Assorted Writings of Yongjae(慵斋丛话)
Yongjaechonghwa is a collection of miscellaneous writings by Seong Hyeon (1439-1504), pen name Yongjae, from early Joseon.
The book was first published in the 20th year of King Jungjong’s reign (1525) and currently held in collection at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies are a three-volume three-chapter manuscript edition and a lithograph edition; a five-volume five-chapter woodblock edition housed at the Yonsei University Library; and an incomplete edition at the Korea University Library.
The book is a comprehensive record from Goryeo through King Seongjong’s reign in Joseon, of writers, calligraphers, painters and musicians; of capitals, war, ceramics, epitaphs, and typeface; of the administrative system in early Joseon including state examinations, Seongjeongwon (Royal Scretariat), Yejo (Ministry of Rites), Jiphyeonjeon (Hall of Worthies); of court events like the Cheoyong dance, fireworks, or ghost-repelling ritual; and of wedding rituals, initiation rites, seasonal customs, birth rituals and Buddhist rituals. The book contains a large number of anecdotes about distinctive characters, both literati and commoners. There are many writings on poetry as well, including brief critical commentaries on past Koren poetry, and also on specific individual passages. There are also personal family anecdotes, along with proverbs and ancient sayings, legends and biographies. Natural phenomena are also observed, including metamorphosis, tidal flow, pheasant meat, similar objects, the color of red bean blossoms, frogs croaking, the color of the tail of a stork. This vast book serves as an important reference for studying the society, folklore and literature of Joseon.