In Korea, at least as early as the 3rd – 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of length, standardized in 1905 at = ¹⁰⁄₃₃ meter¹. opens a new page containing a chart that shows relationships between this unit and other units in its system At approximately 11.930 inches, this is very close to a foot. It is also called a ja or cha 치 / 촌 , and is also romanized as chök, ch'ok and ch'ōk.

In the 19ᵗʰ century, the ch’ok was 7¾ inches, while that for building was 12⅛ inches. Other estimates:

in centuries CE
in centimeters
3rd 24.12
6ᵗʰ – 7ᵗʰ 29.51
7ᵗʰ – 10ᵗʰ 31.1
10ᵗʰ – 14ᵗʰ 30.72

1. United Nations, 1966.


Standards of Measure. — In looking over an old history we found a copy of a memorial on the subject of standards of measure presented to His Majesty, Yöng-jong, in A.D. 1750. From this memorial we learn that the following standards were definitely settled in the reign of Sè-jong A.D. 1419-1451, viz;

(a) The Yöng-jo Chök or carpenter's rule, to be used in measuring all lumber and building materials.

(b) The Po-baik Chök or yard stick, to be the standard for all cloth stuffs.

(c) The Chu Chök corresponding possibly to the gallon of the west, and used to gauge the size of earthen and other vessels.

(d) The Whang-jong Chök or musical scale to be used in determining the values of the various musical notes and in the manufacture of musical instruments.

(e) The Yei-gi Chök or standard for ceremonies used in connection with the various ceremonial functions, tho in what manner is not clear to the writer.

In the 15th century, however, these standards were not advertized to the people but were deposited for safe keeping at the Department of Public Works, the yard stick only being finally issued to the people. As commerce increased unscrupulous trades-people shortened it until its aberrations caused serious complications throughout the country resulting in the memorial of 1750. His Majesty ordered an investigation and it was found that the shortage in yardsticks varied at the trade centers from a half to one inch. A decree was issued to correct this and an inspector of weights and measures is supposed to be attached to every prefecture.

The Korean Repository, volume IV, January-December 1897. Page 464.

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