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Recognition of the Ming Dynasty and Ming People in Lee Sun-shin’s Narrative

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2020, 77(1), pp.167-202
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.77.1.202002.167
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 11, 2020
  • Accepted : February 12, 2020
  • Published : February 28, 2020

KyungJae Lee 1

1숭실대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines the perception of the Ming Dynasty and Ming people as shown in Shin Chae-ho’s Lee Sun-shin and Lee Kwang-soo’s Lee Sun-shin about Lee Sun-shin. The work also aims to look at the mechanism of exclusion and solidarity through the national heroism narrative that emerged during the period of nation building. Although the two works are set against the backdrop of the Japanese Invasion of Korea, China and Japan, previous discussions did not pay much attention to the perception of the Ming Dynasty shown in these works. The mechanism of exclusion and solidarity that occurs during the course of the formation of a nation-state is not only between Joseon and Japan, but also strongly manifested between Joseon and China. If Shin Chae-ho wanted to form a community based mainly on hostility toward Japan, it could be said that Lee Kwang-soo wanted to form a community based on his disdain for China rather than Japan. Lee Kwang-soo’s Lee Sun-shin follows Lee In-jik’s novel in terms of his portrait of China and Japan. The novel is a work set during the Sino-Japanese War, also called the First Korean War. Lee In-jik’s excessive (Japan-oriented) modern orientation has transformed Japan into a civilized country and inferiorized China into a barbaric country by using the universal law. After about a generation, Lee Kwang-soo also displayed his distorted political consciousness by staging another international war between Korea, China and Japan called Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. The difference also stems from the authors’ basic world view, but it appears to be closely related to the situation of the time when two newspaper serials were created. Shin Chae-ho’s Lee Sun-shin was written in protest against the current of the era when imperialistic forces began to invade Joseon, as it appeared in his works. On the other hand, Lee Gwang-su’s Lee Sun-shin was written during the Wanpaoshan Incident, during which antipathy against the Chinese was at the height of his fever and during the Manchurian Incident and Shanghai Incident. The period when Lee Gwang-su’s Lee Sun-shin was written is an exhibition of Joseon, which was a Japanese colony, and this exhibition gave rise to an excessive degree of discrimination and contempt for people.

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