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A Bibliographical Introduction and Translation with Notes of Yingya Shenglan(瀛涯勝覽)

Sookyung Choi 1 SONG JUNGHWA 1 Jung, Yousun 2 KIM HYO-MIN 3

1고려대학교 중국학연구소
2상명대학교
3고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In traditional times, China did not consider itself as a part of the world. They imagined that China was the center of the world, and it was surrounded by barbarians. This traditional concept was superficially continued till the time before modern times. However, on the other hand, they were understanding the external world long ago. The geographical knowledge and cartography of the Yuan Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty surpassed the Western world. And based on such knowledge and China-centricism, the Ming Dynasty sent an eunuch Zheng He(1371?-1433?)’s marine expedition for seven times to visit Southeast Asia, Middle East, and East Africa. Out of books recording Zheng He’s expedition, Ma Huan’s Yingya Shenglan is recognized the most for its historical/literary value. Ma Huan was a Muslim as an interpreter from a minority Hui tribe. For the interpretation of Arabic, he performed Zheng He’s expedition for three times. His Yingya Shenglan contains the details of geography, politics, culture, and products of 20 countries in Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East, and Africa. This book was initially completed in 1416, and after that, it seems to be modified several times by Ma Huan. And even after that, many literary people transcribed/printed this book, so that there are many editions left so far and each edition shows considerable differences. Roughly classifying them, the type close to the Ma Huan’s original could be separated from the type adapted by literary people. We chose the translation of annotation by Feng Chengjun, published in 1935. The translation of annotation by Feng has added the explanation of all sorts of place name and vocabulary by referring to many editions based on the most excellent edition. The English version and Japanese version of Yingya Shenglan have been already released 50 years ago, and there are plenty of relevant researches. However, there have been no researches on Yingya Shenglan in Korea. Thus, the annotation and translation of this book are expected to be largely contributing to the relevant researches in the future.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.