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

Memories of the Manchu Wars of the Seventeenth Century in East Asia and Literary Descriptions of the Qing Dynasty

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2010, v.50 no.3, pp.128-150
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2010.50.3.128

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Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the memories of the Manchu wars and the manner in which literary descriptions of the Qing dynasty were made in several seventeenth-century-era stories. The descriptions of the battle of Simha (1619) used as subject matter for novels and the portrayals of the historical figures of Nurhachi and Huangtaiji are analyzed in order to identify the perceptions of the Qing dynasty implied in the novel texts contemporary to the change of regime from Ming to Qing. The battle of Simha was depicted concretely in such tales as Choe Cheok jeon, Kang Ro jeon, and Kim Yeong-cheol jeon. In these stories, the writers described the orderly and powerful Qing army in a positive manner. Even writing in an era in which the perceptions of the Qing dynasty were negative, the authors of these three stories realistically accepted the reorganized power structure centered around the newly emerging Qing,and its emperors Nurhachi and Huangtaiji were described respectfully as positive characters with magnanimity who could gain the trust of the people and unify all of China. This description of Qing dynasty China is the result of the conscious efforts of the writers to objectively understand the entity of Qing and critically reflect on Joseon dynasty politics.

keywords
Manchu wars Nurhachi Huangtaiji Choe Cheok jeon Kang Ro jeon Kim Yeong-cheol jeon battle of Simha

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