Jang Hon – At Jin’gwan Temple, Calling a Rime

Jang Hon

Jang Hon (張混, 장혼, 1759-1828) was a Chosun dynasty poet. He was of the Gyeolseong Jang Clan (結城張氏, 결성장씨); his courtesy name (字, 자) was Weonil (元一, 원일); and his pen names  (號, 호) were Iieom (而已广, 이이엄) and Gonggongja (空空子, 공공자). He was born into a skilled Chung’in class (中人, 중인) family. He was recommended by Oh Jaesun (吳載純, 오재순, 1727-1792), a literati bureaucrat, to the Gyoseogwan (校書館, 교서관), an office that was responsible for printing of Chinese Classics and history books. During his time at the Gyoseogwan, Jang Hon focused his attention on children’s education, and published a number of Classical Chinese textbooks for children. His edition of the Gyemongpyeon (啓蒙篇 , 계몽편) was highly influential in early modern children’s education and was in print even during Japanese colonial period. He also excelled in Classical Chinese poetry, in particular ancient style poetry (古體詩, 고체시). He was also one of the leading poets at the non-aristocratic poetry circle known as the Songseokweon Shisa (松石園詩社, 송석원시사).

津寬寺呼韻 진관사호운

At Jin’gwan Temple, Calling a Rime

初地入雲松 초지입운송
數里淸澗道 수리청간도

The first step to nirvana is to enter clouds and pine trees,
Numerous li (里,리) is on the path by the clear mountains’ stream.

First • land • to enter • clouds • pine trees
Numerous • li • to be clear • mountain gorge • paths

    • 津寬寺(진관사) – Jin’gwan Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Mount Bukhan (北漢山, 북한산), a mountain on the northern border of Seoul.
    • 初地(초지) – Literally “first land.” Refers to the first step in nirvana.

金殿麗王作 금전려왕작
往跡浮雲掃 주적부운소

The Golden Temple, the Goryeo Kings constructed;
The remaining traces, the floating clouds have swept.

Golden • temple • Goryeo • King • to create
Remnant • traces • to be floating • clouds • to sweep

洞天極幽夐 동천극유형
周覽卽事好 주람즉사호

The cave in heaven is extremely far and distant.
Gazing around is certainly good affair.

Cave • heaven • extremely • to be far • to be distant
Around • to gaze • to be • affairs • to be good

    • 洞天(동천) – Literally “a cave in heaven.” Refers to a place where a Taoist hermit resides.

雨深古寺暝 우심고사명
猿鳥入懷抱 원명입회포

The rain is severe and the old temple becomes dark.
Monkeys and birds enter my held thoughts.

Rain • to be severe • old • temple • to be dark
Monkeys • birds • to enter • thoughts • to be held

寄語空門友 기어공문우
香山有九老 향산유구로

I send these words to my school of empty thought friend.
In the fragrant mountains, there reside nine old men.

To send • words • empty • door • friend
Fragrant • mountain • to exist • nine • to be old

    • 空門(공문) – “School of empty thought.” Refers to Buddhism.



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