Title: Definitive Stamp (2 (Old) Won)
U.S. Military Government Office "Won" Series
Has No Title
Stamp Serial#
Date of Issue
2 (Old) Won 
Map of Korea 
Oh Choong-whan 
Image Area
Sheet Composition
White Japanese paper; no watermark
Kyung-hwa Printing Office 
Extracted from"A Handbook of Korea"; published 1978; by KOIS.
Old Maps of Korea

No ancient flaps of Korea are extant today although several references are made to the existence of earlier maps in history books such as Kim Pu-shiks Samguk Sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms, 1145 AD.) and Monk Iryon's Samguk Yusa (Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea, c.1270 AD.). Furthermore, these records are not very detailed as to the contents of the maps. Accordingly we may say that all the old maps extant in Korea were made during the Yi dynasty.

The oldest existing map of Korea is Kwon Kun's (1352-1409 AD.) Hanil Gangni Yokdae Kukdo Chido (Map of the Territories of the Old World with the Capitals of Countries in Successive Ages). Kwon Kun's map, which was completed in 1402 AD., is not only the oldest one existing today but also indicates the nature of two other maps which are only mentioned in records: i.e., Map of the Five Provinces and Two Regions of Korea made in the Koryo dynasty and Map of the Eight Provinces of Korea made by Yi Hoe in the early days of the Yi dynasty.

Another old map of Korea, Map of the Eight Provinces, was reportedly contained in Tongguk Yoji Sangnam, (Detailed Geography of the Kingdom of the East, c.1424 AD), composed of 50 volumes, none of which remain today. However, the preface of this book is retained in Sinjong Tongguk Yoji Sungnam, a revised and supplemented edition of Tongguk Yoji Sungnam. Sinjong Tongguk Yoji Sangnam, completed in 1530 AD. and extant today with minor subsequent revisions, contains the Map of the Eight Provinces.

Another old map is Chang Sang-gi's (1678-1752 AD.) Tongguk Chido (Map of Korea), which is thought to have been influenced by Kwon Kun's method of map-making. All versions of Chong Sang-gi's Tongguk Chido are manuscript maps consisting of a map of the whole of Korea and individual maps of the provinces. Chong Sang-gi used a scale of 100 Ii (about 40km) to one Korean foot for the plains and 120 or 130 Ii to one Korean foot for the mountainous areas.

Kim Chong-ho's Ch'onggudo (Map of Korea) and Taedongyo Chido (Atlas of the Great East Kingdom) are probably the most noteworthy old maps made in Korea before Western cartography was introduced.

Ch'onggudo, made in 1834, is an atlas of Korean maps which includes the author's explanatory notes, a map of various provinces in ancient Korea, a map of four provinces and the Three Han Kingdoms of Korea, and a map of the eight provinces of Korea. Kim Chong-ho, who had a precise knowledge of modern longitude and latitude, made a grid system, measuring 100 Ii for north-south and 70 Ii for east-west directions. He had the area covered by a map divided into grid sections in order to make the scale equal for all areas on the map which was presented on a single page of his atlas. However, this grid system seems to have had no relationship to the contemporary geographical longitude and latitude.

Twenty-seven years after the completion of Ch'onggudo, Kim Chong-ho published the first edition of Taedongyo Chido in 1861 in wood-block printing and the second edition in 1864.

Taedongyo Chido was later proved to be so accurate and detailed that it served as a basis for the production of 1/50,000 scale maps completed in 1920 by means of the modern triangulation method.