼 中之茶, 乃一 兩也. 況鴨 江以西, 去燕 京數千里, 豆滿 江北, 去瀋 陽又數千里. 則一 貼二戔, 恐以 太廉見輕. 然第 以一貼二戔論價, 則萬 斤茶價, 銀當 爲三萬二千兩. 爲錢 九萬六千兩. 年年 加採百萬斤, 費錢 五十萬, 爲國 家經費, 而少 紓民力, 則豈 非大利也.

Considering the tea sold from the ship in time past, the price printed on the outside (of each cake) was 2 silver jeon (1 jeon = 10 pun) while the tea sold by the pack was 1 nyang. Now the region to the west of the Yalu River is a thousand li away from Yanjing. The region north of the Tumen River is likewise a thousand li from Shenyang. Even if 2 jeon were to be charged for each pack, I fear that would be so cheap as to be laughable. Yet even if 2 jeon were to be charged for each pack, ten thousand geun of tea would bring in 32,000 nyang in silver, or 96,000 nyang in cash. Supposing production increased each year, if a million geun were picked and brought in 500,000 nyang to be used for the state’s expenses, that would to some degree at least unburden the people, surely a great gain?



d) 議者必謂彼中若知我國有茶, 則必 徵貢茶, 恐開 弊於無窮. 而此 與愚民畏縣官之日採, 塡魚 池而種芹者, 何異? 今若 輸與數百斤, 使天 下昭然知東國之有茶, 則燕 南趙北之商, 擧將 轔轔趵趵, 踰柵門而東矣. 向欲 以萬斤茶爲限者, 誠恐 遠地之耳目不長, 一隅 之財貨未集, 有滯 貨之患故也. 若使 有售無滯, 雖百 萬斤, 可以 優辦, 而崇 陽之種, 亦將 不拔而益洲, 此實 不易得之機也. 何可 以此爲限也.

People who discuss these things worry that, if China knew that tea grew in Korea, they would surely demand that tea should be included among tribute goods, with constant negative consequences for future generations. But how does that differ from the foolish folk who filled in a pond full of fish and planted water-parsley for fear that the village head might oblige them to bring him a catch every day. If we send as tribute a few hundred geun of tea, indicating to the outside world that there is tea here, merchants from southern Yan and northern Cao would come into our land with creaking carts and speeding horses, past the frontier markets. If I limited myself to 10,000 geun just previously, it was because I was concerned that, these being distant countries, they might not take notice and raise sufficient funds, so that the product would remain unsold. If commerce once begins so that our stock does not start to pile up, we should easily be able to dispose of a million geun. So long as in future the seeds are not uprooted in the southern regions, this will provide great gain to the state. Here is a chance not easily come by. How could we ever be constrained by it?


e) 旣開茶市, 則 須別擇監市御史京譯官押解官之屬, 至於 隨行人, 皆以 幹事者, 差定, 不可 如前, 只許 灣人赴市. 腸狗態, 輸 情于彼人. 有不 可信者故也. 且茶 市罷後, 優加 賞給, 使視 作已事然後, 方可 久行無弊. 香餌 之下, 必有 死魚云者, 政謂 是也.

If a market were to open, it would be necessary to appoint separate inspectors, frontier guards, police, etc. Administratively speaking, once the stipends have been fixed for all the people working, it would not do if old ways were followed. But only people from Longwan (in Wenzhou) should be permitted to come to the market. Generally, the customs of the Luan River are vicious, doglike, so if they come to know the real situation they cannot be trusted. If better quality is given after the market is closed, as if they were acting on their own initiative, there will be no negatiive consequences, even after doing so for a long time. That is what is meant by ‘serving rotten meat hidden under delicious food.’


f) 以我國之素儉, 若暴 得數百萬於當稅之外, 則何 事不可做. 但財 用旣優, 則撓 奪多滯. 若上 下齊心, 而於 本錢雜費, 紙價 船價之屬, 償勞 之外, 不許 遷動一毫. 雖所 需無得相關, 只用 於西邊. 修築 城邑, 池及 路傍左右五里, 減田 租之半, 俾專 力築城館開溝洫, 使千 里之路, 如繭 管之窄, 使路 傍之溝, 如地 網之密. 今年 未盡者, 明年 繼行. 又募 西邊材力之士, 取以 於屯城之日習射聽, 一屯 城, 置數 百人, 射砲. 中極 者, 優數 償賚, 使可 以畜妻子, 則是 常時有數萬莫强之兵, 豈不 足以禦暴客而威隣國哉.

If our country, which has hitherto lived frugally, suddenly comes into possession of millions of nyang in addition to income from taxes, nothing will be impossible. However, if capital becomes abundant, obviously it is going to be diverted this way and that, many problems will arise. If officials and commoners unite, and prevent any of the revenue being used for anything except basic expenses, other sundry expenses, paper costs, transportation and bonuses for hard workers, and any other costs, it would be possible to repair the townships of the western region. One could reduce by half the land tax paid by people living within 5 li of ponds and roads, so they can devote their energies to building fortifications, digging ditches, construct roads stretching a thousand li like threads from a silk cocoon, a whole netword of irrigation ditches. Whatever cannot be done this year would simply be done the next. Then talented, strong people in the west could be recruited and those selected could be stationed in fortifed cities where they would practice archery every day, while several hundred could be stationed in mountain forts and learn to fire cannon. Expert marksmen could be given special bonuses and allowed to live with their wife and children. By doing this, we would dispose of a powerful army in ordinary times, enough to keep foreign enemies at bay and serve as a warning to neighboring countries.




An expansion of section 9 in the main text .


茶能使人少睡, 或終夜不能交睫. 夙夜 在公, 晨昏 趨庭者, 咸其 所需, 而鷄 鳴入機之女, 墨帳 勤業之士, 俱不 可少. 是若 夫厭厭無歸, 頟頟罔夜之君子, 則有不暇奉聞焉.

Tea powerfully reduces sleep. It can even keep eyes from closing all night long. People engaged in study from dawn till nighfall, or those serving aged parents day and night, all need it. The woman who sets herself at her spinning wheel at cock-crow, and scholars in pursuit of learning with brush and ink should not deprive themselves of it. High officials who labor all night without distraction or rest should respectfully accept its help.