Volume 3, 1903
Homer B. Hulbert A.M., F.R.G.S.,
Printed at the Methodist Publishing House, Seoul
No. 1 (JANUARY)
A NOTABLE PAPER ON SEOUL .. 1
REVIEW REV. GEO. HEBER JONES.... 8
“ALL’ S WELL THAT ENDS WELL” 10
A LEAF FROM KOREAN ASTROLOGY . 13
FROM FUSAN TO WONSAN 18
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
EDITORIAL COMMENT 22
NEWS CALENDAR 25
HISTORY OF KOREA 33
No. 2 (FEBRUARY)
THE KOREAN NEW YEAR..… 49
THE KOREAN PHYSICAL TYPE 55
FROM FUSAN TO WONSAN........................................ 59
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
A LEAF FROM KOREAN ASTROLOGY ..... 65
ODDS AND ENDS
A Novel Mail Delivery............................................... 68
Fortune’ s Formula ... 69
A Moral from Go-bang......................................................... 70
A Costly Drug...................................................................... 70
A Brave Governor...................................................... 71
EDITORIAL COMMENT.................................................. 73
NEWS CALENDAR...................................................................... 74
KOREAN HISTORY......................................................... 81[page 2]
No. 3 (MARCH)
THE TEST OF FRIENDSHIP. 97
FROM FUSAN TO WONSAN 101
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
THE BRIDGES AND WELLS OF SEOUL.................... 104
ODDS AND ENDS
The Heavenly Pig................................................... 110
A Hungry Spirit................................................. 111
Milk Supply............................................................. 112
A Buddhist Relic................................................. 112
Mr. Three Questions.......................................... 113
The Tell-tale Grain............................................ 113
QUESTION AND ANSWER...................................... 114
EDITORIAL COMMENT................................................ 115
NEWS CALENDAR .................................................. 121
KOREAN HISTORY.................................................. 129
No. 4 (APRIL)
THE KOREA MUDANG AND PANSU ......................... 145
HOW CHIN OUT-WITTED THE DEVILS............ 149
THE HUN-MIN CHONG-EUM...................................... 154
ODDS AND ENDS
The Tug of War........................................................ 159
QUESTION AND ANSWER ..................................... 160
EDITORIAL COMMENT................................................ 163
NOTE.............................................................................. 166[page 3]
NEWS CALENDAR 167
KOREAN HISTORY............................................. 177
No. 5 (MAY)
THE PRIVILEGES OF THE CAPITAL.................. 193
MUDANG AND PANSU....................................... 203
THE HUN-MIN CHONG-EOM 208
HEN vs CENTIPEDE............................................ 213
EDITORIAL COMMENT...................................... 217
ACROSS SIBERIA BY RAIL ................................. 218
NEWS CALENDAR............................................... 222
KOREAN HISTORY............................................... 225
No. 6 (JUNE)
NOTE ON CH’OE CH’I-WUN................................. 241
THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF SEOUL
T. Sidehara 247
ACROSS SIBERIA BY RAIL 253
MUDANG AND PANSU ; 257
ODDS AND ENDS
Making of a River 260
As good as Wireless Telegraphy.......................... 261
Looking Backwards........................................ 261
The Centipede....................................................... 261
Why they went blind......................................... 262
Thorn Fence Island 262
Birth, Marriage, Death......................................... 263
Entered in to Rest................................................ 264[page 4]
Foreigners and Native Diseases.......................... 265
NEWS CALENDAR.................................................... 267
KOREAN HISTORY.................................................. 273
No. 7 (JULY)
KOREAN AND FORMOSAN...................................... 289
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN ....................... 294
MUDANG AND PANSU............................................... 301
ACROSS SIBERIA BY RAIL ....................................... 305
THE COMING CONFERENCE, Dr. Vinton................. 310
EDITORIAL COMMENT...................................... 311
NEWS CALENDAR..................................................... 313
KOREAN HISTORY............................................. 321
No. 8 (AUGUST)
THE PEDDLARS’ GUILD.............................................. 337
MUDANG AND PANSU.............................................. 342
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN................................. 347
ACROSS SIBERIA BY RAIL........................................ 349
OBITUARY - George Mitchell...................................... 356
ODDS AND ENDS
Kwanak Mountain................................................... 357
A Very Practical Joke............................................. 357
Sharp Eyes............................................................ 358
Costly Arrows....................................................... 358
NEWS CALENDAR........................................................ 359
KOREAN HISTORY....................................................... 369[page 5]
No. 9 (SEPTEMBER)
MUDANG AND PANSU............................................... 385
THE TAIKU DISPENSARY.......................................... 389
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN.......................... 394
REVIEW ............................ 398
ODDS AND ENDS
Good Cutlery...................................................... 400
Archery Under Difficulties 401
The Crying Seed ................................................ 402
Dragon Gate Mountain...................................... 403
Fisherman’s Luck.............................................. 403
Well up in Literature ........................................ 404
The Boats of Sung-jin............................. 405
Cure for Canker Sores on the Tongue................ 406
A new kind of Faith Cure................................... 406
EDITORIAL COMMENT ............................................. 406
NEWS CALENDAR....................................................... 409
KOREAN HISTORY...................................................... 417
No. 10 (OCTOBER)
A KOREAN POEM. F. S. Miller.................................... 433
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN ............................... 438
THE FORTRESS OF PUK-HAN ................................... 444
ODDS AND ENDS
The Secret Armor............................................. 451
Presence of Mind.............................................. 452
EDITORIAL COMMENT................................................ 453
NEWS CALENDAR....................................................... 455
KOREAN HISTORY 465[page 6]
No. 11 (NOVEMBER)
BANISHMENT ......................................... 481
A TIGER HUNTER’S REVENGE ........ 487
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN ....................... 492
ODDS AND ENDS
A Square Meal ................................................... 497
Lying Bull Mountain ......................................... 498
Mountain Dew................................................... 499
EDITORIAL COMMENT..................................................... 499
NEWS CALENDAR....................................................... 501
KOREAN HISTORY...................................................... 513
No. 12 (DECEMBER)
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KOREANS IN
HAWAII ............................................................ 529
KOREAN RELATIONS WITH JAPAN............. 537
ODDS AND ENDS
A Rash Execution ........................................................................ 544
Cross Examination....................................................................... 545
Places of Execution.......................................................................545
A Headless Ghost............................................................ 545
NOW OR NEVER......................................................... 547
OBITUARY NOTICE 553
NEWS CALENDAR.................................................................... 554
Korean History 561
Volume 3, 1903.
A Brave Governor (anecdote) 71
A Buddhist Relic 112
A Costly Drag (anecdote) 70
Across Siberia by Rail 218, 253, 305, 349
A Hungry Spirit (folk-tale) 111
A Korean Poem. Rev. F. S. Miller 433
A Moral from Gobang (anecdote) 70
A New Faith Cure 406
A Notable Paper on Seoul (review) 1
A Novel Mail Delivery (story) 68
Archery under Difficulties (anecdote) 401
Armor, The Secret (folk-tale) 451
As Good as Wireless Telegraphy (anecdote) 261
A Square Meal (story) 497
Astrology, A Leaf from Korean 13, 65
A Tiger Hunter's Revenge (folk-tale) 487
A Very Practical Joke (anecdote) 357
Banishment 481, 529
Bank, A Korean Government 217
Boats of Sfing-jin 405
Bridges and Wells of Seoul 104
Buddhist Relic, A 112
Budget for 1903 173
Cemetery, The Foreign 507
Centipede, The 261
Ch’oe Chi-wun 241
Conference, The Coming, Dr. C. C. Vinton 310
Costly Arrows (anecdote) 358
Crying Seed, The (story) 402
Cure for Canker-sore (folk-tale) 406
Disarmament (anecdote) 160
Dragon Gate Mountain (folk-tale) 403
Editorial Comment 22, 73, 115, 163, 217, 253, 311, 406, 463, 499, 547,
Faith Cure, A New (folk-tale) 406
Fisherman's Luck (anecdote).. 403
Foreign Cemetery, The 507
Fortress of Puk-han. O Sung-geun 444
Formosan, Korean and 289
Fortune's Formula (folk-tale) 69
From Fusan to Wonsan by Pack-pony. Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall 18, 59, 101
Good Cutlery (folk-tale) 400
Heavenly Pig, The (folk- tale) 110
Hen versus Centipede (folk-tale) 213
History of Korea 33, 81, 129, 177, 225, 273, 369, 417, 465, 513, 561
How Chin outwitted the Devils (folk-tale) 149
Hun-min Chong-eum, The 154, 208
Hungry Spirit, A (folk-tale) 111
Japan, Korean Relations With 294, 347, 394, 438, 492
Japanese Occupation of Seoul in 1592. Prof; T. Sidehara 247
Korean and Formosan 289
Korean History 33, 81, 129, 177, 225, 273, 321, 369, 417, 465, 413, 561
Korean Relations with Japan 294, 347, 394, 438, 492
Korean Folk Tales (Review) 8
Kwan-ak Mountain 357
Looking Backward (anecdote) 261
Lying Bull Mountain (folk-tale) 498
Mail Delivery, A novel (folk tale) 68
Making of a River (folk tale) 260
Meteorological Report. Dr. Pokrovsky 32, 80, 128, 176, 224, 262, 320, 368, 416, 464, 512, 560
Milk Supply (folk tale) 112
Mortuary Notice 264, 530
Mountain Dew (anecdote) 499
Mr. “Three Question” 113
Mudang and Pansu 145, 203, 257, 301, 342, 385
News Calendar 25, 74, 121, 167, 222, 267, 313, 359, 409, 455, 501, 554
New Year, The Korean 49
Note on Ch'oe Chi-wun 241
Peddlars Guild, the 337
Physical Type, The Korean 55
Poem, A Korean, Rev. F. S. Miller 433
Practical Joke, A (folk tale) 357
Presence of Mind (anecdote) 452
Privileges of the Capital 193
Puk-han, Fortress of, O Sung-geun 444
Question and Answer 114, 160
Railway, The Seoul Fusan 460
Relations with Japan. Korean 294, 347, 394, 438, 492, 535
Relic, a Buddhist 11
Revenge, A Tiger hunter's 487
Reviews 1, 8, 165, 398
Roman Catholic troubles in the north 22, 22r, 25, 73, 77, 115, 121
Royal Asiatic Society Papers1, 8.
Seoul, A Notable Paper on 1
Seoul-Chemulpo Tennis Tournament 414
Sharp Eyes (folk tale) 358
Square Meal, A (anecdote) 497
Taiku Dispensary, The 389
Tell-tale Grain, A (anecdote) 113
Tennis Tournament, Seoul-Chemulpo 414
Test of Friendship, The 97
The Boats of Sung-jin 405
The Bridges and Wells of Seoul 140
The Budget for 1903 173
The Centipede 261
The Coming Conference Dr. C.C. Vinton 310
The Crying Seed (folk tale) 402
The Foreign Cemetery 507
The Fortress of Puk-han, O Seung geun 444
The Heavenly Pig (folk tale) 110
The Hun-min Chong-eum 154, 208
The Japanese occupation of Seoul in 1593, Prof T. Sidehara 247
The Korean Mudang and Pansu 145, 203, 257, 301, 342, 385
The Korean New Year 49
The Korean Physical Type 55
The Peddlar 's Guild 337
The Privileges of the Capital 193
The Secret Armor (folk tale) 451
The Taiku Dispensary 389
The Tell-tale Grain (anecdote) 113
The Test of Friendship (story) 97
The Tug of War 159
Thorn Fence Island 262
Three Questions, Mr 113
Travel from Fusan to Wunsan Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall 18, 59, 101
Tug of War, The 159
Vaccination (anecdote) 111
Well up in Literature (folk-tale) 404
Why they Went Blind (folk tale) 262
Yong-am-p'o 367, 407
Young Men's Christian Association 461
THE KOREA REVIEW
Volume 3, January 1903
A Notable Paper on Seoul 1
Review Rev. Geo. Heber Jones 8
“All’ S Well That Ends Well” 10
A Leaf from Korean Astrology 13
From Fusan to Wonsan 18
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
Editorial Comment 22
News Calendar 25
History of Korea 33
A Notable Paper on Seoul.
Volume II, Part 2, of the Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society has appeared during the past month. It contains a paper on Han-yang (Seoul) by Rev. J. S. Gale, B. A., accompanied by a map of the city.
After giving a list of the Korean works referred to in the preparation of the paper, Mr. Gale gives us a most interesting and exhaustive historical survey of this city from 18 B. C. down to recent years, describing the main events of the founding of the city and its alternate occupation by Ko-guryu and Pak-che, until Silla took the Peninsula, its elevation to the honor of being the South Capital of Koryu, its further elevation to its present status or Capital of Korea and its subsequent vicissitudes. Many of the traditions clustering about the city and various historical places are given in most entertaining form and we get a clear view of the enormous antiquity of the place. Special attention is given to the events connected with the building of the various palaces and other public buildings.
After the historical summary follows a valuable list of points of interest in Seoul, each being accompanied by a numerical index to the map so that the places can be definitely located by the reader. Eighteen kungs or palaces are specifically mentioned; then a large number of other places, such. as the city gates, the altars, the temples, the bridges and the different divisions of the city. We are also told the different [page 2] localities in which various articles are sold or manufactured. Some curious instances are given in which prophecies about the city are said to have been fulfilled.
This very valuable paper closes with a translation of a description of Seoul given by a Special Ambassador to Korea in 1487, named Tong-wul. It is certain that this is the most valuable “find” that has been made for many a day in Korea, for it gives us a clear and full account of things as they actually appeared four hundred years ago in Seoul. It shows what changes have been made and what things have remained unchanged. Looking from the top of Sam-gak-san he observed “Myriads of pine trees cover the country.” This is hardly true today. His description of Peking Pass as it was four centuries ago would not have to be changed by a syllable to describe its condition ten years ago. In saying that the tiles on the gates and smaller palaces are like those on public offices in China. he doubtless referred to the colored tiles, not a few of which can he seen about Seoul even yet. He says “The Streets are straight, without crook or turn.” He must have kept to the big street, or else time has worked marvels of change. Pork must have been a favorite dish in China, for the envoy says he saw an old Korean eat pork for the first time, “and he ate it as though in a dream.” An ambrosial feast, surely. Reading this remarkable account we marvel how a country and its people could have changed so little in four centuries. Then, as now, ponies were used to carry burdens, coolies carried goods on their backs and women carried bundles on their heads. Not an inch of progress, in the matter of transportation, during four centuries!
A complete description of all the interesting points in Seoul would fill a thick volume, but Mr. Gale seems to have selected the points of greatest importance and has treated them in a most entertaining and instructive manner.
With the permission of your readers we will give a few additional notes on Seoul which are of secondary importance and yet may be of interest to some of the readers of the Review.
Notes on Seoul.
Seoul contains forty-nine pang (坊) or wards. The central part of Seoul contains eight, the eastern part twelve, the [page 3] southern part eleven, the western part eight and the northern part ten. These include the district outside the South and West gates and the suburbs along the electric road nearly to Yong-san.
Each pang or “ward” is composed of several tong (洞) or neighborhoods. This word tong means literally a valley or ravine. In ancient times people preferred to build their villages among the foothills of some mountain, on the top of which they had their fortress. When news came that the wild peoples were about to attack them they could easily run up into their fortress and be safe. So the term valley or ravine came to be synonomous with village, and when a town grew to the proportions of a city each little valley or water-course was called a tong. In time even this distinction wore off and a tong came to mean simply a small division of a town. And yet this designation is preserved in its original significance in many of the divisions of Seoul. For instance Chang-dong means “Long Valley” and applies to a single long street running up a water-course to the side of Nam-san. Whedong means “Joined Vallev” and it is composed of two water-courses coming down from Nam-san and joining to form a single stream.
Chung-dong, in which most of the foreign legations are found, consists of a single valley, though it has somewhat overflowed these bounds. It is so named, because of Queen Chung, the wife of the founder of this dynasty whose tomb stood for a short time where the present palace stands. We often hear this neighborhood called Ching-ni-kol which is merely a corruption of the word Chung-neung-kol or Chung’s Tomb Valley. In this word the kol is the native Korean for the Chinese derivative tong (洞)
Sang-dong is the district where the present German Consulate stands. The origin of this name is a rather peculiar one. Four hundred years ago that district was called O-gung-kol, or Five Palace District, because it contained five residences that were so large as to be almost palatial. But one of them was haunted by a fearful ghost who, in the shape of a general, armed cap-a-pie, would go riding through the gate at midnight on a fiery charger at full speed. No one dared live in the house, and it was quite deserted. One day a Mr. [page 4] Sang came up from the country to try the national examination. He was poor arid had to put up at an inferior inn, in the vicinity of this haunted house. Early in the evening he heard some men quarrelling and went out to learn the cause of it. He found them disputing as to whether there really was a ghost in the silent mansion across the way.
Mr. Sang hastened to the man who was nominally in charge of the haunted place and asked if he might sleep there. Permission was given and with his single servant he entered the silent courts and opened up one of the rooms. His servant swept it clean and made it ready for his master’s occupancy and then bolted. He did not care to experiment.
Sang sat down beside his lighted candle and began to study his characters. Midnight came and yet he did not retire. About one o’clock he heard a masterful voice at the gate shouting. “Earth-box, Earth-box, open the gate” Then from a point directly beneath where he sat came a muffled voice in answer. “You can’t come in to-night, for Prime Minister Sang is here.” Then he heard the sound of trampling feet receding in the distance and he knew that he would see no ghost that night. But why had the voice called him Prime Minister Sang? He was no prime minister. His highest ambition had never soared beyond a modest magistracy in his native province. He must know more about this curious affair, so he determined to consult the oracle himself.
“Earth-box, Earth-box.” be called out in commanding tones.
“Who is it that calls?” answered the voice from below.
“Tell me who you are and how you come to be called ‘Earth-box.’“
“Well, years ago some children who lived in this house were playing in the yard. They made a rough box of clay and placed in it a rude effigy of a man. They tore from the front gate the colored picture of the general which was placed there to frighten away spirits. With these pieces of paper they lined the earthen box and then buried the whole beneath the floor of the room where you now are. This was too good an opportunity for any wandering imp to lose, so I came in and occupied the effigy as my home. And the spirit [page 5] of the General, for the same reason, rides his phantom horse into the compound each night.”
Sang’s curiosity led him no further. He blew out the candle and lay down to sleep. In the morning he called in a carpenter and a coolie and unearthed the “Earth-box” and destroyed both it and its contents. The spell was broken and no ghost ever appeared again. Sang’s ownership of the mansion was never questioned and the whole neighborhood rejoiced that the spirits had been exorcised.
Some time after this Sang was going along the road near Mo-wha-kwan where the Independent Arch now stands. It was raining in torrents. As he passed the old arch, that is now removed, he heard a voice calling him from above. He looked up and saw an old man sitting on the very top of the gate.
“Look,” said he, “look back at your house.” Sang did so and at that instant a flash of lighting was seen to fall exactly where his house stood. He hurried back to it expecting to find it in flames but instead he found that the bolt of lightning had entered the ground in the center of his yard leaving a great hole ten feet wide and of unknown depth. This slowly filled with water and Sang stoned it up and made a well of it. This well can be seen today just beside the road leading up to the German Consulate. Most people have forgotten how this well originated but there are still old men who call it the “Lightning Well.”
When the king heard of all these wonderful doings he called in Sang and gave him a high position which eventually meant the prime-ministership. From that time the district where Sang lived was called Sang-dong.
Pak-tong is also called. Pak suk-kol or “Wide Stone Neighborhood.” This is because the street was paved with wide flat stones. These stones have since been removed or covered up, but the name still remains in part.
Sa-dong takes its name from the fact that it was anciently the site of a celebrated monastery, so it is now called “Monastery Neighborhood.” A part of Sa-dang is called Tap-Kol or Pagoda Place.
Chan-dong or “Law Neighborhood” is so called because formerly it was the site of a medical bureau called Chon euigam or “Medical Law Office”[page 6]
Yun-dong, also called, Yun-mot-kol, as the name signifies means “Lotus Neighborhood.” A very wealthy man named Yang once lived there and he had a large and beautiful lotus pond which eventually gave the name to the neighborhood.
Chu dong, or Chu-ja-gol, “Type Neighborhood,” received its name from the fact that this was the place where the makers of wooden printing type lived.
P’il-dong means “Brush-pen Neighborhood’’ because that was the place where the pen making industry was carried on. Meuk-tong, or Muk-chu-gol. meaning “Ink Neighborhood.” The meuk is the Chinese sound while the muk is the Korean sound. It is a curious case of the double pronunciation of a Chinese character. Of course the Korean muk came from the Chinese meuk but why the same neighborhood should be called Meuk-tong and Muk chu gol is a curiosity. The story goes that in that neighborhood lived a man who could write Chinese characters very finely. He used a piece of linen (chu) to write on instead of paper, and after writing he would wash the linen out, as one would wash a slate. So the stream running by his house was always dyed black with the ink; hence the name.
Sa-dong (differing from the “Monastery Neighborhood,” Sa-dong, in that the a in the latter is short while in the former it is long) or Sa-jik-kol, “Land-spirit-altar Neighborhood,” is so named because of the altar which is situated there.
Eun-hang-dong or “Ginko Neighborhood takes its name from an enormous ginko tree which used to grow there, but has since been destroyed.
Yuk-kak-tong means “Six-corner-house Neighborhood.” Formerly a prince had a palace there whose roof was so constructed that it was called six-cornered. This does not mean hexagonal, but a particular description would take us too far into the technicalities of Korean architecture.
Won-dong, “Garden Neighborhood,” takes its name from the fact that near that place is a royal garden or Won.
Kyo-dong was originally called Hyang-kyo-gol which means “Country School Neighborhood.” This was its name during Koryu days, but after this dynasty began and Han Yang was no more “Country” but “Capital,” the name was retained in part, the “Country” being dropped. [page 7]
At the time when the great political parties arose in Korea, about 1550 A. D., there were but two parties, the Tong-in, and the Su-in, “East men” and “West men,” Each faction dug a lotus pond for itself, a Yun-mot. The “East men” had theirs in the present Yun-dong and the “West men” had theirs outside the West gate aboat half way to the arch. Both these ponds still exist. It is said that the waters of these ponds would rise and fall in unison with the fortunes of their respective sides. When the “East men” were in power their pond would be full and the other one nearly empty; and vicc versa. Later the Nam-in or “South men” party had a pond outside the South gate and the Puk-in or “North men” party had one somewhere, but its exact position we do not know.
Cha-kol “Purification Neighborhood,” is not so called from the special abstemiousness of its’ denizens but because in former times it was a favorite haunt of Mudang or female fortune-tellers. These were often called upon to offer prayers for the dead, a thing that is done today only by Buddhist monks. This act is called 재올닌다 and is used only in reference to petitions for the dead. The base of this word is 재 or cha which is defined as purification as by fasting. This was in preparation for the act of worship. So the neighborhood was called Cha-dong.
T’a-.pyung-dong, just inside the south gate, is so called because it was the site of a reception hall where Chinese ambassadors were entertained; the hall being called T’a-pyung gwan or “Great Peaceful Hall”
Ku-bok-kol or “Tortoise Neighborhood.” In Koryu days a great monastery stood here. In the inclosure stood the stone figure of a dog. It was not called a dog, for a dog is a low-grade animal, but it was called a tortoise, as a euphemism. This stone figure still stands there and forms one of the oldest relics to be found in Seoul.
Sang-Sa-dang-gol= “Life Tablet-house Neighborhood.” When the Chinese generals Yi Yu-song and Yang Ho came to Korea and helped Korea overcome the Japanese at the time of the great invasion in 1592, the Koreans secured portraits of these two men and placed them in a shrine. This is customary only after the death of the person to be honored. [page 8] But in this exceptional case it was done while the generals were still living. For this reason it is called the “Life Tablet-house” or “Still Living Tablet-house.” A stone tablet was also erected. Both the tablet house and the stone are still to be seen in Sang-sa-dang-gol.
Korean Folk Tales.
The current number of the Transactions of the Korea Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society contains a paper by Prof. H. B. Hulbert, F. R. G. S., on Korean Folk Tales, which is of permanent value. In this department of scientific study in Korea Prof. Hulbert is an acknowledged authority and in this paper he has presented us with a vast fund of information concerning the common folk-lore of the Korean people. Our only regret is that the necessary limits to his paper compelled him to pass by with only a reference, in places, to some of the treasures which lie hid in this inviting field of investigation
As an introduction to the subject Prof. Hulbert indicates the scope of folk-lore and its position in Korea. He then gives us the following classification of Korean folk-tales, viz.: Confucian, Buddhistic, Shamanistic, legendary, mythical and general. This classification is an accurate and acceptable one and fairly covers the subject. It recognises the existence of the two schools of scholarship in Korea, Confucian and Buddhist, and we are given a very interesting account of the antagonisms and conflicts which have marked their history.
Following this general introduction comes an interesting characterization of the romance literature of Korea. To one familiar with this literature the force of the remark that “while these stories are many in number they are built on a surprisingly small number of models,” is apparent. But this lack of variety in plot and movement in tales of fiction is a feature of all literatures in their infancy. [page 9]
In dealing with the Shamanistic class of folk-tale, each paragraph of the paper before us is only an index to a whole chapter of very interesting and valuable material. Innumerable stories of the Fox-woman, Br’er Rabbit, Old Man Frog, and the Pheasant, are floating about, replete with accounts of local life, customs and superstitions; many of them pointed sharply with a very apparent moral.
Prof. Hulbert tells us that there is a great difference between occidental and oriental myths. “Greek mythology is telescopic; the Korean is microscopic.” This is very true and yet I think it will be admitted that one is as valuable, in the final analysis, as the other. Does it not require as strong an exercise of fancy to invent a reason to explain why bedbugs are flat, and sparrows leap, and magpies strut; for the small waist of the ant, the black spot on the louse, the eyeless worm and the side-gait of the crab, as it does to explain solar phenomena by the myth of Phoebus Apollo or to imagine the cirrus clouds to be flocks of sheep in the sky? Possibly it is only a question of environment and the projection of fancy, rather than a question of the power of fancy. The Greek with his outdoor pastoral life became familiar with sun and moon and cirrus clouds – the telescopic world; while the Korean in his more confined and indoor life had his fancy drawn out to the familiar scenes of such life, bugs, etc., or as the reader has so happily expressed it – the microscopic world. But after all, Phoebus Apollo and “heavenly flocks of sheep” carry us into the domain of Greek poetry, and when we turn from pure folk-lore into the world of Korean poetry we find the fancy soaring into a more attractive world. Instead of the side-gaited muddy crab, we have the lordly flight of the wild goose: instead of the narrow-waisted ant and the black spotted louse we have the rainbow-colored butterfly dancing amid a wild rout of flowers.
In conclusion it may be well to note that only a portion of the mass of stories to which Prof. Hulbert points are published. Many of them are still preserved only in the manuscript works of famous literati, while a much larger number of them are handed down from generation to generation by oral tradition. The Royal Asiatic Society will do a valuable work in inducing students to gather up from the con-[page 10] versation of their Korean friends as many of these stories as possible.
We are grateful to Prof. Hulbert for this very valuable contribution to our knowledge of things Korean. Written in faultless style, the paper is progressive in its handling of the theme, and maintains the interest of all who read it from start to finish.
Geo. HEBER. Jones.
“All’s Well that Ends Well.”
The only true and reliable account of the origin of the An-ju branch of the great Kim family in Korea! It began in penury and ended in oppulence; it began in obscurity and ended in the white light of Royal favor.
Kim of An-ju, some centuries ago, was “only great in that strange spell—a name” and even that name was in evidence mainly on pawn-tickets. Finally things got so bad that he was driven to that (shall we say last?) resort of the indigent Korean gentleman, the I. O. U. As he had never done things by halves, except to half starve, he went to a distant relative in a near-by town, or a near relative in a distant town, it matters not, and asked him if he had a matter of ten thousand cash about him. Now ten thousand cash in those days was equal to ten million in these degenerate times. The size of the request fairly staggered the relative, but it was made so blandly and with such infantile certainty of an affirmative answer that he had not the heart to say no. So Kim departed with a pony-load of the wherewithal.
As he was approaching the ferry by which he had to cross the Nak-tong River and looked down upon the valley from the top of the hill, he saw two persons on the bank of the river acting in the most unaccountable manner. One was a man and the other a woman. First the man would rush toward the water’s edge as if to cast himself in, but the woman would run after him and catch him by the skirts of his turumagi and pull him back. Then after a little blind pantomime (for Kim was too far away to hear the colloquy) the [page 11] woman would try to throw herself in, only to be rescued by the man.
Kim’s curiosity impelled him to the river’s bank, where he inquired what it was all about. It appeared that the man was an ajun or yamen-runner of the neighboring prefecture, suddenly called upon to render his accounts. Was not this enough to daunt the soul of almost any ajun? He was in arrears ten thousand cash and was trying to end his life by suicide, but his wife seemed to have other plans for him. Having dragged him from the brink she would threaten to commit suicide herself if he did not desist, and then he would have to drag her from the brink.
The reader will instantly surmise that Kim handed over his money to the grateful pair; for, unlike Newton’s (or some one else’s) law of gravitation, Korean altruism in fiction varies directly with the square of the distance—from the fact. They thanked him profusely and begged to know his name. He said it was Kim, but where he lived he would not tell.
So home he went and worried along as before. About this time he used to receive visits from a mysterious guest, it was a monk, who would tell nothing about himself, but who would come at night and sit till the small hours of the morning talking to Kim. This created something of a scandal but Kim was such a good Confucianist that people supposed he was immune to Buddhist heresy.
His hour came, and calling his son he said, “I am about to die. Do not inter my body until you have inquired of the hermit monk where my body should rest. He will show you a propitious place. This is the word he left with me when last we met.” Then Kim turned to the wall and died.
In obedience to his command the son shouldered the body and tramped northward over the mountains to the town of Yang-geun where the hermit was said to live. High up on a mountain he found the recluse sitting in holy meditation. He greeted the son impassively and pointed far down the valley to where the roof of a magnificent building appeared above the tree tops.
“Your father must be buried on the site of that edifice.” The astonished young man carefully deposited his burden on the ground, wiped his brow and heaved a sigh of despair. It [page 12] was hard enough to bring that burden all the way from An-ju without being told that he would have to buy a magnificent building and tear it down before he could lay has father’s ashes to rest. The hermit had been mocking him No? Then how was the impossible to be accomplished.
The hermit motioned him to follow, leaving the body on the ground. Night was falling and by the time they reached the high wall of the yard which surrounded the building, it was quite dark.
“Now get on my back and look over the wall. It may be something will come of it.” The voung man had no sooner gotten his face even with the top than the hermit grave him a mighty heave which threw him completely over the wall and landed him in a mass of shrubbery. Something had “come of it” with a vengeance. He would now be caught for a thief and beaten, perhaps to death. So he lay still a while trying to think of some plan of escape.
As he lay there he saw a woman emerge from the building and ascend a sort of altar made of handsomely carved stone. She knealt and began to pray that she might find the man who had been so good to her and her husband. His name was Kim and he lived near An-ju. At this the young man sat up in wonder. He had heard his father tell the story often and he began to see some light through the dark methods of the hermit.
Just then one of the house guards spied him. He was seized and bound. They dragged him before the master of the house.
“Who are you, and what do you here?”
“I am a Kim of An-ju and I have brought my father’s body to bury it in Yang-geun.”
“Kim of An-ju! Is there more than one family of Kims then?”
“No we are the only one.”
“At last our search is finished. And so your father is dead, Let us go and see his face.”
They went together at dead of night and found the Hermit quietly sitting by the body. It was the face they sought. They told the young man that since that kind act of his father [page 13] they had prospered and that they had laid aside half of all their gains for him and his heirs.
So the grave was dug on the site of that house and Kim’s son reaped a rich reward for his father’s former kindness. And many a Kim today points back to that humble thatched cottage in An-ju and says with pride;—
“I am an An-ju Kim.”
A Leaf from Korean Astrology.
The next division of the book which we are discussing deals with the methods of driving out the imps of sickness from the human body.
Now the human body is subject to two kinds of disease, one of which is natural and can be cured by medicine, and the other occult and caused by the presence of an evil spirit. In their ignorance men have tried to cure both kinds by medicine, but this is foolish. The Hermit Chang laid down the rules for exorcising the evil spirits of disease, and he wisely said that if the exorcism did not succeed it was a sign that the disease was one to be cured by medicine!
Different diseases are likely to break out on special days of the month, and this division of the book tells what diseases may be expected on certain days, and which spirit is the cause. Whichever one it is, the work must be begun by writing the name of the imp on a piece of paper, together with the point of the compass from which he comes, wrapping five cash in this paper and throwing that whole to the imp.
If the disease comes on the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 27th, or 30th of the moon, yellow paper must be used in exorcising the imp. On any other day white paper is to be used.
Then follows a table of the diseases which maybe expected on the different days of the moon.
First day. The South-east, “wood” imp, which was formerly the spirit of a man who died by accident away from [page 14] home, controls this day. There will be headache, chills, loss of appetite. The cash wrapped in paper must be taken forty paces toward the south-east and thrown.
Second day. The South-east imp, formerly the spirit of an aged female relative Controls this day. Headache, nausea, fever, weakness. Go thirty paces south-east and throw the paper.
Third day. The North imp, formerly the spirit of a relative who lived in the north. Headache, chills, great discomfort, loss of appetite. Go twenty paces north and throw the paper.
Fourth day. The North-east imp, formerly the spirit of a man who came to visit at the house. Headache, nausea, body “heavy.” Go fifty paces north-east and throw the paper.
Fifth day. North-east imp, from some walled town to the north east. Nausea, chills. Go fifty paces north-east and cast the paper.
Sixth day. East “wood” imp, formerly the spirit of a yellow-headed man. Body heavy, aching all over, the mind clouded. Go forty paces east and cast the paper.
Seventh day. Southeast, “earth “ imp, formerly an aged man. Chills, nausea, legs and arms “heavy.” Go thirty paces south-east and throw the paper.
Eighth day. North-east, “earth” spirit, formerly the spirit of a woman. Knees ache, chills, weakness. Go northeast twenty paces and cast the paper.
Ninth day. South imp, formerly the spirit of a female relative. Nausea, weakness, whole body in pain. Go thirty paces south and throw the paper.
Tenth day. East imp, formerly the spirit of a man who died away from home. Fever, chills, head-ache, body and limbs aching, mind clouded. Go east forty paces and throw paper.
Eleventh day. North imp, formerly spirit of an injured woman. Acidity of stomach, no appetite. Go north forty paces and throw paper.
Twelfth day. North-east imp, false spirit, counterfeit spirit. Nausea, fever, hands and feet cold. Go northeast thirty paces and throw paper. [page 15]
Thirteenth day. Northeast imp, formerly spirit of a young man. Indigestion, dysentery, loss of appetite. Go north-east fifty paces and throw paper.
Fourteenth day. East “house.” imp. Indigestion, hands and feet cold, no appetite. Go east thirty paces and throw paper.
Fifteenth day. South imp, “water and fire” spirit. Fever, chills, nausea, loss of appetite. Go south thirty paces and throw paper.
This will show the general style of exorcism, in which we find that indigestion or dyspepsia is in every case the underlying evil, and that a good dose of castor-oil would “exorcise” it without difficulty. For the 16th, is a S. W. imp, spirit of a relative 17th, West imp, spirit of young woman; 18th. S. W. imp, spirit of a poisoned man; 19th, N. W. imp, spirit of injured woman; 20th, N. E. imp, “house” spirit; 21st, N. E. imp, spirit of young relative; 22nd, N, E. imp, house spirit; 23rd, South imp, spirit of man who died away from house, diagnosis insomnia; 24th, S. W. imp, spirit of a matricide; 25th, West imp, “gold” spirit, an aged imp; 26th N. W. imp, spirit of a portrait painter’s house, diagnosis vertigo; 27th, East imp, spirit of a man who died by drowning; 28th, North imp, spirit of dead girl; 29th, S. E. imp, “Earth” spirit; 30th. East imp, “mountain” spirit, of a young man.
In summing up this division we see first that it is of Buddhist origin, having been given by a Buddhist hermit; second that the imps are all spirits of people or animals that have died; third that very commonly it is the spirit of a dead relative, showing how this subject and that of geomancy are connected, since the health and happiness of an entire clan may depend upon whether a member of the clan is properly buried or not; fourth that the hermit was wise in confining himself to diseases that pass away of themselves in a day or so if nature is allowed to do its work!
The next division of the book deals with another method of curing disease, if the method given in the last section is unsuccessful. It is done by consulting the Yuk-kap (六甲) or cycle of sixty years, which is supposed to form the limit of an ordinary life-time. Each year is represented by two characters. The first of the two characters is called kan (干) [page 16] or stem, and the second of the two is called chi (支). There are ten of the kan repeated in order six times and twelve of the chi repeated five times, thus making sixty combinations.
If a man follows the directions for the days of the month and still does not recover, he must then consult the ten kan and if he still is ill he must consult the twelve chi. Now not only are the years designated by the Yuk-kap, but the months, the days of the month and the hours of the day are also designated by it. As there are sixty names in the cycle and only twelve mouths in a year it takes about five years to cover a full cycle of months, though the intercallary month causes a discrepancy. As there are thirty days in some months and twenty-nine in others it takes about two months to fill one day cycle, but the irregularity in the number of days in a month causes a discrepancy. As there are twelve hours in a day according to Korean count, it takes five days to fill a full hour cycle. A man does not consult the month or hour cycle, but only the day cycle. It is always done at night. The ten kan are甲, 乙, 丙, 丁, 戊, 已,庚,辛. 壬, 癸, and the twelve chi are 子, 丑, 寅,卯, 辰, 巳, 午, 未.申,酉,戌,and 亥.
It the disease begins on the 甲 or 乙 (Kap or Eul), day it is caused by the imp Keui-ch’un-po.* Wrap eight cash in blue paper, go forty-nine paces east, call the imp’s name three times and throw the paper toward the east.
庚 or 辛, Kyung or Sin, day’s illness is caused by the imp Mang-bun-ch’u. Wrap nine cash in white paper, call imp’s name four times. Go west thirteen paces and throw the paper.
壬 or 癸 Im or Kye, day’s illness is caused by the imp Eui-mu-sang, Wrap six cash in red paper, call imp’s name once, go north eighteen paces and throw the paper.
This finishes the ten Kan, since they are taken in pairs. Then we take up the twelve Chi which are to be consulted if the preceding treatment has not proved effective. This is done as follows:
子, Cha, day’s illness breaks out because some one has
* As the native character only is given we cannot translate this. It evidently is composed of Chinese words. [page 17]
come to the house from the north or, because the south-east corner of the house has been repaired. The imp’s name is Ch’un juk. Make four bowls of gluten rice, add salt and sauce, prepare one cup of wine, draw the picture of four horses on a piece of paper, go north nineteen paces, call the imp’s name three times, and throw, the food, wine and paper to the north.
丑, Ch’uk, day’s illness comes because, although the man has lately moved his residence in a propitious direction,* he has repaired it on the west side, and so the spirit of New Year’s Eve has punished him. Or it may be because money or food has been brought to the house from the east. The imp’s name is Ch’un-gang. Make seven bowls of gluten rice, add salt and sauce; prepare one cup of wine, draw a picture of seven horses on a piece of paper, go west ten paces, call the imp’s name three times, and throw the rice, wine and paper.
寅; In, day’s sickness arises because, though he has moved his place of living in a good direction, something has been brought from the south-east. Or it may be because wood from a very old tree has been brought to the kitchen and thus offended the kitchen spirit. The imp’s name is Tong-noe. Prepare seven bowls of millet, salt and sauce, one cup of wine, seven horses on a piece of paper, go north forty-nine paces and call the imp three times and throw the food, wine and paper.
This is continued through the twelve different chi, but as they are all nearly alike we need not give them in detail. Some of the other causes for disease are worth mentioning, namely the mending of a well to the south, the bringing of different colored cloth, the mending of a gate, the mending of a stable or kitchen. The different kinds of food presented or thrown, to the spirit are gluten rice, millet, sorghum and white rice. In every case the picture of horses on the paper is essential.
The next division of the book tells us briefly what are the fortunate directions in different years. For instance in im-in year the N. W. by. W. direction; and if a man wishes, for
* There are special times and special directions only in which a man can move [page 18]
instance, to move in the year he must buy a house N. W. by W. of his present dwelling.
Then we are told what evil spirits dominate particular months of the year. For instance the first, fifth and ninth moons are haunted by the N. N. E. imp, the second, sixth and tenth moons by the N. W. by W. imp, the third, seventh and eleventh moons by S. S. W. imp, the fourth, eighth and twelfth moons by the S. E. by E, imp.
Then follows a description of the Sam-cha (三 災) or three calamities.
The way to evade these misfortunes is rather complicated. On the morning of each birthday, when the calamity is due to arrive, the man must sweep his yard, spread a mat on the ground, place on a table three bowls of white rice, three plates of gluten rice bread, three cups of pure wine, bow nine times, spread three sheets of thick white paper over another table, wrap in each sheet one measure of white rice, hang them all over the room door. Three years later this rice must be taken down, cooked and cast away for the spirit. Also during the first moon of the year when calamity is scheduled to arrive he must draw the picture of three hawks and paste them up in his room with their bills all pointing toward the door. When the year of respite from calamity comes he must pull these pictures down.
From Fusan to Wonsan by Pack-pony.
Before leaving Taiku we received a gracious call from the Governor of the Province. It was a surprise to us and a little embarrassing for had we known that he was to call we would have paid him our respects first. However he carried it off in a most genial way and impressed us all as a genuine gentleman. His unexpected visit took our hostess so much by surprise that she had nothing ready, suitable to offer him to eat. There was only a pudding in the larder that would [page 19] be presentable. This was produced and was discussed with evident satisfaction by the Governor who, while doubtless up to the business of governing, is not up to the etiquette of the western afternoon tea. What difference when he and we all, enjoyed it? Before leaving we returned his call and had the pleasure of leaving at his office a copy of the New Testament in the native character.
We made a late start at nine o’clock Monday morning, our next objective being the ancient city of Kyong-ju, founded in the days of Julius Caesar. We had exchanged our horses for others, from Seoul, They were smaller than the ones we had used but equally efficient. Coming up from Fusan we had paid twenty-six cents, Korean money, for each ten li, per horse. Now a similar service was contracted for at twenty cents per ten li.
Our road lay due east. It was not so wide as the main road up from Fusan had been. The country assumed a more mountainous aspect and the valleys we traversed were narrower. We made only seventy li that day, over a road which had lately been badly infested with robbers; in fact the following morning we were told by a native Christian that his house had been attacked that very night, but he had succeeded in defending it. That morning we came to an important junction, where roads from Seoul, Taiku and Kyong-ju meet. It is a great market place. A short time before we passed, the robbers had seized this place and mulcted every one who passed, and taxed or confiscated all goods.
In the middle of the afternoon we saw the first signs of our approach to Kyong-ju. We were on a broad plain, twenty-five li from the city. To our right a few hundred yards away we saw a series of high mounds standing in the open plain. They were thirty-four in number and although there is no particular order in their arrangement we noticed that they diminished in size from west to east, a distance of half a mile. The largest must have been about fifty feet high. The story goes that when a Chinese Emperor ordered the king of Silla to send him the magic “golden measure,” the king had these mounds built, and under one of them hid the sacred heirloom of the realm. One of the mounds seemed to be double, and from a few of them solitary but full-grown trees were growing. [page 20]
Turning again toward Kyong-ju we saw straight ahead of us the mountains from which is mined the crystal for which Kyong-ju is famous and much of which is cut and finished in that town.
At sunset we approached the city which lies in a long narrow valley quite destitute of trees. We crossed the little stream which flows down this valley from north to south. It could easily be forded except in the rainy season, but we crossed by a bridge and approached the south gate of town. The wall which is about twelve feet high presents a curious appearance on account of the enormous stones of which it is in part built. These, at some former period, must have formed the foundations of great palaces or public buildings in the days of Silla’s greatness but are now found in the walls alongside of much smaller stones which fill in the interstices. The city stands about half a mile square and almost all the private buildings are thatched. There is a considerable suburban population stretching along down the valley for the better part of a mile. The main streets are about twenty feet wide and very winding. The city boasts of no long, straight street like the Great Bell street of Seoul.
Just within the gate, and to one side, we saw the site of what must have been a very large building. All that remain are the huge stone bases of the pillars which upheld the roof. There is a row of seven or eight of these stones just appearing above the surface of the ground. Near these there stands a stone pedestal that may have once held a sun-dial. Toward the center of the city are the ruins of the ancient palaces, a few remnants of which arrest the attention. The place is overgrown with enormous trees and of course no one is allowed to build there. Though the entire space within the walls is not filled with houses the latter are crowded close together. Outside the south gate the suburbs of which we spoke extend down the valley to the great bell which hangs in a pavilion by itself, now some distance from the town. We do not know whether this was formerly included within the limits of the city, but it seems probable. The bell itself, which is above ten feet high, is in good condition, though the Chinese characters on it are badly worn and nearly undecipherable. We went under the bell and looked up into its huge dome. Tapping [page 21] it with the handle of a pocket-knife a beautifully clear sound was produced. To me this bell seemed much larger than the one in Seoul. It is tolled every day and it gives forth a rich deep tone, worthy or its ancient lineage. Twelve hundred years have not impaired its voice though now it speaks only to a provincial town instead of to the proud capital of a kingdom which in its prime was possessed of no mean civilization even when compared with most of the European powers of that day.
Near the bell are five or six high mounds that are called the Phoenix eggs. The story goes that when Silla was waning and the soothsayers declared that a Phoenix bird, the guardian of the city, was about to fly away, an attempt was made to keep it from going by making these mounds to resemble eggs and so give the bird domestic reasons for reconsidering her decision. The inducement was hardly sufficient it seems, for Silla soon after fell into the hands of Koryu. These egg mounds are now overgrown with trees. Back of these, to the south and east are the enormous mounds which mark the tombs of the Kings of Silla. These mounds were nearly if not quite seventy-five feet high and so steep that their grassy sides could not be scaled except where a path leads up to the top. We ascended one of them and saw a great number of others stretching away to the south. There are some thirty-six or seven in all. From the top we looked away to the south-east and in the distance saw the “astrologers’ tower.” a circular stone edifice perhaps twenty-feet high at present. It is supposed to have been formerly an astronomical or astrological observatory. Each one of these kings’ graves has its clan name. The commonest are the names Kim and Pak. for most of the Kings of Silla were from one or other of these two families. If the time should ever come when it would be possible to examine the contents of one of these mounds much light would probably be cast upon the civilization of ancient Silla, but of course any attempt at excavation would result in an immediate riot. Only a part of the kings of Silla were interred; the rest were cremated and their ashes were thrown into the Japan Sea, to the east.
We spent Sunday in Kyong-ju, my companion, Mr. A. preaching to a little group of native Christians in a neat chapel [page 22] outside the South gate. Meanwhile our horsemen seized the opportunity to get their horses shod!
Early Monday morning we started out, crossing the city and going out the East gate, where we found considerable suburbs. At a point about two miles outside the gate we saw to our left, half a mile away near the hills, a large pagoda the top of which had fallen, but apparently four or five stories still remain.
Our general direction was north-east and after making one hundred li we came out upon the shore of the loud-sounding sea Kyong-ju is only about forty li from the sea by the nearest road, but we had approached it an angle, which made it further. We found a beautiful sandy beach on which the tide rises only a couple of feet. Here was the magistracy of Chung-ha the magisterial buildings standing back somewhat from the shore, which was occupied by a thriving fishing-village.
We were now to begin a long journey along the eastern coast of Korea northward to Wonsan. It will be well to preface the account of it by saying that the main water-shed of Korea lies near the eastern coast and consequently the roads are sure to be a succession of passes. It is constantly up and down, with tiresome iteration. The proximity of the watershed precludes the possibility of any considerable streams. There is hardly one, all the way to Wonsan, that cannot be easily forded. Eastern Korea presents a very different appearance from the western part of the peninsula. One would imagine that it would be much better timbered, but as a fact there are still fewer trees there than on the more thickly populated western coast.
There can be nothing but regret in being compelled to record difficulties between different branches of the Christian Church in this or any other land. We have been silent in regard to them for many months but they have reached such a pass that further silence would be a failure of our duty to [page 23] the public, which has a right to expect information on all really important points. We have no comment whatever to make on this matter except to say that the evidence placed before us is not circumstantial but direct, documentary and under the hand and seal of those implicated. A few facts stand out prominently in regard to this trouble: (1) that the acts were really committed; (2) that it is not definitely known whether the Roman Catholic priests in that district were cognizant of them at the time; (3) that, when the Roman Catholic authorities in Seoul were interviewed, assurance was given that the matter would be investigated; (4) that the Roman Catholic priests in the affected district have never been asked whether they would attempt to control the lawless element which has been guilty of the offences.
The Roman Catholics have confessedly adopted the policy of preventing the arrest of their adherents by the civil authorities in Whang-ha province but that the priests are cognizant of the lawless acts of some of the Roman Catholic followers cannot be believed. We could not believe it unless the most positive and irrefragable proof was adduced, and such has not yet been forthcoming. The reason why we believe this is the attitude these same priests in Whang-ha province have formerly taken in regard to such troubles. One of them is Father Wilhelm, known as Hong Sin-bu by the Koreans, and the other is a priest who is known as Kwak Sin-bu. It was only two or three years ago that Father Wilhelm in conversation with the missionary in charge of work in Whang-ha Province said in effect as follows, “Difficulties of one kind or another are almost sure to come up between our respective followings. You will hear evil things of us and we will hear evil things of you. Now the best way to do is, when trouble arises, to immediately communicate with each other and everything can be straightened out at once.” This was his attitude.
At about the same time the other priest said to the same missionary, in effect, as follows, “Some time ago there was some trouble between our people and the Protestants. I thought the Protestants were in the wrong but when I looked into the matter I found that we were entirely in the wrong, and I was deeply impressed with the Christian forbearance of [page 24] the Protestant Christians in that case” It is impossible for us to believe that men who talk like this would give their countenance to acts that have been committed, and we fully believe that when the matter is thoroughly known steps will be immediately taken to rectify the mistake and do full justice to those who have been so very badly treated. This we fully believe: at the same time it would seem strange that foreigners cognizant with the language and living in the affected districts could be so grossly deceived by their own followers. We very much question whether the policy of resisting the civil officers will be of any benefit to any religious organization, for the Korean people are of that temperament that when they are relieved in any measure from the pressure of civil law they run to such extremes that the resulting evils are greater than those which it is intended to avoid. It has been so with every attempt at reform since the year 1880. It is rational to suppose that when the trouble broke out in Whang-ha province, if the Protestant missionaries had bent all their energies to securing a full discussion of the matter with the Roman Catholic priests the resultant evils would have been avoided. But this in no way excuses the Roman Catholics for their brutal treatment of Protestant converts. In the trial which is to be instituted in Seoul it will be interesting to see what excuse will be given for demanding money from Protestants for the building of Roman Catholic churches and for beating them nearly to death because they refused.
The events of the past month in connection with Yi Yong-ik remind us of one of the crises in the career of Richelieu the great French prelate, played in miniature. There was the same overwhelming opposition, the same momentary acquiescence of the Emperor to these demands, and the same sudden complete and startling revulsion of sentiment which brings him back on the flood tide. The main difference between the two cases is that while Richelieu recovered his preeminence through his own unaided efforts and his personal power, Yi Yong-ik did it through foreign interferance. [page 25]
Serious difficulties have arisen in Whang-ha Province between Roman Catholic adherents and members of Protestant churches. These difficulties are strikingly similar to those which have been attracting so much attention in China. It is a matter of such importance to the people of Korea as a whole, as well as to the Korean Government, that it demands and must receive a thorough discussion. As will be seen, the following account is based on unimpeachable evidence, namely documents written by Roman Catholic adherents and stamped with their official seal. The originals of these, not copies of then, are in our hands and we have in them sufficient evidence to substantiate the evidence given by the Koreans, who have been the object of most remarkable treatment in the North. This evidence was collected by Rev. W. B. Hunt in person, on the spot. The facts are as follows:—
On the evening of Sept. 23rd four Roman Catholic Koreaus went to the house of a Protestant Christian, member of the Presbyterian Church, named Chung Ki-ho, and told him that the R. C. Whe-jang, or Church Leader, and five others wished to see him. He suspected foul play but feared he would be beaten unless he complied. So he went with them. Three other Christians of the town of Cha-ryung were also summoned at the same time. The meeting took place at the house of a Roman Catholic where there were six leading men and a large number of others in the court.
These Protestant Christians were informed that the Romanists were building a church but had not enough money, and therefore the Protestant Christians should help out by giving money. Each of the four Protestants declined to contribute. Wine was brought out and offered them but they declined to drink. The leader of the six Romanists thereupon began to abuse the Protestants and threatened that he would burn down the whole end of the town where the Christians lived. Han Chi-sun the spokesman of the Christians replied that this would not be necessary; that the Romanists were in force and could simply seize the Christian’s grain and use it to build the church. Thereupon the crowd of Romanists fell upon the Christians and beat them for about half an hour, binding one of them who tried to escape. For a short time there was comparative quiet and the Christians thought they could endure what petty persecutions were attempted by the Romanists; but soon after came up the case of a Christian in a neighboring village whose grain was seized by a Romanist. He entered suit against the Romanist before the Magistrate and the latter ordered the arrest of the offender The police-man, detailed to effect the arrest was himself a Catholic and instead of [page 26] obeying the Magistrate he arrested the Christian and took him before the Romanist leaders where an attempt was made to brow-beat him out of prosecuting the man.
Thereupon three of the Christians, who had been beaten shortly before, went up to the governor at Ha-ju and laid the two cases before him. The governor sent policemen to arrest the six Romanists who had been guilty of the offence of beating four Christians for not giving money to build a Catholic church. The six men were arrested. On their way to Ha-ju in custody they were met at Pa-nim Ferry by a large body of Romanists who overpowered the policemen and set the prisoners free.
The governor had said that if his policemen were tampered with he would send down a body of soldiers to enforce bis orders, but this has not been done as yet.
A man by the name of Kim Su-nyung who is neither a Romanist nor a Protestant accompanied the party of Romanists who went to liberate the six arrested Romanists. He says that he did not hear clearly what was said to the policemen nor did be examine the papers presented but he heard the others say that the Romanist church leader at Pa-nim had come out with an official document. from Kwak Sin-bu (the French Catholic Priest) ordering the release of the prisoners and the arrest of the policemen, who were to be taken to Cha-ryung, the county-seat. It appears that there were three Priests who met in Cha-ryung and determined upon the release of the prisoners. One of the priests was Father Wilhelm, so the Koreans said.
Mr. Hunt says of these priests, “I am loth to think anything but that these men do not know what is going on here. I think it must be that they are only tools.” Rev. S. A. Moffett. D.D., of Pyeng-yang, in transmitting this evidence to the U. S Legation in Seoul remarks, “Personally I have had evidence from hundreds of Koreans which proves that many of these French priests connive at such things and are guilty of the grossest acts of injustice. The present bearing of the case this, that if the Korean government cannot stop such proceedings in one section, we shall soon have the same thing wherever a body of Romanists considers itself strong enough to drive out and destroy a group of protestants, and there will be no end to the trouble which will follow for however much we strive to have our people submit and keep the peace, many repetitions of this sort of thing will bring on an unendurable situation, and they will not submit.”
On October 20th the Romanists entered the houses of four Christians to seize them but they had concealed themselves.
Most of the Christians are business men but knowing that they cannot carry on their business without a fight they are refraining.
On October 20 one of the Christians went to the boat-landing on business, was seized by the Romanists and beaten nearly to death, until he paid 200 nyang to his captors. He however won a case before the magistrate when a Romanist sued him for a debt that he had already paid once. Mr, Hunt says of these people: “I do not called know what day I may be called upon to witness the seizure of our Christians by the [page 27] Romanists. They are fearful, but are standing for the right against terrible odds. Physically they cannot endure it much longer. Their money gone, their means of livelihood gone and their homes and lives in constant danger is telling upon them severely.”
Together with these statements there are put in evidence four documents. The first a demand from the Romanists upon one Ch’oe Chong-sin to pay 100 nyang and upon Whang Tuk-yung to pay 50 nyang toward the erection of a Romanist church. This is signed by a Romanist leader and sealed with their official seal.
The second is a demand upon Han Chi-son for the payment of 200 nyang for the same purpose. Signed and sealed like the first.
The third is a demand upon five Christians to pay, including four that had been previously arrested and maltreated.
The fourth is a warrant for the arrest of Yi Chi-bok, stamped with the seal of the Romanist leader. In form and wording it is precisely similar to the genuine warrants issued by the government for the arrest of a suspected criminal. Under this warrant Yi Chi-bok was arrested and bound, but on the entreaty of the bystanders he was unbound and taken to another village to be tried before a Church leader. They demanded money, which he refused to pay. They stripped him and prepared to beat him but a friend in the crowd offered to pay the money if they would let the Christian go. By receiving this they virtually acknowledged that all they were after was money.
A later statement from the same source and equally attested shows that there are several different cases of oppression involved, and that with each case the Romanists have become bolder, more overbearing and more lawless, until now they are carrying things with high hand, arresting men, beating them, stopping the arrest of their own adherents, imprisoning the police and placing the whole country in fear and dread of them.
A case in evidence is that of a Protestant Christian Yi Sung-hyuk whose cow suddenly died, but not with any signs of the cattle disease. Under threat of beating the Romanists forced him to sign a guarantee that he would pay for any cattle in the place that should die of this disease, which is very infectious. Soon after this a cow died of the distemper and he was called upon to pay for it. He had not the money The Romanists then beat him till he was senseless and then left him. His wife took him to the Protestant school-house. That night he regained consciousness but the next day he was again unconscious and supposed to be dying. The village elder, himself a Romanist who had watched the beating, ordered the injured man to be carried to the village of the men who had beaten him, which is according to Korean custom. It was done, he being carried by the Romanists in a chair. This was not done at the suggestion of the Christians, but the Romanists seemed to feel that they had gone a little too far. Some days later the injured man so far recovered as to be able to return home. His wife lodged a complaint with the prefect and the man whose cow had died and for whose sake the Christian had been beaten was ordered im- [page 28] prisoned till the injured man should entirely recover. Soon after the Christians heard a rumor that they were to be arrested and they gathered at the school-house to discuss what they should do. While they were there the Romanists came in force and read off the names of men who were wanted at the Catholic church. Some were then bound and others were taken unbound. They were taken before four Romanist leaders and were ordered to pay the price of the cow and of other things as well. They refused to do it. They were then roughly treated, one of them being severely beaten and then bound and stakes put between his leg bones to pry them apart and break them, the most cruel form of torture known in Korea. The village elder interfered and begged the bound man to comply, but he still refused Thereupon the elder himself raised the money and paid it over. So the man was [page 29] released, hut the Romanist leader said that the priest had said they should repay the Protestants in kind for the indignity of having had to carry a wounded Christian in a chair: so they compelled this victim, who could scarcely stand, to carry a chair a third of a mile, the village elder supplying drinks for the Romanist crowd.
The testimony above given comes not merely from Christians but from village people, village officials, Romanists themselves, and those living among Romanists. The testimony of a village elder, himself a Romanist, is that the Christians have done nothing unlawful but that the Romanists have carried on lawless proceedings. The magistrate and governor also decided cases in this tenor but the Catholic leaders have gone to Ha-ju to brow-beat the governor into acquiescence.
On the seventh or eighth inst. the Foreign Office received from the Governor of Whang-ha Province a communication concerning this trouble, asserting that the provincial police had been prevented from performing their duties by bodies of Roman Catholics, that the police were seized, beaten and otherwise maltreated, that the Roman Catholic adherents asserted that they are not Korean citizens, that all government is in abeyance on this account and that consequently the Government should secure the removal of the foreign priests who foment these troubles, and thus secure a condition of peace again.
A second communication was sent about the fifteenth from the same source recounting the attacks, which had been made upon the Christians in that province, one stating that the situation was getting more and more critical, that the Christians were being robbed right and left and that strenuous measures must he adopted to put a stop to this-condition of anarchy.
Mr. Mirsel of Chemulpo has furnished us this notice of the earth-quake shock on the 5th inst. The day began with a heavy fall of snow which ceased at 4.00 A. M. At 6.00 A. M. observed a light earthquake. The course of the vibration was from east to west. Though light the vibration was distinctly felt. It lasted from ten to fourteen seconds. It had a long, slight, wavy motion. Weather at the time dark and overcast; heavy nimbus. Wind S. E., force 3. Barometer 767.0; thermometer —3.00. Temperature of air —4.00; Hygrometer —5-00. Nimbus 10.
H. H. Fox, Esq., of the British Consulate in Chemulpo, has been transferred to China, his place being taken by Arthur Hyde Lay, Esq.
Dr. Smith. a hunter of some reputation, came to Korea in November, very sceptical as to the existence of tigers in this country. He went south to Mokpo and in company with Korean hunters penetrated the mountains in that neighborhood and emerged therefrom with three of the beasts. As he was climbing among the rocks at one point he looked over a great boulder and saw a female tiger lying on the ground while her two cubs played about her. She appeared to be asleep. Dr. Smith drew back and got out his camera, much to the disgust of his Korean companion. He secured a good photograph of his victim and then ended her career with a couple of rifle shots. The cubs escaped.
From The Native Papers.
Yi Yong-ik on his arrival at Port Arthur immediately telegraphed to Saigon for 15000 bags of rice to be delivered in Chemulpo at the earliest possible date. Having received from the Emperor assurances that a strong guard would he provided for him, he returned to Chemulpo on a Russian vessel, arriving on the thirteenth inst, the same day that the rice arrived. He was there met by a guard of fifteen soldiers and came up to Seoul the same day. He visited the palace on the fourteenth and was received in audience by the Emperor. All opposition seems for the time to have been withdrawn.
The contract of Prof. N. Birnkoff, of the Imperial Russian Language School, has been renewed for a period of three years.
On Dec. 22 fifty-four Koreans took passage with their families for the Hawaiian Islands to engage in work on the sugar plantations. No contract is made with these men before leaving Korea. They are not required to promise to stay any specified length of time but in case they leave within a reasonable time they will have to pay their return passage out of their earnings. They are to work ten hours a day but not on Sundays. All children will be put in schools, as education is compulsory. The Koreans are encouraged to take their wives and families with them. Encouragement will be given them along religious lines and opportunities will be given for Christian instruction. On the whole it would seem that this is a good opportunity for work, and Koreans who go to Hawaii will learn valuable lessons. The hours of labor are short compared with those of Korean farmers or coolies, and there seems to be little doubt that they will be prosperous and contented.
It is with great regret that we note that Prof. G. R. Frampton of the Imperial English School, is suffering from an attack of small-pox. We wish him a speedy recovery.
A large Chinese silk merchant in Seoul has been issuing a sort of bank-note, or rather firm-note, as is done in China. The denomination of these notes is 50000 cash or twenty Korean dollars. Many Koreans have handled them and some Japanese merchants as well. About the middle of the month the Foreign Office issued an order forbidding the use of these note by Koreans. The government takes the ground that no one has a right to issue notes for circulation in Korea without its consent. When the Dai Ichi Ginko came to pay over to the Finance Department the Y 150000 which the government had borrowed it was delivered in the new issue of bank-notes. The Finance Department refused to receive them but the Japanese authorities replied that as the Korean government had given permission for the issue of these notes the Finance Department should not refuse to accept them. Thereupon the Finance Department communicated with the Foreign Office saying that as the Finance Department has control of the finances of the country the Foreign Office had no right to grant the permission for the issue of the special japanese bank-notes. The Foreign Office answered, denying that it had ever given permission for the issuance.
There are 370 prisoners in the various prisons in Seoul.
During the past year 707 children were vaccinated by the government commission.
Korea is to have an exhibit in the Osaka Industrial Exhibition. The articles already sent for this purpose are white rice, common rice, gluten rice, early rice, late rice, red beans, green beans, black beans, horse beans, large green beans, millet, gluten millet, wheat, autumn barley, spring barley, buck-wheat, raw silk, silk and linen mixed fabrics, upland gluten rice, Job’s tears (croix lachryma) blue beans, silk fabrics, grass cloth, linen, cotton, mosquito netting, embroidered screens, bamboo pen holders, brass dinner sets, brass wash bowls, cuspidores, sacrificial sets, spoons, chopsticks, covered bowls, braziers. Censers, ash-trays, wine cups, vases, stone jars and vases, iron kettles, pipes, tobacco boxes, magnetic iron, marble, lamps, jade caskets, writing materials, stone pen holders, clouded tobacco boxes, combs, pipe stems, pens, mats, paper, ink, tables, shoes, pinenuts, dried persimmons, chestnuts, ibes, ling, dried clams, furs, seaweed, fish-roe and straw hats.
About the sixth inst, the police of Seoul arrested a robber in the city and through his confession succeeded in seizing nineteen more. They were well dressed and gentlemanly looking fellows but were desperate criminals all. Their arms were seized as well. It was an important capture and the policemen who effected it were given a reward of $40.
Kim Seung-gyu has been appointed Korean Minister to Japan.
Song Keun-su, former prime minister, died on the 30th December.
Twenty-tour men were graduated from the Government normal School on the 13th inst.
Mr. F. Rononi of the Chemulpo Customs staff. who is about to start for Italy on furlough, was one of the very first foreigners to come to Korea. He arrived in June 1883. Of the original twenty who came at that time only four remain, namely Messrs. Stripling, Laporte, Morsel and Borioni. Mr. Borioni was the first man to introduce bicycles into Korea. We learn from other sources that jinrickshas have been introduced in Chemulpo. It has always been a cause for wonder that this vehicle was introduced into Seoul before it was used in Chemulpo. In the old days when Harry’s Hotel flourished and Mr. Cooper was the magnate of Chemulpo we dimly remember that there were two superannuated rickshas in Chemulpo: and when a party of Americans arrived at that port on the glorious Fourth, 1886 and landed on the rough rocks, like the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the two ladies in the company appropriated these vehicles, though Mr. Cooper sadly shook his head. After two miles, the ladies were glad to discard the rickshas and take to pack saddles. Since then the kuruma has been little used in Chemulpo until very recently.
The premises of the native daily paper called the Cha-guk sin-mun, written entirely in the native character, was destroyed by fire about three years ago. A wealthy Korean named Cch’ee Kang has now put $20,000 to rebuild and put the paper on a solid basis.
Two of the Korean generals ventured to offer him some advice, saying that it was now the rainy season and the roads were very bad, and that it might be well to wait until his army could move with greater ease and with better hopes of success. But he laughed and said, “I once took 3000 men and put to flight 100,000 Mongols. I care no more for these Japanese than I do for mosquitoes or ants.” And so his troops floundered on through the mud until they stood before P’yung-yang on the nineteenth of the eighth moon. And lo! the gates were wide open. The Chinese troops marched straight up through the town to the governor’s residence, firing their guns and calling on the enemy to appear. But not a Japanese was to be seen. When the whole of the Chinese force had entered the city and the streets were full, the Japanese, who lay hidden in every house, poured a sudden and destructive fire into their ranks. The Chinese, huddled together in small companies were shot down like rabbits. Gen. Sa Yu, the second in command of the Chinese, was killed and the boastful Gen. Cho Seung-hun mounted his horse and fled the city, followed by as many of his soldiers as could extricate themselves. Rain began to fall and the roads were deep with mud. The Japanese followed the fugitives, and the valley was strewed with the bodies of the slain. Out of 5000 men who entered the city only two thousand escaped. Gen. Cho fled two hundred li to An-ju before he stopped. He there gave out that as there had been much rain and the roads were heavy he was at a disadvantage in attacking, and when his second Gen Sa Yu, fell he saw that nothing could be done, and so had ordered a retreat.
And now a new element in this seething caldron of war rose to the surface. It was an independent movement on the part of the Buddhist monks throughout the country. Hyu Chung, known throughout the eight provinces as “The great[page 34] teacher of So-san,” was a man of great natural ability as well as of great learning. His pupils were numbered by the thousands and were found in every province. He called together two thousand of them and appeared before the king at Eui-ju and said, ‘‘We are of the common people but we are all the king’s servants and two thousand of us have come to die for Your Majesty.” The king was much pleased by this demonstration of loyalty and made Hyu Chung a Priest General, and told him to go into camp at Pup-heung Monastery. He did so, and from that point sent out a call to all the monasteries in the land. In Chul-la Province was a warrior monk Ch’oe Yung, and at Diamond Mountain another named Yu Chung. These came with over a thousand followers and went into camp a few miles to the east of P’yung-yang. They had no intention of engaging in actual battle but they acted as spies, took charge of the commissariat and made themselves generally useful. During battle they stood behind the troops and shouted encouragement. Yu Chung, trusting to his priestly garb, went into P’yung-yang to see the Japanese generals. Being ushered into the presence of Kato who had now joined the main army after his detour into Ham-gyung Province, the monk found himself surrounded by flashing weapons. But he was not in the least daunted, and looked about him with a smiling face. Kato addressed him good-naturedly and asked, “What do you consider the greatest treasure in your land?” Without a moment’s hesitation the monk answered “Your head,” which piece of subtle flattery made the Japanese general laugh long and loud.
Besides these there were other movements of a loyal nature throughout the country. At Wha-sun in Chul-la Province there was a little band of men under Ch’oe Kyung-whe whose banner represented a falcon in flight. Also in Ch’ung-ch’ung Province a celebrated scholar Cho Hon collected a large band of men, but his efforts were frustrated by the cowardice and jealousy of the governor of the province who imprisoned the parents of many of his followers and so compelled them to desert.
Yi Wun-ik, the governor of P’yung-an Province and Yi Pin, one of the provincial generals, made a fortified camp at Sun-an, sixty li to the west of P’yung-yang. At the same [page 35] time generals Kim Eung-Su and Pak Myung-hyun, with a force of 10,000 men, made a line of fortified camps along the west side of the town of P’yung-yang. Kim Ok-ch’u with a naval force guarded the ford of the Ta-dong. These forces advanced simultaneously and attacked the Japanese, cutting off all stragglers. Suddenly the Japanese army made a sally from the city and the Koreans were dispersed. When they again rendezvoused at their respective camps it was found that Gen. Kim Eung-su and his troops were nowhere to be found. As it happened he was very near the wall of the town when the sortie occurred and he was cut off from retreat. But in the dusk of approaching night he was not discovered by the Japanese. A story is told of a curious adventure which he had that night. One of the Japanese generals in the town had found a beautiful dancing girl and had compelled her to share his quarters. On this eventful evening she asked him to let her go to the wall and see if she could find some one who would carry a message to her brother. Permission was given and she hastened to the wall and there called softly, “Where is my brother?” Gen. Kim, as we have seen was immediately beneath the wall and he answered, “Who is it that calls?” “Will you not help me escape from the Japanese,” she pleaded. He immediately consented to help her and, taking his life in his hands, he speedily scaled the wall and accompanied her toward the Japanese general’s quarters. Her captor was a terrible creature, so the story goes, who always slept sitting bolt upright at a table with his eyes wide open and holding a long sword in each hand. His face was fiery red. Gen. Kim, conducted by the dancing girl, came upon him unawares and smote off his head at a stroke, but even after the head fell the terrible figure rose and hurled one of the swords with such tremendous force that it struck through one of the house-posts. The Korean general concealed the head beneath his garments and fled, with the girl at his heels. But now for the first time he seemed to become aware of the extreme hazard of his position and fearing that he would not be able to get by the guard, if accompanied by the girl, his gallantry suddenly forsook him and he turned and smote off her head as well. Thus unencumbered lie succeeded in making his escape. [page 36]
We must here digress again to describe the final conflict that put an end to Japanese advances in the province of Chul-la. A general, Cho Hon, in company with a monk warrior, Yung Kyn, advanced on the important town of Ch’ung-ju, then occupied by a strong Japanese garrison. They approached the west gate and stormed it with stones and arrows. In a short time the Japanese were compelled to retire and the Koreans began to swarm into the town, vowing to make a complete slaughter of the hated enemy, but at that moment a severe thunder shower arose and the darkness was intense. So Gen. Cho recalled his troops and encamped outside the gate. That night the Japanese burned their dead and fled out the north gate, and when Gen. Cho led his troops into the city the next day he scored only an empty triumph. He desired to push forward to the place were the king had found refuge, and to that end he advanced as far north as On-yang in Ch’ung-ch’ung Province: but learning there that a strong body of Japanese had congregated at Yo-san in Chul-la Province, he turned back to attack them. He made an arrangement by letter with Kwun Yul. the provincial general of Chul-la, to make a simultaneous attack upon the Japanese position from different sides. But when Gen. Cho arrived before the Japanese camp with his little band of 700 men Gen. Kwun was nowhere to be found. The Japanese laughed when they saw this little array and came on to the attack, but were each time driven back. But at last the Koreans had spent all their arrows, it was late in the day and they were fatigued and half famished. Gen. Cho, however, had no thought of retreat and kept urging on his men. If he had at this crisis withdrawn his remaining soldiers, the victory would virtually have been his for the Japanese had lost many more men than he; but. he was too stubborn to give an inch. The Japanese came on to a last grand charge. Gen. Cho’s aides advised him to withdraw but he peremptorily refused. At last every weapon was gone and the men fought with their bare fists, falling where they stood. The slain of the Japanese outnumbered those of the Koreans and although they were victorious their victory crippled them. It took the survivors four days to burn their dead and when it was done they broke camp and went southward; the Japanese never regained the ground lost by [page 37] this retreat and it was a sample of what must occur throughout the peninsula, since Admiral Yi had rendered reinforcement from Japan impossible.
We return now to the north, the real scene of war. In the ninth moon the Chinese general, Sim Yu-gyung, whose name will figure largely in these annals from this point on, was sent from China to investigate the condition of affairs in Korea with a view to the sending of a large Chinese force, for by this time China had become alive to the interests at stake, namely her own interests. This general crossed the Ya-lu and came southward by An-ju as far as Sun-an. From that point he sent a communication to the Japanese in P’yung-yang saying, “I have come by order of the Emperor of China to inquire what Korea has done to merit such treatment as this at your hands. You are trampling Korea under foot and we would know why” The Japanese general, Konishi, answered this by requesting that the Chinese general meet him at Kangbok Mountain ten li north of P’yung-yang, and have a conference with him. To this Gen. Sim agreed and, taking with him three followers, he repaired to the appointed place. Konishi, accompanied by Kuroda and Gensho came to the rendezvous with a great array of soldiers and weapons, Gen. Sim walked into their midst alone, having left his horse outside the enclosure. He immediately addressed them as follows; “I brought with me a million soldiers and left them in camp beyond the Ya-la. You, Gensho, are a monk. Why do you come to kill and destroy?” Gensho answered, “Many a year Japan has had no dealings with China. We asked from Korea a safe conduct for our envoy to Nanking but it was refused and we were compelled to come and take it by force. What cause have you to blame us for this?” To this Gen. Sim replied, “If you wish to go to China to pay your respects to the Emperor there will be no difficulty at all. I can arrange it without the least trouble,” Konishi said nothing but handed his sword to Gen. Sim in token of amity and after they had conferred together for some time it was arranged that Gen. Sim go to Nanking and represent that Japan wished to become a vassal of China. Fifty days was agreed upon for the general to make the trip to Nanking and return with the answer, and a truce was called for that time. A line was [page 38] drawn round P’yung-yang ten li from the wall and the Japanese agreed to stay within that limit while the Koreans promised not to cross that line. Gen. Sim was sent upon his way with every mark of esteem on the part of the Japanese who accompanied him a short distance on the road.
The Japanese lived up to the terms of the truce, never crossing the line once, but the fifty days expired and still Gen. Sim did not appear. They then informed the Koreans that in the twelfth moon their “horses would drink the water of the Ya-lu.”
During these fifty days of truce what was going on in other parts of the peninsula? Cho Ung a soldier of Ch’ung-ch’ung Province was a man of marvelous skill. With a band of 500 men he succeeded so well in cutting off small foraging bands of Japanese that they were at their wits end to get him put out of the way. One foggy day when the mist was so thick that one could not see his hand before his face the Japanese learned that this dreaded man was on the road. They followed him swiftly and silently and at last got an opportunity to shoot him in the back. He fell from his horse but rose and fled on foot. But they soon overtook him and, having first cut his hands off, they despatched him.
The governor of Kyung-geui Province was Sim Ta. He had found asylum in the town of Sang-nyung, two hundred li north of Seoul. Having gotten together a considerable body of soldiers he formed the daring plan of wresting Seoul from the hands of the Japanese. For this purpose it was necessary that he should have accomplices in that city who should rise at the appointed time and join in the attack. Through treachery or otherwise the Japanese became aware of the plot and sending a strong body of troops to Sang-nyung they seized the governor and put him to death.
Gen. Kim Si-min had charge of the defense of the walled town of Chin-ju in Kyung-sang Province. The Japanese invested the town with a very large force. Within, the garrison amounted to only three thousand men. These were placed on the wails in the most advantageous manner by Gen Kim who was specially skilled in the defense of a walled town. All the soldiers were strictly commanded not to fire a single shot until the Japanese were close up to the wall. The Japanese ad- [page 39] vanced in three divisions, 10,000 strong. A thousand of these were musketeers. The roar of the musketry was deafening but the walls were as silent as if deserted. Not a man was to be seen. On the following day the assault began in earnest. The Japanese discarded the muskets and used fire arrows. Soon all the houses outside the wall were in ashes. Gen. Kim went up into the south gate and there sat and listened to some flute playing with a view to making the Japanese think the defending force was so large as to make solicitude unnecessary. This made the Japanese very careful. They made elaborate preparations for the assault. Cutting down bamboos and pine trees they made ladders about eight feet wide and as high as the wall. They also prepared straw mats to protect their heads from missiles from above. But the defenders had also made careful preparations. They had bundles of straw with little packages of powder fastened in them, to cast down on the attacking party. Piles of stones and kettles of hot water were also in readiness. As the assault might take place at night, planks bristling with nails were thrown over the wall. This proved a wise precaution for in fact the attack was made that very night. It raged fiercely for a time, but so many of the Japanese were lamed by the spikes in the planks and so many were burned by the bundles of straw, that at last they had to withdraw, leaving heaps of dead behind. More than half the attacking force were killed and the. rest beat a hasty retreat. In the ninth moon Gen. Pak Chin of Kyung-sang Province took 10,000 soldiers and went to attack the walled town of Kyong-ju which was held by the Japanese. It is said that he made use of a species of missile called “The Flying Thunder-bolt.” It was projected from a kind of mortar made of bell metal and having a bore of some twelve or fourteen inches. The mortar was about eight feet long. The records say that this thing could project itself through the air for a distance of forty paces. It doubtless means that a projectile of some kind could be cast that distance from this mortar. The records go on to say that the “Flying Thunder-bolt” was thrown over the wall of the town and, when the Japanese flocked around it to see what it might be, it exploded with a terrific noise, instantly killing twenty men or more. This struck the Japanese dumb with terror and so worked upon their su- [page 40] perstitious natures that they decamped in haste and evacuated the city. The inventor of this weapon was Yi Yang-son, and it is said that the secret of its construction died with him. It appears that we have here the inventor of the mortar and bomb. The length of the gun compared with its calibre, the distance the projectile was carried with the poor powder then in use and the explosion of the shell all point to this as being the first veritable mortar in use in the east if not in the world. It is said that one of these mortars lies today in a storehouse in the fortress of Nam-han,
All through the country the people were rising and arming against the invaders. A list of their leaders will show how widespread was the movement. In the province of Chul-la were Generals Kim Ch’un-il, Ko Kyung-myung and Ch’oe Kyung-whe: in Kyung sang Province Generals Kwak Cha-o, Kwun Eung-su, Kim Myon, Chong In-hong, Kim Ha, Nyu Wan-ga, Yi Ta-geui and Chang Sa-jiu; in Ch’ung-ch’ung Province Generals Cho Heun, Yung Kyu (monk), Kim Hong-min. Yi San-gyum. Cho Tun-gong. Cho Ung and Yi Pong: in Kyung-geui Province Generals U Sung-jun, Chung Suk-ha, Ch’oe Heul, Yi No, Yi San-whi, Nam Ou-gyung, Kim T’ak, Yu Ta-jin, Yi Chil, Hong Kye-narn and Wang Ok; in Ham-gyung Province Generals Chong Nam-bu, and Ko Kyung-min; in P’yung-an Province Generals Cho Hoik and the monk Yu Chung. The country was filled with little bands of fifty or a hundred men each, and all were fighting separately. Perhaps it was better so, for it may have prevented jealousies and personal enmities that otherwise would have ruined the whole scheme.
Chong Mun-bu was the “Military inspector of the north” and it was his business to investigate annually the condition of things in the province of Ham-gyung and to superintend the annual fair on the border at Whe-ryung in the tenth moon of each year. He was caught by the Japanese on the road and was held captive, but made his escape by night and found a place of hiding in the house of a certain sorceress or fortuneteller in Yong-sung. After five days of flight he reached the town of Kyong-sung where he found the leaders Ch’oe Pa- ch’un and Chi Tal-wun at the house of a wealthy patriot Yi Pung-su who had given large sums of money to raise and equip soldiers. The common people entered heartily into the plan and a force of 10,000 men, indifferently armed and drilled, was put into the field. This force surrounded the town of Kil-ju where the Japanese were encamped, and after a desperate fight the Japanese were totally defeated, leaving 600 heads in the hands of the victors. A few days later a similar engagement took place with a like result, sixty more heads being taken.
And so it was throughout the country. The Japanese were being worn away by constant attrition, here a dozen, there a score and yonder a hundred, until the army in P’yung-yang, by no means a large one, was practically all that was left of the Japanese in the peninsula.
Kwun Yul, the governor of Chul-la Province, said to the provincial general, “If you will remain in Yi-hyun and guard the province I will take 20,000 men and move northward to the capital.” He advanced as far as Su-wun. The Japanese tried to draw him into a general engagement but he avoided it and kept up a geurilla warfare, cutting off large numbers of stragglers from the Japanese camp. By this means he ac-complished the important: work of opening up a way to the north, which had been closed; so that from now on messengers passed freely from the southern provinces to the king.
The History of Korea
China’s reply to the Japanese.... the Chinese army....the hChinese commander interviews the King... march on P’yung-yang.... Chinese new year.... Chinese help not all a blessing....P’yung-yang invested .... the Chinese force an entrance Japanese driven to bay.... how they escape.... they retreat.... they mass at seoul.... Chinese stop at Song-do.... Koreans bridge the Im-jin Chinese retire to P’yung-yang.... Korean victory in the north great victory at Hang-ju.... the Japanese sue for peace.... conference on the Han.... Japanese evacuate Seoul.... the terrible condition of the city.... Chinese enter Seoul.... they prevent pursuit.... Japanese desecrate a royal tomb.... Chinese accused of bad faith.... Japanese line of camps Chinese reinforced.... the great battle of Chin-ju.... a loyal dancing-girl.... admiral Yi still active Chinese troops retire.
We must now return to the north and witness the final struggle which was to begin the Japanese retreat from the whole north. It was not till long after the fifty days had expired that Gen. Yu-gyung returned from Nanking. The Japanese had sent time and again, asking why he did not make his appearance, but now on the sixth day of the twelfth moon he entered the city of P’yung-yang, making no excuses for his tardiness but delivering his message as follows: I have seen the Emperor and he says that if you are vassals of China you must first give up all the territory taken from Korea. You must also give up the two princes whom you have captured. If you do not see fit to comply with these demands the Emperor will send a million men and destroy you.” He then gave to each of the Japanese leaders an ornament for the hat from the Emperor. This was a trick, to [page 44] discover how large the Japanese force might be. It was determined that there must be about 20,000 Japanese troops in the city. What reply the Japanese gave to the Emperor’s demands is not told, but that it was a negative one seems sure from what followed.
The Chinese army of counter-invasion lay just beyond the Ya-lu River. It was an enormous host and, as armies went in those days, it was a thoroughly efficient one. In connection with this army was an official who held the rank of “Military Adviser.” by the name of Song Eung-ch’ang. The office carried no active power in the field but it seems to have been a sort of check upon the commander-in-chief, for the duties of the office were to keep the Emperor informed of what was going on at the seat of war. The actual General-in-chief was Yi Yu-song. Under him were three generals, of the right, left and center respectively. The General of the Left was Yang Wun and under him were Generals Wang Jung, Yi Yu-ma, Yi Yo-o, Yang So, Sa Ta-sun, Son Su-ryum, Yi Ryung and Kal pong-ha, The General of the Center was Yi Yu-bak and under him were Generals Im Cha-yang, Yi Pang-jin, Ko Ch’ak, Choa Su-jong, Ch’uk Keum, Cha Hong-mo, Pang Si-whi, Ko Seung and Wang Man. The General of the Right was Chang Se-jak and under him were Generals Cho Seung-hun, O Yu-ch’ung, Wang P’il-juk, Cho Chi-mok. Chang Eung-ch’ung, Nak Sang-ji, Chin Pang ch’ul, Kok Su and Yang Sim. The rear guard was under the command of Gen. Pang Si-ch’an and the engineering corps as commanded by Generals Yu Whang-sang and Wun Whang. The main army was composed of 43,000 troops, while in the rear was a reserve force of 8,000. This army crossed the Ya-lu on the twenty-fifth of the twelfth moon, the dead of winter.
It is said that when on the march this army stretched along the road a thousand li (three hundred miles and more) and that the sound of their drums was continuous along the whole line.
General-in-chief Yi Yu-song, dressed in crimson robes and riding in a crimson chair, arrived in Eui-ju and immediately sought an interview with the king. The latter said, “I have governed this country badly. The Emperor has been put to a great deal of trouble on my account and all these [page 45] good men have come a long, cold road to fight for us. Though I lay open my vitals with a sword I cannot repay you all for this kindness.” Gen. Yi smiled and said, “The Emperor’s might reaches to the heavens. For the sake of Your Majesty’s happiness we have been sent, and all your enemies will soon be put to flight.” To this the king rejoined, “Our nation’s life hangs by a thread, and the result lies with you.” Gen. Yi raised his two hands in salute and answered, “I am come at the Emperor’s orders and life or death are all one to me. When I started out my father said to me, ‘Fight valiantly for Korea and return victorious,’ and so how can I do less than my best?” The Koreans say that this man’s father was a native of Eun-san in the province of P’yung-an, Korea, but that for some offence he had fled to China and together with many of his relatives was enjoying high position under the Emperor.
Gen. Yi started for P’yung-yang with his whole army, 80,000 bags of rice and 20,000 pounds of powder. His troops were not provided with muskets but they had small cannon. The Japanese on the other hand had muskets but no cannon. Upon the arrival of the Chinese at An-ju they were met by the Prime Minister, Yu Sung-nyung, who laid before Gen. Yi a map showing the roads leading to P’yung-yang. Gen. Yi took red ink and indicated on the map the various routes by which he intended to lead his forces to that city. Calling Gen. Sa Ta-su he sent him forward to deceive the Japanese by saying that a few Chinese had come to effect a peaceful solution of the difficulty. The Japanese were pleased at this and sent twenty of their people to meet, as they supposed, Sim Yu-gyung at Su-an. Gen. Sa feasted them there but meanwhile had the place surrounded and in the midst of the banquet the Japanese were treacherously assaulted and cut down, only three escaping. From these the Japanese learned of the hostile intentions of the Chinese and were greatly disturbed, but being forewarned they put themselves in readiness for an assault.
And so the old year died—the terrible Im-jin year which witnessed the indescribable horrors of the ruthless invasion which swept it from end to end; which saw, too, the gradual awakening of the dormant military spirit of the people, until [page 46] at its close the wave of invasion had not only broken and spent itself but had left the remnant of the invaders cut off from their home land by one of the greatest naval geniuses of his own or any other age, surrounded on all sides and hemmed in by forces which though perhaps unable to cope with them in the open field hi a pitched battle could yet harrass and cut them off on every side. It must be clearly borne in mind that the Chinese did not raise a hand to help Korea until the invasion virtually collapsed. The Koreans without the aid of China could probably have starved the Japanese out of P’yung-yang and driven them southward, cutting them off on the left and right till they would have been glad to take ship for home.
In a sense the Chinese counter-invasion was an extremely unfortunate thing for Korea, for the dormant energies of the people were just rousing themselves to action. Armies were being levied, every day saw the Japanese forces melting away and there was a magnificent opportunity for Korea to turn upon her devastators and drive them headlong into the sea. It would have given a tremendous impulse to patriotism and national self-respect, and it might have been a stepping-stone to a strong national life: but the coming of the Chinese soldiery immediately threw everything into Chinese hands and they reaped all the benefits of the situation. Even the Koreans themselves did not realize how they were playing into the hands of China. The Japanese in P’yung-yang were weary and sick, and at heart glad of any excuse for retreating if it could be done without too great a loss of dignity. It was at just this moment that the Koreans put the game, already won, into the hands of China to reap all the credit and all the prizes of success. The Koreans leaned back upon China and relapsed into their old self-complacent “fool’s paradise.”
With the beginning of the new year Gen. Yi moved southward toward P’yung-yang as far as Suk-ch’un where he intended to halt for the night, as the winter days were short, out hearing of the massacre at Sun-an and wishing to give as little time for preparation as possible, pushed on by night, and in the morning planted his banners before the ancient city of P’yung-yang. The city was forthwith surrounded. The Japanese could be seen covering the slope of the hill within the wall with their blue and white flags, and soon they open- [page 47] ed fire on the besiegers. At the same moment they rushed to the walls and manned them. The Chinese Generals of the Left, Center and Right were stationed with their respective forces before the three gates Ch’il-song, Ham-gu and Po-t’ong. The General-in-chief Yi, with a banner in one hand and a drum-stick in the other, rode swiftly from one division to another encouraging the men. His forces could hardly be held in check, they were so eager, in spite of their long, cold night march, to rush at the wall and scale it. They were not long kept from their desire, for at eight o’clock word was given for the whole assaulting force to advance to the wall. The cannon thundered, the fire-arrows flashed through the air, the very ground fairly trembled with the noise of battle and the tramp of eager feet. One of the fire-arrows alighted in the quarters of the Japanese general-in-chief and it was soon in flames, which rapidly spread to all the surrounding buildings. The Japanese guarded the walls with the greatest gallantry, and with spear and arrow, hot water and stones they made it quite impossible for the Chinese to effect an entrance. The wall bristled with weapons, so that in the words of a native chronicler it was “a hedge-hog’s back.’’ So it happened that the Chinese forces fell back from the fierce defense of the Japanese. Many of them contemplated a general retreat and started to leave the field, but Gen. Yi who was always found where most needed, saw the defection of his men and. pursuing them, struck off the heads of a few as an example to the rest. Then he turned and cried, “Fifty ounces of silver to the first man to set foot upon the battlements of P’yung-yang.” This was doubtless a more powerful appeal than he could have made had he called upon their patriotism or love of glory. Immediately the tide of battle turned. A Chinese captain, Nak Sang-ji, a man well along in years and whose proportions were so ample that the Korean chronicler says of him that he weighed a thousand pounds, led on a company of men and by a mighty effort succeeded in reaching the top of the wall. He held his ground there while others could scale the wall at his back, and so an entrance was effected. The Japanese began to desert the wall, and soon the Chinese entered by the Po-t’ong and Ch’il-sung gates, while the Korean allies entered by the Ham-gu Gate, By this time the Japanese had entirely [page 48] left the wall and had massed themselves as best they could in various parts of the city, determined to make a desperate stand. The Chinese infantry and cavalry both swarmed in on every side and all Japanese stragglers were cut off, while the fight throughout the city became general. Before the Japanese could firmly establish themselves upon the hill and in other defensible parts of the town they lost two captains, 2,285 men, and 45,002 weapons of various kinds, besides 1,015 Koreans whom they had held as captives,
Many of the Japanese had taken refuge in various government buildings which they had barricaded as best they could. The Chinese went to work systematically to burn these down, and in the few hours remaining before the fall of night nearly half of the entire Japanese force succumbed to the weapons of the Chinese. One instance will suffice to illustrate the method of procedure. Many of the Japanese had taken refuge in a large building on the wall, well up on the side of the mountain and looking directly down upon the waters of the river. Gen. Yi had it surrounded with piles of wood, the timbers of houses and hewn logs, and these were set on fire. The entrapped Japanese then had the choice of roasting to death or leaping down upon the ice of the river. Hundreds chose the latter alternative, but the ice was not strong enough to stand the tremendous strain and they were all engulfed in the river and carried under the ice below. As for those that remained, it is said that the smell of burning flesh could be discerned a quarter of a mile away.
Gen. Konishi had taken refuge with a large body of troops in a building called the Yun-gwang-jung, very near the Ta-dong Gate which opens directly upon the water front. Night had fallen and the fight had lulled for a time. What took place at this time may be open to some doubt. The Korean account says that the Chinese commander sent a message to Konishi demanding the surrender of his whole force and that Konishi replied, “Our remaining force is small and we wish to evacuate the city and retreat if we may be allowed to leave quietly.” It is affirmed that Gen. Yi consented to this and left the Ta-dong Gate unguarded, and in the dead of night the Japanese troops passed swiftly out and crossed the river. On the face of it this statement is hardly credible, but judging
THE KOREA REVIEW
Volume 3, February 1903
The Korean New Year 49
The Korean Physical Type 55
From Fusan to Wonsan 59
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
A Leaf From Korean Astrology 65
Odds And Ends
A Novel Mail Delivery 68
Fortune’ S Formula 69
A Moral From Go-Bang 70
A Costly Drug 70
A Brave Governor 71
Editorial Comment 73
News Calendar 74
Korean History 81
The Korean New Year
The first day of the new year is every Korean’s birthday, not because they were all born on the first day of the first moon but because, according to their reckoning, a Korean’s age corresponds to the number of years in which he has lived. At birth he is one year old, namely the year in which he was born, and if he should chance to be born on the last day of the twelfth moon, the very next day he would be two years old, for he then has seen two years. This may seem strange to us, but is it any stranger than for a “globe-trotter” to hurry through the open ports of China and then go home and say he has “done” that interesting country? All of which means that every oriental inconsistency can be matched with an occidental one of similar proportions.
As all the Korean birthdays, then, are rolled into one, we might expect that it would be the signal for unusual festivities. Nor are we disappointed. In preparation for this great day, the average Korean will even try to pay up all his debts. This alone marks it as a red letter day and one that is quite outside the ordinary. If he can’t pay his debts he will at least make some excuse for not doing so and this, while less satisfactory (to the creditor) than the actual payment of them, is itself sufficiently startling.
In honor of the event a new, or at least a clean, suit of clothes is forthcoming and in some cases this suggests a com-[page 50] plete bath. The Koreans have never enjoyed the reputation of the Japanese in this line, and yet bathing is not so uncommon in Korea as many seem to believe.
The day before New Year’s, preliminary calls are in order among high and low alike, at which they wish each other a happy riddance of the old year. All schools are closed and only such work as is necessary is performed during the first half of the new moon. They believe in beginning the year right!
On New Year’s day the elders all do their calling and the small boys troop about the streets visiting the houses where they are known and getting presents of kites and sweetmeats. The flying of kites is strictly confined to the first fifteen days of the first moon, and while solitary, lonesome kites are seen in the air at other times this half month holiday is the only time that the telegraph wires reap any considerable harvest.
One of the most important of the ceremonies to be observed is the burning of hair. The Koreans are not thrifty enough to save the combings in order to utilize them in the shape of a switch, after Time, the great barber, has gotten in his work, but they save them for another purpose. In the occident the falling out of hair is itself a misfortune but with the Koreans each hair represents some misfortune stored up for the future, and so it may be said that each calamity hangs over their heads suspended, like the sword of Damocles, by a single hair. The only way to ward off the evil is by burning the hair. Few Koreans are so strict as to save all the combings of the year, but those of the last few days only are laid aside in order to perform this necessary function.
It is considered proper to take a single cup of wine on New Year’s morning, not for the stomach’s sake but for the ears’ sake, as this will render them sharp all the coming year.
Most of the peculiar customs connected with the new year are reserved for the fifteenth, which is the full moon; but between the first and the fifteenth there is one day that requires a word of mention. It is “Rabbit Day.” and it is deemed unfortunate. It is called fupnal now which is a corruption of ok-ki-nal=“Rabbit Day.” Singularly enough the rabbit is classed with evil animals like the fox and wild-boar. while, at the same time, it figures in folk-lore much like the [page 51] Bre’r Rabbit of Uncle Remus fame. On this “Rabbit Day,” which is indicated without fail on the calendars, women and girls shun the street as on no other day in the year. On “Rabbit Day” they tie a piece of string to the loop of their pouch-strings in the belief that it will give long life. They say that since the rabbit’s tail is short, this will lengthen it and so become an omen of longevity.
It is during these holidays that the annual stone fights begin. They need no description here. They are said to have begun during the days of one of the Koryu kings who instituted the custom of having sham fights in the palace grounds for his own amusement.
We now come to the great po-reum 보 름 or full moon, the fifteenth of the month. The derivation of this word opens up a most interesting subject. It is of comparatively recent origin, for it began at the time of the Manchu invasion of Korea in the middle of the 17th century. It was about the middle of the twelfth moon that the Manchu army entered Seoul. That was a day of terror for the Koreans, for the Manchus were even more ruthlessly savage than the Japanese had been in their great invasion, less than fifty years before. It may well be that the festival of the new moon was a grim one for the Koreans. It was a festival of hatred, a carnival of impotent rage, for the Manchu was to Korea what the Goth was to Rome. From that time the festival of the first new moon was called 분함 punham or “Impotent Rage,” and according to the laws of Korean euphony this easily deteriorated into the sound 보름 or po-reum. A curious confirmation of this is found in the fact that only in Seoul is this festival called po-reum. Elsewhere it is called yul-tas-su “The Fifteenth.” This has passed into proverb. When a Korean wishes to express the idea conveyed by the English proverb “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” he says Seoul po-reum, Si-gol tul-tas-su or “Po-reum in Seoul is the same as yul-tas-sa in the country” or generally “Though the name is different the thing is the same.” But this derivation of the word po-reum is also witnessed to by other customs connected with this festival. At this time the Koreans ‘‘eat pu-reum” = 부름. Now this pu-reum means the walnuts, chestnuts and pine-nuts which are always brought out at this [page 52] time. At first it was only walnuts to which reference was made in the word pu-reum but came to mean any nuts. But what are walnuts called in Korea? They were originally ho-do (胡頭),=“Manchn apricots,” but from the time of the invasion the name was slightly changed to ho-du (胡 桃)= “Manchu Head,” When the walnuts are brought out on this festival, the first three are crushed between the teeth and thrown out into the street, signifying that three Manchu heads have been smashed. Thus the Koreans vent their hereditary spite against their despoilers and give vent to their pun-ham, 분함 or 부름 pu-reum, namely their impotent rage. Hence the ulterior meaning of po-reum is fairly well established.
This first full moon is supposed to tell the fortunes of the farmer. If the moon looks pale and white there will be too much rain. If it looks red there will be drought. If it looks dark there will be famine. If it has a rich mellow tinge, or golden color, all will go well.
Those people who fall, for the year, under the “Moon-star-influence” must be careful to make torches of ssari wood and bow with lighted torch toward the moon as it rises.
If a man wishes to make sure of good luck he must on that day comb his hair nine times, wash his face nine times, eat food nine times, pretend to sleep nine times, study nine times, and go through the motions of his handicraft nine times.
It is customary to eat a little of every kind of vegetable one can get hold of, for a person will not be able to eat of any kind of vegetable during the year that he has not tasted of on the great po-reum.
The custom of feeding the ravens is a very old one, since it originated about 530 A. D. It shows the tenacity with which tradition holds its grip on the Korean mind. In ancient Silla, King Chi-teung was feasting in a summer-house one day. A raven flew down and deposited a letter before him and then flew away. On the cover was written “If the king reads this two people will die. If he does not read it, one will die.” He refused to open it but one of the courtiers said that the “one” might be His Majesty. So the letter was opened. It ran thus: “Let the king hasten to the palace, enter the queen’s apartments and shoot an arrow through [page 53] the zither case.” He did so, with the result that the chief priest was killed, who had taken advantage of the King’s absence to attack his honor. Ever since that time the raven has been remembered with gratitude and it is anually fed with special cakes made for this express purpose. These cakes are called O-yak or “Raven medicine.” Of late years these cakes have generally been consumed by the children rather than by the ravens
Several other of the curious things that are done on this day were described in the November number of the Review for 1902, and hardly need a detailed description here. Among them were the following: Cut out a red disc of paper representing the sun, fasten it to a stick of wild cherry wood and stick in torches of wild cherry wood and burn them by moonlight. Throw a bowl of millet porridge into the river. Take a full bath, sit facing the east, and bow thirty times. Tear on the collar or the coat and burn it, toward the south. Face the west and four times toward the planet Venus. Stuff cash into a straw manikin and throw it into the street. Fix a paper stocking on the roof with a piece of wild cherry wood. Besides these there is the practice of casting five discs of wood with the words metal, wood, fire, water and earth written on them and determining from the different combinations what the fortune for the year will be.
Every day in the year is named after one or other of the animals which correspond to the twelve points of the compass. Beginning with the north and passing around the compass toward the east these animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, hen, dog and pig. It is during the first twelve days of the year that these names of animals have special significance.
Every one is acquainted with the custom of walking over twenty-four bridges on the night of the fifteenth. This is supposed to strengthen the legs and ensure health during the coming year. The idea originated in China during the Tang dynasty. So it is written in Chinese poetry, which affirms that if this is done a man’s legs will be as strong as the “legs” of the bridges.
It is significant that the Korean words for “bridge” and “leg” are the same. It is not improb- [page 54] able that in early times when streams were generally forded the idea of making wooden supports or “legs” to hold up the rude bridges naturally suggested the word “leg” for bridge. The primitive temporary bridges found throughout Korea today are supported by sticks placed in such a position as to resemble the legs of a man standing in the water. In fact may it not be that the principle of the arch was originally suggested by a man striding a ditch or stream, the spine being the keystone which together with the pelvic and thigh bones formed the entire arch?
In support of the theory that diseases can be warded off by making straw manikins and stuffing them with cash and throwing them to the beggars, the following tale is related. A gentleman living in Cha-kol was grievously afflicted with an incurable disease. His wife was in great distress. Every remedy had been tried but without success. At last in desperation she asked some of her neighbors if the straw manikin would work in the case of a gentleman as well as with common people. They were doubtful but thought it worth trying. So, unknown to her husband, she made a straw figure of a man as large as life, dressed it in a complete suit of her husband’s clothes, with hat, shoes, headband and belt complete, and set it out in the street. But the beggars were all afraid to touch it, for the clothes were worth a large sum of money. A day passed and the anxious wife was in despair. No one had carried off the effigy. At last a poor fellow, on the verge of starvation, determined that as long as he must die anyway he might as well run the risk. So he seized the silk-clad manikin and put down the street as fast as his legs would carry him. He stripped off the gaudy garments and pawned them. Not for many a long mouth had he held so much money in his pouch.
But that night he was suddenly seized with the same disease with which the gentleman had been suffering and before morning he was a corpse. The probability is that in his half-starved condition he overate and caused his own death. At any rate, at the very hour when he was taken ill the gentleman suddenly recovered, much to the joy of the wife. That night in her dreams there came to her a poor wretch who said that it was he who had taken the manikin but that on [page 55] that same night a goblin had come to him and claimed him as his legitimate prey.
This is one of the many “authentic” cases in which the casting away of a straw manikin has brought back health and warded off disaster.
The Cho-rung is a sort of amulet which boys and girls tie to their pouch strings on the shortest day in the year, the winter solstice. For boys it is called mal chorung or “large chorung” and for girls it is called suk-ki chorung or “baby chorung.” These are pieces of wood about an inch long and shaped something like a bottle. They wear these tied to the pouch string together with a cash piece, until the fifteenth of the first moon and then, on the street, ask each other for them. The giving up of the chorung signifies the getting rid of bad luck for the whole year. This is a Buddhist survival but the monks themselves do not know where the custom originated. In time gone by old Taoists used to hang to the top of their walking sticks an amulet much resembling this, and so there may be some question whether it is Buddhistic. In any case it is of Chinese origin.
Another curious custom that is absolutely universal in Korea from the very highest to the very lowest is that of tearing off the collar of a coat and giving it away with a piece of cash. Every member of every family does this. The collar of the coat, continually rubbing against the neck, is prone to get soiled, and herein lies bad luck. But once a year, worse luck!
The Korean Physical Type.
We have received from a subscriber, who is a recognized authority in the far East on the subject of physical and physiognomical relationships, an objection to our theory of the southern, or at least Dravidian, origin of the Korean people. He bases his objection on the fact that the Dravidian people differ so widely from the Korean in physique, physiognomy and especially in the growth of hair. This argument, if established, would prove a very strong one. The question, [page 56] however, is one of fact. Is it true that this wide difference exists? Since receiving this communication we have taken steps to discover the facts bearing upon this question, and we are free to confess that they do not seem to bear out the contention of our correspondent.
Now it is evident that we must look to the written statements of men long conversant with the Dravidian peoples in order to discover the facts in regard to their physical characteristics. A mere visitor to those regions would not be able to form correct conclusions, for he would not have opportunities of studying those peoples in all the details of their life nor to see enough of them numerically to draw conclusions. For this reason we turn to the words of men who have spent many years among the Dravidian peoples and who, if anybody, are competent to speak.
Mr. Hodgson, as quoted by Bishop Caldwell, says “A practiced eye will distinguish at a glance between the Aryan and Tamilian style of features and form. In the Aryan form there is height, symmetry, lightness and flexibility; in the Aryan face an oval contour with ample forehead and moderate jaws and mouth, a round chin, perpendicular with the forehead, a regular set of fine features, a well raised and unexpanded nose, with eliptical nares, a well sized and freely opened eye, running directly across the face; no want of eye-brows, eye-lash, or beard: and lastly a clear brunette complexion, often not darker than that of most southern Europeans. In the Tamilian (the typical Dravidian) on the contrary, there is less height, more dumpiness and flesh; in the Tamilian face, a somewhat lozenge contour caused by the large cheek bones; less perpendicularity in the features to the front, occasioned not so much by defect of forehead or chin as by excess of jaws and mouth; a larger proportion of face to head, and less roundness in the latter; a broader, flatter face, with features less symmetrical, but perhaps more expression, at least of individuality; shorter, wider nose, often clubbed at the end and furnished with round nostrils; eyes less and less fully opened, and less evenly crossing the face by their line of aperture; ears larger; lips thicker, beard depcient, color brunette as in the last but darker on the whole, and, as in it, various.”
We are willing to submit this description of a Dravidian [page 57] to anyone intimately, or even superficially, acquainted with the Korean and ask if it does not exactly describe him even to the minutest feature. Has he not less height and symmetry than the Aryan, which is practically the European? Has he not the lozenge contour of face, high cheek-bones, excess of jaw and mouth, too much face for his head, a broad flat face, short wide nose, round nostrils, eyes less fully open and less evenly crossing the face, ears large, lips thick and beard deficient? Nothing could more exactly describe the Korean. And yet our correspondent tells us that the Dravidians have heavy beards.
“Look steadfastly” says Mr. Hodgson, “on any man of an aboriginal race (in Southern India) and say if a Mongol origin is not palpably inscribed on his face.”
While agreeing completely with Mr. Hodgson as to the Scythian affinities of the Dravidians, ,Bishop Caldwell cannot speak so definitely, for he finds among the more cultivated of the Dravidians many similarities to the Aryans of Northern India; he believes however that these similarities have resulted from centuries of intermixture. But before quoting him let us take the evidence of Rev. Mr. Hislop on the Gond tribe, one of the less civilized of the Dravidian tribes and one in which there has been less admixture. He says: “The Gonds are a little below the height of Europeans, and in complexion darker than the generality of Hindus, bodies well proportioned, but features rather ugly; a roundish head, destended nostrils, wide mouth, thickish lips, straight black hair and scanty beard and mustaches. Both hair and features are decidedly Mongolian.”
Bishop Caldwell adds “An ascent from the Mongolian type to the Caucasian is not unknown; but conversely, it is not known, I believe, that there has been any descent from the Caucasian to the Mongolian, It would seem therefore that it only remains that we should suppose the original type of the whole Dravidian race to have been Mongolian, as that of the Gonds generally is up to the present time, and attribute the Caucasian type now universally, apparent amongst the Dravidians of Southern India to the influence of culture, aided perhaps in some small degree by intermixture with Aryans.”
It is evident from this that the authorities do not fully [page 58] agree as to the prevalence of the Mongolian element in the physical characteristics of the Dravidian people as a whole. Some claim to see a distinct Mongolian type while others fail to see it. All agree that the wilder and less civilized tribes included in the Dravidian race are clearly Mongolian in type. As described above they agree in a remarkable manner with the Koreans of to-day. As to the more advanced Dravidian peoples some authorities see a Mongolian type and some do not but even those who do not see it believe that the difference between them and the more aboriginal types is due to a long period of cultivation and of intermixture with Aryan peoples. The question then arises whether or not the less civilized Dravidians are the typical Dravidians. As quoted above, a change would naturally be toward a Caucasian type rather than toward a Mongolian type, and other things being equal we always expect development to be upward rather than downward; so it seems fairly certain that such tribes as the Gond are the most typical Dravidians. To make this point more clear let us suppose that someone wishes to learn the habits and customs of the aborigines of America in order to compare them with the wild tribes of northern Siberia. Would he go to western New York State where there are the remnants of Indian tribes engaged in peaceful agricultural pursuits, living in ordinary houses and dressing in ordinary European clothing? Would he not rather seek out those tribes which have been least in contact with the white man and are least removed from their aboriginal status? So it is that we say with confidence that if we are to find out whether the Korean and Dravidian physical types are alike we must not go to the Dravidian peoples who have been most affected by outside influences. but those who have remained the most secluded. Judging from such a standard as this we think it has been proved by the above quotations that, whether the Koreans came to Korea from the south, originally from India, or not, there is nothing in the physical argument that militates against the theory.
We have received from Rev. Alex Kenmure an interesting item in this connection. In London he met a Mr. Knowles who has been making a special study of the phonetic systems of India preparatory to the formation of an alphabet [page 59] for the blind. The Korean alphabet and phonetic system were submitted to him to see whether his scheme for the blind would apply to Korean. His statement was, “This is Tamil through and through.” So, though vocabularies may shift and change, phonetic systems and, still more, grammatical peculiarities remain. Practically the same thing was said by one of the missionaries in Korea who had worked six years among the Dravidian peoples. He said that when he first came to Korea the language sounded singularly familiar. He felt as if he ought to understand it without study.
From Fusan to Wonsan by Pack-pony.
The next day was Tuesday. We proceeded north along the coast, passing through numerous thriving fishing villages. The first part of the day’s trip was through a thickly populated region, but along in the afternoon we entered a rough, lonely mountain country. At this point the spurs of the mountain range run down into the sea, making countless bold and rugged promontories. Our road was over a long succession of passes between which we would often traverse the shore of a deep bay. Generally these had a beautiful sandy reach. In this rough country it was only occasionally that we would see a gentleman’s tiled house tucked away in some sheltered nook, with a little bunch of thatched houses about it. The imagination was taxed to its utmost in guessing how these people lived. There was no evidence of any considerable agricultural life though we suspected that back among the hills or perhaps across the higher land there might be fields that they could cultivate. We were given to understand that these tiled houses of the gentry represented better times in the past but that now the tiles themselves were all the wealth these men could boast. In speaking of this rough mountainous country there is a natural suggestion of trees and forests, but we must remember that it was all bare of trees. The scenery was bleak and forbidding, though frequently grand. It was in almost all respects the very opposite of scenery in Japan.
Whatever beauty there was consisted in wide prospects of ser-[page 60] rated mountain ranges and the expanse of ocean. There was a complete absence of mere picturesqueness, which is such a charming feature of Japanese scenery. The bare earth, the broad sea, the over-arching sky—these were all; and yet, to the keen imagination these may be fully as charming as the more finished scenery of Japan. One is ever conscious of the large, the fundamental, the basic things of nature, and there results a kind of exhilaration which is different from anything which Japanese scenery commonly inspires. It is the difference between Colorado and New Hampshire, between the Russian steppes and rural England.
Throughout this region the only really prosperous people seemed to be the fishing folk. Their houses were cleaner and better than those of the others. This day a hundred li ride brought us to the prefectural town of Yung-ha, which presented no features worthy of remark.
The next day our way again lay along the coast, several large villages being passed. The numerous salt farms that we saw on this day are worthy of more than casual notice. In this part of Korea are found some of the most important salt manufacturing centers. A description of one of the “works,” will suffice for all. Imagine then a field of about two acres, divided down the middle by a row of huge earthen pots perforated beneath and banked up with reeds and rice matting. The perfectly smooth and even fields are loosely covered two inches thick with a fine black loam like a newly plowed and carefully harrowed field. Sea water is brought in wooden pipes and emptied into a ditch which runs around the field. From this ditch the water is scooped up in long-handled dippers and sprayed evenly over the surface of the black loam. After partial evaporation, wooden-toothed rakes are drawn across the fields by bullocks or cows. This turns up the loam and gives a better opportunity for the water to evaporate. This process shows that beneath the black loam there is a hard bed of earth, like a well packed tennis court, probably made of clay. It is raked again and again until fairly dry and then more salt water is thrown on. The process is repeated until the loam is quite saturated with salt. Then with large scrapers the loam is drawn up into heaps beside the central line of pots. After pots have been nearly filled [page 61] with the loam, sea water is poured on, enough to fill them to the brim. This water passing through the loam takes up the salt and comes out below in the shape of a heavy brown liquid. The loam is then taken from the pots and spread out over the field to be again utilized. Near the pots there hangs a huge clay pan, six inches deep and twenty feet long by ten feet wide. It is supported from above by rows of stout poles from each of which hang chains that are fastened to hooks in the bottom of the kettle or pan. The heavy brine is poured into this pan and a hot fire of pine brush is kept burning beneath. The salt is deposited at the bottom of the pan and is scraped off and picked in bags. It is a wet, grayish looking substance. Some of the salt fields were lying “fallow” and we learned that after a time the black loam loses its power of holding the salt, but if left unworked for a few weeks will then regain this power.
Along through this section we could gain magnificent views of the white peaks of the main range of mountains to the west. Game too was plentiful. Swans, geese and ducks abounded, and it was here that my companion, a few months later, bagged a wild boar of 300 pounds weight. We were amazed and delighted at the beauty of the granite rock that cropped out all about us. If was now red, now green, now black, often with a plentiful admixture of quartz. Many of the fishermen’s houses were surrounded with beautiful stone walls, built of smooth water-worn stones from the beach. They were three feet thick and six feet high. Many of these houses were built immediately on the water’s edge and it looked as if an east blow would send the surf over them. As we went north there was a perceptible change in the style of the houses. To the south the houses had been only one kan deep but now they had are extension of the roof which formed a sort of verandah in front, and further north still the houses were two kan deep. At this point we were near the line which formed the border between the ancient Kingdom of Silla and that of Ye-mak and it is probable that these local differences have survived from very early times. A noticeable feature was the whitewash used on some of the houses, which gave them a very neat appearance, and some were washed with a blue color making them still more striking.
In spite of the fact that we were continually passing [page 62] through fishing villages we could get very few fish to eat. They are all shipped off inland as soon as caught and to get them was as difficult as to buy tinned butter in France or condensed milk in Switzerland.
Pi-yang was the first prefectural town we struck after crossing the border from Kyung-sang Province to Kang-wun. It lies back from the sea on a small stream and the view of the sea is cut off by a low range of hills. Passing directly through we kept on to a fishing village on the beach. We had great difficulty in finding a place to put up. There was no inn and the people, while not hostile, were quite apathetic. By dint of considerable persuasion we secured a room, but had to improvise a horse stable. We went to sleep to the sound of dashing waves. When my companion waked in the morning to call up the grooms to feed the horses, he heard a swishing noise which sounded just like horses nosing their feed in search of stray beans, and with a sigh of content lay back to have another nap. An hour later he learned that it was merely the noise of water on the beach that he had heard, and so we were late in getting off.
Forty li further on we struck the town of Ul-chin, celebrated in song and story. It was here that the Japanese made a stand in their retreat from Seoul three centuries ago. They were besieged by the combined Chinese and Korean armies and were reduced to the last extremity, when, to their joy, a small fleet of Japanese boats came up the coast from another station to the south and brought them food and succor. The road up to this town was in a terrible state. It was away from the coast and fearfully cut up by the summer rains. The country was utterly desolate. There were no fields, no villages, no houses, no trees until we neared the town and saw in the distance a row of persimmon trees half a mile long, Our horses waded the stream and we stopped at an inn on the farther bank, where we met a Japanese physician who had come three months before and had hung out his “shingle” but had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Koreans, of Ul-chin at least, still had more faith in bear’s gall and stewed centipedes than in all the triumphs of Western pharmacy. He was about to shake the dust of Ul-chin off his feet and go to some happier clime. [page 63]
We found Ul-chin to be a long straggling town in that semi-ruinous condition that is characteristic of so many prefectural towns in Korea. At this point my friend Mr. A. and I had to part company, he to return to his work in the south and I to push northward to Kang-neung where I was to meet my friend Dr. H. from Wonsan who was to come down that far to meet me. It is from Ul-chin that the Koreans take boat to visit Ul-leung Island which on modern maps is called Dagelet. Here is where the famous fights between wild cats and rats are said to occur. Tradition affirms that the islanders were conquered by Silla generals who put great wooden lions in the prows of their boats and frightened the people into surrender even before the troops were disembarked.
At four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday I stopped at the market town of Sam-ch’uk, for if I passed that place there was no other inn within forty li. Alone in a strange country and among people whose language I knew hardly at all, it will not surprise the reader to learn that I was intensely lonesome; and it can readily be believed that when two Korean Christians came along, who had been sent ahead by Dr. H. to meet me, I was delighted. Here was some connection again with the outside would. Of all lonesome places on this planet give me the eastern coast of Korea and one of those Rip Van Winkle towns that have overslept themselves not twenty years but twenty generations.
The next day, Sunday, was a busy one in that town, for it was market day. The contrast between that day and the day before was as great in the town as it had been in my spirits. There was a large square about which were grouped a number of straggling inns which do business mainly on these market days. And all about the square were temporary booths erected for the merchants. Early in the morning people came trooping in from all directions with their goods carried by ponies, donkeys, bullocks, cows or on their own backs. Not a wheeled vehicle was seen. Such a thing would be as great a novelty on the east coast as the first railway train was on the west coast. They brought native and foreign cotton goods, rice, fruits, kerosene oil, cattle, pipes, tobacco, silk thread, cotton thread, buttons, needles and a long line of [page 64] knick-knacks and sundries. The shouting and struggling, the laughter and jokes, the haggling and bargaining were fast and furious. That town was like a man who is subject to fits, lying half dead most of the time but when one of the paroxysms come on raising a most unconscionable row. It illustrated beautifully one of the results of a state of society in which barter forms the principle means for the exchange of commodities. Everybody had something to sell and something to buy and as everybody wanted to sell first and buy afterwards that square resembled a hive of distracted bees. By three o’clock in the afternoon the “edge was worn off” and people began to take things a little easier. Though wine flowed freely all day long yet I saw no intoxicated people till late in the afternoon, and even then there were but few.
Throughout the day two native colporteurs read the Scriptures to any who would stop and listen, and three street meetings were held at which people stopped and paid polite attention. There was no rowdyism or trouble of any kind. Some small books were given away and the next morning, several men came and purchased others. This market day explained the almost total absence of shops or stores. People do all their buying and selling on the market day and then shut up shop until the next one comes.
The next day I had a stiff hundred li to make before reaching Kang-neung, so an early start was made. It was a lonely and desolate road over two considerable mountain passes, the first of which was a steady climb of three miles. The last forty li were all downhill to the valley in which the town lies, some distance back from the coast. It is a walled city lying on the north side of a little stream which is crossed by a bridge. The wall is badly dilapidated and the situation is not imposing, as the town has no hill back of it. It was not until dark that we entered the gate and then we learned that the cholera was raging so fiercely that Dr. H. had gone thirty li to the north and put up at an inn. We found a nice clean inn and would have had a good night’s rest had it not been for the constant firing of guns, whereby the Koreans were trying to scare off cholera devils. We had intended to stop here a few days but this was out of the question. Leaving the city I climbed a hill [page 65] and obtained a good view of the town, which is a compact one and surrounded by a fine farming country. This town is numbered among the twenty-one capitals of Korea, for in very early times it was the capital of the Ye Kingdom. It flourished about the beginning of the Christian era but was later absorbed by the Southern kingdom of Silla. The Silla conquerors here dug up a seal which was adopted as the royal seal or Silla. It is more than fifteen hundred years since Kang-neung fell from her high estate.
Hurrying on I found Dr. H. waiting for me at his inn and I had the great pleasure of grasping an Anglo Saxon hand and looking into the face of a “white man.”
A Leaf from Korean Astrology.
The last division of the book that we have been discussing is called the “Guide for the Celebrated Physician” and it is in the nature of a household medical book. It is divided into three parts, (1) female complaints, (2) children’s diseases, (3) bites of insects or animals. The fact that men’s diseases are nowhere mentioned but only those of women and children shows us this book is consulted almost exclusively by women, a fact which should not surprise us when we remember that it is the women of Korea who cling to Buddhism and to the various superstitions that have emanated from and have been fostered by that cult.
As to the first section, treating of female complaints, it is not necessary for us to go into the curious details here given, except to mention some of the remarkable remedies recommended. For one complaint a poultice of cow-dung is recommended, for another the eating of twenty-one ginko nuts, for another boiled sun-flower seeds. One form of disease is cured by splitting the kernel of an apricot seed, writing the word sun on one part and the word moon on the other, sticking the two parts together with honey and then eating them. Another remedy is to drink water in which the iron pin of a nether mill-stone has been boiled. Another convincing argument is [page 66] the swallowing of three small live frogs, or if this is not sufficient take seven Quelparte mushrooms, fourteen jujubes and a handful of gluten rice and boil them together and eat them. Boiled magpie taken internally or sea-weed poultice externally are used, as well as four boiled dog’s feet.
Children’s diseases are treated rather fully. A case of overfeeding is remedied by drinking the water in which burned chicken-intestines have been boiled.
Nausea. Drink water in which burned hair has been boiled.
Indigestion. Catch a toad, lay him on his back, punch him three times in the stomach with a stalk of the sorghum plant. Then wrap the toad in yellow earth and bind him tightly with string. After burning him to death in the fire throw the remains of the toad away, but put the yellow earth in water and take a spoonful frequently. In the very nature of things this should effect a cure, but if it fails, remove the entrails from a hen and in the abdominal cavity put a piece of ot wood (varnish tree) and sew up the orifice. After boiling, throw away the wood and eat the hen.
Unnatural appetite. Buy a flock of domestic pigeons and watch them eat three times a day. But a radical cure is effected by boiling a toad, an onion and some black pepper together and taking in moderate doses.
Fits. Boiled honey-suckle flowers and red ink taken internally, or better still the saliva of a black cow taken “straight.” These failing you should try warm blood from the tip of a white dog’s ear.
Mouth disease. Let the child’s parent take salt in his mouth and with the saliva make a little mud ball and paste it on top of the child’s head. This will cure the sore mouth.
Erysipelas. Anoint with pig’s gall, but first suck the part affected.
Small-pox. When the disease begins be sure that no uncooked food or cold food or anything that smells of oil or grease comes into the house. Let no one in the house comb his hair or wash clothes. Let no priest or sorceress enter the place and rigidly exclude persimmons, pears, jujubes, peaches, apricots, cherries, lemons, potatoes and oranges; but chestnuts only may be brought in. [page 67]
Koreans not only “catch cold” in the winter but they “catch hot” in the summer. Just what is meant is hard to say. Take a handful of peach leaves, put them on a stone and macerate, put them in water and strain off the liquid and take internally. If the attack is severe take five garlics, one handful of dirt from a very hot street, mash the garlic and dirt together, put the mixture in well water and administer. It will surely bring the patient round. Another remedy is a decoction of azalea flowers. Another is dried white peach flowers powdered and mixed with sorghum seed and made into a cake.
Temporary insanity. Take ten strands of sea-weed, the grease from two old hens, the “beards” of fifty red clams, and three measures of gluten rice. Make a batter of all these. Dry it and then make soup of it. This will effect a cure after two or three doses.
Diarrhoea. Take dried persimmons and pomegranates. Boil them together and eat them.
Dysentery. Make a flour of a burnt rabbit’s skin; add it to wine and drink. Or again, take yellow clay that has never before been dug, let it be rained upon and then dried; mix it with honey and eat. If the case is a chronic one take out the entrails of an old hen, fill the abdominal cavity with angle-worms, boil the fowl very thoroughly, remove the angle-worms and eat the hen. Hen’s eggs taken freely are also very good for this disease.
“The Inside Sickness.” Drink a decoction of bamboo leaves.
Syphilis. Burn a mole to ashes, mix with wine and drink. If it induces perspiration a cure will be effected. If the mole is first smeared with honey, water will do as well as wine. Another remedy is the scalded juice of the taro. The ashes of a burned weasel is also recommended. In advanced stages of the disease, take three dried cicadae and grind them to a
*Yi Hang-bok, the great minister of the time of the Japanese Invasion, is said to have discovered a spring on the side of Nam-san whose waters are heavier that that of other springs and which will, cure the diarrhoea almost immediately. The spring is called “ Medicine Water Place,” and is situated below “Oriole Cliff.” [page 68]
powder, divide into three portions, mix with wine and take in the morning on an empty stomach.
Tuberculosis of the Lungs. Eat a boiled hedgehog. Drink a decoction of dried “sand ginseng” every day for a month. Boil thoroughly finely cut seeds of the yu-ja or lemon, and take three doses.
Boil in five bowls of water three handfuls of mulberry leaves taken from the south side of the tree. When the water is boiled down to one bowlful take in three doses.
Such are samples of remedies recommended by this domestic receipt book. In no case is the patient advised to call in a regular physician. In this respect it corresponds closely with numerous patent medicine advertisements in the west and doubtless with similarly deplorable results. Among other queer remedies are the following; the small lobe of an ox liver, ground squirel de-haired with scalding water and then boiled: the hashed flesh of the marsh hen or coot mixed with beau flour; burned hair in wine; indian-ink; snake flesh, boiled flesh of a fowl that has been fed on worms from the decayed body of a snake; oak wood ashes; dried cow manure; hedgehog fat; powdered fish scales; pear juice; three boiled ravens; baked dragon-fly with legs and wings removed; snake skin; feces of the angle-worm; bear’s gall; milk of a white dog; rat gall; powdered ivory; hemp juice, for tiger bites; live frogs, for mad dog bite; or juice of apricot seeds; juice steeped from mulberry leaves, for snake bite; taro flour, for bee stings; two snails made into a poultice, for centipede bite. It will be noticed that in contrast with the rest of the book this portion has nothing to do with spirits or goblins though disease is very frequently attributed to them. The consideration of this subject will be reserved for a future paper dealing with demoniacal possession and exorcism.
Odds and Ends
Yi kang-yun was a young gentleman of Seoul on his travels in the country. At Kang-neung, an important town on the eastern coast, he stopped at the house of a friend of the family. [page 69]
The rules of etiquette are less strict in the country than in Seoul and thus he was thrown more or less into the company of the daughter of the house. The result was that they fell in love with each other and one day as she was returning from a neighbor’s house the young mail met her and asked her to become his wife. Of course this was quite irregular but love is proverbially contemptuous of artificial barriers. She told him that if both their parents consented she would become his wife. Thus far the course of love ran smooth, but when the boy returned to Seoul he found that his father had already picked out a bride for him and given his word for the match. So there was no use in protesting. The girl also was married to a neighbor’s son for whom she cared not at all. In her mind she was already Yi’s wife for she had pledged her love to him.
Now this young woman had a little pond behind her house in which she kept some pet fish and often she would go and sit beside the water and pour out her tale of sorrow to these notoriously sympathetic creatures. One night she dreamed that one of her fish said to her, “If you will write a letter to him I will deliver it.” This dream was so vivid that the impression could not be shaken off. She wrote a note to her former sweetheart and threw it into the pond. The next day letter and fish had disappeared.
That same morning young Yi, in Seoul, went out to the market to buy a fish for his dinner. He secured a plump one but when his servant opened it a letter was found in its stomach. Yi read it with amazement and delight. It was plain that heaven was interfering to bring about his heart’s desire. He showed the letter to his father who went to Kang-neung and had an interview with the young woman. As she was able to repeat the contents of the note, word for word, the matter was referred to the Board of Ceremonies and the government granted a special dispensation in the case, and the young woman’s marriage was annulled and by another special ordinance Yi Kang-yun was allowed two legal wives.
As children in the west count the buttons on their clothes and repeat the formula Rich man, poor man. beggar man, thief; Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief一 and say that the name on which the last button falls will tell[page 70] the future status of the owner, so the Koreans tell the fortune of a boy by asking him which season of the year he likes the best. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. If he says the Spring, it means that he will be rich, for as they say in poetic diction “The four quarters of the lotus pond are full of spring water,” meaning that as the melting snows of spring pour their streams into the brimming pond, so the good things of life will pour in upon the fortunate youth. If he says Summer, it means that he will obtain high official position, for “The summer clouds are piled up like glorious mountain peaks,” referring to the prominence of the official. If he says Autumn, it means that he will become famous, for “The rich autumn moon shines over all the earth” as his fame shall reach to the remotest lands. If he says Winter it means that he will be a man of powerful and heroic mould “On the mountain pass in the dead of winter the only green thing is the majestic pine,” illustrative of his preeminence and nobility.
The teacher told his pupil to write a ten-syllable poem on the game of go-bang. or paduk. The boy seized his pen and wrote: -
“In the war between the black and white, victory means the building of a house.”
In the game of paduk, which rivals the royal game of chess, the object is to enclose spaces on the board with one’s own men, to the exclusion of the enemy’s. Each of these enclosed spaces is called a “House.” Now a house is a useful thing and the poem means that war, in order to be of use, must not be merely destructive but must be constructive as well. To fight only to destroy an enemy is mere savagery. There must be behind it the building up of some great principle to give it sanction.
Ch’im-hyang or “Immersed perhixne” is a Chinese and Korean drug made of agallochum wood that has been submerged in the sea for a thousand years! The tree is said to grow in Korea but, as might be supposed, it is not easy to find any that has been submerged a thousand years. In fact a thousand years is not necessary to the production of a very fair quality of ch’im-hyang. We saw a piece the other day which came from the [page 71] coast of Whang-ha Province and was said to have been submerged five hundred years. It is ground to a powder and boiled. It costs about four times as much as ginseng of equal weight.
“Once upon a time” a newly appointed governor of Kyung-sang Province went to his post in Taiku but within four days suddenly died. Another was sent and he followed the bad example of the first. A third was sent but news came back that he too died in the same mysterious manner. Now the governorship of that province is generally considered a pretty “good thing” but after three governors had died in succession there was a visible falling off in applicants for the position. In fact no one could be found who would venture. The king was quite uneasy over the situation but had no way of finding out where the difficulty lay. Not even the ajuns of Taiku could give any reason for it. In every case the governor had been found dead in his bed the third morning after his arrival.
At this juncture one of the officials of seung-ji rank proposed to His Majesty that he should be sent as governor, and boldly offered his services. The king was much moved by the man’s offer to go, but tried to dissuade him. The official was firm, however, in his determination to go if the king would send him. With great hesitation the latter complied and some days later the new governor arrived at the scene of the triple tragedy.
It is customary for newly appointed provincial governors to enter upon the duties of their office three days after their arrival at their posts. So this one had three days in which to set in order his affairs before assuming the reins of government. The ajuns looked upon him with wonder, to think that he would thus brave almost certain death. The first and second nights passed without any trouble. It was the third night that was to be feared. As evening came on the governor told the ajuns to sleep as usual in the room adjoining his own. He ordered the great candles lit, two of them, as large around, as a man’s arm. He then sealed himself on his cushion completely dressed, folded his arms and awaited developments. The door between him and the ajuns was nearly shut, but a crack an inch wide gave them an op- [page 72] portunity to peep in from time to time and see what was going on. Not one of them closed his eyes in sleep. They feared not only for the governor but for themselves as well.
Hour after hour passed and still the governor sat as mute as a statue, but wide awake. About midnight a wave of freezing cold swept through the house. Each ajun shivered like a leaf, not from cold alone but because they knew that this heralded the coming of a spirit from the dead. The candles flared wildly but did not go out, as is usually the case when spirits walk abroad.
One of the ajuns, braver than the rest, crept to the governor’s door and looked through the crack. There sat the governor as calm as ever while in the center of the room stood the figure of a beautiful girl clad in rich garments. One hand was pressed to her bosom and the other was stretched out toward the governor as if in supplication. Her face was as white as marble and about it played a dim mysterious light as if from another world. The ajun could not make out much of the conversation, for it was almost finished when he looked. Presently the figure of the girl faded away into a dark comer of the room, the icy pall lifted, and she was gone.
The governor called the ajuns in and told them they had no need to fear longer; that the three former governors had evidently been frightened to death by this apparition but that there was no more danger. He bade them all lie down in his room and sleep. The rest of the night passed quietly.
In the morning the governor assumed the duties of his office, and his first command was to send to the town of Ch’il-wun, arrest the head ajun, tell him that all was known and wrest a confession from him by torture.
This was done and the wretch confessed that in order to secure his dead brother’s estate he had killed that brother’s only daughter and buried her behind his house. The body being disinterred was found to be perfectly preserved. It was given decent burial and the wicked ajun was killed.
So the spirit of the girl was laid, and no more governors were frightened to death by her appeals for justice. In later years this same governor was second in command of the military expedition against the traitor Yi Kwal who had raised a dangerous insurrection in the north. This was early in the [page 73] seventeenth century. It is said that the spirit of this girl used to appear to him each night and tell him how to dispose his troops upon the morrow so as to defeat the rebel. The general in chief acted upon his suggestions and thus it was that this formidable rebellion was so easily put down.
In our last issue, in the report of the trouble between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in Whang-ha Province, we mentioned certain information as having been transmitted to the United States Legation. We failed to notice at the time that it might be construed as having come from the Legation to us. This was by no means the case, and insofar as anyone has been led to suppose this, we hasten to apologize. The fact that the matter was reported to the Legation had nothing to do with our argument and it was quite unnecessary for us to mention the Legation in this connection. The facts were laid before us by thoroughly trust-worthy and responsible parties, and it never occurred to us that the form in which the facts were published might possibly lay the Legation open to the suspicion of having given out for publication evidence in a case whose trial was still pending.
The papers in the case were handed us by parties to whom the U. S. Minister had sent them at the request of their author, on finding that the case was not one for the Minister’s interferance. We published the facts at the request of these parties and, as we understood from them, at the desire of the authors. The United States Minister did not know that they were to be published and has expressed his disapproval of the publication of such matter previous to the trial of the case. It was the feeling of the people interested that a publication of the facts would do something to ensure a thorough investigation of the case, by impressing upon the Roman Catholic authorities the necessity of showing that the Koreans were committing these acts without authority and against the wishes of the foreign priests. [page 74]
In our former issue we said that it seemed impossible to believe that the French priests had been abetting the Koreans in these illegal acts. In this we intended to give them the benefit of the doubt. We spoke only of the two priests in the disturbed district. But these are not the only ones in the north, and our inability to believe that these special men had acted so far contrary to their own words, in no way weakened the evidence given, in a more general way, by missionaries in the north, to the effect that Roman Catholic priests had encouraged unlawful practices. But the facts which the trial in Ha-ju have already brought to light show that, even in these two cases, our belief that the priests were ignorant of the extent to which their adherents were defying the law was misplaced, for one of them acknowledged to the commissioner that he was responsible for many of these acts.
We would suggest that the news space in our sprightly Kobe contemporary is too valuable to give a column and a half to quoting news which in his next issue the editor takes pains to tell his readers is not worthy of credence. By the way, we notice that he made no mention of the incriminating documents which we published in their original form with seals attached. We venture to surmise that he suspected there was something in it after all. We learn from Ha-ju that the acts mentioned in our last issue have been proven before the special court there, as well as many others of like nature, and that, too, with practically no denial from the Koreans who were charged with the crimes.
We have received the wedding announcement of Mr. James S. Whitney and Mrs. Mary Lyman Gifford, at Mendota, Ill., U. S. A. The wedding took place on December the thirty-first.
It is with keen regret that we learn of the death of the infant daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Wells, of Pyeng-Yang. Influenza has been sadly prevalent in that community and has claimed now its second victim there this winter. The many friends of Dr. and Mrs. Wells sincerely sympathize with them in this bereavement.
[page 75] G. Hayashi, Esq., the Japanese Minister, returned from Japan on the 13th inst. on a Japanese man-of-war. He was welcomed at the South Gate station by a large and enthusiastic company of Japanese. Yi Yu-in has replaced Chang Wha-sik as Mayor of Seoul. The new Minister to Japan, Ko Yung-heui, carried Yen 30,000 to pay up the indebtedness of Korean government students in Tokyo to the sum of yen 27920, the balance to be used for their benefit. Yen 4,000 were also sent to defray expenses of Prince Eui-wha in America. All the Korean students in Tokyo are ordered back to Korea.
The Mint has sent up to the treasury of the Household during the past four months nickel money to the amount of $2,200,000 and silver half dollars to the amount of $800,000.
One hundred and ninety more ex-prefects are to be arrested and asked to turn over to the government various amounts of arrears of taxes.
The past month has seen interesting developments in the matter of the circulation of the Japanese Bank notes. The whole history of the case is summed up as follows. : -
Through the courtesy of H-J. Nuhlensteth, Esq., we are able to give below a statement of the work done by the Telegraph department during 1902, comparing it with that of the three previous years:一
It is very gratifying to be able to state that the Seoul-Fusan Railway Company has given to Rev. W. C. Swearer, through the Japanese Consulate in Seoul, the sum of Yen 250, not, as they say, as a full equivalent for the injuries he sustained last year in the attack that was made upon him and others, including Bishop Moore, by Japanese coolies on the railway embankment between here and Su-wun, but as a sign of their extreme regret that the affair should have occurred. It will be rememberd that Mr. Swearer was severely injured and that had not this attack occurred Rev. H. G. Appenzeller would doubtless still be among us. This action on the part of the Company will do very much to give the foreign public confidence in their good intentions.
Dr. Philip Jaisohn writes us from Philadelphia, “I am at present engaged in anatomical and biological work in the Wistar Institute of Anatomy founded in this city by General Wistar for the benefit of those who are interested in research and investigation in the higher branches of anatomy and biology, and indirectly to instruct the medical men of the University of Pennsylvania. We have some very eminent men in these branches and it is a great satisfaction to me to associate with them. I hope some day the Koreans will take interest in these sciences and maintain institutions of this nature.”
It is with great regret that we have to announce the death on Jan. [page 76] 18th of Rev. and Mrs. Baird’s youngest child, in Pyeng Yang. This infant was a little less than a year old. The parents have the deep sympathy of their many friends in Korea as elsewhere.
On Jan. 19th a son was born to Rev. and Mrs. W. A. Noble of Pyeng Yang.
Min Yong-don the Korean Minister in London writes to the Korean government regretting that Buddhism and mountain worship are coming into fashion again in Korea and begs that the matter be reconsidered and no more money wasted on these things.
Yun Chi-ho the well-known Superintendent of Trade in Wonsan has been asked to accept the position of An-hak-sa, which means a general supervision of the government, of South Ham-gyung Province. It gives him power to arraign even the governor. But Mr. Yun says his health not permit him to undertake the duties of such an office.
The native paper called Whang-Sung Sin-mun has been unable to collect subscriptions from the provinces amounting upwards of $7,000 and was in danger of collapse but friends came to its assistance and raised $600 which ensures a continuance of that excellent paper. It is said that His Majesty has ordered the Home Office to see that the outstanding debts to this paper be promptly collected.
Ko Yung-hem has been appointed Minister to Japan.
On September 11th the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs published an order prohibiting the use by Koreans of the bank notes of the Dai Ichi Ginko, alleging that they were only bank and not government notes and that consequently they were unsafe.
On Jan. 8th Cho Pyung-sik the Foreign Minister removed the prohibition and stated formally that the people might use the notes. This was not merely a verbal promise to the bank but was a formal document. At the same time it was announced that similar instructions should also he sent to the ports. This however was not done. On Jan 17th Yi Yong-ik, who bad again assumed control of affairs declared that the Japanese paper money would be the destruction of the country, that the Seoul-Fusan Railway was being built with these notes, that all the land would be bought up with them, and then the bank would become bankrupt and all the notes would be useless. Thereupon the Finance Department sent to the Foreign Office to find out who it was that had given permission for the removal of the prohibition. Cho Pyung-sik was removed and the Foreign Office without leadership. Everything then was in Yi Yong-ik’s hands. On Jan. 24th, he told the peddlars’ guild not to use the notes and at the same time forbade the use of certain hong notes put out by Chinese firms in Seoul for merely local convenience
On Feb, 1st the Mayor of Seoul posted all through the city an edict prohibiting the use of the Japanese bank notes and threatening severe punishment upon all who should circulate them. This went all over the country by way of the Finance Department. As a natural result of this there was a run on the bank, every one desiring to have his bank notes in some currency that was not prohibited. The bank people [page 77] were busy for some days passing out the reserves on which these notes were based.
On Feb. 4th the Acting Japanese Minister explained to the government that this was a serious breach of promise and that if the prohibition were not immediately removed it would be necessary to demand an indemnity and a number of mining and railroad concessions. He pressed the government for an answer and on the eleventh inst. the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that the Korean government would talk about the matter with the Japanese as soon as the latter should withdraw their demand. The Japanese of course refused, and then a meeting was arranged for the next day at the foreign Office at which the Korean authorities agreed, (1) to acknowledge themselves in the wrong and to apologize; (2) to withdraw throughout the country the prohibition against the use of the bank notes; (3) to carry out Cho Pyung-sik’s promise to instruct all the open ports to this effect; (4) to publish the statement that if anyone tries to interfere with the circulation of the bank notes be will be severely punished; this to be posted at the gates, where the prohibitory notice was displayed.
We have received from the Japanese authorities a circular setting forth the interesting points of the Industrial Exhibition, to be held in Osaka from March to July inclusive. It is addressed to foreigners and enumerates the special advantages that will be enjoyed for sight-seeing in that most charming country. We are told that foreigners will be given access to many places of special interest that are usually closed against all visitors, foreign or native. The enterprising spirit of the management is shown in their providing an inn specially for Korean and Chinese visitors where they will be accommodated with food and lodgings as nearly as possible like those which they have at home. The circular is accompanied by a marvelously comprehensive guide-book of Osaka and all the points of interest in the vicinity together with directions where to find all sorts of curious and beautiful objects of Japanese manufacture.
The Korean government appointed Yi Eung-ik as a special commissioner to proceed to Hu-jut the capital of Whang-ha Province, and institute a trial of charges against Roman Catholic natives who have been attacking Protestant natives. Rev. H. G. Underwood, D. D., Seoul, and Rev S. A: Moffett. D. D., of Pyung-yang, attended the trial to watch the case in the interests of the Protestant plaintiffs, and Father Dolcet of Seoul went to act in a similar capacity for the defendants. Shortly after the arrival of the commissioner at his post about eight Roman Catholic natives were arrested and imprisoned, pending trial. Father Wilhelm then explained that he himself was responsible for these unlawful acts on the part of the Catholics, admitted that they were in the wrong and asked that in view of this confession the whole matter be dropped. The commissioner replied that he had been sent to make a full investigation and had no power to dissolve the court until the trial was completed. Shortly after this the commissioner sent police to arrest two Koreans in the house Fathers Wilhelm and Dolcet were stop-[page 78] ping. The policeman was seized, bound and beaten there. When the commissioner demanded the reason for this, the priests declared that the Korean authorities had no right to arrest Koreans in their (the priest’s) house. The commissioner replied that he recognized no house in Ha-ju as being exempt from the action of Korean law.
That night Father Wilhehm left the city in company with the two Koreans and went to his place of residence near Sin-ch’an. Father Dolcet who had gone to Ha-ju to watch the trial demanded that the accused Koreans be left out of jail. but the commissioner refused to do this, since the escape of the men would defeat the purpose of the trial. Thereupon the priest declared that he would not attend the court nor have anything to do with the trial. The commissioner replied that the priest might do as he pleased, that it would not affect the trial at all whether he was present or not. Thereupon the priest sent a despatch to Seoul to the effect that the commissioner was beating the imprisoned men before judgment had been passed. The Foreign Office was at once questioned about this. It sent a despatch to Ha-ju asking the commissioner why he was taking judgment into his own hands and beating the defendants. and ordered their release. At the same time the priest again demanded the same thing. The commisioner said the order from the Foreign Office was based on misinformation, and determined not to comply until more definite information had been transmitted to Seoul. After the matter had been farther considered by the Korean authorities at the capital the order for the release of these men was withdrawn.
The commissioner then sent out into the country villages lists of Roman Catholic native names and ordered the authorities to seize the men and send them up for trial and he said he would hold the village authorities responsible if any of the men escaped. By this time it had become quite plain that the commissioner was a man to be reckoned with and that he fully intended to carry the trial to a finish, and the Roman Catholics throughout the district came to the conclusion that the matter was a serious one. Many whose names had been posted for trial fled from their villages and joined Father Wilhelm at his home and at last reports he had about him a hundred or more of these refugees. Roman Catholic natives themselves declare that this band of men is arming itself to resist the authority of the government and that its numbers are daily augmented by new arrivals. On or about the 20th inst. the authority of the commissioner was greatly increased and he was given power to pass judgment and inflict punishment. The first case of punishment was that of one of the leaders of a company of Roman Catholics which seized ten Protestant Christians in Sin-an-p’o and made them kneel for several hours in wooden mal, or peck measures, until they were tortured into writing a statement that the Roman Catholic priests knew nothing about the unlawful practices of their followers. Three men were brought up and charged with this offence. Two of them were not identified and were immediately discharged. The other was proven guilty and was subjected to a beating according to Korean law. The news so far received brings it down to the 22nd inst.
FROM THE NATIVE PAPERS.
On the 22nd of December fifty-four Korean laborers started for the Hawaiian Islands under contract for three years, to work on the sugar plantations.
Ninety more Koreans sailed for Honolulu about the tenth of February.
It is reported that the Japanese propose to build a post office building in Pyeng Yang, as their mail to and from that place averages 53,000 pieces annually.
The Superintendent of Trade at Kyong-heung in the extreme north on the Russian border having been appointed acting consul for Vladivostock, reports that as there are many Koreans in and about that port it is very desirable that a consulate be built there and that facilities be provided for the residence of a consul there in proper style.
At the request of the Governer of South Pyeng-an Province one third of the annual revenue is remitted for the next two years, in view of the heavy expenses to which the people have been subjected in building the “West Palace” in the City of Pyeng Yang.
The prefect of Han-san in South Ch’ung ch’ung Province informs the government that many Japanese are building houses there and refuse to remove to within 30 li of Kunsan, according to the stipulation of the treaty.
The budget for 1903 includes appropriations for four extra bureaus. (1) Irrigation; (2) Weights and Measures; (3) Koreans abroad; (4) The Monasteries.
Yi Kon-myung lately Governor of Kyung-geui Province was made Prime Minister about January 23rd.
It has been decided to send ten Korean students to Russia, and each student is to be given $800 a year for his expenses. It is said that the students of the Russian school hesitate to accept this offer owing to the difficulty which Korean students in Japan have experienced in securing support from the Government.
The Annam rice lately imported by Yi Yong-ik came to $115,500 Korean currency, or about yen 64,000.
On the face of it this statement is hardly credible, but judging from future events the Koreans believe that Gen. Yi received a large bribe from the Japanese as the price of this act of leniency. It is true that future events justified the Koreans in suspecting some such thing, but as the Japanese were immediately beside the Ta-dong Gate and, under cover of night, might easily have forced their way out, especially as the Chinese were exhausted by their long forced march and the fight about the city, we may well believe that the Japanese did not need to appeal either to the pity or the avarice of the Chinese in order to effect their escape. It may be, too, that Gen. Yi did not wish to be hampered with so many prisoners of war and was rather glad than otherwise to let them get away. This retreat from P’yung-yang in the dead of winter was like Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, on a small scale. The Japanese were without provisions or proper clothing. Many of them threw aside their arms and luggage and, turning from the main road, begged their way from house to house. When at last they reached the city of Seoul and found food and safety they were in a savage humor. Most of the Koreans who had fled from the capital had now returned, and on them these half-famished and wholly disappointed Japanese wreaked their vengeance. They seized hundreds of the unoffending people and put them to the sword. Scores of them were taken outside the South Gate and slaughtered like oxen.
Gen. Kato, who had led an expedition eastwards into Ham-gyung Province, hearing of the evacuation of P’yung-yang, immediately put his troops in motion and hastened down to Seoul, burning and ravaging as he came. And in a short time all the remnants of the Japanese army were congregated in the capital.
The Japanese retreat from P’vung-yang was not without its casualties. A Korean general, Ko On-bak, met a body of the Japanese, probably a part of the retreating army, at P’a-ju, seventy li out of Seoul, and punished them severely, taking [page 82] as it is said, seventy heads; not a great achievement when we remember that the Japanese were practically unarmed.
But by this time the Chinese Gen. Yi was on his way south from P’yung-yang, rather tardily as the Koreans thought, but hearing of this engagement of Gen. Ko he quickened his pace. Coming to He-on Pass, some seventy li out from Seoul, his horse slipped, throwing him heavily on his face. He was severely though not dangerously hurt. At that moment a company of Japanese was sighted on the mountain side and Gen. Yi ordered instant pursuit. The Japanese, probably a foraging party from Seoul, closed with them and as the. Chinese were on a marshy piece of land, where they sank to their knees in the mud, and had no other weapons with them but their swords, the Japanese inflicted severe punishment on them, killing eighty of their number. Gen. Yi was so weak from loss of blood that he did not dare to prolong the fight. So he called a retreat and the next day went into camp at Tong-p’a, a hundred li from Seoul, From that point he immediately despatched a letter to the Emperor saying: “There are 20,000 Japanese firmly intrenched in Seoul and with my present force I dare not attack them. I am also ill and cannot fight. I would be glad if you would send someone to relieve me of the command.” Then he retreated fifty li further, to Song-do. in spite of the earnest entreaties of the Koreans. The Korean General Yi Pin said, “You came to render aid to our country. Why is it that you now retreat?” whereupon one of the general’s staff promptly kicked him out of the house.
Gen. Yi ordered Gen. Sa Ta-su to go and guard the ferry at the Im-jin river which was now partly frozen but impassable for boats and ordered the Koreans to go to work building a bridge for the transport of the Chinese army. Here was a piece of work that might have daunted a better engineer than the average Korean general. But the way the Koreans went about it and the brilliant success they achieved show what the Korean was capable of when really in earnest. And it shows as well how thoroughly they were determined to see chastisement inflicted upon the Japanese. A swift broad river partly frozen, no possibility of driving piles nor of erecting any supports from the bed of the river itself. It must be a suspension bridge or none at all. On either side of the [page 83] river heavy timbers were planted firmly in the ground some twenty feet apart. Behind these horizontally were laid heavy logs. Then between these supports on either bank were stretched fifteen heavy strands of the tough fibrous vine called chik by the Koreans. It is the pueraria thunbergiana. Of course these sagged in mid-stream so that they swept the water. To remedy this, stout levers were inserted between the strands and twisted until the cables swung clear of the water by many feet. The foundation having thus been laid, willow branches were spread thickly upon the cables and finally a heavy layer of earth was added and the whole was packed down tight by the treading of many feet. And so was completed the first suspension bridge which history records. We see that during this war the Koreans had originated three important things, namely the iron-clad, the mortar and bomb, and now the suspension bridge. And on this bridge the whole Chinese army crossed in safety.
But Gen. Yi was tired of the war and was extremely anxious to get back to China. So when he heard that Nato was crossing the peninsula he said, “He may come to P’yung-yang and in that case I must hasten back to that place and hold it against him” So he started back toward that city, leaving Gen Wang P’il-juk in charge of the forces that were advancing on Seoul.
At this point mention must be made of the victories of Gen. Chong Mun-bu in Ham-gyung Province. In three successive fights he had defeated a large, though not the main, body of Japanese and seems to have entirely cut it off from forming a junction with Gen. Kato as he retreated toward Seoul with his dwindling though still formidable army. After the departure of the Japanese, Gen. Chong went to the far north, even to the far Tu-man River and inflicted severe punishment on all those who had aided the Japanese or had sided with them in the betrayal of the two princes. This done, he pacified the disturbed province as much as he could and then disbanded the militia and sent them to their homes.
Kwun Ryul, the governor of Chul-la, of whom we have heard before, took 4000 men and marched on Seoul, not by the main road but by way of Yang-ch’un. Crossing the Han [page 84] at that point he went into camp at Hang-ju and surrounded it with a paling of heavy logs. The Japanese in Seoul ridiculed it but sent a strong body of troops to attack it, A long fierce fight ensued and the result was doubtful. At last the Japanese succeeded in setting fire to the wooden paling and had it not been for the most strenuous efforts on the part of the Koreans they would have been burned out. But they succeeded in quenching the flames. When their arrows were gone their outlook was again apparently hopeless, but in the very nick of time Admiral Yi Pin of Chul-la Province came up the river by boat with 20.000 arrows and as the camp was immediately on the river bank the Koreans were saved, and soon the Japanese were driven back. Kyun Ryul took the bodies of the Japanese who had fallen, cut them in pieces and impaled the fragments on the top of the stockade. The next day the Chinese general Sa Ta-su arrived and, seeing these trophies of victory, praised Gen. Kwun highly and sent him to P’a-ju to guard against any possible northward movement of the Japanese. At the same time small companies were sent in all directions to cut off foraging expeditions of the enemy. In this way the Japanese in Seoul were cut off from all supply of fuel. The Japanese general who had suffered defeat at Hang-ju thirsted for revenge, and he led many a fierce sally from Seoul, but always with great loss.
In the third month confidence was so far restored in the north that the king began to think of returning toward the capital. The first stage of this journey was as far as Yong-yu. At this same time the Japanese sent a letter to the Korean general Yu Sung-nyong saying that they wished to conclude a treaty of peace. Gen. Yu as in duty bound sent this message on to the Chinese Gen. Yi in P’yung-yang. He in turn despatched Sim Yu-gyung, who had before acted as an emissary of peace between the Japanese and the Emperor, to take charge of the negotiations and with instructions more or less definite. When this commissioner arrived in the vicinity of Seoul a meeting took place between him and the two Japanese leaders, Konishi and Kato, in mid-stream off the village of Yong-san. Gen. Sim opened the conference by saying, “If you had listened to my advice in P’yung-yang you would have saved yourselves all this trouble. The Chinese, [page 85] 40,000 strong, are all about you. They have gone south to fortify the Cho-ryung Pass and thus cut off your retreat. The Han River is guarded so thoroughly that you cannot cross: Gen. Yi Tu-song is returning from the north with 300,000 fresh troops (an unblushing lie) and I am prepared to offer you the only possible way of escape. You must give up the two princes; you must leave the capital and move south to the coast of Kyung-sang Province. Then and not till then will we conclude peace and the Emperor will recognize your king as his vassal.” The vanquished invaders saw that there was nothing to do but comply, and so in the name of the thirty-seven Japanese generals they engaged to evacuate Seoul on the nineteenth day of the fourth moon! It was further agreed that they should leave untouched 20.000 bags of rice which were stored in the government granaries. The two princes were to accompany the Japanese as far as Fusan and were to be handed over to the Korean authorities there.
In accordance with their promise, the Japanese evacuated the city on the very day appointed, and Gen. Yi Yu-song, who seems to have recovered his health rapidly after he found that the Japanese did not mean fight, entered the city the following day. The condition in which he found things is almost indescribable. The Ancestral Temple and three palaces had been burned. Only the Nam-pyul-gung, which the invaders had used as headquarters, was standing. The country all about was lying fallow and a great famine stared the Koreans in the face. A thousand bags of rice were hastily brought and made up into soup or gruel, mixed with pine leaves, and a few of the starving thousands were fed. ᅳAs Gen. Sa Ta-su was passing along the street he saw a young child trying to suck milk from the breast of its dead mother. The sight aroused his compassion and he carried the child to his quarters and ordered it to be cared for. Rice was so scarce that a whole piece of cotton cloth could be purchased with about three quarts of it. A horse cost but three pecks of rice. Famishing men fought and killed each other, the victors eating the vanquished, sucking the marrow from the bones and then dying themselves of surfeit. It is even said that when a drunken Chinese soldier vomited, half-starved men would crawl to the place and fight over the possession of [page 86] this horrible substitute for food. This state of things naturally brought on an epidemic of the native fever, a species of typhus, and the dead bodies of its victims lay all along the road, the head of one being pillowed on the breast of another. The dead bodies in and immediately around. Seoul were gathered and piled in a heap outside the Water Mouth Gate and it is affirmed that the pile was ten feet higher than the wall.
It was on the twentieth of the fourth moon that Gen. Yi entered Seoul He took up his quarters in the Nam-pyul-gung. He seemed to be in no haste to pursue the Japanese so Gen. Yu Sung-nyong hinted that as the Japanese were in full flight it might be well to hurry after them and cut them down as occasion offered. The Chinese general had no intention of leaving his comfortable quarters that soon, but he gave consent to the project of pursuit and detailed 10,000 men under the lead of Gen Yi Yu bak. A day or so later this doughty warrior returned saying that he had a pain in the leg. So ended the first attempt at pursuit. Then the Korean Gen. Kwun Ryul came in from P’a-ju and urged that there be immediate pursuit, but for some unexplained reason the Chinese commander forbade it and the native accounts even add that he sent secretly and had the boats on the Han destroyed so as to render pursuit of the Japanese, impossible.
After crossing the Han River, the retreating Japanese seem to have been in very ill humor, for they did not confine their exhibitions of temper to the living alone but even attacked the dead. They dug open the royal tomb at Chung-neung a short distance the other side of the river. Digging fifteen measures deep they found some rags and a few bones. These they scattered about on the ground. They then filled in the hole with rubble. Another royal tomb was opened and the casket and remains were burned.
In the beginning of the fifth moon a letter arrived from the Military Commissioner, Song Eung-ch’ang, in P’yung- yang, ordering a general pursuit of the Japanese, The Koreans believe this to have been a mere blind, for the Japanese had twenty days the start of them and pursuit was of course out of the question. At this point again the Koreans make a [page 87] serious charge against the Chinese, asserting that the Japanese, before leaving Seoul, sent large sums of money toward P’yung-yang for Gen. Yi Yu-song and Song Eung-chang, and that by this means they secured immunity from pursuit.
The delay was a cause of great wonderment to the Koreans and it is not unlikely that this theory of a bribe explained for them most fully the actions of the Chinese. And it must be confessed that there is little in the temperament or antecedents of the Chinese on which to base a refutation of the charge. An instance is cited to bring home the charge. A Korean who had come upon a Japanese straggler and killed him was severely beaten by order of the Chinese general in charge.
Finally, when all too late, Gen. Yi made a pretense of pursuit, but after crossing Cho-ryung Pass and still finding himself no nearer the enemy than before, he turned back and resumed his comfortable quarters in Seoul. If he thought the Japanese would hasten to take boat and return to their native land, he was much mistaken. It may be that they wished to do so, but the terrible punishment that Admiral Yi Sun-sin had inflicted upon the army of reinforcement made them wary of approaching the coast, and so the Japanese forces in the south found themselves practically entrapped. Had the Korean land forces been led at this time by a man of the skill and bravery of old admiral Yi the country would have been spared long years of war.
The Japanese in their flight south were brought face to face with this stern fact, and like the soldiers that they were they set themselves to solve the problem. They wanted to be near the sea, perhaps with a view to taking advantage of any opportunity that might present itself of slipping across to Japan, and yet they were so numerous that, living as they must on forage, it would be impossible for them all to encamp at the same place. So they adopted the plan of fortifying a long strip of the southern coast, reaching from the harbor of So-sang in the district of Ul-san in Kyung-sang Province to Sun-ch’un in Ch’ul-la Province, a distance of over two hundred and seventy miles. There were in all between twenty and thirty camps.
Being thus about ten miles apart they had room for forage and still were near enough each other to render assistance in case the Koreans or their allies the Chinese should besiege them [page 88] at any point. These fortified camps were all of the same general kind, overlooking the sea from a bluff and on the land side surrounded by a moat and earthworks. These preparations were made with the utmost care, for there was no hope or immediate succor and the Japanese foresaw stirring times.
In course of time the Chinese court was informed of these events and the success of their generals in the north seems to have given them some enthusiasm for prosecuting the war; so additional troops were sent to the front under the command of Generals Yu Chung and Hu Kuk-ch’ung. These troops numbered 5,000 and were from southern China. Among them there are said to have been many “ocean imps,” or savages from the southern islands. These men could enter the water, it is said, and scuttle the enemy’s ships from beneath. We are told that there were also in this army some men of immense stature who came in carts rather than on foot. These forces went into camp at Sung-ju in Kyuug-sang Province. At this place there was also a large Korean army under Generals Kim Ch’un-il, Kim Sang-gon, Ch’oe Kyung-whe. Ko Chong-hu. Yang San-do and Yi Chong-in. Under them were large numbers of militia and raw recruits, and this accounts in part for the speedy fall of the town and the terrible slaughter that ensued. The Japanese laid siege to the place and after nine days, during which time the Japanese made a hundred separate assaults, the latter were reinforced and the defenders, exhausted by the long struggle, were finally driven from the wall and the Japanese effected an entrance. But even after they got in, the Koreans fought desperately and sold their lives as dearly as possible. Of this most sanguinary battle only one incident is preserved in the Korean accounts. When the Japanese entered the city and had advanced to a point on the wall which overlooks the waters of the Nam-gang (river), a desperate encounter took place, in the midst of which the Korean general, Yi Chong-in, seized two of the Japanese about the waist and, dragging them to the brink of the precipice, threw himself and them into the water below. Korean accounts say that in this battle the almost incredible number of 70,000 Koreans were killed and that an equal number of the Japanese perished. This latter must be an exag-[page 89] geration, for the loss of that number must have swept well-nigh the entire Japanese army from the country. We must remember that the Japanese army had received practically no reinforcements from the time it first landed on Korean soil, and it is safe to say that what with the losses by sickness and accident, together with the thousands who had fallen at the hands of the Koreans and Chinese, the original force must have dwindled to 150,000 or less; in which case the loss of 70,000 men must have put them hors de combat at once. This battle is called the greatest in the whole war, by the Koreans, though it is not considered the most important.
An interesting story is told of a dancing-girl of this town. When the Japanese took possession of the place she was appropriated by one of the Japanese generals. One day while they were feasting in a summer-house on the wall overlooking the river, she began to weep. He asked her the reason and she replied, “You have come here and driven away our people and our king. I do not know whether my sovereign is living, and yet I sit here and feast. I can hardly claim to be better than the beasts, to sit here and make merry. I must put an end to my life.” Thereupon she threw her arms about her paramour and flung herself and him over the edge, thus ending her weary life and helping to avenge her native land at the same time. For this reason she was canonized at a later date and her spirit was worshiped at this place each year by royal edict.
All this time the great Admiral Yi was in camp at Han-san Island off the coast of Kyung-sang Province. His force was not large but during his enforced idleness he prepared for future work. He set all his men to work making salt by evaporating sea water, and by this means he got together a great store of provisions. Needing barracks for the soldiers, he offered to the carpenters and workmen about a bag of salt for a day’s work. His energy and patriotism were so contagious that many worked for nothing, and the barracks were soon built. At this point the king conferred upon him the admiralty of the three provinces of Ch’ung-ch’ung, Chul-la and Kyung-sang.
In the ninth moon the Commissioner Song Eung-ch’ang and Gen Yi Yu-song collected their forces and started back [page 90] for China. They evidently considered the back bone of the invasion broken, and so it was; but like most spinal diseases it was destined to linger on for years before it came to an end. When these generals set out on their homeward way they left 10,000 Chinese soldiers in the hands of the Korean gererals Yu Chung and O Yu-ch’ang to act as a bodyguard for the king. In spite of their suspicions of the corruptibility of Gen. Yi Yu-song, the Koreans speak in high terms of him. They de-scribe him as a young man of thirty, of handsome person, broad mind and possessed of great skill in the art of war. When he was on the eve of returning to China he bared his head and showed the Koreans that his hair was already turning gray. He told them it was because he had worked so hard for them, which piece of bathos seems to have impressed them deeply.
The King re-enters Seoul.... temporary palace.... a royal lament .. a profligate prince.... imperial rebuke.... “The Flying General” .....uneasiness in Seoul revenue reform.... .reforms in the army ...King refuses to make peace with the Japanese..... the Chinese retire … plot against Konishi...... Japanese envoy in Nanking..... robbers put down..... a good man ruined.... Japanese trickery …. a patient envoy...... he absconds .....his flight covered by his second..... homesick Japanese .... Konishi sarcastic..... Chinese envoy in Japan ..... Korean envoy..... Japanese army leaves Korea..... prince refuses the crown..... rebellion..... death of a loyal general..... envoys illtreated in Japan..... return... . a new invasion determined upon..... comparison of Japan and Korea..... Japanese scheme to get Admiral Yi into trouble....... Admiral Yi degraded …. second invasion ...Cbo-ryung pass fortified..... Chinese give aid..... Admiral Yi’s successor a failure..... great naval victory for the Japanese.
It was on the fourth day of the tenth moon of the year 1593 that the king reentered the gates of Seoul after his long hard exile in the north. But he found the city almost a desert. The palaces were burnt and the ancestral temple was level with the ground. Under the circumstances he decided to stop for some time in that part of the city which is called [page 91] Chong-dong, the present foreign quarter, near the West Gate. Here there had been the grave of one of the wives of the founder of the dynasty, but her body had long ago been disinterred and removed to a place outside the Northeast Gate. So the king took up his quarters at the Myang-ye-gung. It is the exact spot where the King of Korea lives today. A considerable tract of land about it was surrounded by a stake fence with a gate at the east and at the west. This royal residence was named the Si-o-sa or “Temporary Residence.” Here the king lived thirteen years while the palace new known as “The Old Palace” was being built. The king was desirous of rebuilding on the spot where his palace had stood before, the Kyong-bok-kung, but he was told by the geomancers that that would be an unpropitious site. In order to build the new palace a tax of half a piece of cotton cloth was levied upon each man throughout the country. In some cases rice was accepted as a substitute.
After the king had entered the city, one of his first acts was to go to the site of the ancient Confucian Temple and, standing on the melancholy spot, utter the following lament: “The spirit of Confucius permeates space as water permeates the soil beneath our feet. If my faithfulness is great enough, let the spirit of Confucius rest down upon this spot.” He noticed that none of the people were in mourning and so ordered that all those who had lost parents in the war should assume the mourner’s garb.
At this time a strong faction arose whose wish was to see the king lay aside his royal prerogative in favor of his son. This prince was a son by a concubine, for the queen had no children. He was an ambitious but profligate fellow and had in his heart no loyalty for his father. Some of the courtiers went so far as to memorialize the King to the effect that it might add to the contentment of the people if the king should put the reins of government into the hands of his son. He hesitated to do this, for he knew the young man and how unfit he was to rule. At the suggestion of Song Eung-ch’ang, the emperor sent to the king appointing the Crown Prince to the governorship of the southern provinces in conjunction with the Chinese general, Yu Chung. The prince was delighted at this and hastened to his post at Chun-ju. He practically took [page 92] the whole jurisdiction of the south out of the hands of the king and even held the competitive examinations for literary degrees, which was an exclusively royal prerogative,
Another of the Chinese generals accused the king before the emperor of effeminacy and love of luxury and suggested that one of the best of the Korean generals be elevated to the throne in his place, but Gen. Suk Sung, who was very loyal to Korea, induced the emperor merely to send a letter upbraiding the king for his love of luxury and claiming that this was the cause of Japanese successes in the peninsula. The letter ended with an exhortation to arouse himself, work up a competent army, arid complete the work of driving out the Japanese. The envoy bearing this missive was met at P’a-ju by Gen. Yu Sung-nyong and an escort. The Chinaman told him that his arrival in Seoul would be the signal for some very important disclosures. General Yu and Gen. Chuk conferred together about this matter and decided that the king must in any event be prevented from abdicating, for their official heads depended upon his retention of the reins of power. They also persuaded the envoy to their view, so that when the king read the letter and declared his intention to abdicate, the envoy objected that this could not be done until he had sent a letter to the emperor and obtained his consent.
Meanwhile there was going on in the south a sort of geurilla warfare against the Japanese. It was led principally by Kim Tuk-nyung, a self-made man who had the confidence of the prince. This man had put his whole fortune into the cause and had himself fitted out 5,000 men. His method was to pass from place to place with great rapidity and strike the enemy when they were least expecting attack. In this way he earned from the Japanese the name “The Flying General.” He is said to have been uniformly successful.
Of another ilk were Song U-jin, Yi Neung-su and Hyun Mong. These gathered about them bands of desperate men and went about the country looting and burning. In Seoul there was consternation. At any moment one of these bands might enter the city and work their will. The Crown Prince, a cause of great uneasiness, was still at Chon-ju and for aught anyone knew he might be plotting the overthrow of the gov- [page 93] ernmnent. In fact this impression was so strong that the high-waymen dared to write to him complaining of the king and asserting that they were going to make a clean sweep. The implication was plain, that they intended to put the prince upon the throne. The solicitude of the people in Seoul took form in the rumor that Yi Ta-hyung himself, the Minister of War, was in league with the rebels. For forty successive days this injured minister went and knelt at the palace gate and begged that the king would have him executed, as he could not endure the charge of unfaithfulness.
It was customary for the emperor to nominate an heir apparent for the Korean throne, but at the beginning of this war it had seemed necessary to appoint one immediately and so the king had informally promised the prince that he should be King. The latter now demanded that this be confirmed by the emperor and a messenger was sent to the Chinese court for that purpose; but as the emperor had no son himself except by a concubine and was loath to put him on the throne of China, so he was unwilling to see this prince put on the throne of Korea. The result was that he sent back a prompt refusal, which for the time dashed the hopes of the ambitious prince.
It appears that the rebuke which the emperor administered to the king was in some senses deserved. The king after all his wearisome exile in the north, probably paid more attention to the pleasures of peace that was for his own good or the good of the country. If so the rebuke had its effect, for the king immediately roused himself and set to work reorganizing the finances of the country and putting the army on a better working basis. Hitherto the revenue had all been collected in rice but now he allowed the revenue to be collected in any kind of produce, and the collection of it was farmed out to various individuals, a practice which at the time may have had its good points but which at the same time had within itself very bad possibilities. The reorganization of the army was a matter of great importance and the king set himself to it with a will. Heretofore each general, had had his own following and there was no central power nor seat of authority. Each body of troops followed the caprice of its leader with no reference to any general plan. Before the [page 94] Chinese general Yi Yu-song left he put into the hands of the king a book treating of the art of war, a work written by Ch’uk Kye-gwang. This book the king put into use and appointed Cho Kyung and Yu Sung-nyong to have charge of the whole matter of military reorganization. In order to put the new plan into operation a large number of poor and destitute soldiers were gathered. They had to pass a physical test which consisted in lifting a rice bag full of earth, and of leaping over a wall as high as their heads. In ten days two thousand men were found who endured the test. The drill consisted of three parts, (1) firing with guns; (2) shooting with bow and arrow, (3) using the battle axe. In time these men became the royal guard and escort. The number gradually increased to 10,000, 2,000 being attached to each of the government departments. The whole force was divided into two parts and while one part was drilling in the city the other was set to work farming in the suburbs. In this way they raised the food necessary for the sustenance of the whole force. The plan was extended to the country, and teachers were sent to practice the country soldiers. It became a species of militia. From this time the quality and discipline of the Korean army improved in a marked degree.
It appears that the Koreans were not the only ones who suspected Gen. Yi Yu-song of showing favors to the Japanese, for the emperor took notice of it and deprived him of his high rank. He was supplanted by Gen. Ko Yang-gyum. This new appointee advanced toward the border of Korea as far as Liao-tung and from that point sent a letter to the king saying that the Chinese had already lost enough men and treasure in the war and that the king had better hasten to make friends with the Japanese and induce them to come and do obeisance to the emperor. It appears plain that this man wanted peace to be patched up before he should be called upon to do active work in the field. When the king saw this letter he said, “When the Crown Prince becomes king he can do as he pleases but as for me I will never make peace or friendship with the Japanese.” But Yu Sung-nyong urged the helplessness of Korea alone and the need of securing China’s help at all hazards. Sung Hou urged the fact that the new Chinese general had a large force in hand and he [page 95] must be conciliated at any cost. So the king reluctantly sent an envoy to China asking that overtures of peace be made with the Japanese. Even while this envoy was on the way, the emperor, apparently thinking the war at an end, sent an order commanding the immediate return of Gen. Yu Chung, with all his forces, from the province of Kyung-sang. The Crown Prince sent begging him not to go. The people all about the country were in distress about it. He was believed to be the only hope against the Japanese. The command of the emperor however was law and the general was forced to obey. Taking his army, together with the wives and children of those who had been married to Korean women, he went back to Liao-tung. It is said that over 10,000 of the Chinese took back their Korean wives to China, but six years later they all returned to their native land.
Kato was desirous of meeting and having a talk with the Korean general Kim Eung-su, the general of Kyung-sang Province. To this end he sent a Japanese named Yo-si-ra to arrange a meeting, and in course of time they met at the town of Ham-an and had a conference. Kato opened the conference as follows: “If Korea will help us to become the vassals of China we will remove all our troops from Korea immediately and we will also consider it a great favor.” But Gen. Kim, who knew of the enmity which existed between Kato and Konishi, waved the main question by asking, “Why is it that you and Konishi cannot agree? It is plain that so long as he is here such a plan as you recommend cannot be carried out.” Kato answered, “I have long wished to make an end of him, but can never get a chance. If in some way we could work up a charge against him and circulate it among the troops we might be able to get all the army removed to Japan.” As to the further deliberations of these two men we are not informed, but we judge from this passing glimpse that Konishi the younger man was so firmly intrenched in the affection of his troops that Kato despaired of making head against him until that affection was in some way alienated. In this Kato acknowledges his virtual defeat at the hands of his youthful rival.
The emperor was not as anxious as his generals to make peace with the Japanese, and when he heard that his new ap-[page 96] pointee to the peninsula was in favor of a treaty with the invaders he promptly ordered his retirement, and Gen. Son Kwang was sent to take his place. Hardly had this happened when the envoy Ho Ok, from the Korean court, arrived, asking that a treaty be made with the Japanese. When his message was delivered all the court was in favor of the plan; but the Prime Minister said that as they had been deceived once by the Japanese general So Su-bi, who had accompanied Gen. Sim Yu gyuug from Pyung-yang on a similar errand before, it would be well to test them with three propositions. “(1) We will give the king of Japan the royal investiture. (2) Every Japanese soldier must leave Korea. (3) The Japanese must promise never to disturb Korea again.’’ This plan pleased the emperor and Gen. So was sent for, that he might appear before the emperor and accept these conditions. On arriving at Peking the Japanese readily acceded to the terms and exclaimed, “We will gladly agree to this and will swear by heaven to abide by the terms.” Thereupon Sim Yu-gyun, who had always had a strange leaning toward the Japanese, now exclaimed, “Japan now evidently desires to become China’s vassal. An envoy must be sent to invest Hideyoshi with the royal insignia, and all this trouble will end.” But Hu Hong-gang had a truer estimate of the visitor and remarked, “The Japanese are a subtle people, and all this talk of becoming vassals of China is mere pretense. There is no use in sending an envoy to Japan.” Gen. Suk Sung said, “This man seems to be honest in what he says. Gen. Sim Yu-gyung should accompany So Su-bi back to Korea and there confer with the Japanese leaders and then arrangements can be made for investing the king of Japan.” The emperor so ordered and at the same time appointed Yi Chong-sung as envoy extraordinary to Japan to perform the ceremony of investiture. Yang Pang-hyung was appointed his second. These events all occurred in the latter part of the year 1593.
THE KOREA REVIEW
Volume 3, March 1903
The Test of Friendship. 97
From Fusan to Wonsan 101
Rev. H. O. T. Burkwall
The Bridges and Wells of Seoul 104
Odds And Ends
The Heavenly Pig 110
A Hungry Spirit 111
Milk Supply 112
A Buddhist Relic 112
Mr. Three Questions 113
The Tell-Tale Grain 113
Question and Answer 114
Editorial Comment 115
News Calendar 121
Korean History 129
The Test of Friendship.
One of the great Confucian principles is that of loyalty between friends. The following tale is a fair illustration of that principle, as developed in the Korea
Kim Chang-sik and Pak Sun-kil had grown up side by side, had droned over the “thousand characters” together through long summer days and had been partners in many a prank that Korean boys love. Their friendship grew with their years until at twenty they were regarded as inseperables. They had even gone so far as to bare the right arm and tattoo the small black dot just above the wrist, that is considered the inviolable and sacred seal of friendship. They promised each other that whichever one should secure honors or wealth he should share his good fortune with the other.
They were both good scholars and both seemed to have an equal chance of success; and yet it was only upon Kim that fortune seemed to smile. He secured a small secretary ship at first but it paid too small a salary to warrant Pak in claiming interest in it, and besides he was not going to suggest such a thing until Kim should approach the subject. But he made no allusion to it. Then the lucky Kim was elevated to a higher position still and every day Pak would put in an appearance at his reception room, or sarang, and wait for his friend to speak. Soon he began to see a difference in his old comrade, a certain nervousness or uneasiness which seemed to argue a falling off in that extreme regard that had always characterized their friendship. This not only made Pak sad [page 98] but it angered him as well, and one day he upbraided Kim sharply, declaring that good fortune had played havoc with his friendship and that it was evident he wanted to get rid of his old time friend. As he was speaking Kim went first red and then white. A singular look came into his eyes but whether it was more of sorrow or of anger one could not guess. When Pak finished Kim was again himself and said coldly, “My getting a position does not mean that I can get you a similar one immediately.” Pak left the house in a rage.
A few weeks later Kim was made governor of Kyung-sang Province and departed for his post without so much as notifying his friend. Pak stayed at home and sulked. He had not a single cash and yet every day his wife brought in his meals regularly. Where the rice came from he never once stopped to inquire. Who would think of asking such a thing so long as the rice keeps coming? That’s the wife’s lookout.
Finally Pak determined to follow his former friend to the country and shame him before all his officials for his disloyalty. He arrived, footsore and weary, at Taiku. the provincial capital, and went straight to the governor’s office. Strange to say, the ajuns at the gate would not let him in nor could he get word with the governor, though he sent in his name on a big red visiting “card.” Instead, the ajuns seized him and locked him up in a building just opposite the gate and kept him a close prisoner for a week.
One day they brought in a quantity of wine and induced him to imbibe. When he was thoroughly intoxicated they laid him on a litter and carried him into the governor’s office where he was placed on a sumptuous mattress and surrounded with the most magnificent works of art. Sweet perfumes breathed through the place and soft music was discoursed by unseen musicians. When he awoke from his stupor he found himself clothed in gorgeous raiment and surrounded by a host of cringing servants, one of whom addressed him thus: “All hail, dread Majesty; know that on earth you were a poor but worthy man. You died, and the heavenly Powers decreed that in compensation for your sufferings on earth you should be made a judge in the nether realms of Hades. There are several cases awaiting your adjudication. Is it your that they be summoned? “[page 99]
Pak looked about him in amazement, sniffed the fragrant perfumes, fingered his silken robe and soliloquized:
“H’m, here’s a transformation for you! Plain Pak, a beggared gentleman, and now governor of Hades! Well, there’s nothing to do but adapt myself to the situation. Adaptability is my forte.” and with a sober face he ordered up the first case on the docket.
Who should they drag in first but his old-time friend Kim, the governor. He was in rags and tatters. The jailers urged him on with sharp tined forks and cruel scourges.
“Ha, traitor! It’s my innings now. Do you remember how you treated me while I was on earth? Cudgel your brains for some excuse.”
Poor Kim in seeming despair knelt on the floor and bowed again and again, rubbing hands together in sign of petition for leniency but no word came from his lips.
“Take him away.” cried the Judge, “freeze him in the ice, boil him in oil, tear him with pincers, mash him in a mortar, let wild oxen rend him limb from limb, let a vulture tear out his vitals, let his tongue be drawn out of his mouth and plowed upon with a red-hot plowshare, let serpents embrace him, toads spit on him, bats scratch him and if there be any other horrible and loathsome torture in the category of hell let them all be poured upon him.”
Kim writhed upon the ground in agony of anticipation. The fiends came near to drag him away. He crawled to the foot of the judge’s throne and wailed,
“O pity me, pity me! May it not be that you were deceived and that after all I had in mind plans for your welfare? Were you not too quick to distrust me and charge me with infidelity?”
The judge was unmoved by the appeal but waved the doomed man off. The demons came and dragged him away to his fate. Attendants then appeared bearing food and wine.
The latter was rather strong and after his repast Judge Pak took a nap during which another remarkable transformation took place; for when he awoke he found himself lying in his prison house again. What! Had it all been a dream. then? Certainly not. He had been as wide awake and as conscious of surroundings as ever in his life. And here he [page 100] was thrown back to earth again and nothing at all was changed.
An ajun entered, thrust a string of money into his hands and said the Governor ordered him to go home. Bewildered and cowed he hurried from the town and hied him Seoul-ward. After a week of footsore travel he entered the town, but when he arrived at the spot where his house should be it was not there. It had been torn down and in its place a great mansion had been built. He thought that his reason was going. He accosted a man and asked him where Pak Sun-kil’s house was gone.
“Oh it was pulled down two months ago to make room for this building.”
They were standing directly in front of the great gate of the mansion and at that very moment who should emerge from the gate but Pak’s only son dressed as a mourner. Pak rushed forward and seized him by the arm. The boy looked and gasped .
“Yes, I am your father, but why this mourning costume? Is your mother dead?”
“N-no it’s you that are dead.”
“Not a bit of it, my son; let’s go in and see your mother. A delightful little family reunion followed, in the course of which the astonished Pak learned that a coffin had been sent up from Taiku, said to contain his dead body. It had been buried with proper ceremonies and unknown men had appeared bringing heaps of money, who tore down the old house and built the new one for them.
“Well the first thing for us to do is to dig up that coffin.” said Pak. “It will mean bad luck to leave it in the ground.” This was done and within the coffin were found roll upon roll of silk and great nuggets of gold and silver. As the three were performing an impromptu family dance about this coffin a visitor was announced.
It was Kim, the Governor.
Then it all transpired that it was he who had kept the family supplied with rice from the very start and that in order to punish his friend for his suspicions he had “put up” a little joke on him, one scene of which was laid in Hades. So the compact was unbroken after all. [page 101]
From Fusan to Wonsan by Pack-pony.
It was at a little village thirty li out from Kang-nung that I found Dr. H. who had come down from Wonsan to meet me. I entered the village by way of a bridge across a a little stream. At this bridge was established what we may call a devil’s quarantine. Its form was that of a rope extended across the road with short rope pendants hanging from it. This was supposed to be an effective bar to the cholera imps who were even then rioting in Kang-neung and who might be expected to arrive at any moment I found later that they had another one at the other end of the village. As I approached the bridge I was not quite sure what the rope was for but the bridge looked sound and no one seemed to object; so I went under the rope and reached my inn in safety, where I found Dr. H. He had secured for our joint repast a magnificent salmon that had been speared in the stream. I had been out of bread for several days and found that Dr. H. had only three slices left. It was a very jolly tiffin we had in preparation for a twenty-five li ride before dark. The road lay along the shore and there were very few houses. All the towns and villages seem to be situated a long way back from the main road. There can be little doubt that this is the result of centuries of Viking work on the part of the Japanese. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Korean coasts both eastern and western were the favorite hunting-grounds of the hardy Japanese freebooters. At last it got so bad that the government ordered all towns and villages moved inland from the coast. Of course the corsairs could not leave their boats and go any distance inland for the Koreans would then burn their boats and thus cut off their retreat. The towns once having been moved inland the natural inertia of the people has done the rest, and they will never be moved back to the coast until dire necessity compels it. The second day, after traversing a hilly road we entered the dilapidated town of Yang[page 107] yang which I should have pronounced dead did I not know that a periodical chang, or market day, would galvanize it into spasmodic life. This was the first large town along the coast where I could not exchange Japanese paper money for native cash. The harvests were being gotten in all through this section and it was exceedingly difficult to secure accommodations at night. The people would invariably say they had nothing for us to eat, even when they were threshing out grain before our very eyes! We soon adopted a plan which we found never failed. We would sit down and state positively that we were going to stay right there over night. No protestations on the part of the people could move us. When they saw that there was no help for it things went well enough, though often the horse-men had to thresh out grain for the horses before they could be fed at night.
The first twenty li out of Yang-yang was over a beautiful road which seemed to have been cared for as few Korean roads are. We saw an occasional shrine to some spirit or other, but they were always locked. The people said that since the Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians were all about, the shrines were in danger of desecration or even of being burned. Their fears were without warrant, for no one has ever heard of such desecration on the part of Christians in Korea.
After passing through the town of Kan-sung we came to a beautiful spot on the shore where we spent the Sabbath. We were now 300 li from Wonsan and were wearing the northern borders of Kang-wun Province. Sixty li more brought us in sight of the great mass of mountains called the “Diamond Mountains,” famed not only in Korean but in Chinese lore. Ko-sung magistracy offered us scant hospitality for we had to thresh out our horses’ food and eat millet ourselves. But to a hungry man even millet tastes good, and we did not repine. We tried unsuccessfully to get some eggs but the people shook their heads. We had one solitary egg and after breaking it carefully and extracting the meat we put the two halves of the shell together and gave it to a native to use as a nest egg. This shamed them into bringing out an egg which they claimed was their last one. It was along here that we saw for the first time repairs being made on the road. Some forty men were busy throwing the dirt into the middle [page 103] of the road and clearing out the ditches at the sides. Such an exhibition of energy and public spirit gave us quite a shock. Along this part of the way the shore was more broken and uneven, but there were no harbors. We saw a long low island off the coast which was well populated. A number of whaling vessels were anchored there and the huge carcass of a whale was floating on the surface and attracting a perfect cloud of sea-fowl. One night, along here, we could find absolutely no food at all and for the only time in the whole trip were obliged to feed our horse-men with rolled oats. They did not seem to consider them a great delicacy. It is more than likely that a dish of plain millet would have suited them much better.
One day as we were plodding along we met a man who was bringing us supplies from Wonsan, We welcomed him with open arms even though the pies he brought had turned green with mould. He had been loitering by the way and the color of those pies condemned him. He was so ashamed that he turned about and made Wonsan in two days, 240 li, to bring us something more to eat.
As we passed along under the Diamond Mountains, which lie some forty li from the coast, we could plainly see the masses of forest on their rugged slopes. I should have been glad to visit this celebrated place but time would not permit and so we passed reluctantly by. The next day at noon we came to the first really difficult spot in the road. We had to unload the horses and lead them up over a rocky stairway right on the water’s edge. Men were hired to bring the packs over on their shoulders. This was the only spot between Wonsan and Kang-neung that a cart could not have passed. That day we encountered our first ice, a warning that winter would be on us very soon. The next day we saw the town of Hong-chun, grandly situated on the slope of a high hill, the Confucian temple being the most prominent building. The prefectural towns were closer together here, and we were evidently passing out of the wilder portion of the province.
The town of Ko-je lies ten li off the main road. It is near here that the traveler can see one of the “eight wonders” of Korea. Leaving our horses we walked out on a long promontory, to a place where a great mass of basaltic pillars[page 104] raise themselves perpendicularly from the water. One column, composed of several pillars, rises something like 100 feet sheer from the water. At a distance the mass looks like the ruins of some magnificent building. Some of the columns are perpendicular, others oblique, while others still lie prone on their sides. On these rocks were carved the names of hundreds of people who thus recorded their visit to a remarkable freak of nature. Some of the names must have been there for many centuries for they had been almost obliterated. The separate columns are from two to four feet thick and the cross-section was either four, five or six sided. This same curious formation runs westward through the country crossing the Seoul-Wonsan road. This celebrated place is called Ch’ung-suk or “Green Rocks.”
The following day we came out into a wide sweeping valley which extended from the sea-shore right away to the foot of the mountain, and was covered with villages and hamlets. It was a magnificent farming country, though we found that the exceptionally cold summer had hurt the rice.
The following day, November 14th, we reached Wonsan without further adventure. The object of this trip, which was to learn the density of the population on the east coast, to examine the condition cf the people and to discover from personal observation the possibilities of work there for the British and Foreign Bible Society, had been accomplished and the delightful welcome we received at the hands of the friends in Wonsan more than repaid us for all the hardships that we had put up with. Such a trip has its interest, but not the least interesting part of it is getting home to the old fireside again.
The Bridges and Wells of Seoul.
The oldest bridge in Seoul is the Kom-ch’un Kyo which was built in days of King Ch’ung-suk of the Koryu dynasty. It led up to a palace under In-wang Mountain in the western part of the city. It is the only genuine arch bridge in Seoul [page 105] and bears evidence of enormous age. It has never been repaired since its building seven hundred and fifty years ago.
Chong-ch’im Bridge or “Chong and Ch’im’s Bridge” is so called from two brothers who were state ministers in the days of the corrupt Yun-san Kun. One was Hu Chong and the other Hu Ch’im. Hu Chang is said to have been thirteen feet two inches high! They had a sister named Nan-sul or “Snow Iris.” She was a distinguished painter, poet and literateur. When the reigning Yun-san Kun became so corrupt that there was talk of deposing him the position of minister became an extremely delicate one. One day the two brothers received note of a cabinet meeting at which was to be discussed the degradation of the former queen, an act that was in itself disgraceful and that would surely cause trouble for those who favored it. The valiant brothers went to their sister to ask what they should do about it. She replied that on their way to the meeting they should both manage to fall off the bridge into the mud and thus make an excuse for absenting themselves. The proposition was a rather unsavory one but the two brothers accepted it, and as they were going to the meeting in their one-wheeled chairs they were run off the side of the bridge into the sewer. From that time on the bridge was called Chong and Ch’im Bridge. It is to the west of the Kyong-bok Palace.
Kwang-t’ong Bridge or “Wide Main Bridge,” often called “Hen Bridge “ because fowls are sold on it, is the large bridge near Chong-no going toward the South gate. The next bridge to the south near Tick Hing’s store is So Kwang Bridge or “Small Wide Main Bridge.” Between these two bridges there was once a little hill but this was levelled when Seoul was made the capital. The bridge near Chong-no is built directly upon the ruins of a former one. The ground gradually became filled in till the old bridge was too low; so a new one was built upon the old one.
Su-gak Bridge or “Water House Bridge” is the first one crossed after entering the South gate. Its name comes from a large house that was formerly built just above the bridge across the stream, the water running beneath the house.
Koreans believe that the South gate is watched over by a huge invisible male serpent and that its female mate guards [page 106] the East gate. They desire to meet each other but are prevented by three obstacles. The first is the monster invisible spider that watches over the Su-gak Briage, the second is the gigantic invisible earth-worm that watches over the Little Kwang-t’ong Bridge and the third is the titanic invisible centipede that watches over the Kwang-t’ong Bridge. So the male and female serpents are separated without hope of union. It is said that when the king goes outside either of the gates these serpents raise their heads high in air and weep for each other.
In the eastern part of the city is Saltpetre Bridge, so called because formerly there stood near it a saltpetre factory, the product of which was used in making gunpowder.
The Su-p’yo-tari or Water-gauge Bridge is one of the best known. It is the second bridge below Chong-no, and just above it, in the center of the stream, is placed a stone pillar with a scale marked on it to show the depth of water at any time. This bridge and the pillar were both repaired. at the time the great sewer was walled. At that time 1771 A. D., the sewer was not as yet walled in but a long line of ancient willows extended on each side from Chong- no to the East Gate. King Yong-jong ordered these cut down and the sewer walled up as we see it today. It was at that time that the bridges were repaired.
The bridge just in front of the “Mulberry Palace” is called Ya-jo-hyon Kyo or “Night Shining Pass Bridge.” At this point there used to be a little hill or bank which was levelled when this city became the capital. This hill accounts for the hyon in the name. The name “night shining” arose from the following story. When the “Mulberry Palace” was built about the year 1615 by the tyrant Kwang-ha, at the instigation of the corrupt monk Seung-ji, no one was found who was able to write a name for the great gate. There seems to have been a great dearth of literary ability. While this dead-lock was on, a boy leading a pack-horse came along and learned what the trouble was. “Give me a pen.” he cried. It was done, and he wrote the name Heung-wha mun so beautifully that after it was copied in gilt and put up over the gate it shone like a lamp at night. So the bridge near it was called “The Night Shining Pass Bridge.” [page 107]
Koreans have always been dependent upon neighborhood wells for their drinking water. There are a few exceptions to this, as in the case of the city of P’yung-y’ang where wells are forbidden, because of the notion that that city is a boat and that to dig a well would scuttle the boat The water there is dipped up from the Ta-dong River. As there is only one well for each neighborhood in Seoul, consisting of from fifty to three hundred houses, there is required a large force of water-carriers. These water-carriers form a guild by themselves, and are considered very low-class men, though higher than butchers, acrobats, exorcists and the like. It is a peculiar fact that very many of the water-carriers of Seoul are from the far north-eastern province of Ham-gyung. Low as the water-carriers are, many gentlemen of Ham-gyung Province have acted in this capacity in Seoul. Desiring to try the national examinations they would come down to the capital and work as water-carriers for several months until they could get together a little money and then they would try the examinations. It is a very paying business; in fact, when a water-carrier wants to give up the business he can sell his positron in the guild for an amount equal to all the wages he would receive during a year and a half. Each house pays five hundred cash or twenty cents a month for having one “load” or two buckets of water brought each day. Many houses take three or four loads a day and a large establishment takes from eighteen to twenty loads a day. A water-carrier can supply, on a average, thirty houses, so that his monthly wage will probably amount to fifty or sixty dollars; but it is hard, honest work and the money is very well earned. Among the Korean officials with whom foreigners have been acquainted several have acted as a water-carrier. One was Kim Hong-nyuk who came from Ham-gyung Province, where he had acquired a knowledge of the Russian language. He became interpreter at the Russian Legation and, after obtaining almost unlimited power, met a tragic fate in 1898.
The water-carriers, because of their kind of work, can enter any house without first warning the women to get out of sight. Even the highest Korean ladies do not retire to the inner room when the water-carrier enters. He is considered like one of the domestic servants. At the same time he must [page 108] announce his approach by that creaking of the yoke which is produced by a peculiar jerk or twist of the shoulders. The principle is the same as that of the Chinese wheel barrow, the strident scream of whose ungreased axles is intended to warn people out of the way.
Many of the wells of Seoul are very old and curious traditions and legends have grown up about them. One of the most celebrated is Ku-ri Well or “Copper Well.” It is situated in Puk-song-hyun near where Gen. Dye used to live. It was very celebrated for its fine water and it was believed that if people drank it they would have many children. For this cause, when the Japanese took the city in 1592 they attempted to stop up the spring which supplied this well, thinking that by so doing they could help to keep down the population!
It is said they stopped up the crevice, from which the water came, with copper; and today the Koreans show yellow marks on the well-stones and claim that the discoloration is caused by the copper plug which is still bedded in the rock but which fails to stop the water. So the well has come to be called the “Copper Well.”
The Sa-bok Well or “Royal Stable Well.” is situated, as its name indicates, in the Sa-bok or stables directly behind the Educational Department. It was formerly the house of the great Gen. Chung To-jun at the beginning of this dynasty. One day a fortune-teller told him that within ten years there would be a thousand horses in his house. He was delighted, thinking it meant that he would have a retinue of a thousand horse; but when he asked a monk about it he was told that it meant that he would became a traitor and that his house would be seized and used as a royal stable, and that a great well would be dug there. And it all came true. He was executed and his house turned into a stable. They thought of making a lotus pond in the yard but a geomancer told them it was an ideal place for a well. So they dug a deep well, and since that time the water has never lowered even in time of extreme droughts. Horses were kept there for hundreds of years; and they say that if a bowl of the water be allowed to stand for several days a sediment exactly like horse-manure will be deposited at the bottom. This does not impair its drinking qualities! [page 109]
Geomancers have to know where water will be found in the ground, and they shun such places; for their business is to locate good grave sites, and it is believed that if a body is buried in wet or springy soil it will not decay rapidly, and the relatives will consequently get into trouble. So geomancers and water are not friends. Yet a geomancer is supposed to be able to locate a spring in the earth, though to the common eye there is no evidence for it on the surface. It is said that there was a celebrated geomancer in Seoul about fifteen years ago and the officials were talking about him and wondering whether he could indeed locate water with unfailing skill. The upshot of it was that he was ordered to dig a well in the grounds of the “Mulberry Palace.” He of coarse complied, but said that it would cause his death. The well was dug and a fine spring was struck, but from that hour the geomancer sickened and a few days later expired. By some it is supposed that water likes to hide in the ground. It comes out in springs of its own accord but does not like to be forced out, as happens when a well is dug and its hiding-place is laid open. So it gets its revenge by killing the geomancer who tells where it lies hidden.
There is a spring, on the side of Nam-san made memorable by the fact that it was discovered by Yi Hang-bok, the great statesman of three hundred years ago. A hundred years after its discovery deep in a rocky ravine in the mountain side, a gentleman dreamed that a spirit came to him and said that if he would go every night at midnight and drink three cups of water from that spring for a hundred consecutive nights he would become wonderfully strong. When the man awoke from his sleep he determined to try it. For ninety-four nights he carried out his resolve and drank of the spring at midnight; but the ninety-fifth night he found the water unspeakably foul. How could he drink that stuff? But having gone so far he was not to be balked of the prize by squeamishness; so he forced himself to drink three cups of the nauseating liquid. He suffered no ill effects from it. The next night he found the spring full of liquid that looked like pus. He nearly gave it up, but by an almost superhuman effort downed his three cups. The next night as he approached the mountain he found it wrapped in a fog so dense as to be palpable. [page 110]
He could not see a foot before his face. The path was a rocky, winding one and he had little hope of finding the spot but he was so accustomed to the path that he felt his way along and finally succeeded in reaching the spring, which he found quite clear. The next night the spring was filled with a thick brown liquid like pitch but with a taste and odor infinitely more offensive. He knew there was only one more night of trial, so he attacked the sticky stuff and swallowed his three cups. The next night was his last. He knew the spirit of the well had been fighting him and he went ready for the supreme test. As he approached the spring in the bright moonlight he saw three terrible figures standing with drawn swords about the curb. They brandished their weapons at him and warned him off but he drew near and grappled with them. He was strong and wiry and he got entangled between the legs of the three guardians of the well in such as way that they could not strike him without striking each other. In this position he managed to reach down and dip up his three cups of water. The instant the third was drunk the enemy suddenly disappeared. The test was finished and he felt, running through his veins, a new life and strength. He strode down the mountain like a giant and for long years after was the marvel of the land.
Another tale is added that in recent years a man who doubted the truth of this tale tried the thing himself. He had the same experience up to the last night, when in grappling with the three guardians of the well he failed to reach the water The next day he was found wandering about a mad man. But even so, he lived to be a century old and to his last day could lift ponderous stones that ordinarily required four men to move.
Odds and Ends.
In Korea the pig is called the Heavenly Animal. The argument is certainly farfetched for the habits of swine are anything but celestial; but the fact is that in far antiquity the [page 111] Celestial Dragon did not like the black face of the celestial pig and so banished the latter to the earth, where it became a favorite article of food. People, in time, discovered that on the hind leg of every pig there are seven spots which resemble the constellation of the Great Bear and for this reason the pig was set apart as a sacrificial animal. We have in Korean history a record of the use of the pig in sacrifice as far back as the third century A. D. The sheep is also used in sacrifice. It is the mildest of all animals. They say that when a sheep is required for sacrifice and the fact is announced in the presence of a flock of sheep one of them will walk out from the flock and present itself to the messenger to be carried to the altar.
This practice has existed in China for many centuries. In that part of China lying between the Hoangho and Yellow Rivers, called Kang-nam by the Koreans, there is supposed to be a peculiar spirit called Kwe-yuk Ta-sin (鬼疫大神) or the Great Small-pox Spirit, which travels from this point as a center and visits all the outlying Kingdoms. For some three centuries the Koreans have practiced the inoculation of cattle. A physician noticed that if cattle had small-pox after gaining full age, the hide was so thick and tough that the eruption would not be complete and so the disease would strike in and kill the animal but that the thinner and tenderer skin of the calf made it much less dangerous. So they inoculated calves to give them the disease. About a century ago a man had the idea of applying the virus to children. Some of the discharge from the disease in cattle was transferred to children but it proved too strong; but after a time they conceived the idea of using the watery fluid discharged from the sores and this was found successful. Inoculation was always effected in the nostrils on the idea that, as this is the orifice whereby the humors of the body escape, the virus would have a better effect. It is only recently that Koreans have come to see that inoculation on the arm or leg is equally successful.
The hero of this tale was a young man of good family with an education quite out of proportion to his means. All he needed was an opportunity to distinguish himself, and this is how he did it. [page 112]
One day he was standing at the front gate of a wealthy gentleman’s house wondering, perhaps, whether he would ever be as well off as its owner. A servant passed in with a tray of food on her head and on top of the food the young man saw the dim figure of a spirit sitting. He marvelled at it but held his peace and waited to see if anything would come of it. Presently he heard a great outcry in the house and, rushing in, he learned that the daughter of the house had suddenly fallen sick and died after eating some food. The young man demanded to see the girl’s father, and said, “Let me see the girl and I can cure her.” This was far from the ordinary conventionalities, but the youth seemed so sure that he could help that he was taken where the dead body lay. He touched the girl’s hand and presently she showed signs of returning life. The young man was quickly sent from the room, but as soon as he left the girl again became lifeless. He came back and in a loud voice ordered the spirit not to return. The girl revived and the father, struck with admiration of the boy’s gifts, made him his son-in-law. The young fellow said that he recognized the spirit as one of the “hungry” variety and it was because the girl had not thrown it a little of the food that it had afflicted her so severely.
Outside the West Gate there is a well called Ch’o-ri Well or “One li Well.” Koreans say that if a mother has not enough milk to feed her child she must go to this well and throw into it a few strings of vermicelli and at the same time pray that the spirit of the well give her more milk for her child. Only one can do this each day. If a woman finds that some one is before her at the well for this purpose she must wait till the following day.
Near the Su-gak Bridge there is a large house with a field beside it. In the field there is an enormous stone with many holes in it. It is over ten feet high, but only the top of it is now visible. It is on the site of a former Buddhist Monastery of the Koryu dynasty. They say that successive owners of the field have tried to dig up the stone but have always been stopped by heavy rain. Why this is not utilized in times of drought, to make rain fall, is not explained, but Koreans cling to this idea still. An interesting illustration of this same idea was seen [page 113] some fourteen years ago when Mr. Tong, then secretary to the Chinese Legation in Seoul, and now Taotai of Tientsin, went with a large number of coolies to the town of Pu-yu in Ch’ung-ch’ung Province and attempted to unearth an ancient monument which commemorated the victory of Chinese and Silla forces over the kingdom of Pak-je in the seventh century. Digging down eighteen feet they found the stone and took rubbings of it but before they could bring it to the surface a tremendous rain came on which destroyed many houses in that district. The people believed it was because this stone was being disturbed; so they came in force and filled in the excavation and drove away the workmen.
One of Korea’s great men was Song Sam-mun 成 二 問 which means “Song of the Three Questions.” The way he came by this curious name is as follows. Shortly before his birth a voice was heard from the sky directly over the house saying, ‘‘Is the child born?” The father answered, “No,” The next day the voice said again, “Is the child born?” and again the father answered, “No.” The third day the same question was asked and this time the father could answer, “Yes.” But having answered thus he asked the spirit why the questions had been, put three times. The answer was, “If you had been able to reply “yes” the first time the child would have grown to be the most celebrated man in the world; if you had been able to answer “yes,” the second time he would have become the most celebrated man in Korea, but as you answered “yes” only to the third question he will be a great man but will share this honor with others equally great. So the father named his boy Three Question. Song Sam-mun lived to give to Korea her alphabet and to be enrolled on the list of her most famous sons.
A sesamum merchant stopped at a country inn and placed all his money in a bag of sesamum thinking that it would be safer there than anywhere else. Having occasion to leave the place for a few minutes he asked the inn-keeper’s wife to keep an eye on his grain bag for him. He returned shortly but found that the money was gone. He charged the woman with having stolen it but she denied the charge vehemently. [page 114]
At last they went to the magistrate about it. When he had heard the whole case he remained silent a few moments and then asked the man how long he had been gone from the inn.
He said it was not more than ten or fifteen minutes. Thereupon the magistrate ordered a servant to go to the inn and sweep out one of the rooms carefully. Then they all adjourned to the inn and the magistrate ordered the woman to go into the swept room alone, take off her clothes and put them on again. She did so and when she came out again the magistrate entered the room and looked about. “You have stolen the money.” he said, “you need not deny it longer, I know you did it.” The woman then confessed, and when the magistrate was asked how he was sure the woman had taken it, he replied, “The owner was gone such a short time that there was every reason to suspect the woman. She would necessarily take the money out of the bag in a great hurry and conceal it in her clothes. Some of the grains of sesamum would be sure to adhere to the money and be put with it into her garments. This floor was newly swept and yet when I came into it after the woman had taken off and resumed her dress I found sesamum seeds on the floor. So it was quite clear to me that she was guilty.”
Question and Answer.
Question. What is the meaning of the rope-pulling contests in the country at the beginning of the new year?
Answer. Both the stone-fight and the tug-of-war. are very old institutions, but while the stone-fight is peculiar to Korea the tug-of-war is found also in China. They both originated in the days of the Koryu dynasty (918-1392 A. D.) The stone-fight was at first a sort of sham fight in the palace grounds, gotten up for the amusement of the king and court but it soon spread beyond these limits and became a national institution. This is, however, a somewhat dangerous form of sport and not infrequently costs a human life. For this reason it was objectionable to the Buddhist element that was al-[page 115] ways extremely strong in Koryu days. For this reason they introduced the more peaceful tug-of-war. Scores of towns and villages all over Korea observe this custom. A detailed description of it will be given in our next issue.
It has been the impression of Christendom that the physical persecution of Protestant Christians by the Roman Catholic Church is fast passing away; but within the last two years a new phase of the same thing has begun to make itself apparent in the Far East. Barred from such practices by the enlightenment of the West, Roman Catholic emissaries seem to have taught them to the East.
Such persecution has always manifested itself in places either where the local government was too weak to prevent it or where the Roman Catholics could secure a dominant voice in the government itself. The case to which we are now calling attention is of the former type.
The Roman Catholic Church has been at work in Korea for a century or more and during that time has suffered severe persecutions at the hand of the government; notably in 1866 when nine French priests were seized and executed and upwards of 20,000 native converts were destroyed.
It would be folly to deny that these missionaries showed great devotion and placed their lives upon the altar of their faith as unreservedly as did any of the martyrs of old. The French priests in 1866 were offered a safe conduct to the border if they would leave Korea and promise never to return; but they refused. Two of the priests escaped capture and made their way to China, where they tried to secure government aid for their fellow-missionaries in Korea. A French naval expedition was sent against the little Kingdom but was beaten and driven back.
From that time to this the policy of the Roman Catholic Church in Korea has been to uphold its prestige by an appeal to the secular arm of the government. When a French priest was driven out of a southern Korean town by a mob the French authorities compelled the Korean government, at the mouth of the cannon, to send that same priest back to his country diocese with all the spectacular parade of a provincial governor. Local magistrates in the country have been given to understand that Roman Catholic adherents are not to be arrested and punished by the arm of the law but are [page 116] subject to trial only by their spiritual rulers. There are over thirty thousand natives of Korea today who, whatever their offence, cannot be touched by the Korean authorities without the sanction of the priest. It is not difficult to see what the result will be in a country where local magistrates, far from the center of authority and subject to few checks, frequently go beyond the legal limits in the matter of taxation. Any society or institution that will stand between a Korean and the payment of these illegal imposts will secure the allegiance of a host of people who have no other avenue of influence whereby to secure the same end. Hundreds of people apply every year for admission to Protestant churches in Korea thinking thereby to escape official oppression. It is one of the greatest obstacles to mission work.
A portion of Korea is now in the midst of a considerable upheaval due to Catholic persecution of Protestant Christians in the Province of Whang-hai northwest of Seoul. In this province Protestant missionary labor has met with such success as to warrant the hope that in a comparatively short time the whole province will be prevailingly Christian. But a strong Roman Catholic element is found there too, and during the past year it has become evident that the French priests have become alarmed at the spread of Protestantism and have determined to make a strong and concerted effort to drive it out or kill it. Hundreds of Protestants have been driven from their homes and robbed of all they possessed. Scores have been seized and beaten in a most barbarous manner, and this not only by Roman Catholics but avowedly in the name of that Church. Protestant Christians have been ordered to subscribe toward the building of Roman Catholic churches, and because they refused, have been dragged from their homes, beaten until insensible, and then left for dead. Some of the tortures match the days of Torquemada. Imagine a man bound about the knees and ankles and then two oaken bars being inserted between his legs below the knees and pried each way like levers until the slow pressure bends the bones of the leg and the victim goes, from one fainting fit into another because of the unbearable agony, and finally dies of his injuries!
When matters reached this pass the important question arose as to whether the Protestant missionaries should appeal to the law to remedy the difficulty or whether they should follow the strict interpretation of scripture and not resist the oppressor. There is doubtless a certain fraction of the Church which would deprecate an appeal to the secular power, but a very little observation of the conditions prevailing in Korea will show that this is not the wisest course. In the first place the leaders of the Protestant Christians are American citizens [page 117] who cannot share with their adherents the horrors of the persecution. These American missionaries have gone into the province and through years of work have built up a flourishing church, and now, though they themselves are perfectly safe from physical persecution, they must, according to the theory of complete non-resistance, sit still and see the church devastated, the converts killed or driven out, and their property destroyed or confiscated. This itself is a condition never met in the clays of the inquisition and must necessarily modify the solution of the. question. The missionaries are trying, and with success, to extend to their adherents the same immunity from physical attack that they themselves enjoy. In the second place this persecution has not been merely a religious one but a piratical one as well. The whole evidence in the case shows that the Roman Catholic natives have simply taken advantage of their position to rob the Protestant Christians, and the latter are no more called upon to permit the robberies than a Christian man in America could be called upon to let a burglar ransack his house without calling the police. In other words, while the foreign priests have in mind only the breaking up of Protestant work, they are inciting their adherents to purely felonious methods to accomplish this end. It must be confessed that this consideration so far modifies the question as to warrant the missionaries in appealing to the law.
That this is not merely a religious persecution is shown by the fact that only a small fraction of the cases cited in Whang-ha Province are brought by Protestant adherents. Out of over 200 complaints only ten were from the Protestants. So far as the Koreans are concerned it is simply a chance to rob and plunder. The cases cited in this issue of the Review are only samples of hundreds of cases in which attacks have been made simply for the sake of loot.
In the third place, the Protestant Christians have made no reprisals. The Catholics have not even charged them with any physical retaliation. The Christians have simply asked that the Korean government take steps to uphold the laws of the country and afford physical safety to all the residents of the province. But the Roman Catholic authorities have openly taken the position that they will not allow the Korean governors and magistrates to exercise jurisdiction over their adherents. This means that there are thousands of Koreans who defy the law, assert that to all intents and purposes they are not Korean citizens, and refuse to obey the laws except when they please. The position is an impossible one, for the authority of the government is not replaced by any other authority which is competent to punish offenders to the limit [page 118] of the law. But even if they did have authority to govern their people completely the situation would be impossible. Such an imperium in imperio never could continue.
The question has become a definite issue in Korea and should be fought out to the end. And it is very fortunate that it is to be settled in Korea, for here we have only two distinct forces namely the Roman Catholic Church on the one hand and the Presbyterian Church in the United States on the other. Few if any members of other Protestant denominations are involved. If it were in China we would have the Roman Catholic Church on one side and fifty different organizations on the other, and between them all there would be no such unanimity would secure a definite solution.
The question has come right down to this point: will the French government uphold its subjects in inciting Roman Catholic adherents to persecute and rob Protestant adherents who are under the leadership of citizens of the United States? Will the French government dare to refuse an open and complete trial of the case, and the punishment, according to law, of people who have unlawfully seized, beaten, fined and otherwise injured Protestant adherents or other Koreans? These questions are now to be settled, and if they are settled for Korea, why not for China? The same principles which apply to one apply to the other.
Now what stage has the solution reached at the present time? Upon the demand of the Korean Protestant Christians the Seoul authorities consented to a trial of the case at Hai-ju the provincial Capital. A special commissioner was appointed by the Emperor to investigate the case and report. A Roman Catholic priest went down from the capital to witness the proceedings and two American missionaries were present to watch the case in the interests of the Protestant Christians. By order of the commissioner eight Roman Catholics were arrested, but when the police went to the house in Hai-ju where two of the most notorious offenders were, the Roman Catholic priest who was in the house refused to give them up for trial, but on the contrary let the Koreans bind and beat the policeman. This priest had already confessed to the Commissioner that he had incited his people to the outrages and asked that in view of his confession the whole matter be dropped. The commissioner refused. The night following the beating on the policeman this priest fled to the country with the Koreans whom be had refused to give up for trial. The priest who had gone down from Seoul, seeing that the trial was to be a genuine one and that the commissioner was not to be intimidated, withdrew from the court and refused to attend the trial. The trial proceeded and charge after [page 119] charge was proved, with hardly a denial on the part of the culprits. The commissioner sent out into the villages calling upon the village authorities to arrest and bring in various Catholics who were specifically named. This caused a general stampede on the part of the Catholics and many of them left their homes and flocked to the place where the priest who had fled from Hai-ju was in hiding. According to the statements of Catholics themselves these people armed themselves with native and foreign weapons and determined to take their stand in defiance of the Korean authorities. There is no danger of the French priests themselves being persecuted by the government but if it can be proved that they are inciting the natives to rebellion they can at least be deported.
When it comes to a point where French subjects, according to their own confession, incite Koreans to attack the Protestant natives who are under the care of American missionaries, the matter lies not only between Koreans and Koreans but between France and the United States. It is the duty not of missionaries in Korea only but of the Presbyterian Church of America to press the matter to a finish and see to it that the authority and the prerogatives of the Korean government are not usurped by French Catholic priests. Seventeen years of arduous work and many thousands of dollars have been expended in this Korean Province, and one of the most flourishing missions in the world has been the result. Whole villages have been Christianized. The people obey their temporal rulers, pay their taxes even though sometimes illegal, and ask no other physical conditions than other natives enjoy. This attitude has won for them the respect of the Korean government and more than once their districts have been exempted from excessive taxation on this account. These Koreans believe in securing better conditions not by defying the government but by evangelizing the nation. The idea may be branded by some as chimerical but all great reforms have been so branded. Whether it succeeds or not it is the true Christian attitude and these native Christians have won the admiration of the Protestant world. The Korean missionary field is pointed to as being the most successful of modern times. It is not to be expected, therefore, that the foreigners who are interested will allow this work to be wrecked or even temporarily paralyzed without bringing to bear upon the Korean government all the pressure they can.
This they have done and with success and it only remains for the Catholics to follow up their confession by penance, allow the Korean government to handle the offenders by process of law, and mete out punishment where punishment is due.
The only possible objection to be; made is that the government may punish cruelly and beyond reason. But this [page 120] fear is groundless, for the publicity which the affair has secured will follow the matter to the end and the very ones who are calling upon the government to do justice will be the first to oppose any tendency to overdo the matter. It is the old Anglo-saxon cry, “a fair field and no favor. “ It’s the cry which must prevail.
It is very gratifying to note that the French Minister from the start has apparently desired to have the matter settled on a basis of strict equity, but in this he is not seconded by the Roman Catholics in the country. They are making the Koreans promises of support which cannot be fulfilled, and which cannot fail to disappoint them
It is very natural that the Catholics should wish to smoothe the matter over and let the whole thing fall through, but if so what assurance have we that the same thing may not happen again? We have simply the word of a French priest who confessed to eight grave charges and promised not to repeat them but who a few days later fled from Hai-ju and rallied the Roman Catholic adherents about him in open rebellion against the Korean government. We have taken pains to learn the opinion of many who are better acquainted with the conditions prevailing in Whang-ha Province than we, and the opinion is unanimous that unless a definite settlement of this question is reached the people of Whang-ha will rise in insurrection and make serious trouble. We are informed from excellent authorities that:
“The conditions in Whang-ha are evident. Priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church have regular so-called government quarters established, with implements of torture, where, as is proved in the evidence, people have been tortured and even murdered. In the name of these self-constituted authorities a regular system of robbery and plundering goes on and the native officials are helpless, fearing complications with foreign governments. The question is whether this usurpation of power is to continue until the people rise in an insurrection which will endanger not one nationality only but all foreigners.”
Do the French Catholic authorities want justice done? For answer we state that the man Chang who inflicted torture on a Korean and killed him remained a leader in the Roman Catholic Church from September until March, when he was arrested by the commissioner. Can any one believe, after the confession made by Wilhelm, that the French priests were ignorant of this or any other of the crimes committed by their followers? The Korean priest Kim who ordered the torture which ended in murder is still at liberty, and do we hear of any eagerness on the part of the Catholics to have him arrested and punished as his crime demands? [page 121]
Again, the Frenchman who was sent to Hai-ju by the authorities in Seoul to look after the case told the commissioner that he would guarantee the appearance of several of the ringleaders if the commissioner would only call in his police. The commissioner hesitated, but finally put faith in the solemn promise and called in his police. On the day when these ringleaders were to be produced, .the gentleman who had guaranteed their appearance announced with a shrug of the shoulders that, “They have all run away!” Two of the worst culprits were in the house adjoining the one in which this gentleman was lodged, and had his promise not been accepted they could easily have been apprehended. Does this give evidence of zeal in the pursuit of justice?
What stands in the way of a full settlement of the difficulty? Evidently the hesitation which the Korean government feels in sending the necessary police or troops and executing complete justice. When the matter of sending troops was brought up the Koreans were told that they should not do this, as the soldiers would commit excesses in the country. We are credibly informed that Korean soldiers have never begun to commit the depradations which have been clearly proved in open court against the Roman Catholic Koreans in Whang-ha Province. If the Korean government feels hesitation about putting down rebellion and anarchy because of consideration for any outside power whatever, then she should be given assurance that there are those back of her who will see her through. The day has gone by when any power can cast anchor in Chemulpo harbor and command the Korean government at the cannon’s mouth to do thus or so, without having at least some semblance of a cause; and we dare affirm that if the Korean government should send a thousand troops to Whang-ha Province, arrest every man guilty of crime and inflict summary punishment upon every guilty Korean whether he be a Roman Catholic priest or a Protestant deacon there is not a power in the world that would dare raise a finger to prevent it. This the Korean government should know.
It will be impossible to give a detailed account of the trial of the different cases that have been tried in Hai-ju but we give below translations of various documents which speak for themselves.
January 13th. 1903.
EXTRACT FROM THE PETITION OF THE GOVERNOR OF WHANG-HA TO THE GOVERNMENT IN SEOUL.
“In the counties of Sin-ch’un, Cha-ryung, An-ak, Chang-yun Pong- san, Whang-ju and Su-heung disturbances created by the Roman Catho [page 222] lics are many in number and petitions and complaints are coming in from all quarters
“In some cases it is a question of building churches and collecting funds from the villages about. If any refuse to pay they are bound and beaten and rendered helpless When certain ones, in answer to petition, have been ordered arrested, the police have been mobbed and the officers of the law have been unable to resist it While investigating a case on behalf of the people I sent police to arrest Catholics in Cha-ryung. They raised a band of followers, beat off the police, arrested them, and dismissed them with orders not to return. Then I sent a secretary to remonstrate with them. At that the Sin-ch’un Catholics, a score and more of them, armed with guns, arrested the secretary, insulted him.” etc.
AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE GOVERNOR OF WHANG-HA YI- YONG-JIK, AND THE FRENCH PRIEST WILHELM IN PRESENCE OF THE INSPECTOR YI EUNG-IK. 8TH DAY 2ND MOON KOANG-MU (8TH FEB. 1903).
WILHELM SAID: My difficulty with the Governor is that he refused to summon Pak Chung-mu of Whang-ju, and get satisfaction out of him. Pak, on a certain night, hurled a stone into the church where Father Han lives, and for this reason complaint was made to the magistrate with a request that he be arrested. Pak was put in prison, but being powerful in his village, he went and came just as he pleased, so that there was really no punishment about it. Complaint was then made to the Governor, with request that he summon him and have him severely punished. The Governor replied. “I have no call to summon people from outside counties in this way.” I then thought, “Oh, yes this is because the Governor has no power to arrest people of outside counties,” till, all unexpectedly, he issued an order to arrest certain Catholics of Sin-an-po. Naturally, I thought this only a pretence at power on his part, so I had the police stopped and the prisoners taken from them, and then I sent orders to the churches saying, “If there is any further attempt to arrest people resist it with all your power.”
THE GOVERNOR SAID: The affair of Pak Chung-mu was settled by his being imprisoned in his own county, that was the reason. I did not arrest him and do as you asked. You say that I had not arrested him, and I had not, because of the law that regulates each district; but when there is a complaint laid by the people according to court regulations then the arrest is made. Since you were in doubt concerning the two actions on my part that looked contradictory, an inquiry would not have been out of place; but this raising a band of followers, stopping the police, setting the guilty ones free, teaching them to disobey the orders of the Governor, getting these Catholics into all sorts of sin, preventing the Governor from investigating the case, do you call that righteousness? My desire was to enlighten a darkened people (the Catholics), have them understand what was right, and so I sent a secretary from the office, at which you sent out a score and more of men armed with guns, forty li at night, and arrested the secretary, although he is a Government officer and guns are dangerous weapons. On whose authority do you do these things, and bow dare you on your own account arrest people and put them to torture?
WILHELM REPLIED: I know that such things are wrong and yet 1 did them intentionally; I did not know that you had any court rules, I had only your letter to go by. When I wanted to smoothe thing over and forwarded you a letter, you sent it back unopened. I was very angry.
THE GOVERNOR; What you say about only having my letter to go by means, you only thought of one thing and not of others. The reason I returned your letter was, that when you came with guns and arrested the secretary and I wrote you about it you made no reply. I was indignant and when you wrote me about the affair in Chang-yun, after not ….. (see page 123)
THE CASE OF THE FARMERS OF YU-MULPYUNG. IN CHALPYUNG AGAINST YI IK-HYUN, THE ROMAN CATHOLIC LEADER IN THAT PLACE.
Ten years ago the custom of farming out government land on shares was discontinued and the people of this town were allowed to till the government lands in their vicinity for their own benefit. But five years ago they were ordered to resume the old status. Some of them came up to Seoul to secure a reconsideration of the case but Yi Ik-hyun a Roman Catholic also came up and thwarted them. Returning to that place be secured the aid of police and Yamen runners who were Catholics and demanded that these farmers turn over to him the value of half the crops that had been raised on these lands during the previous five years. By threats and beatings he intimidated the people and extorted the sum of 4,975,000 cash but kept it all for himself. The people therefore ask that he be compelled to disgorge this money and be properly punished.
The commissioner says the man is a thief and will he attended to as he deserves.
The native papers say that on February 25th the Foreign Office sent a despatch to the commissioner Yi Eung-ik saying that the French Minister had been requested to recall the priest Wilhelm form the country. On February 27 Yi Eung-ik telegraphed the Foreign office that he found that the Roman Catholics had been committing serious crimes but that he was unable to arrest the criminals. He therefore asked for government troops The French authorities thereupon sent to Hai-ju Mr Teissier, student interpreter at the French Legation and Yi Neung-wha, a teacher in the French language school to see how the trial was progressing and it is generally understood that these gentlemen had instructions to give the commission any aid in their power toward a solution of the difficulties. On Marrh 17th several of the Korean Catholics most seriously implicated escaped from Hai-ju in spite of the assurances given by the French that they would be delivered up, without fail.
About the twentieth of the month the French Priest Dalcet and Mr. Teissier returned to Seoul. Wilhelrn was to have come with them but the Roman Catholics said that he had gotten them into the trouble and that if he should leave they would all be destroyed. They therefore forced him to stay, making serious threats in case he should try to leave.
As we go to press the situation in the north seems to be as follows. Desperate efforts have been made to have the investigation stopped and though a number of the Roman Catholic offenders have been superficially punished it remains to be seen whether the man convicted of murder will be given his just deserts. The investigation has not yet been suspended but probably will be soon. The native papers say that the French Minister has sent a very strong letter condemning the actions of Wilhelm and ordering him up to Seoul. It is gratifying to know that the French Minister has throughout this business shown a desire to have it settled properly, but we fear that unless the Roman Catholic adherents in the country are definitely given to understand that they cannot depend upon foreign interferance to save them from the results of their misdoings the people will rise against them and cause serious trouble. One thing has become quite plain, namely that this is not a case of Roman Catholic versus Protestant merely, or even mainly, but of Roman Catholic versus the people of Korea.
It is stated that the Belgians will secure a gold-mining concession at T’a-ak Mountain, at the point where Ch’ung Ch’ung, Kyong-sang and Kang-wun Provinces meet. It is said to be one hundred li square or 900 square miles. It is said they lend the Korean government 4000,000 Yen and work the mines for twentyfive years.
One of the saddest events of recent days in Seoul is the death of Rev. W. Johnson a newly arrived member of the Presbyterian Mission. Mr. Johnson on his way out from America lost his wife by sudden illness in Kobe and soon after his arrival in Seoul he was stricken with small-pox. The disease assumed a very malignant form and though be seemed to be pulling through successfully he succumbed on the 17th inst. and was buried at Yang-wha-chin the following day
We learn with pleasure that Mr. Pegorini of the Chemulpo Customs has been promoted to the Commissionership of the Fusan Customs.
The Seoul community was shocked and grieved at the news of the death of Miss Lefevre of scarlet fever in St. Petersburg. Mons Lefevre and family went to Europe via Siberia but was detained in Russia by the serious illness of Mrs. Lefevre and the daughter. After the daughter’s death the party moved on to France though Mrs. Lefevre was still critically ill. We trust they will be back in Seoul again at an early date.
On the 18th inst, a general meeting of the foreigners in Seoul was held at the Electric Company’s building, through the kindness of Messer Collbran, Bostwick & Co. The object of the meeting was to present to the public a plan for the establishment of a branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Seoul. The meeting was largely attended by a representative audience and H. N. Allen, the United States Minister, presided. An invocation was pronounced by Rev. A. B. Turner of the English Church Mission after which a vocal solo was rendered by Mrs Morris. After appropriate introductory remarks by the Chairman, Mr. Brockman, the general Y. M. C. A. Secretary for China, Korea and Hongkong gave an address showing the wide usefulness that this organization has attained and the progress of the work in Japan, China and India. This address could not but carry great weight with the audience, many of whom learned for the first time important facts connected with this world wide movement.
Mr. Brockman was followed by Dr. Takaki of the First Japanese Bank who gave a glowing description of the Association work in Tokyo with which he himself has been long connected.
Rev. J. S. Gale then spoke briefly in regard to the social condition of young men in Seoul and the value that such a movement would be to them. His statement of the case from the standpoint of an expert in Korean affairs was conclusive as to the enormous good that can be done in this way.
J. McLeavy Brown, L.L.D. of the Imperial Customs, then presented the financial scheme showing that such a work demanded the erection of a proper building, that friends in America had promised Yen 24,000 on condition that Yen 6,000 be raised on the field, and he commended the plan to the public as being fully worthy of their support.
The last speaker was Rev Geo H. Jones, Ph. D of Chemulpo, who made a telling appeal to the audience driving home the fact that such an association has as good chances of being a success here as it has proved wherever the movement has already been inaugurated. In an impassioned peroration he struck a chord in the mind of the public that cannot but bear large fruit.
Since that meeting a subscription paper has been circulated through a part of the community and more than half the necessary sum was immediately pledged. By the time this issue of the Review is out it is probable that Yen 5,000 of the necessary Yen 6,000 will have been pledged. It is seldom that the foreigners of Seoul have an opportunity to subscribe toward an object that will, more directly and beneficially affect the Korean people and we doubt not that all will feel inclined to encourage such an attempt to give an uplift to the young men of Seoul.
[page 123] …. answering my letter, why should I answer yours? As I did not wish to answer your letter, I had no desire to accept of it, and so sent it back.
WILHELM: When you sent me your letter you had on the envelope “Sa-ham” (reply) and so I did not send one in return.
THE GOVEERNOR: When I asked you a question was a reply not in order? I presume you had no answer to make.
WILHELM: Pak Chung-mu has not yet been punished sufficiently and now is it the square thing for you to appoint him a tax-colleetor? After you have arrested and punished him then I will ‘‘dismiss my anger.”
THE GOVERNOR: Last year in Whang-ju I made careful inquiry into Pak’s case, and while it is said he threw a stone, there is no definite proof. Still he was locked up. Whether he was guilty or not he has already been punished and now after several months what reason is there that we should not appoint him to work? I have heard that you beat Pak at your own church. What anger is there that you need further cherish? If you want him arrested and tried let a plaintiff bring the matter up in court.
WILHELM: I gave him ten blows with a paddle but that was not for the sin in question, it was because when the magistrate sent him to apologize to me he did not use polite language. Though I beat him his former crime remains still unpunished.
THE GOVEERNOR: When you are not an official is it right for you to take things into your own hands and beat the Koreans?
WILHELM: If I do not paddle them there is no way of bringing them to time. .
THE GOVEERNOR: Your beating Koreans on your own account is a crime. You have circulated a letter, too, among your people as a “preventative of abuses.” which can be summed up under eight heads, teaching them, (1) To disobey the orders of magistrates, beat the messengers, pay no taxes. (2),To hold private courts in your meeting-houses and churches, (3) To go into public offices and browbeat officers. (4), To arrest, paddle, and imprison without authority. (5), To collect money for churches from all over the country. (6), To cut down sacred trees in different villages. (7) To raise mobs, steal grave-sites, dig up bodies.. (8), To compel people to join your Church.
WILHELM: These eight different things are not to be done hereafter as they have been in the past. Have no further anxiety.
THE FIRST REPORT OF THE IMPERIAL INSPECTOR TO THE GOVERNMENT.
I have looked carefully into the disturbances among the people in the different counties, and the various crimes up to this date noted in the public records are only one or two in hundreds. Outside of two or three counties all the magistrates have been under this oppression, and with folded hands, are unable to stir. The poor helpless people sit waiting for doom to overtake them. Receiving Imperial orders to look into the matter, I have undertaken the task and daily crowds with petitions fill the court. There are no words to express the sights one sees, the stories one hears. Depending on the influence of foreigners, the Catholics’ issuing of orders to arrest is a matter of daily occurrence; their runners are fiercer than leopards, and the torture they inflict is that reserved for only thieves and robbers; life is ground out of the people, goods and livelihood are gone. Unless this kind of thing is put down with strong hand thousands of lives will be lost in the end. A French priest by the name of Wilhelm living in Chang-ke-dong in Sin-ch’un, a retired spot among the hills, has gathered about him a mob of lawless people. Their houses number several hundred. Many of them carry foreign guns so that country people are afraid and do not dare to take action. A number of those already arrested have been set free by this priest. Most of[page 124] those who have slipped the net have escaped there and now form a band of robbers. There is no knowing where trouble will next arise and it is a time of special anxiety. Those who assemble there at the call of the whistle, (bandit) are outlaws, and must be arrested. They may however make use of dangerous weapons, so we cannot do otherwise than be prepared for them. This is my report. Look carefully into it. Send word to the Office of Generals. Wire me permission to use soldiers and as occasion offers lend me a helping hand.
THE TRIAL OF A ROBBERY AND MURDER CASE BEFORE THE IMPERIAL INSPECTOR, 3RD MONTH, 5TH DAY, 7TH YEAR OF KOANG-MU (5TH MARCH 1903 )
The plaintiff a man of Pong-san Cho-ku-pang, by name Koak Heui-ho aged 42.
THE PETITION READ: IN the 8th moon of last year in my village of Eun-pa, the leader of the Roman Catholics, Chang Sa-ho, with many other Catholics as a following, entered my house, arrested me, and locked me up, took all of my household goods and supplies away and handed them over to the headman of the village, and then extorted the deeds of my fields and land, saving that my wife’s uncle Whang had stolen something from the Roman Catholic church, and that I being a relative, would know about it. “After bringing him here,” said they, “vou will get back your goods.”
In two or three days they caught Whang and after judging of his case, let me go, as there was no proof against me, but did not give back the goods or the deeds of the fields. They promised to give them back later. I then went to the priest and complained but Chang (the Roman Catholic Leader) said. “How can we give them back in response to an empty hand?”and with that he execrated me furiously. Being helpless, I gave 60yang ($12.00), and Chang then said he would look well to the matter, but he never gave them back. I then went to the magistrate (Pong-San Kun-su) and laid my complaint before him, and got an order for their restoration. This secured me the 60 yang but not the deeds of the fields. Again I laid complaint and again got an order to have them restored. Chang asked me why I made complaint before the magistrate and with no end or insult refused me so that I could make no use or the order, and now I specially ask that you get me back what belongs to me.
INTERROGATION OF KOAK HEUI-HO,
THE INSPECTOR: As regards this theft of Whang’s, because you knew and took counsel with him you have been arrested and imprisoned and your goods have been confiscated, and after the capture of Whang, if he had not involved you why would they not have given you back your goods? Tell the truth now about the affair
KOAK’S REPLY: Last year in the 8th moon 26th day (27th September) late at night, Chang Sa-ho, came with in many Roman Catholics to my home, arrested me, took me to the market-house of Eun-pa, put my feet in the stocks, imprisoned me, saying, “Your wife’s uncle Whang stole goods