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Farming in the Joseon Period

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Chapter Summary

One of the major developments in the early Joseon period was a tremendous increase in the amount of land under cultivation. In the sixteenth century, there was also much effort to reclaim wasteland in inland regions, increasing the amount of farmland even further. There were several different methods of rice cultivation. The technique of rice transplantation involved planting seeds in seedbeds and then moving the seedlings to paddy fields. The advantage of rice transplantation was that it enabled both an increase in productivity and a decrease in the labor necessary for cultivation. In the Joseon period, people also consumed other kinds of 'rice' than white rice which was produced by polishing the harvested grain in mills. 'Gray rice' and 'yellow rice' were processed from other kinds of grains cultivated in dry fields. Patterns of land ownership changed over the course of the Joseon period.

Keywords: dry fields; gray rice; Joseon period; rice transplantation; yellow rice



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