(Translation) 乾隆二十二年丁丑四月初四日 幼學 李乃蕃 明文

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Original Script

Classical Chinese English














III-4. 乾隆二十二日丁丑初四日幼學李乃蕃明文

乾隆二十二年丁丑四月初四日 幼學李乃內蕃前明文

The bill of sale to Scholar Yi Naebeon on the 4th day of the 4th month of the 22nd year [1682] of Emperor Qianlong’s reign [1735-1796].

右明文爲臥乎事段 吾矣祖先山所乙 移葬於他處爲計 故不得已 祭位爲在船橋羽字五十八田 三卜四束 十斗落只庫果 丁洞讚字 百十五畓 二卜七束 五斗落只庫乙

The purpose of this document is as follows: Since I move my ancestor’s burial sites to another place, I have to sell farm fields set apart for sacrificial purposes. They are the 58th field of the wu[1] land in Seon-gyo,[2] producing three loads and four bundles of grain in ten durakji[3] and the 115th field of the chan[4] land in Jeongdong,[5] producing two loads and seven bundles of grain in five durakji.

折價錢文二十五兩 依數捧上爲遣 今年爲始永永放賣爲去乎

25 nyang of coin is agreed on as the set price. I accept the amount. From this year the property is sold in perpetuity.

本文記兩庫段 他田民幷付乙仍于不得許給 而幸日後良中 吾矣門人中 如有雜談是去 持此文告官卞正事

[However,] the original document [of property distribution] is not allowed to be attached because the record of other lands and slaves is also included in it together with the two places mentioned in this document. By any chance, should there be a dispute at a later date among my family, take this document and report to the authorities for justice in this matter.

門長曹 [署押]

The Elder of the Jo family [Signature]

有司曹命達 [署押]

Person in Charge: Jo Myeongdal [Signature]


Scribe: Mourner Jo Yunbaek[6]


Scholar Jo Myeong-gi [Signature]

Discussion Questions

Further Readings


  1. Wu 羽 is the 71st character, which is used to refer to the location of the land.
  2. Seon-gyo is located in modern Gangneung in Gangwon province.
  3. Durakji 斗落只 or durak 斗落 (majigi in vernacular Korean) is the amount of land on which one mal (18 liters) could be planted as seed. The size of land has varied in different regions. It is approximately 150-300 pyeong (495-990 square meters) for rice paddies and 100 pyeong (330 square meters) for dry fields. See James Palais, Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions, (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1996), 364.
  4. Chan 讚 is the 198th character, which is used to refer to the location of the land.
  5. Jeongdong is located in modern Gangneung in Gangwon province.
  6. Since it was customary that people should not be involved in commercial transactions during the period of mourning, he did not write his signature.


  • Discussion Questions: