A New Discussion of Sino-Korean Relations during the Chosŏn Period

Edited by: 
Adam Bohnet, King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario

In this book, Pae Usŏng, a historian at the University of Seoul, takes a fresh look at the relationship of Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910) with China and that of Chosŏn’s yangban (scholar-officials) with Sinitic civilization as a whole. None of Chosŏn’s relationships were more important, or more complicated, than that with China. On the one hand, Chosŏn was in nearly all respects independent from both Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1912) China. On the other hand, under both the Ming and the Qing, the Chosŏn court sent envoys regularly to Beijing, thereby acknowledging its subservience to China. After the Manchu Qing supplanted the Ming in the mid-eighteenth century, most Chosŏn officials, privately at least, rejected the Qing as an empire controlled by barbarians. Following the Qing conquest, most Chosŏn scholar-officials also asserted that China’s cultural and political traditions had been irreparably lost within China proper, and that Chosŏn was the only remaining heir of the Sinitic tradition. Even so, no Chosŏn person of significance before the late nineteenth century actually called for the removal of Chosŏn from the Sinitic world, no matter how much the legitimacy of the Qing was doubted...

A New Discussion of Sino-Korean Relations during the Chosŏn Period

Pae Usŏng 배우성, Chosŏn kwa Chunghwa: Chosŏn i kkumkkugo sangsanghan segye wa munmyŏng 조선과 중화: 조선이 꿈꾸고 상상한 세계와 문명 [Chosŏn and Chunghwa: The world and civilization that Chosŏn dreamt and imagined]. Kyŏnggi-do P'aju-si: Tolbegae, 2014. ISBN: 978-89-7199-597-6.

 

Adam Bohnet, King's University College at the University of Western Ontario
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