[KS] Re: More on HKT

Gari Keith Ledyard gkl1 at columbia.edu
Tue Feb 29 17:56:26 EST 2000

Dear List,
	I was just about to respond on the alleged sOOl status of the HO
siblings Pong and NansOrhOn when the message below was received making it
partly mute.  But anyway: If the career that HO Pong had was that of a
sOja, you can bet that a lot of sabu and yangban would have been glad to
be a sOja.  A saengwOn degree in 1568 (at the age of 17); passing the
munkwa 1572 in an exam presided over by the king himself; being the
Secretary (sOjanggwan) on an imperial birthday embassy (sOngjOl sahaeng)
to Ming in 1574; and one of the founding members not only of the Tong'in
faction but virtually of all Korean institutional factionalism itself, in
1575.  If anyone believes that such a person was a sOja, then she was in
all eight provinces at once.
	As for NansOrhOn (she also was known by another sobriquet as
KyOngbOndang), we have the usual difficulty of establishing biographical
facts for women.  But we know that her husband was Kim SOngnip, and he was
born in 1562, so she must have been born around that time or a little
earlier, given the common phenomenon in those days of the wife being a bit
older than the husband in order to get child rearing started as soon as
possible.  Her literary life is sufficiently talked about that I will
confine myself to only one observation: in addition to her sijo and kasa,
she was also regarded as an excellent poet in Chinese, and she was
anthologized in China, possibly in her own lifetime but in any case not
too long after her death.  As Young-Key Kim-Renaud has already rightly
observed, it is doubtful that a sOOl young woman would have been able to
marry Kim SOngnip (1562-92), who had an easily-established sabu parentage,
and was a munkwa passer in 1589.  We do not seem to have information on
his death except that it was during the Imjin wars.  I think Young-Key is
a little too exhuberant about the status of Kim, implying that his case is
clinched by his pon'gwan alone.  It is only one narrow line of the Andong
Kim that owns the vast reputation for Andong Kim status as a virtual icon
for the power elite.  If I am not mistaken, he was not connected with that
branch of the lineage.  But we know who his sajo were and they were
certainly qualified sabu.
	A question was asked about the birth dates of the rest of the
family.  No one has mentioned the first son, HO SOng, (1548-1612), a
saengwOn, and in 1583 a munkwa passer.  He had some respectable posts, was
like his sibs reputed for his literary skills, and served as secretary on
the embassy to Japan in 1590, from which the two senior ambassadors
famously returned from their interview with Hideyoshi, one believing that
H. would certainly invade, the other that he would not, with the
government believing the wrong one.
	HO Kyun (1569-1618) was a saengwon in 1589, and had two munkwa
degrees, 1594 and 1597.  He was a deputy ambassador to China in 1610, and
possibly used that occasion to bring his sister's poetry to the attention
of Chinese poets.  It is said that he also brought back a "catholic
prayer," but that tidbit might be part of the unsubstantiated rumors of
his Catholicism cited by An ChOngbok, already mentioned by Don Baker.  He
did indeed support a sOja in a legal case in 1613, and was punished for
it.  He again went to China in high diplomatic roles in 1614 and 1615. His
"rebellion" is a fact, but let's not imagine him in the mountains bravely
leading guerilla armies of sOja against an unjust society.  As has already
been observed, he was executed for a leading role in a shabby court
conspiracy aimed at the dethronement of Kwanghaegun.  Whether he was
guilty or not is hard to judge today.  I spent a couple of hours last
night poring over the arguments in the _Kwanghaegun ilgi_ (no sillok for
this king), and read much innuendo, virtually no hard facts.  Who knows?

	Thus the four HO sibs were HO SOng (b. 1548), HO Pong
(1551), NansOrhOn (ca. 1560), and HO Kyun (1569).  As far as I know, these
were all tongbok, as Young-Key said.  This information and just about
everything detailed above could be got in a few minutes by looking at
obvious entries in Han'guk InmyOng TaesajOn.  

	There have been a lot of interesting and well informed postings on
the Hong Kiltong question, and I've enjoyed following it.
On Tue, 29 Feb 2000, Mickey Hong wrote:

> Mea culpa.
> Double checked the source & I got confused when the author used the modification
> chaku^n to describe the brother & sister.  Ho^ Yo^p had 3 sons & 3 daughters & Ho^
> Kyun was the youngest.  The age gap between Hyo^ Pong, the older brother (chaku^n
> hyo^ng), of 18 years added to the confusion.
> Does anyone know, then, when the oldest brother of Ho^ Kyun was born & if his
> mother was also that of K & P.  Trying to get a full sense of the Ho^ family
> dynamic.
> -MH
> kimrenau wrote:
> > I am not sure where Mickey Hong got the information, but as far as I know, HO
> > Kyun was a _tongbok_ (of the same father and the same mother) of his talented
> > siblings, HO Pong and HO NansOrhOn. Their mother was a second wife (huch'O)
> > but not a secondary wife (ch'Op).  Their mother was a yangban (a KangnUng Kim)
> > and a daughter of a Yejo p'ansO (Minister of Rites).  Ho NansOrhon married an
> > Andong Kim, another illustrious yangban, something she presumably could not
> > do, were she a sOnyO (less than a full yangban).  Her brother HO Pong and her
> > father-in-law are said to have been friends, who arranged her marriage with
> > her husband Kim SOngnip.
> >
> > Young-Key Kim-Renaud


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