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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

descendants of Hakpong Kim Seong-il celebrating chuseok

This five-minute snippet of the descendants of Hakpong Kim Il-sông (1538-1593) preparing and celebrating ch'usôk is a part of a 51-minute documentary by National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (국립문화재연구소) called "Four seasons of the main line descendants of Hakpong" - a clumsy descriptive rendering of the Korean 학봉종가의 四季 (2002). I downloaded it from professor Lee Mun-woong's Visual Anthropology Archive in order to show it to the students in my on-going class - and having it available via Youtube seemed like the most secure method...

학봉 김성일 in Korean Wiki; born in Ûisông Kim lineage; was a disciple of T'oegye Yi Hwang with Sôae Yu Sông-ryong. Passed the highest civil service exam in 1567. He was dispatched to Japan in 1590 and returned early next year; in response to a memorial presented by one other official who warned that Japan's invasion was imminent, he maintained in his memorial that confusing people's minds (minsim) with the threat of invasion was more dangerous than "pirates of the island nation", for if the "people's minds" are lost, all the fortifications are of no use. (The Wiki entry says that Kim Sông-il has been wrongly accused of the lack of preparations before Hideyoshi's invasion.) Nevertheless, he took part in the defence of the country as an official, but contacted a disease and died during the hostilities in 1593.

T'oegye Yi Hwang
A small factoid is that one of the two founders of Trigem computer company is a direct descendant of Hakpong, and the other related to him through marriage; later, a descendant of T'oegye joined the company.

(So if your school library holds a good collection of T'oegye's works, it's quite likely a consequence of Trigem's support...)

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Comments to note "descendants of Hakpong Kim Seong-il celebrating chuseok" (Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated)

<Anonymous lankov> said on 9.10.06 : 

A very interesting person, even if, I suspect, not a nice to be close too. He is mostly rememebered for his diplomatic blunder, but he was a very remarkable personality indeed. He was known as a "tiger in the palace" for his habit of harangueing everybody, even sometimes a king. Also wrote an interesting descritption of Korean rituals, still a major source of information on these matters.

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