By James B. Palais
Seventeenth-century Korea used to be a rustic in crisis―successive invasions by way of Hideyoshi and the Manchus had rocked the Chosòn dynasty (1392-1910), which already used to be weakened via maladministration, internecine bureaucratic factionalism, unfair taxation, focus of wealth, army difficulties, and different ills. Yu Hyòngwòn (1622–1673, pen identify, Pan’gye), a recluse pupil, answered to this time of chaos and uncertainty by means of writing his modestly titled Pan’gye surok (The Jottings of Pan’gye), a digital encyclopedia of Confucian statecraft, designed to help his plan for a revived and reformed Korean approach of government.
Although Yu used to be overlooked in his personal time by way of all yet a number of admirers and disciples, his rules grew to become widespread through the mid-eighteenth century as discussions have been underway to resolve difficulties in taxation, army provider, and advertisement task. Yu has been seen by way of Korean and jap students as a forerunner of modernization, yet in Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions James B. Palais demanding situations this view, demonstrating that Yu used to be in its place a very good instance of the premodern tradition.
Palais makes use of Yu Hyòngwòn’s large, pivotal textual content to check the improvement and form of the foremost associations of Chosòn dynasty Korea. He has integrated an intensive therapy of the various chinese language classical and historic texts that Yu used in addition to the to be had Korean basic resources and Korean and eastern secondary scholarship. Palais strains the background of every of Yu’s topics from the start of the dynasty and pursues advancements in the course of the eighteenth and 19th centuries. He stresses either the classical and old roots of Yu’s reform principles and analyzes the character and measure of proto-capitalistic alterations, reminiscent of using metal foreign money, the creation of salary exertions into the agrarian economic system, the advance of unregulated advertisement job, and the looks of industries with extra differentiation of labor.
Because it includes a lot comparative fabric, Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions should be of curiosity to students of China and Japan, in addition to to Korea experts. It additionally has a lot to claim to students of agrarian society, slavery, landholding platforms, forms, and constructing economies.
Winner of the loo Whitney corridor ebook Prize, subsidized through the organization for Asian stories
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Extra resources for Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Hyongwon and the Late Choson Dynasty
The central theme of the study as a whole will be an assessment of the extent of Confucian adaptability to changing circumstances, the capacity for imaginative response to existing problems and conflicts, and the ability to seek new methods for the organization of society, government, defense, and economic affairs. PART I The Early Choson Dynasty, I39 2 - I6so CHAPTER I Confucian Statecraft in the Founding of Choson be founding of the Chason dynasty was an exceptional period in the sense that Confucian scholars, officials, and ideologues were intimately involved in the political movement that led to the overthrow of the Koryo dynasty and establishment of the new Choson dynasty under the military commander, Yi Songgye, Not all Confucians (or Neo-Confueian believers in the Chinese Sung dynasty's version of Confucian doctrine) supported Yi's usurpation heeause some regarded it as an act of disloyalty to the Koryo throne, but those Neo-Confucian ideologues who did support the Choson dynasty contradicted their own ethical ohligation to serve the last Koryo ruler in the hopes of achieving the adoption of a Confucian program for the new state.
The king imposed labor service on the adult male population for the transport of tribute goods to the capital, the construction of roads, walls, and buildings, and service in the national army. Even the relatives of officials and yangban were required to serve in the military, although not necessarily as ordinary infantrymen. They were allowed membership in special elite units at the capital set aside in honor of the prestige of their families, but at least it represented an expansion of their requirements far beyond the late Koryo period.
5 2 In other words, the purpose behind land refonn was to provide support for the perpetuation of a class of favored individuals that would function as a ruling class, as well as support for men liable for military service in the countryside. 54 In 1388 Cho worked out a crude system of distribution based on what he thought was a total of 500,000 kyo! of arable land in the country at the time, a figure somewhat less than other estimates established later. He suggested that 100,000 kyo! of land be assigned to the Right Granary and an additional 30,000 kyo!
Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Hyongwon and the Late Choson Dynasty by James B. Palais