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Weather records and Portent records of The Seungjeongwon Ilgi

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2010, (100), pp.65-108
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Park, Kwon-soo 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, I reviewed the general features of weather records and portent records of The Seungjeongwon Ilgi, The Daily Records of Royal Secretariat of Joseon Dynasty, with the question whether these records reflect the 'nature itself' or the climate situations of their times or not. For this purpose, I examined and analyzed 56,880 records of daily weather and 19,438 records of portent from 1623 to 1782 with statistical method and with trailing to their sources. Through this analysis, I founded that the daily weather records of The Seungjeongwon Ilgi just reflect the climate situations of small region of palace where kings stayed, and the portent records did not cover the whole portent reports produced in the Gwansanggam at that times. The daily weather records and portent records were not produced with the terms of objective and quantitative. The meteorological observations were not performed with objective and quantitative approach, rather influenced by the locality and subjectivity of observers. The statistical analysis show that the frequency of portent records decreased gradually with the time era, but some kinds of portent records increased rapidly. These results of analysis and examination reveal that the production of portent records was influenced by the political situations and institutional changes. Therefore, it will not be able to understand the long-term changes in climate patterns of Joseon period only with the statistical analysis on the weather records and portent records contained in The Seungjeongwon Ilgi. The weather records and portent records of The Seungjeongwon Ilgi cannot be treated as ‘objective data’ reflecting 'nature itself' of their times.

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