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- DescriptionThe king and ministers, superior and inferior, move with ritual and refinement. When the king goes on an inspection tour, everyone has the correct ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in front while armored soldiers block the road. The soldiers of the Six Divisions all hold their attributes. Although it is t completely in uniformity with classic rites, compared with other barbarians it is splendid to behold. This is why Confucius thought it would t be a shame to reside here. And is t moreover Kija's country a close relative of the hallowed dynasty? So observed the Song envoy Xu Jing in the official report of his 1123 visit to Korea-a rare eyewitness account of Kory? (918-1392) society in its prime. Officially, the purpose of Xu Jing's visit was to condole the new king, Injong, on the death of his father and present him with a letter of investiture; ufficially, he was tasked with persuading Injong to align with Song China against the newly emergent Jin dynasty. Although famous for its celadon and Buddhist paintings, the Kory? period is still very much terra incognita in world history because of the lack of translated source materials. The present work, the first fully antated, complete translation of a key source text on Kory?, fills this gap. Xu Jing spent a little more than a month in the Kory? capital, Kaes?ng, but he was a meticulous chronicler, compiling a veritable handbook on Kory? that is full of fascinating details found where else on daily life, history, customs and manners, buildings, the military, food, among others. However, Xu Jing was t unbiased in his observations and supplemented his work with unreliable information from earlier chronicles-a fact often igred in previous studies of the Illustrated Account. In a substantial introduction to his translation, Sem Vermeersch t only places this important work in its historical context, but also reveals both the sources used by the author and the merits and limits of his observations, allowing historians of medieval Korea to make fuller use of this singular primary source.
- Author(s)Sem Vermeersch
- PublisherUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Date of Publication30/04/2016
- SubjectRegional History
- Series TitleKorean Classics Library: Historical Materials
- Place of PublicationHonolulu, HI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Hawai'i Press
- Content Note14 black & white illustrations
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
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