Item ID: 9511 Chŏngjae Cho Sŏnsaeng silgi [or] Jeongjae Jo seonsaeng silgi 靜齋曹先生實紀 [True Record of Teacher Cho of the Tranquil Studio]. Sŏg-u 曺錫雨 CHO, ed, or Jo Seog-u.
Chŏngjae Cho Sŏnsaeng silgi [or] Jeongjae Jo seonsaeng silgi 靜齋曹先生實紀 [True Record of Teacher Cho of the Tranquil Studio]

Chŏngjae Cho Sŏnsaeng silgi [or] Jeongjae Jo seonsaeng silgi 靜齋曹先生實紀 [True Record of Teacher Cho of the Tranquil Studio]

Woodblock-printed. 56 folding leaves. Two juan in one vol. Large 8vo (310 x 210 mm.), orig. yellow patterned semi-stiff wrappers, orig. stitching. [Yŏngch’ŏn]: 1854.

First edition of this collection, including the life and writings of Cho Sang-ch’i or Jo Sang-chi 曺尙治 (fl. 1419-55), a prominent official in the early Chosŏn period. From an early age, Cho studied “writings on human nature and principle” (sŏngni chi sŏ 性理之書) — that is, Neo-Confucianism. As one text on his life put it, he “took this [Confucian] culture of ours as his personal duty.” Cho’s life was tied up with the factional conflicts that saw Sejo’s usurpation of the Chosŏn throne in 1455. Cho was among the “large number” of officials who “viewed the new ruler with distaste on moral grounds” (Edward W. Wagner, The Literati Purges: Political Conflict in Early Yi Korea, p. 9).

After Sejo demoted the previous king, giving him the title Prince Nosan, and subsequently had him killed, Cho “got hold of a stone and, neither cutting nor polishing it, wrote in his own hand and had it inscribed, ‘Here rests Cho Sang-ch’i, the exiled Deputy Education Intendant of the court of Nosan’.” As recounted in one of the texts gathered in this collection, he thus signaled his opposition to the new king. Cho was posthumously honored in the late 18th century.

The book contains a Prefaces by Pak Yŏng-wŏn 朴永元 (1791-1854) and Yi Han-ŭng 李漢膺 (1778-1864), the latter dated 1854, and the colophon by Yi Hwi-ryŏng 李彙寧 (1788-1861).

Interesting features of our book include the use of the reign of the Korean kings for dating — “kabŭn, the sixth year of the reign of the present king [Ch’ŏljong]” 上之六年甲寅 is the date of Yi’s Preface — and the margins that cut through columns where the first character has been raised in deference to the dynasty.

A note toward the end of juan 1 (9a) says that the two pieces that follow had been missed when the book was “first printed” (ch’ogan 初刊), implying an earlier edition. We are not aware that one is extant, however.

Cho Sŏg-u is listed as the author in the Korean Old and Rare Collection Information System as well as in the Jangseogak catalogue, whence our attribution of authorship.

Fine copy.

References

Encyclopedia of Korean Culture 한국민족문화대백과사전. https://encykorea.aks.ac.kr/

Digital Jangseogak. https://jsg.aks.ac.kr/

Korean Old and Rare Collection Information System 한국고문헌종합목록.

Price: $5,500.00

Item ID: 9511