Data Room

"Joseon Dynasty = Inca Empire" theory
the pathology of Korea



Key passage:
Before Japan's ruling age, Korea was woefully behind in technical areas, too. For example,

- Anyone had no skills to bend woods to product proper wheels or barrels
- There were virtually no "stores"

But Korea never faces these historical facts, and insists that its medieval times was "Advanced medieval times". It is because Korea never want to accept Korea was modernized by Japan. This is the same reason that many Korean "kumdo(or gumdo)" groups claim Kendo originated from Korea. Recently, Korea try to impose her historical view on third nations.

しかし韓国はここでも史実を直視せず、「先進的な中世」と強弁しています。これは日本により近代化されたことを認めたくないからであり、 多くの韓国系剣道団体が剣道の韓国起源を主張しているのと同じ理由です。なお、近年韓国はその偽歴史を他国へも押しつけようとしています。

Before Japan modernized Korea, how its civilization developed?

Frankly speaking, Korea had been a rare stagnant society for many years. But the claims of Korea are so absurd as usual. Korean history textbooks call the medieval times "Advanced medieval times" proudly, and go so far as to say that Joseon Dynasty(the medieval nation of Korea) had the "sprouts" (maenga) of capitalist growth, which was crushed by Japan. But the claims contradict her reality.

The following article appeared in the July 2009 edition of a magazine "Seiron(Fair Arguments)". This was written by Yagi Shuhji who was a professor at Takasaki City University of Economics.

率直に言って、朝鮮は長い間まれに見る停滞した社会でした。しかし韓国の主張は例によってむちゃくちゃです。韓国の歴史の教科書では 「発達した中世」と誇らしげに書き、 資本主義の萌芽はあったのだけれど、日本がそれを押しつぶした、とまでいうのです。 しかし、事実は違います。


Gissha(oxcart), a Japanese vehicle for aristocracies
in Heian Period(794-1185/1192) (reproduction)


A Korean vehicle for aristocracies(Yangban)
in the age of Korea's Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910).
Korea could not product wheels of practical use by bending woods.
They could not see vehicles with two wheels till Western culture flowed in 19th century


--------------- quote ----------------
The Korean Embassy in Japan objects strenuously Furuta Hiroshi, a professor at Tsukuba University, about his research report in Asian Research Committee. He is a leading scholar of Korea, and his research report appeared in May issue "Asis Jihou(Asian Times)" published Mainichi Shimbun.

The Korea intelligence officer has already contacted with him, and he is worried about his safety. I heard this from his close acquaintance.

Professor Furuta is also a Japanese side's group leader of
Japan-Korea History Coordination Commission, and his report, which Korean side talked about, just analyzes the 60 history textbooks of Korea objectively. I have no idea what the problem is with his report.

In fact, what infuriated Korean side is his opinions about Joseon Dynasty, isn't it? I think his report is just the official reason. "Asis Jihou(Asian Times)" is not so popular, and I introduced his opinions here.

"When I met an acquaintance who studied in the Korean medieval economic history, I said to him 'Joseon Dynasty reminds us of Inca Empire, doesn't it? I hesitate to say this, but I feel so from years of research. Someone labeled me as the view of stingy Korean history, and criticized.'
Then he said 'I think so.' That is to say, the Middle Ages of Joseon Dynasty was not usual Middle Ages as we think. For example, we can not find wheels. We can not find strakes. Because they had no technology to bend woods. So we can not find barrels."

This is very interesting remarks. The Age of Joseon Dynasty was so stagnant age that no one can bend woods. Listen more to him about theory of "Joseon Dynasty = Inca Empire"

"Though jars were heavy, barrels were easy to carry. But there were no barrels at that time. Then the people put liquid into squares and carried them. They also had no vehicles, and they carried squares on their shoulders. These were called "Chige".

For example, they transported honey from the countryside to the court with squares secured with wooden nails. They carried squares on their shoulders up hills and down dales. Then when they arrived, there was only half left. .... Even more surprisingly, there were virtually no stores in Joseon Dynasty. It was true that there was the stores for royal family in a particular location, but all of them were closed. In short, they were working only for royal family.

Then, when the common people of the time wanted to buy something, they went to marketplaces(not stores). This is the same as North Korea now. The opened stores you could find were selling ink brushes or brass dishes. Because Yangban(aristocracies) used them. But hats were sold on the ground. Joseon Dynasty had few stores. Stores were not crowded out, for example, by Confucian thought. There were originally few stores. North Korea also has few stores. North Korea has only black-market."

It is very interesting. Then, how about celadon porcelains or white porcelains, which Korean people are proud of?

"Joseon Dynasty had no coloring. Red-figured porcelains are rarely seen. Faint red-painted porcelains are seen on one or two occasions. But most of the porcelains are white. There were few red-figured porcelains. This is the key difference of the porcelains of the time.
Yanagi Muneyoshi(1889-1961, the folk art researcher) said "Korean white represents their sorrows.". Their sorrows came from poverty, as a matter of fact. ... They had no coloring. They could use little cobalt to stain. Then all the common people wore white clothes.
All of the upper class wore colored clothes, which they ordered from China.
There is a record that a Yangban made a dye maker who was working for royal family dye his clothes in a local farming village. But the common people wore white clothes of cotton or linen. They washed them by beating with sticks at the riverside, and their clothes became whiter."

According to the book which a Confucian named Jeong Dongyu wrote in 1805, there were three things which no one could find in Korea. They were sheep, wheels and needles. In Korea, only rude needles enough to make holes were available. Good needles needed to be ordered from China.

This was the technological level in Joseon Dynasty. But Korean history textbooks describe this age as "The advanced Middle Ages". In short, Korea wants to claim that Joseon Dynasty had the "sprouts" (maenga) of capitalist growth but Japan crushed it. But it was nothing except for Japan that brought the benefits of modern society to the stagnant Joseon Dynasty.

But Korea never accepts this fact. Then the Joseon Dynasty period is described as the age of advanced civilization, while Japan's ruling age is described as the a rough age. Both stories are fake ones, but Korean history problem is closely related to Korean people's pride than imagination. I want Furuta not to bow to pressure, and to express the historical truth.

(Yagi Shuhji a professor at Takasaki City University of Economics )

----------------------------- unquote -----------------------------

They never want to admit the fact Japan modernized Korea. Then Korea idealizes Joseon Dynasty. What is any difference from "kumdo problem"? In the case of kumdo, many kumdo(or gumdo) groups claim Kendo originated from Korea because they can not accept the fact Kendo came from Japan during Japan's ruling age.

By the way, you saw "
Japan-Korea History Coordination Commission", which was formed by both the Japanese and Korean governments for researching each history. But what was done in this commission was dangerous and crazy enough to argue for sharing understandings of histories between Japan and Korea. In short, Korea tried to force Japan to share her crazy historical view by means of this commission.

But this commission didn't always work just as Korea attempted. Because all the historians Korea brought here were the type to believe such an absurd theory as "The advanced Middle Ages" in a serious manner. In the first place, the study of history in Korea is not a scientific study. It may be no exaggeration to say that Korean historians study their histories for gratifing their "national pride".

Recently Koera became so arrogant and confused that they began to interference in third nations' history textbooks. This would make many people doubt Korean government's sanity. We can also see the same root as kumdo problem.

I have one more point to make. I mean Korean administration official might put pressure upon the Japanese historian who pointed out that the technological level in Joseon Dynasty was unbelievably low. Though there is Korean taboo in Japan, this is more obvious pressure. I want to talk about this some other time.

--------------- 引用開始 --------------
朝鮮研究の第一人者である筑波大学教授の古田博司氏が毎日新聞から発行される『アジア時報』五月号に掲載されたアジア研究委員会での 研究報告の内容をめぐって、韓国大使館から激しい抗議を受けているという。


日韓歴史共同委員会の教科書班の日本側の班長でもあり、問題の報告は韓国の歴史教科書60冊の内容を客観的に分析したもので、 どこが問題なのか私には理解できない。

教科書記述の分析についてのクレームは表向きで、おそらく韓国側の神経に障ったのは古田氏の李朝に関する発言にあるのではないか。 一般にはあまり目に触れる雑誌ではないので、ここで古田氏の発言を再掲しておこう。



<甕は重いでしょう。樽だと楽なんですが、それがないんですよ。だから升に入れて、車がないから、チゲといって全部背中に担ぐ。 王朝の宮廷に地方でとれた蜂蜜を届けるんですけれども、そういう時は四角の升です。それを組み合わせて木釘で打ったものに蜂蜜を入れて、 背中に担いで山越え谷越えするものですから、着いた時は半分ぐらいないという状況になる。



<李朝には顔料がないです。だから、赤絵の壷がないでしょう。薄ぼけた赤いのがあることはありますが、 ほぼ全部真っ白。赤絵の壷がないというのが大きな特徴です。柳宗悦が「朝鮮の白は悲哀の色」といったのですが、 それは本当は貧しさの悲哀のことです。(中略)顔料がないのです。コバルトをすこし発色できるだけでしょうか。 だから衣も民衆は全部白です。
上流はみんな色付きです。中国から取り寄せて上流階級では色の付いたものを着ている。また地方の農村でヤンバンが御用の染料屋に 衣を染めさせるという記録はあります。でも下層は麻や木綿地の白ですよ。それを川辺で棒でたたいて洗濯をするものだから、ますます白くなる>



が、それを認めたくない。そこで一方で李朝時代を文明度の高い時代として位置づけ、他方、日本統治時代を過酷なものとして描くのだ。 何れも作り話だが、 韓国の歴史問題は我々の想像以上に彼らの自尊心に関わっているのだ。古田氏には圧力に負けず、歴史の真実を伝えて欲しい。

( 高崎経済大学教授 八木秀次)


日本が韓国を近代化した事実を認めたくない。だから李朝時代を異常に美化して描く。 これは、剣道が日本から入ってきたことを認めたくないから剣道を韓国起源とすること とどうちがうのでしょうか?




それは、李朝の技術が、想像を絶するほど低かったことについて発言し、その政府関係者より圧力を受けたと考えられる点です。 日本には朝鮮タブーというものが存在しますが、これはもっとはっきりした圧力です。これについてはまた改めて書きたいと思います。

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