Jo Nov 9, 2023

“Taedongjiji”, also called “Taedongbangyogo”, is a geography book of our country. It was written in the middle of the nineteenth century by Kim Jong Ho, a geographer and cartographer of those days. It is in 32 volumes and 15 books.

It was written at the same time as his republication of “Taedongyo Map” in 1864 reflecting the demand of the times concerning the development of commerce and transportation in our country in the nineteenth century.

The book contains a detailed description of about 40 items by counties and districts such as the statistics of population, disposition and power of army, kind and number of ships, customs, taxes, etc., all of which were impossible to show on the map.

The first part of the book shows a table of contents and a list of 65 references. Volume 1 is about the capital. Volumes 2 to 24 deal with the geography of 8 provinces of the country. Volume 25 covers mountains and streams and Volume 26 is about national defence. Volumes 27 and 28 are on transportation and communication each. Volumes from 29 to 32 give the historical geography of territory changed over the period from the ancient times to the Koryo dynasty.

The book is organized in a new system on the basis of the new practical data the author obtained from his field surveys over a long period of time and a great number of references.

In terms of system and description, “Taedongjiji” could not pass the limit of feudal stereotype and facts enumeration but it still serves as one of our country’s geographical legacies with its own characteristics as a modern geography book.