|Comment||A handbook for magistrates in 16 volumes and 48 kwŏn written in 1821 by Chŏng Yagyong (1762-1836).|
This handbook is designed to remind the magistrates of their responsability, decorum, and dignity, and to give them instructions on how to manage their office and discharge their duties for the benefit of people, as well as themselves. The book is divided into twelve main topics, namely: on receiving appointment and going to your office 赴任, on self discipline 律己, on public duties 奉公, on serving the people with loving care 愛民, on controlling office personnel 吏典, on taxation and registry 戶典, on rituals 禮典, on military matters 兵典, on dispensation of justice 刑典, on public works 工典, on famine relief 賑荒, and on leaving your post post after your term of office 解官. Each main topic is divided into six sub-topics. Each sub-topic is presented as an essay, with every sentence annotated with explanations and quotations from Chinese and Korean authorities.
The book is invaluable in the study of Korean local government in the early nineteenth century. It can be found in manuscript form and in the Yŏyudang chŏnsŏ 與猶堂全書 (The Complete Works of Chŏng Yagyong), V (第五集), kwŏn 16-29 (click on the URL below for fac-simile reproduction, plain text and Korean translation).
There are at least three Japanese translations from the colonial period (1911, 1921, and 1936). An English translation, unfortunately based on a modern Korean translation of the original text, has recently been published: Admonitions on Governing the People: Manual for all Administrators. Translated by Choi Byonghyon. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.
[This description is adapted from Chaoying Fang. The Asami Library: A Descriptive Catalogue (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969), 99-100.]