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Imjin-rok: Memories of Imjin War - focusing on Imjin-rok history-based classical Chinese version -

  • Journal of Korean Literature
  • 2014, (29), pp.7-35
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature
  • Published : May 31, 2014

Chung Kil Soo 1

1조선대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Imjin-rok is a Korean historical novel in late Joseon dynasty. I researched a method of remembering Imjin War(Japanese invasions of Korea, 1592-1598) distortedly from the conservative perspective. The author of Imjin-rok(history-based classical Chinese version) emphasized that it was impossible Joseon defeated Japan on its own by describing Toyotomi Hideyoshi as the hero of heroes and exaggerating Japanese military capabilities. On the other hand, he attributed blame to party strife of Joseon vassals for failing defense. So he thought the destiny of Joseon depended on the military aid of Ming. As a result, it was described the emperor of Ming as the absolute, commander-in-chief Li Rusong李如松 as a messiah, and Seonjo宣祖 as a key figure who derived rescue from Ming. The author of Imjin-rok(classical Chinese version) wanted to make people aware of Imjin War as ‘successful war’, and attributed ‘the success’ to Ming and Seonjo. It was the same with the estimation of Imjin War that Joseon royal court made after the war. Furthermore, the method of remembering Imjin War in Imjin-rok agreed with the thought of the ruling class who wanted to relieve the disgrace of Byeongja Horan(Second Manchu invasion of Korea, 1636) by emphasizing the worship of Ming dynasty and the legitimacy of Injo仁祖 in succession to Seonjo.

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