A Study on the Recognition of Baekje History in Korea’s Yeongsaakbu
This article examines the characteristics of Baekje history related poems in Korea’s Yeongsaakbu, and then the writers’ recognition of Baekje history.
First of all, the characteristics of Baekje history related pomes are examined. Yeongsaakbu, published in the late Joseon period, is also known differently as Haedongakbu, Donggukakbu, Gidongakbu etc. but contains pomes that reinterpret records in Korean history books.
Of those poems published in Yeongsaakbu, 38 are Baekje history related while 41 Goguryeo history related and 313 Silla history related. Thus, the poems with Baekje history related subject matters are just 1/8 as many as those with Silla history related matters. On the other hand, as for the themes of the poems, 7 have events related to the foundation of Baekje as theirthemes, 19 are related to the fall of Baekje, and 8 praise and censure Baekje history related figures.
They thought that Baekje Restoration Movement failed as Bok Sin caused internal quarrels for his individual desires. Also, they criticized Buyeo Yung as a parasite who lacked the will to restore the sovereignty though he was the crown prince but only paid attention to his own comfort.
The reason why Yeongsaakbu has a small amount of Baekje history related contents is that the poets did not have enough knowledge and experiences aboutfolktales, inherited culture, songs etc. related to Baekje history. Thus, their Baekje history related recognition is similar to Samguksagi editor Kim Busik’s and Samgukyusa writer Ilyeon’s in Goreyo.
Then, this paper examines the recognition of Baekje history. First, the poets in Yeongsaakbu revealed negative recognition of Onjo’s foundation of Baekje. That is, they thought the fact that Onjo terminated Mahan even though Gijun, the King of Mahan, showed enough mercy to him to give him lands to live harmed the legitimacy of Korea.
Second, the poets in Yeongsaakbu believed that King Euija had full responsibility for the fall of Baekje. However, Lee Hak-gyu recognized that the fall of Baekje is a result from Baeje kings’successive indulgence and immorality, failure to recruit brilliant human resources due to the nobility’s mutual quarrels, and frequent struggles for the throne.
Third, the poets in Yeongsaakbu gave a high evaluation to Lady Domi(都彌夫人) for her fidelity and loyalty toward Seong Chung(成忠). This is a manifestation of their will to spread the practice of women’s way to keep their fidelity in the society where they themselves lived and to devote themselves to the nation and the king with their loyalty. However, their evaluation of Bok Sin(福信) and Buyeo Yung(扶餘隆) was very negative.