Chungeum, Kim sanghyun(1570∼1652 A.D) belonged to Seoin faction in the political world, leading political situation as a leader of the faction, Chungseo against Gongseo after enthroning the King, In-jo. In addition, he took lead the academic world as the head of Neo-Confucianism with an inclination toward Giho School in those days. East Asia where Chungeum lived between late 16th century and mid- 17th century was caught in turbulent times when international order was reorganized. Born in time of the king Seonjo’s rule, he was a character representative of an era leaving his noticeable footprints in social and political aspects with firm conviction and step, getting involved in the following big incidents: political party strife formed from the early years of Chosun dynasty, Japanese Invasion of Korea, enthronement of the king, Injo, Yi Gwal’s rebellion, the Chinese Invasion of Chosun, the Manchu war, and so on.
Meanwhile, he insisted the rejection of peace to the end, tearing the surrender documents against Choi, Myung-Gil who maintained coinage in the vortex of two wars, Japanese Invasion of Korea and the Manchu war, during time of rules of kings, Kwanghye and Injo. Due to strong awareness of the rejection of peace, he might be evaluated with disregard in academic achievement, but the king Jeong-jo ever rated high about his studies and sentences along with his integrity early in the book, Hongjaejeonseo. In addition to this, a massive amount of collection of works, forty volumes and sixteen books proving both political standing and outstanding idea fully, Chungeum stood firm in the fields of both politics and study as a doer who tried to fulfill academic idea with clear conviction.
Although he repeated resigning and remaining in office since going into government service, he was engaged in government service all his life. And he experienced honor and disgrace on his country on being in jeopardy. His belief emerges from a set of actions he showed every time his nation was in a great crisis. Sometimes he was criticized because he looked for honor by himself, but his real intention was acknowledged through his deeds since he was sent to the capital of Qing dynasty, Simyang, under escort.
The writer examined Chungeum’s historical awareness on the basis of the poetical composition among his literary works he left. His historical awareness system was not irrelevant to his world of literary.
Ethics as practical confucianism was characterized by loyalty and integrity, leading confucian tradition at that time. Chungeum realized reality on the basis of this confucian way of thinking. He made true appearance of an intellectual who tried to practice the path of justice rather than self-interest, behaving himself sincerely to his academic belief throughout his life.