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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Joseon Maps and East Asia

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2008, v.48 no.1, pp.46-79
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2008.48.1.46

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Abstract

This paper has examined how the people of Joseon understood East Asia as depicted in its old maps. A great majority of Joseon maps of the world and foreign countries were made from imported source maps. Naturally, the con- sciousness of the original cartographers was transplanted along with the infor- mation in the maps. Once they were copied and used in Joseon, however, East Asia came to be understood from the Joseon perspective. The most important factor seems to have been their Sinocentric worldview.WhileGangnidopresents an excellent overview of all the continents, Mat-teo Riccis World Map gives a panoramic view of the vast world, comprehen- sive enough to include even the New World. We should pay close attention to this. The sizes of Joseon and Japan give some clues to understanding the stance of fifteenth-century Joseon. Quite a few Joseon intellectuals did not see that the vast world presented in Matteo Riccis map conflicted with the Sinocentric geographical notion.Inverted maps of Japan were very popular among Koreans from the seven-teenth to the nineteenth century. And Ryukyu was remembered as a commerce state in the minds of Joseon people. Many Joseon intellectuals believed that the Netherlands was a country in Far Southern Sea and actively engaged in trade with Japan.

keywords
Joseon maps East Asia Sinocentrism Gangnido Matteo Ricci Shanhaijing Gyoki-style map Haedong jegukgi Tsushima island Ryukyu

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