A Study on ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn

조선통폐지인(朝鮮通幣之印) 연구

Moon, Sangleun

  • Received : 2019.03.26
  • Accepted : 2019.05.07
  • Published : 2019.06.30


According to the National Currency (國幣) article in GyeongGukDaeJeon (經國大典), the ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn (朝鮮通幣之印) was a seal that was imprinted on both ends of a piece of hemp fabric (布). It was used for the circulation of hemp fabric as a fabric currency (布幣). The issued fabric currency was used as a currency for trade or as pecuniary means to have one's crime exempted or replace one's labor duty. The ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn would be imprinted on a piece of hemp fabric (布) to collect one-twentieth of tax. The ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn (朝鮮通幣之印) was one of the historical currencies and seal materials used during the early Chosun dynasty. Its imprint was a means of collecting taxes; hence, it was one of the taxation research materials. Despite its value, however, there has been no active research undertaken on it. Thus, the investigator conducted comprehensive research on it based on related content found in JeonRokTongGo (典錄通考), Dae'JeonHu-Sok'Rok (大典後續錄), JeongHeonSwaeRok (貞軒?錄) and other geography books (地理志) as well as the materials mentioned by researchers in previous studies. The investigator demonstrated that the ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn was established based on the concept of circulating Choson fabric notes (朝鮮布貨) with a seal on ChongOseungp'o (正五升布) in entreaty documents submitted in 1401 and that the fabric currency (布幣) with the imprint of the ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn was used as a currency for trade, pecuniary or taxation means of having one's crime exempted, or replacing one's labor, and as a tool of revenue from ships. The use of ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn continued even after a ban on fabric currencies (布幣) in March 1516 due to a policy on the "use of Joehwa (paper notes)" in 1515. It was still used as an official seal on local official documents in 1598. During the reign of King Yeongjo (英祖), it was used to make a military service (軍布) hemp fabric. Some records of 1779 indicate that it was used as a means of taxation for international trade. It is estimated that approximately 330 ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn were in circulation based on records in JeongHeonSwaeRok (貞軒?錄). Although there was the imprint of ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn in An Inquiry on Choson Currency (朝鮮貨幣考) published in 1940, there had been no fabric currencies (布幣) with its imprint on them or genuine cases of the seal. It was recently found among the artifacts of Wongaksa Temple. The seal imprint was also found on historical manuscripts produced at the Jikjisa Temple in 1775. The investigator compared the seal imprints found on the historical manuscripts of the Jikjisa Temple, attached to TapJwaJongJeonGji (塔左從政志), and published in An Inquiry on Choson Currency with the ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn housed at the Wongaksa Temple. It was found that these seal imprints were the same shape as the one at Wongaksa Temple. In addition, their overall form was the same as the one depicted in Daerokji (大麓誌) and LiJaeNanGo (?齋亂藁). These findings demonstrate that the ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn at Wongaksa Temple was a seal made in the 15th century and is, therefore, an important artifact in the study of Choson's currency history, taxation, and seals. There is a need for future research examining its various aspects.


ChoSonT'ongPaeJiIn;fabric notes;fabric currency;LiJaeNanGo;TapJwaJongJeonGji