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From Sanguozhi yanyi to Samgukchi : domestication and appropriation of Three Kingdoms in Korea Kwon, Hyuk-chan 2010

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FROM SANGUO ZHI YANYI TO SAMGUKCHI: DOMESTICATION AND APPROPRIATION OF THREE KINGDOMS IN KOREA  by  Hyuk-chan Kwon  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  The Faculty of Graduate Studies  (Asian Studies)  The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)  April 2010  © Hyuk-chan Kwon, 2010  ABSTRACT  My dissertation entitled “From Sanguo zhi yanyi to Samgukchi: Domestication and Appropriation of Three Kingdoms in Korea” shows how a ‘Chinese’ work of fiction has become an enduringly popular Korean work since its importation in the sixteenth century. In this context, my thesis encompasses a comparative exploration of the influence of the Sanguo zhi yanyi 三國 志演義 (Romance of the Three Kingdoms; hereafter Three Kingdoms) as reflected in premodern and contemporary Korean culture and literature. The domestication and appropriation of Three Kingdoms today can be attributed, in part, to a relentless modification and re-creation of its contents in the forms of numerous translations, adaptations, and revisions that have reflected sociopolitical and ideological agendas in Korea. I also clarify how the sociopolitical and ideological changes in Chosŏn Korea accelerated the reception and dissemination of Three Kingdoms by illuminating in particular how the Chosŏn rulers utilized the Neo-Confucian values in Three Kingdoms to maintain and strengthen Korea’s identity as the sole cultural and spiritual successor of the Great Han-Chinese empire after its collapse in 1644. Three Kingdoms’ status in Korea has been much higher than that of a Chinese classic; it remains the most widely read of all novels in modern Korea. Moreover, authors like Chang Chŏng’il do not hesitate to define Three Kingdoms as a national novel of Korea. It is virtually impossible for a modern Korean to lead a life divorced from Three Kingdoms. My dissertation shows that these phenomena did not appear suddenly in the twentiethcentury Korea. Rather, they are the result of domestication and appropriation of Three Kingdoms that has steadily progressed for centuries; the novel has been relentlessly re-interpreted in terms  ii  of Korea’s socio-political and cultural context. My dissertation elucidates the cultural politics that contribute to making Three Kingdoms into a national novel of Korea.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT........................................................................................................................... ii LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................. vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................................................................................. vii DEDICATION ....................................................................................................................... x 1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1 2 The Importation and Dissemination of Chinese Fiction and Its Influence on Fictional Narratives of Chosŏn Korea........................................................................................ 10 2.1 Importation of Chinese Literary Works into Premodern Korea ........................ 10 2.2 Condemnation of Fiction by Yangban Literati .................................................. 16 2.3 Introduction and Dissemination of Three Kingdoms into Chosŏn Korea .......... 32 2.4 Rise in Popularity among the Literati Class ...................................................... 33 2.5 Jiandeng xinhua and the Development of Fictional Narratives in East Asian Civilizations ................................................................................................... 35 2.6 The Making and Banning of New Stories .......................................................... 37 2.7 Jiandeng xinhua in Chosŏn Korea ..................................................................... 38 2.8 Influence of New Stories and Mount Kŭmo in Japan and the Creation of Tokibōko......................................................................................................... 40 2.9 Influence of New Stories in Vietnam and Truen Ky man luc ............................ 41 2.10 Dissemination and Reintroduction of Classical Chinese Tales in East Asian Civilizations ................................................................................................... 42 2.11 The Importance of New Stories in the Literary History of East Asian Civilizations ................................................................................................... 43 2.12 The Dissemination of Taiping guangji in Premodern Korea and Its Influence . 44 2.13 Selective Accommodation of Chinese Fictional Narratives .............................. 47 3 The Importation and Dissemination of Three Kingdoms into Chosŏn Korea ............ 51 3.1 First Official Reference to Three Kingdoms in the Historical Records ............. 51 3.2 Ready from the Very Beginning? Historical Background for Chosǒn Receptivity to Three Kingdoms ..................................................................... 57 3.3 Notable Editions of Three Kingdoms Published in Chosŏn Korea .................... 67 3.4 Three Kingdoms Imported and Reprinted .......................................................... 88 3.5 How Guan Yu Became a National Hero of Korea ............................................. 90 3.6 Guan Yu as Antidote against the Japanese ...................................................... 100 4 Three Kingdoms in Late Chosŏn Korea .................................................................... 105 4.1 The Fall of Ming China and the Identity Crisis of Chosŏn Korea ................... 105 4.2 Chosŏn as the Sole Guardian of Authentic Confucian Heritage...................... 111 4.3 Sociopolitical Background of the Dissemination of Three Kingdoms in Late Chosŏn ......................................................................................................... 122 4.4 Korean Stories with the Theme of Shu-Han Legitimacy ................................. 147 5. The Advent of Modern Translations and Adaptations of Three Kingdoms .............. 156 5.1. Introduction ........................................................................................................ 156 5.2 Translations of Three Kingdoms in Late Chosŏn and the Early Colonial Period 157 5.3 Three Kingdoms Panggakpon Editions ............................................................... 173 iv  5.4 Ttakchibon Editions of Three Kingdoms ............................................................ 175 5.5. Stories Adapted from Three Kingdoms in Chosŏn Korea ................................. 178 5.6 Appearance of Complete Modern Translations of Three Kingdoms and Competition with Yoshikawa’s Rewriting of Three Kingdoms ................... 192 5.7 Yoshikawa Eiji’s Rewriting of Three Kingdoms ................................................ 200 6 Rewriting Three Kingdoms: The Practice by Modern Korean Writers of Translating/Revising a Chinese Classic .................................................................... 210 6.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................... 210 6.2 The First Full-scale Attempt to Re-create the Three Kingdoms Story............. 213 6.3 Yi Mun’yŏl’s Preface to His Three Kingdoms Translation ............................. 214 6.4 First Response to Yi’s Translation: Hwang Sŏg’yŏng’s “Back to the Original” ...................................................................................................................... 219 6.5 Hwang Sŏg’yŏng’s Preface to His Three Kingdoms Translation .................... 221 6.6 Another Response to Three Kingdoms Translations: Chang Chŏng’il’s Liberal and Nationalistic Translation ....................................................................... 236 6.7 Chang Chŏng’il’s Preface to His Three Kingdoms Translation....................... 237 6.8 Celebrity Translators Who Are Too Visible .................................................... 252 6.9 Heyday of Amateur Sinologist Translators: Ezra Pound and His Korean Counterparts ................................................................................................. 253 6.10 Various Aspects of Translation Practice .......................................................... 259 6.11 Textual Manipulation based on the Translator’s Ideology .............................. 266 6.12 Authors of New Three Kingdoms .................................................................... 273 6.13 Three Kingdoms as Bestseller .......................................................................... 278 6.14 Why Do Prestigious Writers Rewrite Three Kingdoms? ................................. 278 6.15 Marketing Strategies for Three Kingdoms ....................................................... 280 6.16 Three Kingdoms: A Goose that Lays Golden Eggs for Major Publishers ....... 285 6.17 Domesticating the Translation of Three Kingdoms and the Formation of a Canonical Work ........................................................................................... 288 6.18 Cultural Stereotyping ....................................................................................... 290 6.19 Translation Practices of Three Kingdoms by Modern Korean Writers: The Treatment of Diaochan in their Revisions ................................................... 293 7 Conclusion: Five-Stage Progress of Three Kingdoms Readership in Modern Korea306 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 327 Appendix I: Chang Chŏng’il’s Interview on his Three Kingdoms Rendition ................... 343 Appendix II. List of Three Kingdoms Editions in Korea ................................................... 350  v  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Illustration of Zhuge Liang............................................................................. 86 Figure 2 The first page of volume 1 of the Harvard sech'aek edition of Three Kingdoms. ........................................................................................................... 168 Figure 3 The last page of volume 19 of the Harvard sech'aek edition of Three Kingdoms. ........................................................................................................... 169 Figure 4 The front cover of Kwan Unjang silgi (Seoul: Kwangdong Soguk, 1919). . 185 Figure 5 Cover page with an image of Zhang Fei in Ko Uyong's comic book edition of Three Kingdoms. ................................................................................................. 203 Figure 6 Picture from the Web site of a book reviewer, comparing Three Kingdoms with Tokugawa Ieyasu. ....................................................................................... 208 Figure 7 Number of references to Three Kingdoms in Korean newpapers in a choronological order from 1970 to 1986. ........................................................... 212 Figure 8 Three bold spirits plight mutual faith in the peach garden ........................... 272 Figure 9 Raven singing an elegy for defeated peasant soldiers (Yellow Scarves) ..... 273 Figure 10 Online bookstore commercial for Chang Chŏng’il’s version of Three Kingdoms. ........................................................................................................... 285 Figure 11 Zhang Fei portrayed in the traditional way in the Playstation 2 version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms ........................................................................ 312 Figure 12 Zhang Fei as a young female general in futuristic attire in Samguk changgun chŏn (Seoul: Champ Comics, 1997-present), 5: 60. ........................................... 313 Figure 13 Xiahou Dun 夏侯惇, a famous one-eyed general on Cao Cao’s side portrayed in a traditional way in Dynasty Warriors X (眞三國無雙 5), released by Koei. .................................................................................................................... 314 Figure 14 Xiahou Dun as she loses her eye in battle in Koihime Musō: Doki Otome Darake no Sangokushi Engi................................................................................ 315 Figure 15 Playstation 2 version of The Romance of Three Kingdoms, the eleventh installment of Koei's famous Three Kingdoms-based game series released in 2006 ............................................................................................................................. 318 Figure 16 Lű Bu in the character dictionary in the computer game The Romance of Three Kingdoms XI (Korean edition).................................................................. 319 Figure 17 Zhuge Liang introduced in the character dictionary in the computer game The Romance of Three Kingdoms XI .................................................................. 320  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I feel tremendously indebted to many people for the completion of this dissertation, which has come a long way from its emergence to its final completion. Dr. Ross King planted the seed when he suggested that I make Three Kingdoms in Korean culture the subject of my dissertation. From 2003, I began to present papers at academic conferences on the influence of Three Kingdoms in Korean culture. Since then, I have realized that there are a great many ardent fans of Three Kingdoms and its adaptations the world over. By the spring of 2005, I had completed earlier drafts of two chapters of this dissertation. However, it has turned out to be too ambitious and wide-ranging a task for me to cover the realms of Chinese premodern literature, and those of premodern and modern Korean literature, while also encompassing some aspects of comparative literature and Japanese culture. Moreover, cultural products related to Three Kingdoms kept pouring out, even as I was writing my dissertation. That new sources are piling up is a happy situation for the researcher, but updating what has already been written has become an impossible task. On the other hand, extant research on the dissemination of Three Kingdoms in premodern Korea and colonial Korea remains comparatively meager, which has posed another difficulty. When dating the first importation of Three Kingdoms into Chosǒn Korea, I have tried a relatively new methodology: examining references on Three Kingdoms in the collected works of the literati in the late Koryǒ and early Chosǒn periods. I expected to find evidence that the literati knew about the novel long before 1569. However, most references I found also happen to be mentioned in official histories of China. I thus could not rule out the possibility that Chosǒn literati gained the relevant knowledge from either source: Chinese official history or the novel.  vii  Considering that more complete online databases of the collected works of the literati of Koryǒ and Chosǒn are being updated as I write these lines, I hope that this approach, with some modifications to enhance accuracy, will lead to some breakthrough in the near future. In the spring of 2009, an earlier version of this dissertation finally came out and there were requests for revisions. In addition to responding to those requests, I have added a chapter on Three Kingdoms in the colonial period. In addition to proposing the dissertation topic, Dr. Ross King has provided many suggestions and directions for this work and recommended valuable sources of which I was hardly aware. I also thank him for enlarging my vision and providing coherent answers to my questions. I owe particular thanks to Dr. Catherine Swatek, whose penetrating questions taught me to question more deeply. She has been a generous mentor and an unsparing critic of my work. She taught me interesting issues regarding premodern Chinese fiction and directed me through many discussions. She has also made meticulous suggestions for editorial changes to this dissertation. I also thank Dr. Alison Bailey for her input and advice, especially her suggestion to compare Ezra Pound to Korean translators of Three Kingdoms and her detailed and insightful suggestions on how to improve this dissertation. Professor Hegel also read my dissertation thoroughly and provided invaluable suggestions, one of which on the editions of Three Kingdoms saved me from an embarrassing error. I have tried to accommodate his insightful comments as much as my ability has allowed, and thank him for his concern. Dr. Bruce Fulton shared his insights on modern Korean literature and writers. Through meeting with the writersin-residence that he invited to UBC, I was able to grasp better the picture of writing practices of Korean writers to some extent.  viii  I offer my enduring gratitude to my friends and students, who have inspired me to continue my work in this field. Jieun Kim helped with the format of the dissertation. Chen Lei’s mother and the officers at the Lin’an long-distance bus station saved me from the embarrassing occasion when I nearly lost my laptop computer in which my manuscript was saved. Dr. Patricia Mirwaldt at UBC Student Health Services provided me with helpful advice when I was both physically and mentally vulnerable. Son Juyeon and Paik Seungjun helped me locate sources at Korea University Library. I also thank Han Jihee, Imm Jun-hyuk, Chae Boyoun, Sohn Bong-gi, Li Tingting, and Song Hong for their help and friendship. Special thanks are owed to my parents, who have supported me throughout my years of education, both morally and financially. I also thank my son Yemyung (Ruiming) for giving me another reason to finish this work. I am grateful for the support of the Korea Foundation, the Daesan Foundation, the UBC Faculty of Graduate Studies, the UBC Centre for Korean Research, and the Academy of Korean Studies, whose fellowships provided financial support for this dissertation at various stages. Again, if this dissertation ever sees the light of day, it is all thanks to my teachers and friends, to whom I am deeply indebted. Without them, its completion would not have been possible. Finally, any errors in this dissertation are my responsibility.  ix  DEDICATION  To Koo Kyung-ae, my mother  x  Introduction 1  1  Scholars of Korean literature, whether they study premodern or modern literature, often come across the subject of the Sanguo zhi yanyi 三國志演義 (Romance of the Three Kingdoms; hereafter Three Kingdoms). Such encounters tend to be more or less embarrassing, since it is difficult to envisage that, in the study of Korean literature, references to, citations, adaptations, and parodies of, one single literary work would have been made so often and so repeatedly for hundreds of years. Students of Korean literature sooner or later come to realize that, for a comprehensive approach to the literature, history, and philosophy of Korea, an understanding of Three Kingdoms is more than essential. Three Kingdoms has been hugely influential in every aspect of Korean culture, and in the formation of “Korean-ness,” over the past four hundred-odd years. Putting to one side its impact on history, philosophy, and politics, in the realm of literature alone, Three Kingdoms had established itself as Korea’s most popular story by the late Chosŏn period in both the rental book circulation and woodblock print book markets. Moreover, it was the most printed and circulated metal movable type novel during late Chosŏn and the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). Three Kingdoms is also the single most translated foreign literary work in Korea; from the Japanese colonial period until 2004, more than 180 Korean translations of Three Kingdoms appeared. 2 Lastly, yet more importantly, Three Kingdoms still remains a steady bestseller in  1  I have requested from the copyright holders permission to use the images included in this  dissertation and have deleted all images whose permission is pending. 2  According to Yi Yŏngt’ae (139-40), the number of Three Kingdoms translations (both complete  and abridged versions) published in Korea from 1920 to 2004 reached 183 in number. See Yi Yŏngt’ae, “Samguk chi han’gugŏ yŏkpon sŏmun koch’al,” Ŏmun yŏn’gu 34.2 (Summer 2006): 137-160.  1  modern Korea, and is also one of the most popular and steadily re-produced cultural products in the field of animation, manga, and computer games. Therefore, we can say with confidence that if one fails to understand properly the massive and accumulative impact of Three Kingdoms over the past five centuries in Korea, one is not likely to achieve a profound understanding of the history, politics, philosophy, and literature of Korea; besides which, one would fail to understand both the traditional and contemporary cultural interplays between China, Korea, and other East Asian countries, without a sufficient appreciation of Three Kingdoms. Aside from the above-mentioned aspects, the very fact that a single literary work has maintained its popularity among people of all generations and literate classes for the past five centuries, and that its readership is steadily increasing as I write this dissertation, reinforces the necessity for profound study of Three Kingdoms in Korea. However, studies endeavouring to explain the secret of Three Kingdoms’ popularity from a chronological and historical viewpoint have been disappointingly meager. Yi Kyŏngsŏn’s Samgukchi yŏn‘ŭi ŭi pigyo munhak-chŏk yŏn‘gu (A Study of ‘Three Kingdoms,’ Based on Approaches from Comparative Literature), published in 1976, was a pioneering work. It still remains a remarkable in-depth study of the importation of Three Kingdoms into Korea and its influence on several famous Korean novels. Since Yi’s work was published, dozens of scholarly essays on the subject of Three Kingdoms in Korea have been published, mostly by Korean scholars. However, no monographlength study significantly surpassing Yi’s work has appeared for the past three decades. If we turn to studies conducted in non-Korean languages in the relevant areas, one can realize that very little substantial research has appeared. In 2005, the first non-Korean language  2  Ph.D. dissertation on Three Kingdoms in premodern Korea was published in German: Andreas Mueller-Lee’s “Die Rezeptionsgeschichte des chinesischen Romans „Drei Reiche in Korea.” Mueller-Lee's dissertation focuses on historical references to Three Kingdoms in Korean records; it provides textual analysis of the relevant subjects, utilizing collected works (munjip 文集) and historical resources available on digital databases. It is a comprehensive study mostly about the premodern references to Three Kingdoms in Korea; Mueller-Lee also provides a lengthy bibliography of Korean references to Three Kingdoms with brief introductions to some important sources. A section on Zhuge Liang in Korea in Chapter 3 of this dissertation was published separately in English recently. 3 Jinhee Kim’s short essay on Three Kingdoms in Korea is the only available study in English 4, but it is thin in substance as well as short in length. Moreover, her article is full of confused or incorrect claims regarding some very basic facts on the subject. 5  3  Mueller-Lee, Andreas, “The Sleeping Dragon in Korea: On the Transmission of the Images of  Zhuge Liang.” Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 20.1 (2007): 45-70. 4  Jinhee Kim, “The Reception and the Place of Three Kingdoms in South Korea” in Three  Kingdoms and Chinese Culture, edited by Kimberly Besio and Constantine Tung, 143-51 (New York: SUNY Press, 2008.) 5  To list but a few among the numerous errors in Kim’s paper, firstly, she sometimes confuses the  historical record (Sanguo zhi 三國志; Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms) with the novel (Sanguo yanyi 三國演義; Three Kingdoms) (Kim, 146 and passim). Kim even tries to attribute the novel to Chen Shou 陳壽, the famous historian who wrote the Chronicle of Three Kingdoms, also transcribing his name as Chin Su as if he were Korean. Moreover, she falsely translates the Korean translation of the Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms as The Correct Version of “The Romance of Three Kingdoms” (Kim, 150). As for  3  Acknowledging the current situation that studies (especially in Western languages) endeavouring to explain the secret of Three Kingdoms’ popularity have been meager, I devote my dissertation to clarifying the enduring importance and popularity of Three Kingdoms from a chronological and historical viewpoint. More specifically, this dissertation explores one facet of Chinese fiction in the late imperial period (sixteenth to nineteenth centuries) by focusing on the circulation and reception of the dissemination of Three Kingdoms in Korea, she also interprets the first official reference to Three Kingdoms in the Chosŏn wangjo sillok 朝鮮王朝實錄 (Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty) to be evidence that “Three Kingdoms was translated into the vernacular script, [by 1569] since apparently the commoners had access to it” (my emphasis). Apparently, King Sŏnjo (r. 1567-1608) discussed some details of the novel at the royal court with Chang P’ilmu 張弼武 (Military Commissioner of North Hamgyŏng Province 咸鏡北道 兵馬節度使) in 1569, and then was criticized by Ki Taesŭng 奇大升 (1527–1572; Royal Secretary (sŭngji 承旨) and Reader in the Office of the Royal Lectures (sidokkwan 侍讀官) for this. However, it is absurd at best to regard a king, a high general, and king’s secretary as commoners. Scholars agree in general that Korean translations of Three Kingdoms started to appear at a much later date, and that few Korean commoners were equipped with the knowledge of classical Chinese, which in fact facilitated rapid dissemination of the novel among the aristocratic yangban literati upon its importation. For further details, see Chapters 3 and 4 of this dissertation. Kim also provides an erroneous estimation that Yi Mun’yŏl’s translation of Three Kingdoms has sold more than one million copies (Kim, 147), reducing the sales record to less than a mere 10% of the actual number of copies sold (Yi’s translation had sold some 14 million copies by 2002 when Jinhee Kim wrote the essay on Three Kingdoms in Korea). Kim’s other assertions concerning the reception, dissemination, and popularity of Three Kingdoms in Korea also appear absurd and amateurish at best, and do not reflect any notable academic findings.  4  Three Kingdoms in Korea. Of course, Three Kingdoms have been hugely important within China, where it has been avidly read and studied by scholars since its appearance in 1522, but it also achieved classic status in short order in Korea, Japan, Vietnam and other areas within the Chinese cultural sphere. Moreover, this popularity shows no signs of abating. Three Kingdoms remains one of the most widely read of Chinese novels; this has been particularly true in Korea, and never more so than in modern Korea. Yi Munyŏl’s translation of Three Kingdoms (date of publication: 1984) alone has sold some 17 million copies (and counting), making it the #1 Korean best-seller of all time; needless to say, numerous other translations and adaptations of Three Kingdoms also circulate in the Korean book market. We can say with confidence that the readership of this work has become the single most significant and influential factor for modern Korean literary culture. For this reason, although this study of Three Kingdoms begins in Korea with the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910), it carries into the contemporary period, as well. How were the classic works of Chinese fiction (of which Three Kingdoms is one example) disseminated into Korea, and how were they translated, printed and circulated in Chosŏn Korea? To answer these questions, the second chapter elucidates the importation and dissemination of Chinese fiction into premodern Korea--first during the Koryŏ dynasty (918-1392), but more importantly during Chosŏn Korea (1392-1910). As examples of those Chinese fictional narratives most influential in premodern Korean literary society, I investigate works such as Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Records from the Reign of Great Tranquility), Jiandeng Xinhua 剪燈新話 (New Stories to Trim the Lamp By), and Three Kingdoms. I also examine how xiaoshuo 小說 fiction was resisted/accepted by the meritocratic Korean yangban 兩班 literati and how it influenced the development of Korean fictional narratives.  5  The third chapter focuses specifically on how Three Kingdoms was disseminated into Korea, and how it was printed and circulated in Chosŏn Korea. It is a commonplace for Korean scholars to claim that after it was first introduced in the sixteenth century, this work exerted a pervasive and powerful influence on Korean literature and literary culture for nearly 500 years, as more than 200 editions of it were published in both semi-Classical Chinese and vernacular Korean translations. Nonetheless, the amount of substantial research devoted to explaining the novel’s enduring popularity or to spelling out the precise nature of its influence on Korean literature is disappointingly meager. Thus, the first sections of the second chapter examine how this novel could flow into Korea almost concurrently with its publication in China, and how its reprints published in Korea and widespread circulation impacted both literary trends and the development of book markets in Korea. I also seek in Chapter 3 to clarify how premodern Korea’s historical/political background facilitated Korean literati’s readiness to receive Three Kingdoms. First, as a case study of its reception among the literati in the early stage, I explore the early reception of Three Kingdoms into Chosŏn dynasty Korea by investigating references to the novel in the collected works of eminent literati and in historical records. I then clarify how sociopolitical and ideological changes in early- to mid-Chosŏn Korea accelerated the reception and dissemination of Three Kingdoms. The latter sections of Chapter 3 examine how Guan Yu, a famous general in the novel, became an authentic Korean hero guarding Korea’s national integrity against foreign invaders. The emergence of Guan Yu as a national hero of Korea is one remarkable example of how the localization of heroes in Three Kingdoms was accomplished in Korean folk narratives, and how Three Kingdoms as a whole came to be appropriated by Korean readers and writers. I also show  6  how Guan Yu, as the guardian and benefactor of Korea, and as a righteous and chivalrous figure with strong martial prowess, served the state ideology properly in terms of employing the Korean commitment to Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, helping maintain Korea as an exemplary Sinicized state. Chapter 4 focuses more profoundly on those aspects of the sociopolitical and ideological background of mid- to late-Chosŏn Korea which facilitated reception and dissemination of Three Kingdoms. I illuminate how the Chosŏn rulers utilized the Neo-Confucian values in Three Kingdoms to maintain and strengthen Korean identity as the sole cultural and spiritual successor of the Great Han-Chinese Ming empire after its collapse in 1644. Despite the fact that the Chosŏn court highly discouraged and sometimes even banned reading of fictional narratives from China, readership of Three Kingdoms was often strongly encouraged by rulers who tried to identify themselves with the rulers of the state of Shu-Han in the novel, through claims of exclusive political and historical legitimacy based on Neo-Confucian terms, and through opposition to foreign invasions and heresy in particular. I demonstrate how the heroes of the novel and the Neo-Confucian values they represent were officially treasured by the rulers of Chosŏn Korea, and how the state-institutionalized reading of the work manipulated the dichotomy of good and evil/legitimacy and heresy/culturally Han-Chinese and barbarian among the ever-increasing Korean readers of the novel. In Chapter 5, I examine the readership and circulation of Three Kingdoms in Korea during the Japanese colonial period (1910–45) with regard to the critical social changes in that era, which include modernization, development of printing technology, and cultural influences from Japan and the West. I also treat some relevant aspects of the circulation of novels in vernacular Korean (including works created in vernacular Korean and works translated into  7  vernacular Korean) during the period from the 1850’s to 1950’s with an emphasis on translations of Three Kingdoms in that period. I demonstrate that the colonial period can be viewed as a transitional period for Three Kingdoms, as it underwent a change in status from a Chinese classic to a modern colloquial, and increasingly Korean novel. Finally, Chapter 6 examines Three Kingdoms’ enduring popularity, as reflected in contemporary Korean popular culture and literature. The ever-increasing popularity of Three Kingdoms today can be attributed, in part, to the relentless modification and re-creation of its contents by Korean authors for whom the novel functions as a yardstick for measuring prestige with readers of all generations. The success of Yi Munyŏl‘s translation of Three Kingdoms is a case in point. Since its first publication in 1988 it has gone through 90 printings and sold some 17 million copies. Recently (in 2003 and 2004, respectively), Hwang Sŏgyŏng and Chang Chŏng’il have published translations of the novel that criticize the conservative ideological bias of Yi’s translation, but the remedies they offer to correct this bias differ significantly. Hwang sets out to restore the “authentic” Three Kingdoms that first appeared five centuries ago, thereby reconstructing an orthodox “Korean” edition of the novel, while Chang, influenced by deconstructionists such as Derrida, seeks to dismantle the hegemonic Han Chinese-centered ethnocentrism and masculine bias that he finds imbedded in mainstream translations such as that of Yi Munyŏl. Highlighting various means by which non-Han peoples (including Koreans) have been repressed, marginalized, and “Other”-ized in the novel heretofore, Chang “domesticates” the Three Kingdoms text by means of a strategy of “ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to target-language cultural values” (Venuti, 1995). Whether conforming to or rebelling against the dominant ideology of contemporary Korean society, such modern translations amount to  8  rewritings of the Three Kingdoms designed to reflect the philosophical and/or historical views of their Korean authors. Having elucidated the cultural politics that have made Three Kingdoms into a national novel of Korea, I conclude my thesis with an examination of the five-stage progress of Three Kingdoms readership, a key to comprehending the secret of its ever-increasing popularity. The above-mentioned arrangement of chapter divisions entails a certain amount of overlap in both analytical commentary and illustrative matter. While such overlap seems unavoidable to some extent, I have tried to keep it to a minimum. When identical works or passages are discussed in more than one context (Ki Taesŭng’s petition being an example), it is frequently their distinct aspects or significances that I seek to discuss or highlight, in order to clarify certain central points from a range of issues and illustrations. Throughout my dissertation, I seek to contribute an original case study that illuminates the interplay between traditional Korean and Chinese literary cultures and between traditional literary cultures in an East Asian context.  9  2 The Importation and Dissemination of Chinese Fiction and Its Influence on Fictional Narratives of Chosŏn Korea 2.1  Importation of Chinese Literary Works into Premodern Korea “Let’s go out and buy books.” “Go out and buy what books?” “Buy the Zhao taizu feilong ji 趙太祖飛龍記 and Tang Sanzang Xiyou ji 唐三藏西遊記.” “If you are going to buy something it would be as well to buy the Four Books or Six Classics: having read the writings of the sage Confucius you will surely comprehend the principles of the Duke of Zhou. What do you want with that sort of popular tale (pinghua 平話)?” “The Xiyou ji is lively. It is good reading when you are feeling gloomy. Tripitaka led Sun Xingzhe to Chechi guo 車遲國, and they had a contest in magic powers with Boyan daxian 伯眼大仙. Do you know (that one)?” “Tell it, and I’ll listen.” “When Tripitaka went to fetch scriptures …” 6 The dialogue above appears in the Pak t’ongsa 朴通事 (Interpreter Pak), a popular  manual of colloquial Chinese for Korean learners first published in the fourteenth century. 7 In his comprehensive study of the development of Xiyou ji narratives, Glen Dudbridge asserts that 6  Translation quoted in Dudbridge, 180; I have converted Wade-Giles transcription into pinyin.  7  See Liang Wuzhen, ‘Nogŏltae’ ‘Pak t’ongsa’ yŏn’gu, 28-36.  10  “the oldest versions of Pak t’ongsa and Nogŏltae 老乞大 (another Chinese textbook for Korean learners often used alongside Pak t’ongsa), probably also the bulk of the materials in their later versions, derived from the fourteenth century—perhaps even the period before 1368, which marked the end of Yuan rule in China.” 8 Pak t’ongsa is composed of a large number of short and independent dialogues, both in the colloquial Chinese of the Yuan period and in Middle Korean, covering various activities. Two of the Pak t’ongsa dialogues refer to Tripitaka’s pilgrimage to fetch scriptures; the one introduced above begins with a discussion on buying books—among them a copy of Tang Sanzang Xiyou ji—and then retells a complete episode from the story. With the stories of Tripitaka introduced in Pak t’ongsa, there can be little doubt that the earlier editions of Xiyou ji had already been introduced to Koryŏ by the fourteenth century. In fact, the importation of Chinese books into Korea has a much longer history than the example mentioned above. By the time of the Three Kingdoms period in Korea (early fourth to late seventh century), Confucian classics and historical texts had been imported to Korea. Envoys, merchants, and students visited China frequently, and they did not return home without purchasing important recent books in China. As for xiaoshuo 小說 (fiction), we are not sure which was the first work introduced to premodern Korea, but by the mid-Koryŏ period both the Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Records from the Reign of Great Tranquility) and the Soushen ji 搜神記 (In Search of the Supernatural) were circulating widely among the literati. 9  8  Dudbridge, 62. See also Liang Wuzhen, 23-8 and Chŏng Kwang, Wŏnbon nogŏltae 原本老乞大,  9  Full citations of these works will appear later in the dissertation and titles of books will only be  4-12.  translated the first time they appear.  11  The Hallim pyŏlgok 翰 林 別 曲 (Song of the Academicians;1216), a representative kyŏnggich’e ka written by young members of the Hallim (Academy of Letters), is a good example showing what kinds of Chinese literary works were popular among Koryŏ scholars, as well as reflecting general Sino-Korean literary trends during that period. Hallim pyŏlgok, Stanza I 元淳文 仁老詩 公老四六 李正言 陳翰林 雙韻走筆. 沖基對策 光鈞經義 良經詩賦 위 試場ㅅ景 긔 엇더하니잇고. 琴學士의 玉荀文生 琴學士의 玉筍文生 위 날조차 몃부니잇고. Yu Wŏnsun’s prose, Yi Illo’s verse, Yi Kongno’s parallel style; Yi Kyubo the chŏngŏn and Chin Hwa of Hallim: Rhyming rivals race the brush! Yu Ch’unggi’s policies, Min Kwanggyun’s exegesis, Kim Yanggyŏng’s Shi and Yuefu poetry. Oh! The sight of their examination hall! How would that be? Scholar Kŭm Ŭi’s jade sprouts and disciples, Scholar Kŭm Ŭi’s jade sprouts and disciples. Oh! Starting with me, how many are they?  Stanza II 唐漢書 莊老子 韓柳文集 12  李杜集 蘭臺集 白樂天集. 毛詩尙書 周易春秋 周戴禮記 위 註조쳐 내 외온景 긔 엇더하니잇고. 太平廣記 四百餘券 太平廣記 四百餘券 위 歷覽ㅅ景 긔 엇더하니잇고. Histories of Tang and Han, the Zhuangzi and Laozi, Works of Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan; Anthologies of Li Bo and Du Fu, collected works of Li You Collected works of Bo Juyi; Book of Odes and Documents, Divinations and Annals, Three Rituals and Ceremonies. Oh! The sight of me reciting them with annotations! How would that be? Four hundred odd books of Extensive Records from the Reign of Great Tranquility, Four hundred odd books of Extensive Records from the Reign of Great Tranquility. Oh! The sight of reading them all! How would that one be? 10  10  The Hallim pyŏlgok consists of eight stanzas. Here I introduce the first two stanzas, which  demonstrate the profound and immediate influence of Chinese literary culture upon the Koryŏ literati. I also include the original text since it was written mostly in Classical Chinese, with Korean-language refrains. It was composed in 1216 under the military government controlled by Ch’oe Ch’unghŏn 崔忠獻. The heavily Chinese text is collected in the Akchang kasa 樂章歌詞 (Words for Akchang; sixteenth  13  Particularly noteworthy here is that Taiping guangji was already circulating among Kory ŏ intellectuals by 1216. Considering that the publication of the Taiping guangji was suspended by imperial order after its completion in 978 and that it was not until the Ming dynasty (1566) that it became widespread in China, we can argue that an intact manuscript of the Taiping guangji (or possibly the rare edition published in 981) was somehow transmitted to Korea long before 1216. 11 The late Ming saw a rapidly expanding book market and circulation of xiaoshuo fiction. It was no coincidence that from the late Ming period on, almost all Chinese literary works flooded into Korea almost simultaneously with their publication in China, popular novels being the most noteworthy example. With respect to the purchase of Chinese books by Korean literati, Chen Jiru 陳繼儒 (1588-1639), a renowned late-Ming scholar, once commented: Chosŏn people love books the most. Often about fifty to sixty men are sent as tributary envoys. Whenever there happens to be any Confucian classic, recent publication, or collection of various short stories (稗官小說) they have not acquired yet, they run to book markets in the daytime and write down the book titles by asking whoever they come across. To return home with books [they want], they do not mind paying high prices. Therefore, it is often the  century), a collection of poems popular from the Koryŏ to the early Chosŏn period, together with matching transcriptions in the Korean vernacular script. 11  Kim Dong-uk, “The Influence of Chinese Stories and Novels on Korean Fiction” in Literary  Migrations: Traditional Chinese Fiction in Asia (17-20th centuries), edited by Claudine Salmon, 61.  14  case that their country [Chosŏn] has rare editions [that even we do not have any more]. 12 As Chen mentioned concerning the importation of books, Korean envoys to China played an important role. Embassies were sent to China several times a year for the celebration of various occasions during the Ming and Qing periods, and on each such occasion the envoys’ key duty was to acquire recent Chinese publications. Envoys not only purchased Chinese books in accordance with imperial orders, but also obtained them for their personal use. For example, Hŏ Kyun 許筠, alleged to have written the Story of Hong Kildong (Hong Kildong chŏn), purchased more than four thousand books in Beijing when he was sent there as one of the envoys in 1614 and again in 1615. He purchased virtually every single literary work written by famous Chinese literati, as well as all kinds of novels and banned books. 13 Yi Sanghwang 李相璜 (1763–1841), who served as a prime minister in his later years, also had a collection of thousands of Chinese stories even without having ever visited China. His interest in Chinese novels and ghost stories was well known among officials, and envoys to China presented him with the newest Chinese books each time they returned from China. 14 There  12  朝鮮人最好書,凡使臣到中土 … 或旧典、或新書,稗官小說,在彼所缺者,五六十人日  出市中,各寫書目,分頭遇人便問,不惜重值購回,故彼國反有異书藏本也。Quoted in An Pyŏngguk, 168; all translations are mine unless otherwise noted. 13  See Ch’oe Yongch’ŏl (1997), “Chungguk kŭmsŏ sosŏl,” 550.  14  Ch’oe Yongch’ŏl (1997), “Chungguk kŭmsŏ sosŏl,” 547. The examples of Yi Sanghwang and  Hŏ Kyun acquiring thousands of books from China also illustrate that Chinese books were quite affordable to them. Apparently, they purchased these books just for their “own pleasure” with their personal funds.  15  is also an example suggesting that even the king himself showed a personal interest in specific Chinese novels. It is recorded in Chosŏn wangjo sillok 朝鮮王朝實錄 (The Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty) that King Yŏnsan, in the twelfth year of his reign (1506), issued an order that fiction or drama including the Jiandeng xinhua 剪燈新話 (New Stories to Trim the Lamp By), Jiandeng yuhua 剪燈餘話 (Supplementary Stories to New Stories to Trim the Lamp By), and Xixiang ji 西廂記 (Dream of the Western Chamber) be purchased by his envoys in China. All these examples demonstrate the uninterrupted, simultaneous importation of Chinese fictional narratives into Chosŏn Korea. For example, the Korean translation of Jinghua yuan 鏡花緣 (Flowers in the Mirror) began to circulate in 1835, only seven years after its first publication in 1828 in China. 15  2.2  Condemnation of Fiction by Yangban Literati Traditionally, Chinese literati took a strongly disapprobative view of the value of all  manner of fictional narratives. With respect to the condemnation of fiction, Wilt Idema observes: The Chinese tradition does not value fiction as being a way to express higher truths that lie beyond the realm of mere fact. On the contrary, fiction is condemned as by definition misleading and inciting to moral corruption. Accordingly, all forms of fiction (story, novel, novella, narrative ballad, play)  15  Ever since Hu Shi 胡適 dated the first publication of Jinghua yuan as 1828, many prominent  scholars such as Lu Xun 魯迅 and Sun Kaidi 孫楷第 have approved his dating. Recently, however, Sun Jiaxun, in his Jinghua yuan gong’an bianyi (Jinan: Qilu shushe, 1984) argued that Jinghua yuan was first published in 1818.  16  are traditionally excluded ipso facto from the realm of literature. There is room in true literature for anecdotes, myths, sagas, and legends only if they can be presented as actually historical. 16 The disapproval of the publication of the Taiping guangji in the Song dynasty, despite the fact that its compilation was initiated by imperial order and that by around 978 printing blocks had already been cut, clearly shows the literati’s precautionary attitude toward fiction; objections were raised because it was said to be of no use to young students. Similar but possibly even more stubborn disapproval of fiction by yangban literati was evinced in Chosŏn upon the flow of fictional narratives from China into Korea; for years the importation, circulation, and composition of fiction were severely criticized. Having successfully established a Confucian state with the ideals of ruling the country with Neo-Confucian teachings, 17 these objections by the yangban literati were based on the “teachings of the sage” since “the topics the Master [Confucius] did not speak of were extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder and spirits” (zi bu yu guai, li, luan, shen 子不語怪力亂神). 18 Among numerous records criticizing fiction and arguing for its complete abolition, that of Ki Taesŭng (奇大升, 1527~1572), then Recipient of Edicts 承旨 (in 1569), directed to King Sŏnjo while he was lecturing on Neo-Confucian teachings to the king, has been one of the most famous and  16  Idema (1997), 56.  17  Unlike the Koryŏ dynasty, the rulers of which often favored Buddhist teachings, the Chosŏn  dynasty was founded by literati equipped with Neo-Confucian values. 18  Legge, 120; modification added.  17  most influential. 19 Ki Taesŭng said: I was told that when your majesty [King Sŏnjo 宣祖 (r. 1567–1608)], upon seeing Chang P’ilmu, mentioned, “As for the story of Zhang Fei 張飛 making ten thousand soldiers flee with producing one shout [at the Steepslope Bridge], I have seen it only in the Sanguozhi yanyi, not in the official history [of the Three Kingdoms].” Although I have not seen this [Sanguozhi yanyi] since it has not been around for a long time, I have heard my friends say it is full of empty and absurd sayings. My observation is that it is nothing but a collection of trivial sayings (雜言) edited by some rascals (無賴者), pretending that it is from old sayings. It is not only vulgar and pointless, but also harms the principle [of Confucian teachings]. For example, the story of Dong Cheng 董承 receiving a royal edict hidden in a sash and the details of winning the Battle of the Red Cliffs were all invented with the manipulation of groundless sayings as well as conjured-up and empty things. Therefore, it is quite pitiful that your majesty has seen it. Not only this book [Sanguozhi yanyi], but works such as Chu Han yanyi 楚漢演義, Jiandeng xinhua, and Taiping guangji are all misleading. Even magnificent verses are unrelated to the way of learning, to say nothing of these 19  It was an important obligation of Chosŏn-dynasty kings to attend lectures on Confucian classics  and official histories of China and Korea (經筵). Typically, the lectures were given one to three times a day and several high vassals usually attended the lectures, often using the sessions as an opportunity to make political suggestions to the king based on the contents of the lectures. Here, Ki tries to impress upon the king the bad influences of fiction and strongly requests him to suppress it.  18  tenuous and irrational books! The Official Histories (正史) record the ruler’s order and confusion as well as his rise and fall. Therefore, a ruler should not avoid reading these. … The profound meaning of the classics is difficult to understand, while the historical records are easy to trace; this is why people have hated to read classics and preferred to read historical records since ancient times. … Although Jiandeng xinhua is lowly and obscene, the Office of Editorial Review has still privately managed to gather materials [for its publication] and has even already cut the printing blocks [for it]; people of discernment (有識者) were all frustrated by this. The Sanguozhi yanyi, being so eccentric and hollow, also got published; those [who allowed the publication of the Sanguozhi yanyi] were surely without discernment (無識者). … When a ruler leads his people, he should ban these unrighteous books, since their bad effects are no different from those of petty men (小人). … As for books we Confucian scholars can value and exert ourselves over, there are none like Neo-Confucian teachings. 20 It is most lamentable that recently 20  What Ki literally mentioned is the teachings of the Cheng brothers and Zhu Xi (程朱學), which  often epitomize the concept of Neo-Confucian teachings. They also became the basis of the state civil service examinations in the Chosŏn dynasty. Concerning how the Neo-Confucian classics became the basis of the exmaninations, see Chung Chai-sik, “Chŏng Tojŏn: ‘Architect’ of Yi [Chosŏn] Dynasty Government and Ideology” In The Rise of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary and JaHyun Kim Haboush, 65-6 and passim. Also see Yi Sŏngmu, “The Influence of Neo-Confucianism on Education and the Civil Service Examination System in Fourteenth- and Fifteenth-Century Korea” In The Rise of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary and JaHyun Kim Haboush, 125-60, especially 149-52. Concerning how the educational system in Chosŏn operated with the basis of  19  scholars take Neo-Confucian teachings as uninspiring old sayings and instead like to read new books. 21  Neo-Confucianism, see Ch’oe Yŏng-ho, “Private Academies and the State in Late Chosŏn Korea.” In Culture and the State in Late Chosŏn Korea, 15-45. 21  Ki, 2: 132-33; all translations are mine unless otherwise noted. 奇大升 進啓曰: “頃日 張弼武  引見時傳敎內, 張飛 一聲, 走萬軍之語, 未見正史, 聞在三國志衍義云。 此書出來未久, 小臣未見之, 而或因朋輩間聞之, 則甚多妄誕。 如天文地理之書, 則或有前隱而後著, 史記則初失其傳, 後難臆度, 而敷衍增益, 極其怪誕。 臣後見其冊, 定是無賴者裒集雜言, 如成古談。 非但雜駁無益, 甚害義理, 自上偶爾一見, 甚爲未安。 就其中而言之, 如 董承 衣帶中詔及赤壁之戰勝處, 各以怪誕之事, 衍成無稽之言。 自上幸恐不知其冊根本, 故敢啓。 非但此書如 楚 、 漢 衍義等書, 如此類不一, 無非害理之甚者也。 詩文詞華, 尙且不關, 況 《剪燈新話》 、 《大平廣記》 等書, 皆足以誤人心志者乎? 自上知其誣而戒之, 則可以切實於學問之功也。” 又啓曰: “正史, 則治亂存亡 俱載, 不可不見也。 然若徒觀文字, 而不觀事迹, 則亦有害也。 經書則深奧難解, 《史記》 則事迹 不明, 人之厭經而喜史, 擧世皆然。 故自古儒士, 雜博則易, 精微則難矣。 《剪燈新話》, 鄙褻可愕之甚者。 校書館私給材料, 至於刻板, 有識之人莫不痛心。 或欲去其板本, 而因循至今, 閭巷之間, 爭相印見, 其間男女會淫、神怪不經之說, 亦多有之矣。 《三國志衍義》, 則怪誕如是, 而至於印出, 其時之人, 豈不無識? …王者導民, 當禁不正之書, 此其爲害, 與小人無異也… 近來學者, 以 程 、 朱 之書爲尋常, 而喜見新出之書, 此亦多害。 自上亦可知之也。”  20  It is worth noting that Ki himself admits that Confucian classics are less enjoyable to read than historical texts, while fictional narratives are even more entertaining than historical texts. By comparing the readability of Confucian classics and historical texts, Ki, to some extent, also seems to recognize that Chinese fictional narratives originated from unofficial histories. 22 Ki’s objection to fiction is in fact divided into two layers based on social hierarchy. As for the literati, which includes the king, fiction should be banned since it can mix imaginary things with historical facts, eventually making the rulers and officials confused. 23 Fiction also inhibits Confucian governance, since young scholars often choose to entertain themselves by reading fiction rather than devoting themselves to the Confucian classics, which eventually turns them into “petty men.” As for ordinary people, fiction’s lowly and obscene contents have a bad influence on them and hinder their enlightenment with Confucian values. As a matter of fact, Ki’s condemnation of fiction shows a striking resemblance to Li Shimian’s 李時勉 petition to Emperor Yingzong 英宗 of the Ming in 1463 concerning the banning of the Jiandeng xinhua. Li, then Chancellor of the Directorate of Education 國子監祭酒, mentioned: 22  For a more detailed discussion of the relation between fiction and unofficial histories, refer to  Judith Zeitlin, Historian of the Strange, 1–12. She points out that fiction was often called waishi 外史 (unofficial history) and yishi 逸史 (left-over history). I would add that fiction was also called yeshi 野史 (unofficial history), yishi 異史 (extraordinary history), or yushi 餘史 (residual history). 23  In the Chosŏn dynasty, the king was often identified as The Number One Literatus (di yi ru  第一儒), which implies that the king himself, as an exemplary role model for all subordinate literati, should exert himself to Confucian self-cultivation. Simply put, rulers of Chosŏn did not create powerful dictatorships as did rulers in late imperial China, and were bound strictly by Confucian obligations.  21  Recently some secular literati, making a pretext of observing peculiar matters, have been generating groundless accounts, Jiandeng xinhua being one of them. Not only are frivolous men in the street competing to read and recite these kinds of stories, but also students of Confucian classics and scholars, having discarded discussion of righteous studies, are going through [these stories] day and night, using them as the topics of their discussion. If we do not strictly ban [these stories], malicious beliefs and heresy would become prevalent day by day, eventually confusing public sentiment. 24 It is notable that Li’s frustration as to the dangerous effects of fiction is restated in detail by Ki in Chosŏn in 1569, upon the dissemination of stories such as Jiandeng xinhua. It can also be argued that both Li and Ki, being the strictest of Confucian scholars, almost unconsciously noticed that fiction would be the strongest competitor to Confucian studies since they all realized that fiction’s entertaining nature was too detrimental even for professional scholars, compared to the relative tediousness of Confucian doctrines. Just as beautiful women are conceived of as a potential danger since they can ruin scholars by tempting them to indulge in desire, fiction’s entertaining nature is likewise regarded as too dangerous in the same context; although both Confucian classics and fictional narratives are transmitted in the form of reading materials, in terms of entertainment readability, fiction excels the classics significantly. In other words, it is fiction’s addictive nature (like sex) that frustrated and scandalized these uptight scholars; fiction needed to be strictly contained, lest it impair Confucian ideals. Although fiction was severely condemned in public—especially among the literati—its strong entertainment value nevertheless facilitated its successful and gradual permeation into the 24  Quoted in Ch’oe, “Myŏngch’ŏng sosŏl,” 46. Li’s petition is later quoted in Gu Yanwu 顧炎武’s  Rizhi lu 日知錄. Refer to Chapter Four, “On Banning Fiction” (jin xiaoshuo 禁小說).  22  life of yangban literati. Ironically, although most literati criticized the popularity of fiction, they were the only people who could enjoy the first and most direct access to newly imported stories from China; of course, it was also the literati who made frequent visits to China as envoys, purchasing all types of popular stories there. Whereas the literati strongly urged the king to refrain from reading these “misleading tales” and also objected to the publication of fiction by the government, they were also the ones who ardently read and appreciated these stories in their leisure time. Yi Sanghwang’s allegedly secret obsession with Chinese stories is a case in point. Yi warns: “Trivial tales are so detrimental to men that they harm more people than ferocious beasts do. When encountering beasts, people feel afraid and flee. When acquiring lewd books, they nevertheless embrace them.” 25 Though he was in fact a well-known reader of Chinese novels and ghost stories with a collection of thousands of Chinese novels, Yi nevertheless maintained a disapproving attitude toward Chinese narratives in public, following the long tradition of Chosŏn literati. However, his mania for Chinese stories was not merely confined to himself, but influenced those around him, whether they could read classical Chinese or not. Yi Sanghwang’s colleague, Yi Yuwŏn, mentions, “Lord Tong’ŏ [Yi Sanghwang] never releases trivial stories from his hands. Whatever interesting new book he acquires, he frequently brings it to the Translators’ Bureau [with himself being the head of the bureau] to have it translated  25  稗官爲說害人多,猛獸於人不是過,猛獸當頭知畏避,淫書入手反摩挲. Yi Sanghwang, Tong’ŏ  yujip 桐漁遺集. (Text available at  23  precisely. Envoys and merchants to Beijing compete to purchase [storybooks to present him], and [the books purchased this way] have piled up to thousands of volumes.” 26 Contrary to Yi Sanghwang’s example, some bold literati openly revealed their fondness of fiction. Yun Ch’unnyŏn 尹春年 (1514–1567), who rose to the position of Minister of Rites 禮曹判書, openly praised Kim Sisŭp 金時習 (1435~1493), author of Kŭmo sinhwa 金鰲神話 26  桐漁李公平日手不釋者, 卽稗說也. 毋論某種好閱新本, 時帶譯院都相象譯之,  赴燕者爭相購納, 積之屢千卷. Yi Yuwŏn (李裕元 1814-1888), Imha p’ilgi 林下筆記, juan 27, Ch’unmyŏng isa 春明逸史: 46. (Digital Text available at It can be safely assumed that Yi Sanghwang had the storybooks imported from China translated into colloquial Korean not for himself, but for others who lacked knowledge of classical Chinese, most probably for the women in the inner chambers. As a leading intellectual who later rose to the rank of prime minister, Yi could effortlessly enjoy the Chinese ghost stories that he favored such as Jiandeng xinhua, with his full command of classical Chinese. Min Kwandong asserts that Yi had the Chinese storybooks translated for the king’s concubines or his female family members such as his wife, mother, or daughters. (see, Min Kwandong (2005), 108-9). By this period, women in the yangban households had emerged as critical readers and buyers of Chinese storybooks, and it was not uncommon for yangban literati to translate Chinese narratives into colloquial Korean for their own female family members. For instance, note the example of O Hŭi’mun, who, upon the request of his married daughter, translated Chu Han yanyi 楚漢演義 from Chinese into colloquial Korean in 1595, as mentioned in the third chapter of this dissertation. I discuss in more detail the relationship between the dissemination of Three Kingdoms and the emergence of female readers in Chapters 3 and 5. For further examples of women’s readership of novels in Chosŏn Korea, see Ōtani Morishige, “Chōsen chō shōsetsu no jitsuzō” 朝鮮朝小説の実像, Chōsen gakuhō 朝鮮学報, nos. 176–77 (2000): 67–100.  24  (New Stories of Mount Kǔmo; hereafter Mount Kǔmo), comparing him to Confucius. 27 Yang Sŏngji 梁誠之 (1415~1482), one of the closest counsels of King Sejo 世祖 (r. 1455-1468), also argued to the king that reading the Taiping guangji can help scholars prepare for the state examinations. 28 Hŏ Kyun, who had purchased more than four thousand Chinese books in Beijing, was also a leading scholar and official. As time went by, some popular Chinese novels became so widespread that famous chapters of these novels grew to be common knowledge even among ordinary people. Yi Ik 李翊 (1681–1763) mentions an occasion when an episode from the Sanguozhi yanyi once became the topic of a state examination because the examiners confused official history with a a fictitious story. 29 With respect to the influence of Chinese fiction, Yu Mong’in 柳夢寅 (1559~1623) mentioned, “All men of letters in our country have read Taiping guangji.” 30 The late Ming saw a rapidly expanding book market and wide distribution of xiaoshuo, facilitated by the prosperity brought by the economic growth in the Jiangnan area. With the economic growth and wider distribution of vernacular literature, accompanied by the new literary flow focusing on individualism and accommodation of human desire, the readers/audience of vernacular fiction also became more interested in an increased focus on the individual and the private as a theme of xiaoshuo. Although literary trends in premodern Korea often followed China’s, this is not what happened in the case of the vernacular fiction boom and the increased focus on the individual 27  Ch’oe, “Chungguk kŭmsŏ,” 545–46.  28  An Pyŏngguk, “T’aep’yŏng kwanggi,” 171.  29  Yi Ik, 321.  30  Quoted in An, 171.  25  and the private. Chosŏn Korea did not go through the same economic growth that Ming China enjoyed; instead, during the late Ming and early Qing period, Chosŏn had to face the two greatest wars in its five hundred-year history. The Imjin Wars 壬辰倭亂 (the Hideyoshi invasions of Korea in the 1590s), and the Pyŏngja Wars 丙子胡亂 (the Manchu invasions of Korea from 1627 to 1628) brought about numerous critical changes in Chosŏn Korea. A boom in the publication of war literature was one such change. Scarred by the wars, many commoners yearned for the appearance of war heroes endowed with the values of loyalty (zhong 忠) and righteousness (yi 義). A cult of so-called “defensive nationalism” arose among Koreans after the foreign invasions, and Korean literati at the time were easily captivated by the idea of the historical legitimacy of the Shu-Han dynasty founded by Liu Bei (Shu-Han zhengtong sixiang 蜀漢正統思想). From the mid-Chosŏn period onward, Three Kingdoms became popular among all literate classes of people, and the influence of Three Kingdoms became apparent in all literary genres, including sijo (three-line verse), p’ansori (drama), narratives, and fables. Mid-Chosŏn society also saw a boom in war literature, especially in the field of vernacular fiction, which often adapted scenes of war from the Sanguozhi yanyi and the Shuihu zhuan 水湖傳 (Water Margin); many of them simply “borrowed” certain chapters or scenes of war from these novels. Particularly noteworthy are the war novels whose protagonists are social minorities such as a maiden from the inner chamber or a posthumous child, which evidently reflected the commoners’ disillusionment with the impotence of yangban literati in cases of national emergency. 31  31  In Pakssi chŏn 朴氏傳, Madam Pak, who has been rejected by her husband Yi Sibaek for her  ugly appearance, defeats the Manchu general Longguda 龍骨大 when her husband Yi, then the Vice  26  Although the Japanese and Manchu invasions of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries “cost both the Korean people and the Chosŏn dynasty government dearly and took decades to overcome,” 32 the struggle to re-clarify national identity along with the post-war reconstruction and development brought “cultural and economic transformation leading to a society, an economy, a culture, and an intellectual life more fluid, more diverse, and more sophisticated than any the peninsula had ever seen before.” 33After these two critical wars, Korea enjoyed peace for some two centuries; no major invasions from China or Japan occurred and no large-scale peasant rebellions erupted. Korea saw steady growth in its population during this relatively peaceful period. Although population growth led to a growing politically active class—mostly the literati class—the number of government posts did not increase in line with the growing population of people eligible and yearning for government positions and political careers, resulting in fierce competition among the literati for the same number of government positions. The result “heightened political rivalry, hardening into the factional alliances that  Minister of War 兵曹參判, shows incompetence in fighting the invaders. Her heroic martial skills as well as her Taoist magical abilities stand in marked contrast with her husband Yi’s lack of valor and strategy. Yi was a real historical figure—the Vice Minister of Defense at the time of the Manchu Qing invasion. In Yu Ch’ungnyŏl chŏn 劉忠烈傳 (Tale of Liu Zhonglie), Liu (Yu in Korean) is the posthumous son of a Ming loyalist Liu Xun, who was assassinated by his political enemies. Liu later takes his revenge by defeating his late father’s enemies, who secretly collaborated with the Manchu invaders. These stories all reveal strong antagonism against the Manchu Qing invaders and dissatisfaction with the incompetence of Korean officials in time of war. 32  Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, 2:4.  33  Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, 2:4.  27  dominated politics for much of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.” 34 During this period of fierce factional struggles, Neo-Confucian metaphysics was often used as an excuse to initiate a political attack based on moral superiority over one’s rival party. On the other hand, Chosŏn Korea saw a flourishing of fiction from the seventeenth century; we can observe a rapidly growing number of examples of the importation and dissemination of popular Chinese narratives and the creation of fictional prose narratives in vernacular Korean during this period. This fiction boom was especially prominent during the reigns of King Yŏngjo 英祖 (r. 1725–1776) and King Chŏngjo 正祖 (r. 1777–1800), which roughly coincided with the reigns of Emperor Yongzheng 雍正 (r. 1723–1735) and Emperor Qianlong 乾隆 (r. 1736–1795) in Qing China. It is notable that during this period, both Chosŏn Korea and Qing China were experiencing the height of cultural and economic prosperity. With the flourishing of fictional narratives, many literati began to boldly reveal their approval of fiction. Also, the number of literati actually producing fictional narratives began to increase; they often included notes on various stories and travelogues in their collected works, which were clearly influenced by the “writing-brush notes” (biji xiaoshuo 筆記小說) and vignettes (xiaopin 小品) popular in late Ming. Along with the increasing number of advocates of fiction, opposition to this “empty and obscene” genre grew even fiercer. As noted earlier, during the reigns of King Y ŏngjo and Chŏngjo, Neo-Confucian philosophy was often used as a pretext to attack the moral weakness of one’s political enemy at the royal court, and therefore any literary trend which embraced fiction  34  Ibid., 2:7.  28  was severely criticized at court. Somewhat similar to the tragedy of wenzi yu 文字獄 (prosecution of writers on account of literary offence to the ruler) in Qing China during the same period 35, the vilification of anything related to fiction, including the creation and dissemination of fiction and any literary style not resembling the Confucian classics, soon became the targets of political attack in Chosŏn. As for those few literati who did not hide their fondness for fiction, their stigmatization as the advocates of an “unrighteous literary style” was quite detrimental to their political career, since King Chŏngjo himself had a clear and strong belief that the literati should refrain from “the composition of trivial writing” and restore the original writings of the sages. King Chŏngjo mentioned: As for books, our nation’s households are filled with mounting piles of books and they are all identical to the original Chinese editions. Concerning the books already published, [people in our nation] have read them enough to both please themselves and refer to them for their own writings. So where is the need to purchase [additional books]? The most despicable things [among those books] are the collected works of the late Ming and early Qing and the so-called “notes on trivial things” 稗官雜說, being an enormous obstacle for the Way to enlighten the world. As I examine recent literary styles, so frivolous and erratic, I can easily tell that they are not from the great masters of writing but are mostly from trivial notes. Although [I] do not feel the need to set up a law to ban [the purchase of these lowly Chinese books], it would be advisable for those envoys to refrain 35  Wenzi yu in Qing China was most apparent during the reigns of the Yongzheng and Qianlong  emperors. For example, refer to the prosecution of Zeng Jing 曾靜 discussed in Chapter 4. For further details of Zeng Jing’s case, see Jonathan Spence, Treason by the Book.  29  from going too far [and purchasing those books]. Therefore, let my instructions be well understood by the envoys. As for the books of trivial teachings, add them to a separate black list to have them strictly banned (t’onggŭm 痛禁). 36 It is notable that King Chŏngjo specifically pinpointed the writings of late Ming and early Qing as the most problematic works that might harm the Neo-Confucian order of Chosŏn; the fascination with desire and the focus on individuality and the private realm prevalent in the fiction of the late imperial period were themes that the literati society of Chosŏn was not prepared to contain. The official disapproval of fiction by government authority reached its peak when King Chŏngjo officially punished literati engaged in “empty writings.” In 1787, Yi Sanghwang and Kim Chosun 金祖淳 (1765~1832) were caught by King Chŏngjo while reading Tang and Song tales during their night duty at court. The king dismissed them immediately and burnt the storybooks on the spot. In 1792, King Chŏngjo also gave orders to strictly seek out and confiscate any “suspicious books” purchased by envoys to China. He also instructed that anyone who wrote in the style of “trivial writings of late Ming and early Qing” on the state examination should be failed and be deprived of the right to write a state examination in the future. Student Yi Ok 李鈺 was punished for excessive use of the literary styles found in fiction. 37 Nam Kongch’ŏl 南公轍 (1760~1840), who used to be one of the king’s favorite counsels, was also dismissed when his petition to the king included a word used in vernacular fiction. Including Nam, officials who were punished for their inadequate literary preferences 36  Quoted in Ch’oe, “Chungguk kŭmsŏ,” 546–47; original text quoted in Juan 24 of Chŏngjo sillok  (Veritable Records of King Chŏngjo’s Reign). 37  Pak Hyŏnmo, 164–65.  30  could be reinstated to their offices only after submitting a sworn statement in the style of the Six Classics. 38 What the king was actually trying to do was control the content of writing by restraining the literary style. This strict government oppression against vernacular literary trends, which was called the “restoration of virtuous textual style” (munch’e panjŏng 文體反正) was successful to some extent, in that it suppressed the vigorous creation of fiction. Until the end of the Chosŏn dynasty, very few literati created novels using their real names. Unlike the authors/writers in late imperial China, no scholar in Chosŏn tried to make a living by creating or editing fiction, or even by writing commentaries or a preface to novels. The fictional narratives by the literati which effectively survived this period include satirical stories with admonishing or didactic content and travelogues. Pak Chiwŏn 朴趾源 (1737~1805), who was openly criticized by King Chŏngjo as the ringleader of new-fangled literary styles, could only unfold his ideas by writing highly satirical stories in his travelogue to Beijing, the Yŏrha ilgi 熱河日記. 39 However successful the oppression of new literary styles may have been in controlling the unrestricted creation of fiction by the literati, it could not entirely prevent the importation and dissemination of fiction from China, nor the creation of fiction by anonymous writers. By the late seventeenth century, many popular narratives permeated the lives of the literati so deeply that even those who criticized them knew the contents of such famous works as Jiandeng xinhua  38  Pak Hyŏnmo, 165.  39  Pak asserted that he merely copied the stories he saw during his travels in China. Although he  was still severely criticized for his unorthodox vernacular textual style, the ambiguous authorship of these stories enabled Pak to manage to avoid political attack for the liberal ideas concealed in his satirical stories.  31  and Sanguozhi yanyi. 40 Because the number of scholars secretly reading fiction continued to increase, it was impossible to have them all punished, and such punishment typically did not last very long. An example is the same Yi Sanghwang, who was dismissed after the king caught him covertly reading Tang and Song tales, but eventually rose to the position of prime minister, despite his widespread reputation as someone obsessed with “notes on trivial things.” Yi’s recovery of the king’s favor illustrates the political limitations on the banning of fictional narratives.  Introduction and Dissemination of Three Kingdoms into Chosŏn Korea  2.3  Popular novels produced during the late imperial period flowed into Korea almost simultaneously with their publication in China. Unfortunately, scholars have yet to clarify the exact date of the Three Kingdoms’ first introduction to Korea. The first official reference to the Sanguozhi yanyi recorded in the Chosŏn wangjo sillok (Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty) was made in the second year of King Sŏnjo’s reign (1569) in the petition of Ki Taesŭng, which confirms that by 1569 the Sanguozhi yanyi had already been circulating widely among Korean literati. Late-Koryŏ scholars reveal a very strong sense of the historical legitimacy of the Shu-Han dynasty founded by Liu Bei [as outlined in the theory of Shu-Han legitimacy], which demonstrates that the literary society of late Koryŏ was already prepared to accommodate the Han-Chinese nationalism in Sanguozhi yanyi in terms of its ideological 40  Jiandeng xinhua and Sanguozhi yanyi were the two most controversial and debated works at  court concerning the influence and banning of fiction. The debates recorded in The Veritable History of the Chosŏn Dynasty demonstrate that even those officials who openly criticized these works were all familiar with the storylines of these works in great detail.  32  background. This ideological preference among Korean literati stimulated by Zhu Xi (11301200) became even stronger in the Chosŏn period. The issues of introduction, reception, dissemination, and influence of Three Kingdoms will be discussed in more detail in the following chapters.  2.4  Rise in Popularity among the Literati Class Upon its importation, the popularity of Three Kingdoms grew steadily among the  literati. One reason for this popularity is that the Three Kingdoms was written mostly in classical Chinese, unlike many other popular novels in the late imperial period. The yangban literati class in Chosŏn Korea was well versed in classical Chinese, but had almost no knowledge of colloquial Chinese. 41 The example of Ki Tae-sǔng mentioned above illustrates  41  There can be little doubt that the Chinese narratives introduced to Chosŏn Korea were first  consumed and appreciated by the yangban literati, and that some popular works became widespread, often with colloquial revisions, among all literate classes of people. Korean literati, with their educational background in classical Chinese, preferred works written in classical Chinese to colloquial ones. There is a record in the Chosŏn wangjo sillok [Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty] that King Yŏnsan, having difficulties understanding contemporary colloquial Chinese expressions in Jiandeng xinhua [New Stories to Trim the Lamp by], gave a royal order to revise it into classical Chinese (Chosŏn wangjo sillok 14: 63). For further references from the Chosŏn wangjo sillok, I rely on the digital database published by the National Institute of Korean History available at Reference books for reading traditional novels written mostly in colloquial Chinese were used among the Chosǒn literati in this context. For example, even in the late 1910s, Chuhae ǒlok ch’ongnam 註解語錄總覽 a reference book for colloquial vocabulary in traditional Chinese novels and  33  that Korean literati’s understanding of Chinese history also facilitated the reception of the Three Kingdoms, the storyline of which is based on the official history of that period of division. The absence of a complete translation of the Three Kingdoms in the early and mid-Chosŏn period also reveals that copies of the Three Kingdoms circulated mostly among the literati at the time in classical Chinese. Given that the vernacular Korean translation of Jinghua yuan [Flowers in the Mirror] appeared only seven years after its first publication in 1828 in China, it can be argued that the literati did not feel the urge or need to translate the Three Kingdoms into Korean, as they clearly had the literary skills necessary to read it.  dramas such as Xiyou ji, Xixiang ji, and Sanguo yanyi were published in Korea. For example, in the section for interpreting colloquial Chinese words in Xiyou ji of this book, niang 娘 is explained as an equivalent to mu (or mo in K.) 母 for Korean readers. For the electronic copy of this volume at the Naksǒnjae Royal Library Collection, refer to^10_000. It should also be noted that even the envoys to China had little knowledge of colloquial Chinese. The envoys were selected among high officials at court, and they were accompanied by professional translators/interpreters of Chinese trained at the Sayǒgwǒn 司譯院 (Translation Bureau). Pak t’ongsa and Nogŏltae, manuals of colloquial Chinese for Korean learners mentioned earlier in this chapter, were used as textbooks to train these translators at the Sayǒgwǒn. (Refer to Kim Dong-uk, 73-4.) The travelogue to Beijing by Pak Chiwǒn has anecdotes showing that Pak had to write memos in the form of classical Chinese, which was the everyday medium of writing for the yangban literati, in order to communicate with the Chinese intellectuals.  34  2.5  Jiandeng xinhua and the Development of Fictional Narratives in East Asian  Civilizations The dissemination of Jiandeng xinhua by Qu You (瞿佑 1347–1433) is a significant case study in the influence of Chinese classical tales on other East Asian civilizations, such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Also worth noting is the reintroduction of Jiandeng xinhua and classical tales influenced by Jiandeng xinhua from these East Asian countries back to China. Jiandeng xinhua, a collection of short stories in classical Chinese, gained immediate popularity after its first completion in 1379 under the name Jiandeng lu 剪燈錄 (Records by the Trimmed Lamp). Within several decades after its publication in China, Jiandeng xinhua (hereafter New Stories) was already circulating in Korea, and soon Kim Sisŭp created Kǔmo sinhwa (hereafter Mount Kǔmo), which was deeply influenced by New Stories both in its storylines and literary style. An annotated version of New Stories (Chŏndǔng sinhwa kuhae 剪 燈新話句解) was also published by royal order in 1559 in Chosŏn.42 Both New Stories and Mount Kǔmo had a great influence on Korean classical literature in later periods. During the Hideyoshi invasions, both Mount Kǔmo and Chŏndǔng sinhwa kuhae (hereafter Annotated New Stories) were exported to Japan and circulated widely, resulting in the creation of Tokibōko 伽婢子, an adaptation of New Stories and Mount Kǔmo.  42  Annotations were inserted alongside the text. Refer to Chŏndǔng sinhwa kuhae yokchu (Seoul:  Purŭn Sasang, 2007).  35  Meanwhile, New Stories found its way to Vietnam and also inspired the creation of Truen Ky man luc 傳寄漫錄, a creative adaptation of New Stories. 43 However, the banning of New Stories by the petition of Li Shimian in 1463 in China 44 impacted its circulation seriously; it almost disappeared from the book market and was never able to regain its popularity among the masses until its reintroduction in 1917 by Dong Kang 董 康, who acquired a copy of Annotated New Stories in Japan. 45 Editions of New Stories published in the 1930s and 40s in China were all based on the edition Dong Kang brought back from Japan. It is interesting that New Stories, more than four hundred years after it was banned in Ming China, was finally reintroduced to Chinese readers through an edition that was originally annotated by Korean scholars and made available in Japan, thus demonstrating the interactive influence and dissemination of classical tales among these East Asian countries. Mount Kǔmo also nearly disappeared in Chosŏn Korea after it was taken by Japanese armies in a raid; it was not until Ch’oe Namsŏn brought back a copy of Mount Kǔmo from Japan in 1927 that it was reintroduced to Korea. 46 In short, New Stories was influential on the development of classical tales in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam for more than five hundred years. It is ironic that although New Stories originated in China, it has had a much greater influence on the development of fictional narratives in countries outside China. New Stories also contributed to the formation of the  43  Choe (2000), 54-9.  44  For the contents of Li’s petition, refer to page 22.  45  Choe (2000), 55.  46  Ch’oe, “Kŭmo sinhwa Chosŏn kanbon ŭi palgul kwa wŏnbon e kwanhan koch’al, ” 359-69.  36  national literatures of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam; adaptations of New Stories all represented the sentiments of the local people and the authors/translators. I will now further examine the dissemination and circulation of New Stories to other East Asian civilizations.  2.6  The Making and Banning of New Stories Like many authors of Ming Qing fiction, who were often “frustrated scholars,” Qu You  did not lead a successful life. His political career was ruined by the political struggles in which he was involved. New Stories was completed in 1378 when Qu, at the age of 32, was working as a teacher for a local school in Hangzhou. 47 New Stories seems to have gained popularity soon after its completion; it was circulated in both printed and manuscript form during the succeeding decades, while prefaces by famous literati were added in 1378, 1381, and 1389. The Supplementary Tales to New Stories 剪燈餘話 by Li Zhen 李楨, the first and most influential of many sequels to Qu You’s work, appeared in 1420, forty-two years after the first appearance of New Stories. Following the publication of Supplementary Tales to New Stories (hereafter Supplementary New Stories), Qu published the reprinted edition of New Stories in 1421, at the age of seventy-five—forty-four years after the first completion of New Stories. At this time, Qu was still in exile in Bao’an where he had been banished since 1408. Allan Barr introduces the arguments of some scholars as to the influence of Qu’s political downfall on the reprinted New Stories, stating, “When Ch’ű [Qu] copyedited the text of his stories late in his life, he may have introduced some new contents in order to vent the frustration that he felt during his long period of disgrace and banishment from 1408 to 1425,  47  See Xu Shuofang, 454–55 for a brief survey of Qu You’s career.  37  following alleged irregularities in the performance of his duties.” 48 However, Qu’s views on the society of his day as conveyed in his tales did not prevail for another two decades, since Li Shimian, Chancellor of the Directorate of Education at that time, submitted a petition insisting on the banning of New Stories in 1442.  Jiandeng xinhua in Chosŏn Korea  2.7  Both New Stories and Supplementary New Stories were imported to Korea within several decades after their first publication in China. New Stories gained popularity among the literati soon after its introduction to Chosŏn. The story of Aiqing zhuan 愛卿傳 was introduced in Hunse sŏrhwa 訓世說話, a textbook of colloquial Chinese compiled by Yi Pyŏn in 1464. Moreover, King Yŏnsan showed a particular interest in New Stories; he gave a special order for envoys to China to purchase New Stories for him, a most untraditional deed for a king who was expected to serve as the supreme example for Confucian scholars. 49 Nevertheless, New Stories  48  The Columbia History of Chinese Literature, 680.  49  There are four records as to King Yŏnsan’s particular interest in New Stories in The Veritable  Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty—three of the records show King Yŏnsan ordering the purchase of New Stories from China and one has the king granting New Stories to his retainers, arguing that indulging in songs and women (聲色) and singing and dancing (歌舞) does not necessarily ruin the state of a kingdom 國勢. (Refer to the record of the twelfth day of the fourth month of the twelfth year (1506) in Yŏnsan ilgi in The Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty. Text available at His bold advocacy of unorthodox entertainment such as fiction later developed into one of the major reasons for his loss of the throne. Condemned as a dissipated and depraved ruler (huangyin wudao 荒淫無道),  38  remained the object of the literati’s attention even after King Yŏnsan’s dethronement. In the sixth year of the reign of King Chungjong 中宗 (r. 1506–1544), officials at court discussed the influence of New Stories on a few different occasions. King Myŏngjong (r. 1545–1567) ordered the compilation of Annotated New Stories, which was successfully published by a team of officials and translators in 1549 and 1559 respectively. It remains the only annotated New Stories edition in all of East Asia, and was exported to China and Japan, gaining great popularity especially in Japan. On the other hand, Kim Sisŭp, another talented but unsuccessful scholar in King Sejo’s 世祖 time (r.1455–1468), created Mount Kŭmo, an adaptive story collection based on New Stories, which was also introduced to China and Japan and became quite widespread especially in Japan. Kim resembles Qu You in many respects; both scholars were talented but had unsuccessful political careers, and their frustration was reflected in the story collections they created. 50 Scholars generally agree that Mount Kŭmo is the first full-scale fictional narrative in premodern Korea, influencing numerous followers of its kind.  Yŏnsan was overthrown in 1506 and demoted to Lord Yŏnsan (燕山君) within several months of issuing his royal order to purchase New Stories. 50  Kim became the focus of attention at the age of three for his accomplished skills in Chinese  poetry. Having gained a reputation as a prodigy for his unusual literary skills at such an early age, he had an interview with King Sejong at the age of five, successfully solving the problems the king had prepared to test his skills. Being an upright Confucian elite scholar, Kim refused to serve the new king when King Sejo gained the royal throne by overthrowing and killing his nephew, King Tanjong. He lived the rest of his life as a hermit, indulging in Buddhist and Taoist studies. Kŭmo is the name of the mountain where he lived as a hermit. Whereas we can find the chaotic state of dynastic change in Qu You’s New Stories,  39  2.8  Influence of New Stories and Mount Kŭmo in Japan and the Creation of  Tokibōko As noted earlier, both Mount Kŭmo and Annotated New Stories were exported from Korea to Japan after the Hideyoshi invasions in the 1590s. The first reference to New Stories in Japan is found in a poem composed in 1482, shortly after Kim Sisǔp noted his reading of New Stories, 51 thus revealing that New Stories was exported to both Japan and Korea within several decades of its completion. In 1602, Hayashi Razan 林羅山 (1583–1657), a Confucian scholar in the Tokugawa government, added a preface to the Annotated New Stories published in 1559 in Chosŏn, demonstrating the rapid dissemination of fictional narratives from Korea to Japan in this period. Hayashi also edited and published Mount Kŭmo in 1653, which was republished in 1660 and 1673. 52 The most famous Japanese adaptation of New Stories, Tokibōko by Asai Ryōi 浅井了意 (1612?–1691?), appeared in 1666. More specifically, Tokibōko is an adaptation of three different works; it includes eighteen stories adapted from New Stories, two stories from Supplementary New Stories, and two stories from Mount Kŭmo. Recent studies of Tokibōko have revealed that Asai also closely studied Mount Kŭmo as well as New Stories for his creation  Kim’s Mount Kŭmo reveals the frustration of the author during the turmoil of political disorder resulting from the bloody struggle for the royal throne. Like Qu, Kim also created his classical Chinese story collection in his early thirties. 51  Ch’oe, “Myŏngdae,” 53.  52  Ibid.  40  of Tokibōko. 53 Asai’s approach toward adaptation is distinctly revealed in Tokibōko; targeting Japanese readers unfamiliar with literary Chinese, Asai not only changed the names of characters, place names, and other settings into Japanese ones, but also rewrote the stories in plain Japanese with titles likewise changed to accommodate the sentiments of Japanese readers. The localization of this adapted story collection was so successful that New Stories became a popular source for many other adapted works in Japan. Among the three most representative adaptations of New Stories produced in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, Tokibōko is the only work written in the colloquial language of its own country instead of in classical Chinese.  2.9  Influence of New Stories in Vietnam and Truen Ky man luc Truen Ky man luc (Expansive Records of Marvelous Tales), a Vietnamese adaptation of  New Stories by Nguyen Du 阮嶼, first appeared in the early sixteenth century. 54 Like Mount Kŭmo in Korean literature, it has an important status in the history of Vietnamese literature; it is considered to be the earliest fictional work produced in Vietnam. Twenty tales written in classical Chinese, Truen Ky man luc reflects intensely the historical background of the author. Nguyen Du lived through a period of political turmoil caused by internal revolts and invasions by Ming China beginning in 1407 and lasting for two decades. The chaotic situations during periods of dynastic change from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries are often used as the historical background in his work. It is worth noting that although Nguyen created his collection of classical tales based on New Stories, the complicated historical and political situation surrounding him made his work quite nationalistic. 53  See Han Yŏnghwan, 10–12 and passim.  54  Chen Yiyuan asserts that it was first published around 1530–40. See 63–4.  41  Severe antagonism against the Chinese invaders is seen in many of his tales. For example, in Liniang zhuan 麗娘傳, Liniang, the female protagonist, is captured by the Ming armies, and commits suicide to preserve her chastity. Liniang’s husband, scholar Li, after vowing not to remarry in front of her tomb, voluntarily takes part in a campaign against Ming invaders and kills every single military officer of the Ming army that he encounters. 55 In Sanyuansi panshi lu 傘圓祠判事錄, the soul of a Ming general named Cui takes the shrine originally dedicated to a Vietnamese general Li by impersonating him. General Li restores the shrine by formally complaining about the Ming general to King Yama with the help of a scholar named Wu. Truen Ky man luc is an example showing that an adapted work can be critical of the country of its source.  2.10 Dissemination and Reintroduction of Classical Chinese Tales in East Asian Civilizations As noted earlier, Mount Kŭmo and Annotated New Stories were transmitted from Korea to Japan during the Japanese invasions of the 1590s. It must also be remembered that many Chinese fictional narratives, including contemporary editions of the Sanguozhi yanyi, were transmitted to Chosŏn during this war by Chinese soldiers sent to Korea to fight the Japanese army. In addition, Ch’oe Yongch’ŏl points out that New Stories might have been transmitted to Vietnam during the Ming invasions in the early fifteenth century, since Zhang Fu 張輔, who is presumed to have been an ardent reader of New Stories because he helped release Qu You from  55  See Pak Hŭibyŏng for a Korean translation, 318, and the Chinese text, 210. Pak’s Pet’ǔnam ǔi  kiihan yet iyagi (Seoul: Tol Pegye, 2002) is the only complete Korean translation of the Truen Ky man luc.  42  his banishment and afterwards hired him as a teacher, took part in the military campaign to Vietnam during this period. 56 In short, it can be argued that wars between these East Asian countries operated as an important conduit for the dissemination of fictional narratives from one civilization to another, with China often being the starting point. It is ironical that these works transmitted from one country to another have become much less influential in their home countries.  2.11 The Importance of New Stories in the Literary History of East Asian Civilizations We can say with confidence that dissemination of New Stories to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam brought about the creation of adapted works in these countries and accordingly has contributed greatly to the development of fictional narratives in these countries. Moreover, it is tempting to find in Tokibōko and Truen Ky man luc examples of successful localization of exogenous literature in light of the fact that these adapted works were adjusted to the specific historical and political backgrounds of their own countries (Japan and Vietnam) and accommodated the sentiments of the local readers. New Stories is a rare example demonstrating that a literary work can become more popular and influential in other civilizations using languages different than that of its birthplace; it has also been treasured more and developed more into various adapted works in countries other than China. 57 New Stories and its adaptive 56  Ch’oe, “Myŏngdae,” 56.  57  We can also observe that Three Kingdoms has been experiencing a similar situation in  contemporary Korean and Japanese society; it has been more popular and more copiously researched in these countries than in China, its place of birth, as I discuss in Chapters 6 and 7.  43  works are also good examples showing the interactive preservation and circulation of a literary work in countries within the Chinese cultural sphere over a span of hundreds of years. The status of New Stories in the history of Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese literature is more significant and noteworthy than in the history of Chinese literature.  2.12 The Dissemination of Taiping guangji in Premodern Korea and Its Influence As noted earlier, the Taiping guangji had already been circulating among Kory ŏ intellectuals by 1216. Considering that it was not until the Ming dynasty (1566) that Taiping guangji became widespread in China, Taiping guangji’s popularity in Korea preceded that of China by hundreds of years.  Composed of tens of hundreds of tales covering a wide variety of subjects, the Taiping guangji was read by the literati as light reading to while away tedious hours when working or studying for the state examination. Whereas reciting and memorizing Confucian classics is a hard and arduous task for most such students, diverting collections of uncanny tales such as the Taiping guangji were entertaining.  For many students, their knowledge of classical Chinese, originally polished so as to devote themselves to Confucian classics for their success as an official, facilitated their access to stories in the Taiping guangji. By early Chos ŏn, the Taiping guangji became a “must-read,” since it was often the topic of conversations among the literati. For example, whenever people came across an extraordinary phenomenon, the Taiping guangji was used as the primary  44  reference to check whether a similar observation had been recorded previously. 58 With regard to the popularization of the Taiping guangji, An Pyŏngguk asserts that many historical records and collected works by officials at court demonstrate that, although they never admitted so in public, all had covertly read the Taiping guangji. 59 Yu Mong’in (1559–1623), the author of Ŏu yadam 於于野譚, the first collection of unofficial histories in the Chosŏn period, also wrote, “All men of letters in our nation have read the Taiping guangji.” 60 The Taiping guangji’s popularity did not cease until the end of the Chosŏn dynasty; in the twenty -first year of Emperor Kojong 高宗 (r. 1863–1907), along with dozens of other Chinese fictional narratives, Taiping guangji was translated into colloquial Korean by a team of translators led by Yi Chongt’ae. 61  For many literati familiar with the Taiping guangji, the tales therein were widely used as sources for tales written by Chos ŏn literati. Some tales were simply translated into vernacular Korean with the names of heroes and places modified, whereas some tales underwent a rather thorough adaptation that barely preserved the original plot. However, in contrast to the fact that there are many stories adapted from the Three Kingdoms, it is hard to argue that any particular major premodern Korean novel was created on the basis of stories in the Taiping guangji, because the Taiping guangji is just a collection of hundreds of fairly short tales. Rather, the influence of the Taiping guangji is found in small doses scattered throughout various fictional 58  Yu Mong’in mentioned, “By reading the Taiping guangji, I have learned of the existence of the  kinds of things which can be said to be the most extraordinary things of all times!” Cited in An Pyŏngguk, 171. 59  Ibid.  60  Ibid.  61  Skillend (1968), 31-2.  45  narratives. In Unyŏng chŏn 雲英傳, a romantic novel, there is a scene where the heroine Unyŏng reads the Taiping guangji while she awaits her lover, Student Kim. An Pyŏngguk points out that in Mount Kŭmo, there are references and adaptations from tales in Taiping guangji, including Pei Hang裵航 and its main characters, a story in juan 50 of Taiping guangji. 62 Scholars have also found that in Kuun mong 九雲夢 (Nine-cloud Dream), arguably the most famous classical Korean novel, there are also many adaptations from several stories in the Taiping guangji. 63 Chŏng Kyubok also argues that a popular account repeatedly introduced in many Korean tales in which a young student, after disguising himself as a women, sneaks a peep at his bridal candidate while pretending to play the zither (換着彈琴說話) actually originated from Wang Wei zhuan 王 維傳, a story in the Taiping guangji. 64 Chu Saeng chŏn 周生傳, a story written by Kwon P’il 權 韠 in classical Chinese, is rather peculiar in that the whole story is an adaptation of the story of Huo Xiaoyu 霍小玉 in juan 487 of Taiping guangji, the only major alteration being that the heroine takes her revenge on the ingrate male in the Korean adaptation.  62  See 184–202 for a more detailed analysis of the influence of the Taiping guangji seen in Mount  Kŭmo. An Pyŏngguk argues that Mount Kŭmo incorporated many adaptations from tales in both Taiping guangji and Soushen ji. For discussion of Mount Kŭmo in English, see Kim Dong-uk, “The Influence of Chinese Stories and Novels on Korean Fiction” in Literary Migrations: Traditional Chinese Fiction in Asia (17-20th centuries), 63-6. See also Emanuel Pastreich, “The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea” in The Columbia History of Chinese Literature, 1074. 63  See Chŏng Kyubok, 162–176. Also see An, 210–222.  64  See Chŏng, 201–212.  46  As noted above, the stories of Taiping guangji have been widely read and adapted by literati from the Koryŏ period on. The example in Unyŏng chŏn of the heroine, who is a palace lady, reading Taiping guangji while awaiting her lover also shows that the Korean translation of Taiping guangji had become popular among educated females and commoners in the postHideyoshi period. 65 Taiping guangji can go down in history as the work of Chinese fiction that enjoyed the longest popularity in premodern Korea.  2.13 Selective Accommodation of Chinese Fictional Narratives In a preface to Chungguk sosŏl hoemobon 中國小說繪模本 made by the order of a certain palace lady Li in 1762, the titles of 74 Chinese novels are recorded. 66 The fictional works are categorized into novels 長篇小說, vernacular stories 話本小說, scholar-beauty stories 才子 佳人小說, obscene or extraordinary stories 淫談怪說, and banned stories 禁書小說. The list of obscene or extraordinary stories includes sixteen stories such as Rou putuan 肉蒲團 (Carnal Prayer Mat) and the list of banned stories includes thirteen fictional texts such as Bian er chai 弁 而釵 (Hairpins Beneath His Cap), Sui-Tang yanyi 隋唐演義 (Romance of the Sui and the Tang), Shuihu zhuan (Water Margin), Jingu qiguan 今古奇觀 (Stories New and Old), and New Stories. That the palace ladies were familiar with most contemporary Chinese stories, especially even obscene and banned stories, is a surprising finding considering that the importation and  65  The appearance of the Unyŏng chŏn can be attributed at its earliest to sometime after the  Japanese invasions in the 1590s, since its historical background is set in the reign of King Sŏnjo (r. 1552– 1608), who experienced the Japanese invasions. 66  Ch’oe, “Chungguk kǔmsŏ,” 559-60.  47  circulation of Chinese fiction were so tightly controlled by King Yŏngjo and King Chŏngjo. This example demonstrates yet again the full-scale importation and circulation of Chinese fictional narratives in Chosŏn Korea. However, it is tempting to find that, although many popular Chinese novels were imported to Korea, not all stories were as popular in Chosŏn society as they were in late imperial China. It was already noted earlier that New Stories and Taiping guangji managed to maintain longer popularity and greater influence in Chosŏn Korea than in late imperial China. However, not all “masterpieces” enjoyed the same or even greater popularity in Chosŏn. Among the Four Great Ming Novels---Sanguozhi yanyi (Three Kingdoms), Xiyou ji 西遊記 (Journey to the West), Shuihu zhuan (Water Margin), and Jin Ping Mei 金甁梅 (Plum in a Golden Vase)---only Three Kingdoms has achieved undying popularity in Korea. 67 On the other hand, Honglou meng 紅樓夢 (Dream of the Red Chamber) and Jin Ping Mei are the two works whose gap in popularity between China and Korea was the biggest; although there are records  67  This is partly due to the vernacular styles of other Ming novels in contrast to the literary style of  Three Kingdoms, as Chen Dakang (1993) points out in Tongsu xiaoshuo de lishi guiji, 6. As noted earlier, the yangban literati of Chosǒn, although well versed in Classical Chinese, had almost no knowledge of colloquial or vernacular Chinese, and therefore generally had difficulty understanding vernacular expressions in Chinese narratives. That Yi Sanghwang had the officials at Sayǒgwǒn translate storybooks purchased in China corroborates this. Refer to Yi Yuwŏn’s remark in footnote 26. Min Kwandong asserts that those Korean translations of Chinese stories initiated by Yi Sanghwang’s request became a critical source for the Naksǒnjae royal library collection established in 1884. See Min (2000a), 57 and Min (2005), 109. For a brief discussion of the Naksǒnjae collection, see Kim Dong-uk, 56-8. See also Skillend (1968), 31-2.  48  saying that they were imported and available, little interest was ever shown in these works. 68 There are likely several reasons for this. Firstly, whereas the scope of the readers of fiction broadened into merchants, educated females, and even middle class commoners in late imperial China, Chinese fiction had to go through a process of “selective translation and dissemination” by the literati in Chosŏn. As noted earlier, the literati were the only people who had the first and most direct access to newly imported stories from China. Whereas the literati clandestinely read these stories in their leisure time, they often tried to suppress the circulation of books with “obscene and base contents” among the general public. 69 Furthermore, although in late imperial China the focus of the novel gradually shifted from the public sphere (Three Kingdoms being a prime example) to the private realm (Jin Ping Mei being the first example of a “full-length” novel where the main focus shifted to the domestic residence of an individual) 70, only those  68  See, for example, Ch’oe, “Hongnumong ǔi Han’guk chŏllae wa yŏnghyang yŏn’gu,” 214 and  passim. Ch’oe notes that even at present, Korean scholars of Chinese literature show less interest in Honglou meng compared to Chinese and Japanese scholars. 69  See, for example, Cho Chaesam (1808-1866)’s remark on the “base” novels. Cho mentioned, “As  for novels like Jin Ping Mei and Honglou meng, they are never supposed to be read by young students who have just started their studies or by gentlemen who need to strictly cultivate their self-discipline.” Cited in Ch’oe, “Hongnumong,” 197. 70  See Martin Huang 57-60 and passim for detailed discussion of the shifting focus of the novel  from the public to the private. Huang uses Bahktin’s concept of “chronotope” to analyze the “privatizing” process in the fiction of late imperial China. He also argues that in Sanguo yanyi, an individual’s desire is still presented in terms of his “political aspirations” in the public realm, whereas the private and the individual begin to interact and receive more attention in Shuihu zhuan. Huang further asserts that the  49  novels with themes centering closely on the public (often military and political) sphere were popular in Chosŏn until the end of the imperial period. While in late imperial China the new focus on personal desire and the growth of individualism resulted largely from the burgeoning of capitalism (especially in the Jiangnan 江南 area), Chosŏn had to go through a boom in war literature and a “rectification” of textual style, both of which precluded any serious attention to the awareness of the private realm and the containment of personal desire. Given the sociopolitical circumstances of late Chosŏn society noted above, the readers of Chinese fiction in late Chosŏn found the shift of focus to the private concealed in novels such as Jin Ping Mei and Honglou meng unfamiliar. The study of the dissemination of Chinese fictional narratives in Chosŏn Korea shows that importation and dissemination of literary works from one country to another proceeds selectively, and the social and cultural characteristics of the receiving country are an important factor in the process.  authors of Jin Ping Mei and Honglou Meng finally start to delineate the “minute contours of desire at extremely private and intimate moments.”  50  3 The Importation and Dissemination of Three Kingdoms into Chosŏn Korea 3.1  First Official Reference to Three Kingdoms in the Historical Records Ki Taesŭng 奇大升 (1527–1572) could not stand it any more. It was now apparent that  King Sŏnjo 宣祖 (r. 1567–1608) was increasingly losing interest in Ki’s lectures on Jinsi lu 近思錄 (Reflections on things at hand). How was he being treated? Like a village schoolmaster? As the most promising disciple of Yi Hwang 李滉 (1501–1570), the most accomplished Confucian scholar of the Chosŏn dynasty, and having edited and published at the age of 31 Chuja mullok 朱子文錄, an abridged version of Zhuzi daquan 朱子大全 (Complete works of Zhu Xi), he was already regarded as one of the most intelligent of younger Confucian scholars. Furthermore, after engaging in eight years of sophisticated debate with Yi Hwang concerning li 理 (principle), qi 氣 (vital force) and other principles of Neo-Confucian metaphysical discourse, Ki was officially recognized by his teacher as his intellectual equal. This recognition had elevated him to the status of being second only to his teacher in the study of Confucianism. Soon after King Sŏnjo rose to the throne, Ki was appointed Royal Secretary (sŭngji 承旨) and Reader in the Office of the Royal Lectures (sidokkwan 侍讀官), which allowed him to instruct the king on Confucian teachings twice a day, while also working as his secretary. Young and idealistic, Ki had sought to lead the king to embrace Confucian ideals with his daily lectures. However, the king’s inclination to distract himself with exotic entertaining stories was in inverse proportion to his devotion to Confucian self-cultivation. Those in attendance who 51  secretly recommended that the king read war stories rather than orthodox texts were also a constant source of aggravation. Even worse, King Sŏnjo was deeply engrossed in one absurd war story in particular, the Sanguozhi tongsu yanyi 三國志通俗演義 (Popularization of the Chronicle of Three Kingdoms; hereafter Three Kingdoms) 71, and liked to engage in animated discussions of war scenes in the novel with generals at court such as Chang P’ilmu 張弼武, Military Commissioner of North Hamgyŏng Province 咸鏡北道 兵馬節度使. 72 To Ki Taesŭng, this was an alarming sign that the king was deviating from the path of study he had envisioned for him. It was not just military officers who were distracting and misguiding the king. Even a senior Confucian scholar such as Yu Hŭich’un (柳希春 1513-1577), whom Ki himself had recommended to the king just five months earlier, turned out to be an ardent reader and collector of Chinese stories, “so fond of books that he indulged himself with reading as if indulging in  71  In this chapter, several different versions of Three Kingdoms are discussed; the first being  Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志評話, an earlier version of Three Kingdoms that was already available during the Yuan dynasty, and the second being Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi 三國志通俗演義, the most famous Chinese historical novel attributed to Luo Guanzhong 羅貫中, whose earliest extant edition bears two prefaces, dated 1494 and 1522, respectively. Later editions of Three Kingdoms, such as the “Li Zhuowu” commentary edition, Shulin Zhou Yuejiao edition, and the Mao Zonggang commentary edition, will be specified whenever necessary, while the translated title, Three Kingdoms, will be used if there is no particular need to differentiate between distinct editions. 72  Chosŏn wangjo sillok 朝鮮王朝實錄 (Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty), 21: 231.  52  music or sex.” 73 To Ki’s consternation, his protégé’s extensive reading was not limited to Confucian canonical texts; Yu had even asked envoys to China to acquire the latest Chinese books for him in Beijing. 74 Something needed to be done. As royal tutor, Ki felt an urgent need to reverse the king’s moral decline, even at the risk of giving offense. How on earth could he persuade others to stay away from such lewd books when the king was indulging in them? 75 On the evening of the twentieth of the sixth month of the second year of King Sŏnjo’s reign (1569), Ki went to Munjŏng Palace to deliver a lecture on Jinsi lu. However, he was determined to broach a topic that needed more urgent attention than the Confucian canon; Ki tried to impress upon the king the bad influences of fiction, especially those of Three Kingdoms in this case, and strongly requested him to suppress it. The petition by Ki Taesŭng remains the first official reference to the Sanguozhi yanyi recorded in the Chosŏn wangjo sillok (Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty). 76 As noted above, in the second year of King Sŏnjo’s reign (1569), the king mentioned battle scenes in the Three Kingdoms, following which Ki Taesŭng, then serving as Recipient of Edicts at the royal court, pointed out to him the fictitious nature of the work. Particularly noteworthy is that Ki also mentioned that many other Korean scholars had also read the Three Kingdoms by that time.  73  Chosŏn wangjo sillok 25: 469; digital reference available at 74  75  Kang Myŏnggwan, Ch’aek pŏlledŭl Chosŏn ŭl mandŭlda, 112-131.  As mentioned earlier, most Chosǒn literati regarded any readings not in accordance with  Confucian teachings as deviant and lewd even if they did not contain any seemingly explicit contents. 76  See pages 19-21 for details of Ki’s petition.  53  If we take at face value Ki’s remark that he previously heard about Three Kingdoms from friends rather than reading it himself, and given Yu Hŭich’un’s predilection for storybooks and his close relationship with Ki, he could very well have been one of the friends who mentioned Three Kingdoms to him. As a matter of fact, just four years after the incident concerning Three Kingdoms at court, Yu acquired twenty juan 卷 of Three Kingdoms (out of the 30 juan in the complete version) from Pak Kwang’ok and expressed his gratitude for it. 77 Fake history (from Ki’s perspective) had not only infiltrated the ranks of the literati, but was also making a convert of the king. It can thus be safely assumed that by 1569 Sanguozhi yanyi was already circulating widely among Korean literati. Given an atmosphere where all literate men were strongly discouraged from reading fictional narratives, as seen in the previous chapter, and where the king himself would discuss the details of battle scenes in the novel with his court officials, a considerable amount of time must have elapsed since the initial introduction of the work into Korea. Although the exact date of the Three Kingdoms’ entry remains a mystery, scholars generally agree that the book had been introduced at least several decades before 1569. 78  77  Yun Sesun, 151.  78  Ki’s remark that “this book [Three Kingdoms] has not been around for a long time  (此書出來未久)” gives only a vague time-line. However, people in the early Chosŏn period had a perception of the flow of time distinct from what we have nowadays. “Not yet long” could refer to a few months, years, or even decades. Given the circumstances examined above, it is unlikely that Three Kingdoms had been around for only a short period of time when Ki’s remark was made. Liu Shide, in his 2009 conference paper, asserts that the remark that “this book has not been around for a long time [in Chosǒn]” is an important point for the dating of the first Chosǒn print of Three Kingdoms. See Liu Shide,  54  For Ki, an embarrassing detail was the fact that before he could point out the inappropriateness of reading Three Kingdoms to the king, he had to read at least some parts of it himself. However, since it would be humiliating for a tenacious adversary of “pseudo-history” to do this, Ki was forced to deny that he had read the work and instead answered evasively that it was friends who had read the work, not he. However, whether or not friends had helped him gain knowledge of Three Kingdoms, in order to point out historical inaccuracies in the novel to King Sŏnjo, Ki must have carried out a painstaking textual analysis of the work. In his petition to the king, he meticulously pointed out that the story of Dong Cheng 董承 receiving a royal edict hidden in a sash and the details of winning the Battle of the Red Cliffs were “all invented with the manipulation of groundless sayings as well as conjured-up and empty things.” Based on this comment, we can say that Ki was possibly the second person in Korean history to carry out a textual analysis between Three Kingdoms and Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms (三國志, an official history of the period written by the historian Chen Shou 陳壽 (233-297)), in order to expose its distortions of history. The first to do so was King Sŏnjo, who pointed out the historical inaccuracy as to the story of Zhang Fei 張飛 making ten thousand soldiers flee by producing an uproar at the Steepslope Bridge. When this issue was raised by Ki at court in 1569, Three Kingdoms had already been published by the Office of Editorial Review 校書館, as is evident in Ki’s remark: “Although Jiandeng xinhua is lowly and obscene, the Office of Editorial Review has still privately managed to gather materials [for its publication] and has even already cut the printing blocks [for it]. . . .  “Sanguo zhi yanyi Chaoxian fanke ben kaolun: Zhou Yuejiao yanjiu zhi er” (Examination of the Sanguo zhi yanyi Chosǒn Edition: A Sequel to the Study of the Zhou Yuejiao Edition).  55  The Sanguozhi yanyi, being so eccentric and hollow, also got published.” 79 Throughout the Chosŏn period, the Office of Editorial Review, which was a government office for publishing Confucian classics and books on history that corresponded to the state ideology, only rarely published xiaoshuo 小說 (fictional) narratives, with Jiandeng xinhua 剪燈新話 and Three Kingdoms being two rare exceptions. It can be argued that Three Kingdoms was initially imported from China not long after 1522 (when it was first published as a complete printed edition in China), 80 that with each passing year it gained in popularity with the yangban literati, and that this popularity led to the publication of Three Kingdoms by the Office of Editorial Review sometime before 1569. In this way, the time frame for the introduction of the novel into Korea can be narrowed to this forty-seven-year period with a fair degree of certainty.  79  Ki, 2: 132-33 (emphasis mine); Min Kwandong and Yu T’agil speculate that this Three  Kingdoms edition published by the Office of Editorial Review some time before 1569 must have been based on the Jiajing edition 嘉靖本, which came out in 1522. See Min (1995), 398 and Yu, 764-73. Publication of xiaoshuo (or sosŏl) fiction by private publishers, mostly in woodblock printings, began to flourish about two centuries later in Korea. In the sixteenth century, all printed books in Chosŏn Korea were published either by the central or provincial government, and most xiaoshuo fiction circulated in manuscript form. For the printing and circulation of books in this period, see Kang Myŏnggwan, Ch’aek ph’aek ̆l Chosŏn ŭl mandŭlda, 5-71, 112-131. It should also be noted that in his petition, Ki felt offended  by the fact that this work was officially published by a government agency rather than by a private party. 80  See Moss Roberts, 411 (abridged edition) and Xu Shuofang, “Lun Sanguo yanyi de chengshu”  論三國演義的成書 in Xiaoshuo kao xinbian 小說考新編 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1997), 130 for the dating issues surrounding the oldest complete printed edition of Three Kingdoms.  56  Besides asserting that Three Kingdoms was brought to Korea at least several decades before 1569, Yi Kyŏngsŏn also suggested that either Three Kingdoms or perhaps Yuan dynasty zaju 雜劇 (northern drama) versions of Three Kingdoms stories were imported to Korea in the early Chosŏn period. 81 However, none of these arguments can be verified. Later scholars have also speculated about the exact date of the Three Kingdoms’ first introduction into Korea, but what can be verified is that it became increasingly popular after the Imjin Wars 壬辰倭亂 (the Hideyoshi-led invasions of Korea in the 1590s). 82 In the following section, I will explore evidence that Three Kingdoms (or at least one of the earlier versions of it) was introduced to Korea long before 1569. I will also examine the grounds for how this work gained popularity among the Chosŏn literati almost simultaneously with its importation to Korea.  3.2  Ready from the Very Beginning? Historical Background for Chosǒn  Receptivity to Three Kingdoms By the time of the Three Kingdoms period in Korea (early fourth to late seventh century), Confucian classics and Chinese historical texts had already been imported to Korea. According  81  Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 104-120. Regarding zaju dramas based on Three Kingdoms stories, see Kin  Bunkyō (or Kim Mungyŏng), Samguk chi ŭi yŏnggwang, 70-9. On page 72, Kim lists 21 extant zaju dramas based on stories from the Three Kingdoms period. In many of these stories, Zhang Fei is often depicted as the most outstanding character both in martial valor and cleverness. 82  Detailed discussion with regard to the influence of the Japanese invasion on the dissemination of  Three Kingdoms ensues in the following chapter.  57  to Chinese records, the Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms by Chen Shou was imported to Koguryŏ 高句麗 Korea (B.C 37-A.D. 668). Other records also indicate that it was imported again to Koryŏ 高麗 Korea (918∼1392) along with other records of Chinese history. 83 Kim Pusik (金富軾, 1075 - 1151), in Samguk sagi 三國史記 (Notes on the history of the Three Kingdoms, 1145) evaluates highly both Liu Bei (161-223) and Zhuge Liang (181-234), as exemplary ruler and vassal, respectively. 84 Given that Confucian classics and Chinese historical records were essential reading for the Korean literati, they reached Korea almost simultaneously with their publication in China 85.  83  See Linghu Defen 令狐德棻 et al., Zhoushu 周書 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1971), 885. See also  Liu Xu et al., Jiu tangshu 舊唐書 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1975), 5320. For Korean records, see Chŏng Inji et al., Koryŏ sa 高麗史 10: 23. Mueller-Lee also notes, “The Chinese sources on Zhuge Liang such as Sanguozhi or the “Anthology of Literature” (Wenxuan 文選), however, are already documented in Koguryŏ (BC 37-668) and came into the possession of Silla and then Koryǒ (918-1392), so the early Korean scholars undoubtedly knew who Zhuge Liang was.” See Mueller-Lee, 49. 84  Mueller-Lee, 50. Kim’s evaluation of Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang might have been influenced by  the Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑 (A comprehensive mirror for aid in government), which came out in 1084, preceding the publication of Samguk sagi more than half a century. For Sima Guang’s supportive description of Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang and the historical reconstruction he conducted for this purpose, see Hoyt Cleveland Tillman, “Selected Historical Sources for Three Kingdoms: Reflections for Sima Guang’s and Chen Liang’s Reconstructions of Kongming’s Story” in Three Kingdoms and Chinese Culture, edited by Kimberly Besio and Constantine Tung, 53-72. 85  For examples of Chinese literary works studied by Koryŏ literati, refer to the list of Chinese  books purchased by the Korean merchants in the Nogŏltae discussed in the following section.  58  Koreans were thus amply furnished with knowledge of the Three Kingdoms period and this knowledge informed their reading of Three Kingdoms subsequently. More specifically, primary historical resources incorporated into the fictional work--such as Chen Shou’s Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms 三國志, Hou Hanshu 後漢書 (History of Later Han), and Sima Guang’s Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑 (A comprehensive mirror for aid in government; presented to the throne in 1084)--were studied by Korean literati, many of whom knew Chinese history better than their own. 86 This is clear from evidence culled from their literary collections.  86  A textual analysis of Three Kingdoms introduced in Sanguo yanyi Sanguo zhi duizhao ben  三國演義三國志對照本 (Nanjing: Jiangsu guji, 2002) verifies that the four major editions of Three Kingdoms, which are Mao ben 毛本, Jiajing ben 嘉靖本, Zhizhuan jian ben 志傳簡本, and Zhizhuan fan ben 志傳繁本, were based on four official histories: Sanguo zhi 三國志 (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms), Hou Hanshu 後漢書 (History of Later Han), Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑 (Comprehensive Mirror for the Aid in Government), and Jinshu 晉書 (History of Jin) (See 1: 33 and passim). According to this study, about 63 percent of the Three Kingdoms text is based on historical facts recorded in the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms alone, and if the historical records in the Hou Han Shu, Jin Shu, and Zizhi tongjian are added to the source text of official history for comparison with the target text of the novel, the percentage for textual resemblance rises significantly (1: 4). In addition, Andrew Lo’s Ph.D. dissertation, “’San-kuo-chih yen-i’ and ‘Shui-hu chuan’ in the Context of Historiography: an Interpretive Study” (Ph.D. diss., Princeton University, 1981), examines how, in the Three Kingdoms novel, the historical records in the Zizhi tongjian were edited, added, deleted, and manipulated in the tradition of the so-called Chunqiu bifa 春秋筆法 (Evaluative Rhetoric in the Spring and Autumn Annals) as articulated in the Zizhi tongjian gangmu 資治通鑑綱目 (Outline and digest of A comprehensive mirror for aid in government). See 13-92.  59  References to the heroes of Three Kingdoms can be found in the collected works of literati in the late Koryŏ and early Chosŏn periods; Liu Bei 劉備, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, and Cao Cao 曺操 are the most discussed figures. It is not clear whether the Korean literati obtained the historical facts about these figures from Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms, A Plain Tale of the Chronicle of Three Kingdoms 三國志平話 (Sanguozhi pinghua, an earlier version of the Sanguozhi yanyi that first appeared during the Yuan dynasty), or from both. However, we can say that late-Koryŏ scholars were familiar with detailed historical facts in the Three Kingdoms. Chŏng Tojŏn 鄭道傳 (1337-1398), a renowned scholar of late Koryŏ and the single most important founding member of the Chosŏn dynasty, reveals his detailed knowledge of historical figures from the Three Kingdoms period (of China) when he cites and evaluates the deeds of Zhuge Liang (mentioned eight times), Liu Bei (two times), Cao Cao (three times), and Liu Shan 劉禪 (two times) in his collected works. Chŏng’s greatest interest lies in the evaluation of Zhuge Liang as a military strategist, inventor, prime minister, and retainer who remained loyal to a mediocre ruler, Liu Shan. 87 Chŏng’s interest focuses mainly on Zhuge Liang as a military strategist rather than on Liu Bei, whom Chŏng recognizes as the legitimate successor of the Han dynasty. As a matter of fact, Chŏng shows even less interest in Liu Bei (mentioned two times) than in Cao Cao (mentioned three times). Liu Shan, Liu Bei’s successor, is also mentioned twice, but only as a mediocre ruler who repeatedly impeded Zhuge Liang’s great task of reunifying China. Considering that the image of Zhuge Liang as a god-like military strategist and a loyalist who 87  For Chŏng’s references to Zhuge Liang, see Sambong chip 三峯集 1:206, 429 and 2:32, 46, 51,  159, 225, 262. For his assessment of Zhuge Liang’s strategy in battle formation, see 2:289. For a reference to Liu Bei, see 2:32, 159. See 2:46, 225 for his evaluation of Liu Shan as a mediocre ruler.  60  performed his best to serve an imprudent king is closer to his image in Three Kingdoms than to his image in history, we cannot rule out the possibility that in Chŏng’s time, a popular history such as Sanguo zhi pinghua was already circulating in Korea. 88 Late-Koryŏ scholars such as Chŏng Tojŏn reveal a strong sense of the historical legitimacy of the Shu-Han dynasty founded by Liu Bei. Chŏng’s theory of Shu-Han legitimacy (Shu-Han zhengtong sixiang 蜀漢正統思想) demonstrates that the literary society of late Koryŏ was inclined to find Han-Chinese nationalism in the Sanguo zhi yanyi, ideologically speaking. Although the books revealing the theory of Shu-Han legitimacy such as Zizhi tongjian were widely read by scholars in the late Koryŏ and early Chosŏn periods, idolization of Zhuge Liang as military strategist, Taoist, and loyalist superhero, which became prevalent after the midChosŏn period, was not yet apparent in yangban 兩班writings of this period. The ideological preference among Korean literati (for Zhuge Liang as military hero and loyalist, as opposed to 88  For a discussion of how Zhuge Liang’s contemporaries evaluated him, refer to Eric Henry, “Chu-  ko Liang in The Eyes of His Contemporaries,” Harvard Journal of the Asiatic Studies 52: 2 (1992). Henry observes that, although Chen Shou, in Sanguo zhi, evaluates Zhuge Liang’s sincere devotion to the public highly, he relegates Zhuge’s role as a military strategist to a couple of concluding phrases, the content of which can be characterized as unenthusiastic at best: “He mobilized troops year after year without success. It would seem that situational strategy was not his strong point.” (Chen Shou, Sanguo zhi, 35. 934. Translation cited in Eric Henry, 591-2.) Henry also asserts that both Chen Shou’s basic account of Zhuge Liang and the relevant historical materials drawn from third-century histories and memoirs by Pei Songzhi, the fifth-century commentator of Chen Shou’s Sanguo zhi, include stories that “portray Zhuge Liang acting in ways that to us seem variously out-of-character” and that “he was no more immune from the rivalry, resentment, and ill opinion of his contemporaries than is any public figure.” (Henry, 591.)  61  Liu Bei as defender of the dynasty), which was stimulated by the thought of the Song NeoConfucian Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200), grew much stronger in the Chosŏn period.89 Ki Taesŭng, who warned the king of the negative influence of Sanguo zhi yanyi, rated Zhuge Liang’s loyalty to the Royal House of Han 漢王室 highly, while vilifying Cao Cao as a traitor. 90 Ki’s evaluation of these Three Kingdoms heroes illustrates that the Chosŏn literati’s approval of Shu-Han legitimacy had become entrenched by the mid-sixteenth century. For example, Ki regarded Zhuge Liang as a hero who nearly succeeded in restoring the Royal House of Han, and says of him, “It goes without saying that Kongming [Zhuge Liang’s courtesy name] should not be held accountable for not being able to accomplish the Great Task (大業); it was rather due to the Mandate of Heaven (天命). If Heaven had allowed him a little more time to live, he could have restored the House of Han and brought a great accomplishment to it.” 91 On the other hand, Ki divulges an utterly opposite (and therefore disapproving) view concerning those who served Cao Cao, whom he regarded as a usurper and traitor to the Han Dynasty. Ki’s sole yardstick of legitimacy was Han nationalistic unity against those who threatened the throne of the Han empire, which included barbarians, usurpers, and traitors. Accordingly, he uses this criterion to judge each individual’s deeds during the Three Kingdoms 89  See Chapter 4 for a detailed discussion of Zhu Xi’s views on the Three Kingdom’s period. In  short, Zhu Xi’s Zizhi tongjian gangmu 資治通鑑綱目 (Outline and digest of A comprehensive mirror for aid in government) and the notion of Shu-Han legitimacy in it were hugely influential upon the Chosŏn literati. 90  Ki, 195–200.  91  Ki, 199.  62  period and/or in Three Kingdoms. An example is Xun Yu 荀彧 (163-212), the most talented and well-known military advisor among those serving Cao Cao. Xun competed against Zhuge Liang and arguably outperformed him, in that he helped Cao Cao take hold of most of the northern heartland (zhongyuan 中原) while Liu Bei, with Kongming’s assistance, was able to acquire only one of China’s eleven provinces. Ki’s evaluation of Xun Yu is utterly unsympathetic when viewing him as an anti-Shu-Han legitimacy figure. He remarks that “some [retainers] are so sly that they become as villainous as Xun Yu (或險而爲荀彧之奸),” 92 and adds, “Xun Yu, with his mastery of machinations, being a retainer to the Court of Han yet devoted his acumen to Cao Cao and assumed the power of the usurper.” 93 Even though he recognized Xun Yu’s superior talent, Ki believed that these talents were wasted since Xun served a superior who was disloyal to the House of Han. However, he does appreciate Xun’s attempt to discourage Cao Cao from officially receiving the same court protocol that the Han emperor did, saying, “Although Xun Yu helped that guy Cao [曹氏; a disrespectful form of address] establish himself as ruler of a state, because he opposed Cao’s assuming the Nine Dignities of a patriarchal lord [九錫], Xun offended Cao and had to drink poison, only to die in defence of his loyalty to the House of Han [殉節].” 94 Here Ki recognizes that although Xun Yu spent his life serving a traitor, he died a loyal death in the end, recovering to some extent his conscience and fidelity to the morally honorable side. According to Ki, Xun Yu is a Machiavellian traitor who then becomes a loyalist sacrificing his  92  Ki, 2: 200.  93  Ki, 2: 198.  94  Ki, 2: 198.  63  life for a greater cause; the sole yardstick is whether or not he acted to uphold the legitimacy of the House of Han. Ki is supportive of the idea that Xun Yu had to commit suicide by poisoning himself, since Cao Cao had ordered him to do so. This viewpoint is not to be found in official history, but does appear in a commentary added to Chen Shou’s chronicle history by Pei Songzhi 裵松之 (372-451). 95 Thus, by Ki’s time, Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms with Pei Songzhi’s commentary and/or other unofficial historical records vilifying Cao Cao must have been circulating in Chosŏn Korea. In tandem with Ki’s disapproving perspective on Cao Cao and those who served him, other Chosŏn literati of the sixteenth century began to reveal a predilection for Liu Bei and those who served him, a view that reflects the influence of the Cheng-Zhu school 程朱學 of Song Neo-Confucianism. Among those who served Liu Bei (hence, the Imperial House of the Han according to the Neo-Confucian interpretation), Zhuge Liang was particularly recognized for his undying loyalty to the Han, and was regarded as the most exemplary model of loyalty and moral integrity--values greatly emphasized in Neo-Confucian teachings. Let us examine another example from Ki’s works; in a response to his teacher Yi Hwang he compares Zhuge Liang to a Korean politician whom he also recognizes as a Confucian hero. Ki writes, “Although this latter Zhuge [Cho Kwangjo 趙光祖 1482-1519] performed  95  Pei Songzhi is a fifth-century commentator on Chen Shou’s Sanguo zhi. He added a vast quantity  of material to Chen Shou’s work in the form of notes drawn from more than two hundred sources. Many scholars think some of the anecdotes Pei added lack credibility. Moss Roberts (1999, 425) asserts that Pei was the first to attach some fictional material to Sanguo zhi.  64  outstandingly, Heaven was not in his favor.” 96 Cho was a polititian of great moral integrity who idealized the mythical paragons Yao 堯and Shun 舜, legendary emperors of Chinese antiquity. In due course, Cho offended a great number of politicians, accusing them of being “petty men” (xiaoren 小人) according to his strict moral standards and therefore posing a threat to those in power. He was executed by his opponents in the purge of 1519 (the Kimyo massacre of scholars 己卯士禍). After his tragic death, he came to be seen by fellow-scholars and followers (Ki among them) as a Confucian martyr who challenged the conservatives at court. We can conclude that by Ki’s time, Zhuge Liang’s image in Korea had progressed from that of brilliant military strategist to Neo-Confucian role model and defender of Shu-Han legitimacy. This historical viewpoint based on Han-Chinese nationalism grew stronger along with the growing popularity of Three Kingdoms in Korea, becoming widespread even among commoners after the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598) and the Manchu Qing invasion (1636-1637). 97 So far we have examined examples from the collected works of Chosŏn literati, which suggest that earlier versions of Three Kingdoms may have reached Korea well before 1569. The oldest complete printed edition of Three Kingdoms, published in 1522, has a preface dated 1494, which suggests “the possible existence of an earlier printed edition but more probably refers to manuscript copies, of which there must have been many.” 98 It is quite probable that manuscript copies of Three Kingdoms were circulating in Korea long before 1569 when it was first mentioned in the official historical records of Korea. Either way, we can be sure that Chosŏn literati were familiar with the history of China’s Three Kingdoms period and that, with each 96  Ki, 3: 145.  97  See Chapter 4 for a detailed discussion.  98  Moss Roberts, 411.  65  passing year, they grew more sympathetic to the claim of Shu-Han legitimacy as reflected in Neo-Confucian ideology in China. Also noteworthy is that the Nogŏltae, a colloquial Chinese textbook for Koreans whose oldest version is dated around 1346, contains a reference to a Koryŏ merchant’s purchase of Sanguo zhi pinghua. 99 In a Nogŏltae dialogue, a Korean merchant, with the help of a Chinese merchant named Wang from Liaoyang, purchases various items in Dadu 大都, capital of the Yuan empire at the time. The merchant purchases thirteen different Chinese books, mostly Confucian classics and anthologies of famous Tang and Song writers. It is significant that we can confidently state that all other books mentioned in addition to the Sanguo zhi pinghua had been circulating in Koryŏ long before 1346. Below is the English translation of the dialogue in the Nogŏltae that depicts the Korean merchant’s purchase of Chinese books: Also [let’s] buy some sets of books: Sishu 四書 (The Four Books), all with Zhu Xi’s commentary. Also buy copies of Maoshi 毛詩 (Book of Odes), Shangshu 尙書 (Book of History), Zhouyi 周易 (Book of Changes), Liji 禮記 (Book of Rites), Wuzi shu 五子書 (Five Philosophical Works), 99  For a more detailed dating of the Nogŏltae, see Chŏng Kwang, Wŏnbon nogŏltae (Seoul:  Gimmyoung, 2004). For a Japanese translation of studies on the Nogŏltae, see Rōkitsudai: Chōsen chūsei no Chūgoku kaiwa dokuhon 老乞大―朝鮮中世の中国語会話読本 (2002), which includes a critical introduction by Chŏng Kwang.  66  Hanwen 韓文 (Selected Essays of Han [Yu]), Liuwen 柳文 (Selected Essays of Liu [Zongyan]), Dongpo shi 東坡詩 (Collected poems of [Su] Dongpo), Shixue dacheng 詩學大成 (An Introduction to Chinese Poetry), Yayun junchen gushi 押韻君臣故事 (Anecdotes about Rulers and Their Ministers in Verse), Zizhi tongjian 資治通鑑 (A Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government), Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要 (Essentials of the Government of the Zhenguan Period ) Sanguo zhi pinghua 三國志評話 (Plain tale of Record of the Three Kingdoms). These goods are all bought. 100 Considering that the books purchased along with the Sanguo zhi pinghua were all in high demand among the literati society of Koryŏ and had been widely read, it seems safe to assume that Sanguo zhi pinghua was also already circulating among the literati in the late Koryŏ period.  3.3  Notable Editions of Three Kingdoms Published in Chosŏn Korea The oldest complete printed edition of Sanguo zhi yanyi, published in 1522, has two  prefaces dated, 1494 and 1522, respectively. Scholars suggest the possible existence of earlier manuscript copies, given that the attributed author Luo Guanzhong was a fourteenth-century literatus in the late Yuan-early Ming period. Regarding the gap of about one hundred years 100  Translation cited in Dyer, 489–91; Wade-Giles transcription has been modified to pinyin. I have  added Chinese characters and made slight modifications.  67  between the presumed date of Luo Guanzhong’s death and the 1494 preface, many explanations have been provided, Chen Dakang’s assertion being one of them. He offers an estimate of the time, expense, and manpower necessary to publish a novel some 700,000 characters in length in late Yuan-early Ming period, and reckons that it would have required ten typesetters a year’s time to prepare the blocks and about 200 taels of silver, and that therefore Luo Guanzhong was not able to afford it. 101 Since the primary aim of this section is to examine notable Three Kingdoms editions printed in Chosǒn, I will limit my discussion to pertinent editions of Three Kingdoms in late imperial China and Chosǒn. Given the above-mentioned situation, the Three Kingdoms published by the Office of Editorial Review before 1569 must have been a reprint of an early edition imported from China. Unfortunately, this Office of Editorial Review edition is not extant. Scholars in general speculate that it was the Jiajing edition 嘉靖本 (1522 edition) in terms of the timeline of publication. However, a new theory concerning this print put to blocks by the Office of Editorial Review has emerged, a matter I will return to shortly. The following discussion of the notable editions of Three Kingdoms in Korea will be made with the recent arguments taken into consideration. Among the several editions of Three Kingdoms published in classical Chinese in Chosŏn Korea, 102 the following three editions are cases in point.  101  Chen Dakang (1993), 39-43. Chen also notes that even Mao Lun in the mid-seventeenth century  lacked the financial means to put the Three Kingdoms that he had edited to blocks while he was alive; it was published by his son Mao Zonggang later. See Ibid. 102  Recall that Korean literati, with their educational background in classical Chinese, preferred  works written in classical Chinese to vernacular ones. Three Kingdoms’ popularity grew steadily among  68  1)  The edition mentioned by Ki in his petition in 1569  The first Three Kingdoms printed in Korea is almost certainly the one Ki mentions as having been published by the Office of Editorial Review in his abovementioned petition. 103 Although scholars such as Min Kwandong and Yu T’agil speculate that this Three Kingdoms must have been based on the Jiajing edition that came out in 1522, 104 we cannot rule out the possibility that it was based on a manuscript that came to Korea earlier. Unfortunately, why this version gained popularity among the literati so rapidly that the Office of Editorial Review chose to publish it cannot be determined, since this edition did not survive and is only attested in historical records. There are no extant remnants of the Jiajing edition in Korea; although most scholars who have studied this topic believe that the Jiajing edition was imported to Korea, there is no physical evidence remaining.  2)  Sin’gan kyojŏng kobon taetcha ŭmsŏk Samgukchi chǒn t’ongsok yǒnŭi published  in the year Chǒngmyo (attributed date: 1627) on T’amna (Cheju) Island The earliest extant edition of Three Kingdoms published in Korea is a woodblock print of a Shulin Zhou Yuejiao edition (Shulin Zhou Yuejiao kanben 書林周曰校刊本; hereafter Zhou Yuejiao edition) published in the year Chǒngmyo丁卯 (arguably 1627) 105 in the district of T’amna 耽羅 (modern Cheju 濟州 Island), the full title being Sin’gan kyojŏng kobon taetcha the literati upon its introduction. This was partly because it was written mostly in classical Chinese, although Three Kingdoms is classified among vernacular novels. 103  See the quote on p. 59, especially the italicized text.  104  Min (1995), 398 and Yu (1990), 764-9.  105  The debates on how to interpret the year of Chǒngmyo will be discussed in detail below.  69  ŭmsŏk Samgukchi chǒn t’ongsok yǒnŭi 新刊校正古本大字音釋三國志傳通俗演義 (Newly Cut, Collated, Large-Character, Ancient Edition of the Popularization of the Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms with Phonetic Glosses and Explanations). 106 This edition draws our attention in several aspects. First, the fact that another edition of Three Kingdoms was published following the one published by the central government illustrates the immediate and steady popularity that Three Kingdoms had gained since it was introduced to Korea. Also, this edition verifies the wide popularity that the work had gained by the early seventeenth century, considering that T’amna (Cheju) Island is the farthest place from Seoul, the capital, and therefore was known as the most notorious place for exile because of its harsh natural environment, scarce provisions, and raging epidemics. T’amna was an independent territory until 938 and remained virtually an autonomous region until 1105, when the Koryŏ government finally dispatched officials to handle the affairs of the island. Until the late Chosŏn period, T’amna Island remained a culturally isolated region, and also happened to be one of the poorest areas. With its unique dialect, the strong sense of territorial identity of the local people, the low level of Confucian influence, and poor medical provisions, T’amna was a frequent place of exile for officials who barely escaped execution. The fact that the earliest extant printed Korean edition of Three Kingdoms was published in this undeveloped locale soon after the most devastating war of the Chosŏn dynasty (Japanese invasions of Chosǒn Korea between 1592-1598) demonstrates that by then it had gained considerable popularity in places other than Seoul. Moreover, according to the the local gazettees  106  Scholars in general believe that the Zhou Yuejiao edition appeared in 1591 in Ming China. (See,  for example, Kin Bunkyo (2002), 270-2.) Recently, Liu Shide asserted that it was published much earlier, a matter I will return to shortly. Translation of the title is quoted from Rolston, How to Read the Chinese Novel, 431.  70  of T’amna published in the eighteenth centry, this Zhou Yuejiao edition had been reprinted by the local government alongside Confucian canons and history books, which was highly unusual considering the crude local print culture and small number of readers. 107 In the early seventeenth century, it was not common for a private publisher to publish novels for profit. As late as the end of the late nineteenth century, private publishing houses existed in just three major cities in Korea: Seoul, Chŏnju 全州, and Ansŏng 安城. Given the state of the book market noted in Chapter One, we can rule out all other possibilities but that this Zhou Yuejiao edition of Three Kingdoms was published by the T’amna provincial government. 108 That it bears no reference to the publisher other than the plain description, “published on T’amna in the year of Chǒngmyo (歲在丁卯耽羅刊行),” implies that no private publisher was involved, since private publishers tended to record their names and contact information for further sales.  107  There is an official reference that the Zhou Yuejiao edition was reprinted several times on  T’amna in the late eighteenth century, which shows that it gained enough local readers to produce additional prints of the earlier publication. See Pak Chaeyǒn (2008): 188–9. 108  See Kang Myŏnggwan, Ch’aek pŏlledŭl Chosŏn ŭl mandŭlda, 112-131 for further details.  According to Kang, both the central and the provincial governments had publishing bureaus, and the officials in charge of these sectors had the right to publish what was considered advisable. The books published by the government, with the exception of Samgang haengsil to 三綱行實圖 (Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds) were generally printed in limited runs, typically not exceeding several hundred volumes. Popular novels were often disseminated in manuscript form, hand-copied from these woodblock printings.  71  Given the small number of yangban literati in T’amna and the negligible local book market there, the only plausible explanation for publication of a printed Three Kingdoms on that remote island would be that it was also popular even among commoners with some literacy and the educated women in the yangban households in addition to the literati who were the first readers of the work. A reference from a yangban’s diary of this era provides more evidence for this tendency. O Hŭi’mun (1539-1613), in his diary, mentions that upon the request of his married daughter, he translated Xi Han yanyi西漢演義 109from Chinese into colloquial Korean in 1595, which exemplifies that even during the Japanese invasion, Chinese novels were imported, translated, and read, broadening their readership. 110 The reference in Ki’s petition saying that Chu Han yanyi was already popular among the yangban literati by 1569 111, and O’s mention that a Korean translation of Chu Han yanyi appeared in 1595, make it clear that women, children, and  109  Xi Han yanyi is better known in Korea by its alternative title, (C.) Chu Han yanyi, or (K.) Ch’o-  Han yǒnŭi 楚漢演義. Other Korean variants of the title include Cho-Han ka 楚漢歌, Cho-Han chǒn 楚漢傳, Sǒ Han ki 西漢記, and Sǒ Han chǒn 西漢傳. For further information, see Yi Chaehong, “Kungnip chung’ang tosǒgwan sojang pǒnyǒk p’ilsabon Chungguk yǒksa sosǒl yǒn’gu” (Study of Manuscript Translations of Chinese Novels Collected at the National Library of Korea), 78-121. I thank Professor Hegel for reminding me that the title Chu Han yanyi does not appear in Chinese reference books on novels. Hereafter, for the convenience of references, I will refer to it with the title of Chu Han yanyi when discussing it in the context of Chosǒn Korean references. 110  Chŏng Pyŏngsŏl, “Chosŏn hugi han’gŭl sosŏl ŭi sŏngjang kwa yut’ong,” 269. For O’s remark in  his diary, see O Hŭi’mun, Swaemi rok 瑣尾錄 1: 706. 111  Recall Ki’s remark that, “Not only this book [Sanguozhi yanyi], but works such as Chuhan yanyi,  Jiandeng xinhua, and Taiping guangji are all misleading.”  72  students were also beginning to read novels from China. Given that Three Kingdoms was mentioned along with other Chinese novels such as Chu Han yanyi and Jiandeng xinhua as influential works in Ki’s petition, and given that it had been one of the most popular literary works in Korea for the past four hundred and forty years, it is likely that either a partial or full translation of it had also become available by this time. The publication of a classical Chinese version of the work on T’amna Island in 1627 certainly confirms the steady growth of its readership. 3)  New Theories on the Zhuo Yuejiao Edition and its Importation to Chosǒn Korea  With regard to the Zhou Yuejiao edition discussed above, arguments have recently emerged from both Chinese and Korean scholars which subvert established theories. If we take these assertions as correct, they would substantially alter the study of editions of Three Kingdoms, including the discussions made above for the Zhou Yuejiao edition and its importation to pre-modern Korea. Liu Shide (劉世德), in his 2002 article entitled “Sanguo zhi yanyi Zhou Yuejiao kanben sizhong shilun” (Preliminary Discussion of Four Types of the Zhou Yuejiao Edition of the Sanguo zhi yanyi), points out that there are four different variants of the Zhou Yuejiao edition. He labels these editions the Jia 甲(周曰校刊本甲本), Yi 乙 (周曰校刊本乙本), Bing 丙(周曰校 刊本丙本), and Renshoutang (仁壽堂) editions, respectively. 112 According to Liu, the Zhou Yuejiao B edition is the best known of these, and is discussed by scholars such as Sun Kaidi 孫  112  Hereafter these editions will be referred to as the Zhou Yuejiao A, B, C and Renshoutang edition,  respectively, for convenience of discussion. See Liu (2002), 76–7 and passim for details.  73  楷第, Ueda Nozomu上田望, Nakagawa Satoshi中川諭, and Andrew West. 113 Liu mentions that in many cases scholars are only aware of the Zhou Yuejiao B edition. The Zhou Yuejiao C edition is a reprint of the B edition with some modifications; among the above-mentioned scholars, only Andrew West differentiates the B edition. 114 According to Liu, the Renshoutang edition is no longer extant. 115 The Zhou Yuejiao A edition that Liu focuses on is a work that he claims none of the abovementioned scholars have paid attention to. 116 It is owned by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中國社會科學院) (hereafter CASS) Library as an incomplete edition; only juan 6, 7, and 9 are extant. 117 Through textual examination, Liu asserts that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition is the earliest extant Zhou Yuejiao edition. 118 As the copy at the CASS library lacks the prefaces and the first 113  Liu (2002): 77.  114  Ibid. David Rolston's bibliographical notes for Xinkan jiaozheng guben dazi yinshi Sanguo zhi  zhuan tongsu yanyi in How to Read the Chinese Novel (p. 431), mentions the publisher as "Renshoutang, Chou Yüeh-chiao [Zhou Yuejiao] Nanking" and the date of publication as 1591. Length: 240 ce in 12 juan. According to Rolston, Beijing University has a copy of this edition and the Far Eastern Library of the University of Chicago and Gest Library of Princeton have microfilm copies. Liu Shide labels this edition previously known as the Renshoutang edition as the Zhou Yuejiao B edition. 115  Ibid., 76.  116  Ibid., 76–7.  117  Ibid., 76.  118  Ibid., 79–88. The most significant difference between the Zhou Yuejiao A and B editions noted  by Liu is that the A edition is devoid of illustrations while the B edition has about 240 illustrations. He also notes that Zhang Fei is styled Yide (益德) in the A edition with only one exception, while his zi often appears as Yide (翼德) in the B edition. For details, see Liu (2002), 80–5.  74  volume, it was not possible to date the volume from the publishing notes when Liu wrote his 2002 article. However, Liu speculates that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition was published as early as 1582, which challenges the notion that the Zhou Yuejiao edition came out in 1591. 119 On the other hand, Pak Chaeyǒn has recently collected remnants of the Zhuo Yuejiao edition of Three Kingdoms printed in Chosǒn that had been scattered across different places in Korea, and edited these into a complete volume published in late 2008. 120 He then compared the  119  Ibid., 86.  120  Pak, “Chosǒn kakpon Sin’gan kobon taetcha ŭmsŏk Samgukchi chǒn t’ongsok yǒnŭi e taehayǒ”  (Regarding the Chosǒn Print of Sinkan guben dazi yinshi Sanguo zhi zhuan tongsu yanyi), Chungguk ǒmun hakchi 27 (2009): 179–80 and passim. The Chinese version of this article entitled “Guanyu xin faxian de Chaoxian fanke ben ‘Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi’” (Regarding the Recently Discovered Three Kingdoms Chosǒn Edition) was presented at the International Conference on Publication Cultures of East Asia in July 2008 at Tohoku University, Japan. He gathered incomplete editions from eleven different places— libraries, research centers, and private collectors. The places possessing chapters of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition are as follows: Juan 1: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso (中韓飜譯文獻硏究所), Sǒnmun University Juan 2: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; Sangbaek Collection of the Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University Juan 3: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; Sangbaek Collection of the Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University; Kyemǒng University Library Juan 4: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University; Professor Im Hyǒngt’aek of Sǒnggyun’gwan University  75  Chosǒn version of the Zhuo Yuejiao edition of Three Kingdoms (hereafter Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition) with the Zhou Yuejiao editions in China. As a result, he and Liu conclude that the text of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition is completely identical to the text of Zhou Yuejiao A edition. 121 Therefore, Pak concludes that the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition is a fanke ben 飜刻 本 122 of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition. 123 Juan 5: Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University, Tongguk Unversity Library Juan 6: Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University, Namje Collection of Yǒngnam University Library Juan 7: Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University Juan 8: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University Juan 9: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University Juan 10: Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University Juan 11: Namje Collection of Yǒngnam University Library Juan 12: Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso, Sǒnmun University; National Museum of Korea; Professor Kim Yǒngjin of Kyemyǒng University; San’gi Collection (Yi Kyǒmno’s private collection). 121  Pak (2009): 177–208; Liu (2009): 7–16.  122  Fanke ben refers to a re-engraved edition imitating the original format.  123  The only notable difference discovered by Pak is that the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition did not  keep the punctuation of the original, possibly for convenience in the re-engraving procedure (see Pak 2009: 185). It should also be noted that not all texts of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition gathered by Pak are primary sources. A print of juan 12 bearing the publication notes is a photocopied print of the original in Yi Kyǒmno’s private collection. In addition, the Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’guso (where Pak  76  Both Pak and Liu speculate that the year Chǒngmyo marked as the publication date of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition in Yi Kyǒmno’s collection is 1567 rather than 1627. 124 This assertion is based on the bibliographical notes regarding Yi Kyǒmno’s edition of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn print: he described juan 12 as bearing the publishing notes (kan’gi刊記) in which the date of publication is specified as the year Chǒngmyo as a volume printed before the Japanese invasions of Chosǒn from 1592 to 1598. According to Pak, Yi Kyǒmno, an experienced book collector and well-known critical bibliographer of rare old Korean and Chinese books, made this assessment after examining juan 12 of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition in his possession based on its paper quality, typesetting characteristics, and book format. 125  serves as the director) has another print of chapter 12 missing the publication notes, which Pak speculates is a slightly earlier print than that in Yi Kyǒmno’s collection. It is said that Yu T’agil, another researcher  who worked on Three Kingdoms, paid several visits to Yi Kyǒmno’s home when Yi was alive, but was not given an opportunity to examine the text. This incident illustrates the difficulties involved with studying Three Kingdoms editions in Korea: many of the extant editions of the Three Kingdoms, especially the rare ones, are kept in private collections and in many cases are not catalogued. Most of these texts are incomplete editions. Texts owned by private collectors are mostly not available to the public, and therefore hardly recognized by scholars. As the example of Yi Kyǒmno’s incomplete Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition shows, the whereabouts of such editions often become unknown once the private collector dies. 124  Pak (2008): 209; Liu (2009): 14–6.  125  Pak (2008): 208–9; Liu (2009): 14–6.  77  Thus far, scholars who have studied the Korean editions of Three Kingdoms (such as Yu T’agil and Min Kwandong) have believed that the year Chǒngmyo when the Zhou Yuejiao Chos ǒn edition was put to blocks was 1627, based on the established notion that the Zhou Yuejiao edition came out in 1591. However, Liu and Pak assert that the Three Kingdoms discussed at the Chosǒn court in 1569 was in fact the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition put to blocks on T’amna Island in 1567. 126 This assertion is based partly on Liu’s 2002 claim that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition came out much earlier than 1591, and partly on Yi Kyǒmno’s conclusion that the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition was published before the wars against Japan started in 1592. In addition, Pak speculates that the remnants of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition that he gathered from various places are from more than two different prints. For example, while the juan 12 of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition collected at the Chung-Han pǒnyǒk munhǒn yǒn’ guso lacks publication notes, the juan 12 in Yi Kyǒmno’s collection has them. 127 Based on the engraving characteristics of the blocks, Pak speculates that some incomplete editions gathered at different places are older than the juan 12 in Yi Kyǒmno’s collection (dated 1569). 128 Given that the prints of Jiandeng xinhua mentioned along with Three Kingdoms by Ki Taesŭng were put to blocks in several different places, Pak believes that it is also highly probable that the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition was put to blocks in other places before it was published in 1567 in T’amna, the farthest place from the capital with a much smaller population of xiaoshuo readers.  126  Ibid.  127  Pak (2008), 186–8.  128  Ibid., 187–9.  78  The publication of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition located Jiang Daqi’s preface in juan 1, which was missing in the Zhou Yuejiao A edition at the CASS Library. 129 His preface is dated the Renzi year during the Jiajing reign period (1552, 嘉靖壬子), both in the Zhou Yuejiao Chos ǒn edition, which is a fanke ben of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition, and in the Zhou Yuejiao B edition. 130 Given that the prefaces in both the Zhou Yuejiao A and B editions bear the year Renzi as their publication date, Pak and Liu speculate that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition was put to blocks as early as 1552, rather than seeing it as a miscarving for the year Renwu of the Jiajing reign period (嘉靖壬午). 131 In this context, Pak suggests the possibility that one of the early manuscripts of Three Kingdoms with the above-mentioned prefaces was published in 1552. 132 Agreeing with Pak, Liu revises his theory on the publication date of Zhou Yuejiao in his 2002 article, acknowledging this possibility that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition was published in 1522. 133 To sum up their arguments, the Zhou Yuejiao A edition was put to blocks in 1552, the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition was published in T’amna in Chosǒn in 1567, and between 1552 and 1567 (possibly sometime nearer to 1567) some fanke ben prints of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition were published in Chosǒn. The Three Kingdoms mentioned by Ki Taesŭng at court in 1569 was a fanke ben of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition published in 1567 on T’amna, or even a slightly earlier print whose remnants are extant in various places in Korea.  129  Pak (2008): 181–2; Liu (2009): 8–11.  130  Ibid.  131  Pak (2008): 209; Liu (2009): 14–6.  132  Pak (2008): 209.  133  Liu (2009): 14–6.  79  These arguments by Pak and Liu are ground-breaking in many respects. First, as for the study of Three Kingdoms editions in China, their dating of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition as a print put to blocks in 1552 instead of 1591 makes it the third earliest Three Kingdoms edition after the Jiajing Renwu and the Ye Fengchun (葉逢春) editions. 134 As for the study of Three Kingdoms editions in Korea, they show that the first Three Kingdoms imported was the Zhou Yuejiao A edition, not the Jiajing edition whose remnants are nonexistent in Korea, and also that the fanke ben of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition was published in Korea as late as 1567. Furthermore, Pak points out the gap of about a century and a half between the appearance of the Jiajing and the Mao editions in China, and also that the twenty-volume reprints of the Mao edition became predominant in Korea only from the nineteenth century. 135 He asserts that the Three Kingdoms that was prevalent in Korea from around 1567 to the nineteenth century could very well have been the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition and its reprints. Their assertions are worth noting if they are accurate, especially because the discovery of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition contributed to the dating of one of the earliest Three Kingdoms editions. Just as the Sanguo zhi pinghua were all lost in China and “rediscovered” in Japan in the 1920s, the finding and examination of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition is a case in point demonstrating that the study of Korean editions of Three Kingdoms can lead to a significant academic breakthrough.  134  Liu (2009): 16.  135  Pak (2008): 172. Pak’s assertion is based on the fact that most extant Mao editions of the Three  Kingdoms in Korean libraries are nineteenth-century productions. I do not agree with Pak on this matter, a point I will discuss shortly.  80  However, the arguments made by Liu and Pak are not without their problems. First, their dating of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition is based largely on the assessment made by the late Yi Kyǒmno: given that Yi Kyǒmno passed away and the text that he examined has been missing since his death, it seems almost impossible to acquire any physical evidence to confirm his assessment. All we can do is accept Yi Kyǒmno’s assessment as a renowned bibliographer. We should also note that there are several different prints (albeit incomplete) of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition gathered by Pak, and also that Pak, after reviewing their engraved fonts, suggested that some of these prints were published before 1567. These incomplete editions in various places in Korea should be examined by other specialists in this area to confirm his assessment and to date them more accurately. Liu’s assertion that the Zhou Yuejiao A edition came out in 1552 should also be examined more thoroughly. 136 Also, although Pak’s assertion that the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition had been prevalent in Korea for about two centuries until the Mao edition became predominant in nineteenth-century Korea seems plausible to some extent, we should also consider other possibilities. Just because no Jiajing edition has been found in Korea does not prove that it was never imported. For example, scholars were not aware of the existence of a 136  As a matter of fact, when Liu presented his article on the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition in  Sepember 2009 in Seoul, Kin Bunkyo (or Kim Mun’gyǒng), a specialist on Three Kingdoms editions at Kyoto University, suggested alternative interpretations for the texts that Liu examined. As for the dating of the Zhou Yuejiao A edition, Liu has altered his theories rather frequently (in 2002, and then in August and September 2009). In Liu’s conference paper presented in September 2009, he mentions that he made changes to his article presented with the same title a month before. Liu’s 2009 conference paper has not been officially published yet, possibly because he is still in the process of articulating his theories.  81  complete copy of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition until Pak recently put the scattered chapters together, while there are more than a dozen copies of the Mao edition extant in Korea. By the same token, we cannot entirely ignore the possibility that early editions of Three Kingdoms other than the Zhou Yuejiao edition could have been imported into Chosǒn, even though no extant copies are available. Even with the finding and dating of the Zhou Yuejiao Chosǒn edition, we still cannot be certain that it was the only Three Kingdoms edition that preceded the Mao edition. Furthermore, Pak himself, through textual analysis, asserts that a complete Korean translation of Three Kingdoms collected at the Naksǒnjae Royal Library is a translation of the Jiajiang edition. 137 Judging from the orthographical features and literary style, Pak believes that the translation came out in the early- or mid-eighteenth century. 138 In addition, a complete pre-modern Korean translation of the “Li Zhuowu” commentary edition of Three Kingdoms has been discovered. 139 Therefore, we can deduce that the “Li Zhuowu” commentary edition was imported and circulated in Chosǒn, even though no print of it has been found in Korea. Similarly, existence of the above-mentioned seventeenth-century Korean translation of the Jiajing edition strongly suggests that the Jiajiang edition was imported into Chosǒn. Although it is likely to some extent that the Zhou Yuejiao edition was popular in  137  Pak (2001): 8.  138  Ibid.  139  Pak edited and published this translation as a set of books in 1998. In the preface, he clarifies  that, through textual analysis, he concluded that the volume is a translation of the “Li Zhuowu” commentary edition. See Pak, Samgukchi t’ongsok yǒnŭi (Seoul, South Korea: Hakkobang, 1998).  82  Korea until the Mao edition appeared, 140 we cannot rule out the possibility that other editions of Three Kingdoms (such as the “Li Zhuowu” commentary edition and the Jiajiang edition) were also circulated and gained considerable popularity. As mentioned in Chapter 2, there are many examples demonstrating almost simultaneous importation of Chinese fictional narratives into Chosŏn Korea: the Korean translation of Jinghua yuan (Flowers in the Mirror) in 1835 is a case-in-point, appearing only seven years after its first publication in 1828 in China. Kang Myǒnggwan also points out that the Chosǒn literati were very sensitive to literary trends in China and that even relatively minor or temporary trends were often rapidly disseminated into Chosǒn. 141 Given that the Mao edition came out in China in the mid-seventeenth century, it is absurd to assume that its circulation in Chosǒn was delayed until the nineteenth century with a gap of more than a century and a half. That most extant prints of the Mao edition in Korea are dated around the nineteenth century does not prove that it became popular in Korea only from the nineteenth century, as Pak argues; rather, it is only natural that libraries should have more copies of recent publications than of older ones. As a matter of fact, as I will discuss in greater detail in Chapter 4, An Chŏngbok (安鼎福,1712–1791), an eighteenthcentury Chosǒn literatus, discusses in his collected works his impressions of reading the Mao edition of Three Kingdoms, specifically mentioning Jin Shengtan and Mao Zonggang as the commentators. His example shows that the Mao edition was already circulating in the early- to mid-eighteenthcentury Korea. 140  The premodern Korean print of Three Kingdoms collected at the Academy of Korean Studies is  a translation of the Zhou Yuejiao edition, which confirms Pak’s argument that the Zhou Yuejiao edition was influential in Chosŏn. 141  See Kang, Ch’aek pǒlledŭl Chosǒn ŭl mandŭlda (Bookworms that Established the Chosŏn Dynasty).  83  As mentioned above, the extant prints of Three Kingdoms in Korea are reprints of the Zhou Yuejiao edition and the Mao edition. The next item we will examine is the Mao edition, which became a prominent text in Chosǒn Korea. 4)  Kwanhwadang cheil chaejas ŏ(貫華堂第一才子書)  The most influential classical Chinese edition of Three Kingdoms came out sometime during King Sukjong’s 肅宗 reign (1674-1700). The full title page of this work reads, “Guanhuatang’s First Book of Genius, with original commentary by Jin Shengtan, and commentary and punctuation by Mao Zonggang” (聖歎原評, 毛宗崗評點, 貫華堂第一才子書) and the work is subtitled “The First of the Four Masterworks” (四大奇書第一種). In essence, it is a reprint of the Mao edition that came out in the mid-1660s in China. Just as the Mao edition “eclipsed the earlier version and was exclusively circulated in China for three centuries,”142 the Kwanhwadang cheil chaejas ŏedition of Three Kingdoms was hugely popular and remained the most influential version throughout the Chos ŏn dynasty and even during the early stages of the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945). The perennial popularity of this version of the novel seems in part attributable to the ideological predilections of the Chosŏn literati and court officials, to be discussed in detail in Chapter 4. This Kwanhwadang cheil chaejas ŏwas reprinted repeatedly, especially by private publishers, from the 1700s onward, and most extant editions collected in libraries in Korea are those printed in the nineteenth century.143  142  Moss Roberts, Afterword, 413 (abridged edition).  143  As a matter of fact, most modern translators of Three Kingdoms also tend to insist that they  based their translations partly or entirely on the Mao edition, although significant numbers of them turn out to be retranslations of Japanese translations of Three Kingdoms.  84  This work was the first Three Kingdoms edition to be disseminated nationwide and read by people of various literate classes. Such an extensive readership was achieved in conjunction with the emergence of a widespread readership for Chinese narratives in general, a phenomenon which became apparent from the seventeenth century. It is worth noting that from this period the yangban literati acknowledged that xiaoshuo narratives could serve a didactic purpose for admonishing and educating women properly, allowing or sometimes even encouraging them to read fictional narratives imbued with the ideology of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, one of which was the Mao-edition Three Kingdoms. Lady Yi from Hamp’y ŏng咸平李氏, the mother of Kw ŏn Sangha 權 ( 尙夏, 1641-1721), literatus known as one of the most ardent supporters of the Han Chinese-centered ideology (zunzhou lun尊周 論), manually copied Three Kingdoms and circulated several volumes of it among her family members and relatives.144  144  Pak Yŏnghŭi, 321-25 and passim.  85  Figure 1 has been removed due to copyright restrictions. It was an illustration of Zhuge Liang reprinted in volume 1 of Yi Mun’y ’s ŏl version of Three Kingdoms. Original source: Yi Mun’y ŏl, Samgukchi 1: 17 (Seoul: Minǔmsa, 1988).  The widespread readership for the Mao edition of Three Kingdoms is documented in the essays of literati of this period. Yi Ik 李翊 (1681–1763) mentions an incident when an episode from the Sanguozhi yanyi once served as topic on a state examination because the examiners confused facts from the official history of the Three Kingdoms (三國志) with a fictitious story from the Sanguozhi yanyi. 145 Yi observes that this “laughable” incident happened because the Sanguozhi yanyi had become so popular that by his time every household was reading and reciting it, adding, “and nowadays it [Three Kingdoms] has been printed and distributed widely, with every household reciting it. It even became the topic of a state examination. People continue  145  Yi Ik, 321.  86  to read it, handing the book from one to another, and do not feel ashamed for doing it; one can see how the way of the world has changed.” 146 There is also an example of Three Kingdoms being used as a preparation manual for becoming familiar with classical Chinese and Chinese history. In terms of entertainment value and readability, fiction excelled the Confucian classics significantly, and Three Kingdoms in particular was recognized for its exceptionally entertaining nature. The yangban literati also noticed that a substantial part of it was written in classical Chinese, and often quoted verbatim from historical records. While such aspects of the work worried serious literati such as Ki, others regarded it as a tool that could enable the students to learn classical Chinese in a more stimulating way. Song Myŏnghŭm 宋明欽 (1705-1768) noted: In my household, trivial stories or dramas (稗書 雜戱) were not allowed. As a child I never enjoyed reading, and was told by my father that “you nevertheless have not realized that reading a book and scrutinizing its gist is far greater than merely reciting it.” He then purchased Three Kingdoms in order for me to learn the joy of reading. When I was a grown-up, I came to read it once again. Upon seeing that, my father scolded me and banned me from reading it. 147  146  三國演義 ... 在今印出廣布, 家户诵讀, 試场之中, 擧而爲题, 前後相續, 不知愧耻, 亦可以觀  世變矣. Yi Ik, 321. 147  Song Myŏnghŭm, Yŏkch’ŏn chip 櫟泉集, 221: 369. Digital text available at (Website of The Institute for the Translation of Korean Classics).  87  For a young student who hated even to look at those archaic foreign phrases, Three Kingdoms was a sugar-coated package of classical Chinese easy to swallow. 148 It can be noted that Three Kingdoms was a commodity easily purchased in the early eighteenth century when Song Myŏnghŭm was a child. Taking this information together with the earlier references about how Yu Hŭich’un was exceptionally pleased to acquire twenty juan 卷of an edition of Three Kingdoms from Pak Kwang’ok in 1573, and how the mother of Kw ŏn Sangha had copied by hand a partial copy of the work in the early seventeenth century for her grandson, we can suggest that with the development of printing technology and the emergence of private publishers noticeable from the late seventeenth century, Three Kingdoms (mostly the Mao-edition) acquired the status of a must-read in every literate household by the time of Yi Ik’s remarks. 149  3.4  Three Kingdoms Imported and Reprinted Ever since it was first imported sometime before 1569 and until the early twentieth  century, Three Kingdoms in classical Chinese circulated mainly through two networks; one being via the importation of various editions from China, the other being through reprintings in Korea. Although Korea started to print Three Kingdoms by 1569 at the latest, the importation of the  148  Three Kingdoms is still used for such purposes. Editions of Three Kingdoms edited for  children’s foreign language education, especially English learning, have been quite successful in the Korean book market. For example, the 20-volume manhwa entitled The Romance of Three Kingdoms (Seoul: T’aedong, 2000) is Three Kingdoms cartoons in both English and Korean designed for Korean learners of English. 149  Refer to Chapter 5, especially Chapter 5.2.2 for further evidences regarding the widespread  readership of Three Kingdoms by this period.  88  book from China showed no signs of abating. On the contrary, the number of Three Kingdoms copies imported from China increased steadily, and most extant copies of the work from China are Mao editions imported in the Qing period. As for other masterpieces among the four “masterworks” of the Ming novel (si da qishu 四大奇書) that were hugely popular in China 150, Korean translations of Shuihu zhuan 水滸傳 (Outlaws of the marsh) and Xiyou ji 西遊記 (Journey to the West) by private publishers came out at a relatively later period (in the mid-nineteenth century), with no evidence that these works were printed in classical Chinese, or that any government bureau was involved. 151 As it happens, a complete translation of Xiyou ji into Korean was not available even in the early twentieth century. 152 Jin Ping Mei 金甁梅, due to its obscene contents, was secretly read by limited numbers of literati, but never circulated in the Korean book market. In other words, only Three Kingdoms among the four Ming masterworks has enjoyed steady popularity in Korea, and has remained in favor with publishers from the late seventeenth century to this day. Honglou meng 紅樓夢 (A dream of red mansions) and Rulin waishi 儒林外史 (The unofficial history of the 150  See Andrew H. Plaks, The Four Masterworks of the Ming Novel for detailed discussion of these  novels. 151  Min, “Chosŏn sidae chungguk kojŏn sosŏl ŭi ch’ulp’an yangsang,” 71. As noted in Chapter 2,  King Yŏnsan, having difficulties understanding sentences written in contemporary colloquial Chinese in Jiandeng xinhua [New stories to trim the lamp by], gave a royal order to revise it into classical Chinese (Chosŏn wangjo sillok 14: 63). In his collected works [Okso chip 玉所集], Kwon Sŏp 權燮 (1671-1759) noted that “I loathed the frivolous and petty style [of the colloquial stories] and translated them into classical Chinese” [我嫌瑣簡以文飜]. (Cited from Pak Yŏnghŭi, 342.) 152  Min, “Chungguk kojŏn sosŏl ŭi kungnae ch’ulp’ansa yŏn’gu,” 256.  89  scholars), which were popular in Qing China, also never enjoyed any substantial fame in Korea. From the sixteenth century on, Three Kingdoms has dominated in terms of its popularity and influence with Korean readers. While other Chinese masterpieces enjoyed passing fame, stories about Three Kingdoms heroes have been disseminated in folktales, myths, and war stories, expanding their status in Korean culture and history. Stories about Guan Yu are a case in point.  3.5  How Guan Yu Became a National Hero of Korea “Kim wears on his waist a hundred-pound double iron mallet, can eat a picul of rice, and can catch a running dog… Kim’s wisdom is that of Chuko Liang [Zhuge Liang] and his bravery that of Kuan Yu [Guan Yu 關羽].” 153 Worship of Guan Yu (162-220), or Guandi 關帝 (Emperor Guan), both in China and  Korea, stemmed mostly from his portrayal in Three Kingdoms rather than from the deeds of the historical Guan Yu. By Ming and Qing times in China, “tales about the loyal warrior and his tragic death had circulated for centuries in the ‘Three Kingdoms’ theatre-and story-cycles and shaped the god’s persona and iconographical repertory: his beard, his sword, his horse Red Hare, his sworn brothers Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, his adopted son, his generals, and his faithful servants--these were all familiar and often represented.” 154 However, the tradition of Guan Yu worship in Korea was far from spontaneous, and Korea had no tradition of worshipping him as a god until the Imjin Wars. In the very same year that Ki Taesŭng 奇大升 (1527–1572) criticized the negative influence of Three Kingdoms in his petition (1569), Yu Sŏngnyong柳成龍 (1542-  153  Peter Lee, trans. The Record of the Black Dragon Year, 17.  154  Naquin, Peking, 501.  90  1607), a secretary accompanying the envoy to Beijing to felicitate the Chinese emperor on his birthday, observed temples in China dedicated to Guan Yu and paintings of him in private residences and considered this foreign practice “bizarre.” 155 Ironically, it was also Yu, then Chief Investigative Military Commissioner (toch’ech’alsa 都體察使), who later helped Chen Lin 陳璘 (1543-1607) a Ming admiral (水軍都督) dispatched to Korea, offer the first official sacrificial ceremonies to Guan Yu in Korean history during the Imjin War. 156 Yu was also involved in the establishment of several Guan Yu temples in Korea, with the first shrines founded in Seoul and Andong 安東 in 1598 in celebration of the seemingly victorious return of Ming generals to China. It was the religious beliefs of the Ming generals who fought the Japanese in Korea that contributed directly to the establishment of temples dedicated to Guan Yu. These generals had to face a series of humiliating defeats by an enemy they regarded as barbaric. Given Guan Yu’s status as god of war by the Ming period, Chen Lin and other Ming generals asserted that it was not ineptitude that cost them losses on the battlefield; rather these losses were unavoidable since they had not paid proper respect to the god of war. When they petitioned the Korean court to establish temples for Guan Yu, court officials who strictly favoured Confucius (a civil sage) over  155  Yu Sŏngnyong, Kwanmyo ki 關廟記, juan 16, Sŏae jip 西厓集. Digital text available at 156  Chen Lin often offered sacrificial ceremonies in search of “covert support” (yin zhu 陰助) from  Guan Yu, the god of wu 武 (martial valor). He and other Ming generals also had Chinese actors perform zaju 雜劇 dramas about Guan Yu’s martial prowess (Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 252), which could also have contributed to the rapid dissemination of Three Kingdoms during and after the Japanese invasion.  91  Guan Yu (a martial god), unanimously resisted this proposal at first. 157 However, the king was eventually advised to make a diplomatic decision to raise the morale of the Chinese troops, and agreed to establish Guandi temples in Seoul and Andong. Soon, with the financial support of the Ming emperor, a third Guandi temple was erected in Seoul, and similar temples were soon established in several other cities. 158 In as much as Guan Yu was a “non-native god imported by a foreign army,” worship at recently dedicated temples met with hostile reactions in the early stages. The shrine established in Andong had to be relocated to the outskirts of town from its original central location, since it was facing a temple dedicated to Confucian sages, a fact that outraged conservative local literati. 159 In addition, Guan Yu temples in several areas crumbled into ruins with few visitors. 160 It was royal patronage that enabled Guan Yu temples to survive this initial indifference and hostility, until the tradition of Guan Yu worship took hold with Koreans. Guandi was 157  Wen 文 is akin to cultural attainment while wu 武 represents martial valor. The dyad wen-wu has  been the most critical measure of one’s capabilities in traditional Asian culture. For more details on this wen-wu dyad, see Kam Louie, Theorizing Chinese Masculinity, 4, 21, 43, 66, 159, 161, and passim. 158  Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 225; Kim Myŏngja, 76; Son Suk’kyŏng, 217.  159  See Kim Myŏngja, 78-85 for details. The Guan Yu shrine in Andong was built in 1598, and was  relocated to the outskirts of the town in 1606. 160  Kim Myŏngja, 90; Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 238-9. Kim notes a reference by Cho Myŏngch’ae 曹命采  concerning the crumbling statue of Guan Yu and his shrine in Sŏngju 星主, which was then repaired by the order of King Yŏngjo (r. 1724-1776). The Guandi shrine in Andong, of which maintenance was performed poorly became of the fierce opposition from the local literati, also had to be refurbished in 1711.  92  enthusiastically worshipped by many Chosŏn kings such as King Sŏnjo 宣祖 (1567-1608), Sukchong 肅宗 (1674-1720), and Yŏngjo 英祖 (1724-1776), who promoted and rewarded the god and refurbished and enlarged his temples. In Chosŏn Korea, Guandi was “principally identified with the bravery, loyalty, and uprightness enacted in his life” just as he was in Ming and Qing China. 161 It would be misleading to reckon that the prosperity that Guandi temples enjoyed was based entirely on the support of the Chosŏn rulers. What’s not to like about a hero who represents martial prowess, loyalty, and dignity—values found wanting in most Korean generals and officials during the Imjin War? The lack of such a homegrown war-time hero made Korean people all the more eager to fantasize about the emergence of such a superhero, and stories about Guan Yu were soon incorporated into Korean war novels. Among the novels in which Guan plays a critical role, Imjin nok 壬辰錄 (Record of the Black Dragon Year) 162 is a case in point. As the title indicates, Imjin nok is a collection of narratives inspired by the Japanese invasion of Korea between 1592 (The year of Imjin; the Black Dragon Year) and 1598, which integrated folklore, myth, and legends widespread among the Koreans. Guan Yu is one of the most popular and critical protagonists in Imjin nok. 163 Considering that many distinct oral narratives about the Japanese invasion had already begun circulating during the war, we can say  161  Naquin, 501.  162  This title is also romanized as Imjillok on several occasions.  163  Among some seventy editions of Imjin nok (either in manuscript or printed editions, long and  short, in the Korean vernacular and in classical Chinese versions) identified so far, Guan Yu appears as a main protagonist in quite a few versions. For a study of distinct editions of Imjin nok and protagonists in them, see Im Ch’ŏlho, 212 and 219-20.  93  with confidence that a certain image of Guan Yu was already widespread among the Korean people during the war, and that representations of him owed more to his image in Three Kingdoms than to historical records about him. Guan Yu in Imjin nok is portrayed as a national hero who delivers his people and country from the barbarian invasion. Particularly noteworthy is that Guan Yu is seen as a Korean national hero rather than as a Chinese one. This attribution of national hero status to Guan Yu, a remarkable example of the relocalization of a Three Kingdoms hero to Korea, was based on legends concerning his frequent appearances on major battlefields of the Imjin War--legends which soon coalesced as the Imjin nok. In fact, Guan Yu’s makeover as a Korean hero owed to more than just contemporaneous legends; it also resulted in no small part from the actions of King Sŏnjo, the very king who made the first official remark on Three Kingdoms at court and also experienced the largest Japanese invasion in Chosŏn history. He not only erected temples at places where Guan Yu allegedly had appeared, but also established Nammyo 南廟 (The Southern Temple) and Tongmyo 東廟 (The Eastern Temple) in Seoul, dedicating them to the deity. 164 King Sŏnjo literally made it his personal mission to make sure that every major city in the nation was furnished with a Guan Yu shrine and that his vassals offered sacrificial ceremonies twice a year at them. 165  164  Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 229; Kim Myŏngja, 89; Son Suk’kyŏng, 217. The Ming emperor Shenzong and  Ming generals serving in Korea also contributed to the founding of Tongmyo. 165  Some scholars assert that Chosŏn politicians such as King Sŏnjo and Yu Sŏngnyong deliberately  acted as ardent believers in Guandi’s “covert support,” since doing so suited their ideological and political standing better. During the war, with the exception of Admiral Yi Sun-sin 李舜臣, the royal Chosŏn forces turned out to be incompetent, and it was largely the civilian forces led by the Confucian loyalists of Chosŏn that defeated the Japanese army. Soon after the war, King Sŏnjo felt that these leaders of the  94  In Imjin nok, folk narratives about Guan Yu defeating the Japanese army which were circulating at the time of the war among the populace are integrated into a coherent plot with sophisticated motifs. The first of these has him appearing in the Chosŏn king’s dream and predicting the imminent invasion of the Japanese. Then, as guardian and benefactor of Korea, he also appears to the Ming emperor in a dream and urges him to dispatch reinforcements to Korea immediately. The relevant part of Imjin nok reads as follows: After sending back the envoy [Yu Sŏngnyong], the Son of Heaven [tianzi 天子; the emperor of Ming China], unable to repress his pity, leaned against a desk and had a dream. A general wearing armor and helmet, with gold cap and court attire over them, entered and bowed four times, saying: “Elder brother, you guard all under heaven, yet you do not know the ties between brothers. How can I not be sad?” “Who are you to call me your elder brother?” replied the Son of Heaven. “Lord brother, please listen carefully.” Again the ghost of General Kuan bowed four times. “Liu Hsuante [Liu Xuande 劉玄德] of the Three Kingdoms of old reincarnated as the Son of Heaven of Great Ming, and the youngest brother Chang Fei [Zhang Fei 張飛] became the king of Chosŏn. Your subject could not be reborn, so he used to rely on the younger to avoid wind and rain. Then the younger suffered the Japanese invasion and fled to Ŭiju. Please, send the requested civilian forces could be a potential threat to his throne, and either beheaded or exiled them, rather than reward them. To him and other politicians at court, the idea that the war was won with the help of the god of war, the guardian and benefactor of Korea, suited their state ideology, which sought to inculcate the view of Korea as an exemplary Sinicized state. See Ch’oe Mun-jŏng, 166-7.  95  reinforcements as soon as possible and save your younger brother from distress.” He then vanished. 166 In this story, the Ming emperor, upon receiving Korean envoy Yu Sŏngngyong’s request to dispatch reinforcements to Korea, rejects it since his ministers all object. Feeling uneasy and remorseful for the envoy’s disappointment, he still does not change his decision, made on the advice of his courtiers. Then Guan Yu appears in his dream to persuade him to change his mind, claiming that his sworn elder brother, Liu Bei, has been reborn as the Ming emperor, and his younger brother, Zhang Fei, as the Chosŏn King; he himself is the guardian ghost of Zhang Fei’s state. At first, this claim strikes the emperor as dubious and he hesitates to reverse his initial decision. Guan Yu then reappears in his dream, this time threatening that their tie as sworn brothers will be broken unless the emperor dispatches an army immediately. As we shall see, the reason given for why Guan Yu is so desperate to help Korea in its hour of need is because, for some reason, only he could not be reborn and was forced to rely on the care of his reborn younger brother. This rationale for a Chinese hero to seek so urgently to help a foreign country seems absurd at best, but can be explained in terms of a sentiment that already saw Guan Yu as the supreme role model for the guardian and benefactor of Korea, owing to his image in Three Kingdoms as a righteous, merciful, and chivalrous figure of great martial prowess. Given the absence of native Korean heroes capable of impressing the Korean people as much as Guan Yu did, the editor/author of Imjin nok provided the abovementioned reincarnation story to explain his frequent appearances on a foreign battlefield. Since it is the ties of sworn-brotherhood that prompt these appearances, helping Korea is not simply a matter of coming to the aid of a foreign state, but rather becomes a domestic matter. Furthermore, since it is the Mandate of Heaven that 166  Peter Lee, 79-80. See 134-35 for the original text.  96  these brothers have been reborn as emperor of China (elder brother) and king of Korea (younger brother), respectively, such an order can scarcely be ignored. Therefore, Peter Lee observes, “The intervention of Kuan Yu [Guan Yu], the god of war and loyalty, has another meaning. Despite the imperfections of the Korean king and his government, the fortunes of the House of Yi [Chosŏn] are to be maintained. Kuan Yu asserts the eventual return of order.” 167 Persuading the Ming emperor was just the first of Guan Yu’s deeds as protector and benefactor of Korea. He not only appears when Korean generals are in danger and saves them, but also rushes onto the battlefield and either terrorizes or kills Japanese generals. Kiyomasa 168 looked in the air and saw a general wearing a red gold helmet and a thousand-pound suit of armor. Brandishing a Blue Dragon sword and wearing a three-point beard, the general glared with the eyes of a phoenix and said: “I am Marquis of Shouting, Kuan Yunch’ang, of the Three Kingdoms of the past. I am now entrusting myself to the state of Chosŏn to weather out the storm. Barbaric Japanese bandits, how dare you invade Chosŏn? When I beheaded the commanders  167  Peter Lee, 31-32.  168  Katō Kiyomasa (加藤清正 1562- 1611) was a Japanese daimyō 大名 of the Sengoku and early  Edo periods (mid-fifteenth- to early seventeenth-century). He was one of the three senior commanders during the Imjin War. Together with Konishi Yukinaga (小西行長 1555- 1600), he once captured Seoul, Pusan, and many other crucial cities. The description in Imjin nok that he was killed by Li Rusong with the help of Guan Yu is, of course, fictional and reflected contemporary Korean people’s thirst for revenge. He successfully retreated to Japan and died in 1611.  97  of five passes, hundreds of thousands of heroes all died at my hands. 169 I am from another world. And if I do battle, you’ll be erased in an instant. If you do not wish to meet sudden death, evacuate your position and retreat at once. If you are arrogant, I will pulverize the Japanese people.” Kiyomasa looked dazed. For it was indeed the famous general of the Three Kingdoms. Then, speechless and dumbfounded, Kiyomasa saw that Lord Kuan’s horse had vanished; he faced the sky with measureless gratitude and evacuated his position in terror and retreated to Kangwŏn province.170 Here, Guan Yu contributes to the victory of the allied Korean and Chinese armies by scaring off Katō Kiyomasa, whom many contemporary Koreans saw as the archenemy. However, merely describing the scaring off of Kiyomasa apparently was not sufficient to pacify Korean readers’ grudge against him. Lord Guan, emerging as the national hero of Korea who guards Korea’s national integrity against the “barbarian bandits,” is called upon a second time to punish the leader of the invaders, and this time he shows Kiyomasa no mercy.  169  Here, the reference to Lord Guan’s killing five of Cao Cao’s pass guards (五關斬將) verifies  that the representation of him in Korean literary works such as Imjin nok originated largely from his image in Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi 三國志通俗演義, already widely disseminated in Korea by the time of the Imjin War. Guan Yu’s beheading of five of Cao Cao’s pass guards does not correspond with the historical records, and was fictionalized in Sanguo zhi tongsu yanyi. Considering that the folk narratives concerning Guan Yu’s appearances on battlefields were widespread during the Imjin War, it is evident that Lord Guan had attained his status of the god of war against the invaders nationwide by the end of the sixteenth century. 170  Peter Lee, 72. Slight modification added; see 128-29 for the original text.  98  Fifty-six Japanese generals faced seventy Ming generals. As the two parties fought one another, heaven and earth roiled in confusion. How could heaven be so uncaring? Just then a cold wind picked up and blew dust, the earth caved in, and it was as if heaven were exploding. With a sound like thunder from the air, a general appeared wearing a Heaven Gold helmet and Green Cloud armor, riding Red Rabbit, brandishing a Blue Dragon sword, and wearing a three-point beard. With eyes glaring like a phoenix’s, he shouted: “Ignorant Japanese raiders, hear what I say! Despite your tiny domain you intend to swallow Chosŏn whole? How can you possibly expect to live? I am Marquis Kuan Yunch’ang of the Three Kingdoms period! My sword has no mercy! Receive it!” Kiyomasa could not bear to behold Lord Kuan twice, such terror did he strike into his heart. At that moment, Li Jusung’s [Li Rusong李如松] 171 sword flashed, Kiyomasa’s head fell, and Kim Ŭngsŏ skewered it on his sword’s end and danced a sword dance on horseback. Then he slaughtered the Japanese soldiers like leaves in an autumn wind. 172 Here, Guan Yu plays a crucial role in the killing of Kiyomasa, the highest commander of the Japanese army dispatched to Korea. Having accomplished this, his desire to protect Korea shows no sign of abating. He “instructs and protects the Korean king in his escape and return to  171  Li Rusong 李如松 (1549-1598) is a famous Ming commander of Korean ancestry who was the  commander-in-chief of the Ming imperial army dispatched to defend Korea at the request of King Sŏnjo against the Japanese invasion masterminded by Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉 (1537-1598). 172  Peter Lee, 90; see 142-43 for the original text.  99  the capital. He advises and helps Korean generals, and is worshipped as a guardian deity.” 173 Indeed, Guan Yu masterminds the whole defense against the Japanese invasion; he warns the Korean king and Chinese emperor about the impending war, saves Korean generals while defeating Japanese commanders on the battlefield, and advises Korean and Chinese commanders; in all respects he is the most crucial protagonist of Imjin nok. Considering that even a Korean war hero such as Kang Hongnip 姜弘立 (1560-1627), who is also one of the main protagonists in the story, betrays his country in the end by accepting a bribe from the Japanese ruler, Guan Yu remains trustworthy and loyal throughout the story, reflecting contemporary Koreans’ acceptance of him as a true national hero.  3.6  Guan Yu as Antidote against the Japanese The representation of Guan Yu as the guardian and benefactor of Korea remained intact  in the post-Imjin War period, especially insofar as Chosŏn kings deliberately promoted stateinstitutionalized worship of Guan Yu to emphasize their commitment to Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, as already noted. They expected that the promotion of Guan Yu as a guardian deity would serve to strengthen their legitimacy as rulers of a Sinicized Neo-Confucian state. Ever since the beginning of the nineteenth century, Guan Yu has assumed a role also in Korean popular religion. Shamans (mudang巫堂) worship him as their guardian deity, who grants wishes upon the receipt of proper sacrificial offerings. Shamanistic representations of Guan Yu as the guardian of Korean nationality have repeatedly resurfaced during times of conflict with foreign invaders, especially the Japanese. For example, Yi Kyŏngsŏn notes an incident during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 to 1945). A Japanese police chief in Sŏngju 173  Lee, 203.  100  星州 district dropped dead when he tried to destroy and dispose of Guan Yu’s granite statue, which he identified as the deified general of an enemy state. 174 The Guan Yu shrine in Sŏngju was built to commemorate Lord Guan who, according to local folktales transmitted since the Japanese invasion in the sixteenth-ceuntry, prevented the Japanese army from invading the town in the middle of the Imjin War. Given the references in the local myths and folktales to Guan Yu’s presence in Sŏngju, it can be seen that he protected the city for more than three hundred years against Japanese intruders. Similar folk records are abundant. Hwang Hyŏn 黃玹 (1855-1910), a late Chosŏn historian, notes an incident in 1906, when several Japanese deliberately showed disrespect to Guan Yu’s statue in a shrine dedicated to him in Chŏnju 全州 district; all died instantly. He says, “Five Japanese in Chŏnju had entered the Guandi temple and ridiculed the statue [of Guan Yu], and they soon all died spitting blood. From that time, a succession of sudden deaths by ghostly power occurred repeatedly and the Japanese, frustrated, escaped to other districts.” 175 Similarly, a monument erected inside the Guan Yu temple in Andong to the memory of fifty Ming generals who fought in the Imjin War was also destroyed by the Japanese during the colonial period (1910-1945) 176. Such acts reflect the rival claims of China and Japan to authority in Korea. These examples of Guan Yu temples damaged by the Japanese show that he was seen as the guardian of Korea not only by Koreans, but also by the Japanese invaders as well, even in the early twentieth century.  174  Yi Kyŏngsŏn, 241.  175  Hwang Hyŏn, Maech’ŏn Yarok 梅泉野錄, 687 (Kyomunsa, 1994).  176  Kim Myŏngja, 94.  101  Furthermore, the late Chosŏn period saw Guandi’s status elevated to a place even higher than that of god of war. In Andong, a statue of Zhao Zilong 趙子龍 , one of the Five Tiger Generals of Shu-Han 五虎大將 whose rank equals that of Guan Yu in Three Kingdoms, is placed to the side of Guandi’s statue as a deputy general 副將 along with Zhou Cang周倉 and Guan Ping 關平, who have traditionally been designated as deputy generals for this revered deity. 177 Zhao Zilong, one of the most favored figures from Three Kingdoms in Korean folk literature 178, is nevertheless outranked by Lord Guan. It is also intriguing to find that the statue of Guan Yu erected in Tongnae 東萊 holds the Annals of Spring and Autumn (Chunqiu春秋) in his hand instead of the customary Blue Dragon Sword 靑龍刀, the legendary weapon that beheaded so many formidable enemies in Three Kingdoms. 179 Considering that the Annals of Spring and Autumn represents the guiding principle of Confucius and orthodox Confucian interpretations of legitimacy, we cannot overlook this representation of Guan Yu holding this book instead of his sword. Traditionally, Guan Yu has been “revered as the wu god in temples and shrines throughout the Chinese world,” while “Confucius [was revered alongside him] as the Paragon of Teachers and wen god.” 180 However, 177  Ibid.  178  One example showing the popularity of Zhao Zilong among Korean readers is the Cho  Charyong silgi 趙子龍實記 (Veritable Record of Zhao Zilong) (also called Sanyang taejŏn 山陽大戰 The Battle of Shanyang), a story adapted from Three Kingdoms popular in the late Chosŏn and during the colonial period. For further discussion of this title, see the section on adaptations of Three Kingdoms in Chaper 5. 179  Son Sukkyŏng, 232.  180  Kam Louie, Theorising Chinese Masculinity, 14.  102  in traditional Chinese/Sinicized philosophical thought, “wen was considered superior to wu, despite each having its place in the ordered Confucian state.” 181 Therefore, as long as the Confucians prioritise wen over wu, Guandi, despite being hugely popular and widely worshipped, can never be the predominant figure. However, the statue of Guan Yu holding the Annals of Spring and Autumn clearly challenges the traditional wen-wu icons of Confucius and Guan Yu, respectively; it breaks the dichotomy of wen-wu, allowing Guan Yu, the wu god, to infringe upon the realm of the wen god. The metaphor that the Annals of Spring and Autumn held in Guan Yu’s hand delivers is quite obvious, since an extract from the canon declares: “The virtue of wen is superior, the greatness of wu is lower, and this has always been and will always be the case.” 182 A god of wu, Guan Yu is now portrayed as having attained the wen attribute, too, developing to 181  Kam Louie, 17.  182  Cited in Louie, 18. Louie (31, 175) also mentions that the expression ‘Guan Yuanchang du  Chunqiu’ (Guan Yunchang reads the Spring and Autumn Annals), indicating that Guan Yu was wellversed in the Chunqiu, had become a popular dictum in premodern China. See also Tan Liangxiao and Zhang Dake, eds., Sanguo renwu pingzhuan, 177. The biography of Guan Yu in the Chronicle of the Three Kingdoms does not make any reference to Guan Yu reading the Chunqiu. In Three Kingdoms, however, when Zhang Liao 張遼, Cao Cao’s general and Guan Yu’s friend, persuades Guan Yu to surrender to Cao Cao’s side to protect Liu Bei’s wives, he mentions that Guan Yu is well-versed in Confucian classics and the Shi ji 史記 (chapter 25), which implies Guan Yu’s knowledge of Chunqiu. In chapter 26 of the Jiajing edition Three Kingdoms, Zhang Liao asks Guan Yu about the anecdote concerning Guan Zhong 管仲 and Bao Shu 鮑叔 in the Chunqiu, and Guan Yu elaborates on their account, divulging his erudition in the classic. (The Mao edition Three Kingdoms leaves this part out.) The image of Guan Yu as scholar of the Chunqiu--omitted in the Mao edition Three Kingdoms--could indicate the possibility of widespread readership of earlier editions of Three Kingdoms in Chosŏn.  103  the state of ultimate deity, “complete both in wen and wu (wen wu jianbei 文武兼備).” Such a representation of Guan Yu has never been apparent in official histories such as the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, and if we consider that Chosŏn Korea has always been proud of being an exemplary Confucian state, such an attribution, which could even be regarded as “heretical” against the sage Confucius 183, demonstrates that the status of Guan Yu in Korea has steadily risen in conjunction with the rising popularity of Three Kingdoms, hitting its peak in the early twentieth century. In 1920, Kwansŏng kyo 關聖敎 (literally “Religion of His Holiness Guan Yu”), a religious group that worships Guan Yu, was established in Korea and later developed into several sects. Likewise, Guan Yu is still worshipped as the god of war in shamanistic belief. 184 Among all the heroes of Three Kingdoms, it is safe to say that Liu Bei is remembered as the one with the utmost virtue and Zhuge Liang as the greatest strategist. However, Guan Yu has remained the one most loved and revered for the past several hundred years in Korea just as in China. While there are quite a few modern Korean readers and critics who assert that in Three Kingdoms Liu Bei is an over-sentimental and indecisive ruler and Kongming was in fact a mediocre strategist in history, Guan Yu’s loyalty, integrity, and martial prowess remain unchallenged even by these rather harsh fans of the work. As a matter of fact, he continues to be the most popular commander played by Three Kingdoms-related computer game players all over the world as well as in Korea; the legacy of Guan Yu shows no signs of abating.  183  Refer to Chapter 4 for Chosŏn literati’s fanatic and literal devotion to Confucian teachings and  their purge of “heretics.” 184  Kim Myŏngja, 76-7.  104  4  Three Kingdoms in Late Chosŏn Korea  4.1  The Fall of Ming China and the Identity Crisis of Chosŏn Korea As noted in Chapter 3, it appears that Three Kingdoms had already gained substantial  readership among the yangban literati by 1569. Soon afterwards, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Chosŏn Korea encountered two of the greatest wars in its five hundredyear history. The Imjin Wars 壬辰倭亂 (Hideyoshi’s invasions of Korea in the 1590s) and Pyŏngja Wars 丙子胡亂 (the Manchu invasions of Korea from 1627 to 1628) brought about critical changes in Chosŏn Korea. A boom in the publication of war literature was one such change. Why did other war novels such as Pakssi chŏn 朴氏傳 (Tale of Madam Pak) and Yu Ch’ungnyŏl chŏn 劉 忠烈傳 (Tale of Liu Zhonglie)--formerly well-received in the time of foreign invasions—become less influential to some extent in the post-war period? 185 As we have seen, from the mid-Chosŏn period, Three Kingdoms became the most widely read novel among all literate classes of people, and its influence became apparent in all literary genres. It seems clear that the longing for the appearance of a war hero in the times of major foreign invasions contributed hugely to the rapid dissemination of Three Kingdoms in Korea and to the emergence of folktales that portrayed its heroes, as with the example of Guan Yu. Here I examine in more depth the cultural and sociopolitical circumstances underlying the reception and dissemination of Three Kingdoms, in particular the sociopolitical and ideological background of mid- to lateChosŏn Korea. I show how Chosŏn rulers utilized Neo-Confucian values in Three Kingdoms to  185  Refer to footnote 31 in Chapter 2 for Pakssi chŏn and Yu Ch’ungnyŏl chŏn.  105  maintain and strengthen Korea’s role as the sole cultural and spiritual successor of the Great Han-Chinese empire (the Ming dynasty) after its collapse in 1644. Even though the Chosŏn court discouraged and sometimes even banned reading of fictional narratives from China, readership of Three Kingdoms was often encouraged by rulers and scholar-officials who identified with the rulers of the state of Shu-Han in the novel. By so doing they sought the same political and historical legitimacy that Zhu Xi and his followers had attributed to the state of Shu-Han, while justifying their antipathy to both foreign invaders and heresy against Confucian ideology in particular. In the latter sections of this chapter, I will demonstrate how the heroes of the novel and the Neo-Confucian values they represent were officially appreciated by the rulers of Chosŏn Korea, and how the state-institutionalized reading of the work manipulated dichotomy of good and evil, legitimate and heretical, culturally HanChinese and barbarian among an ever-increasing Korean readership. I also examine other stories from the late Chosŏn period with the theme of Shu-Han legitimacy, analyzing how the issue of legitimacy is interpreted and applied in them to assess the particular sociopolitical situation Koreans faced. The Chosŏn dynasty was established in 1392 by Neo-Confucian scholars affiliated with Yi Sŏnggye, the founder, and was based strictly on Neo-Confucianism of the Cheng-Zhu School. 186 One of this group, Chŏng Tojŏn 鄭道傳 (1337-1398), was the single most important  186  Regarding the role and influence of Neo-Confucianism in the establishment of Chosŏn, de Bary  mentions, “The case of the Yi [Chosŏn] dynasty would seem to be a singular instance in which NeoConfucians played a large role in the creation of a new regime and in the formulation of its institutions.” Refer to de Bary (1985), “introduction,” 36-7. See also James Palais (1996), 25-61. Palais (1996, 5) notes, “After 1392 [the year when the Chosŏn dynasty was founded] the Neo-Confucian thought of Sung [Song  106  founding member of the Chosŏn dynasty, and is cited in Chapter 3 for his detailed knowledge of historical figures in the Three Kingdoms period in China. Chŏng endeavored to design the government system of the new dynasty according to Neo-Confucian principles. 187 By adopting Confucianism, Chosŏn rulers also had to acknowledge that the Mandate of Heaven (tianming 天命), which was bestowed on the Chinese emperor, placed China at the center of the Confucian world order. Based firmly on an ideology imported from China, Chosŏn Korea never challenged China’s claim to be the Central Kingdom, nor did it ever harbour dreams of becoming the dominant power in Asia, as at times Japan has done. 188 Rather, the NeoConfucian rulers of Chosŏn Korea saw their country as an exemplary Sinicized state, which was second only to China and superior to all other “barbarian” states. This dependence on the imperial authority of Ming China helped early Chosŏn Korea to secure a recognized place within the broader context of China’s cultural sphere 189; it also helped Korea deal effectively with internal affairs, by means of an authoritarian approach based on Neo宋] dynasty China as epitomized in the writings of Chu Hsi [Zhu Xi 朱熹] in the twelfth century became the basis not only of the educational curriculum and the civil service examination system, but also of ritual, family organization, and ethical values for an increasing percentage of Korean society.” 187  de Bary (1985), 37-40 and Palais (1996), 25-28. For more details on Chŏng’s role in the  founding of the Chosŏn dynasty and his reliance on Neo-Confucian ideology, see Chai-sik Chang, “Chŏng Tojŏn: ‘Architect’ of Yi [Chosŏn] Dynasty Government and Ideology.” 188  de Bary (1985), 1. As an example of Japan’s aspirations to become the dominant power in Asia,  Palais (1996, 78) mentions, “In a letter Hideyoshi sent to Korea before the invasion in 1592 he revealed his plan to conquer Ming China, install the Japanese emperor in the Chinese capital, and assign his adopted son to rule Korea, before subjugating other countries like Ryūkyū, Taiwan, and the Philippines.” 189  Haboush and Deuchler 1999, 3.  107  Confucian codes. 190 For the first two hundred years of the dynasty, Korea’s tributary status ensured a relatively peaceful and prosperous time with no major warfare or political chaos, and this status “symbolized a definite and secure place for the Yi [Chosŏn] monarchy in the hierarchy of an orderly universe.” 191 The long peace enabled Korea to maintain a military establishment sufficient for ensuring domestic order but not for expelling foreign invaders. 192 The aristocratic yangban rulers took great pride in methodical civil administration (munch’i 文 治), and this civil government was designed, maintained, and regulated along Neo-Confucian lines; more specifically the Ming penal code (Da Ming lű大明律) 193. Given that Koreans were endeavoring to outdo their Chinese counterparts in implementing Confucian standards, a consensus emerged among the Chosŏn literati that their dynasty was superior to the Ming when it came to maintaining Neo-Confucian rituals and  190  On this Ming China-Chosŏn Korea relation, Haboush (1999, 67) notes, “While the Ming dynasty  reigned in China, the Sino-Korean relation was defined largely in terms of a convergence between the political and the cultural spheres and a harmony between self and the fellow members of the civilized world. Ming China reigned at the center of this civilized world. The Korean relationship with Ming China was presented in terms of a special affinity: both had reclaimed their respective native traditions after a century of Mongol domination, and both subscribed to the Neo-Confucian conception of the world. Koreans regarded the Ming as worthy leaders of the civilized world.” 191  Haboush (1988), 21.  192  Haboush (1999), 68.  193  The National Code of Chosŏn (Kyŏngguk taejŏn 經國大典) was based on the Da Ming lű. See  Haboush (1999), 52.  108  upholding the teachings of the Confucian canon. 194 This pride derived, in part, from the belief that the civilization of Korea was inaugurated by Kija (Qizi 箕子), a sage-statesman “variously identified in classical sources as a survivor of the Shang dynasty who either came to northern Korea as a vassal of the Chou [Zhou] or chose exile there rather than serve under a new dynasty.” 195 Chosŏn scholars believed that Kija initiated a high level of Korean culture and civilization and that under his direction and influence Korea had transformed into a state equivalent to Confucius’ home state of Lu (魯國) or Mencius’ home state of Qi (齊國) when it came to exemplifying Confucian cultural values. After the Ming fell in 1644, this belief led in turn to the practice of calling themselves the Eastern Zhou (Dong Zhou 東周), to be discussed later in this chapter. 196  194  See Haboush (1988), 22; and Haboush and Deuchler (1999), 3. On the Koreans’ relentless  endeavor to outdo their Chinese counterparts, see Miura Kunio (1985). Kunio (1985, 412) notes that Chosŏn Korea allowed only one orthodox doctrine, Neo-Confucianism, and that Korean literati were so intolerant of those who “stood outside of orthodoxy” that such people “might be put to death.” He adds that such extreme views were not seen in China or Japan. Moreover, in Korea as opposed to China or Japan, “Neo-Confucianism dominated not only the bureaucratic system, but even the daily life of the people (concretely in the form of the Family Rituals of Master Zhu [Zhuzi jiali 朱子家禮] and their spiritual life as well).” (413, with Wade-Giles transcription modified into pinyin.) 195  de Bary (1985), 17 and 38. Also see Palais (1996), 145.  196  Young-woo Han, 365-70. Regarding the reception and influence of Kija in Korea, see Young-  woo Han, "Kija Worship in the Koryŏ and Early Yi Dynasties: A Cultural Symbol in the Relationship between Korea and China" in The Rise of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary and JaHyun Kim Haboush, 349-74. See also Haboush (1988), 21.  109  Chosŏn civil governance faced its greatest test when Hideyoshi invaded in 1592 and the Imjin Wars broke out. Hawley notes of this war that “it remains to this day the worst calamity that has ever befallen the nation, to be rivalled only by the Korean War of 1950-53 for devastation and loss of life.” 197 In addition to the huge economic and political damage that Korea had to suffer for the next two hundred years, about twenty percent of its population was either slaughtered or died of starvation and disease caused by the war. 198 After the loss of some 300,000 Korean, Chinese, and Japanese soldiers over a period of seven years, Hideyoshi’s armies retreated to Japan in 1598 without having gained an inch of territory. 199 It can be argued that Ming China, with the collaboration of Chosŏn Korea, barely managed to maintain the existing order of East Asia based on Neo-Confucian hierarchy against the challenge posed by Hideyoshi. 200 The yangban rulers of Chosŏn believed in general that their country was saved from a much worse fate due largely to Ming intervention. 201 This belief culminated in a strong sense of gratitude among the Korean literati toward Ming China, especially toward the Wanli emperor 萬曆帝 (r. 1573-1619), who made the decision to send  197  Hawley (2005), The Imjin War, 564.  198  Hawley (2005), 564. For the social, political, and economic changes brought in by the war, refer  to Palais (1990), 92-121 and passim. See also Hawley (2005), 564-9 and passim. 199  Hawley (2005), xii-xiii.  200  It is well-known that Hideyoshi‘s ambition was much bigger than conquering Korea alone.  Rather, he had grand plans to conquer the entire East Asia. Hawley (2005, xii) notes, “Hideyoshi, in short, was intent on conquering the whole world as it was then known to him, an ambitious goal for what was in fact the first centrally directed war of overseas aggression in the history of Japan.” 201  Palais (1996), 93.  110  armies, and also towards the Ming generals dispatched to Korea. 202 Many politicians in power and the yangban literati literally believed themselves to be eternally indebted to the Ming for unwavering support provided at great cost--chaejo ch iŭn 再造之恩 (literally “indebtedness for the second creation of the Korean state”). 203  4.2  Chosŏn as the Sole Guardian of Authentic Confucian Heritage It took only a few more decades for this East Asian order based on Neo-Confucian  hierarchy to collapse. The defeat of Chosŏn by Nurhaci’s son Abuhai in 1627 and 1636, and the defeat of Ming China by the same Manchu Qing forces in 1644, led to a bewilderment on the part of Korea’s elite. For the Chosŏn literati, it was impossible to explain or accept in a NeoConfucian context the collapse of the Heavenly Court 天朝 (or Divine State 神州) at the hands of a people they regarded as barbarians. Regarding this foreboding felt by Koreans at the demise of the Ming, Deuchler and Haboush note: However much the war with Japan challenged the Korean assumptions on which national security policy had been based and created a sense of insecurity, it was the Korean capitulation to the Manchus and the subsequent fall of the Ming to these “barbarians” in 1644 that threatened the very basis of Korean cultural identity. Since Koreans viewed the Manchu conquest of China as nothing less than the loss of the center of civilization to barbarians, the world order as they had known it was 202  Haboush (1988), 23.  203  Hawley (2005), 568. Hawley (565-67) also asserts that the enormous cost of the Imjin Wars,  which China had to pay, contributed to the fall of the Ming dynasty. This became apparent when China was invaded by Nurhaci in 1611. See also Haboush (1999), 68-69.  111  completely in chaos. The world changed from a benign place of order and peace in which the hierarchy among countries corresponded to their degree of civilization to a lopsided and disorderly one in which power was divorced from legitimacy, creating suspicion and contempt. 204 The demise of Ming China and the “usurpation” of the Confucian center of civilization by “barbarians” fundamentally challenged the world order defined by a Chinese emperor who ruled with Heaven’s Mandate. For more than two centuries Ming China had been the center of Confucian civilization and therefore “its disappearance deprived Korea not only of the agent that had validated its membership in the civilized world but also of the structures by which its civilization was valorized.” 205 The Korean literati now faced a dilemma as to how they were to accept, explain, and deal with the destruction of their world view and the resulting sociopolitical challenges caused by such a traumatic upheaval. In this context, emphasis on Confucian legitimacy and orthodoxy on the part of Song Siyŏl (宋時烈 1607-1689) and his followers was the most notable reaction to the dilemmas seventeenth-century Korea faced. Song is best known for his extremely literal devotion to Zhu Xi and Neo-Confucian ideology. He was such a wholehearted admirer of Zhu Xi’s teaching that “for him even a slight deviation from the track of Zhu Xi was an unpardonable crime.” 206 In no other country—neither Japan, Vietnam, or even China—has such a dogmatic and conservative admirer of Zhu Xi appeared. 207  204  Deuchler and Haboush (1999), 5.  205  Haboush (1999), 70.  206  Kunio, 416.  207  de Bary (1985), 49 and Kunio (1985), 416  112  Based on the firm faith in Neo-Confucian legitimacy and orthodoxy, outlined by Zhu Xi in Zhuzi daquan 朱子大全 (Complete works of Master Zhu), Zhuzi yuli 朱子語例 (Classified conversations of Master Zhu), Zhuzi jiali 朱子家禮 (Family ritual of Master Zhu), Jinsi lu 近思 錄 (Reflections on things at hand), and Zizhi tongjian gangmu 資治通鑑綱目 (Outline and digest of A comprehensive mirror for aid in government; hereafter Outline and Digest), 208 Song Siyŏl refused to acknowledge for many years the dynastic change from Ming to Qing. In this context, he and his fellow Confucian statesmen regarded the Manchu Qing empire as illegitimate. In a petition to King Hyojong 孝宗 (r. 1649-1659), Song explained his view: Your humble servant believes that [Confucian teachings] from the Spring and Autumn Annals to the Outline and Digest unanimously advocate the Singular Legitimacy (da yitong 大一統). If legitimacy is not verified clearly, then the way of governance will be in disorder. If the way of governance is in trouble, then the state will fall. In our country, since the year of Pyŏngja [1636; the year when Manchu Qing invaded Korea], many people’s thoughts became confused, and they began to recognize the wrong [emperor] as the right [ruler] and false legitimacy as orthodoxy. If some ten years pass in this way, even officials will not be interested in discussing legitimacy. 209  208  Kunio, 413-4, 417-21; de Bary (1985), 26; Deuchler (1999), 97.  209  Hyojong sillok 孝宗實錄 (Veritable Records of King Hyojong’s Reign), 36:108. (臣按  《春秋》 以至 《綱目》, 一主於大一統。 蓋大統不明, 則人道乖亂, 人道乖亂, 則國隨以亡。 我國自丙丁以後, 人心漸晦, 以僞爲眞, 以僭爲正者多矣。 若復十數年後, 則正統之說, 當不聞於搢紳間。(Text available at  113  Song’s denunciation of the Qing regime based on his belief in Confucian legitimacy appealed to King Hyojong, who had suffered humiliations during eight years spent as a hostage in Mukden (modern Shenyang 瀋陽). He was the only king in Korean history who had to spend his youth as a captive in an enemy state, and it is no surprise that a strong anti-Qing sentiment was the result of this involuntary stay abroad. It was not difficult for Song Siyŏl to rouse Hyojong’s animosity against the Manchu “barbarians” into “Korea’s postwar determination for revenge and longing for the restoration of the old world order.” 210 Appealing strongly to Hyojong’s anti-Qing sentiment and providing Neo-Confucian justification for the king’s resentment, Song soon became the king’s favorite retainer and closest advisor, to the point of enjoying “solitary audiences (tokdae 獨對).” Such a privilege was in violation of Chosŏn custom, which required that all royal audiences be conducted in the presence of historians to record the proceedings.” 211 Relying on the king’s confidence, Song was able to convince him of the need to restore Confucian order in the Central Plain (zhongyuan 中原) by military force, and this proposal soon took shape as the pukpŏl 北伐 (northern expedition) policy. 212 Whether Song really believed that  210  Haboush (1999), 71.  211  Haboush (1999), 64 and Haboush (1989), 20. Song was one of only two officials in Korean  history to be favored in this way. 212  The connotation of the term pŏl (fa in Chinese) 伐 with regard to the issue of legitimacy will be  discussed later in this chapter.  114  victory against “the barbarian destroyer of supreme culture” was possible, 213 this policy of retaliation against the Qing facilitated his virtually exclusive control of state affairs. Hyojong treated him as a supreme advisor to whom he could delegate major political decisions, including the preparations for and launch of the northern expedition. Song Siyŏl increasingly garnered political power to an extent that no other retainer of the Chosŏn dynasty could have dreamed of, and was also joined by numerous followers and disciples he cultivated. He eventually achieved a status equivalent to that of Confucius, Mencius, and Zhu Xi (朱子, Master Zhu). Honored with the title of “Master Song” (Songja 宋子), he acquired the power to label anyone against him a heretic and did not hesitate to use it. Convinced of his grasp of “immutable Confucian truth,” 214 Song was “an awe-inspiring figure on the intellectual as well as on the political scene,” who saw those who differed with him as “rebels who destroy Confucian culture” (samun nanjŏk 斯文亂 賊). 215 Hyojong’s aspirations to repay the debt incurred to the Ming by toppling the Qing resulted in military preparations that lasted for ten years. 216 Of course, even King Hyojong could not possibly have believed that Korea, acting alone, could successfully take revenge on the Qing. Song Siyŏl reminded Hyojong of the Ming loyalists still active in Southern and Western  213  Kang Myŏnggwan (2007, 179) thinks that the northern expedition policy was nothing more than  empty political rhetoric. Palais (1996, 396) also sees the ongoing debates at Hyojong’s court as an act of catharsis rather than as a feasible military plan. 214  Deuchler (1999), 97.  215  Kunio, 422.  216  Haboush (1999), 72.  115  China. 217 In addition, anti-Qing forces such as those of Zheng Chenggong 鄭成功 (1624-1662; also known as Koxinga in the West), Zheng’s followers in Taiwan, and Wu Sangui 吳三桂 (1612-1678) in western China also provided some hope of success. Song even insisted that Hyojong endeavor to restore the king of the Southern Ming (Nan Ming 南明) to the throne, strongly implying that such an act would be the only way to repay the debt: As for the utmost favour a vassal [state] can derive from a superior [state], nothing can excel the one our court received from the Ming empire, which was far greater than the favour Koryŏ Korea received from Song China. Your humble servant has heard that a legitimate [Ming] lineage [yimai zhengtong一脈正統] is still intact in a remote place in Southern China. . . . Among our soldiers and commoners, and among the literati and the warriors, how can there not be those filled with loyalty and integrity, who will volunteer to be dispatched [to fight the Manchus to reinstate the Southern Ming king to the throne]? Your humble servant suggests that your majesty make plans for this through secret consultations with your closest retainers. 218 However, to Song’s dismay, he finally reached a point where he had no other choice but to compromise his belief in the revival of the Ming empire. Although he had relentlessly denied the legitimacy of the Qing dynasty, referring to those “barbarians” as “no better than dogs and 217  For a detailed account of the Ming loyalist movement, see Lynn Struve, The Southern Ming,  1644-1662 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). 218  而君臣之中, 受恩罔極, 又未有若本朝之於皇 明 也, 豈比 麗 之於 宋 哉。  竊聞今日一脈正統, 偏寄南方… 一國軍民, 文武之中, 豈無忠信沈密, 而應慕願行者乎? 伏乞殿下, 默運神機, 獨與腹心大臣, 密議而圖之。Hyojong sillok, 36:107.  116  sheep, ” 219 the political situation in China developed in the opposite direction, as anti-Qing movements and Ming loyalists were subdued one by one. Wu Sangui, who posed a great threat to the Manchu government in Beijing at the beginning of his rebellion, was eventually defeated by troops of the Kangxi Emperor by 1681. In 1662 Guiwang 桂王, the “legitimate Ming lineage”  219  Songja taejŏn 宋子大全 (Complete Works of Master Song), juan 5, Kich’uk pongsa 己丑封事.  (Text available at Song’s comment is worth comparing to the letter of Zeng Jing (a Ming loyalist during the reign of Emperor Yongzhong 雍正帝) to Yue Zhongqi, whom Zeng believed to be the direct offspring of the famous Song loyalist Yue Fei 岳飛. In the letter Zeng says, “When the rulers of the Ming dynasty lost their virtuous way, the land of China was submerged, the barbarians took advantage of our weakness to enter, and usurped our precious throne. The barbarians are a different species from us, like animals; it is the Chinese who should stay in this land, and the barbarians who should be driven out.” The reasons for this are obvious: “Heaven gives birth to humans and to things. The principle is one, though the manifestations are many. Those living on Chinese soil have the proper elements, their yin and their yang are in harmony, they possess virtue, and they are human. Those outside the borders, in all four directions, are oblique and vicious by nature; they are the barbarians. Below the barbarians come the animals.” Quoted from Jonathan Spence, Treason by the Book (New York: Viking, 2001), 7. It is notable that while Zeng says that barbarians (including the Manchu people in this context) are placed between the civilized Chinese and the animals, Song takes one step further, insisting that Manchu “barbarians” are at the level of “dogs and sheep.” Miura Kunio (1985, 413) asserts that such an extreme standpoint, revealed in Song’s writings, is derived from “a sense of inferiority about their own country [Korea], which they thought of as an outlying country” and as a country of “barbarians to the east of China” (tong’i 東夷 ). This envisioning of the self as “Eastern barbarians” soon developed into a selfrighteous identification as “Eastern Zhou” (tongju 東周) on the part of Chosǒn intellectuals.  117  for whom Song Siyŏl had such great hopes, had also died, and in 1683 the last hope for the restoration of the Ming ended when the remaining anti-Qing forces in Taiwan were suppressed. To Song, this was all unacceptable. He could not let his ideology be proven wrong, nor could he allow his reputation as the most influential Neo-Confucian leader and politician to be ruined. However, given that several decades had already passed and the Qing had grown more and more powerful, it now appeared that both the northern expedition policy and the notion that “barbarians cannot flourish for long” had lost their rationale. 220 Nevertheless, Song found it inconceivable that barbarians he had once compared to dogs and sheep were now the legitimate rulers of the Central Plain. 221 In this context, Song Siyŏl and his followers did not have much choice. With the possibility of restoring the Ming long gone, an unprecedented political initiative, however farfetched, was needed. Having succeeded in persuading King Hyojong that the Qing could be conquered militarily, Song was now prepared to argue that the legitimacy of the Ming and the orthodoxy of Confucian culture be claimed by Chosŏn Korea and its rulers. Accordingly, he and his followers switched their political stance from the dream of “driving out the barbarians” to the more feasible idea of “rejecting the barbarians.” Negation of the Manchu Qing’s legitimacy and  220  Hŏ (2007), 243.  221  This notion of seeing the dominant culture/ideology of one’s self as civilized and seeing others  as “barbaric” was not unique to the Confucian cultural sphere. Maruyama Masao and Kato Shuichi assert that the Elements of International Law (date of publication: 1836) written by Henry Wheaton (17851848) regards only Christian nations as “civilized” nations, thereby asserting that international law can be applied only to Christian nations, which therefore validates unequal treatment of all other “barbarian” nations. See Im Sŏngmo, trans., Pŏnyŏk