A KU Research Team Finds a 160 Year-old-Autographic Work of Chusa in Japan
The Research Institute of Korean Studies Finds Many Rare Materials at Kyoto University
Finds Thousands of Rare Materials, Including an Autographic Book of Poetry by Jeong-hee Kim and Gyeongseyupyo Gajangbon by Yak-yong Jeong
▲ A Vast and Valuable Discovery that Will Propel Korean Studies Research for Decades to Come
Noseolcheop: An autographic book of poetry by Jeong-hee Kim (its existence had been unknown until now)
The Office for Overseas Resources on Korean Studies (hereinafter referred to as the Office for Overseas Resources) at the KU Research Institute of Korean Studies searched through the library of Kyoto University with its cooperation for seven days, beginning on February 12, and found thousands of valuable ancient Korean works created in the late Joseon Dynasty. They include an autographic book of poetry written by Jeong-hee Kim (pen name: Chusa, 1786-1856), 11 volumes of family-held manuscripts (gajangbon) of Gyeongseyupyo by Yak-yong Jeong (pen name: Dasan, 1762-1836), a rare edition of Donggukyeojiseungram (東國輿地勝覽), and about 400 paintings and calligraphic works.
The existence of Noseolcheop (노舌帖), a book of poetry handwritten by Jeong-hee Kim, had been unknown until it was discovered by the KU Office for Overseas Resources at Kyoto University. This book contains two pieces of poetry Seoknoshi (石노詩) and Youngbaekseoljo (詠百舌鳥) written in the semi-cursive style of writing. They were created while Chusa was living in retirement in Gwacheon during his late years (1852-1856) after returning from being exiled to Jeju Island and Bukcheong in Hamgyeongbuk-do. This was the first discovery of a volume containing both Seoknoshi and Youngbaekseoljo, which had previously only existed separately. Unlike his other works, of which authorship was often controversial, the author of Noseolcheop is clearly identified because it is a gajangbon (family-held edition). Noseolcheop had been classified as a valuable item in the Tanimura Library of Kyoto University and was disclosed to Korean people for the first time.
Through this visit, a number of materials whose existence had been unknown or works that had existed only in name on lists both in Korea and Kyoto University were discovered. The newly-discovered Yak-yong Jeong’s Gyeongseyupyo was originally not even on the list. It is a gajangbon that had been possessed by his own family, and the number of volumes (11 volumes), book cover, binding, and number of lines are identical to those of the gajangbon held by the Dasan Study Group. Based on the seal, this book seems to have been transferred to Japan by Kyeom-ha Lee (李謙夏) in the mid- to late 19th century, and transferred again to Kyoto University in 1919. Therefore, this book seemed to be excluded from a complete collection of Dasan published by the New Joseon Publishing Company in 1936, when Korea was still under Japanese colonial rule.
▲ Donggukyeojiseungram found by the KU Office for Overseas Resources at the library of Kyoto University
Donggukyeojiseungram with a naesagi (內賜記) was also found. Since it has the naesagi of 1502, which shows that the item was bestowed from the king in 1502, and that 28 of 50 volumes remain, it has great historic value. Since a naesagi contains information of the exact creation year and the author, a work with a naesagi is highly valuable compared to other editions without a naesagi. Although Donggukyeojiseungram, a comprehensive geographic book, was originally published in 1481 (12th year of King Seongjong’s reign), only later editions published after the mid-16th century had been found until now. Thus, this newly discovered Donggukyeojiseungram containing its publication year of 1502 is of great value.
Other materials—paintings and calligraphic works, collections of literary works, and epigraphs—discovered at Kyoto University are also important in all areas of Korean studies. They include Geumseokjipcheop (金石集帖), which was published by taking a rubbing of stone inscriptions nationwide during the period of King Yeongjo, and Myobeopyeonhwagyeong, which seems to have been created in the early Joseon Dynasty.
The Office for Overseas Resources at the KU Research Institute of Korean Studies identifies detailed bibliographic information of ancient Korean resources housed in foreign institutions. By developing a database, the center enables Korean people to easily view and utilize the original images of rare materials that are difficult to find in Korea for academic research. This discovery of materials is highly regarded since it is significant in all areas of Korean studies. These resources will be developed into digital resources and disclosed to the public in Korea.
▲ A representative book of Yak-yong Jeong Gyeongseyupyo gajangbon, which was not even on the list, was found in a box covered with dust.
▲ Myeonjujeon related materials among commercial documents housed in Kyoto University