[KS] Joseon-era official terms

BakerDon ubcdbaker at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 30 10:53:49 EST 2010

The most convenient way to find the standard translations for the titles of institutions and positions in pre-modern Korea is the glossary available on-line from the Academy of Korean Studies. The url is:http://www.aks.ac.kr/glossary/default.asp
However, sometimes some of their translations are not the standard translations. For the standard translations, you should look at the glossary prepared by Edward Wagner for his The Literati Purges: Political Conflict in Early Yi Korea (1974) and the glossary James Palais attached to his study of Yu Hyongwon, Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions. A third source would be the glossary to the recently published English translation of Tasan's Mongmin simseo, under the name Admonitions on Governing the People. 
공조판서 is usually translated as Chief Minister of the Ministry of Public Works, though the AKS glossary gives the somewhat anachronistic translation Minister of Commerce
의금부 is usually translated as the State Tribunal, though that glossary says Correctional Tribunal
포도부 is not in the AKS glossary.  捕盜廳 is, and it is translated as Capital Police. So I suspect that 포도부 is the local police station. That means 捕盜部將 should be translated as police chief.  However, in some contexts it refers to the prison, and therefore 捕盜部將 would be the warden of the prison. Calling him the Commander for the Arrest of Bandits is too literal. 
This is all of the top off my head, since I am far away from my home library today (I'm in South Carolina, visiting family, and there isn't much on Korea in the libraries here!)

Don Baker ProfessorDepartment of Asian Studies University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Z2 don.baker at ubc.ca

Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:07:45 -0800
From: djtorrey at yahoo.com
To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Subject: [KS] Joseon-era official terms

Dear Members:

I'm trying to determine the English for the terms listed below. Charles Hucker's Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China gives some, but not all, and I'm also wondering if the translations would be different for the Korean context. I'm also listing my tentative translations. If they are incorrect, or if you know of better alternatives, please respond. Many thanks in advance. 

Deberniere Torrey

공조판서 gong jo pan seo (工曹判書): Minister of the Works Section

의금부 ui geum bu (義禁府): Justice and Prohibition Office (or Bureau)
(For this one, I've also seen Royal Prohibition Bureau; State Tribunal; and Royal Inspector's Office.)

포도부/ 포도부장 po do bu / po do bu jang (捕盜部/ 捕盜部將) Office for the Arrest of Bandits / Commander for the Arrest of Bandits. (This is what Hucker gives.)

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