In Korea, a unit of dry capacity.
The fields are divided into six classes for taxing, with so many pu (a “load,”) according to situation and the computed yielding qualities of the ground. A field of the first class is rated at 10 pu, a second class at 8½ pu, and so on, deducting 1½ pu for each class down to the sixth class, which is rated at 2½ pu.
Measurements in Corea are not very precise. Four pu of rice land is roughly an area measuring 100 feet square—or as much ground as will require 1 official tu (*“bushel”—called by the people mal) to sow it. For barley, wheat, rye, &c., 50 feet square equal 4 pu or 1 tu. For each pu of ricefield the owner pays to the Government a yearly tax of 2 official sing of rice (†“peck”—called by the people tœ), and to the local official 2 copper cash‡. The tax for barley, rye, beans, and some other fields is only half that of a ricefield.
The above are full taxes, levied in years of plenty; where the crops are only partially good, about ten percent of these taxes are remitted, and in bad years they are supposed to be totally remitted. The official land measure is:—
§ 1 foot square = 1 p'a (“handful.”) An area of ground supposed to contain from twenty to forty young rice plants.
10 p'a = 1 sok (“bundle.”)
10 sok = 1 pu (“load.”)
100 pu = 1 kyel.
The number of mon (1/6 acre or 733½ sq. yds.) to the kyel differs according to the class in which the field is rated, thus:—
A field of one kyel of the 1st class has 38 mon
A field of one kyel of the 2nd class has 44¾ mon
A field of one kyel of the 3rd class has 54 1/[illegible] mon
A field of one kyel of the 4th class has 69 mon
A field of one kyel of the 5th class has 95 mon
A field of one kyel of the 6th class has 152 mon
*10 Kuan-sing = 1 Kuan-tu. 1 Kuan-tu weighs 16 2/3 lb. English. The “market” sing (tœ) is nearly three times as large as the kuan-sing. The taxes are supposed to be paid in kuan-sing, but I learn from the people that the native official collects them according to the market-sing, while he remits them to the Government in kuan-sing.
† 10 Kuan-sing=1 Kuan-tu.
‡ The price of a silver dollar fluctuates between 500 and 750 cash.
§ The “foot” varies according to the “class” of the field.
J. H. Hunt.
Land Tenure and the Price of Land.
The Korean Repository, volume III, January-December 1896. Page 317.
Hunt was Commissioner of Customs and H.M. Consular Agent in Pusan.
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Last revised: 2 July 2009.