By Sem Vermeersch
"The king and ministers, enhanced and inferior, flow with ritual and refinement. while the king is going on an inspection travel, every person has the proper ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in entrance whereas armored squaddies block the line. the warriors of the Six Divisions all carry their attributes. even though it isn't thoroughly in uniformity with vintage rites, in comparison with different barbarians it truly is perfect to behold. the reason is, Confucius notion it will no longer be a disgrace to live right here. and isn't in addition Kija's kingdom an in depth relative of the hallowed dynasty?"
So saw the tune envoy Xu Jing within the reliable record of his 1123 stopover at to Korea—a infrequent eyewitness account of Koryŏ (918–1392) society in its leading. formally, the aim of Xu Jing's stopover at used to be to condole the recent king, Injong, at the demise of his father and current him with a letter of investiture; unofficially, he was once tasked with persuading Injong to align with tune China opposed to the newly emergent Jin dynasty. even supposing recognized for its celadon and Buddhist work, the Koryŏ interval continues to be a great deal terra incognita in international historical past as a result loss of translated resource fabrics. the current paintings, the 1st totally annotated, whole translation of a key resource textual content on Koryŏ, fills this gap.
Xu Jing spent a bit greater than a month within the Koryŏ capital, Kaesŏng, yet he was once a meticulous chronicler, compiling a veritable guide on Koryŏ that's packed with attention-grabbing information discovered nowhere else on way of life, background, customs and manners, constructions, the army, foodstuff, between others. in spite of the fact that, Xu Jing used to be now not impartial in his observations and supplemented his paintings with unreliable info from prior chronicles—a truth usually missed in past stories of the Illustrated Account. In a considerable creation to his translation, Sem Vermeersch not just areas this significant paintings in its ancient context, but in addition finds either the resources utilized by the writer and the benefits and boundaries of his observations, permitting historians of medieval Korea to make fuller use of this singular fundamental source.
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Additional resources for A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ (Korean Classics Library: Historical Materials)
A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ (Korean Classics Library: Historical Materials) by Sem Vermeersch