Wang ocheonchukguk jeon

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Wang ocheonchukguk jeon
Hangul 왕오천축국전
Revised Romanization Wang ocheonchukguk jeon
McCune–Reischauer Wang ochʼŏnchʼukkuk chŏn

Wang ocheonchukguk jeon (Korean pronunciation: [waːŋotɕʰʌntɕʰukk͈uktɕ͈ʌn]; pinyin: wǎng wǔ tiānzhú guó chuán; "An account of travel to the five Indian kingdoms") is a travelogue by Buddhist monk Hyecho, who traveled from Korea to India, in the years 723 - 727/728 CE.

Written in Classical Chinese, the lingua franca of East Asia at the time, the work was long thought to be lost. However, a manuscript turned up among the Dunhuang manuscripts during the early 20th century. It was bought by French explorer and archaeologist Paul Pelliot in 1908, and is now owned by the National Library of France (Pelliot chinois 3532).[1]

The manuscript scroll contains 5,893 classical Chinese characters in 227 lines. It originally consisted of three volumes, however volume one and later section of volume three are lost. It is 28.5 centimeters in width and 358.6 centimeters in length, is the first known overseas travelogue written in Chinese by a Korean and contains information about the political, cultural and economic customs of India and central Asia at that time. The five Indian kingdoms in the work's title refer to West, East, North, South and Central India,[2] This scroll is estimated as the first East Asian travelogue to the Islamic world. Jeong and other scholars states his westernmost destination was Nishapur, where was an Umayyad city [3] But it also contains information about the Byzantine Empire (Greater Fu-lin), the Arabs, and several Central Asian states.[4]

It was loaned to the National Museum of Korea and went on display there from Dec. 18, 2010 to April 3, 2011, 1283 years after the document was first written.[5]



  • Yang, Han-sung et al. (1984). The Hye Cho's Diary: Memoir of the Pilgrimage to the Five Regions of India (1984). Translation, text and editing by Yang, Han-sung et al. Religions of Asia series (Berkeley, Calif.); no. 2. UNESCO Collection of Representative Works. Berkeley, Calif.: Asian Humanities Press; Seoul: Po Chin Chai. ISBN 0-89581-024-7.

External resources[edit]

Fully digitized "Wang ocheonchukguk jeon" on International Dunhuang Project website