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Xuanhe fengshi Gaoli tujing 宣和奉使高麗圖經

Oct 19, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Xuanhe fengshi Gaoli tujing 宣和奉使高麗圖經, short title Shi Gaoli lu 使高麗錄, is a report of a diplomatic mission to Korea writen by Xu Jing 徐兢 (1091-1153), courtesy name Mingshu 明叔, style Zixin jushi 自信居士. He hailed from Ouning 甌寧 in the prefecture of Jianzhou 建州 (modern Nanping 南平, Fujian) and was sent to Korea in 1124, during the Xuanhe reign-period 宣和 (1119-1125) of Emperor Huizong 宋徽宗 (r. 1100-1125) of the Northern Song dynasty 北宋 (960-1126).

Xu stayed more than a month at the court of Koryŏ (Chinese reading Gaoli 高麗) and began to write down the report still during his travel. The 40-juan long book was submitted to the throne, and Xu was rewarded with the title of a metropolitan graduate (jinshi).

The book is divided into 29 chapters explaining themes like the foundations of the state of Koryŏ and its dynasty, important personalities, the ritual and administrative system, customs and habits, traffic, sea routes, and the system of official communication at the court. The chapter on the sea routes to Korea (haidao 海道) alone covers 6 juan and is very detailed. The original book also included maps and illustrations but these were lost at the beginning of the Southern Song period.

The report was printed several times during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), also in Korea, and is included in the series Baichuan xuehai 百川學海, Shuofu 說郛, Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書, Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Sources:
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