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Wolbonghaesangnok Travelogue, and Its Descriptive Characteristics and Its Author's Attitude

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2012, (30), pp.93-124
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

kim, mi-sun 1

1전남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Records of overseas experiences by prisoners of Imjin Wareran (Japanese invasion of Joseon) have a common descriptive structure, but they each have their own unique individuality due to authors' different journeys and their attitudes. This paper examines the characteristics of Wolbonghaesangnok Travelouge by Jeong Hui-deuk (1575~1640) by studying descriptive characteristics based on his journey and attitude. First, descriptive characteristics of Wolbonghaesangnok were defined as his strong expression of wish for returning home and his domestic journey description. Jeong Hui-deuk, when captured by the Japanese soldiers, saw his mother and his full-term pregnant wife commit suicide, and left behind his father and his two young children in Joseon. He was a common citizen with no government job, and loved his family so much. While staying overseas as a hostage, he expressed his extreme sorrow for inability to return home, and stated his strong wish to return home. He stayed overseas for the shortest period compared with Gang Hang and Inno, but a strong expression of wish to return home can be found only in Wolbonghaesangnok. Hostages, who were taken to Japan during the Japanese invasion of Joseon, arrived in Busna after experiencing many hardships, and returned to their hometowns with the state being unable to providing any support to them. Jeong Hui-deuk described his journey details including those not described by Gang Hang and Noin after arriving in Joseon. He thus showed a wider range of overseas experience that Joseon prisoners of war taken to Japan could have, as well as the story of his return to his hometown where he met his children, thus wrapping up his journey. In addition, Wolbonghaesangnok was found to reflect a personal tragic attitude. Jeong Hui-deuk ceaselessly described his longing for and affection toward his family, because he wrote a personal tragedy of the pain of separating from his family. Also, Jeong Hui-deuk showed his affection toward not only his colleagues suffering tragedy but also low-class slaves, thus exposing his sad feelings. This is the reflection of the attitude of a person who suffered from sorrow, not as a master and nobleman with authority. Such attitude made Wolbonghaesangnok become the work that best described the bitter sorrow of Joseon prisoners of war during the Japanese invasion of Joseon.

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