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A study on the Social Intercourse between Joseon's Literati and Ming Dynasty's Envoys in the 16th Century -With focus on Shim Eon-gwang, Jeong Sa-ryong, and Gong Yong-qing-

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2023, (91), pp.5-39
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.091.01
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : November 4, 2023
  • Accepted : November 30, 2023
  • Published : November 30, 2023

Zhang, Zhong Wu 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to examine the specific interactions between Joseon dynasty literati Shim Eon-gwang, Jeong Sa-ryong, and Ming dynasty envoy Gong Yong-qing by analyzing their poetry and prose exchanged in official and private settings. Through this analysis, it explores the concrete circumstances of social intercourse between Joseon literati and Ming dynasty envoys in the 16th century. In the year 1537, Shim Eon-gwang was selected as a receptionist for envoy and was in charge of guiding and serving Gong Yong-qing's delegation in Hanyang. He had the opportunity to participate in formal events such as banquets and sightseeing alongside Gong Yong-qing. During this process, Shim Eon-gwang not only showed his admiration for Chinese culture in general and respect for Gong Yong-qing but also expressed pride in Joseon's culture in his poetry. At times, Ming dynasty envoys deliberately chose challenging poetic forms to showcase their talents, and Gong Yong-qing's use of ‘palindrome-style (回文體)’ verse was one such instance. Without hesitation, Shim Eon-gwang composed two palindrome-style poems following the rhyme scheme, showcasing his excellent proficiency in the Chinese language. If the communication between Gong Yong-qing and Shim Eon-gwang represents formal exchanges that took place during events such as sightseeing and banquets, Gong Yong-qing's correspondence with Jeong Sa-ryong during his journey or upon his return to Ming can be regarded as a representative example of private interactions between Gong Yong-qing and Joseon dynasty literati. During their return journey, the two exchanged a total of four letters, frequently expressing their admiration, longing, and the sorrows of parting. Even after returning to his homeland, Gong Yong-qing continued correspondence with Jeong Sa-ryong, maintaining their private relationship. This was particularly noteworthy in the 16th century, a period when the principle of ‘a vassal can not be diplomatic’ was upheld. However, due to their official positions, both Gong Yong-qing and Jeong Sa-ryong, being government officials, inevitably prioritized their respective countries even in their private interactions. Therefore, their relationship cannot be considered purely private.

Citation status

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