Min Yŏnghwan: The Selected Writings of a Late Chosŏn Diplomat

Book Cover


Michael Finch
Korea Research Monograph 32
2008. 316 pp.
ISBN 1-55729-091-1

An early reviewer said: "Available for the first time in English translation, these documents contain valuable information on Min's diplomatic missions which have remained largely neglected by most scholars writing on the last decades of the Chosŏn dynasty."

Min Yŏnghwan was a statesman and reformist of late Chosŏn dynasty Korea. His suicide in protest of the 1905 Japanese-Korean Treaty of Protection made him a "powerful symbol of Korean independence" and led to his being regarded as a major patriot in Korea to this day. This book, however, celebrates Min's life as a diplomat through his own words. Min's detailed descriptions of his journeys to Russia to attend Czar Nicholas II's coronation and London for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee produce vivid images of the world at that time while also revealing Min's perceptions of it from his Confucian background. Readers will find the translation smooth and the texts engaging.

Professor Finch currently teaches at Keimyung University in Daegu and has also published a biography of Min Yonghwan.


Translator's Preface – vii

1. Introduction – 1

2. One Policy out of a Thousand (Ch'ŏnilch'aek) – 26

3. Sea, Sky, Autumn Voyage (Haech'ŏnch'ubŏm – 65

4. Additional Notes of an Envoy to Europe (Sagusokch'o) – 187

5. Min Ch'ungjŏnggong's Veritable Record: The Facts of November 1905 – 269

Glossary – 278

Select Bibliography – 299

Index – 301

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