[KS] Joseon-era official terms

Joshua Van Lieu sumnom at u.washington.edu
Thu Dec 30 13:03:29 EST 2010

Dear Ms. Torrey, 

While we do not have a standard English reference for ChosOn era official titles that I am aware of, there are some helpful sources:

1. Pages 125-133 of Edward Wagner's "The Literati Purges" contains a useful glossary of official titles.

2. Pages 1153-1192 of James Palais' "Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions" contains a handy glossary that may also be of help.

3. Pages 243-254 of Sun Joo Kim's "Marginality and Subversion in Korea" also has a useful glossary.

As for Chinese, specifically Qing, titles, you might want to add to Hucker the following:

1. Brunnert, H.S. and V.V. Hagelstrom, 1911. "Present Day Political Organization of China." (I am not sure of the publisher but it might be the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs Service.)

2. Mayers, William Frederick, 1897. "The Chinese Government." Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, Ltd.

Brunnert/Hagelstrom and Mayers are interesting in that they were not historical references but contemporary works on existing institutions.

I may be inviting the scorn of my colleagues in also suggesting Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary but if used with care this work can sometimes be put to good use. It is most useful for the nineteenth century but even then it is not always on the mark.

As for your questions, I would suggest "Minister of Works" for kongjo p'ansO, "State Tribunal" for UigUmbu (Wagner/Palais), and perhaps "Police Bureau" (Kim)/"Chief of Police" for p'odobu/p'odopujang. 

If you cannot find or are unhappy with existing translations and want to come up with one independently, it is of course nice to know precisely the nature of the office/institution in question. Two Korean references that are of great help in this endeavor are:

1. O HUibok, 1999 (1992). Kwallyo kigu mit kwanjingmyOng p'yOllam. SOul: YOgang.
2. Tan'guk Taehakkyo Tongyanghak YOn'guso, 1997 (1992). Han'guk hanchaO sajOn. SOul: Tan'guk Taehakkyo Ch'ulp'anbu. 

You might want to check the ChUngbo munhOn pigo as well. 

I hope these suggestions are of some use. 

Joshua Van Lieu
Center for Korea Studies
University of Washington 

On Wed, 29 Dec 2010, DeberniereTorrey wrote:

> 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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