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The Dynamics of Confucianism and Modernization in Korean History

136 Dynamics
YI Tae-jin
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This volume makes available for the first time in English a collection of the work of historian Yi Tae-Jin. Over the course of his career, he has done path-breaking research that covers virtually the entire Choson period (1392-1910) from the Koryo-Choson transition to the Kojong period and Korea's takeover by Japan in 1910.  One of the focal points of his scholarship has been to reinterpret Neo-Confucianism as a dynamic force in Korean history. | 480 pages


Preface | Notes on Romanization | List of Illustrations

Part I Socioeconomic Development and Neo-Confucianism

  • 1 Social Change during the Koryo-Choson Transition
  • 2 The Socioeconomic Background of Neo-Confucianism in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Korea
  • 3 New Socioeconomic Trends in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Korea: Population Increase and Cultivation of the Lowlands
  • 4 The Influence of Neo-Confucianism on Population Growth in Fourteenth- to Sixteenth-Century Korea

Part II International Relations in a Period of Historical Transition

  • 5 Economic Transformation and Sociopolitical Trends in Sixteenth-Century East Asia
  • 6 Separating Fact from Fiction about Pre-Modern Sino-Korean Trade
  • 7 Choson's Adoption of International Law and Its Conflicts with China in the 1880s
  • 8 Forced Treaties and Japan's Annexation of the Great Han Empire: An Argument for the Illegality of the Annexation

Part III Modernization and Confucianism

  • 9 King Chongjo: Confucianism, Enlightenment, and Absolute Rule
  • 10 Seoul's Modern Urban Development During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
  • 11 The Leaders and Objectives of the Seoul Urban Renovation Project of 1896-1904

Part IV Overcoming the Distortions of Korean History

  • 12 Why Has Yangban Culture Been Denounced?
  • 13 Was Early Modern Korea Really a "Hermit Kingdom"?
  • 14 Korean Historiography's Escape from Modernism

Notes on Original Appearance | Translators | Glossary of Names | Glossary of Terms | Index


  • Yi Tae-Jin (b. 1943) is Professor of Korean History at Seoul National University, where he has taught since 1973. He is the author of over one hundred articles and several books, including Han'guk sahoesa yôn'gu (Studies on the Social History of Korea, 1986) and Kojong sidae ûi chaejomyông (A Reinterpretation of the History of the King Kojong Period, 2000). He has also edited several volumes and compilations such as Han'guk pyônghap ûi pulbôpsông yôn'gu (Studies on the Illegality of the Japanese Annexation of Korea, 2003). At Seoul National University, he has been director of the Kyujanggak Archives and is currently director of the Institute of Korean Studies. He has served on the editorial board of journals such as Han'guksa siminkangjwa, has been president of the Chindan Hakhoe (Chindan  Society), the Yôksa Hakhoe (Korean Historical Association), and the Korean Association of Academic Societies, and has served on the Cultural Properties Committee of the Seoul City Government.

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