Sim Kiwŏn’s Revolt and the Return of Im Kyŏngŏp

Sim Kiwŏn’s Revolt and the Return of Im Kyŏngŏp


  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: An Iksin, Sim Kiwŏn, Im Kyŏngŏp, Injo, The Manchu Invasion of 1636, anti-Qing mentality
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Sun-ah Lee



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In the spring of 2007, a novel entitled < Namhan Fortress (Namhan sansŏng)> was published. This novel is unique in that it perfectly captures the dilemma faced by Chosŏn at the time of the Second Manchu Invasion (pyŏngja horan). More to the point, Chosŏn found itself having to choose between continued adherence to its perceived moral obligations and the reality on the ground. In this regard, the main protagonists of this story are King Injo, who sought refuge within the walls of Namhan Fortress, Choe Myŏnggil, an advocate of the taking of a reconciliatory course of action, and Kim Sanghŏn, a member of the group that rejected all forms of heterodoxy. The story of the life of King Injo, who had come to the throne after having overthrown his uncle the Kwanghaegun, is without a doubt an interesting one. In the novel, King Injo is described as a tragic character who consistently agonized over the need to strike a balance between his kingdom’s moral obligations and the reality on the ground. One even feels a certain sense of sympathy for Injo who was forced to accept personal dishonor in order to save his beloved kingdom. The revealing of this side of King Injo has caused the traditional perception of this monarch to undergo certain changes.

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