[KS] Map of Seoul; 경조오부도(京兆五部圖) in Hangul at AGS Library, Milwaukee, WI

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Thu Jul 4 10:57:09 EDT 2013

Very sorry -- two correction, otherwise this is misleading:

(1) "these are maps from 1945 and after"
    --> 1845 (of course)

(2) "1. Is the map an original from the 18th century, or is it a late 
19th century copy where Hanja has been substituted by Han'gŭl, or is it 
even a forgery?"
    --> Got myself confused: it cannot be a "late 19th century copy," 
exactly because of what Professor Ledyard found about place name and 
orthographic changes. So, the issue is reduced to original or forgery 


On Thu, 4 Jul 2013 06:25:03 -0700, Frank Hoffmann wrote:
> Yoo Kwang-On wrote:
>> Can you kindly post a couple of images of the maps you are talking about?
> I am lost here, with this request. … The maps I am talking about??? 
> To summarize:
> 06/30: Gari Ledyard shares his wonderful article with us, entitled "A 
> Unique 18th-Century Korean Map," about a map with placenames given in 
> Han'gŭl, a map he names "Gabor map" after is present owner. Professor 
> Ledyard does a very interesting analysis of the place names in that 
> map, looking at name changes in the later Chosŏn period and also at 
> orthographic changes; and he also makes notes on stylistic issues 
> (crude way of writing Han'gŭl) and the physical state of the map. From 
> his solid analysis of the place name changes and the orthographic 
> changes, he comes to the clear conclusion that this is a 18th century 
> product--and the physical condition does not indicate any objections to 
> that either. That makes it the first all-Han'gŭl map in Korea! It is 
> therefore a very essential piece of historical evidence.
> Now, because of this, we have to tread this as a "collector's item" 
> with cultural-historical and historical importance, just like an 
> important work of "art"--not just as a map like a geographer would look 
> at a map. From that point of view, what Professor Ledyard "left out" in 
> his analysis, and I think that was smart and makes sense from his 
> expertise in history and linguistics, that is: (a) ownership history 
> (who owned the map since it was produced, how did it end up at an 
> auction in Europe, and which auction?) And (b) a physical and chemical 
> examination of the map … for paper and ink, though, are almost 
> impossible to date if they are older than the 1910s. And the "age of 
> its paper, based on its coloration" (footnote 10) is really not at all 
> acceptable, and I am not sure why the consulted expert,  Prof. Lee 
> Seung-chul, would have said so. The coloration of any paper, both 
> Western papers and hanji, varies *widely* depending on the archival 
> conditions over the centuries. The same is true for ink. In addition to 
> the superb analysis given by Professor Ledyard these would be essential 
> pieces of evidence when trying look into the issue if such a map is 
> original or a forgery. (This should please not be misconstrued as 
> criticism. I am just pointing to the second part of an analysis 
> necessary to evaluate what we have there, an analysis that should be 
> done.)
> 06/30: I pointed out that the OTHER map Professor Ledyard referred to, 
> a later map that he said seems to have been known as the first one with 
> place names in Han'gŭl, actually had no Han'gŭl names but rendered the 
> Korean prounciation of place names in Roman letters. 
> 07/02: Henny Savenije also pointed to two images of that and a related 
> map on his website.
>        I noted the book publication and an article by Professor 
> Jin-Mieung Li from France, who had discussed at the mentioned 
> Roman-letter map by Kim Tae-gŏn and then other early Han'gŭl-only maps, 
> all at the Département des Cartes et Plans, Bibliothè que Nationale 
> de France. Again, these are maps from 1945 and after -- NOT from the 
> 18th century like the Gabor map. And I tried to make clear in this 
> posting already that there there are various other such maps in Hang'ŭl 
> from that mid- and later 19th century.
> 07/02: Now Yoo Kwang-On says "here is another one" and points to a map 
> from 1883-1887, from time of the "opening" of Korea, where the U.S., 
> Germany, France, Russia, etc. do establish embassies in Korea, etc.  
> Yes sure, that is no surprise, and naturallt there are quite a number 
> of these from the late 19th century--but *not* from the 18th century.
> What I think are the most essential questions:
> 1. Is the map an original from the 18th century, or is it a late 19th 
> century copy where Hanja has been substituted by Han'gŭl, or is it even 
> a forgery? I am not suggesting either one here; these are just the 
> usual questions and issues that have to be resolved when buying a used 
> car: one needs to check under the hood. Above mentioned ownership 
> history and physical examination and possibly chemical analysis would 
> be needed. 
> 2. Given the Gabor map is original, then how does that change our 
> knowledge and perception of the use of Han'gŭl in the 18th century? 
> Does it mean that commoners were using maps to travel. (I can hardly 
> imagine that!) 
> Best,
> Frank Hoffmann 
> --------------------------------------
> Frank Hoffmann
> http://koreanstudies.com

Frank Hoffmann

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list