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Park Ji-won's travel to China and change of his world view

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2008, 0(17), pp.5-30
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

KIM YOUNG 1

1인하대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This study is purposed to review Park Ji-won's changed world view after his travel to China by examining Yol-Ha Journal(열하일기), a travelogue on China. As it was extraordinarily rare, only a few people could afford to travel abroad at the Chosun dynasty. However, owing to the advent of Yeon-Hang-Sa(연행사), a diplomatic mission dispatched to China, an oversees traveling has been rising in its size and frequency at the late of Chosun dynasty, a transitional period from the Middle age to the Modern in Korea. It was Park Ji-won's idea that the Chosun society would be more retarded without a reformation of public consciousness of the people: Chosun should learn how to adapt herself to a new environment of the world change and import a new culture of the Ching dynasty, as it were, China under development and enlightenment. For this reason, he insisted on a new study of the Ching's advanced culture and science, what is called, "Studies on the North"(북학의). He argued that an immediate adaptation of the Ching's advanced culture would make Chosun enable to reform herself in every aspect. When he traveled to China in 1780, hence, he recorded every single aspect of his entire experience in China. His close attention on the advanced technology and culture of China were fully appertained to his Yol-Ha Journal. It was not only his experience and research on the advanced culture of China that we can find in his book. Along with his interest on material civilization of China, we can also find his concern on the condition of grass people and intellectuals of China. He tried to exchange more ideas with Chinese scholars and pay more attention to the grass people as much as possible. He also bought a lot of books during his voyage. His correspondences and exchanges of opinions with Chinese scholars contributed to his deep understanding on the outside and his realistic formation of the world view.

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