[KS] Samguk Yusa readership during Joseon - response

gkl1 at columbia.edu gkl1 at columbia.edu
Sun Sep 16 18:13:39 EDT 2012


You say that the quotes that Yu DUkkkong took from the Samguk Yusa
for his poetry cycle were likely added in his 1792 revision after he
had access to the Gyujanggak library. But remember that Kim Sun Joo in
her posting of September 11 was able to confirm that it was not until
the Japanese colonial period (1910-45) that a copy of the Samguk yusa was
added to the collection of the Kyujanggak. That would have been long
after Yu's death.

There is in reference works a date of 1749 for his birth, but no one
seems to know when he died. Does your research give us any   
clarification  concerning his death date? Your work shows us that he   
was still living in 1792, when he was 44 years old (Korean age).

I would bet that Yu would have had no difficulty finding a copy of the
Samguyk yusa in the mid or late decades of the 18th century. The major
sirhak scholars, most of them in Seoul or environs, were very active
in those years, and Yu TUkkong's reputation as a scholar would have
been well known to them. If he needed a copy of the Yusa, I believe he
would have found one easily available somewhere among his colleagues
in the sirhak scommunity.

I strongly second Jonathan Best's recommendation to avoid dependence  
on the Grafton Mintz translation of the Samguk yusa. By all means find  
a copy of Yi PyOngdo's (ì°Ü°Ô§) careful commentary on the Chinese text  
and his Korean translation, both in a single volume.

Gari Ledyard

> Dear all,
> Apologies for my slow response but thank-you for the very useful and
> detailed replies concerning my query on the readership of the Samguk-yusa.
>  I read them all with great interest.
> I've decided the quotes Yu Deuk-gong took from the Samguk-yusa for his
> poetry cycle were likely added in the 1792 revision after he had access to
> Gyujanggak library.  There are existing editions of the earlier version
> (one at Beijing University, one at Sunkyunkwan University and one at the
> National Library), so in theory it would be possible to confirm.  The total
> quoted prose passages of the cycle are taken from some 43 sources, 20 of
> which are Korean.  The Yeoji-seungnam (æ«ò¢ã­ÕÂ), Samguk-sagi and Munheon-bigo
> (ÙþúÌÝáÍÅ) are cited most often: 46, 32 and 20 times respectively compared to
> the Samguk-yusa only twice.
> Despite this, I still suspect, if he had read it early on, the Samguk-yusa
> may have influenced the conception and selection of topics, even if he then
> turned to more reliable and detailed sources for their citation.  This is
> what prompted my curiosity about the availability and readership of the
> Samguk-yusa during the late 18th century.
> Just out of interest then, below is a list of the topics which occur in
> both the Samguk-yusa and Yu's 21 Capital Hoegosi cycle.  There is, still, a
> greater proportion of topics not mentioned in the Samguk-yusa, and Yu was
> extremely well read so ultimately it may not have influenced his choice of
> topics at all.
> This list excepts the early foundation myths and pre-dynastic orthodox
> historiography (Dan'gun, Gi Ja, Wi Man) which is of course also attested in
> the Samguk-yusa.  The first number refers to the chapter number of the Ha
> Tae-Hung and Mintz translation; the poem number to Yu's cycle (which has 43
> poems in total).
> 26: poem 23: King Soji of Silla's shooting his queen and slave through a
> geomungo case.
> 33: poem 22: Jaemae-gok valley (î¯ØâÍÛ), named after Kim Yushin's wife (or
> daughter ðóÒ³??) and the Songhwabang (áæü£Û®).
> 34: poem 27: The Silla royal provision of three *mal* (Ôà) of rice and nine
> pheasants (ÎúöË), in the context of Myeongju (Ù¨ñ¶).
> 34: poem 17: King Uija of Baekje failing to heed his loyal vassal
> Seongchung's (à÷õ÷) warning of imminent invasion.
> 34: poem 17: King Uija believing that the Baekma-gang (ÛÜØ©Ë°) river dragon
> would be adequate defense.
> 34: poem 13: The Nakhwa-am (Ñæü£äÜ) rock from which Baekje palace ladies
> committed suicide.
> 37: poem 21: The magical and all powerful manman-papa (ؿؿ÷î÷î) flute.
> 44: poem 27: Kim Juwon (ñ²êª) prevented from becoming the Silla king, and
> enfeoffed as king of Myeongju instead.
> 54: poem 26: Gyeon Hwon of Later Baekje attacking the Silla court at the
> Poseok-jeong (øêà´ïÍ) pavilion.
> 55: poem 20: Biryu attempting to establish a kingdom at
> Michuhol (Ú¯õÛûì) whilst his brother Onjo is more successful.
> 55: poem 17: Su Dingfang using a white to catch the river dragon in the
> Baekma-gang (ÛÜØ©Ë°) before crossing into Baekje.
> 55: poem 16: The Jaondae (í»è®Óæ) rock which King Uija of Baekje enjoyed
> sitting on.
> 57: poem 33: Gyeon Hwon of Later Baekje receiving titles from the Later
> Tang emperor.
> 57: poem 33: Prophecy of a blue horse from Jeolyeong Island (ï¾ç¯šD) given by
> Gyeong Hwon to Wang Geon.
> 57: poem 26: second mention of Gyeon Hwon attacking the Silla court at the
> Poseok-jeong (øêà´ïÍ) pavilion.
> 57: poem 33: Gyeon Hwon later dying on an abscess bursting on his back.
> 58: poem 28: Foundation egg myth of Geumgwan (ÐÝί) Gaya.
> 58: poem 28: Empress Heo (úÉüÕý¨) arriving from Ayodhya (ä¹ë²öíÏÐ) in a red sailed
> ship and offering her silk trousers at the mountain spirit shrine.
> 64: poem 13: Goguryeo warlord Gaesomun (ËÏáÌÙþ) being made *mangniji* (Ø°×îò¨).
> 64: poem 14: Prince Ansun/Anseung (äÌã­/äÌâï) of Goguryeo defecting to Silla.
> 68: poem 28: Pasatap (÷èÞÏ÷²) pagoda brought on the ship of Empress Heo.
> One final, separate question, regarding the authorship which has been
> touched upon.  I have in places read, and formed the impression that the
> Samguk-yusa was consciously written as an alternative to the Samguk-sagi
> which was too orthodox Confucian and generally ignored Buddhism.  But
> reading the English translation of the Samguk-yusa, I couldn't detect this,
> and the Samguk-sagi is even referenced.  The first two more historical
> sections, don't seem especially different to the historiography of the
> Samguk-sagi (just less detailed) and considering this, they likely both
> relied on similar earlier sources, such as the Gu-samguk-sa.  Is there
> evidence then, that the author(s) of the Samguk-yusa were expressly
> critical of Kim Bu-sik and the Samguk-sagi, or is this a later
> misperception?
> sincerely to all,
> Andrew Logie

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