Korea and her Neighbors

A narrative of travel, with an account of the recent vicissitudes and present position of the country

Isabella Bird Bishop, F.R.G.S.

Various text files produced from scans by Google of the US edition of this book are available through the Internet Archive, all more or less corrupted. I have corrected one such file: You may download the full text of my corrected version of Korea and her Neighbors in PDF format or in MSWord format (in these page numbering corresponds to that of the printed volume, allowing use of the Index etc)  (See links to scans of the Illustrations below)
Images of the original book, scanned by Google, can be viewed through Internet archive in PDF format.

A short biography of Isabella Bishop
A PDF file (Internet Archive) of Anna M. Stoddart's The Life of Isabella Bird (1906)


Introductory Chapter 11
I. First Impressions of Korea 23
II. First Impressions of the Capital 35
III. The Kur-dong 49
IV. Seoul, the Korean Mecca 59
V. The Sailing of the Sampan 66
VI. On the River of Golden Sand 71
VII. Views Afloat 82
VIII. Natural Beauty — The Rapids 98
IX. Korean Marriage Customs 114
X. The Korean Pony — Korean Roads and Inns ... 121
XI. Diamond Mountain Monasteries 133
XII. Along the Coast 150
XIII. Impending War — Excitement at Chemulpo .... 177
XIV. Deported to Manchuria 185
XV. A Manchurian Deluge — A Passenger Cart — An Accident 192
XVI. Mukden and its Missions 199
XVII. Chinese Troops on the March 206
XVIII. Nagasaki — Wladivostok 213
XIX. Korean Settlers in Siberia 223
XX. The Trans-Siberian Railroad 239
XXI. The King's Oath — An Audience 245
XXII. A Transition Stage 261
XXIII. The Assassination of the Queen 269
XXIV. Burial Customs 283
XXV. Song-do: A Royal City 292
XXVI, The Phyong-yang Battlefield 301
XXVII. Northward Ho ! 320
XXVIII. Over the An-kil Yung Pass 330
XXIX. Social Position of Women 338
XXX. Exorcists and Dancing Women 344
XXXI. The Hair-cropping Edict 359
XXXII. The Reorganized Korean Government 371
XXXIII. Education and Foreign Trade 387
XXXIV. Daemonism or Shamanism 399
XXXV. Notes on Daemonism Concluded 409
XXXVI. Seoul in 1897 427
XXXVII. Last Words on Korea 445

Appendixes     461ff

Appendix A. — Mission Statistics for Korea 1896.
Appendix B. — Direct Foreign Trade of Korea 1896-95.
Appendix C. — Return of Principal Articles of Export
for the years 1806-95.
Appendix D. — Population of Treaty Ports.
Appendix E. — Treaty between Japan and Russia,
with reply of H. E., the Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs.
(included in the PDF file)


The Music for Arirang 166

List of Illustrations in the 1897 edition. 
Mrs. Bishop's Traveling Party Frontispiece
Harbor of Chemulpo Facing 30 
Gate of Old Fusan  34 
Japanese Military Cemetery, Chemulpo Facing 38 
Turtle Stone 48 
Gutter Shop, Seoul Facing 60 
The Author's Sampan, Han River Facing 66 
Korean Peasants at Dinner 81 
A Korean Lady 120 
The Diamond Mountains Facing 140 
Tombstones of Abbots, Yu-Chom Sa Facing 146 
Passenger Cart, Mukden 198 
Temple of God of Literature, Mukden Facing 200 
Gate of Victory, Mukden Facing 208 
Chinese Soldiers Facing 210 
Wladivostok Facing 214 
Russian “Army,” Krasnoye Celo Facing 232 
Korean Settler's House 238 
Korean Throne Facing 248 
Summer Pavilion, or “Hall of Congratulations” Facing 254 
Royal Library, Kyeng-Pok Palace Facing 256 
Korean Gentleman in Court Dress 260 
Place of the Queen's Cremation 268 
Chil-Sung Mon, Seven Star Gate 300 
Altar at Tomb of Kit-ze Facing 318 
Russian Settler's House, Facing 320 
Upper Tai-Dong Facing 324 
Russian Officers, Hun-Chun Facing 330 
South Gate Facing 412 
Seoul and Palace Enclosure Facing 428 
The King of Korea Facing 430 
Korean Cadet Corps and Russian Drill Instructors Facing 434 
A Street in Seoul Facing 436 
Korean Policemen, Old and New Facing 444 

Additional pictures taken by Isabella Bird while in Korea

(From a series of photographs housed in the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh
kindly sent to me by Kwang On Yoo)

View of some very poor houses, no locality identified.

A view of Seoul showing the imposing Russian Legation and (in the foreground) the first building of the British Legation.

A view of the Altars of the Earth and of Grain in Sajik-dong, Seoul.

Two young yangban gentlemen, one holding a Sohak (

金壘關 (Kumnu-gwan) the West Gate of Busan-jin fortress. The gate shown in the picture no longer exists as such, it was entirely rebuilt in the 1970s in another location. The 2 stones to either side are still there, one with 西門鎖鑰 서문쇄약 and one with 南邀咽喉 남요인후 (combined, they say "this is the southern frontier, corresponding to the nation's neck; the west gate is like the nation's lock" and were probably erected after the Japanese invasions of the 1590s)

Perhaps a Ma-pu, to whom she often refers.

Myo-gil-sang, in the Diamond Mountains (p.144-5) with her bag in the foreground.

Two serving women standing on the same floor as the 2 young gentlemen above.

(Additional images listed below can also be found at the site of the Library without any identification of places or persons)

Chinese soldiers (the photo serving as model for the drawing on page 210 of the book)

A painting of a Guardian spirit in Shamanistic style fixed to a door.

A small Guardian inside a temple hall

A photo of the Okhoru where the Queen was murdered

An overall view of Yujeom-sa in the Diamond Mountains

The base of the Wongak-sa Pagoda

A Korean house being built

A Missionary family with Isabella Bird taking notes on the right.

The original photo of the Russian soldiers seen on page 232

Another photo of Russian officers

Russian forces in Manchurian winter

One / Two photos of the Japanese military cemetery at Chemulpo also shown in photo facing page 38

A Russian Orthodox Church (in Manchuria?)