21.5 folding leaves. 8vo, orig. yellowish-brown wrappers, new stitching. [Korea]: n.d.
Yuhap is a common primer for children dating from the early Chosen period. The book teaches Chinese characters by giving their Sino-Korean pronunciation along with a vernacular Korean translation. Both the pronunciation and the translation are given in han’gul, the Korean alphabet promulgated in 1443. The characters are arranged by category, as indicated by the title. The end of a list of characters belonging to a certain category is indicated by a short sentence in classical Chinese.
Yuhap was widely used in Chosen Korea alongside the Thousand Character Essay for the teaching of written classical Chinese to children. Yet, unlike the Essay, which is Chinese in origin, Yuhap is apparently a Korean text, even its Chinese characters. The Chinese text of this book must have been written for Korean children, not Chinese children.
An early edition of Yuhap was compiled by Yu Hui-chun (1513-77), a noted Confucian scholar during the reign of Kings Myeongjong and Seonjo, who served as the Keeper of the Royal Papers and Counselor to the king for many years. His revised and expanded edition of Yuhap appeared in 1576. Our edition is another work with a different number of characters.
About ten editions of our Yuhap are known. The earliest that can be dated is from 1664 and was published at a temple. Kyujanggak in Seoul holds five copies of woodblock-printed editions. They are not all dated, but those with dates are from the second half of the 19th century. Based on its appearance, we believe our edition is 18th or early 19th century.
Nice copy of a rare edition, preserved in a chitsu.
Item ID: 8128