[KS] Samguk Yusa readership during Joseon

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Tue Sep 11 17:45:58 EDT 2012

In regard to the recent comments on the Samguk yusa by Kim Sun Joo &  
Rick MacBride:

   Thanks Rick, for laying out some of the important results of the more recent
research on the Samguk yusa. Your comments really clarified the muddy  
and confused history of that important work. I alluded to it without  
being able to go into detail.

   And Sun Joo, I'm puzzled about the fact that the Kyujanggak  
collection did not have a copy of the Samguk yusa in 1965, but now has  
one. Am I wrong to believe that the Kyujanggak collection, now under  
the administration of SNU, is supposed to be remain as it existed  
historically? Or do the present SNU Kyujanggak librarians add new  
holdings to it from time to time? What would be the justification for  
such additions?
   The original posting on this thread by Andrew Logie wondered if the  
Samguk Yusa was in the Kyujanggak collection when Yu TUkkong was  
serving as a librarian there. What we're interested in is that  
question. If the current librarians merely add titles to it that were  
not in the original collection, that would seem to me to be confusing  
the integrity of the historical Kyujanggak Library as founded by King  
ChOngjo and added to over time by the subsequent kings of Korea and  
royal librarians up until 1910. THAT's what I imagine would be the  
proper scope of the Kyujanggak even while it is preserved and  
maintained by Seoul National University. Am I wrong?

Gari Ledyard

Quoting Richard McBride <rick_mcbride17 at hotmail.com>:

> Dear Colleagues
> The question of the readership of the Samguk yusa is an interesting   
>  one, and associated with that the authorship of the Samguk yusa has  
>   been more vexing than one would think.  In other words, the direct  
>   association of IryOn with the Samguk yusa can be seen a    
> ChosOn-period development.  I have read much secondary scholarship   
>  on the Samguk yusa, and the only article I can think of that    
> describes late-ChosOn period impressions of the work is the article  
>   I mention below by Yi
> NamyOng.
> IryOn¡¯s authorship of the Samguk yusa is
> based on a single line of text right under the heading of the fifth   
> roll/chapter:  ¡°Compiled by the Honored One
> of State, Great SOn Master IryOn, WOn¡¯gyOng Ch¡¯ungjo, Abbot of In¡¯gak
> Monastery, [which is located at] the base of Mt. Kaji
> of the Chogye School¡± ÏÐðîðÇÍ¢ðóʼòªß£ù»×øÊÇÞÑñ¬ò¥ê­ÌðQ²ðÎÓÞàÉÞÔìéæÔà�; see SYKY 5:377.
> Furthermore, evidence for IryOn¡¯s disciple Hon¡¯gu¡¯s
> emending some earlier version of the Samguk yusa is based on two
> references.  He contributed an annotated
> essay on the history of the transmission of Buddha[ar+ra in Korea   
>  and appended
> an edited and amended version of a stele inscription dated to 1199    
> dealing with
> the life of the eminent monk Chinp¡¯yoòØøú (fl. eighth century) of Silla.
> Both of Hon¡¯gu¡¯s contributions are marked by the phrase ¡°recorded by
> Mugmk¡± (Mugmk ki ÙíпÑÀ), at the very end of the passage in question.  
>   See SYKY
> 3:266 (Ch¡¯Onhu sojang sari); 4:367 (Kwandong P¡¯ungak ParyOn-su sOkki).
>   Here I am using the following edition:  Samguk yusa kyogam yOn¡¯gu  
>  ß²ÏÐë¶ÞÀÎèÊëæÚϼ (Critical Edition of
> the Samguk yusa), edited by
> Ha ChOngnyong ùÁïÕ×£ and Yi Kmnjik ×ÝÐÆòÁ (Seoul:  SinsOwOn, 1997).
> Ha ChOngnyong suggests that since IryOn¡¯s name is mentioned only   
> in the fifth
> fascicle of the Samguk yusa it must
> have been the only section authored by IryOn.
> To him, this would explain why the Samguk
> yusa is not mentioned in either IryOn or Hon¡¯gu¡¯s funerary stele
> inscriptions.  See Ha ChOngnyong ùÁïÕ×£,
> Samguk yusa saryo pip¡¯an:  Samguk yusa mi p¡¯yOnch¡¯an kwa kanhaeng e
> taehan yOn¡¯gu ß²ÏÐë¶ÞÀÞÈÖùÝë÷÷: ß²ÏÐë¶ÞÀÀÇ øºóðú ÊÊú¼¿¡ ´ëÇÑ æÚϼ (Criticism
> of the Samguk yusa as a historical
> source:  Research on the compilation and
> printing of the Samguk yusa)
> (Seoul:  Minjoksa, 2005), 16.  I describe other reasons why the    
> Samguk yusa is not listed in either Iryon or Hon'gu's stele    
> inscriptions.  See McBride,
> ¡°A Koreanist¡¯s Musings on the Chinese Yishi
> Genre,¡± Sungkyun Journal of East Asian
> Studies 6, no. 1 (April 2006): 31 59; and McBride, ¡°Preserving the   
> Lore of Korean Antiquity:  An Introduction to Native and Local Sources
> in IryOn¡¯s Samguk yusa,¡± Acta Koreana (Taegu) 10, no. 2 (July   
> 2007): 1 38.  The following paragraph is from the second essay on   
> the Samguk yusa.
> Scholars
> are divided on the question of when the Samguk
> yusa was first compiled. My own conclusion
> is that IryOn probably began work composing and compiling his    
> materials at the
> end of his life, sometime between 1282 and 1289, after KoryO¡¯s submission to
> Mongol suzerainty in 1259. He did not begin to compile the Samguk    
> yusa by order of the KoryO king. There is no evidence that
> anyone at court knew of this work or regarded it as important if they did. If
> the Samguk yusa had been known, it would have been mentioned
> in IryOn¡¯s stele inscription. After his death the incomplete manuscript was
> further edited by IryOn¡¯s disciple Hon¡¯gu, who was also responsible  
>  for a few
> additions to the manuscript prior to his death in 1322. The Samguk    
> yusa was probably edited further
> after Hon¡¯gu because its oldest extant complete recension dates to   
> 1512 (The recent research of Ha ChOngnyong supports the general   
> contours of this view.
> He proposes that the 1512 edition cannot be the oldest version of    
> the Samguk yusa since it is cited in ChosOn-period
> works as early as 1403. Although no one has claimed that there is a   
>  late-KoryO
> edition of the Samguk yusa, Ha
> suggests that the work reached its final form between 1360 and 1394, when it
> was published by Kim KOdu ÑÑËÜÔà. Kim published the Samguk sagi
> in 1394, and Ha conjectures that the first version of
> the extent recension of the Samguk yusa
> was published at the same time. See Ha, Samguk yusa saryo pip¡¯an,   
> 116 120, 273 280.).
> Frankly speaking, although scholars, myself included, tend to    
> attribute much of
> the composition and style to IryOn, we cannot be completely certain  
>   that IryOn
> is responsible for the present organization of the text. Several    
> scholars have
> presented strong evidence that the Dynastic Chronology (wangnyOk   
> èÝÕõ), which was placed at the
> beginning of the work in the 1512 recension, was not originally part  
>   of the Samguk
> yusa because there are several discrepancies between the information and
> diction contained in the chronology and the anecdotes in the Annals   
>  and Marvels
> (kii Ѻì¶) section that follows. Kim
> Sang-hyun asserts that the chronological table was probably appended to an
> earlier version of the Samguk yusa by IryOn himself before 1310,    
> but Ha ChOngnyong proposes that it was
> not added until 1394.  For an
> overview and analysis of the scholarship on these problems see Kim Sang-hyun,
> ¡°Samguk yusa wangnyOk p¡¯yOn kOmt¡¯o wangnyOk sOnja e taehan   
> mimun¡± ß²ÏÐë¶ÞÀ èÝÕõø¹ Ëþ÷Ð èÝÕõ ó¼íº¿¡´ëÇÑ ë÷Ùý (An Analysis of the Dynastic
> Chronology Section of the Samguk yusa: An Inquiry into the Compiler of the
> Dynastic Chronology), Tongyanghak ÔÔåÇùÊ 15 (1985): 307 328; Ha   
> ChOngnyong, Samguk
> yusa saryo pip¡¯an, 17,
> 142 147.
> The Sirhak ãùùÊ (practical learning) scholar An ChOngbok äÌð£ÜØ (1712 1791),
> for instance, disputed the importance and relevance of the Tan¡¯gun story and
> pejoratively regarded it to be mere ¡°monk talk¡± (smngdam ã¬ÓÈ). See
> also Yi
> NamyOng ×ÝÑøçµ, ¡°Samguk yusa wa smng
> IryOn kwami kwan¡¯gye koch¡¯al¡± ß²ÏÐë¶ÞÀ¿Í ã¬ìéæÔ°úÀÇ Î¼Ìõ ÍÅóÌ (A study of the
> relationship between the monk IryOn and the Samguk yusa), ChOrhak
> yOn¡¯gu ôÉùÊæÚϼ 2 (1973): 14 27, esp. 16, 18, for at least a brief   
> discussion of An ChOngbok's impression of the Samguk yusa.
> Best
> Rick McBride
> Department of History
> BYU-Hawaii
> From: sunjookim1 at hotmail.com
> To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws; gkl1 at columbia.edu
> Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 21:00:18 -0400
> Subject: Re: [KS] Samguk Yusa readership during Joseon
> Dear Gari,
> Kyujanggak's online catalog shows that it does have a 1512 edition.
> This is call number: ͯÏþ951.03-Il9s
> According to its bibliographical note (link below), two incomplete    
> printed editions that predate 1512 are extant. Tenri University in    
> Japan and Korea University also have a 1512 edition. The copy    
> preserved at the Tenri University used to be owned by An Chong-bok    
> and it has An's handwritten notes.
> http://e-kyujanggak.snu.ac.kr/MOK/CONVIEW.jsp?type=HEJ&ptype=list&subtype=jg&lclass=10&ntype=hj&cn=GR36078_00
> Best,
> Sun Joo
>> Date: Sun, 9 Sep 2012 20:28:35 -0400
>> From: gkl1 at columbia.edu
>> To: koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
>> Subject: Re: [KS] Samguk Yusa readership during Joseon
>> As for the general attitude of ChosOn dynasty scholars toward the
>> Samguk yusa, they were certainly aware of its Tangun and related myths
>> involving the nations¡¯s primitive history, but that was about it. The
>> average Neo-Confucian scholar or official generally would have found
>> it difficult to credit the average Buddhist monk¡¯s capacity to take
>> folk traditions and miracles seriously. And the average
>> neo-Confucian¡¯s disdain for Buddhism has to be borne in mind as well.
>> On the other hand, there were always a few more curious and more
>> broadly interested Confucian scholars who would have enjoyed
>> themselves and learned from reading the Yusa¡¯s often problematic tales.
>> During most of the ChosOn period it would probably not have been easy
>> to find a copy of the Yusa. Its text certainly was available to the
>> Korean court in the 15th century. It was cited and extensively quoted
>> by King Sejong in relation to the political history of Cheju Island in
>> his sillok¡¯s geographical appendix. In 1452, it was quoted
>> extensively by King Tanjong on the Tangun story and the related
>> shrines connected with it in P¡¯yOngyang. In 1487 King SOngjong
>> consulted it concerning the touchy issues related to Korea¡¯s borrowing
>> of the Chinese system for royal posthumous names for Korean kings
>> (formally called Myoho ÙÙûÜ), for example, ¡°T¡¯aejo,¡± ¡°Sejong,¡±
>> ¡°Hyojong,¡± etc., which are really the names of the deceased kings¡¯
>> designated temples even though used in historical discourse as their
>> final name.
>> It¡¯s likely that either the Samguk yusa was never completed by its
>> author, the monk IryOn ìéæÔ (1206-1289), or that the copies circulating
>> in the 14th and 15th centuries were incomplete or textually currupt.
>> (There¡¯s a lot of Korean scholarship on these issues during the last
>> 10 or 20 years that I have not read—so be alert as you read
>> this.) The Samguk yusa as it existed for most of the ChosOn dynasty is
>> based on the woodblock edition of 1512, organized and financed by
>> local officials and approved by the then governor of KyOngsang Province.
>> I think it likely that most of the major sirhak scholars of the 18th
>> century had read or were at least generally informed on the contents
>> of the Samguk yusa, as might have been many of their students. From
>> 1875 though the 1930s, Japanese scholars took a great interest in the
>> Samguk yusa. Various Japanese academic societies collected texts and
>> published them with Japanese translations, which of course also
>> circulated widely in colonial Korea. There are also two highly
>> informative modern texts, one by Ch¡¯oe NamsOn (Tan¡¯gi 4279=1946,
>> 4287=1954, and 4291=1958), with rich appendices containing other texts
>> compiled during the Koryo dynasty . The second is the edited Chinese
>> text and Korean translation by Yi PyOngdo, Tan¡¯gi 4289=1956, an
>> edition apparently never completed but I¡¯m sure that it is still in
>> print because I¡¯ve seen it in libraries. In any event, there are much
>> better ways to read the Samguk yusa than the deeply flawed English
>> translation that was cited. On the other hand, one must grant that
>> translating the Samguk yusa into any modern language is extremely
>> difficult.
>> One would think that there would have been a copy of the 1512 Samguk
>> yusa in the Kyujanggak Library where Yu TUkkong worked. But the
>> catalogue of the holdings of the Kyujanggak, published in 1965,
>> contains no listing of it. That does not necessarily mean that that it
>> was not in the Kyujanggak when he worked there. There is reason to
>> believe that there were losses to that collection in the rough times
>> of the 19th century, and there were also losses in the 20th century as
>> well. I also checked in the catalogue of the Royal family¡¯s library,
>> the ChangsOgak (as opposed to the Kyujanggak, the ChosOn Royal
>> government¡¯s library), now housed at the Academy of Korean Studies,
>> but all it had was the Japanese photolithographic copy (ç¯ìÔ÷ú, Showa 7 =
>> 1932) of the 1512 woodblock edition.
>> Gari Ledyard
>> Quoting Andrew <zatouichi at gmail.com>:
>> > Dear all,
>> >
>> > I'm writing to ask a couple of questions concerning the history/fate/shelf
>> > life of the *Samguk Yusa* during the Joseon dynasty. Broadly:
>> >
>> > I How was the *Samguk Yusa* regarded by scholars of the Joseon dynasty,
>> > particularly by the late 18th century?
>> >
>> > II How widely available and read was the *Samguk Yusa *throughout this
>> > time?
>> >
>> > The context for these questions is related to my current research on
>> > scholar Yu Deuk-gong (1749-1807) associated with the Northern Learning
>> > school (ºÏÇÐÆÄ), in particular his poetry cycle *21 Capital hoegosi*  
>>  (À̽ÊÀϵµÈ¸°í½Ã)
>> > of which I have made a tentative translation (including the extensive
>> > quotes from histories accompanying each poem).
>> >
>> > In this work, Yu directly quotes from the *Samguk Yusa* just    
>> twice: once at
>> > the beginning concerning Dan'gun establishing his capital at Pyeongyang;
>> > the second significantly later concerning Gyeon-hwon's Later Baekje.
>> > However, many of the other earlier poems also take topics found dotted
>> > throughout Books 1 and 2 of the *Samguk Yusa *and whilst they    
>> were no doubt
>> > topics recorded in other works which Yu would have also read, if he was
>> > reading the *Samguk Yusa* anyway, I imagine it influenced his    
>> selection for
>> > the poetry cycle which essentially became a chronological miscellany of
>> > topics picked out from conventional Joseon historiography (from Dan'gun up
>> > to Goryeo).
>> >
>> > According to the biographical information I have on Yu Deuk-gong, he was
>> > from an illegitimate line of descent, his father died when he was  
>>   young and
>> > he was raised by his mother alongside two uncles who were only slightly
>> > older than himself. He was widely read in history and skilled in poetry
>> > but essentially quite poor until being granted a position at the   
>>  Gyujanggak
>> > royal library in 1779. He first completed the *21 Capital hoegosi* the
>> > year before in 1778 (and revised it later in 1792). So how did he come to
>> > read the *Samguk Yusa *early on? Was it widely available in Seoul at the
>> > time?
>> >
>> > To what degree was the *Samguk Yusa* considered a heretical Buddhist work,
>> > and to what degree was it regarded as a collection of folklore? Yu was
>> > interested in everything from ancient history to contemporary    
>> folk customs,
>> > so it is no surprise he read it: but I wonder in what context was it
>> > available to him?
>> >
>> > It's not impossible that he didn't read it until joining the Gyujanggak
>> > library, if there was a copy kept there, and inserted the two extracts in
>> > the revision of 1792 (it was the extracts and structure which were revised
>> > rather than the 43 poems themselves). But what makes me doubt this is, as
>> > said, the topics initially chosen for the cycle seem to have been
>> > influenced by reading the *Samguk Yusa;* and even potentially the  
>>   structure
>> > itself was influenced as it alternates between the poems and historical
>> > prose extracts in a manner reminiscent to the "songs" interspersed in
>> > the *Samguk
>> > Yusa* though both points may just be coincidence* *(I've only    
>> read and have
>> > available the Ha Tae-Hung & Mintz translation of the *Samguk Yusa*.)
>> >
>> > Any thoughts related to this topic would be of much interest.
>> >
>> > sincerely
>> > Andrew Logie
>> > (Helsinki)
>> >

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