Memoirs of a DynastyJoseon Wangjo Sillok, Annals of the Joseon Dynasty
Goo Ja-gun Assisstant Reporter  |
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승인 2006.06.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

HAVE YOU ever noticed that Joseon Dynasty's Kings had diaries? These diaries are different from the general concept of diary we have because the kings did not write their own diaries. They could not even read them. This is probably why they are considered an unprecedented objective masterpiece of records, even designated as "World Heritage" They are called Joseon Wangjo Sillok.

  Joseon Wangjo Sillok, Annals of the Joseon Dynasty is a historical document covering 472 years (1392-1863) of the history of the reigns of 25 kings, from the dynasty? founder King Taejo (1392-1398) to King Cheoljong (1849-1863), the third to the last king. The last two kings Go Jong and Soon Jong's sillok were written under Imperial Japanese rule and thus are not included. In chronological order, the king? everyday affairs, court functionaries?everyday reports and other daily matters dealt with in the public offices are compiled in 1,893 chapters in 888 books. Sillok covers subjects such as politics, diplomacy, society, economy, education and religious life, as well as geography, music, scientific facts and foreign relations in Northeast Asia. It is the longest continuous historical record in the world and the preservation of the entire work is unprecedented.

  The process through which this Joseon Annals were recorded is particular. First, they were written in method of Pyun-nyun, chronological form, which means the writing in order of years and months. Most of the other historical records were written in method of Gi-jeon, where facts were divided into theme, such as economy, environment or legislation. The benefit of Pyun-nyun is that it is comfortable to research the characteristics of each king. Another characteristic the Sillok have is that the record each king was started after the death or retirement of said king. The rule was to keep the Sillok from being searched or seen by the king who is the main topic. Only the writers could write and read, so it was easy to maintain the objectivity of records. "The conditions of being chroniclers of Sillok were very austere. To be chroniclers, not only did they have to pass the state examination, but they also had to have good relationship with companions and get married. In addition, family members or relatives had to be insensitive to bribes" explains Prof. Choi Yoon-oh(Dept. of History)

  Today, movements for preserving and publicizing the annals are very active. On March 3, 2006, "The Committee of Redempting Joseon Wangjo Sillok" was founded to demand Japan to return the rest of Sillok, saved in Tokyo University National Library. The members of committee are negotiating with Tokyo University. Also, National History Compilation Committee maintaining an internet site that where the Sillok is organized comfortably so that the common user can research quickly. Everyday, about 10,000 to 20,000 visitors search the site.

  "In Sillok, we can discover 500 years of long and brilliant human socty and culture. More precise research of Sillok is needed." Like Choi says, although the record heritages are precious, they become real treasures when they are translated and publicized in modern society. In reality, drama Deajang-gum and movie The King's man got their motive from a few lines of Joseon Wangjo Sillok. It means the old record of Korean History can be marvelous cultural contents for producing new cultural materials.. As these struggles for preserving persevere, Sillok will be maintained as the masterpiece of record eternally.

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BobI like your thought of king over us lttlie kings.The fact that you have no experience of kingship maked it hard for Americans to understand what is means for Jesus to be King or Lord.When pledging allegiance to our political leaders, we call them president or prime minister. We pledge allegiance to the kingdom of God by saying Jesus is Lord or King. The truth is that we have pledged allegiance to masters. We justify this divided loyalty by calling one king or lord and the other president or prime minister.If my nation had a king and I have pledged allegiance to him, it will be quite hard to call Jesus king, because it will be obvious that I have divided loyalty. If I believe Jesus is king, it would be hard to pledge allegiance to a human king, because I cannot serve two kings. We just dont get that dilhemma In America, where people have no experience of kingship or lordship, Jesus is President might be a better paraphrase of Jesus is Lord . However, it would be hard to pledge that "Jesus is President" because it would exposes a divided loyalty. A pledge of "No President but Jesus" would be a subversive statement, because republic cannot have two presidents.
(2012-03-14 14:06:12)
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