THE KOREA REVIEW
Volume V, 1905
Homer B. Hulbert A. M., F. R. G. S.
The Methodist Publishing House,
Appreciation, An 425
Attack on Doctor Forsythe 106
Arthur Sturgis Dixey 279
Asakawa’s Book, Prof. 131
Brown’s Farewell Entertainment, Dr. 424
City of Yung-Byun 134
Caves of Kasa 292
Correction, A 304
Detectives must be the cleverest thieves 260
English Society, An 25
Editorial Comment 63, 26, 110, 228, 266, 305, 348, 430
Exciting Shipwreck Adventure, An 325
Fragments from Korean Folklore 22
Fiercer than the Tiger 263
Hunt for Wild Hogs. A 41
Hong, Tiger, Mr. 126
How Priests became Genii 130
How Yi Outwitted the Church 380
How Mr. Kim became a Christian 457
His Father 470
Iron Mines of Kang-Wun Province 8
Incubative Warmth 135
Japanese Plans for Korea 254
Japanese Finance in Korea 208
Japan as a Colonizer 361
Korea and Formosa 1
Korean Giants 56
Korea a Vassal of Japan 58
Korean Conundrums 81
Korean Mint, A 87
Korea and Japan, 61
Korean Business Life 210
Korean Forced Labor 346
Korean Customs Service 367
Korean Bronze 384
Korean Domestic Trade 403
Koreans in Hawaii 411
Korean Sociology 432
Korea’s Greatest Need 153
Lively Corpse, A 23
Making of Pottery. The 121
Magic Ox Cure, The,70
Morrison on Korea. Dr. 201
Making of Brass Ware 321
Missionary Union in Korea 34
Memorandum of the Light House department of the Korean Customs Service in November 1905 414
Marquis Ito interviewed 428
Magic formula against thieves 447
Min’s Farewell and last appeal to the people, General 427
News Calendar 72, 31,111, 150, 191, 231, 271, 310, 350, 393, 436, 471
Note on “Buford’s” Communication 139
Northern Korea 130
Notable Movement in Korea 248
New Convention Between Japan and Korea 423
Odds and Ends 21, 58
Possible Protectorate, A 205
Protest, A 281
Pyeng Yang, A Visit to, 287
Places of Interest in Korea 385
Progress of the Seoul-Wiju Railway 33
Present Situation, The 401
Questions and Answers 149, 264
Rear Admiral Schley on the Little War of 1871 97
Russo-Japanese Conflict 12
Review, A 70
Room at the Top 21
Rest from Beggars 61
Seoul-Pusan Railway, The 16, 183
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 22
Satsuma Ware 24
Spelling Reform 46
Sanitation in Korea, 42
Serious Disturbance 238
Six hundred Miles Overland 241
Sluggard’s Cure 323
Striking Corroboration 339
Sources of Korean History 36
Top-knot, The 25
Tales of the Road, 334
Tenth Scion, The 441
Tiger That Laughed, A 467
Unworded bequest. An 214
Unknown Land, An 223
Unvarnished Tale, An 330
Visit to Quelpart, A, 172, 215
Visit to Pyeng Yang, A 287
Visit, Miss Rossevelt’s 332
Woman’s Wit, A 54
War in N. E. Korea 113
Woodcutter, Tiger and Rabbit 445
Wanted, a Name 448
THE KOREA REVIEW
Vol. 5. No. 1. January, 1905.
Korea and Formosa 1
The Iron Mines of Kang-wun Province 8
The Russo-Japanese Conflict 12
The Seoul Fusan Railway 16
Odds and Ends
Room at the top 21
Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals 22
A lively Corpse 23
Satsuma Ware 24
The top-knot 25
An English Society 25
Editorial Comment 26
News Calendar 31
Korea and Formosa.
The readers of the Review will pardon us for referring again to the question of the origin of the Korean people. It is still an unsolved problem and, so far as absolute proof goes, it will always remain so; but it is the part of the student to gather from every source whatever indications there may be which point to a logical answer to the question. It is a case of circumstantial rather than direct evidence.
One theory is that, while northern Korea was originally peopled from the north, the southern states, which eventually secured possession of the whole peninsula and imposed their language and customs to a very great extent, were of southern origin and that they were an off-shoot of that branch of the Turanian family which was in part driven out of India by the Aryan invaders and which was dispersed throughout Burmah, the Malay peninsula, the East Indies, the Philippine Islands, Formosa, Korea and Japan. From time to time we have been able to give isolated facts bearing upon the establishment of this theory as a fact but it is still too early to present the entire argument, for there are important rungs in the ladder which have not been thoroughly tested. One of these is the establishment of the fact that there is a definite connection between the so-called aborigines of Formosa and the ancient inhabitants of southern [page 2] Korea, not that such connection has been boldly assumed for the sake of the theory. We have given in previous numbers of the Review a few arguments to show that there is such connection, but this is one of the links which requires father testing.
The best authority we have on the Formosan tribes is James W. Davidson, F. R. G. S., whose monumental work The Island of Formosa, Past and Present not only presents a large amount of new information but also brings together all important information that is available from other sources. It is, in fact, a cyclopaedia of Formosa. We propose, therefore, to take some of the information given by Mr. Davidson and see what light it will throw upon a possible connection between the early Koreans and the aborigines of that island. The numbers in parentheses indicate the pages in Mr. Davidson’s work from which the quotations are taken.
The first fact which demands attention is that these wild tribes are many in number and are practically independent of each other. “From historical accounts of the Dutch, we learn that there were 293 tribes in the comparatively limited sphere of the foreigners’ influence. From these and other writings we may safely infer that the tribes throughout the island were very numerous in early days” (562). Those tribes which have not been partly civilized “have retained their warlike and primitive nature” (563) and it must have been their independence of each other which fostered the warlike spirit. And yet in spite of their independence of each other the eight groups into which Mr. Davidson classifies them show such marked similarities on other than political lines that we must conclude that there is a strong racial bond between them. The comparative list of words in the first appendix of Mr. Davidson’s book is one among many indications that the tribal differences were, after all, comparatively slight.
This minute subdivision into small tribes, many of which occupy but a single village, is a marked characteristic of these Formosan savages, and it corresponds with great exactitude with what we know of the southern [page 3] Koreans two thousand years ago. They numbered perhaps a few hundred thousand in all, but were divided into seventy-six tribes, each having its central village and being, so far as we can learn, practically independent of each other. This is shown by the statement of the early writers that each of the tribes had its own little army. At times they doubtless formed temporary federations for mutual benefit even as the Formosans have done, but as for any central government of a permanent nature they found no use for it. But in addition to this we find that the Formosan tribes may be classified into eight distinct groups which can be definitely named, such as the Atayal, Vonum, Taon, Paiwan, Ami, &c. These are not political divisions but are the result of racial characteristics. In Southern Korea the same thing obtained, for the seventy-six tribes were grouped under three names, namely Ma-han, Pyon-han and Chin-han. Whether these names were used by those ancient tribes we do not know but it is clearly recorded that the groups had racial characteristics that differentiated them from each other to some extent. The study of the names of these groups shows that the classification is correct. (See the Korean Repository Vol. II, p. 519). Taking it all together the resemblance between the political system of the early Koreans and that of the Formosans amounts to practical identity.
This argument would lose force if a similar state of things existed in northern Korea, but, as a fact, we find nothing of the kind there. The tribes of northern Korea were large and powerful. Each one occupied more territory than any fifty of the southern tribes. They were more like the North American Indian tribes. For instance, the Ye-mak or Nang-nang or Hyun-do or Eum-nu tribes of northern Korea each occupied a territory equal to a whole province of modem Korea, while the seventy- six tribes in the south occupied only two of the present provinces.
Mr. Davidson concludes that the natives of Formosa are of Malayan or Polynesian origin, “their short stature, yellowish brown color, straight black hair and other [page 4] physical characteristics, as well as their customs and language, bear sufficiently strong resemblance to the natives of the south seas to confirm this.” (562). This is indefinite, as the Malayan and Polynesian types are distinct; but we may consider the question as to the Malay origin settled since almost all those who have had anything to do with these tribes agree on the point. The matter of physical characteristics is an important one and the few words which we here have descriptive of the Formosan could be literally applied to the Korean. The shortness of stature is not particularly noticeable in Korea today, though accurate measurements would doubtless show that the average stature of the Korean is considerably less than that of the European. To gain a true idea of the striking resemblance between the Korean and the Formosan one has only to examine the pictures of native Formosans in Mr. Davidson’s finely illustrated work. Those who are well acquainted with the Koreans and have been in touch with them long enough to be able to distinguish their faces from those of the Chinese or Manchus would be the very first to note the striking resemblance between Formosan faces and the Korean. So far as the writer is concerned, he admits that, if these Formosans dressed the hair as the Koreans do, he would be wholly unable to detect any difference. Every one of the thirty-nine faces depicted on the page opposite page 563 is typically Korean. The same is true of the faces on the pages opposite 574, 578 and 588. In fact there is no native Formosan pictured in this book who might not be duplicated with ease on the streets of Seoul. The resemblance lies not merely in the shape of the features but in the general expression, a something hard to define, but so characteristic that it enabled the writer to detect instantly the nationality of two Koreans on the streets of New York even when dressed in European style.
The next point is in regard to the structure of their houses. This is of course an important feature in the life of any people, but it cannot be relied on implicitly in comparative work, because dwellings are modified in accordance with climate and other circumstances. [page 5] Comparisons along isothermal lines are naturally the most conclusive as regards dwellings but when people migrate from north to south or vice versa it is natural to suppose the character of their dwellings will become modified to suit the changed conditions. At the same time, certain characteristics are almost sure to survive.
The Formosans of the west Atayal group “erect posts of wood and stone with walls of bamboo interlaced with a kind of rush or grass and thatched with the same material” but the west Atayals “dig a cellar-like excavation from three to six feet deep and with the earth thus obtained a wall is built around the mouth of the excavation, and the interior is paved with stone. Strong wooden pillars with cross-poles are erected and flat pieces of stone are used as roofing.” This general plan is followed by many of the other groups. We are told by the ancient recorders that the primitive southern Koreans made houses much like this and that they entered by a door in the roof. The survival of this same form of dwelling to the present day in what is called the um indicates that the Koreans made use of the same semi- subterranean house that the uncivilized Formosans have preserved until the present time. There are other Formosan tribes whose houses are raised on posts, so that the floor is four or five feet above the ground. The exact counterpart of this is seen in the little watch tower which the Koreans build in summer among their fields.
It would be of value to compare the dress of the Formosan with that of the early Koreans but as there is no information whatever on this latter point it will be useless to take up this question. But closely allied to this are the subjects of ornaments and tattooing. As for the former the natives of Formosa make little use of gold or silver for ornaments, but beads and shells are used. It is recorded of the ancient southern Koreans that they did not highly regard silver or gold but that they had beads strung about their faces. This ignorance of the value of gold is a very strong indication of a southern origin, for had these people come from the north it is impossible that they should have been ignorant, or even [page 6] careless, of the value of gold at so late a date as 193 B. C. They learned it rapidly enough when they were once taught. Almost all the Formosan tribes tattoo to a greater or less extent. All accounts agree in saying that the early Koreans also tattooed. It was given up long ago but a trace still survives in the custom of drawing a red thread through the skin of the wrist in making certain kinds of compacts. The comparative severity of the Korean climate sufficiently accounts for the desuetude of this custom.
One very common custom among the Formosan tribes is the extraction of two teeth from the upper jaw. The number is always the same and it is always from the upper jaw that they are extracted. We know of no such custom in Korea at any time, but there is a curious coincidence. It is mentioned in the annals of the Kingdom of Silla, which at first was called Su-yu-bul, that any man who had sixteen teeth in his upper jaw was considered unusually wise and powerful. At one time the selection of a man to become king depended upon this thing, and a long search was required to find a man with sixteen teeth is his upper jaw. Now, we know that men ordinarily have that number. Why then should it have been difficult to find one who possessed the full set? I am inclined to think that is was due to some such custom, though it must be confessed that it was illogical for them to draw the teeth when their possession marked a man as exceptionally wise. I merely state the tradition as a coincidence without attempting to deduce any argument from it.
In all the Formosan tribes disease is attributed to the anger or malice of evil spirits. There are women exorcists who by various kinds of incantation pretend to drive out the offending spirit. Disease is sometimes caused by the wrath of a departed soul. The sorceress goes through her incantations, food is offered to the spirits, and a part of it is thrown out upon the ground. Every word of this applies precisely to Korea, The most ancient form of belief and the only indigenous one is the belief in these evil spirits, and the female exorcists and [page 7] sorceresses correspond exactly to the Formosan. Of course the higher development of the Korean has made the forms of exorcism more elaborate, but at bottom, the two are identical.
The burial customs of the Formosans are not highly distinctive. They bury their dead, as a rule, much after the ordinary fashion. In a few cases the house of the deceased is deserted after the event. One curious custom is that of calling out over the grave “He will not return.” There is something very like this in the Korean custom of running before a funeral procession as it approaches the gate of the city, and crying Chikeum kago onje ona “He goes now, but when shall he ever return?”
Those who are conversant with the Korean’s religious notions will not fail to notice how closely the following Formosan beliefs and practices resemble the Korean. “After the rice or millet has been harvested the Atayals select a day, during the period of full moon, and worship their ancestors.” (567) “The spirits of departed ancestors are worshipped on a day following the harvest. In some of the Yonum tribes a bundle of green grass is placed in a house as a symbol of the sacred day and it is believed that the family’s ancestral spirits will congregate about this emblem.” (569) Among the Tsou groups “a tree near the entrance to a village, usually selected because of its large size, receives special homage. It is thought that the spirits of their ancestors take their abode in these trees.” (571) They “arrange certain articles such as dishes, food, etc., in a certain form, mumble over them certain incantations which the savages believe bring down the spirits of their ancestors who are present so long as the ceremony lasts. Should one violate the rules of this ceremony or offend by entering the charmed circle over which the priestess alone presides, the spirits will visit on the offender their ill-will “ (573).
Perhaps the most distinctive custom of the Formosan savages is that of head-hunting. After reading carefully what Mr. Davidson has to say about it, one comes to the conclusion that, with most of the Formosans, head hunting does not enter into their religion but is merely a sign [page 8] of prowess and is carried on more to gain distinction than for any other reason. The head of a foe is to the Formosan what the scalp-lock was to the North American Indian. One group connects this head hunting with their religion but this seems to have arisen out of their exceptional ferocity. They made head-hunting their religion, in a sense. If, then, this custom is rather a matter of policy than of passion we can readily see how it died out when the kurosuwo or “Black Stream” swept them north to the Liu Kiu Islands and to the Korean island of Quelpart.
It is much to be regretted that so little is known, or at least recorded, of the languages of these Formosans. I have heretofore made a slight comparative study of this list of fifty words of the Formosan tribes (Korea Review Vol. Ill p. 289) and found that in thirty per cent of the words there is striking similarity to Korean. It will be a matter of great satisfaction, when someone conversant with the Formosan dialects, one or more, shall give us a grammar of them whereby to compare the two languages more perfectly.
The Iron Mines of Kang-won Province.
I am neither a geologist nor a mineralogist, but I do know iron when I find it lying in the road; and this is just what I do every time that I make a trip into parts of Kang-won Province. What I am about to say then is not written from the standpoint of a specialist in iron mining, but from the standpoint of one who keeps his eyes open and sees what is in the country through which he travels. This iron is not hidden deep in the bowels of the earth, so that one must dig to see it, but it is lying near the top, in fact on the top, in many places, so that the men who mine it have only to take their little hoes, such as they use on their farms, and scrape it up where they find it. I have never yet seen a shaft out of which the ore was being taken, but it is always raked up on the surface of the hillside.
[page 9] The ore is carried to the smelting plant on the backs of oxen and cows. To American miners this would doubtless be a funny sight: this train of cows loaded with iron ore moving slowly one after another along the hill-side and up the path to a place where the ore may be dumped into a stream of running water where the dirt is washed away leaving the ore in better shape for the furnace. On each cow is a pack-saddle with two poles across it, from either end of which hangs a small bag made of straw into which the ore is placed so that the bags just balance on the saddle. These bags are so constructed that they are fastened at the bottom by means of a stick which when drawn out allows the ore to fall to the ground, thus making it easy to unload.
As for the smelting plant I am sure that it would not meet the entire approval of the American Steel Trust; but it is nevertheless a smelting plant, and it turns out pig-iron.
It is indeed a crude affair, being only a wall built of stone and mud, about fifteen feet long and eight or ten feet high, with the furnace on one side and the bellows on the other. The wall is of no service except to protect the bellows and the men who operate it from the heat of the furnace. The bellows is very simple; being a trough-like pit about fifteen feet long, three feet deep and two feet wide. This pit is walled up with stone and plastered with mud so that it is very smooth on the inside and has the appearance of a great mud trough. A cover of heavy board is made to fit into this and is hung on a pivot in the middle of the cover. Thus the cover becomes a see-saw and swings up and down as desired. When the bellows is in operation five or six men stand on each end of the cover and all swinging together “up and down they go” to the time of a sing-song noise which Korean coolies know how to make to perfection. In the center of the trough is a partition with valves so constructed that when the cover comes down at one end, the wind is forced into the other end; then as it comes down again it is forced into the furnace and makes the fire bum. This is kept up till the ore is melted, when it is drawn out and [page 10] cast into pig-iron. In order to melt this ore coal is required, of which there may be plenty in these mountains for all I know, but these men care little about that so long as they can find plenty of wood which they can easily convert into charcoal, which answers all their purposes. In the location of the smelting plant a good place to get wood for charcoal is taken into consideration as well as a place where the ore may be easily obtained. The pits or kilns in which the charcoal is burned are constructed partially underground so that they can be easily covered with stone and mud; into these the wood is placed and burned into a most excellent charcoal without much loss in the wood. The pig-iron thus turned out from these furnaces is passed on to the foundry where it is cast into plows, pots and other utensils, such as are in common use in the country.
The foundry is constructed on the same general plan as the smelting plant, with no sort of house, not even a roof of any description except perchance a shed of brush or straw built over the bellows so as to protect the men who play “see-saw” from the extreme heat of the summer sun. The whole plant is exceedingly simple and would not cost twenty-five dollars to construct it from start to finish. Yet the quality of the ore is such that notwithstanding the rude methods in use, the iron produced seems to be first-class. I have noticed the plows which were made from this iron and they seem to wear well and at the same time are not easily broken as would be the case if the iron were of a poor quality. Then too the rice pots which are a necessary part of every household are all made in the same way and from the same iron.
It is an interesting sight to see one of these rude furnaces in full blast and the men turning out pots and plows by the wholesale. There is the stone and mud wall of which I spoke, with the men just behind it on each end of the bellows swinging up and down, while from the bellows comes a roaring, growling noise, which is not drowned out even by the constant sing-song of the men who are playing “up and down we go.” Here on [page 11] this side of the wall is the rude cupola filled with charcoal and pig-iron, and from the top of which tongues of flame leap high into the air at every puff of the bellows. At the very bottom of the cupola there is an opening which is closed with a lump of clay until the iron is melted and ready for the moulds into which it is poured from a pot carried by two men. When everything is ready for the melted iron to be drawn off into the pot, one man sticks a lump of clay on the end of a pole and stands ready for action, while another with a rod of iron makes a hole through the clay which closes the opening, and the molten metal flows out in a red-hot stream till the pot is full, when the opening is again closed with the lump of clay on the end of the pole.
This region seems to supply the iron for a large part of the country, and is a source of considerable income to the people who do the work. Remember that there are no roads for wagons, nor wagons for the roads, even if they were there, and you will more readily see with what difficulty all this work is carried on. As has been said above, all the ore is carried from the hills to the smelting plant on the backs of cows. And so it is with the finished product, it must find its way to market on the backs of cows and men, the distance often being fifty or a hundred miles. As I said in the beginning, I am no specialist in this field, but I would judge from what little I do know that there is iron enough in these Kang-wun mountains to make steel rails enough to girdle the globe, and steel bridges sufficient to span the Atlantic. Here in these hills and mountains lie millions of dollars waiting to yield themselves to the hand of industry that will be brave enough to put forth the effort to dig them out. It will doubtless not be many years till someone, with the will to do something, will find these rich beds of ore and then those hills will echo with the shriek of the steam whistle and the roar of the railroad train as it makes its way to the sea loaded with steel rails and other products from the great iron furnaces of Kang-wun Province.
J. Robt. Moose.
A Review: The Russo-Japanese Conflict.
The Russo-Japanese Conflict, by Prof. K. Asakawa, Lecturer on the Civilization and History of East Asia, at Dartmouth College; with an introduction by Frederick Wells, Williams, Assistant Professor of Modem Oriental History in Yale University. Published by Houghton Mifflin & Co., Boston. 8vo. pp. 383.
We have received from the publishers the above named volume and have read it with absorbing interest, for it bears not only upon the war in general but it contains a careful account of events in Korea which led up to, if they were not the main cause of, the conflict.
After a short but appreciative introduction by Prof. Williams the author in his preface tells us in the following words what the object of the work is: “This is an attempt to present in a verifiable form some of the issues and the historical causes of the war now waged between Russia and Japan,” and the perusal of the book compels us to admit that the author has held himself down to his text with admirable repression. He has indulged in no passionate appeals for sympathy in the name of his nation nor has be asked the readier to accept any theories or deductions of his own. He has simply set down in a dispassionate and almost neutral manner the causes and issues of the war. We thought at first that if he did no more than this it would be rather stale reading, but we found it fascinating. The lucidity of his style and his luminous collocation of evidence make the book a pleasure to read. His introductory chapter is an effort to prove the proposition which he words thus: “For Japan the issues appear to be only partly political, but mainly economical; and perhaps no better clue to the understanding not only of the present situation, but also, in general, of the activities at home and abroad of the Japanese people, could be found than in the study of these profound [page 13] material interests.” He then proceeds to set forth the present industrial and economic situation of Japan, and he does it in such few and well selected terms that we get a bird’s-eye of the whole situation, and are prepared to follow him into his second chapter where he takes up the question of the retrocession of the Liao-tung Peninsula.
He gives a brief but comprehensive account of Russia’s absorption of the Ussuri district and the founding of Vladivostock, and then coming down to 1891, the inception of the Siberian railway. Then comes a mention of the causes, the operation and the close of the China- Japan war of 1895. Speaking of the interference of Russia, Germany and France he says, “At a council, it is said, Russian naval and military authorities concluded that Russia alone could not successfully combat Japan, which, however, might be coerced if Russia co-operated with France.” He quotes voluminously from the French and German press showing conclusively the reasons why these Powers joined with Russia in ousting Japan. He shows very cleverly how English opinion which had held so strongly to China during the war was already beginning to change in favor of Japan. Many people have asked why Japan did not stipulate that if she retroceded the Liao-tung Peninsula China should guarantee never to lease it to any other Power. The author dismisses this with the remark, “Evidently time was two limited and the occasion two inopportune for Japan successfully to induce China to pledge not to alienate in the future any part of the retroceded territory to any other Power.” And summing up the incident he adds. “The historical significance of this memorable incident deserves special emphasis. It is not too much to say that with it Eastern Asiatic history radically changed its character, for it marks a new era in which the struggle is waged no longer between oriental nations themselves but between sets of interests and principles which characterize human progress at its present stage and which are represented by the greatest powers of the world.” He claims that Japan derived inestimable advantages from the experience, for it awakened her to the fact that if she desired to hold [page 14] the place she had already gained she must fit herself to compete both in peace and in war with the first nations of the world.
“It is questionable if there is in the entire range of Japanese national life another point less understood abroad but more essential for an insight into the present and future of the extreme orient than this: the increased enthusiasm of Japan in the ardent effort to strengthen her position in the world by basing her international conduct upon the fairest and best tried principles of human progress. The effort is not free from errors but the large issue grows ever clearer in Japan’s mind.”
The writer sums up in a really masterly way the arguments which go to show that Russia made a secret treaty with China in 1896. He discusses at length the Cassini Convention and then the lease of Kiao-chau by Germany and Russia’s gradual leading on to the securing of Talienwan and Port Arthur. In Chapter V he deals with Secretary Hay’s Circular Note, in Chapter VI with the occupation of Manchuria by Russia. Then follow chapters on North China and Manchuria, the Anglo-German agreement, the Alexieff-Tseng Agreement, the Lamsdorff-Yang- yu Convention, further Russian demands, the Anglo- Japanese agreement, the Russo-French Declaration, the Convention of Evacuation, The Evacuation, The Russian Seven Demands.
Then, beginning with the sixteenth chapter, we come to that part of the book which is of special interest to Korea. The writer calls the Korean half of the problem the more important half. He takes up the events that occurred, in Seoul from the end of the China-Japan war. He says “Unfortunately Korea’s lack of material strength rendered her real independence impossible, and her strength could be secured only by a thorough-going reform of her administrative, financial and economic system which had sunk into unspeakable corruption and decay. By her victory the colossal task devolved upon Japan of reforming the national institutions of a people whose political training in the past seemed to have made them particularly impervious to such effort. Perhaps no work more delicate [page 15] and more liable to blunder and misunderstanding could befall a nation than that of setting another nation’s house in order who would not feel its necessity. In this difficult enterprise the Japanese showed themselves as inexperienced as the Koreans were reluctant and resentful.” This is the frankest and most honest admission ever made by a Japanese of the terrible mistakes of 1895. He goes on to speak of the influence of “Mr Waeber and his talented wife who recommended themselves to a large body of men and women whose feeling the Japanese had alienated, and slowly but surely to undermine the latter’s influence.”
He speaks of Miura as “a man of undoubted sincerity but utterly without diplomatic training,” and adds, “Some of the Japanese in Seoul betrayed themselves into a crime which caused bitter disappointment and lasting disgrace to the Government and the nation at home.” After describing the murder of the queen he says “the deed was no less crushing a blow to the Japanese nation than it was to the bereaved King of Korea, for the former’s ardent desire to adhere to the fairest principle of international conduct was for once frustrated by the rash act of a handful of their brethren at Seoul. The influence of the queen passed away and the power of the reform cabinet was for the moment assured, but only at the expense of a revolting crime which the Japanese will never cease to lament. It is probable that the murder of the queen was premeditated and that Minister Miura had been prevailed upon to connive at the guilt.” So far as it goes this is a very straightforward statement but if he had added that the Japanese Government acquitted Miura he would have left less to be desired by way of frankness.
Under the heading “Diplomatic Struggle in Korea,” he goes on to give a most vivid and entertaining account of what happened here during the years 1896 to 1903 in- elusive. The peculiar tactics of de Speyer come in for special mention, in which connection he says, “It was a misfortune for Russia that her able representative at Seoul, Mr. Waeber, had been transferred to Mexico and was replaced by M. Speyer. The former’s pleasing manners were [page 16] succeeded by the latter’s overbearing conduct, which appeared gradualist to alienate from Russia many of the former friends of Mr. Waeber.” It is of course impossible for us to do justice to Mr. Asakawa’s account, but it is so clear, so accurate and so thoroughly sane that it makes very interesting reading. It is truly remarkable that a man who has never been to Seoul should be able so accurately to gauge the feelings of both Japanese and Koreans. One would think the writer must have been on the spot and in the thick of the fray. Prof. Asakawa is to be congratulated on the completion and the publication of this excellent work and no one should be without it who wants upon his book shelf the best that has been written about the events leading up to the struggle now in progress.
While we agree with what Prof Asakawa has to say in a general way there are some points in which theory and practice do not go hand in hand. With these we have dealt elsewhere in this issue.
The Seoul Fusan Railway.
It was at the beginning of 1905 that the Seoul Fusan Railway was opened for general traffic and we lost no time in running down to Fusan and examining this route. It seems too good to be true that never again shall we have to feel our way around that southwestern point through the fog or drop anchor for a day at a time among those dreary islands. A few hours dash across the Straits of Korea is all the sea-travel now necessary between Seoul and Tokyo and it is more than likely that within a few years the Straits of Dover will be all the water to be crossed in going to London.
At first the Seoul Fusan trains started from Yong-tong-po where a wait of an hour was necessary, but before long this was changed and now the train starts from Seoul. Branching off from the Chemulpo line at Yong-tong-po it turns to the southward and sweeps around the base of Kwanaksan giving some magnificent views of that grand cluster of rocky peaks. Suwun with its thickly [page 17] wooded mountain is reached in about an hour from Yongtongpo. Here the road skirts an extensive irrigation reservoir on one side and a fine stone quarry on the other. Throughout this whole section, at least for a distance of fifty miles from Seoul, the country is finely wooded, extensive forests being continually in sight. After that the county becomes less heavily wooded until in the vicinity of Kongju only an occasional clump of trees is seen. In the town of Chuneui two tunnels are passed each of them being approximately one hundred yards long. Nothing too good can be said of the workmanship on this road; the roadbed is excellent and for a considerable part of the way is ballasted with stone. The rails are very heavy, contrasting in this respect very favorably with those of the Siberian Railway whose rails, in 1903 at least, were hardly heavier than those of the electric tramway in Seoul. The ties of the Japanese road are very heavy and made of a wood much resembling the ash. Here again there is a striking difference between the Japanese and Russian work for the latter road has, for thousands of miles, ties that are simply round sticks of eight inch diameter split in two, the rails resting on the rounded side. A very few weeks suffice to sink the rails deeply into the soft wood.
The trains on the Seoul Fusan road are not as yet finally arranged and there is no express service. A third class car and a second class car were attached to a freight train and at each station there was more or less shifting of cars and consequent delays. And yet in spite of this the average time between Seoul and Fusan was twenty miles an hour which exceeds the time of the express on the Siberian line. Over parts of the Korean line we made a speed of thirty-five miles an hour. This is quite unheard of on any portion of the Siberian line. It was not until we boarded the train from Moscow to Warsaw that we equalled that pace. If a mixed train can make this over the Seoul Fusan road an express can easily do forty or forty-five miles. The important point is that the road bed is so solid and the masonry work so unexceptionable that the possible speed will depend entirely upon [page 18] the engines and weight of train. It was the bad condition of the roadbed that retarded speed in Siberia.
This road passes Kongju at a distance of some twenty miles and then branches away to the east to climb the two ranges of mountains that lie between the valleys of the Keum and Naktong Rivers. The work of mounting the first great pass is an arduous one, for the tunnel at this point is not completed and the road literally climbs the hill. The grade at one point is the steepest we have ever seen except on a funicular railway. This will all disappear as soon as the tunnel is completed. Steep as it is this pass does not have to be surmounted by a switchback or any other such mechanical trick, but we had to have an engine at each end of the train. Through this rough region the masonry work is exceedingly fine and money must have been poured out like water. The road passes through the hills at a high elevation and the valleys deep beneath with their clustering villages and checker-board rice fields pass before the eye like moving pictures.
Passing down the eastern side of this range we cross a tributary of the Keum River on a temporary bridge. The approach to this bridge down the side of the mountain is one of the most beautiful on the whole road. Late in the afternoon the second range is passed. Here also we find an unfinished tunnel, apparently one of the most considerable on the line. Comparatively little of it is done as yet for at the western end the hill had not been entered more than thirty or forty feet. The road passes over the summit and on the eastern side requires a single switch-back in order to come down to the level of the valley. It is dark by the time we cross the broad Naktong and eight o’clock sees us draw up at the station of Taiku. The train stops here and the traveller must seek lodgement in the town until seven o’clock the next morning. There are many Japanese hostelries and one need not be uncomfortable. One should not fail to stop over a day at this town and visit certain places of great interest in its vicinity. Some of them are relics of the ancient Silla dynasty which fell almost exactly one [page 19] thousand years ago. There is a curious underground vault whose use no one at the present time can guess. It is made of massive stone arches and the whole is covered with a mound of earth, on top of which grows an oak tree two feet in diameter. One should see the curious graves called Koryu-chang which are remains of the last dynasty and from which large quantities of curious pottery and other utensils are taken. None of these graves are without this pottery. These sepulchers are so old that hardly a vestige of the skeleton of the dead is found. One should not fail to visit the remains of the stronghold of the old time Sŭ family, a sort of feudal fortress some twenty acres in extent.
Taiku is the center of much missionary work both Roman Catholic and Protestant. The R. C. cathedral is the most conspicuous building in or near the town and under the earnest and devoted efforts of Father Robert a large work is being done. The Presbyterian Mission has a flourishing station here with half a dozen missionaries and their families. They do a large work in the town itself but they go far and wide throughout the province and have out-stations and churches and groups of adherents in scores of country villages. In the prosecution of their duties these missionaries run up against all sorts of adventures. In the Autumn the people in the mountain villages frequently beg them to lead in a pig hunt, for the wild pigs come done and devastate the rice fields and every field has to be watched continually until the crop is in. On one of these occasions a missionary complied with their request and we shall give in a subsequent issue an account of that interesting pig hunt.
We left Taiku for Fusan at four in the afternoon and an hour later we were climbing the ascent to the mouth of the great tunnel. This is the most arduous feat the engineers had to perform. The tunnel is upwards of 4,000 feet long. The approach from neither end is particularly picturesque but it is a good illustration of the determination which has marked the progress of Japanese enterprise in Korea. Darkness came on soon after and in the moonlight we slipped down the long reaches of the Nak-tong [page 20] River until at eight we caught sight of the sparkling lights on the shipping in Fusan harbor and drew up at the terminal station which stands half way between old Fusan, at the head of the bay, and Fusan proper at the foot. Two years have worked wonders in this port. The Reclamation Company has literally pulled the hills down into the water And to-day we have a broad band stretching down the shore of the bay for a mile or more. In places the sea wall is built up from a point thirty-five feet below the surface of the water. The new Commercial Museum is one of the finest foreign buildings in Korea and the new three-story Japanese hotels, built most substantially of brick and, at least on the exterior, in foreign style attest the restless energy and enterprise of the Japanese. Koreans swarm in every direction. Hundreds of them have been and are employed on constructive works and inquiries all along the line, from all sorts of people, elicited the same statement, namely that the road is a great institution that will do incalculable good. Of course there are those who grumble at it. For instance an enormous freight traffic was formerly carried on by flat-boat on the Naktong River. These boats were towed by men and it took a month to reach Taiku. The railroad has practically killed this traffic and a large number of people have had to find employment elsewhere but to thousands and tens of thousands of people in the interior the cheapening of transit rates and the avoidance of the likin dues on this river have proved an unmixed blessing. The impetus given to trade of all kinds is rapidly giving occupation to all the people displaced and to hundreds besides. There are many complaints of injustice and oppression on the part of the Japanese and it is plain that the Japanese Government has not yet gotten into running order the necessary legal machinery for guaranteeing ordinary justice to the Korean populace. It is abundantly evident that Prof. Asakawa’s words in the book that we are reviewing in this number of the Review are eminently true, namely, “No greater burden and no more delicate work for a nation can be imagined than that of regenerating another whose nobility [page 21] has grown powerful under corruption and whose lower classes do not desire a higher existence. On the other hand the inertia and resistance of Korea would be tremendous in which her ‘full confidence’ would give place to hatred and rancor. The proverbial machinations of the peninsular politician would be set in motion in all their speed and confusion. It would not be surprising if, under the circumstances, even a military control of Korea for a temporary and mild nature should become necessary in order to cure her malady and set her house in order. On the other hand when the necessary reform should be so deep and wide as is required in the present instance the temptation of the reformer would be great and the suspicion of the reformed even greater, where political reformatory measures border upon the economic. Here and everywhere Japan would save herself from the gravest errors, in spite of her best intentions in the large issue, only by the severest self-control and consummate tact. Great is the penalty of Japan that arises from her peculiar position. She has never encountered in her long history a greater trial of her moral force as a nation than in the new situation opened by the protocol. As to the world at large, it will look forward to an intensely interesting experiment in human history.” The italics are ours. We wish Prof. Asakawa might visit Korea and examine the actual conditions that prevail.
Odds and Ends.
Room at the top.
A number of Koreans were gathered about the missionary’s table eating dried persimmons, walnuts, chestnuts, oranges and American sponge-cape. Kim-pilsu was late and so found himself crowed out. Standing on the outer rim of the company he looks wistfully over their heads at the good things and finally remarks “This reminds me of a wedding I once attended. It was a very swell affair and the crowd was so great that one of the would-be sight-seers could not get a single glimpse of the bride. So he raised [page 22] his voice and said in an excited tone ‘I have just seen a most remarkable thing; a man was pulling candy and he would take a lump as big as my head and straighten his arms and jerk it about in a semi-circle as easily as you would a piece the size of your hand (here the speaker suited the action to the word and elbowed his way toward the table) and in a moment more the candy was as white as the bride’s face is, which you friends have so kindly stepped aside for me to see.” Kim was by this time in the front rank at the table and innocently remarked as he lifted a large section of the cake. “This cake too is very white, thanks to your kindness.”
Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals
Messrs. Chun and Sin had met by accident just behind Mr, Kim’s straw fence, from which place they had a good view of the circular pen of wooden stakes which confined their friend’s pig. The latter was tied about the belly with a straw rope which was drawn so tight that it appeared as if it had not been loosened since the animal’s “toyaji” days. Chun remarked that the rope looked rather tight for a self-respecting hog to wear. Sin replied that it was a very cruel and unjust world that rewarded such a “sangnom” as Kim with a fat hog like that when two deserving people had to go porkless, and it was especially aggravating to see the animal in the possession of a monster who had not the humanity to loosen the stomach- rope as the beast took on flesh. So these two humanitarians agreed to relieve the situation.
At dead of night Chun scratched on the paper of Sin’s door and the two, armed with rice-hulling bludgeons stealthily approached the home of the suffering “tot.” Chun stood with uplifted club while Sin crawled in to cut the stomach-rope and give the signal for the death-blow. But the astonished hog, freed from its bonds, began a frantic race around its pen, incidentally trampling upon the prostrate Sin. The latter yelled “Na- on-da” (coming out) forgetting in his excitement to indicate who was coming out and so Chun’s vicious blow found him right behind the ear. As Chun bore the [page 23] inanimate form of his friend home on his back, instead of the hog, he murmured under his breath, “Well, in the first place there is no use in showing a kindness to a hog. He lacks appreciation. And in the second place this language of ours, it is at times confusing enough to ‘dam one’s very ears.’”
A Lively Corpse.
Ten years ago there died in Seoul a celebrated policeman who was popularly called “The Hawk” because his marvelous power of sight equalled that of the bird. Many are the stories that are told of his constabulary skill, but perhaps the most startling is the following : One night as he was on his rounds in a part of the city in which many rich gentlemen lived, he heard a curious commotion in one of the houses. It was not the lamentation for the dead which breaks upon the stillness of the night when a husband or child passes way, nor was it the screaming of the mudang as she tries by her incantations to frighten away the spirit of disease. It was a quite unfamiliar sort of disturbance and “The Hawk” paused at the gate to learn what it might mean. Presently there was a murmur of excited voices and a great shuffling of feet inside the gate. It was opened and out came a crowd of men and women servants pale and distraught, each seeming to be seeking safety in flight. The policeman drew one of them aside.
“What is the trouble here?” The man tried to wrench himself away, looking over his shoulder as if fearing that a ghost were after him; but “The Hawk” held him fast. “Trouble! Why, trouble enough! The master died yesterday and we had him all clothed in burial garb ready for the funeral, but tonight he suddenly rose from his coffin and now he stands there in the middle of the room staring straight ahead and not saying a word. We have done nothing wrong, that he should come back to life; no one has let a cat into the room that he should stir from the sleep of death, and yet there the gruesome thing stands, and whether it be man or spirit I, for one, dare not guess. For heaven’s sake, let me get away from the place!”
[page 24] “Very curious,” mused the officer, and drawing his club he entered the court-yard. The house was completely deserted. “The Hawk” glanced sharply around and then entered the room where the dead should be. The thing was still standing there in the middle of the room gazing upward into space, wrapped in its cerements. It took all the nerve the policeman could muster to approach it, but he did so and now the two stand facing each other, the living and the dead. “The Hawk” aimed a blow with his stick and struck the corpse in the face. It never moved. A thrill of genuine fear went through the limbs of the officer, for it is no safe thing to be playing tricks with a real corpse, as he well knew. But he struck again, and this time the secret was out, for the supposedly dead man, instead of falling over like a log, crumpled down at the knees and lay all huddled up on the floor. The officer whipped out his cord and tied him neck and heels, and then demanded in a stern voice :
“What have you done with the corpse, and where are your accomplices?”
“Under the floor,” whimpered the thief, “and the other fellows are hidden in the tarak.” The policeman turned back the mat and saw a loose stone slab beneath which lay the genuine corpse. The gang had entered and played a trick upon the people to frighten them all away, after which they intended to loot the place.
We have been asked by a subscriber to give something by way of establishing the fact that the Japanese learned the art of making Satsuma ware from the Koreans. We hope in the course of the year to give a thorough article on Korean ceramics and must reserve the answer to this question till that time, but in the interval we may say that the historical fact seems to have been conclusively proved. The argument is a double one, in fact a triple one for (1) the descendants of the transported colony of Satsuma potters are living today in Japan (2) the old pottery in Korea today presents characteristics strikingly similar to those of old Satsuma and (3) both Korean and Japanese tradition, if not history itself, makes the [page 25] plain statement of such transportation. It must be remembered that this occurred only 300 years ago, which is but as yesterday in the Far East.
We have also been asked for a history of this capital (caput) institution. It would take a good many pages to give it in full but we shall try to give in a subsequent issue at least a partially adequate biography of Mr. Sangtu. He has had a truly checquered career, or perhaps we might better say a very twisted career but he has always been at the head in every popular movement in Korea and has played a leading part in every fight, as those who have seen Korean fights know very well. Just at present, with some Koreans, Shakespeare’s aphorism is distinctly to the fore, “To be or knot to be.”
An English Society.
The Young Men’s Christian Association of Seoul is the nucleus for various kinds of work for young men in this city. Among these the English Society is worth special mention. A company of some thirty Koreans who can speak English more or less meet in one of the rooms of the temporary Y. M. C. A. quarters and have various literary exercises in English. They have grasped the first important rule that in order to learn anything new one must not be afraid of making blunders. Their knowledge of this rule is made abundantly evident at each meeting but in spite of all mistakes they are pushing ahead. A few evenings ago there was an amusing debate on the question, “Resolved that it would be well for Koreans to adopt European dress.” Some of the arguments adduced both pro and con were truly startling, and the judges unanimously agreed that the negative side had won. There are also recitations, readings, dialogues and other instructive forms of work.
Another class of young men are learning to sing after the western fashion. It is really remarkable how well most Koreans follow a tune after they have once made the attempt. They certainly have a fine “ear for music.” A part of the new physical apparatus ordered from America has arrived, but only a small part of it can be [page 26] accommodated in the present buildings. It will be a great thing when the new building is completed and there will be room for all who want to come. The lecture course has been very successful and the rooms are always crowded to suffocation . The Koreans know a good thing when they see it or hear it. These are free lectures and it is too early to say how much real value the Koreans attach to them. If a small fee were charged for attendance it might be possible to gauge the genuineness of their interest. These people are as willing to get something for nothing as western people are but no more so.
In our review of Prof. Asakawa’s interesting book we expressed surprise that a man could write so accurately in regard to events in Korea, having never visited the country. So far as historical statements go he is remarkably accurate, except in a few cases, as for instance where he says “The cultivation of rice is said to have been first taught the Koreans by the Japanese invaders toward the end of the sixteenth century.” Rice has been cultivated here since the beginning of the Christian era, and so far from having been taught by the Japanese there is every reason to believe that Japan learned the use of rice from Korea in the days of ancient Silla. We are very much surprised that Prof. Asakawa should have been led into such an elementary blunder as this. He also says “It is estimated that the extent of her (Korea’s) land under cultivation is hardly more than 3,185,000 acres and that there exist at least 3,500,000 more acres of arable land. Unfortunately however the Koreans lack energy to cultivate those waste lands; for it is well known that the irregular but exhaustive exactions of the Korean officials have bred a conviction in the mind of the peasant that it is unwise to bestir himself and earn surplus wealth only to be fleeced by the officials. His idleness has now for centuries been forced until it has [page 27] become an agreeable habit.” We would like to ask Prof. Asakawa how it comes about then that within three of these centuries Koreans have been able to make rice fields enough to feed their own 12,000,000 people and, as he says, to export annually 4,000,000 yen worth of this staple? He goes on to say:
“It is in this state of things that it has often been suggested that the cultivation of the waste lands may most naturally be begun by the superior energy of the Japanese settlers.”
This sounds well, but we would like to ask Prof. Asakawa whether he really believes that the Japanese settler would think of going on to the uncultivated hill-sides and give the Koreans an object lesson in agriculture. Very far from it. The Japanese are buying up the best rice-fields, and the Korean who is foolish enough to sell will waste his money and become a coolie or he will be driven back to these less desirable lands.
Not does Prof. Asakawa touch upon the vital question of jurisdiction. To him the Japanese industrial invasion of Korea looks like a great campaign of education. He says: “The progress of agriculture would also gradually lead the Korean into the beginning of an industrial life while the expanding systems of railways and banking would be at once cause and effect of the industrial growth of the nation.”
This is all very fine from the theoretic standpoint, but Prof. Asakawa has not seen how it works in actual life. The ideal standpoint is one thing and the actual and practical a very different thing. The ordinary Japanese immigrant and settler has no rosy visions of a regenerated Korea, he has in mind no scheme for making the Koreans wake up to their agricultural possibilities. He wants the land irrespective of all other considerations, just as Americans or Frenchmen or Englishmen would do under like circumstances. The question is whether these high ideals which Prof. Asakawa claims that the Japanese authorities hold will be brought into the field of practical affairs and prevent the arable land of Korea being bought up for business purposes by Japanese; whether, in other words, [page 28] the Japanese government really has any genuine intention of recognizing the Korean laborer or artisan as having any rights that Japanese subjects are bound to respect, and bound to be punished for if they do not respect.
We would also like to ask the Professor another question. If, as he says, official corruption has bred in the Korean mind the conviction that energy and thrift are of no avails would not Japan’s heavy obligation to Korea, which he acknowledges, be better paid by putting an end to that corruption and giving the people an opportunity to learn that thrift is worth something than by allowing Japanese subjects to treat the people as they do and keeping in office, as was done in Pyeng Yang, officials whom even the Koreans themselves consider too mean to tolerate? It would be a pity if after decrying so loudly Russia’s use of corrupt officials here Japan should not make a strong attempt to stem the tide of official corruption.
We believe with Prof. Asakawa that Japan has a large and important piece of work to do in Korea and that her accomplishment of this task will be a far better measure of her genuine moral force than the winning of victory in the war with Russia. Korea has how been in Japan’s hands for a year, but we see no administrative reforms introduced, no cleaning out of the Augean Stables, no educational program promulgated, no financial scheme developed in any practical way, very little indeed that the Korean is bound to profit by. Perhaps the time has not come to begin but by this time some little progress ought to have been made. In the north the people are complaining bitterly that when the railway builders took their rice fields and other land they were told that they must look to the Korean government for their pay. It seems to us, and we should like Prof. Asakawa’s views on this too, that if the Japanese received the land on the understanding that the Korean government would pay for it, they should have seen to it without fail that the government did pay. In the face of the fact that payment, in hundreds of cases has never been made we would like to ask Prof. Asakawa what practical value there is in the statement that upon Japan’s shoulders rests the [page 29] “regeneration” of Korea. We take him at his own word and agree with him fully when he says that “Japan has never encountered a greater trial of her moral force as a nation than in the new situation opened by the protocol.” We are now waiting to see what Japan is going to do to establish the independence and autonomy of Korea in any such sense as America established that of Cuba. There are many points of similarity between these two cases.
We are glad to see that the visit of the Minister of Education to Japan has resulted in a forward movement, the appointment of Prof. Sidehara to the position of Assistant to the Educational Department. Prof. Sidehara has been in Korea some years and is therefore well acquainted with prevailing conditions. We trust that a new impetus will be given to education, which has been in a languishing condition for many years. But even under the best f of management we fear that education cannot be made genuinely popular here until the Government is brought to see that graduates of Government schools are likely to make better material for the officiary of the country than men appointed merely through favoritism. If Japanese influence should bring about the rise of such a sentiment one thing at least would have been done to verify the statement that Japan is interested in the betterment of the Korean people. When the great awakening came in Japan in the sixties they realized that education was all-important. There could be, therefore, no greater proof of their sincerity in Korea than the energetic pushing of a scheme for general and thorough education.
The extremely open winter has caused much uneasiness among the Koreans. The barley crop will be almost a complete failure in many parts of the country and the opening of spring will be the signal for the development of typhus germs on a grand scale. We trust these native prognostications will fail of realization, but we have come to have great respect for what Koreans say [page 30] along these lines. They have so often been the sufferers from such things that they know what they are talking about.
We have begun in this issue a series of articles upon the industries of Korea. It forms a fitting sequel to a former series which we gave on the Products of Korea, and will prove more valuable since manufacturing industries tell us more of the people themselves while agricultural products tell us, rather, what nature does. The article that we print this month on the iron industry in Kang-wun province is certainly news to most of us. We had supposed that Korea was sadly lacking in this most important of all minerals. If the forecast of the writer of this article materializes, the building of the Seoul-Wonsan Railroad will do much to bring the little- known province of Kang-wun into prominence. We can answer Mr. Moose’s query as to the existence of coal in that province, for once during a hunting trip in Kang- wun we stumbled upon one of the finest veins of coal that we have ever seen. Of course, as to its quality we cannot say, but there can be no question that the minerals of Korea form her most important asset; for while a large part of the grain raised in the peninsula is needed for the local population any large deposits of iron or other useful minerals would be available for export.
We consider the statement that the present management of the Korean Imperial Customs is to be changed, to be rather the surmise of those who would like to discredit the Japanese than a fact that is at all liable to come within the radius of probability. We have pointed out before that this is the very last step the Japanese would be likely to take, considering the excellent record the Customs has made and the fact that the policy of the Customs authorities is in such perfect accord with the avowed purposes of Japan in regard to Korea, If the Japanese do not mean what they say in affirming that they want to see a firm, successful and independent government in Korea, then of course anything might be possible; but we think it hardly time yet to assert that [page 31] the ultimate purpose of the Japanese authorities is radically different from their profession. There may have been some things that look that way but there is nothing conclusive as yet. The public will have to accord to Japan the benefit of the doubt until something more definite happens. If Japan is lending money to Korea at six per cent it certainly looks very neighborly, and Japan has a good right to ask for proper security. If anyone has interpreted the proposition that the Customs be security for the loan to be a demand that the management of the Customs be put in Japanese hands we think he has gone much too far. We are free to confess that we have seen little effort on the part of Japan to introduce genuine reforms into Korea, nothing that strikes at the root of the trouble and is calculated to do thorough work. If Korea is ever to be independent she must raise up officials capable of carrying on an independent government. A radical work and not a merely superficial one is necessary. We believe this can be accomplished only through a genuine and thorough education, but while a Japanese assistant has been appointed to the Educational Department there is no money to do anything with, and the cause of education is at the lowest ebb that it has ever been within our knowledge. We are waiting hopefully for evidences of Japan’s intention to fulfill her promises and obligations. It would be a lamentable commentary of Japan’s criticism of Russia’s broken promises in Manchuria if she herself should prove untrue to her own promises in Korea. We cannot believe that she will.
Pak Che-pin, special inspector in North Chulla province, reports to the Home Department that he has arrested Cha Nai-chin, on complaint that he had privately sold land to a foreigner.
By proclamation of General Hasegawa, the Japanese gendarmes will hereafter have charge of policing the city of Seoul.
[page 32] Reports continually come to the Home Department that the Japanese military authorities in various parts of Korea are compelling the Korean magistrates to furnish the Japanese with information as to the number of fields, cattle, houses and population in their districts.
The Japanese Minister has informed the Home Department that in those districts where the office of magistrate is vacant Japanese acting-magistrates will be sent by the Japanese authorities, and their salaries must be paid by the Korean government.
Kwak Chong-suh, Councillor of State, has presented a memorial asking that the term of mourning for the late Crown Princess be shortened.
On the 7th of January a largely attended out-door meeting of the II Chin-hoi was held at Chemulpo. There were a number of speeches, among them one by the Japanese Consul at Chemulpo.
Dr. H. N. Allen has laid before the Korean government the fact that the foreign cemetery site at Yang Wha-chin is entirely too small; and the government has been asked to provide additional ground. All European nationalities are interested in the cemetery. In response the government has granted the request for the additional ground.
Mr. Cho Pyung-sik, Minister of the Home Department, has been appointed President of State, and Mr. Soh Chung-soon as governor of Whanghai Province.
The magistrate of Yang-chun reports to the Home Department that members of the II Chin-hoi are creating disturbances among the people by telling them that any grievances they may have will receive attention if addressed to the II Chin-hoi.
The “Hwang-sung Sin-mun” says that the indemnity asked for the Japanese who in various ways have been killed in Korea since 1894 amounts to 184,400 yen, and this sum has been sent by His Majesty to the Japanese Minister, who has written to the Foreign Office expressing gratitude to His Majesty.
The terms of banishment of various prisoners have been shortened by the Law Department.
A slight skirmish occurred between the Russians and Japanese at Hongwon on the 24th, the Russians retiring northward.
Native papers are reporting that the Japanese government as security for the proposed loan to Korea demands all the Korean revenue, but the Korean government at present only agrees to turn over the revenue from the customs.
The magistrate of Pak-chyong district sends word to the Home Department that members of the II Chin-hoi have had a struggle with other citizens, and the members of this society destroyed the premises of the magistrate.
A number of young Korean officials have formed debating societies for the discussion of political questions.
[page 33] Complicated affairs are of frequent occurrence, but occasionally one gets straightened out. The magistrate of Whai-chou was arrested by the Japanese on complaint that he had written to the Home Department stating that the Japanese had connived at the organization of the II Chin-hoi that they might interfere with Korean police affairs. It now appears the letter was a forgery written by one of the Il Chin-hui and the magistrate has been released.
We regret to announce the death of the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. L. Gillett, aged six days.
The Home Department has been informed by the Japanese Minister that Mr. Chung Hang-cho, superintendent of trade at Kunsan, should be retained in his position because he is an honest official and the people have asked that he be retained. He also states that Kim Yong-ak, the magistrate of An-ak, persistently squeezed the people, and seven separate complaints had been lodged against him.
It is reported that an attempt has been made by Japanese merchants to build a small store in the street immediately in front of the building used by the Korean Cotton Exchange. The matter has been laid before the Police Department.
Because of alleged improper expressions concerning His Majesty the Minister for Foreign Affairs has asked the Japanese Minister to prohibit the publication of a certain Japanese daily in the city.
Complaint is made by the Foreign Office that Japanese military authorities at Ham Heung are meddling with land taxation even outside the sphere of military operations, and that the Japanese consul at Chin- nampo is interfering m civil cases, and the Japanese Minister is asked to prohibit such unlawful actions.
On the 26th inst. the Japanese Minister demanded of the Household Department an immediate reply to his communication relative to the abolition of the Che Yong-sa (a bureau controlling the hide monopoly.)
Three Korean gentlemen of good position, Yuh Chimg-yong, Kang Won-hyong and Woo Yong-taik, have written to the Japanese Minister complaining that while at the beginning of the war Japan had declared her intention of protecting the interests of Korea, instead of keeping her promise had now requested all the waste lands, was building railways without concessions, had killed many Koreans, and was interfering with both police and local affairs.
[page 34] The aged nobles have united in presenting a memorial to His Majesty asking for reforms in the government.
At a cabinet meeting on the 17th inst. Mr. Megata, Japanese adviser to the Finance Department, laid three propositions before His Majesty and the various Ministers, 1, To borrow Y 10,000,000 from Japan with which to establish a national bank in Seoul, with a branch in each of the thirteen provinces. 2, To prohibit the use of counterfeit nickles. 3, To pay the salaries of all officials in paper yen.
General Hasegawa, commander-in-chief of the Japanese forces in Korea, was received in audience by His Majesty on the 18th inst.
The contract of Mr. Delcoigne, Belgian Adviser to the Household Department, has not been renewed, and it is now stated that the Japanese Minister will advise with the government when difficult questions arise.
Since taking charge of policing the city the Japanese gendarmes have ordered a census taken of the inhabitants of Seoul, and also a report of the number of houses.
On the 18th an edict was issued dismissing all magistrates guilty of squeezing and mis-governing the people.
M. Cremazy, Adviser to the Law Department, is making preparations for a journey to France.
The decoration First Order of the Plum Blossom has been conferred by His Majesty on General Hasegawa, and several minor decorations on the members of his staff.
Mr. Cho Pyung-ho, former governor of Whanghai province, has succeeded Min Yong-ki as Minister of Finance.
In the budget for 1905 it is estimated that there will be an income of 14,950,574 nickel dollars, while the expenditures are estimated at 19,113,600 nickel dollars.
A branch office of the Japanese Immigration society has been established in Seoul, for the purpose of sending Korean immigrants to Mexico, and they are informed that work is awaiting them and opportunities for education.
The Korean Post and Telegraph office at Chemulpo burned on the 27th. Incendiarism is suspected.
The Police Department has been requested by a committee from the II Chin-hoi to pay to that society yen 700 in Japanese money and $150 in Korean nickels, said to have been lost when the Korean police closed the Seoul headquarters of the society. They also asked that $100 be paid to the wounded members to reimburse them for medical attendance.
Ha Sang-ki, formerly superintendent of trade at Chemulpo, has been appointed Secretary of the Korean Legation at Tokio, and Mr. Yu Chan takes his place at Chemulpo.
[page 35] The branch railway between Masampo and Sam Nang-chin has been completed.
All regular steamer traffic to Wonsan was discontinued after the declaration of war, but on January 13th the Shoshen Kaisha renewed its service by sending a steamer on its first regular trip to that port.
On the 13th inst. all the Foreign Representatives and the Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs were entertained at dinner at the American Legation.
Mr. Yi Yong-kwon, the governor of North Pyeng An province, who was brought to trial on the request of the Il-chin-hoi, wired to the Home Department that he had been intercepted on his way to Seoul by the Japanese military authorities.
Chin Hee-sung, the acting-magistrate of Whang-ju district, reports to the Home Department that the Japanese Agriculture society at Kium Yi-po, a port in his district, requests him to force the Koreans to sell their fields in the west and south parts of the district, about one half the area of the district.
The chief of police has issued orders to tax the householders of Seoul for the purpose of repairing the wells of the city. The minimum tax will be 20 cents, and the maximum $2.40.
After having received a report from the governor of Ham Heung to the effect that the Japanese were interfering with local affairs in his district, the Home Department has communicated with the Foreign Department, asking that the Japanese Minister be requested to see that such interference be stopped.
A number of Korean immigrants in Hawaii have sent a memorial to His Majesty, with the request that a Korean Consul be sent to Hawaii to care for the interests of Korean subjects. They represent that all the other nations have Consuls, and if it is a question of money, the petitioners with other Koreans in Hawaii will provide the funds for maintaining the consulate.
Mr. Cho Pyung-ho becomes the Vice President of State.
It is reported that Prince Euiwha, now in the United States, has wired to the Household Department his determination to return to Korea.
The Foreign Office has been notified by the Japanese Minister that beginning in April the Japanese will make a thorough survey of the Korean Sea north of Fusan and South of Wonsan, and all magistrates of the coast districts are asked to render courteous assistance.
A request comes to the government from the Japanese Army Head- quarters at Wonsan through the Japanese Minister that Pak Ki-ho, Korean police magistrate at Wonsan, be appointed magistrate of Ko-won.
The term of mourning for the late Crown Princess has been officially shortened.
[page 36] The new chief of police has ordered that all able-bodied beggars be set to work by the police.
All work at the Korean mint has been suspended for several weeks. Whether the works are permanently closed is not known.
An aged councillor of state sat outside the gates of the palace wall for five or six days, and announced that he would remain until his demands for reform were heeded.
On the evening of the 11th Yi Yong-ik gave a banquet at the Haijo hotel to some three hundred invited Korean and Japanese guests.
According to the kamni of Kyeng Heung a Russian colonel with l00 men have taken quarters in the Korean government buildings.
One of the demands of the Kong Ching-hoi was that the Minister of the Home Department retire to private life for thirty years to study books dealing with up-to-date affairs. He is 73 years of age.
Bill-boards lighted with incandescent lights are a new feature in Gin-go-kai, Seoul.
The Household Department replies to a complaint of a Japanese pawn-broker that an official named Yun Woo-byung had pawned his official seal and departed without redeeming it, by saying that no man by that name has ever been in the employ of the Department, and the incident is ended.
It is officially reported that Yi Yun-chai, the governor of North Ham-kyung province, was dismissed, and Shim Heun-tak, magistrate of Kyung Sung district, succeeded him and received the governor’s seal. Then the Russian general in that vicinity compelled Mr. Shim to return the seal to Mr. Yi.
On the 9th inst. 4,000 members of the II Chin-hoi met in the vicinity of Independence Hall, outside of West Gate. During the meeting a communication was read to them from the Japanese Army Headquarters to the effect that since the Japanese gendarmes would in future have charge of the police affairs of Seoul, it would be unnecessary for the country members of the society to remain longer in Seoul.
By Imperial order four Koreans who have studied military tactics in Japan have been appointed to command the Imperial Guard, to prevent the frequently recurring quarrels between the Japanese soldiers and the Korean sentries.
The native papers report that an American who has been Consul in China for many years, in company with an American capitalist has formed a company with a capital of $24,000,000, for the purpose of boring for petroleum in Korea, cutting timber on the west bank of the Yalu, and mining coal in Manchuria.
On the 11th inst. the Home Department instructed the governors of Kyung Ki, North Chulla and North Pyeng Yang provinces to protect the members of the Il Chin-hoi, as certain magistrates were treating them very cruelly.
[page 37] A Japanese society has been formed in Seoul to consider questions of Korean mines, fisheries, commerce and agriculture.
A Korean Statesmen’s club has been organized in Seoul, with the famous Cho Pyung Soh as president.
Mr. Min Young Ki has been reappointed Minister of Finance.
It is reported that Mr. Megata will shortly return to Japan to perfect arrangements with reference to the proposed loan of ten million yen to Korea by Japan.
The Chinese Minister informs the Foreign Office that a telegram from His Majesty the Emperor of China expresses sympathy to His Majesty the Emperor of Korea on the death of the late Crown Princess.
The Japanese Mining company is said to have discovered valuable coal mines at Wool-san Kyung Sang province, Tong chin in Kyung- kni province, Sam-chuh and Chung-son in Kang-won province, Pyeng- yang in Pyeng-an province, and Yong-heung, Kilju, Myung’Chyung and Syung-sung in Ham-kyung province.
When Yi Yong-Ik returned from Japan he is said to have brought with him school text books to the value of $3,000, and is now trying to establish seven schools in Seoul.
Min Yong Chul, Korean Minister to China, arrived in Seoul on the 24th.
It appears that the small street lamps at present in use, lighted with kerosene, are more expensive than electric lights would be. There is therefore a probability that after the Korean New Year the main thoroughfares from East to West Gates and from Chongno to South Gate will be lighted with incandescent lights, each ten houses bearing the expense of one light.
Building operations have continued in Seoul this winter to February 1st almost without interruption from cold weather.
Japanese gendarmes have posted the following proclamation on the gates of the city: 1. When it is desired to organize a society for political purposes in Seoul or its vicinity the Japanese Headquarters must be notified at least three days before the proposed meeting. 2. Such societies will not be permitted to hold meetings unless the leader reports the time, place and purpose of the meeting one day in advance. 3. Any necessary public meeting may be held by securing permission in conformity to Section 2. 4. Any assembly relating to marriage death and sacrifice is excepted from the above provision. 5. All kinds of political meetings must be guarded by Japanese gendarmes. 6. All kinds of letters, circulars, etc., issued by political organizations must be submitted to this office. 7. Should any organization violate the above six articles the leaders will be punished by martial law.
It is definitely stated that Mr. and Mrs. Donham will return to Korea in March or April.
[page 38] On January 3rd 34,654 passengers were carried by the American- Korean Electric Company, breaking the best previous record of 28,740 passengers on the occasion of the Empress Dowager’s funeral last winter.
Mr. H. Maki, of Tokyo, consulting engineer for the American- Korean Electric Company, is in the city on business connected with the enlargement of the electric light plant and the extension of the car lines to be undertaken as early in the spring as weather will permit.
On Christmas day Rev. and Mrs. M. A. Robb, of Wonsan, welcomed the arrival of a daughter.
Born : On January 10, to Rev. and Mrs. Foote, of Wonsan, a daughter.
Early in January the Vice President of State presented a memorial requesting His Majesty to punish Kwon Chung-suh, director of Police Headquarters, Pak Yong-wha, Vice Minister of the Household Department, and Yi Keun-sang, Vice Minister of Agriculture, for gambling in the palace.
Three hundred members of the Il Chin-hoi with their hair cut and caps decorated with a gilt letter K followed the hearse at the funeral of the late Crown Princess.
The Hamburg-America company has purchased the steamer Medan especially for plying between Chemulpo and Shanghai. The steamer is furnished with electric lights throughout, has first-class passenger accommodations, and will make regular trips between the two ports every two weeks.
The Seoul-Chemulpo railroad is kept so busy hauling railroad equipment and army supplies for the Japanese government that it cannot properly care for the interests of local shippers, at least one firm being notified that the road would be so busy no freight could be hauled for said company for at least two months. Other shippers complain that even small packages will not be received or must sometimes wait for days before they are sent to Seoul, a distance of twenty-six miles.
Up tn January 26th Korea had experienced the most open winter known for a number of years. The larger rivers contained no ice, and much anxiety was expressed lest it would be impossible to secure ice for use during the coming summer.
Trains for Fusan now start from Seoul each morning, obviating the necessity for changing cars at Yong Dong-po.
All mail from Japan and foreign countries is brought from Fusan on the Seoul-Fusan railway. When the new steamers ply between Shimonoseki and Fusan, making direct connection with all trains, it is expected more than two days will be saved in the delivery of the mails.
It is said the Foreign Office has been reprimanded for engaging a Chinese teacher for the Chinese language school without first consulting those higher in authority.
[page 39] The Japanese Army Headquarters are said to have issued instructions to the Japanese officers in Ham Kyung province to prohibit Koreans from buying and selling property or pawning goods within the sphere of military operations.
Mr. Kwon Chung-hyun has been transferred from the office of Minister of Law to that of Minister of War, and Pak Che-soon takes the position of Minister of Law.
Russians in North Korea have made another raid and destroyed the telegraph line as far as Ma Wooliung.
The resignation of Cho Pyung-sik, minister of the Home Department, has been accepted.
Several thousand dollars have been given by His Majesty for the benefit of the poor. The Police Department is prepared to grant 40 sen to each necessitous family, on conclusive evidence of need.
It is said the government, on recommendation of General Hasegawa, commander-in-chief of the Japanese army in Korea, has decided to reduce the Korean army to ten battalions, to consist of 6,000 infantry and one regiment each of artillery, cavalry, engineers and gendarmes. The Palace Guard will consist of three battalions and the remaining seven battalions will be used as country guards throughout the thirteen provinces.
Chung Hwan-pyuk was dismissed from the position of official clerk at the Korean telegraph office on what he considered insufficient excuse, so both he and his wife committed suicide.
Prof. Frampton, Head Master of the government English school, has renewed his contract with the government for three years.
Yi Wyung-hyun, said to have an excellent knowledge of the Chinese classics, has been called to the palace to advise with His Majesty, and has now been appointed a member of the Privy Council
Yi Keun-tak has been appointed President of the Police Bureau, and Min Pyung-sik as President oi the Bureau of Decorations.
Seventy- two prisoners have for various crimes recently received the death sentence from the Supreme Court, and His Majesty has confirmed this judgment.
The work of connecting Roze Island to the main-land at Chemulpo is progressing slowly during the cold weather.
After the fall of Port Arthur the report was current that 18,000 additional Japanese troops would be brought to this part of Korea during January. By the end of the month only a small portion of this number had arrived.
Work is being pushed forward rapidly on both the Seoul-Wiju and Seoul-Wonsan railroads.
House taxes for the latter half of 1904 will be remitted by the governor of Kyeng ki, by gracious command of His Majesty, in recognition of the services rendered in preparation for the funeral of the late Crown Princess.
[page 40] The newly-appointed Police Commissioner has issued an order against the wearing of silk clothes, and prohibiting women from appearing on the streets after 9 P. M.
The magistrate of Chang- tan reports that on the 27th inst. a number of robbers rushed into the town and carried away the Imperial tablet.
On recommendation of Cho Pyung-ho twenty-three new magistrates have been appointed.
The inhabitants of Im-pi have requested the magistrate to accept nickel coins in payment of taxes. The magistrate had previously refused to accept anything but copper money, but compromised by accepting half copper and half nickel. There have been one or two riots, and an appeal was made to the Japanese consul at Kunsan . Now the magistrate asks that the Japanese Minister restrain the consul from interfering in affairs outside of his jurisdiction.
A telegram from Tokio announces that a Japanese police inspector will be stationed at the Japanese Legation in Seoul.
Three of the leaders of the Kong-chin-hoi having been banished, the society recommended Chung Won-pok and Kim Nyung-han to the Japanese Army Headquarters. The reply was that these men were unworthy of leadership, and as a consequence the office of that society was closed.
The Wiju prefect reports that since the fall of Port Arthur members of the Il Chin-hoi nave succeeded in inducing the people in his district to supply food for the horses of the Japanese army.
From Kok-san the magistrate reports that he has been requested by the Japanese Consul at Chinnampo to notify the people that the II Chin-hui and Chin Po-Hoi should be prohibited by Japanese policemen, as they incite the people to rise and disturb the peace of the nation.
The following is reported to us to be the recent negotiations between the Minister of Finance and the Dai Ichi Ginko, a Japanese bank: 1. The Dai Ichi Ginko will become the medium for the adjustment of Korean currency. 2. The said bank will undertake the business connected with the Korean exchequer. 3. The bank will establish a main office in Seoul, with a branch office in each of the thirteen provinces. 4. The head office of the bank will control the business of exchanging money and the collecting of taxes. 5. The Minister of Finance consents to the use of Dai Ichi Ginko notes for the payment of taxes and in commercial transactions. 6. At present the Dai Ichi Ginko will loan yen 3,000,000 to the Korean Finance Department for the adjustment of the Korean currency. 7. If it be necessary the Korean government may secure a further loan, with the maritime customs as security.
THE KOREA REVIEW
VOL. 5. NO. 2. FEBRUARY
A Hunt for Wild hogs J. E. Adams 41
Spelling Reform Lower A. Enmun 46
The Stone-fight 49
Progress of the Seoul-Wiju Railway N. C. Whittemore 53
A Woman’s Wit G. Engel , 54
Korean Giants G. Engel 56
Odds and Ends
Korea a Vassal of Japan 58
Rest from Burglars 61
Editorial Comment 63
A Review A. Kenmure 70
News Calendar 72
A Hunt for Wild Hogs.
Jas. E. Adams.
In the district of which I have charge in Eastern Kyung-sang Province, my itineration often takes me into the magistracies of Yung-jung and Kyong-ju, some sections of which are extremely mountainous and sparsely populated. Hidden in among these mountains are several groups of Christians whom I visit from time to time. In the Fall, about the time of the maturing of the rice crop they are greatly bothered by the wild hogs which come down from the mountains and ravage their fields of standing grain. For some weeks they are compelled to watch day and night, if they would secure the crop. When I go among them in the late Fall, their grievances against these porcine enemies are fresh and acute, and they are clamorous for me to bring the wonderful, Western, “many shot” gun and help to ravage the ravagers.
It is only at the time of harvest that these animals come down from the wilds to feed upon the maturing rice. They do all their work at night and during the day they lie hidden in the edge of the woods or in the rough underbrush of the lower valleys. It would be useless to try to hunt them at any other season for they are in the almost inaccessible mountains and even if one were found it would easily escape in the leafy underbrush. The late Autumn when the leaves have fallen is the only time one can be at all sure of getting a shot at one of them.
[page 42] For a long time I gave no weight to the marvelous tales they told of the size of the mountain hogs. They were ordinarily as large as a yearling calf and sometimes they grew, if the narrator was somewhat heated, to be as large as a full-grown cow. So one day I took my rifle with me and determined to lay off a little while and have some sport. The gun I used was a Winchester, 30-30, smokeless, shooting a soft-nosed, jacketed bullet. When I arrived and announced my purpose the report went abroad like wildfire and men flocked in to help from two or three different groups.
We took some ten or twelve men as beaters and one Korean hunter, with his old matchlock, and started for a Buddhist temple forest at head of the valley, where wild hogs were said to be plentiful. The priests told us that a drove of them had been down to the fields the evening before and had been driven off. The forest covered a number of spurs running up the side of the mountain back of the temple, so we began at one side that we might beat the whole woods systematically.
The hunter and myself went up the ridge on one side of a hollow and disposed ourselves as advantageously as we could, for getting anything that should attempt to cross over. The beaters strung out along the ridge on the other side, from top to bottom, and when all was ready, they began to beat across. These beaters are not armed with gongs and other instruments nor do they shout and make a great disturbance, for this would make the pigs bolt at once; but they go quietly along and the pigs move out easily hoping to avoid the necessity of bolting altogether. This gives the hunter a much better shot. The first hollow yielded nothing, and when the beaters had come across, we, with the guns, laboriously climbed to the top of our ridge and around the head of the hollow and disposed ourselves again on the next one.
Again the beaters spread out and started across. They had not more than started when from my station, high upon the opposite ridge, I saw the drove break cover and start along the side of the mountain. There were [page 43] six, a monstrous old hog and five somewhat smaller ones. I was entirely too high up to get a shot at them, as they crossed, for the hog, unlike the leopard, does not usually run up the mountain, but keeps at about the same level. The Korean hunter, however, was somewhere below me in the bush, and I was in hopes that he would get a shot. I waited, and in a short time the sound of the old matchlock came up to me, with the muffled roar of a blast in a mine. I hurried down, to find that at about the time that the hogs should have come his way, a leopard, scared out by the beaters, and intending to take himself quietly out of the way, had passed near, and the hunter had chosen him in preference to the hog. Alas, however, the old matchlock, while great at roaring, was not much at hitting, and the only result was a bad scare for the leopard, while the hogs had disappeared entirely. Some of the beaters thought they had broken back, some were sure they had not, and a wrangle ensued. Finally we went on and in the same manner beat the remaining hollows but without result. No hogs were to be found.
It was now noon, and it had been a terribly arduous morning for my unaccustomed muscles. The mountain side was so precipitous that I could scarcely climb it. The Koreans with their straw sandals seemed to have no difficulty, but the leather soles of my shoes soon grew so slippery on the dry grass that I was continually slipping back. The mountain also was covered with thick underbrush, which made the climbing much more difficult. We had gone up one ridge and down another, and up again to the top of the mountain, some four or five times, so the last time when we came down, without result, we adjourned, discouraged, to the Buddhist temple, for a lunch.
But after lunch, being fortified in the inner man, our resolution returned, and we determined to work again the back hollows from the point where we had lost the hogs, thinking that probably they had broken back. Again we toiled up and took our stations, while the beaters climbed up the opposite ridge, lined out and started [page 44] to beat across. Again I had the upper station, and this time our perseverance was rewarded. The hogs broke cover, and crossed below, between the Korean hunter and myself. I could hear them running through the bush, and so, dropping down the mountain side a bit, got within seeing distance, as they broke across the open path which runs down the crest of the ridge. The big hog was in the lead, and at about fifty yards distance through the open brush, I gave him one. He paused for a moment and then broke on into the thick brush in the next hollow. The other five followed with a rush. All the hunting that I had done had been in my boyhood with a loose powder and ball squirrel rifle, and in the excitement of the moment I snapped again at one of them without throwing the lever and so the hammer struck only an empty shell. I had also heard the muffled roar of the old matchlock at about the same time I had fired myself. I felt sure I hit him and was greatly chagrined when he plunged on into the next thicket.
The whole crowd of the beaters rushed in and were excited as only Koreans can be. Each had his own particular version as to how it happened, although none of them had seen it. There was nothing for it but to climb the ridge again and come down on the next one, for to abandon the chase now was not to be thought of. So up I went forcing my almost helpless legs and blistered feet to push me up, and finally reached my station. The beaters started in, and when they had almost reached the bottom of the hollow, the hogs came out with a rush. This time they were nearer, so that I alone secured a shot as they passed. Again the big one was in the lead. I fired at him, and this time he dropped instantly and rolled down the side of the mountain. Again, in the excitement, I snapped on an empty shell at another and they plunged into the brush and were lost.
We rushed down the mountain side, all fatigue forgotten, to where the dead monster lay. Truly he looked a monster as he lay there. The beaters rushed out with a shout and a scramble, fairly tumbling down the mountainside in their excitement. That morning, at prayers, [page 45] the one who led had prayed earnestly that we might be given good success in our hunt, and now the head beater as he tumbled down the mountain and caught a sight of the fellow, seized me by the arm, and said “Teacher, teacher, let us get right down upon our knees here and give thanks to God.” It had been many a long day since they had had as much meat in sight. Moreover they were revenged upon their enemy.
The fatal ball had struck and mushroomed on the back bone, just above the shoulder, and when we turned the hog over, we found that the first ball had also taken effect in the side of the belly, and had literally torn the intestines to pieces. The abdomen was simply a sack full of blood, yet the brute was pounding along as vigorously, apparently, at the last shot as at the first. The matchlock did not seem to have done more than scare it, although the man behind it was reputed to be a mighty hunter.
The height of the hog was in his shoulders. His front legs were like great pillars, and on these his body was pivoted, sloping down in the rear into much smaller hams, and extending almost as far forward, in a long, hanging, ugly head. Under the coarse bristly hair was a thick mat of fur all over his body; the winter coat, I presume. He was marked with grey from the corners of the mouth back, and down the shoulders. The general color of the hair was black. In the drove I noticed one red fellow. The general build was utterly unlike the miserable degenerates we see about Korean dwellings. The animal was entirely too heavy for the crowd to carry even slung on a pole, so we rigged a drag of pine boughs and loaded it on and dragged it down the mountain side, to the houses below. We estimated its weight as nearly as possible, and it could not have been less than three hundred pounds, and was probably nearer four hundred. It was not fat but just in the prime condition of a free-running mountain hog. It stood about three feet and a half high at the shoulder. The tusks were formidable affairs but had been badly worn down by his rooting in the ground for food. But for this they would have been seven or eight inches long.
[page 46] The meat was delicious, very unlike our pen-fattened pork in flavor. That night the Koreans all made themselves sick, feasting. The head I preserved and mounted, and now with a look of lowering, sullen rage, and teeth bared, as though to rend, it looks down upon me from the wall, to remind me of the day in the woods, on the mountain.
In some countries it is said that the wild boar is a dangerous customer and will generally charge at sight; but that is not the case with Korean boars. They get away as fast as their legs will carry them, which is very near the gait of a deer. They probably would make trouble if cornered or if come upon so suddenly that there was no time to turn. I have just received news that a man in this same district where I hunted was recently rushed by a boar and badly torn up. But a man properly armed needs have little fear of trouble along this line.
The use of dogs in hunting boar would be very small unless there was a whole pack that were trained to surround the animal and hold him at bay till the hunter could come up. A single dog would be of no use at all. I consider the Korean method much the best every way.
Petition of Lower A. Enmun
To the Honourable the Foreign Community, especially the reverend gentlemen of the Missionary Societies, in Korea.
The Petition of Lower A. Enmun, humbly showeth :
First that he is the younger brother of Upper A. Enmun (commonly written 아) and brother-in-law to Two- stroke Upper A. Enmun (야 ), the wife of the former.
Second that he stands for the shorter sounds which require only a small opening of the mouth in a speaker, whereas his elder brother represents the full mouth and throat sounds.
[page 47] Third that he has for several hundred years done faithful service to a multitude of Korean men, women and children who chose to employ him and that they have never had cause to complain of his willingness to serve them.
Fourth that there are some Koreans who never exactly know when to employ him and often by mistake make use of him when they ought to call his big brother into service and vice versa, but that neither he nor his brother is responsible for stupid mistakes made by ignorant and uneducated people.
Fifth that a few years ago certain learned and reverend gentlemen took, to your humble petitioner’s great distress, an unaccountable dislike to him and proposed to discontinue your humble petitioner’s services, and have actually for the last two years done without them, and while they reinstated others of our family that they had dropped, they have left your humble petitioner unmercifully out in the cold.
Sixth that these same gentlemen have, in cases where your petitioner’s elder brother would not serve them, wrongfully substituted our cousins Eu (으) or I (이) Enmun in your petitioner’s rightful place, thereby greatly corrupting and impoverishing the language of a people among which he lives as an honoured guest; they write now in the Christian News [refer to scanned image version for Hangeul] which shows to what extremes men may be driven when once they forsake the path of right and follow their own inventions.
Seventh that the Koreans, or those of them whose opinion counts for something, declare these spellings incorrect and some say that these gentlemen are now making worse mistakes than any the Koreans ever made, even if they did occasionally confuse your humble petitioner and his big brother; that many Koreans are losing respect for the wisdom and learning of those that attempt to deprive the Korean alphabet of a useful character such as your humble petitioner, who has been in great [page 48] use for SO many centuries and whom the Koreans themselves never thought of dismissing and never will think of discarding.
Eighth that the Koreans do not like to write * for *, that they, in short, as a rule prefer your humble petitioner’s services in these and similar cases, while in the case 찰하리 some of the learned foreigners do not know the exact spelling, either, as the divergence between the spelling in our standard dictionary and that in the New Testament (where we see * ) goes to show; so that none of those reformers could use this word as a test of correct or incorrect spelling (see “Argos” in Korea Review p. 54-0, 190.4) and prove to a Korean that he has been found tripping.
Ninth that your humble petitioner is preferred by Koreans in combinations like the following : etc.
Tenth that your humble petitioner and his big brother are fully aware of a few disputable cases : e. g. * which would, perhaps, be more correctly spelt * in all which disputable cases your humble petitioner is willing to give place to his elder brother.
Eleventh that, while there may be no objection to the following spellings :
* Koreans and foreigners should be free to avail themselves of your humble petitioner’s service wherever they think fit in such cases without incurring the odium orthographicum.
Twelfth that in some cases there is necessity for distinction between * (word) and * (horse), as between * (a wordy person) and * (a groom), * (refrain from!) and * (being dry), * (other) and * (moon), * (single) and * (sweet) as between * (a single time, just once) and * (a sweet gourd), * (went) and * (is like) etc.
Therefore, your petitioner humbly beseeches the Honourable the Foreign Community and especially the Reverend Gentlemen of the Missionary Societies, in Korea, taking these premises into consideration, to grant your humble petitioner as full and free practice as he formerly [page 49] enjoyed, in the Christian News the publications of the Religious Tract Society and any other publications of Protestant Missions and as he still enjoys in publications and writings of Koreans, Japanese and Roman Catholic missionaries and a large majority of Protestant missionaries.
And your humble petitioner as in duty bound, will ever pray.
Kukmunan, 1st day of moon, Eulsa.
Lower A. Enmun.
To the Editor Korea Review, Dear Sir : Thinking that I have more influence with you than himself, Lower A. Enmun has asked me to forward this for publicaton in the Korea Review. Having full sympathy for the poor, dear little fellow, I do forward it most heartily.
The unusual interest and enthusiasm which the Koreans show in the national game of “side-fight” this year has raised anew the question of how this curious custom originated and how they come to show such unusual energy over a thing which brings in such small returns except broken heads and torn clothes. Being of purely native origin and having its counterpart in no other land, it is worth considering as one of the survivals of pure Korean life unmixed with foreign elements.
From the days of Ancient Koguryu the people of Pyeng-an Province have been notorious for their stone- throwing proclivities. It is said that a form of stone fight existed even then in the early days of our era but this is hard to substantiate from actual history. We may take the tradition for what it is worth.
Coming down to the days of the Koryu dynasty we read that one of the kings instituted the game as an amusement in the palace enclosure and that he would have [page 50] men tied up as a target to practice upon, himself. The kings of Koryu seem to have spent much of their energy in the invention of new amusements and it is easily with- in the limits of belief that the stone-fight as a national institution began in those days.
The game is played only at the beginning of the year when people have nothing else to do and the fields lie bare and inviting. With the end of each year Koreans are supposed to pay up their debts. Whether they all do or not is a question hard to answer but everybody seems unusually cheerful. It may be because they have successfully avoided that ordeal. Either event would make him jolly. This excess of high spirits, the leisure of the holidays and the love of excitement find an outlet in the stone-fight. It takes the place of our play-acting and opera and is concentrated into the first few weeks of the year. The audience is always large and enthusiastic and the successful actors are sure of applause.
In former times there was less danger attached to the game than there is to-day. The public taste seems to crave something more exciting each year. It used to be the custom that no one must be struck who had fallen to the ground but now they show no quarter and a man who falls and is surrounded by the enemy is severely handled.
There are three places in Korea where this sport is carried on most enthusiastically. These are Pyengyang, Songdo and Seoul. In Pyengyang the people are such accurate stone throwers that it is impossible to come to hand to hand conflicts as they do in Seoul. They merely stand a long ways off and throw stones. In Songdo they use clubs as they do in Seoul but these are long and unwieldy and far less effective than the short clubs used here. The story is told of a famous Seoul fighter who went to Songdo with his short club and fought now on one side and now on the other and whichever side he aided invariably won the day. At last he was “spotted” and the gentle suggestion was made that as an interloper he be killed. He got word of this and fled the field not waiting even for supper. He got something to eat at the [page 51] Im-jin River and came into Seoul within twenty-four hours. It is in Seoul that the game must be seen in its most dramatic form. The river towns have a standing grudge against the Seoulites and generally come off best in the fights, but the river towns also fight against each other. The villages may join forces and send a challenge to two other villages to meet them in the open the following day. Clubs and straw helmets and shoulder-pads are prepared overnight. The morning will see the small boys of the two factions playing a mimic game while the elders are gathering for the fray. By afternoon the hillsides are crowded with thousands of spectators and the time approaches for the onslaught. The boys retire from the field and the champions of either side run forward from their lines and brandish their clubs by way of challenge and perform a small war dance of defiance. The crowds on the hills shout encouragement. The two opposing sides without any show of order or discipline move slowly toward each other, stones flying through the air but falling far short of the mark. When they stop and the champions rush forward and skirmish with each other. Stones fly more thickly and the contestants begin to work themselves up to the fighting point. A murmur passes through the ranks on the left which rises to a wild yell and the whole company rushes directly across the open toward the foe. The latter give way and scurry from the field but only long enough to let the rush of their opponents throw them into disorder. Then they turn and sweep back carrying everything before them. The crowds on the hills roar with delight and urge on the conflict with all sorts of incoherent advice. In the lull which follows a duel takes place between the be-helmetted champions in which some sound blows are struck and now and then a bleeding victim is dragged out and retired. As the afternoon waves the fighters become bolder and the determination to hold the field when night comes makes them throw caution to the winds. The charges back and forth become more reckless; the champions get mixed with the ordinary rank and file and strike viciously to right and left till a well-aimed brick-bat [page 52] strikes a vulnerable spot and the man retires for repairs. Often the fleeing side rushes among the spectators and then a stampede takes place in which hats are crushed, immaculate shoes are trampled with mud and silken garments are torn. On one side a knot of ten or twenty fighters may be seen stamping on and belaboring the person of a foe who lies on the ground helpless. A savage yell goes up from the endangered man’s side and half a dozen desperate fellows dash headlong into the struggling mass and in spite of blows which fall like rain they get the body of their comrade and bring it off victoriously. As darkness falls the fight is called off and the happy crowd swarms back to the city with their bruised but smiling champions who are boasting of what they will “do to those fellows” on the morrow.
The different villages are as proud of their good fighters as American cities are of their good base-ball players and there is the same rivalry in securing the services of such men. A wealthy resident of one town will secretly approach the big fighter of the neighboring village and offer him a house and a living if he will only move across and help them. This is discovered and the people where the coveted man lives club together and make him a still better offer if he will stay where he is. Such a man can live at ease eleven months in the year if he will risk his head for the other month. His prowess has an actual cash value.
Before the late Regent rebuilt the Kyong-bok Palace in the sixties the examination grounds directly behind it used to be the favorite place for stone fighting and great were the battles fought there. A story is told of how king Hyo-jong, who used to take pleasure in going about in disguise like Haroun al Raschid, went out to see one of these fights. He stood in the crowd watching the conflict, when suddenly there was a rush in his direction and the people were jammed in a solid mass against a wall. The hats in those days were three feet across the brim and the crowd was covered, as it were, with twisted and broken hat rims and crowns. The King was rudely jostled but kept his temper at the most critical [page 53] moment he saw a young roan of twenty rise upon the shoulders of his companions and run over the heads of the crowd brandishing his club. In a few moments he had driven back the enemy and order was restored. The young man had seen through the disguise of the king. This had far reaching consequences, for the king hunted the young man up and from him received some very useful advice. For some reason or other the king cherished the fond idea of invading China and had begun preparations for it, but this young man was more successful than the grand dignitaries of the court in proving the foolishness of the scheme and dissuading him from it.
Progress of the Seoul-Wiju Railway.
N. C. WHITTEMORE.
Work on the railroad has been pushed very fast, and the construction trains are now running in from the river ( Yaloo) to Morai Kohai a distance of 25 li. South of there the road bed is nearly all done down to the Chung river, in Syen Chyun, and there is promise of the construction trains running as far as that by March. The construction trains are also running 40 li north of Pyeng Yang and 50 South from Anchu and pushing on very fast as most of the road bed is already finished. The bridges in most places have been put in very substantially, but the cuts will have to be lowered considerably, before the road can be operated economically. Stations are being built every few miles and the Koreans will undoubtedly patronize the road very freely, In fact it has been very arousing watching the change in the attitude of the Koreans toward the railroad, when once they have seen the “fire cart” in operation. A branch line runs from Tyul San Kwan, about 10 miles down to Piaik Kot, a deep water port on the coast where many of the troops were landed during the spring. The line from Pyeng Yang to Eui Ju follows the line of the high road in the [page 54] main, but swings away from it in various places. At An Chu, it crosses the Chung Chun river, and also the Pak Chyun river some 20 to 30 li below the main road, and does not come back to the immediate vicinity of the main road until Tyung Chud is reached. Then swings off again around the mountains in Kwah San, and again parallels the cart road from a point 20 li east of Syen Chyun Kol as far as Tyul San Kwan, In Eui Ju the line runs through the Southern part of the country, the county seat being 40 li the nearest point of the rail road. The weather here in the north is the warmest ever known, and the Koreans are all saying that the elements are helping the Japanese. The groy nd has only been white once, and more there is nothing to be seen anywhere. The ground on the south side of the hills is hardly frozen at all. Nyong Am Po is in much the same condition as when the Russians evacuated it, except for the saw mills which have been erected by the Japanese, and which have sawed up enormous quantities of the Yaloo timber. The Chinese are still present in large numbers, and seem undisturbed by the change.
A Woman’s Wit.
or ( An Arithmetic Problem.
(Folk-Tale Translated by Rev. G. Engel, Fusan).
War had broken out in the country, which compelled a man and his very beautiful wife to seek refuge elsewhere. While travelling they were one afternoon stopped by a band of robbers, who demanded neither money nor goods but the beautiful woman. For this prize they were willing to let the husband go free.
The latter saw no means of escape out of this dilemma. For if he refused to deliver his wife into the hands of the robbers, they could either take his wife by force from him or even kill him. So he decided to accept this [page 55] inevitable misfortune with resignation. Not so his wife. For she was unwilling to be separated from her husband whom she loved dearly. She was, however, not only a very beautiful, but also a very clever, woman. She had quickly counted the robbers and found they were exactly thirty.
So she faced them and began to parley with them. “There being thirty of you,” the woman said, “it will never do for me to become the wife of you all. Such a life is impossible. But I am willing to go with one of you.” To this the robbers assented.
Then she went on: “Since none of you seems either beautiful, handsome or even mightily good-looking,” at this point, the robbers looked all very stupid “or in any other way preferable to the others, it would be very difficult indeed to make my own choice. Moreover I do not want to appear arbitrary in this matter. If it suits you, I shall employ the following method, in which, I hope, Heaven will guide me to select the right man from among you. You all form a circle, and I shall go round and round in it counting you off by tens. Every tenth man that I count shall go out till only one is left, and he shall become my husband.”
The robbers said that they thought this a very good way of deciding the matter and readily agreed to her , proposal. For every one of them hoped that he would be the lucky one.
They were beginning to form the circle, when the woman asked to stop a moment. “I have one more request to make,” she continued. “I have been thinking of my present husband. It would seem unfair to let him merely look on without giving him a chance with you. I think he is entitled to this much consideration. So let him stand in the circle with you though I am afraid his chance is but a small one.” Being fair minded and none too clever, the robbers granted this small request without any misgivings.
When the circle had been formed, the woman began to count from her husband: “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven” and then suddenly stopped with a puzzled [page 56] look on her face declaring she had made a mistake. “I must go in the opposite direction,” she said. She, therefore, turned and began where she had left off, counting from the seventh man. “One, two, three” and so on. Round and round she went, and every tenth man went out. In Twenty-nine rounds twenty-nine men went out, and now only her husband and one other man were left. Between them lay the final choice. It so happened that the odd numbers fell to the former, the even ones to the latter. Thus, when ten was called, the last robber went out and the husband of the woman was left. The robbers stood all in amazement, declared: “This is God’s choice, this is God’s choice, we cannot help accepting it,” and then went their way, leaving the man and his beautiful wife to go theirs.
Korean Giants. (Folk-Tale Translated by Rev. G. Engel, Fusan.)
There once lived a man who was sound and strong in body and a veritable giant. Not being able to contain his strength, he wandered about in search of a man of like strength.
On a hot summer’s day he reached the top of a mountain pass. Here his eye was attracted by a huge pavillion-tree several hundred years old. Its circumference measured some twenty armfuls, its branches were innumerable, and its weight amounted to several thousand pounds. Under this tree he found a man asleep. Now, when the sleeper exhaled, the tree was pulled up and rose high into mid-air, and when he inhaled, it was again driven into the ground. Thus with every breath of the sleeper the tree rose and fell. Calculating the probable measure of this man’s strength, our friend came to the conclusion that it must be simply unfathomable. In his surprise he woke the man and after exchanging the usual salutation, [page 57] our friend began by saying: “I too am a strong man. Having come this way and seen your strength, I must say, you are a giant.” Then they swore eternal brotherhood and said to each other: “Wherever we might go we would not find a match for ourselves.” Thus travelling together they entered one day an unknown mountain valley. There was only one house there. But the owner received them with joy, asked them to enter and saluted them. Having gone into the house and sat down, the land-lord asked them what business had brought them to this out-of-the-way place (lit. “place among deep mountains.”) The two men answered : “We were unable to contain our strength and wishing to see some beautiful scenery, we came here in the course of our travels.” The landlord replied : “My two brothers and I are also strong men. Let us, then, make trial of our strength to-morrow.”
The next morning after breakfast their host led them to a place at some distance from his house. He stopped before a rock that was as large as a house and proposed that they should all try their strength with this very rock. The visitors willing agreed to this.
First, the eldest of the three brothers lifted the rock and threw it into the air. The stone went up and up and finally disappeared from view. “Let us go back home,” said the host now. The guests were astonished at this and asked : “Are we not going to wait here till the stone comes back?” The host’s reply was: “It is impossible for the stone to come down today. Perhaps to-morrow about this time it will fall down.” As there seemed no other choice, they returned with the others to the house.
When on the following day they arrived on the spot at the same hour as the day before, down came the rock. Then the second brother said : “Now it is my turn,” took the rock, threw it up into mid-air and made it disappear likewise. He then turned to the others and asked them to return home with him. This time the travellers did not ask for an explanation of these strange proceedings, but knew what would happen.
[page 58] So the next day they again returned to the spot at the usual hour, when the rock actually came down again at the exact moment. Whereupon the third one exclaimed: “To-day it is my turn to show my strength,” After he too, had made the rock disappear, he turned and said : “Hither the stone always came down after a night when my brothers had thrown it. However as it will not came down for three days, let us go home and return then.” To which they all agreed.
After having waited three days they again returned to the old spot. But this time they waited and waited in vain. When the rock had, after a considerable time still not come down, the one that had thrown it turned, homewards and said : “That will do! Let us go home; for if the stone were ever coming back, it would come now. As it has not come, however, it must have been driven right into the sky and got stuck there. Further waiting is useless.”
At this, strange event the visitors were so astonished that they left without saying good-bye to their host. On the way, sigh upon sigh rose from their strong breasts. “The things of this world are truly wonderful and unfathomable,” was their united verdict. Thus they parted and returned sadder and wiser men, to their own homes.
Odds and Ends.
Korea a Vassal of Japan.
Baron Suyematsu published in a recent number of the Asiatic Quarterly Review a long article on Russia and Japan, rehearsing the events which led up to the present war. In it he makes the following statement. “Korea which had for centuries virtually acknowledged the suzerainty of Japan as well as of China by periodically despatching a tribute bearing mission to the Japanese capital in the same way that she had sent envoys from Seoul to Peking, began to omit this courtesy and [page 59] mistrusting the effects of the radical changes introduced into Japan under the new regime chose to exhibit in other ways an indifference to the preservation of good relations with the Japanese Empire.”
We doubt if there is any evidence to prove the first part of this extraordinary claim. We would like to know at what date this suzerainty on the part of Japan commenced. Nothing is surer than that for the last century of the Koryu dynasty in Korea (1300-1392) the coasts of Korea were being continually harried by Japanese pirates who were successfully beaten off each time but whom neither the Korean government nor the Japanese government was able to put down. It would be wild to claim that there were any diplomatic relations between the two countries during that period, nor were they resumed at the beginning of the present dynasty. There is absolutely nothing in the Korean annals, complete as they are in every other respect, to show that Korea sent a single ounce of tribute to Japan or treated her other than an equal. Hideyoshi, when he planned the invasion of China by way of Korea did not take the attitude of a suzerain but merely asked Korea to let him pass unmolested through the peninsula to the frontiers of China. His tone was the farthest from being dictatorial until he found that Korea would have nothing to do with him and even then he said nothing about Korea’s duties as a vassal but simply decided to crush Korea by an invasion. As the Japanese were driven ignominiously from the peninsula in 1598 is there any one so hardy as to say that they left behind them a vassal state? We doubt it. On the other hand we find them a few years later humbly begging that the little trading station at Fusan be established. After many importunities this was done. The whole method of it and minute particulars are given in detail in a Korean work on this special subject and so far from finding in it any indication of Japanese suzerainty the indications are that Japan was the humble suitor for the trade and that Korea granted it without any attempt at political supremacy. It is perfectly plain that [page 60] the terms used by both parties were such as indicated complete equality between them. There were occasional exchanges of envoys back and forth and these envoys both Korean and Japanese took with them certain gifts as between sovereign and sovereign but this gave Japan no more right to call Korea a vassal than it gave Korea to call Japan a vassal.
This condition of things went on without change until after the beginning of the present reign. The Regent in his extreme opposition to all things foreign put out an edict cutting off the supplies for the support of the trading station at Fusan, and this, of course, raised a commotion in Japan, a warship of that country named the Unyo-kan sailed into the estuary of the Han river ostensibly for the purpose of making soundings but apparently with the idea of giving the Koreans an opportunity to commit themselves. This they did by firing on the boat, which they had just as much right to do as Japan had to fire on the foreign vessels at Shimonoseki in 1861. The parallel is complete. Japan was forced to pay an indemnity of a million dollars to each of the powers whose vessels were fired upon but later the United States Government refunded this money and so acknowledged that Japan had acted within her rights. If so, then Korea acted within her rights in firing on the Unyo-kan, But however this may be Korea was induced to send commissioners to Kangwha to treat with the Japanese. Now mark the sequel. The Japanese referred to their own country as an Empire thus putting her on an equality with China and a step above Korea. The Korean Commissioners demurred and asked by what right Japan, who had always addressed Korea as an equal, assumed a title that put her above Korea. The Japanese commissioner hastened to reply that this had formerly been so but that in 1868 Japan became an Empire, and he disavowed any intention of implying suzerainty over Korea. It is hard to believe that this envoy did not understand the relations that had existed between the two countries.
According to oriental custom Japan never could have [page 61] claimed suzerainty over Korea without assuming the position of an Empire and this we know she did not do until 1868. The Japanese doubtless imagine that by claiming a suzerainty based on the mythical doings of Empress Jingo they can add luster to their rule but the conservative onlooker must examine the hard facts of the case, and these indicate beyond cavil that Korea was never a vassal of Japan.
Rest from Beggars.
The wayfarer between Seoul and Songdo does not fail to stop and gaze at the two great stone images that overlook the road some twenty miles from Seoul. They stand up under a cliff and were originally a part of the rock which crops out at this point. Whether they represent Buddhas is not known, but from their shape and position we should judge not. How they came to stand there over-topping the trees with their great stone hats was for a long time a forgotten secret but time revealed it as she does so many secrets.
A wealthy man lived near the place and he was of such a generous disposition that he found it impossible to say no to anyone who begged from him. His reputation for philanthropy spread far and wide. Every tramp in the country made it a point to pass that way once a twelve-month and as for Buddhist monks with their begging bowls and wooden gongs, they simply haunted the place. The kind old gentleman had to keep seven secretaries whose only business it was to hand out alms.
It finally became a serious question, for as his clientele grew his benefactions ate into his capital and threatened him with ruin. He was sure there must be some way to obviate the difficulty without shocking his good friends who were eating up his substance. One day an old man came along and stopped at his door to rest. Our friend invited him in and finding his conversation stuffed with wisdom broached the question near his heart. How could he cause a stoppage of the heavy drain upon his finances, this was his conundrum.
“That is easily answered,” replied the old man. “You [page 62] see those two boulders that stand out from the cliff yonder. If you will carve them into the shape of a man and a woman respectively I will engage that no more beggars molest you.” This said he picked up his staff and moved slowly along his way toward Seoul. The philanthropist seized upon the solution with joy and gave orders for the work at once. It took a good bite out of his property but it would be worth the cost. At the same time the beggars came in ever increasing shoals. The old man sighed and hurried on the work for only thus could he secure surcease of ruinous giving. The rock proved harder than he had supposed and by the time the work was done he was a penniless man. As he sat bemoaning the sad fact the old man who had given the advice came along. Our friend ran out and grasped him by the top-knot.
“It was you, villain, that told me to make those wretched images on the hill. You have ruined me, beggared me.”
“Just a moment, friend; why were you to make them?”
“In order to get rid of beggars.”
“Well, have you seen a single beggar since they were done?”
“No, but I am a beggar myself,”
“Ah, well, did you suppose there was any earthly way to getting rid of beggars so long as you had anything to give. I saw to the bottom of your nature and knew there was but one remedy. You had your choice to follow it or not. I made my promise good, so you should not repine.”
The philanthropist turned away sadly shaking his head. Better to have spent his money on the poor than upon those senseless blocks of stone; but, alas, wisdom always comes too late.
[page 63] Editorial Comment.
The question of the Korean loan from Japan may be looked at from various-stand points. There are those who applaud and those who condemn. It is worthwhile considering carefully before indulging in either extreme of opinion. The questions to be asked seem to be something like the following. (1 ) Does Korea need a loan and if so for what purpose? (2) If Korea secures the loan is there reasonable probability that any fair per cent of the money will be used for the ostensible purpose for which it was obtained? (3) If the money is needed, from whom should it be borrowed?
As to the first question the general answer might be made that any government would do well to borrow money at a fair rate of interest if that money could be so expended as to bring to the people more money’s worth than the interest on the loan. Korea sadly needs a good currency which shall be current not only in Seoul but throughout the country. She needs a homogeneous currency. At present the nickels pass current in only a fraction of the realm. Most of the provinces still cling to the good old cash, cumbersome and wasteful though it is. But money is something like language. It is hard to regulate by arbitrary law. If the people like the old cash and cling to it tenaciously the only way to make the currency homogeneous is either to make the old cash the national medium of exchange or else to gain the confidence of the people by putting out a currency that will commend itself to all reasonable men, as of course the nickels do not. We believe that it will be a very difficult thing to do. There have been so many new departures in currency since 1860 that the country people are for the most part thoroughly suspicious of any new scheme in this direction. All the five cash pieces that have been minted during the past twenty-five or thirty years have dropped to the status of the old one-cash piece and the only money [page 64] that is looked upon with entire confidence by three Koreans out of four is the cash which has been in use for centuries.
But slow and difficult as the process may be, the Korean people must come to a better mind in this matter. They will never do it until a thoroughly good coin is issued. If the Government should issue a nickel coin as honest in quality as that of the Japanese and as difficult to counterfeit successfully it would gradually take the place of the cash. This could be accelerated by requiring taxes to be paid in cash, where this is in use. If the Government should receive this cash and melt it down and sell it for its intrinsic value as bullion the time would come when so much of it would be withdrawn from circulation that the people would be forced to use the better coinage in all large transactions. There must be some subsidiary coin. The nickel is far too great in value to carry on ordinary retail business with. It corresponds somewhat to the shilling or the “quarter” and there must be something to correspond to the penny and the cent.
Assuming then that a rehabilitation of the currency is necessary we are face to face with the question as to the ability of the Government to call in the nickel coinage already current. Suppose that the Government borrows several million yen and uses them in the preparation of a good nickel coinage. One of the new nickels will be worth too of the old and he knows very little of the Korean who would suppose that a single nickel of whatever intrinsic value would be willingly accepted in lieu of two of the present kind. Note the upheaval that would be caused if all Korean merchants were suddenly called upon to cut all prices in two. Among an enlightened and intelligent people it would be hard enough but among the Koreans it would be next to impossible. Only in rare instances could they be made to see the logic of it or to consider it other than a means for official spoliation.
We are strongly of the opinion, judging from what we have seen of monetary changes during the past two [page 65] decades, that it would be far better to coin a thoroughly good one cent piece for all ordinary retail traffic and a dollar silver piece for large transactions. The nickel is worth just enough to be worth counterfeiting and is just cheap enough to be within the means of the small counterfeiter. It is the ideal coin to counterfeit. A silver piece can be easily tested but a nickel one cannot. The one cent copper piece is so much like the cash that it would circulate with comparative rapidity. There would be danger for a time that the silver would be hoarded but that would wear away as fast as men came to have confidence in each other.
At this very point we run up against another stubborn fact. You cannot keep a silver currency in Korea unless the administration of justice is put on a radically different footing from that on which it stands at present. Men must be taught to feel that they are secure in the possession of their wealth or else they will surely withdraw a silver currency and hoard it. Here is where the old cash possessed one decided advantage. It could not be easily concealed. For this reason it seems reasonable to suppose that the monetary reform should follow a reform in the administration of ordinary justice. But here we meet a third conundrum, how are the Korean officials to be made to realize what justice is or be made willing to adjudicate every case with impartiality? It can’t be done except by an educative process. The tone of public and administrative morals must be raised before any genuine and lasting reform is possible. Splendid fighters as the Japanese are and great though their national advance has been, they have undertaken a new kind of problem in the handling of Korea. It is well enough to talk about reform but will any reasonable man believe that one of these old time Korean officials, whose outlook upon political life has never been other than the personal and selfish one, can be suddenly metamorphosed into a just and unselfish administrator of the laws of the land? Every foreigner can name a few men who would rule well and justly but this very ability is the most lamentable feature of the whole situation for the simple reason [page 66] that such men can be counted upon the fingers of the hand and are the marked exception. The work to be done is not of the next five years but of the next fifty. Yi Yong-ik grasped the idea when he came back firom Japan a short time ago and declared that what this people wants is education, and it is a pity that he allowed himself to be shelved in the governorship of a distant province. But to return to our theme, we have assumed the importance of a monetary change. This will require money. The Japanese propose to loan the money for this main purpose. Many Koreans look askance at this and some have gone so far as to declare that they will loan the necessary money to the government in order to prevent the Japanese loan. What are we to say to this curious development? Some foreigners think the Koreans have not enough money to make good the offer but this is a great mistake. A domestic loan of these few millions would be the easiest matter imaginable if the Koreans were determined to do it. Now, as an ordinary thing it would generally be the best thing for a government to borrow from her own people; but in this case we may well hesitate and ask whether a loan from Japan would not be better. In the first place the money would be borrowed for a specific purpose and the Japanese authorities, in the interests of their own commerce and indirectly in the interests of the Koreans, would see to it that the money went to carry out the purpose for which it was loaned. Imagine a domestic loan over the disbursement of which the Japanese would naturally have far less control than over a loan by themselves. From what we know of things in general, what proportion of that money would go to carry out the ostensible intent of the loan? A rather small fraction, we imagine. Some people object that if Korea borrows money she ought to have entire control of the spending of it. This would be well enough if there could be some guarantee that the government would use the money in the definite manner specified, for the Japanese are lending the money in the joint interests of their own nationals and of the Koreans; [page 67] but failing such guarantee we think it would be bad policy for a lot of wealthy Koreans to put three or four million yen of their money into the hands of the government. The only way, so far as we can see, to secure such guarantee is for the loan to be held by the Japanese bank and expended through the Finance Department under the supervision of the Adviser, in such manner that every dollar shall work toward the direct attainment of the purpose of the loan.
In spite of all adverse criticism and gloomy forecast we think that there are signs that the Japanese are reaching toward the accomplishment of what they professed at the beginning. The handling of such a people as the Koreans is a labor in which even the best of administrators might acknowledge mistakes without a blush. We think there are signs that the Japanese authorities are beginning to realize that the reform of Korea is a larger and a longer one than was at first anticipated and that it will have to begin by a gradual education of the people rather than by the exacting of a reluctant obedience to salutary but distasteful commands. It is the new, the rising generation that will have to accomplish this work, and in order that they may do it there must be more attention paid to the matter of education. We may be charged with insisting upon this point ad nauseam, but we must remember that Korea is not in any such position as Japan was when she determined to make the great change. Japan was eager, restless, passionate for the change. At least the upper classes were. But in Korea this is by no means the case. The Japanese needed but a single glance at the power and enlightenment of the West to make her determine to make the volte face, but the Koreans, like the Chinese, have as yet failed to grasp this fact. Is there anyone who will dare to say that they can be made to grasp it except through an educative process? Japan was a cocoon just ready to burst and let out the butterfly. Korea is an egg that must be incubated beneath some mother-wing. The incubative warmth must come from outside. If a hen keeps rolling her eggs [page 68] over with her bill wondering why they do not hatch she will see no result of her solicitude. She must sit quietly and patiently until the process is complete. Much the same thing is true in Korea, and the incubative warmth that is necessary is education.
In the above connection a little Korean story is not inapplicable. An old man and a young man were travelling in the country along a dangerously rough road. As ill-luck would have it they both fell into a deep pit from which there was no method of exit. The old man wept and declared that there was no hope. The young man said that he had still many years to live and was determined to find a way out. He searched in vain. At last he said to the old man “Give me that coat of yours. You are about to die anyway, so the garment is of no use to you.” The old man demurred but was compelled to obey. The young man struck a match and set fire to the coat. A great column of smoke arose from the pit and someone saw it from afar and came to learn what was the cause. The two entrapped men were discovered and released. The Koreans tell this story as typical of the present time. The older generation and the young are perishing together. The young demand that the old make a sacrifice of their prejudices in order to ensure a longer lease of life to the coming generation. This may be uncomfortable for the old-timers but it may mean the salvation of both. It would be easy to enlarge upon the application of the story but the reader will be able to do this for himself.
We were rather amused at a recent vagary of the Review of Reviews in publishing a picture of the editor of the Korea Review in connection with an article translated from a Japanese periodical and loading him with the title of adviser to the King of Korea. We regret having been served up like this, a la Emily Brown, and shall try to discover the source from which the eminent American periodical obtained its information.
We are very glad to learn that the Korea Branch of [page 69] the Royal Asiatic Society is about to enter upon a new campaign. There is no reason why this society should not be the medium of supplying a large amount of useful information about this country. There seems to be an impression that no papers will be acceptable except such as are exhaustive of the subject which is adopted. In the present stage of our knowledge of Korea this would debar all papers. What we want is cumulative information. We are not prepared for deep deductions and broad generalizations as yet. We have only just begun to get together a few of the bare facts which the future student will be able to use to further effect. We need a mass of facts, digested so far as possible, but at any rate facts. Isolated facts are better than hasty deductions. What one Korean topic is there of which we have sufficient detailed knowledge to begin to generalize? We venture to say there is not one. How are these details to be gathered? No one person can do it. It must be the work of the whole membership of the society. Each will see things from a different stand-point and in time it will be possible to take the facts thus gradually gathered and weld them into something like definite form. But if the members wait until they are able to produce a finished and complete dissertation on any topic the society might as well go out of commission.
We must say a word by way of commendation of the new departure contemplated by the officers of this institution. Formal papers have not been forthcoming, in spite of strenuous efforts to secure the same. It has been determined, therefore, to hold general meetings in the form of symposiums. Topics will be decided upon and a number of members will be asked to contribute remarks upon them, and the general discussion will probably draw out considerable information. The plan ought to result in a number of popular and successful meetings. The results of these discussions will be preserved in some permanent form and thus we shall gradually accumulate a fund of information that will fully justify the existence of the society and make it what it ought to be, the center of intelligence about things Korean.
[page 70] To those who have subscribed for the History of Korea in separate form we are obliged to make another report of progress only. It is plain that editors may propose but it is the compositors that dispose. The completing of the indexes of this work is a difficult matter but is being pushed as fast as the facilities at hand will allow. We must ask the subscribers to exercise their patience a little longer. The result of the delay will be to make the work much more complete and of much more genuine value. For this reason we believe that those who have subscribed will not grow impatient over the postponement.
Mr. W. F. Sands, formerly Adviser to the Household Department, has an article in the February Century that will be found worth reading by all who are interested in this country. It is entitled “Korea and the Korean Emperor,” and is a pleasant medley of history, archeology, political economy, with an occasional touch of fiction as flavoring. Sympathetic in tone it touches lightly upon the undoubted good qualities of the Korean people and manifests considerable acquaintance with the commercial, agricultural and mineral resources of the country. Probably he is right in his estimate of the people as potentially capable. “But take the average Korean out of these surroundings and he is a very different man. Educate him and leave him his earnings; give him one generation of clean, strong government and Korea will cease to be the ‘bone of contention,’ the ‘plague spot of the East;’ . . . but will become the very garden-spot of the East.’ Japan’s great indebtedness to Korea, in art, literature and religion, is properly emphasized and her ingratitude is fully exposed. Mr. Sands does not in the least shrink from the painful duties of stern Mentor to Japanese and English, French, Russian and German, nor even— but more in sorrow than in anger—to the recalcitrant American.
[page 71] Perhaps the chief interest of the article lies in his exquisite picture of the Emperor. It is the fruit of close personal intimacy and presents a view of the man that few have been privileged to behold. “I have known him, I may say, intimately, through six most trying years. . . . .[he is] a kindly, courteous gentleman, deeply, almost morbidly religious, and sentimentally devoted to the memory of his murdered wife and her son, . . . . an intelligent but untravelled man, bound hand and foot by tradition and intrigue, on the defensive against everyone, but seeking information of every kind, even the seemingly trivial, in order to enlarge his horizon and adapt the knowledge gained to his own needs.” “He is painfully aware of his ignorance of the manners and customs of the Occident and his desire to be in no way behind his royal and imperial cousins of Europe exposes him to constant mortification and expense.”
Mr. Sands has a good deal to say about America in Korean polities, but he is surprisingly despondent. The Emperor has always been particularly friendly to Americans of all sorts, and numbered many of them among his particular friends. His “one consistent policy has been to profit by the American spirit of commercialism and to make it a buffer against a too great Japanese influence on one side and Russian aggression on the other.” But “Lack of unity on the Americans’ part brought about a total loss of American prestige during the period of acute tension which preceded the present war,” with the melancholy result that the Emperor threw in his lot with the less immediately dangerous of his aggressive neighbours. “He came to an understanding with the Russian authorities and asked for troops; and it was doubtless the knowledge of his intentions which urged the Japanese government to prompt action. This step was doubtless a mistake, but had his wishes met with the response in America which they deserved, it would not have been necessary and Russia and Japan would not have had the Korean pretext for war.”
[page 72] It is with keen regret that we have to record the death on Feb. 10th of Mrs. T. H. Yun the wife of the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mrs. Yon had made many warm friends in this community since she came about ten years ago. The funeral took place at the Severance Memorial Hospital on Monday morning the 13th inst. and was attended by a large circle of acquaintances and friends. The body was interred in the Foreign cemetery. Mrs. Yun left four small children, two boys and two girls. The entire community extends to the bereaved family their heartiest sympathy.
The stone fights this year are unusually exciting and popular. The casual onlooker wonders where the participants get their enthusiasm and considers them three parts crazy, it seems so foreign to the Korean temperament as ordinarily exhibited. But there is really nothing to wonder at. It is the new year season of leisure. They feel the spring coming and they want to get out and “kick up” a little. The game is spectacular, the participants get talked about and win a little cheap fame, and once warmed up to the work they forget the danger. There have been several deaths this year from wounds received in these fights and some efforts were made by the police to stop them; but it is the great national game, time-honored and unique. We westerners can consistently say very little against it because of its danger. Out of thousands who engage in it only two or three are killed during the season, which is a very low average. Death’s automobile crop in America or Europe shows ten times as great an average as this. We are proverbial in our pursuit of dangerous pleasures, and if the Koreans could see us climbing the Alps, playing football, polo or lacrosse, fox hunting or any other of a score of our amusements they would be shocked at the mortality exhibited. Why, enough hunters shoot each other in the woods by mistake each season in America to cover the Korean stone fight bill for ten years. A painful accident occurred one day at the East Gate. The people were swarming out to watch the game and a boy on one of the electric cars, thinking to get ahead of the rest, leaped from the car before it stopped. He struck one of the poles that support the wires and bounded back under the car where the wheels passed over one of his legs crushing it beyond repair. He was taken to the Severance Hospital. There was more or less danger of a riot, for the people were excited over the stone-fights and in just the mood to be set on fire by such a match as this. The soldiers of the American Legation guard were called out and soon arrived on the scene. The wrath of the mob passed and all became quiet again. No possible blame could be attached to the guard or the motor-man. If a person leaps from a moving car without giving notice he does so at his own risk.
[page 73] The report comes that the official position of about one half the eunuchs will be reduced.
The magistrate of Sak Nyung informs the Home Office that members of the Il Chin-hoi have assembled at that place, insulted women, interfered with the local administration and compelled the magistrate to do their bidding.
The Korean Minister to Japan has sent to the Foreign Office the documents conferring eleven decorations by the Japanese government on Mr. Yi Chai-kook and his staff.
A Korean policeman arrested by a Japanese railway inspector and imprisoned at Masanpo has enlisted the Foreign Office in his behalf and as a consequence a telegram has been sent to the kamni at Masampo to apply to the Japanese consul for the release of the prisoner,.
D. H. B. Yer and Yang Hong-muk have each been raised to the rank of third secretary to foreign legations.
Yi Chi-yong takes the place of Yi To-chai as Minister of Agriculture, Commerce and Industry.
Pak yong-wha has been appointed acting Minister of the Household Department.
Some preliminary arrangements have been made looking toward holding an exposition at the Kyung Pok palace in April.
Born: To Rev. and Mrs. H, M. Bruen, of Taiku, on Feb. 1, a daughter.
A son was welcomed to the home of Dr and Mrs. Null, at Taiku on the 12th inst.
A third line of telephones is soon to be established between Seoul and Chemulpo.
Chung Kin-wun proposes to issue circulars to high officials and men of wealth, asking them to contribute to a national loan.
A Japanese official is shortly to visit all the schools in the country districts, but the schools are not so numerous as to make his duties extremely arduous.
Representatives of the II Chin-hoi have been despatched to every province for the purpose of organizing branches of the society.
The president of the Imperial Exchequer explains that the Pyeng Yang coal company has no further use for foreign employees and will cease to do business because the expense of mining is greater than the proceeds will warrant.
Some unscrupulous Koreans have engaged Japanese lawyers to assist in civil suits, many of which are mere pretexts for unlawfully obtaining money, and as a consequence orders have gone forth from police headquarters for the arrest of such men.
The report comes that thousands of people of North Kyung Sang province gathered at Taiku to protest against the coming of Yi Yong-ik as their governor, on account of their fear of his methods.
[page 74] Early in the month it was reported that the Japanese Government would station sanitary advisers at Seoul, Chemulpo, Fusan and Pyeng Yang. Whether their advice will be backed with authority to execute is not stated.
Mr. Dakahashi, a Japanese gentleman, has been employed by the Korean Government as teacher in the Middle School for a period of three years.
Another small steamer line between Chemulpo and Haiju is being established by the Chinese merchants of Chemulpo.
Mr. C. T. Woo, now Chinese Consul at Fusan, spent a number of days in Seoul assisting the Hon. Cheng Kwang Chun, the newly-appointed Chinese Minister to Korea.
A law school has been established at Suba Dong, Seoul, and 111 applications have been made for admission as students.
The Home Department recently dismissed nineteen country magistrates and appointed thirteen others at a single sitting.
The Japanese Minister has suggested that Korean graduates from Japanese language schools be appointed as magistrates to lessen the inconvenience experienced in transacting business between citizens of the two nations.
The Japanese authorities have applied to the Foreign Office for permission to import explosives for use in constructing the military railway, but they intimate that since much unnecessary delay is caused by such a round-about proceeding in future such negotiations should be carried on direct between Japanese consuls and the Korean Customs. The magistrate of Takan is exercised over the actions of a Japanese named Ishibashi, whom he reports as having constructed a light-house and given currency to statements that he would lay submarine cables between Japan and Chemulpo.
According to Japanese papers in Seoul the Protocol between Korea and Japan will probably be revised in the near future, because of dissatisfaction on the part of the Japanese Government.
The former governor of Pyeng Yang, now in Seoul, has recently been waited on by a deputation from Pyeng Yang, asking him to restore the money squeezed while he was governor.
A large number of soldiers and others connected with the government are continually receiving attention at the Severance Hospital, and it is not unlikely that the government could be shown the reasonableness of providing tor the needs of Government patients.
The Foreign Office has been requested to hasten the payment of a claim for $633.80 due the Postal Telegraph company in Washington from the Korean Legation in that city.
The Finance Department is contemplating means for collecting taxes other than the cumbrous methods now in use.
During the month the police have been busy collecting a special assessment from each house in Seoul for the purpose of cleaning and repairing the wells of the city.
[page 75] On the 2nd instant the Belgian Consul and the Italian Minister, respectively, were received in audience by His Majesty.
The Italian Minister has asked the Foreign Office to complete the contract for the previously granted gold mine concession, indicating the royalty, term, boundaries, etc., adding that the terms should be the same as those granted the English mine at Eun-san.
It is said the Korean Government has been advised by the Japanese Minister to abolish the two Departments of Education and Agriculture, for the sake of economy.
On the 8th inst Mr. Cho Pyung Sik, Minister of the Home Department, presented his resignation.
The magistrate appointed by the government for Ko-won reports to the Home Department that the Japanese military authorities at Wonsan have appointed Mr. Pak Ki-ho as acting magistrate of Ko-won, without permission of the Korean government, and that he himself is prevented by these same authorities from going to his post.
Early in the month it was reported that the Russians in North Korea had burned all their military stores and destroyed the telegraph line between Pukchung and Kilju.
A contract has been signed by Prof. Frampton of the Government English School for a period of four years at Y300 per month, with Y600 per year for house rent.
The autograph letter of the Emperor of China was presented to the Emperor of Korea on the 7th inst by the newly appointed Chinese Minister to Korea.
Contracts were signed on the 3rd inst. in the Home Department for the employment of Mr. Maruyama as adviser to the Korean Police Department.
The intended departure of Ha Sang-ki for Japan has been interfered with by the Japanese authorities in Korea. The magistrate of Tan-chon, who had been prevented by the Russians from proceeding to his post of duty, has now arrived at Tan- chon, the Russians having withdrawn northward.
Telegraph communication between Seoul and Wiju, interrupted for several months, has again been resumed.
Word having reached the II Chin-hoi in Seoul that the magistrate of Chinju was attempting to incite the country peddlars to crush the branch societies of the II Chin-hoi, a telegram was sent to the branch societies calling on the members to gather from all quarters and protect themselves against the peddlars.
On the 9th inst the Minister of Education presented his resignation.
On the 8th inst a number of wealthy men who live at Soh-kang informed the Korean government that if there was need of funds a loan could easily be secured from the Korean people, and therefore the proposition to negotiate a loan from Japan should be withdrawn at once.
[page 76] Protest has been lodged with the Home Minister by Sang Pyung-Chan, leader of the II Chin-hoi, against the methods by which twenty- three new magistrates have been recently appointed.
The magistrate of Woong-Chyou reports that about ten Japanese have carried away all the ammunition stored in Raduk belonging to the Korean government.
The imperial Exchequer Bureau has informed the Foreign Office that the Pyeng Yang Coal mining company will be dissolved, and therefore the foreigners employed as engineers will not be needed, even though their contracts have not expired.
Native papers report that secret negotiations have been made between the Korean and Japanese governments over the tobacco and salt monopolies in Korea, all demands of the Japanese having been conceded.
Mr Kato, adviser to the Imperial Household had an audience with His Majesty on the 10th inst relative to reforms in the Household.
The Educational Department has handed to the Foreign Office a draft of the contract with a Chinese teacher for the approval of the Japanese Minister. The teacher is to receive 110 yen per month for three years, with an additional twenty yen per month for house rent.
According to contract with Mr. Maruyama, adviser to the Police Department, the following are to receive his attention : 1. Matters concerning the higher police offices; 2. Matters relating to foreigners; 3. Trial and condemnation of political offenders; 4. Trial and condemnation of murderers and robbers; 5. Appointment and dismissal of police officials.
Mr. Yi Yong-ik has been waited on by a deputation from the Il- Chin-hoi and questioned concerning his present relations with the Palace and also the Japanese army headquarters. It is said that incidentally he was asked to give more attention to the schools he has established, and to restore the furniture he had confiscated from Independence Hall.
A Japanese lady doctor has been secured for the Imperial Household.
The Police Department has asked the Home Department to lay before the Japanese Minister the fact that while Korean police were collecting government taxes in the vicinity of Moon-chyon, Kowon and Yang Heung, they were arrested by order of the Japanese military authorities at Wonsan, and the money collected, about $280, had been confiscated and the men sent away under military guard.
By request of the Japanese Minister the Korean government will employ Mr. Huragawa at a salary of yen 150 per month, as interpreter for Mr. Masuyama, Japanese adviser to the Police Department.
Chinese bandits are raiding Korean villages and plundering property to such an extent that the magistrate of Sam-su asks the government, to select one hundred mountaineer hunters and arm them with rifles for the protection of the people.
[page 77] Facilities provided for passenger and freight traffic on the Seoul-Fusan railway are at present entirely inadequate. It is hoped that soon much better accommodations will be supplied.
On the 21st inst one of the palace buildings immediately at the rear of the present residence of His Majesty was discovered to be on fire, but the blaze was soon extinguished.
The Vice Governor of Seoul and the Japanese Consul have selected a site outside of South Gate for the Japanese bulletin board first located at Chongno. ,
The magistrate of Pukchung reports that the Russians had retreated to Yiwon after destroying all the telegraph lines and instruments in his district.
Mr. Shim Ki-son has been appointed governor of South Ham Kyung Province.
Two inspectors have been appointed by the Post Office Department to investigate the causes for delay in the delivery of mails.
Notwithstanding the vigilance of the Japanese gendarmes it appears that fortune-tellers and geomancers still have access to the palace.
Much complaint has been heard recently over the non-delivery of mails, especially in the interior.
Yi Pang-nni, Vice Minister of the Home Department, has been waited on by four representatives of the Il Chin -hoi, who requested the dismissal of the magistrates at ChunJu, Chinju, Soon-chun, Kim-wha and Kosan.
A report from the magistrate of Chulsan states that a Korean accused of stealing railway materials in his district has been shot by the Japanese military authorities.
The resignation of the Minister of Education has been presented but not approved.
Min Pyung-han has organized a company at Pyeng Yang for the purpose of mining coal in the districts of Kang-dong and Sam-tung, and iron in Kang-sek. An American engineer will be employed.
The sentences of banishment against three leaders of the Peddlars Guild have been withdrawn by Imperial order .
Yi Yong Ik has been appointed governor of North Kyung Sang.
Ye Kem-sang has been transferred from the position of Vice Minister of Agriculture to that of Vice Minister of Law.
As soon as the frost is out of the ground Chief Commissioner McLeavy Brown will commence repairs on the road to Yang Wha-chin under instructions from the Home Department.
The ceremony of formally opening the Seoul- Fusan railway is now scheduled to take place in May. The native papers report that a Japanese prince and at least a thousand prominent citizens from the Island Empire will be in attendance.
[page 78] A Japanese adviser for Local Affairs is said to be on his way to Korea.
The kamni of Wonsan says he had received application from a Japanese agent of the Whale Fishing company for the concession for whale fishing previously granted to Russian interests.
Mr. Ye Hyun-pyun, governor of South Ham Kyung, reports that the Japanese military authorities at Ham Heung have deprived him of his official seal and have urged him to leave his post.
General Hasegawa and staff were received in audience by His Majesty on the 16th inst.
Pak Eui-pyung has been appointed governor of Seoul vice Min Kyung-sik, who has been appointed Chief Judge of the Supreme Court.
The Japanese Minister requests the Home Department to appoint two more Japanese to assist Mr. Maruyama, Japanese adviser to the Police Department.
The chiefs of the different police stations in Seoul have received instructions to post two sentries at street corners and street railway crossings to protect foot-passengers, and they are also to see that refuse is not thrown into the streets and that beggars shall be compelled to retire from the streets.
Over two hundred students have enrolled at the recently established law school in Seoul.
Reports are received that owing to the large influx of Japanese into Pyeng Yang and their determination to secure the best locations, the price of land is ten times higher than it was there one year ago.
All foreign representatives and Korean ministers were entertained at dinner by Mr. D. W. Stevens.
The troubles between the Korean and Japanese coolies at Chemulpo have been settled, all parties to have equal rights to employment.
A grave robber accompanied by soldiers has lately been apprehended by the police.
Five warships were sighted off Fusan harbor about 1 P. M. on the 6th inst. creating a temporary flutter of excitement. They were undoubtedly Japanese and proceeded north along the east coast of Korea.
In adopting the new criminal code that section authorizing beheading of criminals in Korea has been abolished.
Mr. Maruyama delivered a lecture to the chiefs of the police bureaus in Seoul on the 25th inst on sanitary and police affairs.
The Police Department has instructed the police to collect 8 cents monthly from each house with which to pay for the removal of all refuse.
Concerning the complaint that a certain Japanese named Kumagawa had carried away the Korean ammunition and destroyed the store-house on Katuk island, the Foreign Office informs the Home Department that the kamni of the nearest port is to lay the matter before the Japanese consul for settlement.
[page 79] A great disturbance between Japanese and Koreans occurred at Ryuk Po, a railway station near Pyeng Yang. Japanese gendarmes were called in, and a number of Koreans were severely wounded before the disturbance ceased.
The request has been made that all Japanese military supplies be freely admitted and forwarded to all parts of the interior of Korea, and that notification to that effect be sent to each of the magistrates in the thirteen provinces.
Before his departure for the country the II Chin-hoi appointed ten men to wait before the gates of the residence of Yi Yong-ik to prevent him going to the Palace and any Foreign Legations, and they also advised him to return to the place of his birth.
The Kamni of Wonsan sent a postal order for one hundred and fifty yen to his brother-in-law in Seoul, but another party secured the money from the post office. The matter is being investigated, and a number of postal clerks will be tried by the city court.
Several hundred Korean men and women sailed for Mexico on the 26th inst. Glowing accounts have been given them, and they are expecting large wages and an easy time in working the hemp fields of that land.
Several secret dispatches from Foreign Ministers to the Foreign Office having been published in the newspapers, protests have been made and the Foreign Office advised to be more careful in looking after the correspondence of the Department.
The Foreign Office has been asked to definitely state the respective sums which will be demanded for adults and children which have been or may be accidentally killed by the electric cars.
Korean coolies to the number of 250 absolutely refused to work for the Japanese at Chemulpo and as a result there was delay in the discharge of several ship’s cargoes.
At the French cathedral in Seoul at ten o’clock in the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 7 occurred the Marriage of Mademoiselle Amelie Eckert to Mons. Emile Martel. The bride is second daughter of Franz Eckert and Mr. Martel is the well-known head of the Korean Government French language school in Seoul. A large company of invited guests witnessed the impressive ceremony at the cathedral, signed the marriage register, and repaired to the residence of Miss Sontag to extend their congratulations and partake of refreshments. The Imperial Band screened in a balcony presented in a highly creditable manner a number of difficult selections during the ceremony. With an extended list of friends the Review wishes abundant happiness to the newly- wedded pair.
Reports are current that at least three Korean representatives to foreign governments will be recalled, the rumour stating that these gentlemen are not at present looked upon with favor by the Japanese powers that be.
[page 80] The Finance Department has recently sent 4,000 yen to Prince Echin to assist in paying his school expenses abroad.
For the purpose of extorting money from Pak Yer-to, reputed to be rich, thieves recently stole the skull from his father’s grave. The men have been apprehended.
Many of the higher officials, and those whe have retired to private life, have been sending numerous memorials asking for radical reforms in the government.
All preliminary work on the Seoul- Wonsan railway is said to have been pushed rapidly during the winter, even many of the bridges being placed, and with the opening of spring grading and track laying will be pushed forward
An earthquake shock was experienced over most of Korea at about 10 P.M. on the 11th inst. No damage reported.
James McKee Moffett arrived at the home of Rev. and Mrs. S. A. Moffett, Pyeng Yang, on the 25th inst.
Eight Japanese houses were burned at Fusan early in the month. Thousands of bags of beans were also consumed.
A daughter came to gladden the home of Rev. and Mrs. W. F. Bull at Kunsan.
In the southern part of Korea the Korean five-cent pieces do not circulate. Strings of copper cash are greatly in evidence, while along the railway only Japanese money is current.
About midnight of Thursday, Feb. 2, the Palace Hotel was discovered to be on fire. There are practically no facilities in Seoul for fighting fire, and almost nothing was saved fron the building, some of the guests escaping scantily dressed. All the furnishings were burned, and only the blackened brick walls of the building were left standing. This was the largest hotel within the walls of the city, L. Martin being the proprietor. On Cheong & Co. were owners of the building.
The Department of Finance has sent out notices to the effect that as branch banks will soon be established in all districts throughout the country all taxgatherers must immediately deposit their collections in these banks.
The magistrate of Kimhoi reports that in a quarrel between six Japanese and some Koreans two of the latter received mortal stabs and four others were slightly wounded. The Japanese escaped.
Orders were issued for the arrest of three astrologers who frequent the palace. Two of the men are in hiding, while the third has received assurances that he will not be molested.
A reception will be tendered many prominent Korean officials by the Y. M. C. A. of Seoul on the evening of March 8th. Doctor H. N. Allen, United States Minister, will preside, a number of addresses are to be made, and refreshments will be served by the ladies.
VOL. 5. NO. 3. MARCH, 1905
Korean Conundrums 81
A Korean Mint 87
Rear Admiral Schley on the Little War of 1871 97
Attack on Doctor Forsythe 106
Editorial Comment 110
News Calendar 111
The Korean word for conundrum is soo-sookuki. Like the American youth the Korean youth delights in riddles and knows a great many of them. As an evidence of their abundance the writer requested two Koreans, some time ago, to collect for him some conundrums. Two days later they came back and, after cutting out duplicates, it was found that they had between them 175. I wondered how many Americans could collect that many in two days’ time without consulting books and newspapers.
They were of all kinds, good and bad, pure and impure, humorous and prosy. Many of them are plays upon words and can therefore with difficulty be translated. The following have been selected as typical of the whole, and to them is attached a free translation for the benefit of those who do not read Korean, and such explanation as is necessary to understand them.
[For the Korean originals see the scanned images]
What is it that takes on flesh as it grows old? A wall.
Korean mud walls are repaired by daubing on another coat of mud, so that they get thicker as they grow older.
What is it that grows teeth as it gets old? A wicker basket.
The edges of the basket get ragged, thus looking like teeth.
[page 82] What kind of pap (rice) cannot be eaten. Top-pap (sawdust).
What kind of a pang-ool (bell) can not be rung? A sol-pang-ool (pine cone).
The pine cone resembles a bell in shape and is called by the Koreans a pine bell.
What is that on one side of which it snows and on the the other side it hails? A cotton-jinney.
The seed (hail) falls on one side of the machine and the white cotton (snow) on the other side.
What is it that wears a hat but no girdle? A stack of grain.
What is it that wears a girdle but no hat? A wicker fence.
What is it that shakes its fist at the sky? A pestle for hulling grain.
The act of swinging the pestle is interpreted in this bellicose manner.
What is it that bows to the mountain opposite? A mill pestle.
Nothing is more familiar to the traveler in the country than these long wooden beams rising and falling with the inflow and outflow of the water which forms the motive power for hulling the grain.
What is it that has one mouth and three necks? The Korean fire place, which ramifies into three sections under the mud floors, thus spreading the heat over a larger space.
What kind of a sang (table) is it which cannot be used? An oo-sang (idol).
What kind of a shin (shoe) is it that cannot be worn? A kwi-shin (demon).
[page 83] What is it that has three heads, three mouths, three noses, six eyes, six arms, six ears and four legs? A per- son riding a two man chair.
What kind of a si (seed) is it that can not be planted? A chup-si (dish).
Name thirteen kinds of seeds. Yul-si (hemp-seed) and sam-si (also hemp seed). But yul also means ten, and sam also means three. Ergo yul (10) + sam (3) = 13. This mixture of Chinese and Korean is improper grammatically but correct arithmetically. This method of counting reminds one of the American boy’s short method of counting one hundred: ninety-nine cows and a bob-tail bull.
What is that which has its head in Chulla Province, its body in Ham Kyung Province, and its feet in Sin-chai Pyung (two counties in Whang Hai Province)? A mourner.
Verily it would seem to be a strange and enormous animal that could stretch itself over so much ground and crouch in such a position. Nothing less than the Chinese dragon would seem to fill the bill, or rather the space, but no, it is only a Korean, in mourning for his dear departed. His head is covered with a bamboo hat made largely in Chulla Do, his body is enrobed in hemp cloth made mostly in Ham Kyung Do, while Sin- chai Pyung furnishes the material for his shoes.
It has six doors but goes in and out of but one. What is it? A Korean shoe.
What is it that has a beard about three feet long and travels upside down in a ditch only? A Korean shovel. The beard is the ropes that are tied to the end of the shovel.
[page 84] What is that which has a full stomach whether it eats or not? A tok or earthenware vessel.
What is that which captures men with one wing? A door.
What is the willow leaf in the water? The goldfish.
Who is it that first goes out to greet the coming guest? The dog.
A dead tree standing up and going is what? A boat mast.
What is that which, on going out, one takes in his arms and on entering one takes on one’s back. A door.
What is like the left hip? The right hip.
What kind of a kam (persimmon) cannot be eaten? Kyung’kam (an old mat).
What is it that is like a cow but without horns? A calf.
What is that which is bad when it is good and good when it is bad? The bottom of the top knot.
When the hair grows well on top of the head it spoils the topknot, but when the hair is poor or absent the topknot is good.
What is it that melts when cold and solidifies when warm? Salt.
What is it that eats from above and vents from the side? The millstone.
What is it that eats from the side and vents from the side? The cotton jinny.
[page 85] What kind of sool (whisky) is it that can not be drunk? Koo-sool (jade).
What is it that has three legs? A wharo or Korean three legged iron vessel in which a charcoal fire is kept.
What is a house within a house? A hat-box or hat-house as the Koreans call it.
What kind of pool (fire) is not hot? Fanti-pool (a firefly).
What is it that has four ears (kwi, ears or corners) and several hundred eyes? A reed mat.
The word kwi means either ear or comer. It has the first meaning in the question and the second meaning in the answer. The eyes are the holes in the mat.
What kind of choosa does not emit an odor?
Ans. A Ka-choosa,
Choosa here has two meanings: 1st cinnabar, 2nd the name of an official rank. There are different kinds of choosa titles. Some are high and held in respect, others are ka-choosa of false. No odor or dignity attaches to these. They are like odorless cinnabar.
What kind of a cham-eui cannot be eaten? A false cham-eui.
There also is a play on the word cham-eui which has the double meaning of melon and an official title. The possessor of a genuine cham-eui official position has good eating i. e. plenty of opportunity for squeezing but this does not inhere in a false title, or a title without position and power.
What kind of eui-kwan cannot be worn?
Answer a ka-eui-kwan. This is similar to the above [page 86] two. A eui-kwan is both a hat and an official rank. And a ka-eui-kwan is a false title, and its possessor can not wear the dignity of the genuine article.
What is it that has hair after the skin is removed? Corn.
What is it that gapes at the sky? The outer shell of the chestnut.
What kind of eyes are those that can not see? Ans. The eyes of the finger-nails, the white spots on the nails being called eyes.
What is it that sticks its fingers into its father’s ears and goes round and round?
Ans. A flail, an instrument used for threshing grain. The revolving sticks fastened to the handle of a
flail are called sons of the flail and these are fastened to the flail by being pinned through a hole (the ear) of the handle (the father).
What is it that always carries its house about with it? A snail.
What travels day and night? Water.
What travels on its back? A boat.
What has eight ears (kwi ears or corners) and only one mouth? A box.
What is it that does not eat though fed for three years? The box in which the ancestors’ spirits repose, before which food is offered for three years after death.
What is it that bathes three times a day? Dishes.
[page 87] The son can wear the father’s hat but the father cannot wear the son’s hat. What is it?
Ans. The covers of the iron rice kettles. The large covers can be used on the small vessels but the small covers cannot be used on the large vessels.
What is a too within a too,
Ans. A sangtoo (topknot) within a kam-too (a horse hair hat).
What is a tang within a tang?
Ans. A moo’tang (sorceress) within a sung whang-tang (a joss house).
What is it that goes when loaded but stops when unloaded? Shoes.
Chas. F. Bernheisel.
A Korean Mint,
If one were to start out in search of a man who is not interested in money in any form he would find that he had embarked on a much more arduous undertaking than the one which engaged the attention of the venerable Diogenes. Robinson Crusoe may be supposed to have had a kind of scorn for the filthy stuff and yet, if there had been a chest of it on board the ship which he so successfully lightened, he doubtless would have carried it ashore.
The problems of finance form the principal study of the statesman of today. The political economist devotes his longest chapter to it. The novelist sows money up and down the earth.
The evolution of money is a fascinating study. Cattle have been used as money in Greece, horses in Arabia, beads, ivory and cattle in Africa, shells and sharks’ teeth among the Pacific islands, pressed tea in China and [page 88] Turkestan, cowries in India and “cat’s eyes” in the islands about Japan.
Among coins the “cash” is the peculiar product of the Eastern Asiatics. The Chinese were the first to make use of it and they were followed by the Koreans and the Japanese.
The distinguishing mark of “cash” is the square hole in the center by means of which the coins are strung together for convenience in transportation. The necessity of this becomes apparent when we remember that these coins are of such small intrinsic value that it takes a large number of them to pay a small bill. Until recent times, when one went shopping in Korea he did not slip his money into his waistcoat pocket but he loaded it on the back of a stout coolie, and even then he could take but twenty dollars worth. Korean cash is so bulky that in every business transaction which involves the transportation of money even a distance of only a dozen rods such transportation costs one tenth of one per cent of the amount.
The art of making cash was introduced into Korea from China eight hundred years ago. Before that time Korean money consisted of arrow-shaped rods of copper or a mixture of copper and lead. But barter was by far the most common form of trade. Even today rice is practically legal tender.
Until about the year 1880 the minting of cash was strictly in the hands of the government, the plant, utensils, bullion and wages being provided for out of the national treasury; but about that time a new and peculiar method was adopted. The minting of cash was farmed out to private individuals or companies. The native furnaces being of uniform capacity, the average daily output could be closely estimated. A number of individuals received, from the government, charters by the terms of which they were permitted to operate a fixed number of furnaces a certain number of days, the government to receive each day a stated sum and the operators of the furnaces to keep as their pay all they could make over and above the amount paid the government.
[page 89] A plot of level ground containing about four acres was selected and was surrounded with a high, strong wall. Within the inclosure the operators erected their furnaces and began their work. The government furnished nothing. The operators paid all expenses whether of tools, bullion or labor. The minting of cash was not so extremely remunerative as might at first appear, for we must remember that the intrinsic value of the coin was about three fourths the face value and the cost of minting is about one eighth. For every hundred dollars’ worth that the operator handed over to the government he sustained a net loss of eighty-eight dollars and a half. This loss had to be covered by the minting of seven hundred and eight dollars’ worth more. Whatever he made in addition to this would of course bring him a gain of twelve and a half per cent. The government did not stipulate that the coin should be of any particular fineness of weight but it reserved the right to reject any that was not satisfactory. In this case the operator was [page 90] compelled to remint the coin or possibly to forfeit his charter, either of which penalties would doubtless reduce him to beggary.
It is evident from this that the policy of the cash-maker was to make the coin just good enough to be accepted at head-quarters and no better.
We will now enter the Korean native mint and see how they made what everyone wants and no one gets enough of. Here is money-making in its primitive simplicity. Here are no ponderous and complicated machines that swallow metal and vomit money, no nice appliances of science by which the weight and size of coins are accurately determined.’
The general view of an old time Korean mint was not prepossessing. It consisted of a long low building with a tiled roof which was pierced at intervals with dormer-like apertures in order to give egress to the clouds of suffocating smoke aud the poisonous exhalations that rose from the molten metal. [page 91] This main building was divided into compartments about thirty feet square, each containing one furnace together with all the apparatus necessary for the melting and casting of the coin.
In front of this main building was a motley collection of wretched straw-thatched huts in which was carried on the various steps in the process of finishing the coin and preparing it for circulation.
The whole place is noisome and filthy to a degree and yet at night the sight was not unattractive, when the green blue and golden lights from the seething metal illuminate the thick masses of smoke which poured out from every crack and crevice of the decrepit old building and when the naked bodies of the workmen were silhouetted against the rafters, as they leaped back and forth before the glowing pits in which the metal was preparing for the moulds. The fascination of the scene was the fascination of the [page 92] Inferno and one needed no strong imagination to fancy that these grimy creatures with tongs and pinchers were the same as those so sulphurously depicted by the brush of Dore.
Entering the low door to the smelting room and becoming gradually accustomed to the lurid light, we see at the farthest comer the furnace. It consists simply of a cubical mass of cement let into the ground to the depth of five feet and raised but a few inches above the surface.
The top of the furnace is flat and in the center is a circular aperture about ten inches in diameter by which the crucibles of metal are lowered into the fire. It is through this opening that the flames pour forth which illuminate the whole vicinity. On the right of the furnace is a rough box-bellows at which sits a boy on a bag of sand pushing and pulling with all his might. His position excites the keenest pity, for not only is every muscle of his body kept in a state of tension, but he is compelled to sit there within six feet of that withering column of flame of which he himself is the cause.
[page 93] In another part of the room the metal is being broken up and put into the crucibles ready for the furnace. The crucibles are miserably frail affairs made of ordinary fire-clay and they are so unreliable that a little furnace at one side is kept busy testing them.
Into each crucible are put about six pounds of copper, three of zinc and one of lead. I say about that amount for they do not make exact measurements. If they happen to put in a little larger amount of lead it means a saving of so much good copper. So long as they draw their wages regularly and have time for an occasional pipe it makes little difference to them about the proportions of metals.
In another comer we see a heap of fine black earth which some sooty individuals are shovelling into shallow wooden pans three and a half feet long by one and a half wide. As fast as they are filled they are passed on to another set of men who stand in a row and, as the trays of earth are passed beneath their feet, dance on them and stamp the earth down firmly. A number of small boys then drag them away and smooth off the tops with sticks to prepare them for the impression of the mould. A plate of metal which looks like a great many coins fastened together at the edges is laid upon one of these trays of earth and the impression is made. Then another tray receives the impression of the other [page 94] side of the metal plate; the two trays are clapped together, iron bands arc passed around the ends and made tight with wedges and the mould is all ready for the metal.
When the sign is given an oily looking individual with a very long pair of tongs and a very short pair of trousers steps forward, prods the bellows boy to let him know that the moment of respite has come and steps upon the top of the furnace. Approaching as near the orifice as the intense heat will permit he inserts his tongs and feels about until he gets hold of one of the crucibles. He hoists it up until he can see the surface of the metal and if it appears to his experienced eye to be properly melted he hauls it out and hands it over to another oily man with short tongs. Two assistants hold the mould while he pours the hissing metal into the opening.
When the casting is cool enough the iron bands are knocked off and the rough mass of connected coins falls to the ground. It is broken up with a hammer and placed in rough straw baskets and carried to one of the thatched huts outside where the next stage of the process may be seen. Here the workmen sit on scaffolds about six feet from the ground stringing the cash on [page 95] long iron rods that just fit the square hole in the center of the iron. The reason of their elevation is that they can thus hold the rods perpendicularly and string the cash on them without having to reach up to do so
As soon as a rod is filled it is taken away to the filing room where it is laid in a horizontal trough, or rather groove, about two feet above the ground. The extreme roughness of the edges of the coins is here removed by the use of long heavy files, while the more careful filing is left for a later stage of the process.
When the cash is removed from the rods it goes to the polishing room where it is thrown into wooden troughs about a yard long and ten inches deep. A bucket of water and a little sand is added. The polishing process is carried on by two men who sit on bags of sand at either end of this trough and push the coins back and forth with their feet until by the friction they shine as only new copper can. The polishers keep time to the motion of their feet by singing a rude song which is familiar [page 96] to the ear of anyone who has ever landed on the shores of Korea.
Until recent times this was considered the final step, but the cash makers became so careless that they turned out very imperfect coins. Some would have a great dent in the edge, some would be bent, some would have sharp, jagged edges which cut the fingers, so they were compelled to add another step to the process. This consisted in going over the whole lot piece by piece and hammering out the imperfections on the edge and filing each one with a small hand file. This added greatly to the cost of making, for each filer received five per cent of all cash that went through his hands.
All that remained to be done was to carry the cash away and string it. The string is made of ordinary rice straw twisted in a peculiar way which gives it much greater strength than one might imagine.
Two hundred pieces, one thousand cash, made one string and ten strings were tied together for convenience in carrying.
When the cash was all strung it was piled up in the counting room where each string was counted and entered in the books. Outside stand coolies waiting to carry it off, some to the government treasury and some to the houses of the cash makers. Each coolie carried on his back a jiggy. This is made of stout pieces of wood in the shape of a chair, minus its front legs. It is held by strong bands that go over the shoulders. Each coolie can carry on his jiggy about sixty thousand cash. As they carried the cash through the streets they were accompanied by guards whose special duty it was to see that it reached its destination safely.
The workmen in the mint were a very low class of men. They lived in unbounded filth and squalor. At night they slept in what is called an oom, which is simply a hole in the ground covered with a rough straw thatch. These holes are sunk in the ground below the frost line and so do not require to be warmed in winter. In summer the men slept on the floor of the smelting rooms or on the ground anywhere.
[page 97] As we go out the great front gate of the inclosure the guard salutes us lazily and sinks back on his seat. Just outside we come upon a company of little urchins sitting on their haunches and washing out in shallow pans the gravel and sand in the bed of the little stream which flows from the mint. They are searching for little pieces of the metal which may be washed down. For these they find a ready sale within.
One piece of cash is called han pun, two pieces are called han dun and twenty pieces, or one hundred cash, are called han nyang and is the unit of Korean money. This unit is worth about one cent of American money or two Japanese sen, but its value is extremely fluctuating. Twenty years ago a Japanese dollar would buy two thousand cash, fifteen years ago thirteen hundred cash and now it will buy over five thousand. There was a large foreign mint in Seoul, thoroughly equipped with the best modern minting machinery but it was never operated. It was built and equipped in the early eighties at a time when there was a strong feeling in favor of foreign innovations but soon after that time the conservative spirit got the upper hand again and it was not until many years later that anything like a modem coinage was introduced.
These mints almost always ended by going up in flames at a time when a large amount of cash was about to be sent to the government office, but the public shrewdly guessed that care had been taken that the money should be removed to a place of safety just before the unexpected accident happened.
Rear Admiral Schley on the Little War of 1871.
In the eighth and ninth chapters of his remarkably interesting book of reminiscences, entitled “Forty-five years under the Flag,” Rear-Admiral Schley deals with the expedition under Rear-Admiral Rodgers, which made [page 98] a descent upon the coast of Korea in 1871, and in which Schley himself was a participant. The stirring episode is graphically pictured by the pen of the soldier, and the standpoint is that of the date at which the event occurred, so that what is lost in accuracy, owing to the fact that only one side of the affair was clearly understood, is more than compensated for by the glimpse it gives us of the way Korea was looked upon at that time. Later developments have shown serious flaws in the argument which led to the expedition, but these are things that could not have been known at the time and therefore reflect but slightly upon the judgment of those who planned and executed it.
One of the most interesting points brought out in this book is that of the underlying cause of the expedition. The writer says.
It was during this winter (1870-71) in Japan that rumors reached the Benicia that the affair in Korea relating to the American Schooner General Sherman was to be enquired into by our government. This vessel had ventured into the waters of Korea on a trading voyage in 1868 or 1869, with a cargo of “Yankee Notions.” The vessel, as was learned subsequently, had been burned and her crew to a man had been killed by the Koreans. . . . . . . Before sailing from the United States there were vague rumors that this matter was to be settled by the squadron then being prepared for Rear-Admiral Rodgers. . . . . . The anti-foreign feeling in China was more likely to revive if any one of the nations represented there should appear to hesitate to take redress in matters so seriously grave as that of the General Sherman, The murder of the entire crew, with the destruction of the vessel, merely because her master had ventured into forbidden waters for purposes of trade, was hardly to be justified under any code of ethics. This view was that taken by our government in directing careful inquiry, which led to prompt action later in the year.” And again he says: “The prospective expedition to Korea to adjust a wrong and the probable effect it would have at a time when unrest was general in China was believed to be for good. It was thought that [page 99] Admiral Rodgers’ attempt to open communication with the government of that hermit Kingdom would meet with suspicion and possible obstruction from its officials. The sentiment general in the Squadron was that when the relations of two countries was such that the subjects of one were not safe in the territory of the other, the time had come to make them so by force of arms. . . . ..