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THE YI DYNASTY ANNALS

OF KOREA
BY

C. M.

l\'lCCUNE,

'

M. A.,

University of California

Rep rin ted tron:a


"!'HF. TllA NS AG 'l"l OIS S OF
TH U

HO lU: :A

T~OY;\L

fl:R,\1'GJ~

OJ? TH E

.\Sl A". 1"1 (; SQ( ;U; : J"Y

Vul . X XIX

THE YI DYNASTY ANlllALS OF KORE A


lMi. 8tb moon, 4tb d.ar. The Border Defence Commi ssion
rtporte d
the court concer ning e letter from the F'rench s hipwrecked
ere"; 11 , the
words of the letts r ask only !or food and :l ship . so it app~ar
s that ao
invasio n is lntende d......."
17~. 6th moon. lOth day. The. kin welcom ed
t h~ Chines;f' eovoy in ooe
of t-he p;dace buitdin,as. Aftf'r returni nll lO his quatltil
'I he \Vent to the~crifi ~iul building to observ e the cercmo
oy of mourolnsr. Toda)' h we
reportM that in Asao, a cow p..c birth to a calf with
one body and two

heade-.

Tbe above ate typical extra cts frolll the y; Dyna sty
Annals (Yiio Sill.oft 3f;q}jf(f:lcl,:r;{l) which record the
affairs of the Korean court, day bi' day, throughout the five
centu ries of the dynasty. These chro:'licles, ori!rlnally in a
set numb ering O\'er seven teen hundred books, are now publi~hed in a set of eight hundred and forty nin'e volu mes.
the
facsimile edit ion of Keij5 Imperial University.
The most striki ng featur e about these Annals is the
partic ular emphasis placed upon objectivity in Lheir compiJation. Each king at his inauguration esUlblished a Board of
Annals, the Sillokch'onp: f!iik!!li ~~~J. composed of the
leadin g scholars of the kingdom, to ed it the tecords of the
previous king' s reign. These men bad access to all the records of the governmenL They also used the notes which
had been priva tely. kept by the official histotians concerning
the daily a!fairs of the court. When the Annals of each
reign were completed no one was allowed to read them, not
1. Tht> first cxtr:tc t i:s from tb~ H11,,,;011 11turols. JU.
14-1 p 7 r; the
ttc nd ft<m 1he Y6ngjor.g AnnaU . Hk 21!, p 2i r. Jn
citinJ:
the
Ann3Js in
the fo11owlng article. t.he date of rhe en1ry in the Kore<>n
calend ar plus tht.!
~ok and pnQ:e numhe f ls u~u t1lly given. 'fhe l<.01nan
iz11ion is strictly in
~1~cord whh the:: ~tcCuneRei~hauer 1)'1tem., explain
ed in th~ is.!liut- of the
Royal Asiatic

SocieC)' Tra1t,~trtittns. t>Xct.Pt tor


surnam e ~ which 19
Roman ized in the optiona l form Yi rathfr than f. she
Natnrt 0
nccomp anh:d by Chines e charti.C"tcns o r 6n1nvn , since they 1 kinR-' nre not
append ix. Other Korean nnmes arc followed by the. (. ore llt1:tcd In t he
hinese
(haomu n) and al.$0 native- script (Onmu n). The inmun !lptllin cb;ir:.cter.;i;
e follows the
84n.sUI, or Unified System.

THE YI DYN AST Y ANN ALS OF


KOREA

eve n lhc king. 'l'hi s inviolability was


estabUshed ver y earl y
in the dynasty, ns is shown by the follo
win g inci den t:

" I n 11l:Jl the kinJ.l askeJ to


the 1 'ac-jon1 Attn ah \140 1-ltl !')
had jus1 bten complet~. ~13esec
whic h
ng Saf~1g ~U\~ 1>}111 the
Minjster of ll1e
RJMht, huwE:vier, answered t hat
~he AnnA ls were o true1 reco
rd ... the pur
poJe of Whu;h wns to prov

ide for

the even ts o l the kh1g's reig11, future generaliont nn unbia$td account of


thc1n,' he conc luded, you prob-.bly'Eve n tllOU&h Your J\'lnje sty should read
)ou see them. other kin~t afte-r you s hould not \\\ISli to nlter them . And if
offic ers will thus be nfraid to ~\rit will \Vish to do likew ise. The historic31
e accu rattlY. thinkinjl that they
dl!'!honcBI ly occused ...... ' The.
n1igtlt be
king sa... tht ,vfadom of this 3dvi
follo wed It.':
cc and

An atte mp t to b~eak the pt"eceden


t in the following
cen tury is recorded in the Official
Encyclopedia (tlfm1hD11
i:'ioo ,_.k'tt{iliJ

;JJ-il': tl ~1 n l :

"'In 1he first ye:1r of S0:1ja (1608 1.


whe n the recorct1 of the late
wcl'e to b<: pubt l1i1hed, the Court
rnioiJlcrs petitiooed the king to aUow king
LO re.ad them and cert ify 1ts to thetr
them
preP<!'Pted n cc>unter 1n4!mnrlnl , ur"ingcorr ectn eb!. The historian&. howe\.-cr,
~he kine to fotbld 1he vio)ati(ln
Ann:i1s. The historians
of the

\\fCre s uopottcd by the t\\'O chie


r aove rnm en\ offices,
tne Ch'unch'u~wan !fl<ll<lli \l:,.
.~ and Sahonbu iij;p 'f 4~-'
}. The
or the m1ni ite:rs to p~rmil the .read
ing of the J\ nn a l ~ was duu1ed,''n r.qu esl

However. in spil e of the rev eren ce


with which the
Ann als were rega rded , one is struck
by the pett ines s of a
gre at man y of the entr ies, which dea
l for the mos t par t wit h
t he small alfairi> of the cou rt words and
actions of the king,
his kind nes s to his min iste rs and the
ir families, or his del>uuchery and Cl'uelty. Memorials a re
quoted whi ch concern
a rcqu~st for a small plo t of land ,
a
pension for an old
official. or relief from a r apacious gov
erno r. Edi cts concerning the building of a new gate , app oin
tme nt of officials, and
rccognilion or wor thy service fi ll m1;1
ny pages. Ent ries like
this are put side by side wit h tho se of
an
such a~ a memorial concern ing a plan imp orta nt nat ure,
trib al invasions from Manchuria, lhe Cot' dcf ens e aga inst
rep ort of an embassy
retu rn ing from Pek ing, and an edic t
for lhe p1omulgation of
2. Kk~ho /'oga l!(fl>ftia
lory ol !he pyna sly) , Vol.
Sec a lso Yi Chnrult ~(E:w;, '' Rlc:h(HiS
o ) lt.11uroku nn Scirhsu ni ]'suheI ,''p 2l2 a.
~tnYC
ji:~l~J'lt:'U"C (coc cro1 ng the
formation of the Yi Dyn3$lY Ann als),
pnnt ed tl'Om BJ1e:n Hokoku ~tllf
re+
llflt, No. 18, Keij(), 1937 , p 1:t
3. Ch11nubo A1unhih' Jli..qo Jftt1D~l'1~U
ll~U' {Enl urgc J OffichI Encyclo
e.~di1), SOul, lOOS. }Jk. !321, p
~ r
Sl'"c 1t...n Seno &ta i lllt
iE "Ricbo
Jitl'-utoku Sho i,i no tdo nl Tiui
*l9iYCflf1(.(.1ltif}JJnt~ (t;on
lht: tcmC1vnl of the dt:Poslting ic"
ccm ing
Cak110 llli.ll!_:il. ~o. 4 (l9'W1 . pppl ice~ of 1,he Yi Dy.1asty :\nn nl!) Stilt.yu
\l3

102.

i111.C YI PYN AS'l 'V /\NN /\LS OF


I/OR EA

ijl)

11 new a][)habe i or the man


u facl ure of movable type. In
apit c of this mel ee of the imp orta nt
with the pett y, the Yi
f)y1111RLI/ Am wla are an indi spe
nsib le sou rce for the stud y of
ICorenn hist ory dur ing the dyn asty , as
well as for the stud y
ur gcnernl Far Eas tern histo1y thro ugh
out this period of live
hun dre d yeal'~.
'l'he Ann als of the reig ns of the last
two kin gs, Kojong v
( 1864- 1907) and Sun jon g ()908-1910),
hnve not yet been
pub lished alth oug h they hav e bee n
wri tten . The compilation of thes e last Ann als was effected
in the yea rs 1930 to
1034 by a specially appointed boa rd of
Jap ane se and Kor ean
historia ns. For the ieign of I<ojong
ther e are rep orte dly
fifty eig ht volumes, and for Sun jon g
five volumes. No annou nce men t has yet been mad e es
to the time whe n these
will be ava ilah le for rese arch .
The hist ory of the compilation and
pre serv atio n of the
Yi D1111a.3ll! Ami al.s is an inte rest ing
one, sho win g the gre at
cat'e take n to keep them inta ct as
weU as the hig h reg ard
paid to the hist oria ns and keeper~.
Even suc h min or deta ils
as the periodical sun nin g and dry ing
wer e atte nde d lo by a
formal .ceremony conducted by high
officials. Sev eral com
plet e sets of the Ann als wer e pre serv
ed in stor eho use s located in :various par ts of the cou ntry
. Despite p1ecautl ons,
however, thes e hist orie s nar row ly esc
ape d destructi011 upon
sev erlLl occasions, as will be descl'ib
ed in the following
pag es.

T HE

CO ~f PIL A'l'IO N

OF TH E AN NA LS
The Co urt flis tor ians.
The board of edit.ors which
was appointed upon the
dea th of a kin g came to be cal
led the Board of Annal s (SilJokch'o ng) . It was the du ty
of this board to compile the
Tru e Record (Sillok) of the
late
was not composed of official his kin g's reign. 'fh is 'boatd
torians on ly, bu t of oth er
gov ern me nt ofiicials and lite rar
y men of recognized int egr ity
as well. Most of them contin
ued
ing the compilation or the An the ir reg ula r duties du rnals. Th e office, therefore,
wa s on ly temporary.
There was, howeve r, a per ma
historian, the officers of which nen t oflice, thn t of cou rt
came to be known by the
name of Hallim qftj;l;"t!:~. 1
Th e lia llim 's records constitute
d
the ma jor source used.in the edi
tin g of the .Allnals.
Th e Munhon Pigo, urnje1 the hea
ding of the Sp rin g and
Autumn Office (Ch 'un ch' ugw an
~l*l':1i ~c}l!l ) , sta tes t
hat
the re we re histotica l ofncers in
all of the dyn ast ies of Silla
liJi.l\!(;-<J.eh Koguryo ilr.1Ul1!.'ll-Tet
and Puckc he
Wl)lf~.!

!7'11 .
"'At the lim ol King Chi nhf
in USf t3' ~4-'J- t540 676 A.
D.)
ol Sillo, Yi
Snhu 6~ JI:.. oJ >~* ruemQrla.lizc
d the thro ne cooc:ernin~ the
\\\'riling of a n:td onnl hiscory. lie urged lhat
it -.vns necessary 10 record the
good nnd the
c\111 or the king nnd his subj
ect3.. tf the re is no ttco rd,'
he que ried , *ho\\ can
1h~ 1H xt Mtner;tliOstt conde1
nn o r pra ise the pnst?' The
k ing lhcn con1n1nnded J(O Ch' ilbu Mt# :K>
* 1'~ and oth~rs to coll ect
hlat ory.
ond com pile Iha
''Alioo the cont~mpori.ry king
dom or Kog ury o pos sess ed lro1
n Its ea1Jy
ycnus Oll.l.l hun dred l/(Jlu1nt.!$
ot hist oric al boo b call td the
Yug i a~-r.- ~
!Re mai ning Rec ord ). Kin g Yun
gyOnR !J!!B!m ':I 1l"J (~OO.OJ7
A. D.) ord ered
Yi l\1unjiu l!i~Olol -!, ~to revi
se lhtm .
1. lt s~o~ld be no: ro th" l '-he
Kor enn a"d ChiJlcse in&lit11
!he sam.c liht~ri>~ n11m~ t'!a*
tlons bcRrinst
rtu: ~h1t1CiC 1nsu tutl on \llas \!.:J (B:u11in and Jln1Ji1n). :ire not 1.h esa me :
a
gov
ern!
"t!Q
l
offic
e,
th.e
whe rc:is the Kor~o, ut le:l&
L In rece nt um~s. \V<1:1 lh'i! tileNot ionn l Aca dem y,
6Ch O!ar v;hQSe d Utlt t' \\'~r
uf an officiial cou rt
c 13t{itly hl~torical but par
0
tly
lite rary .
~. The Ch uoch.ugy.<tn Jttl&
:hl
~;ie
ca.11
ed
the Mis toricul Office. In this
officoe, ho..eve r, cert tlln lill' rary
.pr~Jech1 of the cOu tt wer
tiJ wel l asth os.e of an hist
e cnr ied out atso
oric.al nature".

TB !! YI DYNASTY AN NA LS
OF KOREA
"In Pat kch e alao , a .sch olar by
the ntin ie of Kohtfng n.fll.n.-4
rtu1ndtd by (Oy,11 auLllorl ty to
- \Vas com ~
""ri
QU of thre e dyn asti es had hi& te f\ nati ona l hist ory . rhu s we know tha t
torieal officers, a1th oug h the
ir official title is
-~~~

'l'he Mu rih lln Pigo t.ells in fur the


r detail of the developme11t of the institution of histor
ical officers du rin g the Kory&
dynosty (918-1392 A. D. J ~J
m.n Jli. An historica l
office
(Sagwan !I! u-"~~) which ke pt
the records of the admi nis tra ,
Llun was est abl ished at the
beginning of the dynasty. Th
e
ollice wa s ren am ed and the n
divided int.o two par ts, one of
which the Sp rin g and Au tum n
Office CCh'unch'ugwan), was
pu t in cha rge of the editing of
the Annals of a deceased kin g
ond o( pre servin g the set
s of Annals located in the pal
ace
and in the storehotlses. The oth
er, called the H yemun 'gw an
~t\:itmi<>ll~ ~.was the offi
ce of
as a general lite rar y dep art me nt.the court historian, as well
The titl e ffallim for the
cou rt historians, was probab
ly adopted du rin g t he Koryo
dynasty. Thetic ins titu tio ns
we re continued , by the Yi
1lyn!\Sty.'
A sys tem of righ t and lef t
hist.orical otlicers", att1ihuted to the pre ced ent of the
Chinese court, wns adopted.
One officer sat on the king'E
lef t at me eti ngs of sta te and
wrote down his words, Md ano
the r sat on bis rig ht and re1orded his action$. The lat ter
office gra dua lly became t he
-- --

--

3.

-- -- -

,,,,,_1t/1I~ J>jgo. Bk. '~l.


p.. 17 (J).
com pila

The materin1 <:Oncern inA: the


Rill:i
tion \Vas pro bably extr:1ct<'d
fr'orn the Sam auk Sag i 5tl
(I listory or th~ Thr ee Kio
tl!! a
ms) whe re muc h lhc t~me info
bo luu nd S CM~" $/ti sdo
rm~uion is to
~Af!llll! (:l6 Vola., KIJa,
10318) Pur t l, Vol. 1,
ppltiO 57, 'ith mo nth. fiIG A.
Reg ardi nsi Kojlury& thelJ.Sat
"flU
k
S
f)t
co1\tai11.s thtt fo1lo\vi ng; "By
roya l decrc:'-'~ tbt kin g con1ma
:ind to ma~e a new c.ollcction nded Yi ~( unj in to tim plll y the. anc ient hist ory
of
tive
vo1
un\cs, Sn> jip 0111oau
the b eginninA" '"r the ldng don
At
1, \Vbc:n \Vrlling wa.s firs t lult.
wns o man who wro te dow
odu d, ther e
n one hun dre d volu me
of
pas
t
1if ,vhi ch \\IO:!l Yny ,
C\c
nts, the nnm
N(1\v p:\r L ol this co1n
pill1tlon \Vas o miHe<l ond p:i.re
rol ,.d. " /bit / , p rlO, 1100
t
A. D.
No di:lln11t~ d:'ltc is give n in
the
o.
u
1cle
nt
bl11
toric
CJilutlon. J{ohtrng. ho\vever, l.M:c
s
Pao kch c coin
a1ne an officlal in :J'ilj for .the
t<o rt1n Hio~r.1phlcal I icllt
acc;ordin;:t to tbe
inar y (Chfiite-n J1rnn1t~ .\.D
Ji,./10 ~rf!J1o.4S&fi\l.F),
Kl)r., JO:J7, p. 1.318.
l, h ho uld be not ed thae
thCI
C
in11
itud
oos V3.c icd in nan1e ond in
C(l J'" or ncli vhy frti rn liln a
lr.t tilnt) LliroughUut IJoth the
KuryO and Yi dy
nlulllt' ...

.mm.:ru.e.

'l'lllll VI OVNASTY ANNALS 01" KORllA

63

TilE YI DYNAS1 \' ANl'AL S 01' KORI!/\

more importarit and in time pr eempte cl t he title, Hallim.


The officer at the left. who w\ote down t he king' s words, 1eceived the title of Chus0 ~~"i or Chief Clerk.
The diary of t he Hallim was called t he Administrative
Recor \:\ <Sijon~gi n;\\ ~ IIB-'l'l! .:iJl or th e Histor ical Notes
(Sach'o !1!1,\:).}3;.). This included t he uncensored obser vations w hich it was the special pr>vile ge of the Hallim to
make ; these officers attended t he kin g upon all occasions.
They also used t he various departm ental records in writing:
their daily record, which, when comple ted, contained t hree
parts : (1) accounts of the busine ss of state which was
transacted betwee n king and minist ers (Ojlm P'il(li liliwllfllltl
'l 'li-W .::IJ . (2) critica l comment upon t he acts of t be cour t
and upon other public affairs (Sodan ..lt!li/.}'fr), usually inserted in the Annals without revision. and (3) criticism of
the conduc t of officials and famolls persons after their death
) 4~
6. A famous K orcnn nl i nister Rnd hist()f'il.'ln , Vi Sugw:1ng *-Df.10wrote:
l--~'i.
ll\~tt
1'61
Ch:bong
work.
rollc.t<'d
his
in
(161)3.1629)
l c.fficer
'"The Chinese 11y&tem of former ;,gcta provided ttuu 1he left hi.;.torica
The
\Vtote the speech and the right rc-c:orded the rnoven-.en1s of the king. "l'hc
officers.
other happenin gs in t he palace \v.rrc alsn recorded b> thc,.eOHtte
r ials fl'om
Jl31li m \'1'19 the Litle of the Hislol'lcol Officer. He take!.4 his
dct he me.,.sa_gea to 3nd fronl t he king nnd his 1n inh11crs to all govern me nt ln
and
p:utmen ts, Including the Tax, Domtt lic, Ceremon ial. Army, Law
.
dustrial Office&. Thiest he t:xamint s 3nd organlZC".$ as a !ingle record
The m~thod of writing hi.story in our country Qtoerallr fnllows this form."'
Quoted by Yi Chaeuk. loo. ~ it.. PP io.11.
nnd
The titles and dutiCM (If tbC:fic onichll.s qhnnucd fro1u lin1e to tin1e
:18 the dnte
14&7
ghe
gp
J>t
!Ttn.hlin
lt
1'he
clearly.
defil\t
lo
le
impoialb
ar~
from
when the Chut& was giv.-n the dutl~ or clerk .and thus dlstinJ1ulshed
com.
g
followin
The
uJZ,von.
Ch"unch
undtr
r.
20
p
221.
Bk.
the Halliru.
adoptt'.d
tncnt r egnrding the syetcm of right ano l eft historians nl It was
"Jn l380 the
cnrly in the Yi dyn:l~ty is tllat> containt d in the /l,f1c,1l/1drt Pigb: lecture
ruon1.
historica l officers nie:re: firs t nllowed to be present In the J<inn'"
J>rope.r
An officiary. ~tun l:labu l.,rM-?'tJ.~ advised the king tb:it i1 wa.softhethe king
duty of thnt offiur 10 be present 10 iecord the words and acts and public
and to wrlle other informat ion concerni ng the: nntion:.1 policylast yertrtl of
events. \V lthout ill feeling he s hould record the tru~h. In the \\'ttS discour
the Kor)IO dynasty, l he honest wri1ing of the hhnoricn l qffic&1r&
the
:\Jtcd brcause of the evil condi1ion of t he s taLe. 'J'huN lhU king dis.Hlced
officer to be near him. By scting the faults of the foro1er dynai lY. Lhe king
one: on e-ach
should command the hittoria.ns to take their pJacH near lum.
as
s ide. e~cb d~y. ao that they might record the: pclhu::a1 tvrol11t of lhe time
not be
well a s t he \YOrd.s a nd conduct of t he king These commen 1111houldt lH: n11n
lhnited to lhe k ing, but s hould include the l :J n gungc~ :ind condu ct or r hc king
i1ters 3S wtll. Thus Jt would be "n1odel for fu lure gcner.atlo"a
con.ent td 10 ibis edvi(<e.'' Bk. !r.!O, p 4 r, under Lecturin g Office.

'l'hcse records. incorporawil into the Ad


min istr1;ilivo Recol'd Sijonmri) . proved to pe tho most vnlu
able single source uaed by the Boa1'CI of Annals In their com~
pilotion a l lhe close of each reign.
At the beginn ing of the dynasty, the hist.aria! officer
(ll allim) wns not an import ant official. as is cvidence11 IJy
the following quota tion :

(Slliol ~~iet-"I~ ).

..In HOO the chiel llnllim, Yi Chu ?l'!Vl 'l'l-. lllid to the king. Tbc hi'
.,nd
totical officer& in China et.and oo the ri&tht and lieh of the bmperor
theto
bowing
counLry,
our
r ccur<I wh~1t t hey fiCC and hear; but the officers of
a
'J'h
l)fOpcr.'
nol
ia
t.bjs
thul
lbjnlc
l
.
floor, \vrile their records \Vilh difficulty
acc:nu11t1
hcir
t
rhe
w
to
were
officers
l
historica
the
that
ded
king then eonunan
alltioi <>o each side of the kins rather than with theit heads bowed...,

King Scjo in the 16th cent ury and ,K ing Chungjonl\" in


the 16th cen tllly botb are on record as having urged the
historians to wr ite the truth, even though i t might be disparagin g.' The followu\g quotation shows the esteem in
which histor ical intcgl'ity was held at tbe end oE the 16Lh
century.

..Al the 1in)C of 1t-e l.fideyos hi ln\asion all lh~ people o( the paloC"e
moveod to Uiju ftfll.!lr.--, but the.re were not eoGugh historica l officcf'S"prcsc:nt
fl.\~
l() 11Uen d to rhc proper rt~ords. A. mnn by the name of l<i ChahOn ~(I
c:stcen'tcc.I. In
~1''1 was appoln1c.-d to act us Hallim, but he \V(IS 110 L highly
the ccrt:mon y of ioduc:1ion , 3 special douse was r.idcltd to Ute usual wording
which read : 'Otcau.sc of \var and 1hc lack of capable officiols, we cannot
recomm<-nd this mt'n highly.' flcating chls all lht' pe:ople felt very sorrow
f ul.' 1t1

In the 17th cenlul'y, however, the infamous Jl!.\l'ty riva lry


in the Korean court began to influence the writing s of the
It was reporte d th11t in the compilation of the h1jo
~-lnllim

fi. lbUt , Bk 22L. p 21 r, under C lt' uuch'u g\Y:'ln.


gnve In
7. Jbid .. Dk. J:!l, p 20 r. undt:r t;.h'unch' uJ:Wan. "'King Sejowrong
all
t;lruclio cs to 1he Ha11im ht 1400 as follows: what l do righ1 and
l .Oi
ptOplc see. 11 ts not right th3' anything should be bid~ The 'historica./t.,.ul
Y6lti;i,,,_
fic~rs should U!cord in det:..il w hat 3C::tually hApoens .'..
n~ gnvt forly
C~unqJo
1608,
"!n
:
'J
~
1-t
>~
c)
'll
l~>lU/.11
lfi!'ll
PyJ!cltip
lle1n u n11wau
iuHI
.JA
.1J
~P..;:
n
ChOngt\O
rhe
to
i,toues
ink
LW~nty
hair pc.us :H10
the oRiccra
and ga\e int ltuclions 1A1rittcn in his O\\'O hilnd that cacl1 of
h be
1boukl u se them foe wri1ing down rxaicdy \vbal the King did. .'hetber
under
right or w rong, without bHitatio n." Mwnb6J1. P1,o. Bk. !US, p 10 1.

Snngj011 gwOn,
5. ~wv.nhi!n Pigo, Dk. 221, p 15 r,.under Fh:1n oog,v::in, ctuoling Chi~Oufl

l'rol. see/. " :ll' 5. po.

'1'1111 YI fJYNYST Y ANNALS OF' goRl!:A

At111ala (1623161l0) lhc Administrative Record of the Mallim


could scarcely be used. In the early eighteenth century
the practice of destroying these records as soon as the
Ann~ls were compiled was well established." By the middle
o~ this century the liallim had begun to lose their position.
First they began t.o omit the critical comment (Sadan) from
their records and in the 19th century even the criticism of
?fficials (Slljol) was discontinued. i;>uring the reign of KoJong (1864-1907} t he Chuso or clerks took over all the work
of recording the affairs of sta te, leaving t he Rallim noth ing
but their titles."
There is a s tory, dating from the early nineteenth centu.ry, concerning a Hallim who was punished for tumpering
w1th the records. Chong Wonyong ~5C~ 'il'f:!-%, a Ohuso
who was ;famous for his fas t writing, one day recorded the
state meeting of three chief: ministers, and having conecled
~nd copied his accoun~ took it to tbe king. T he king l'Cad
1t and gave orders for tt to stand as written. But a lowec
Hallim, Sll K isu fliiltf~-41 ::>1 'i'-, who had left the palace
e~rlier in the day, did not hear the otder, and by request of
his uncle, the prime minister, changed the words of the
speakers. For this he was condemned to exile for twenty
years.
~. qio .Kuk.On A!llt,15#."t I!. Yagok S.mswon'gi lll~aWl~~.itJ 4:>t.
"In comp1lauon ol th~ lnjO nnoals the records of th~ biitorlcal oflia:ts were
so poor thnt they h11d robe corrtcted iri every article."
., !O C~iJ''' Siu. 6th strit:s, VQJ. 8, p ~: 1728, 2m, 27 d. "At thl~ t in:u::,
Yi ~W:lOJJJW:1 ~,jti1 'J-4 atked thE' king not to allow the wnshl11sc nwA}'
(obht.crAUoo) o{ th~ I la11hn SijlJ1lg(li. The king rep1i,1d th:u if fht_o, r ecord
remnrned, 1or,ne evil reault v13s ccrlajn to occur. Yun Sun, 9"i"t-t-& aoid
that the ,\vaahan~~of lhe ntnnuscript \\:ts a rccl.'nt prnc;tli;ie. and \VUi:t nut 11-0 in
I he kl~~ :u'IS\vered. hQ\vcve r, thot lhe mountnfna rind vulfeya
ltad _provided U Jut~ o p1n1on , !:>o Lhc 11dvfc4 Q( the nliOl!itt:l'tt \Vl'IS not fOllO\V,

fo rn1er 11.1nc:il.
ed."

n . The Sndrnt \VIit Jll'Ob lb)y d i!:W;Onlinuf!d tt1 the t ncl o f Yiinujo'fl l'C"lgn
(l77?>. and ~he &/Joi nt Lhe bc~inninc of Cb'OlchonJt'9 reign ( IBriO). HAcli
l:f~lhn.1 h;id a b<>x mndi:, ol v.>bod, abo11t I} f~et long, 3 fc ei deep, nnd 2 fc.f"t
wid~. 1n which hci )cept hi re:cords. None of the tlnllim could h..ok 'ni1ide
t he ~ox of iinother1 nnd because of their abapt and size they were called 1he
l:JaU1m coffin&. \\hen 11 Hnllim \Vas appoint~ t o the office he \\'Ut A:iven
o!'e.of ~hesc boll:H, 3nd v.h~n be left he could t3ke H with him <1& n n13r}< of
li11IUm ccastd to keep 1he recordc, the officit wa11
di.su~ct1on. Even nfler
conuoued and.cilch llilbni had an empty box which he look home wich him.
A formc:r H~lhm gave lhc writer 1his interesting information.
12. ThLS aaecdou: was io1d the writer b) an official conntcltd \Vilb lhe

.he

Cb"unc!i'uawan of tht former Korean governrr.eot.

T ii i\ YI DYNASTY ANNA i.ii 01' l<OR1'A

on

In a11ile nf l he llnllhn'H doclino in imporUlnce 111ul ro


putation during tJie lnlcr period oJ' lhu dynnsly, their conll'ibulion to the accuracy ancl complel<>ness of the Annals was
considerable and should not be underestimated.
The W r iting of the Annals.
We now turn to an examination oC lhe work of lho
special Board of Annals (Sillokch'llng) which compiled the
record at the end of each reign. The Annals for each reign
form a complete set in themselves, the volumes being numbered from one up in each set. Ape nded volumes nrc
sometimes added, cori tnining furth~ r noleA on t he reign.
Each r eigJJ's Annals are given a full title, for examplq lhu
firsl: king's Annals are c11l lccl t he T'ae.10 .l(anghl!n. Tam.11a110
SiUok :.kiU!i.\1,1~:;1;:3".~~k "11~ .1,}-~ <il ,Y.{! ~.
During the first two centuries of the dynas ty the SJiring
and Autumn Office (Ch'unch'ugwan) was respon$ible for the
ed iting of the Annals. and in this office the work oi compilation was done by a board of editors especially appointed to
do it This board wa5 later given the title, Board of
Annals. " At the end of the first six months of mourning
for the deceased ruler, the ministers presented a request
that the editorial board be appoi nted. Soon afterward a
series of ceremonies connected with lhe establishment of the
Board of Annals began. Divi ne aid was fi rst invoked far
the proper appointment of members, the appointees w~re
then presetited for crmfirmntion, tinnily they were invested
with t heir office 'and t hen on ly did t hey s tnrt lbeir wo1k or
compilat ion.
13. Added t Q each king's Ann:1J1 fa the date upon which Lhe klna
issued the order for the c:ont1>il:11ion, che datt of hs complclion, tind 1h1.1
oamcs of the officers who c.01nplled ii, together ~\'ith o!.her perllnent
data. An examloation of this data 1hoy,1 that for the Annal11 of it'r lirs l 16
kinRs. l!! ate attributed l'O lh~ Ch'unch'ut:w.'1n :ind three T anjong- c.l400 GG)
YOnsansrun (1605.1607). and Kwnn.aha.cgun (1\l-09 ~;) have no mentirn of
the compiling office. 1houR:h it was probably 1he same. From Jnjo (16Z3.
1650) on they were conu>iled by lht 1pecl"l board known 3g the Sfllokch'Ona
or Sillok Incb'ulcb'ooi l'lliiJltllft 'l .. '11-tfJ.

'l'lllt YI DYNAWl'V l\NNl\1,H CW l<IJtll(I\

l'lm VI JW NAS rY ANN/\LS 01' KOllEA

This wns by no means an easy task. The Bonrd was


usually comr>osod o( about t hirty officers, most of whom had
other po~itions o( importance in the goverment. The chairman of the three chief ministers, directed the editing.
Three high-ranking officers were the final "editors". each being responsible for n certain period of the reign. Under
them were several ''compilets" usually six in number, who
furthei subdivided the reign and proceeded to go through all
the sources Lo choose which parts should be included in t he
Annals. Each of the officers had a number of clerks to copy
t he mater iu ls at his direction. 14
'fhe "co111pi le1s" gaLbered together al l the source
mat.eri11ls of t he reign, checked t he entries w l1ich were importan t mid pnssed the documents to t beit clerks to copy.
T his vast compi lation was t urned over t o the "editors" who
made a ful'Lher revision in t he account before giving it to
their assistants lo copy. The ranking officer th~n corrected
the final copy c1t' th< Annals and turned it over to tho printing office for puhlicatinn." 'fhe Smtio Annal, 36 volumes re-

14. The followina llt t of offia>r$ i'i t.akEn from the Atitin&jona Annail
(1G4G 15CSJ, ch~n as illustr:uiv,. "' 1he usu3l Board.
l. Ch'on~i>enw.n 11111!4 "I~
(Chairman)
~. Th,.., Toch'allll Tangang lSJ!J~J:..>.'.I 'tJ (Editon)
~. Six Pang Tunll$1ng IJ<:tJ:' ~-:;
(Compilero)
Sixt<en NanRch'ong lllld'il".i
Clcrka)
15. 'flu.! tollo\\lnn d111es from tflc rf'cord of the Sillokch'ong cotnpiling
Sunjo Ant1ul111 :1re an inh~rcslJng !lCcount nf the progrf!Sl!I uf \\tltlni:.
Den1h ofSunjo
...
...
1834
11 m. lad
The Bo:1rd reported rea(lines9
to 1Jc1lin co1npilnt ion
18!}.5
5 m, JO d

r11e IJ011rd of 1\nnnl11 nlcl and


c:llt1tlcd l'roced11re

nm, 19 d

D ro1:>11inA out of lllh;lest rnnl el;'lals begu11


l~nd l n,q:

of Ihlq

\VOI k

' ..

('l'nu piltr 1 r,,+.-,ion a nd copyin~ ~i:tu n


Eodin;.i of thi:s wr>r k
1836

l::Sc.uinnlni.: of c:o"rt:ction (editing)


Ues.tlnntng proofrending of

IUJ.nu"crlpt
Pac.king

)838

11 ni, 20 d ([;xl1':1 month)

I) I'll, 20 d
ll n1, JO d
7 m, Sd
7 m. ~l d

:l m, Sd
~ Dl, lS d

11accd In Ch'unch'uewan ...

4 m, !lt d

Fc:itt Jtiven to officers

4ro.27d
4 m,ll$d
4 m, ~'9 d

~lanuscrfpts de-1troy~

Kin1t chank1 the Doatd


lfi End ol correction. proofreading 3nd
prinliag

m, 10 d (Extn montlo)

ft7

uo11Hng Su11jo'11 reign ( l801-ll!:!i1). tool< nbout Ull'ee yeurH lo


complete; over one ~our for tho work of the ''cornpi lt!ra''.
most of which was taken up with cor>yiug, n year and a luM
or the editing, and over two months for the printing :ind
final correction.
The most important Ningle source in this compilation, aH
mentioned above, was thl.' Administrative Record (Si;'il110f1i)
of the Rallim ; The second most valuable collection wn~
the Diary of the OOiee elf the Roynl Secretaries CSa11fJi1J1111w1Jn. Jlyi jj>.:tlJc1?Ellll!"6' "<1 -\Y~:>I} wh ich contained the
reco rds of the Chusii. Thi included all of the o:.flicial
s tate docu ments, memorial~. ed icts, cou1t orde~s. as
well as a 1e1batim rcco1d of cou1L ancl minist.el'ial ~lti~l
ness. T his diary dated fro m l he bPginn ing of lbe dynasty, but during tho Hidey99hi invasion in 1592 all of lhu
previous records w~re destroyed. These arch ives, however,
are intact from 1623 down to 1894, numbering 3,407 volumes
in all. Tbe records after 1894 were kept in a different form
but they likewise survive. 'l'hey are at pre;oent kept in the
fi1eproof vaults of the Keijo Imperial Unhersity library,
together wilb the othermunuscriptsoutces mentioned below.
This diary naturally vrovides the most complete and welldocumented record of Korean court affairs s ince the 16lh
century. The most im t>ortanL items have been culled from
it, of course, for inclusion in t he dynasty Annals.
The th itd impor tant soul'cc was t he Daily Rellectio11s
Ul<llnglok B t,':i~o/< ~ 1-J ~) of the kinf\' and his chi<if minister~,
begun i11 1760, which soon look the pluce of part of the Alministrative Recotd (Sijonggi) . When Cho ng jo 0777-1801)
was still a pri nce he began to wriLc the J/s/Jrtgnok as diary,
a nd he cont inued the record a.ft.er he becam& king. For this
16. There is a study cooctrniug this Diary by a Jap3nese schol:ar.
Naknmuta. 'P ff~~ ..Chosen EiJ&.1Cho no Snosriin .Nikki Kaishu oi
Tuit," q,ollflll>IU!i'->lJ<~l!:t a :r.Q:e1: It't . "C'.one<rning the alteration
ot lhe SNgmungic611 llgt 0 1 Yongjo' reian (1726.Im)."'

pur pose he set 111 1 a sptcial library, called the Kyujunggak


~~fNl '11'7<t%f. in which l he Daily Reflections were collected and kept. His chief ministers wrote their impression of
the daily state meetings, which he compared with his own
records, making corrections and additions. The custom was
continued after his death and lasted until the end of the
dynasty in 1910. During 150 years, 2,329 volumes were
written and arc still preserved.
The records of. the other depiutmenls of the government were also used in writing the AnnalR, most important of wh ich were the following: The Recotd of
Military Defonce (Piguk Tungnok Unf.llJr~!~ 11).;i--f~) .
kept _by a special Bo1de1 Dcfense Comm ission (Pibyilnsa
'!m1l::iJ.1 111'IJAf}, estabished in 1556 because of t he ropeuted
Japanese pirnle invasions a long the coast. ancl maintained as
a war office ; and the archives of t he foreign relations ofHco
(Sungmun"iin ;J(~gj; 4Hi;~). 17 which were usually considered of minor vnlue except when foreign affairs definitely
-Overshadowed court routine.
When the work of the Board of Annals was over, and
the fimshed draft had been printed and bound. the various
cer~monics connected with disbanding the Board took pince.
Umque among these was the ceremony whereby the manuscripts which had been used in the 'compilation of the
Annals were destroyed, commonly called t be "Washing of
the . Rough Draft". .In t he eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Lhi~ included Lhe disposal of the :Ffallim's records :for
the p1ececli ng l'Gign. A II of these materials were take n to a
11aper mrlnuf11ctu ri11g establ ishment outside Lhe Ch' angnimun f.l<!lftP'I ~.9}~ where the ink was washed from tbe
iiaper under Lhc di1cction of the members of t he Board.
The removal of the Annals to the storehouses was accompanied by elaborate ceremonies. 'l'he follow ing memorial of tbc Minister of Ceremonies, presenting the ceremonial
17. The Stint:mun"iR was the f<oraJ College of Literature. lilcrally
traosl~1ed. ~t the office was in charge of ::!II relations with forclau aratt1
1ncJud1og China.

OU

r111; YJ l)YN/\l:l'rV /\NN/\l..S 01' l\ORI!/\

'l'llH Y I DYN/\S'l'V ;\NN/\J;S 01' l<OR!li\

program to the new king in 16Gl, il lustrates the significance


of the even l.

"The officioJs should wear colored costumes for this ceremony, ;,nd th~y
abould be pn:ccded by musicians to p1ay druo1s a1d instruments according
to ancient cultom. However. lhc hittoriaos ha,e cmpleted the compiJ3tion
of the Annals in les$ than thtte yeo.rs after the death of the h1.te kinit. which
is quite unusual. so it is neceuary to alter the ctremony iu keepiog with the
period of mourning still in force.
..ln this instance. therefore, a aptci:d cc.rcmooy must be torrnulal'ed
which will on1it the use of muidcal inlltrumcnts and will allow the weariog of
white mourning bats and clothing instead of the official colored headdress
and costume. Since this \vou1d not be adcqunte for the occasion, il ntigbt be
best to postpone the ceremony until the nulut'nn season when the period o f
rriourning bas elapsed. 'l'he Annal1 1n,1y be te1upot;arily stored iu l-hc 1
Sp rin~ nnd Autumn Offic9 l)y a upeclol ccircmony with the l'UioH~ters wear
ing ruuu1ning c1othe."t, unlil lhe lhne \Vhcn 1>ropcr ceremonies n1r1y he con

ducted.

"1'he king follo\ved hi!S uggeslion i.Utd the ren'H>val oi the AnQals to the
storehouses ,,as f)()St.poned untll lt\tCr thnt yenr.''18

When this ceremony was over the specially appointed


officers, each with a set of the Annals, started for the storehouses which were in various parts of the country, four in
number after the Bideyoshi invasion.
In 1571, the fifth month. the Mullngjo11g Annals (1546-68)
were completed. but because of a famine throughout the
country. the Minister of Ceremonies urged that the distribution to the storchoDses be delayed until autumn. T he Minister of the Right objected lo the delay and in his memorial
suggested that the usual celebrations be simplified and his
suggestion was accepted. Usually the officer who carried
tho Annals (Poni;:ansn :lli''t<:-01! JA-~ .AH, was met outside t:he
walls of <!ach city cnrou t~ lly great crowds of j'.>eoplc, who
were entertained by dwarf tumbleisand other 'Professional
entert<liners.'" The city officials, iittended by dancing girls,
18, Senu~ foe. cil., 93.
19. Yi Chat:-uk, toe. l'it. p 1'4, quotes from the memori-al of Yi lmyOng
lfifJl.O (1658- l i~J. a favorite mlnijlf:r of King Sukchong (1676-1721). found

in bis collected works, Sojojip ll!lfJll, vol. 6:

70

II. 'l'llJ: PllES l~RVA'l'ION

TUil YI DYNA STY ANNA LS OF KORl! A

likewise gathered to gl'eet t he Pong ansa. Because of the


famin e at this lime, however, no enter tainm ent of this nature was provided.
The follow ing section discusses the means taken for the
prese rvatio n of these honored documents and the histor y of
their safekeepinir. It is intere sting to note that even the
periodical $UDning and drying was an occasion for speci al
ceremonies. Usually every year officer s were sent from the
capita l to examine the condition of the Annals in each of the
storehous<;is. They performed their duties according to the
established ritual, (such as carry ing the books held high
over their heads ) and when they return ed reported in detail
as to the state of prese rvation o:I' the volumes.io
19. "Your majevt y bas h on ored mo gteatly by nppoin llnR
ino 1-'ongan s"
to Taebaekann, but J beg lo U.!lk y.our nlnJest y to <:hnnge
lhe u5.ua l ro,'mS in
regard to the ceremo nies in th~ transpa rtatioo Of the AnnrflS
to the ator~
house. Dccau.te the people of the citlCt and counlf and
the govern ors or
the provinc es arc ~1u>tci a lly busy at dd1 sea.son or lhe:)' year,
J urge ihat the
cllies not be permit ted LO prfJ:i.e:nt the custo111 ary tlnbor:
1te
and that only !1 re~ ullenda oht nccom1:>1ny me. J( t his is (intutn i nnH~nt,
done. the ~ople
wlH be haupv 1n this year of Iamioe ."
!lO. Thi _reporl was called t~e Poks,. .e Hyoog ;;an
Jllftl!fJl:!I$. Yi
Charuk , foe. c1t, , nn1l,es use qf this tet>0r1 to trttce
lllOYcm e 11t of the
Ann"!_ls fro1n sto~ehouse to 11torehoua<.>, und tO determthe
ine the compa rative
core 10 preserv ation.

or TliE

ANNALS

'l'h1 crodit for the prese rvatio n of the unbro ken series
to the Ko1ean court s faithf ul adlu rN111 t.o the plan of distl"ibuting lhc Annals amon g several
Ktu1clici11ses in d iffere nt parts of the count ry.. Even with this
11yslcm oC safeg uardi ng them. they barely escaped destruc
lion S('V('r a( limes. The prece dent for the historical storehou8e probably came from China. ln the prefa ce to thll
ltccorlls of the Board of Annals. Yi Chong gu *j!;l!ili J"ll-T
(15611636), a famous Korean schola r wrote :

nr Annul s IH l11rgel y due

"At 1he brgino ing (If ~he: Yi Dynnst y the Spring taud Au tun1n
Office w;ift
r1t.ibH11h1:d in th,. wester n part of the Ky0of.!bok Pa1act!
stil"S~ 4-.:Z-- ThQ
t1flkrrt of this d'p:trlm~nl 'A'ere put io charge of Lh-e Adnlin
islTatlv e Rt"COrd
(S1jlf11gr1i). All o C the h ieuoric:il docuCJlenLS or ~uecesstvc
reigns were stored
here. 'r hey nliin n1ade t hree copiee wbiCb \1ere Oistribl
lted lo C hOnju ~!Ht
'41'f. Ellngju .!i!.H!~J+, ond Cb'uni;i11 ;r.fl{-1- 4. Th<so were
frequen tly ex
au1intd .1nd aired and a system fo r tht:ir preserv ation '":is
formul ntcd. This
I ' " rr:dhy the pl'l.nciplc of SsU.-m3 Ch'ien itlSi'I who
\\!rote, ' 'J'he origfnnl
11hou1d W kept in the-fam ous mountn in ""d duplica te copies
in the capital .'
fhlJ J.irincip!e W:\1' respon:>lhl~ !or pr~Rrvinsi 1he nationa1
history safely and

lunf~':n

The syste m was much the same us that employed by the


Ming and Ch'in g dynas ties of China, but in Kore a even
)\r~at.c1 pains wer e taken to insure safekeeping. 22
']'ho Koeyo
dyous ty had nlso made use of historical storehouses, and the
Yi dynasty no doubt curried on the tradition w ithout much
~l

Yi Chac.uk. lac. c-11~. p 3, quotes from Yi Chontig

Pr<!face to tht:
,')t11u" 111.rhfulclt'/Jn.11 Che1iyOn!;n.vk, \ol. ~ of lrJJl":IQ;tp Aus~!AS.:
hif8JfB'~
tl\l!l'..Dft,Q't. Vi Chaeult fHrlhc.r om1')lifi es the theory that the prac1Jc

c Qf
ndopte d :iccording to the prhu;ip o r the f ;unOU3 Cbine;
llan tu...tori:in S'!luma Ch'ien, quotin g memor ialsles
or othe!r officials in whiche
the tamt wo1d~ occur: QZ;f'; 1llr:llZ H . This quotati
on i tAld to have
been tnken fron1 lhC p ref.ice to thl\l h1-swrlan 's well ltno,vn
\VOtk the Shth
l4tul'cbv uses \Vi'.16

CJJt,
2'.J. The Ch'ung ju reposit ory, \Yhere the KoryO dynast y had
stored ha
bistOt)' , wa'!'t prol.J~b

ly the first one used by the Yi dynasty. An accouo


t of
the t\aech'Oo lcn\ple mJ,X.f,\'lilJ"'3 J.~ t here contain s a brief
history of t1le l{oryO

rofl('l"ito rie!l.

TH E YI DY NA ST Y AN
NA L S O~ KOREA

int err up tion.22 The fi rst


cle fin itc mention of the dis
tribution
of t he An nals to storehou
ses is in t he Sejong Anna
ls, where,
fo r the ye ar 1443, is a
Te fer encc to the allocati
on of the
An nals to four reJJ<>1!itories
: Th e Court, Cl1'u11g ju,
S<i ng ju,
an d Ch6n ju. "
Th ese An na ls, which inc
luded the records of th e
fi rst
three kin gs of t he dynasty
, 1392-1419, bad all been
wr itt en
an d copied t hree tim es by
hand. Th e task was an en
ormous
one, an d on ly one se t apiec
e wtlS wr itt en for the ne
kings. An im po rta nt mi
xt two
nis ter, Ya ng Songji mil!
z
~;..1 :><:],
was much disturbed by thi
s ne
a long me mo rial to the kin gligence and in 1467 pr esented
g, called the "T en Artic
les con ce rn ing Books," in wh ich
he urired the necessity fo
r
copying
th e Annals and taking fu
rther ste ps fo r the ir protec
tion.
"Fo ur set s of the J\nnall'

or lhc firel thr ee kin gs we


bu.t ed; but of tht hu t nvo
king,. om y ooe. copy hns bee re ma de and distri~
n mad~ . Th is is not
proJ)fr . Bn ppl ly no\\' \Ve
can Crust Am311 Jette~. OW
' pri ttd dis cov ery , wh ich
will m3 ke 1he rep rod uct
ion of the An na1s mu ch
eas ier . I bcf: you r ma jes
to com ma nd you r pri nti ng
t)
dep art me nt t o pri nt 1hree
mo 1t set a :ind presC1rve
thern,i u t he thr ee sto reh
oas cs .. . No 'v th3 t we
h~vc the "sm aU lr.l
It i-9 al!;O pC>ssible to bin rl
lcrs ",
t h <: boo ks w ithoul the
iro n dccorGtion ;;.nd
&ilk cloch fetr
the ir bet ttr ptt stt' \'3t ion
.

22

' ''l'h e

1'111>: Y l DY NA ST Y AN
NALS OF KO RE A
1 N vou
al o to l'<'lllOVt 1h t s toro
houRes to s11 (er locntion
w11uld l)rllh.1Wy bo btl t
t1- Thi1
:u:c.ompli:s~d by taki
nQ: them fro m chu c;1ti ca
1tn11l11. tlu.1111 111 r~111oui
a nd
n1o un t:1in lem plt s wh
itb will be far rem ove d
In Ion or fro 1n ~plc
fro1n
wh o mh ;hl \Y~nt. to des tro
y t he re:cetrd . ... "2J
1

to nse

Annal~ or

pie in Hyopc:h'On l!l!llli! the KoryO dynao;:ty we re iira t kt'Pl in the 11:lain tern
'11'~ 'II tl) I)>~. but bec

rai ds lbe y we re rcm olelf:JJ


ause of the Jap.,nose
this te1 nple (Kaflch'On). d 10 SOnt.an ~tlJAJ-0. Ne xt the y we re bropir atic al
but \Ve re t;aken 110-0n a h
t to
in Chukcbu '\'l'~t-11~'!-"
er LO the Ch'llchan1t ugh
tem ple
f-:G~>I-. In lS'.lO. how
Japaoese rai ds wh icl1 in1p
ove
r,
bec
nu
o of the fre q uen t
eri led lhern ag" lo,

Kaecb'Oo tem ple t\t


the
tim e of SejonA: of they we re bro ugh t bac k to the
brough1 to SOu l fo r ttlethe
Dy nas ty t hes e boo ks we
edi
ting
_
re
o
r
the J(oryO hia
Su11pnam, tiJl!.IQ!llJlD
vol. H . Yi Ch aeu k, loctor y." Sin Tongguk Yo1i
. oil. , p. 0.
23. SeJJo An1Pal.s. Bk .
UO, 1446, 11 n1, 21 d.
we te dis trib ute d at thi';
ThC' follO\\'ing
I
ti vols.. 1"01}ong An na t io1e : 'J'at1:io An1ial-1, 15 vols., Ch~u{!jon voh 11ne s
g A nn.011,
l.
36
vol
1.
An
ear
lic
in 1-:iso. wh en h is rec ord
rm eot lon if1 the An nal
a
urs
bui lt. Se jo A nn l, Bk ed tha t cbe slotebous.cs of SOngju and Cb onj uocc
\VCte
det lile d his tor y of t he rl.'p. SG, 1439, 7 m, 3 d. Yi Ch aeuk, lt>c. oit
g ive s a
wa s not buH t unt il 14.W osl lor ies. t:lc c-0ncJu dts tha t the ChOoju
osi tor y
f.ak ing his fnfo rn1atlo n, alth oug h the oth er two n1a y ha v~ bee n userep
d ear lier,
fro nt the rec ord s of the
\vrltte.n by Kim Kilson ~1fi
ChO
oju rep osi tor y itself,
'Ji.

Yong SHngji's recomme nd


ation t ha t tlTe Annals be pr
int
cd WUM ev ide ntl y accepte
d, [o r from this tim e on
wa
rd
the
y
wl.'re alw ay s print~d. Bu
t his ~uggestio n to move the
sto re
houses aw ay from the cit
ies wa s no t cur rie d out,
an
d
so a
1entury lat er all bu t one
of the repositories we re
destroyed "'
hy the Ja pa ne se in the Hi
deyoshi invasion . Th is
one storehouse escaped because iL
ha pp ened to be located ou
t of the
linti of t he Ja pa ne se mn
1ch. When the sto reh ou
ses were
onco agai n established
afte1:- the invasion the y
,,e
re situate d in mo un tai n retreat.s
.
Before the Jap nn cse invasi
on in 1592 thc te was only
mnjor accident to the An
one
nals. In 1538, the ca ret
akers of
lhe Songju repository ac
cid en tal ly se t I.he bu ildi
ng on fire
when try ing to smoke ou
t th e wild pigeons which
under the eave$. The
nested
en tini se t stored the re
was deKlro.ved. >G lt wns lat er ie
copied, howeve1-, fro m the
original
topy in th e capital, and a
new reposito1y waR bu ilt
in
15-13 ."
Fi fty ye ars lat er lhe Ja pa
ne se destroyed this ne w se
t also.
Th ree ou t of fo ur se ts we
re destroyed durin g the
Bideyo8h i invasion as mention
ed
Chilnju se t was saved is ab above. Th e way in which the
ly summarized in the Ch1rn
m Sh i
Cll istory of Koi:ea)

---------

~-1. Yang S0111o?j, Nn


lch a1j ip ii'Jiffn
ll 00, nnc:I by Yi Cb tieu k.
/.oc. cit., p :J-6. i 1 vol. 3. Cit<d 1 y Scn o. loc. oit .
2a. Cl11rupj(rrt.o A11nt,fs,
Dk . 80, pp. 20. ::n. 1fi3
Alall p !l 1, 1~ m, 1 d. \vh
!'1, 11 m, 13
~n: ano the r rep ort
ir.d ica tt: tha t 1Ja.i bur nnd 16 d
hftve bee n inc::end il''Y
nin g 1ni ght
2G Yi Ch neu k, Iott. c1t.
, 1nt11tio ns Lhc interet1tinl(
unts or the di! lric tt of
t ~ct lbo t ln
ogju
dat ing b..\ck p.robably ttl lht tov.n ii kno wn 31 .-okkot A} 4l" (hi sto rySO
tO\\'n},
the titu e v. hen th~ An nnl
s \verc. sto red the re.

THE YI OYN /\ST Y ANN ALS OF


KOR EA

TllE YI DYN AST Y ANN ALS 01'


KOREA

"Ou ting lbe flideyoshi invasion, one


of the Japa

nese detachments
api>roachcd to 1Hlack the \vall s o(
Ch~nju, havi ng paased lhrc
ugh lch'i !&.!:*"
c) ~:l A cert ain man , Yi Cbonana
n titLWot 1 tj, who h11d formerJy
been
tbc offic1Jr in chnr ge e>f the bool<a,
JEd the citiz ens of Cl.3:iju in vrep
arin
g' he
defe nse. The provincial governor.
Yi I< '"nng iJ.fA': of '2, ~rranged his line
of
batl lc o uuoide the city at Yon gam
dae ~11. ... ..t tit and duti ng the day
.et
up
anif ici:t l sold iers and fill,.d the mou
ntain !' \Vilh \Vavfng fl:1gs. Ar nigh
t, he
ordt red his men to 11.tbt long lln'.
s of torc hes. Dy this me:>ns they
prep :tred
to defend themselvea aga1nst l he
e111:my. "J'he Japanese &otdlcr'I,
fear
ing to
ente r fa1
' ther into the rtaio n with the.ir unw ppo
ned force, did not dare to
atti\ ck the \va1l11 or ChOnju but retre
ated , neve r to reLurn.
'At this lime . 0 Higil ~1It~i.l.$lV
. who was one of Lhe.offici
r1la in
cbar go of the Ann tils. tai:tther
\\ith othe r. took the port rait of T'ae
jo.
the
foun der of the dyna11;-, and the
Ann als 10 ., safe hld.ing l)l:;ice Joe3
ted on
Naejang ~'[ounl<tin l~ittll'IJ~.}~.
0 Hi.gil, An I, and otl.e rs we.re
put
jn
char ge alte rnat ely to Ruard tbc1n
unt iJ Lhe i;eve nth n1on tb of the foJJo
wiog
0
year 21

The cou rt fl ed from the capilal nor


thward to Uij u on
the northern border. The n~xt yea r
he moved sou thward to
Kangso iii!!i1.1".<J, nea r P')o ngy ang lM:i
t3l!~. to which place
the ma gis trat e of Chllnju urged him
to have the rescued
volumes brought.
~l>njo A11ttaU. give an acc
ount of lhe plans for removing
these valu able documents to the north.

"flH : ~1iniliter of Ct're mon lLs rc:po


r1ed as rolJ0\\'8 to t he. khig : ~Th
e
Ann als of tbu prcc tdin g kina t w~re
prCMrve:d b} the go\ernor of cho
ua
Prov ince by hlll lctcp lng 1hcn) hJdd
en in a Kn re plAce, but no\11 the enem
y is
~bQUt lo inva de the distr ict 3nd
lhe CJ.Onju mag i1tr. itc i~ fear ful
lest he will
be unab h: to prot ect thc1n fur1h1:r
from poss ible mis fort une. I.Jc t hett:
fore
a !ikl thrat tht)' be removc-d to the
place whe rt the king is st:ayiog.
Tho
mat ltr \vas discus~t.>d with the chie
f histo rian . llc rtc61n 1n~ n dcd tb~t
ihc!:
Ann uls of the rounder of the dyna
sty first be brou ght. 3Dd then if the
eoem y

:n.

ChO.-t'n Shi, Series 4,, Vol. 0, o


ous
l>!!S. itumrn.,rized from vari
sour ces lnclu dJng the SO"j" A'1-1
wl1, Dk. 30, lfi!JU.. !> m. 13 d.

76

shou ld ap(>'o:ich clM t-r to the re(u


'tt. lhc r -m3inder shou ld be nto\
cd to
Sille r plac:c until t hey coul d be lJro
ughl to t he klng.''2U

Two weeks late r the An nal s record


tha t the plan was
ma de definite for their removal.
"No w tbe po,v cr ot the enem y ' has
beco me !;itrnnger and 1Lrongtr. ac
cord ing Lo a repo rt from the Adm
inh;tTn1ive Dep attJn ent. The picl
urc~ of
the foun der of the dyoa stY and the
histo rical book s In Nae j1ng 1an mm
t be
imm edin1ely rem oved al an cost
s . An hlstoricR I offi~r shou
ld
be
ap
p0in ted espe ciall y for thi,. mission_,
thus to rem ovc ll1e book s aod brin
a them
to the Jcing ,
"Th e king agre ed lo tbit propos.31
and :.l;;o reco mme nded thilt the
official Bhould be :.tccoinpanlcd
by ;\n uiasist:.int sinc e thet e wns
so muc h
dang er e:nToute. The 'klnR also
thou Rht that 1be 111nd nlut e \vo uld
be vtry
difficult alth ough shor ter, \\'htr eas
If tbe- 1ea rout e ~vere tmp loye d, !lllh
oullh
it \va9 dang erou 1, seve rnl stOp!i"
n1if:h.t l?C n1;1dc enro ui-e. Ac ~hcr
tfore in
atru cted Ute Adm inist rad\ e Ocp al'tm
ent to inve stiga te the mat ter c3rc
fully
and deci de \vhic h rout e \YOutd b~
pref cr"h le. 'fhe d <ipar tme nt deci
ded
~but
the histo rical office.ns shou ld 51:0 to
the plac es whe re ht book $ were
kept
,
and
then dcci dr 11ccordin g to thu exh-t
cnc.iCSJ of the situa tion as lo thC'
s3'fest
1nc-ans of brin ging them b3ck ."!9

This sur viv ing set of the An nal s was


destined to travel
about the country for a num ber of yea
rs before, otcler being
restored, they could be recopied. Acc
ording to the diary of
one of the men who guarded the se
bo~ks, it appeal'!; tha t
they wer e firs t movea overland by a
twe nty-ho l'se caravan
to Asim ;!f d.1 ~ -tt, on the coast, the
n by sea t;o TT aej u ilHH
~~ .;;>. where the !ting had gone fro
m KangsiJ. King Sonjo
was able to retu rn to Soul, the capital
, tha t sam e year, and .
moved the books back wit h him, sto
~ing them on tbe island '

- 28.

S611jo Ann al, Bk. 10 (Vol . 20). p l~


1 : 1 [)93, 7 mon th, 9 doy.
2D. ibid., p 3-0-1 to 36-r : 10'.l:J, 4
mon th. 17 d>)'

TH I YI DY NA STY AN NA
l,S OF KO REA

of. I<nnghwu n enr by. 0 Bu t


soon, the kin g wa s convinced
tha l the y we re not saf e the re
eit her because of con t inu ed
Jap ane se att ack s. He the ref
ore decided to hav e the m
tnken far in to t he mo t1nt:ains
iu nottbern Korea, to a specia
l
mo unt ain ret rea t previously sug
ges lcd as t1 repositot-y. 1'he
p lan s are recorded ns Collows
in the An nal s :
..,.h~ Icing sr1id tha

t t h!: J\nn tah wou ld be uns


af" if they \Ver e kep t in
l\an gwh-a and mig ht v.-en be
mov ed to ~1yobyans1nn ~fi:
1J1.n. fJi"'J. He ::isk
ed the chi~ r nllniste r if that
wer e not true.. The min iitt
r replied tha t the
)'ohyU 1 tem ple ~.f;f~:!.ij "lin 1\)yohyangsan \V38 ver y high
, so tha t it co u1d
not b!: app roac hed exc ept by
high ladde rs. The kin g wat
pleaEed and anid
thrt t the AnnrtfA sbr>uld be
kep t t here. Ac npJJOlntc d t
he chie l hist oria n to
ao to cxa nl1n e 1hc plac e 10 stt
if it wou ld be suit able ...J J

'.l'h e An nals were soon the rea fte


r moved, for the rec ord s
of the dry ini i ind ica te tha t the
y were in good condition at
Myohy ang san thr ee yea rs lat er.
"
30 Jf1u1t.l11. Pi:,o. 8k.
invasi )TI, the offi cer of lh ~ 69. p 71. "In tro2 lreca.uso of th~ tlideyo9hi
WB"' 0 tlig il, c.irr yini ;: lho p>rJl 1v" rnn1cnt b u ld io~ in Ct:Onju, who st n tuT!e
Cl.01 .. G;> h>O" 1)t~B . and then1r..il and lh e Anns1~, \\*en t tq N;sr jani:t5nn in
by ROVcrn mcn t (ll'ddr they
Asa o by shi p and thtn to Kan
srhw :\ dty . In lh<: a:time reig w~1e r~ nu>ved to
rtmov~cl from Kangwb n
n, l 0:t7, they wt:r e
lo the P ohyOn tem ple on i\Jy
b yOo .''
phyunsson oCtlr YiSn P.
Yi Ch" 'euk, /oe. rit. , quo tt-1 !rem
v.aiious source-s rega rdin g the
or lht 1\nn 1lls.
rt-m ova l
ne quote9
I had the opp or1u nitv to si:cti J :1pa neae 'vrf tcr ns f11tl()W8: .. la Aug u t, 103 6,
a boo k be-h>nginn t o An I's
I1n9J1ff K11'<.J. :r;.~:Cl~. in
desc
endiJnt i;. call ed
\'1h ich \Vrilten con ct rniu u the
in ~ of the Ann als and
rl!1no"Val and g:ua tdthe Por trai t for 1 'at J> whi
ch "er e in Cl.Onjt.1 . . . . .
Tbf'y <"<c 1ped the 1nllitar y au
g o vert 1n.1 cnt o rde r tht y \\'tr e 1ck by r t'n1o vt1I t> N:tf } 1ogs an, 1\nd then by
c1u r1td und er gua rd to Asa
n. Afte r An I. with
t>ibct" too k the m from A\a
n tu IC.1ngwha. The diar y
n1eu1s up 10 thJt lim e rhc
y repo t'tcd the d eliv ery of thecuv~rs the ir nlove
who h.1d fl "<I to K :uu:~o. n~
bcx..U to the king
conR 1"atulatc d them for thei
them , <tnd lhe ducu1n,:nts, indi
r rxcc Hen t car e o f
cnti
ng
his
plea
v.ure, hrc Incl uded in the ling
](1~ } '
ye
Stn o, loc. cit . th0\\18 tha t the
Ann
al!i
\Ver e kep t in fl neju for so1net
elne!: the- rel.:Crcl' or the dry
ime ?
ina o f tbe boo k6s how tha
t tht r were the re in
81!\ m!ln th of JC/.t l
Slf, ,jp A1'11t,11ts. l~k . G7, l6Un
p:ar tm,. nt r~po:ttd to the kir1g1 ll 1non th. "Th e Spr ing: and Aut umn Qe...
from lfnej u ~o \an g\\ha, 'J'hc 'ha t the Al'\nal11 \Vf!l'C no\v to be rem oved
mug i3tl'B lt! of the la tter: city
1nand~d to prep:ire a plac
had bee n come \VhPre they cou \d b e pro
r:tnR-: for thei r ci\re:fol han
perl y kep1. and lo n rd
ling
.
T
he
d
epn
rtm
cnr, how eve r, doubted
\vhe thct' any official hou se con
1uit ab'e arch itl-c :tur e ... . " 1.1lncd the pro per f urn ishi r.gs and was buil t by
a1. S~"jo ilm wla , flk. 83 (Vo
l. 61), p ~t- 1; ! 6~0. 11 mootl1,
3:1. Sen o. toe. cit. , ~8.
7 doy .
1

Tfl E YI llYN AST Y AN NA


l..5 OP KO REA

As soon as the Jap ane se dn ng


er wa s ov er, the problem
or recopying the Annals cam e
up. "A rte r the kin g retu~n
ed to the cap ital ," wro te Y i Ch
onggu, '.'a~l the people dis
cussed the problem of rev isin
g and prm tm g the Annals.
'!'he Kin g wa s anxious that new
copies be ma de also. Af ter
some delay t he work was at las
t beg un in the 7tb mo nth of
1603 and the tas k wa s com
pleted in the 4th month of
1606."33
1'he An na ls tell considerable of
the ir own his tor y at thi s
time.
The Spr ing and i\ut um n Dcp
3rlm ent mcmorl:i1ized the kinl
t '3S f0Uo,v1 :
\Vr: hav e tX~mlned tl~e ;\no aJ;:
and cou nt the tota l to be 677
volu
mes . AU
the wor ds in the se vol ume s :are
very num ero us, Eve n tho uJJ,h
they .be copied
by fa st "'ritiog hand11. 've art
'd
tJ
i:it we Wl'II r"'"-...,...ive "vour dijplea$Ute.
fo r tllO\'mc$S and 1n:.tccu rncy. afra1
Alth oug h the re are ten of us
men tbera of this
dep artm ent the num ber lt
insuffici ent. Eve o if our num
ber wer e dou bled
ii wou ld t~kc one uon th fQI'
us lo co1>Y thfr ly volu ntes , wri
1
tlat eve ry d3Y
\vit h are al dili gt nce . rw o rea
rs would pa! J in the coJ>>ing o(
o nly one seL
"'From the6 f fncts it seems
bHl t h'\t the Anna.ls be ptin
tt.d
. Sul eve n
by pih uine: t he tasl< is vt ry
d iffic ult btc11usc of the .Irick
of type . H "'e use
nll lbc lyp a et.vailab/lt' in ~ll gov
ernm ent. ciffice~, v.e v.~ill be able
to finis h t~t~e
tH:ts in a b out Ave y enr s ttm
e, thu s t:1ki11sz the snm Lune
at 've wou ld take lD
cap ying only one se.L by bar. d
\Vitb our 1>resc nt "mtm bers bip.
;;rhe king sai<l tha t the volu
mes indeed wer e not small
and t-hat the
,vri ting wns noL eas y, so tbn
t 1he llte rury offi cers cou ld
iscorc:e1y be ~)(])f:cted
to cop)' thre e tets . He augg
e'l>lttl haY ing a prin tiria offic
e e&t abh shed on
J{nng\vh n isla nd to do t he vrln
til\g_. ~rhuJ di.scWitlUn aros
e os to how the
printi'1g would bt>At be ...ecomp1
i~h
cd.'3t

In or'd er to car ry ou t the


plan of dup lic ati ng the
A nn als . the su1vi vin g set wa
s bro ug ht from the nor the rn
mountain ref ug e bncli; to Ka ngw
hn, bu t Yntho1 tha n set up a
pri nti ng est abl ish me nt the re,
it wa s decided tha t the wo
rk
be done at the cap ita l. A ll of
lhc volum es were no t bro ugh t
:1.~. Ibid ., quo Ling from Yi Cho
ngn u. vol. 30 ot tVhlsoj?.p, s~1
f 1i. 2 L.
:i.i. S6i Ann aU, Bk. IG2
(v ot 93) . pp 12 - 1 1013 r ;
1603, 5th mon th
J6th day .

78

'l'H N YI DY NA STY AN NA LS
01' KOREA

up at once, however, but on ly


n few al a time. When the se
had been dup lica ted the y we re
1eturncd to Ka ngw ha and excha nge d for more.' Jn thr ee
yea rs the work wa s comple ted. Th e new set s we1e compos
bin ing books o( the previo us edi ed of 256 volumes by comtion.
In 1606, thi s edition of the Annal
s wa s dis trib ute d to
:newly bui lt storehouses thr oug
hou t the country. Th is tim e
the repositories we re built out
sid e the cities in ina ccessible
locations. Th e original copy
of the Annals wa s kep t on
.Kangwhn. lh's t in Manisnn ll
LIJ "I{]:. storehouse. t hen
Chongjoksan ~I li! Ill 7l!~{!-. On
e copy wa s pu t in the palace
as usual : on e set wa s sen t to My
ohyangsnn . the temple repos ito ry in the nor th :"" and one
set wa s sen t to T'11ebaeksan
::k~ Jll.,.'!!l-tl', in a particu lal'
ly ina ccessib le 1egion nor th of
Andong 'Zi:lll ttl '. in nor th
Kyli ngs ang Provin ce ~ rollltt
7J 1J' .s:.. Th ere was n fif.tb set als
of the printing. which was sen o, probably the final proof
t
in Ka ngw on Provin ce iIIIJ\.lli:7 to Odaesan :U:~1J 1 .i. "11~.
J~ . "'
These storehou ses we re spe
personnel of the gua rd lik ew cially constructed and the
ise carefully selected. Th e

Tll1 YI l>Y Nl\S TY l\NN AI.$


OF KOH lili\

!nllowing description

Ing :

Uul llhtUM

Lhc 11lorohouNnR IK ill t11ninnl-

S1orcho11ae prq por .

~I

by 3t fot l (ID/,,.,,, Oil.\\), 111


11~q o( lOnf.
16 by 24 fee\ (0 kut i) ~l'h
r tO)' id nu .ctU ttr
t:tn ys her e whe n ht: cc>ntel'I y..,n
.l'ly,
Gnncc.lngicnl reco rd hnu~. S:un
Guitrdhous.c ror resi den t mon e !II:&'" rw o au1utlt live htrr1.
k. San te sire . Abbc)11 """
rnunlt
nu1n berl
Sto reh ous e ror .irm s. A Ihd ng twenl)'tevan 1nc:11 etny her e.
e lara tr (7 knt t).
1'1uniticin stor eho use . 8 f~. sq.
(1 kU?t).
l'er ttHUICI:
t 'hle f official , one m:.n .
~1111 ,a r y s unrd$, num
berJ n1t l!J L pert on . ~ l c:v~n
nf who n' Wf'r e replac ed eac h mon th .
Atc hcre , 2~ 1neo, two replaced
<tacb n1onth.
.\lll har y office-r. one man
Co1nmon soldieru:unrds, .~Omen,
12 cho nged eac h n<.11nl1.!!li
Because of the se pre cau tio ns
the Annal~ did noL llJl"nin

S1Hc:h1 I .iunrdhQuse..

ar,. Ibid pp JU I to lGr


09. in exa min ing the records ; lGO~, uth mon th, l01b lloy. Seno, /" .,., p
of the drying ot the books
five bnxe:1, cont:-.inin~ Lhe rt-c
fou nd th3 t the- fl~t
ord~ of lh.e firs t hvo ldng
J(ru1gwhu repo sito ry oo the 18lh
~. wer e not in the
of
tbc
l Otb rnon lh this y~a:r~ tho wln
they \\'er e probabJy bein g eop
g lhRt
ied in llle cApi1n1 at tha t lime
36. 'J'his set \Vas tt:move
.
d
in
103.il to a speciallv buil t stor
nor th Cb.&lla.provincr-, CtJS
eho use in
~sangs:in W;z:11t. 1>rob;il~Jy
liou s teg1on io \'lhich My ob)
tlec-nuse of th~ rtbeJ.
1nngsAn \vas.
loca
ted
.
Thi s
was bui lt in lfU'J~ and afte r repe
att:d m~morlals urg:inK thelatter store.hou;;e
:i.t laat accomplished. YI
renH w:ll it \Vas
Clu1
euk
,
lor..
01t.
,
ft
9~
\Vho
tht! nec ord s ot the CbOkuo g:ta
quntcs at leoa th from
"
t
'ast
lt>,
Cf.6
/uu
moi
i ~.t;;:, vol. 6. For the
rem ova l 1te l11io Ann.al,. Bk.
29;
. 37. 'J'be 1>_ubUcntion dot n 11).13, lst mon th, 23t(I dl'Y
al
the
e'!d of the Af1;~11pjO'ltg Ann
dtca.te-s tha t tlus "':tS true.
.al in
persana1 dnta. +.After the Sen o, foe. tit. 100, prov1deb somQ intc r~st ing
nnn exo tion o f Kore.;1 b} Jap an,
was sen t to Tok yo Imp eria l
tbe
Oda
esa n &et
extra cop y nctu ally \Va s prc Uni vttt ity Wh tre J eaw it sev eral litn et. Thi s
1bly the pro of cop y of the- rce
Hid eyosh1 invatiion, ther e arebinan
diti on afte r the
)' cor rect ion s wri tten ;010 tho
ea.use the p;.r1 befo re SiSnjv's
tex t and be
rect \Vheu comp:trtd wit h tbe rt!ig n is nppor<:n1ly not com plf::te: nor full y cor on the insi de of the dou ble stte1_'aeb..1ek1ao set. The re i$ also muc h \\!ritlni;:
\Vas le pap et. Since this set el!, whi ch n1r1y aho\v that it Wll6 prin ted on
\VtlS
furt her exa min atio n of this uniq d estroyed in the T okv o e-anhquo.ke of 1023,
ue phe nom eno n is in1pos:slbJe
."
!

or 0110 of

run the ris k of comple te clestru


clion. A ser iou s inl(rnnl rcbollion in 1624 wa s r <!sponsibl
e !or Ihe loss of moMl of thu
1nlnce set . n. Th e Ma nch u inv
asion of 1686 resullctl in thu
d1sL1uction of mnny volumes
of the old ori gin al set at lhn t
1inw sto red oo Ka ng wh a isla
nd. A Ike in 1658 destroyed Lwo
more ,olumes of thi s s11me old
hud been sug ges ted a plnn set. Pre vio us t,o this Lheru
volumes of Lhe two mutil11te for lllUog ou t lhe mitulinl(
d
until us lat e as 1665 on acc oun sets, but this wa s postponed
t o( political dis ord er i\ Lho
38. Yl Cha tuk , tac. eit .
pp n.10, bas cop ied thti se
rrcord& of the C l ts:<santsn11 s tore
fiau e"tl fror n the
honsi, 111 ~ ln!ll one buil t.
3!1. Sen o, loc:, cit~ and Yi Cha
tuk , IGC.

cit. , hav e bot h invt Hg nted In


dr;Utll the hist ory of the Ann
Sono quott:a ~ro1n the Sil.1gJ>i1 als Gub;t;quent to the l lidtiyos hl invn1lo11.
1u1iJn. 11?1 $-ll.Jlrtfa. the
Ch' ure- h'ug wnn has f("f)Oneo
foll owl nt: n10
city hnv e bi:c n s;1(tly presce"vthn t the Ann:iJs o f the ~torehouses out lidt) tha
ed.
Bul
the
set
in
the pal.tee W3S lost l.ly t.ht"
c !am ity of 1h~ rcbe llin n 6f
1hould he: sen t 10 Kllngwh a Yi Kwa1 ,JgwJ11iln itl"itl~,. An hi:storlcal officcir
to cxan1ln e the set th~ti: to &c:e
h:ip pcn td to It."
If any lhln a J1,1t
Seno ad<IB: "On e $Ou l'ce indi
cnte
1
tha l nn officinl collecte d \I/hu
rou ld of the- l>')oka ~lo re ihe
t ha
rcv oh. sen diog som e awa y
. It mig ht be true th l- son1
aod
e
of the Annr1ls \Ver e saved buryioa: 11-0Jna
duu blfu l. I fx:1min cd the 1ets
t-hcn but 11,, It
bull ina !iontc yen B a.Ro anrl whi ch \ver~ kep t in the Gov ern mtn l Gt'n tral
bro ugh t fn.un l{an g\vhn and T fou nd thl.\t bcsid~s the sets \Vhtch hrtd betn
o1:baek<1an. ther e
nied to be par't of ano ther
~t roln whl cb 1J\any
vclu nles \ver c rriiMlng. Jtsc1
may be tha t tht) ' wer e thti
tt'ln111.in1 of the prtlacc set \\1hlch
\vcre ltne

\Yhtt."

r recovere d ond rno\!Od to Kan.z

80

' l'Hl!l YI OYNi\S'l'Y ANNAL,S OF KORI!/\

THE YI DYNASTY ANNALS OF KOREA

co~nt:y. One of tile officials in chatge of the co in ..


this t n:ne wrote 1~ volume entitled "Th p f 1
PY g at

h
e am .u ness of Copy.
t e ?Mk!angsa.n Sillllk Tu~(!gyo Tonuuorokki 1ff;~JJ~if
Jrfl~flll~~.e ~1}{f~$.-%.ii!.'*.:il.~.:>J explains the d'f.
ficu ties involved.
1

i;,.g

"The ORtionill history \Vas \veJI preserved .tl th f


waa lboui;:hLfuUy C#!ted fo r to a\'oid calamity, 'nute.._naf:~::.~elouotha.ins, and
\vha setnJot able to
th .
.
a Y t e K"ng..
- .
~
escape
~ inva~ro11 . so thut tbe Annals rr-0m T'
Suq10 and the Kwanghaw l/gi ~ilHrne "1-~l 1171, (Oiar f ;K .
Jo to
were lost t (J the otunber bf 280 volume-a At th ... t t' Y ~l \V,lnCbae-guo)

Ch...

"

ime

\vas -i>ro1>0.sed-to

copy t e . oks nngsan set, but be~au.se of other busine"'s it \Vil.5


fo r t\\enly years. No\v, bo\vev~r. the king aod his mtn7st
1i posdtp~ned
.
to embark upon lh'
c:rs n.ve ec1dcd
,,
is wor 1<,,for 'vh1ch officets have been "PPOinted.
.Fr?m the southern province, 300 Sctiolar copyist..;; \vere employed t
0
i=.OPY it by hana. Also 31 spcchil rnesseugers to lH\ dJ !h

work \V 5 b

~" e
e \ I'()1umc<;' fhe
a egun in t 1IC Gt..h Year of HyonjQng (1065) 21st d;1y of
l" h
!DOntJ,, and was finnlly completed on rhe 9111 day of t'h 12tl
JC .-..t
foiJo ,
1'
e 1 mnnth ('>f the
\\ ing Yettr. t has no\v beeo remo\ed to Kanglivha ''40

ti.

, b However. Yi SangJin ~i'.JFt 11J'~ the writer of th


~ ove extract, discovered that one vo1u~e from the M ';
:J<m(I Annals was m issing It could not be fo
l
~m
the sfo bo

un( m any of
ie. uses, neither wa.s t here any trace of what bad becom~ Of it. Probably it w:is lost at tbe time of the re ro
FP
iluct1on of tbe Annals aftei the Hideyoslti u .
tun ate! th
. .
.
I vas1on.
or' Y
e =ssmg volume covers only a two
th'
period."

mon
Fortunatefy, also. although certai11 portions of tb
Anra!~. b.ave b7en r e1\vritten in l~ter ge nerations, never ha:
tbe ox1grnal
hIBtory been destroyed "'he
r8~v1se
d account

;.
was s11'.'.~ly dep?site? with the 0tigfoal. The Annals o;C
three km~s r eigns were rewritten, either because of
suspec~d. inaccuracy or because of omissions in the o~in-inal
and add1tional volumes were placed with the re~ords oft
three
othe1
wo
. k"mg at the
_or __,
___
_ _reigns
...___
-'l'be
- .Anna]o
. , ~ of 8 -onJo,

40. Quoted by Seuo, Joe. cit J lOL


. l l.
The missing volun ie is Bk. 12, covering J2th, 1461, and lst month,
1152,

~I

time of the Hideyoshi i11 v11Sio 11, were I.he first to be revised.
The additional volumes l'lurnbe1et1 Iol'ly-two, and were added
to the 221 already compiled Ior the reign. T hey were
written mainly by a famous minister, Yi Sik *.t!li 0 1Cl. who
had participated in the government during many years of
Sonjo's reign. 12
T he Annals of Hyonjong \1660-1675) were rewritten by
members of another poli t ical party when they came into
power. The leader, Prime Min ister Kim Suhang :191-~IR
':! +11'. memorialized the king, " The Hlinyjong Annals are
too brief ancl contain many errors concerning officials, their
names and rank. Since tbere is a precedent for ievising
them as the Sl!njo Annals, allow us to do so and place t he
revision with the original AnniJ.ls. "a The king :finally
agreed, and so twenty-eight books, bound in twe1ity nine
volumes, were added. These gave more detailed history
and were probably more accurate in many respects t han the
previous record ..,.
After the rewriting of the Annals of Kyongjong (17211725) there was an effort made to destroy the original histoiy. Yi Saryom a!Eflilifil~ J,1.}_'i;l , memorialized the king,
"Tbe editors were disloyal and theteare many places whe1e
t hey confused .b lack and white and f ight and wrong. There,

'

'

42. 1 lrnjo ~4..n71.t(f8, Bk. .42~ l6!L:t 2Dd month. A Jonsr 1nemorial of Yi
$ik's is'quoted her e. tr:'lcing Lhe controYersr rei:.tnrtling re\>ision. The revjsion \Vos begun in 1644 bu1 not cpmpli;;ted unLil 1647. ,J{im Yuk SkJ'tl, fln~sh
ed the '''Ork afL.:r Yi S ik dit!d- The m ain reason for l.he tfc,ision is that'an
inten!le' pnrly rivalry became manifest in the .(larly t!-ars of SOnjo's sue
cessor, R\v3ni;h<1egun, who is nott'd -fqr his incapacilt as king. which inHuenced lhe writing of the S(J11jo An1u1ls.

43, Yi Cbaeuk, loo. oit., lG: S?1/1eilong An~<its BI<. 11, 1681, 61h
month, fillnd day.
44. T h<.- previous Ann;;iJs cQntained onl)' 22 vq lumes.. The revision was
completed in 1683. Sr~kchong AHflals, Dk. l~, 168:~, 3rd ~ont~, ,11,day.

THE Yl DYNASTY ANNALS OF KOREA

fore they are very untrustworthy. "G When the first draft
of the tevision was completed a memorial was presented to
the king asking for permission to burn the first-written
Annals, but the precedent for retaining the original was
firmly enough established so that the king decided to keep
both records. '"
Thus were the Yi dynasby Annals written and preserved, and by the Korean term,inology, "delivexed" to future
generations. In 1923, the Tokyo earthquake resulted in the
destruct ion of the Odaesan set which had been taken to the
Tokyo Imperial University," thus justifying once more the
advice of the Han historian that there should be duplicate
copies kept in safe storehouses.
There is now no longer any danger that the Annals will
be lost. for the Keij:o Imperial University lias published a
facsimile reproduction and distributed this edition among
Japanese Imperial Universities and other educational institutions. s TMs reproduction of about 40 sets comptisi ng 849
volumes each was completed in 1933, and cost subsccjbers
YS,000 . apiece. The success in the tremendous work of
faithfully ieproducing these Annals demonstrates the industry and cru:e for accunicy which characterizes Japanese

schola1ship at its best.


;15. C!iarwjont1 A1111.al$, Bk. 4, 1777, 101.h month, 29th day. The ki.ng
ordered that the revision begin.
46. Cli6n{J'j<>ti9 A1tnals, Bk. 7, 17119, 7th .month, 281h da5r. The first
draft&.- of the r.evised Annals were comp!eted aad afte-r some discussion. it
,\~as decided Lo kl:ep both ne\V arid old compilatii>n$. - ]Aid,., lrk. 9 : 1"i80. 4tb
month, 16th day, there \vac;. a memorial presented iodicating that the r ~vised
Annals needed further \vork for c:omplelion. Also Jbid., Bk. 11; l'iSl, 2nd
month. 1,5 day. The final ccmpleti(ln \vair sent to the repositories in

1781, lbicl. Bk. 11, 1181, 71h mouth, 6th day.


'17. Of this seJ, Qi volumes. comprising- 157 books, swvived, hs'\'ing
been ta k ~n to tbe home ol a ptofessor (or ~x:aml nat i on against tbe reguJ3.
[ions bt the University Jibra1y.
48. The e.."<\act numbf:r of sets printtd was not made public:. The Uni~
versity library manui:cl'ipt custodlao informetd the \\'ritt r that about forty
sets \\1ere,m2de. :\bcut t\\en1y of ,vbich lH!Ve betn cjjsuibuted. UnJorlunat~

ly there has been no provision for the distribution of any of these sets to
foreign Universities.