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Korean Records of Relations With Japan and Ryukyu : The Haedong Chegukki from the Early Choson Period
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Between 1392 and 1592—a period bounded by Japanese pirate raids along the Korean coast and Japan’s invasion of Choson Korea—more than 4,600 Japanese trade missions were recorded by the Choson government. In response to these missions, the famous official Shin Sukchu compiled regulations, specifics about interaction with the Japanese, and other materials, which were printed in 1472 as the Haedong chegukki. Additional information introduced in 1512 created a still more detailed report for overseeing Japanese and Ryukyuan diplomacy and trade. The 1512 text, translated here into English for the first time, shows in rich detail how Korea managed these foreign relations for some two centuries and the great lengths to which contact, trade, movement, and other aspects of presence were administered in Choson. Korea-Japan trade practices are depicted in numerous profiles of Japanese contact from Tsushima to Kyoto, including the use of impostor identities designed in Japan for trade and diplomacy in the second half of the fifteenth century and sixteenth century.
Copious notes and explications supplement the present translation of the Haedong chegukki. They provide the reader with the background information necessary to identify the names and places mentioned and understand their relation to Korean and Japanese political history and the structure of relations that linked the two countries. Historians of Korea, Japan, and East Asian foreign relations will find the translation a most valuable resource.