Tongnip Sinmun (The Independent), the Editorial: 1896, May 1st:
“If we will compare Korean people with other peoples of the Oriental states, we will see that Koreans are more clever, diligent, and clean that Chinese, and stronger and bigger in stature than Japanese. If the reforms will be well conducted, and clothes, food, and housing – all renovated in a scientific way, [we] will become the best race (injong) in the Orient. And, once we will become the best race, our country, consequently, will become the best country as well. It means that the finest possible policy is to become the best race, but how can we achieve it?
First, people must be healthy to have sound bodies; once their bodies are sound, they do well all kinds of jobs. If the body is sound, the thoughts are also sound. So, the government will greatly benefit the commoners (paeksŏng) if it will care for their health. In order to make commoners healthy, the first thing to do is to provide them with clean water. If we will analyse the water of the existing Seoul wells, we will find that it is not water – it is just manure. Drinking such water in summer leads to diarrhoea, fever, and malaria. If the commoners are sick en masse, the country will naturally grow weaker. Why doesn’t the government pay any attention to this? It is not that difficult to build now reservoirs either beyond the Northern Mountain (Puksan) or near River Han, so that the clean water from the mountains will be sent to every house through the iron pipes, just like in other countries. Even if the government cannot do it now due to the deficit of budget money, it should be done at some point anyway. First, the commoners will drink clean water, and, second, as the water will be more available, the people will be cleaner and less prone to the diseases. Before the government will do it, we recommend to the commoners: even if you have to drink unclean water, boil it, then cool, pour into a clean jar and place in a shadowy site. It is much better than just to drink it. Even though it is inconvenient, try to drink water after boiling and cooling it! Keeping children’s skin clean is the parents’ moral obligation (tori). Children should be bathed in hot water once in 2-3 days, and should not be just given the water from wells – the water for them should be boiled and cooled first. They should not be too much breast-fed after they are more than 7 months old, for the breast milk is not necessary for the new-borns after 7 months. At that point, cow’s milk and beef soup are one hundred times better! We will continue on this later”.