The Chinese History Podcast
King Kwong Wong on Koryŏ Korea Under Mongol-Yuan Domination

King Kwong Wong on Koryŏ Korea Under Mongol-Yuan Domination

November 27, 2021

In 1231, Mongol forces invaded the Korean Peninsula, beginning almost three decades of warfare against the Koryŏ Kingdom. In 1258, the Koryŏ court finally surrendered and the kingdom became a part of the Mongol Empire. King Kwong Wong, an independent scholar who specializes in the relationship between the Mongol-Yuan and Koryŏ, joins us to give a brief look into this fascinating period in Korean history. He will talk about why Koryŏ surrendered to the Mongol-Yuan, how the Mongols integrated Koryŏ into their empire, what that relationship came to look like, and how Koryŏ dealt with the fall of the Mongols in the second half of the fourteenth century.

Contributors:

King Kwong Wong

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King Kwong Wong is an independent scholar who received his Master's Degree in Chinese History from the University of Southern California. He is now working as a part-time lecturer at the Hong Kong University's School of Professional and Continuing Education. His research focuses on Koryŏ Korea during the Mongol-Yuan period, and he recently published a paper titled "All Are the Ruler’s Domain, but All Are Different: Mongol-Yuan Rule and Koryŏ Sovereignty in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries", which explores how Koryŏ literati viewed the idea of sovereignty and their state's relationship with the Mongol-Yuan.

Yiming Ha

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Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Credits:

Episode No. 3

Release date: November 27, 2021

Recording location: Hong Kong, China/Los Angeles, CA

Transcript

Bibliography courtesy of King Kwong

Images

Cover Image: Koryŏ noblemen hunting (see full image credits below)

Kanghwa Island, where the Koryŏ court fled to in order to escape from the Mongols (Image Source)

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Painting of Koryŏ noblemen hunting (also titled Crossing the River on Horseback) by Yi Je-hyeon (李齊賢, 1287-1367), currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced here with permission (Image Source)

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Painting on the Grand Hunting in the Heavenly Mountain by King Kongmin, currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced here with permission (Image Source)

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Empress Chabi (1225-1281) wearing a gugu hat. The hat is also known as a boghtagh (Image Source).

Select Bibliography:

Clark, Donald N. “Sino-Korean Tributary Relations under the Ming.” In The Cambridge History of China, vol. 8: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part II, edited by Denis Twitchett and Frederick W. Mote, 272-300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Duncan, John B. The Origins of the Chosŏn Dynasty. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000.

Henthorn, William E. Korea: the Mongol Invasions. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1963.

Kim Hodong. Monggol cheguk kwa Koryŏ: K’ubillai chŏngkwŏn ŭi t’ansaeng kwa Koryŏ ŭi chŏngch’ijŏk wisang [The Mongol Empire and Koryŏ: The Rise of Khubilai and the Political Status of Koryŏ]. Seoul: Sŏul taehakkyo ch’ulpanbu, 2007

Lee, Ik-joo. “Trends and Prospects: Historical Studies on Koryŏ-Mongol Relationship in the 13–14th Centuries.” The Review of Korean Studies 19, no. 2 (2016): 15–46.

Lee, Jin-han. “The Development of Diplomatic Relations and Trade with Ming in the Last Years of the Koryŏ Dynasty.” International Journal of Korean History 10 (2006): 1-24.

Lee, Kang Hahn. “Shifting Political, Legal, and Institutional Borderlines between Koryŏ and the Mongol Yuan Empire.” Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 29, no. 2 (2016): 239–266.

Robinson, David M. Empire’s Twilight: Northeast Asia under the Mongols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2009.

Shultz, Edward J. Generals and Scholars: Military Rule in Medieval Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000.

Yi Myŏngmi. 13–14-segi Koryŏ-Monggol kwan’gye yŏn’gu: Chŏngdong haengsŏng sŭngsang puma Koryŏ Kugwang, kŭ pokhapchŏk wisang e taehan t’amgu [A Study of Koryŏ-Mongol Relations in the Thirteenth to Fourteenth Centuries: An Exploration of the Complex statuses of the Chief Councilor of the Branch Secretariat for the Eastern Campaign, the Imperial Son-in-Law, and the King of Koryŏ]. Seoul: Hyean, 2016.

Yun, Peter I. “Mongols and Western Asian in the Late Koryŏ Ruling Stratum.” International Journal of Korean History 3 (2002): 51-69.

New Perspectives on the Zheng He Voyages: A Conversation with Sean Cronan

New Perspectives on the Zheng He Voyages: A Conversation with Sean Cronan

November 25, 2021

In this episode, Sean talks about some of the new scholarships and perspectives on the famous Zheng He voyages. Zheng He is widely known to history as the eunuch admiral who led several large-scale voyages to Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. For many Chinese, the story of Zheng He and his travels to the Indian Ocean (鄭和下西洋) is often seen as a symbol of China's friendship and diplomatic and commercial engagement with Southeast Asian, the Indian Ocean, and east African polities. For many in the West, Zheng He's voyages represent a period in time when China dominated the maritime world. But for both Chinese and Western audiences, the end of the voyages in the 1430s marked the end of China's engagement with the maritime world and is often viewed as the Ming's turn towards isolationism. However, new scholarships have emerged challenging this narrative. Sean discusses how these scholarships have led us to reevaluate the Zheng He voyages and what we can learn about the early Ming and early Ming diplomacy from them.

Disclaimer: We apologize for some of the audio issues in this episode. A few parts may sound a bit distorted.

We're now in the Best 20 Chinese History Podcasts on Feedspot! Check the list out here.

Contributors:

Sean Cronan

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Sean Cronan is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on East and Southeast Asian diplomatic encounters from the thirteenth to eighteenth centuries, tracing the development of new shared diplomatic norms following the Mongol conquests of Eurasia, as well as how rulers and scholar-officials in the Ming (1368- 1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911) institutionalized and challenged these new norms. He explores how ideas of multipolarity, regime legitimacy, and the makeup of the interstate order came under debate throughout the Mongol Empire, Ming China, the Qing Empire, Chosŏn Korea, Dai Viet (Northern Vietnam), Japan, the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Thailand, the Pagan Kingdom of Burma, and beyond. He works with sources in Chinese (literary Sinitic), Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Manchu, and Dutch.

Yiming Ha

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Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Credits

Episode No. 2

Release date: November 13, 2021

Recording location: Los Angeles/Berkeley, CA

Transcript

Bibliography courtesy of Sean and Yiming

Images

Cover Image: Statue of Zheng He in Malacca, Malaysia (Image Source)

A map of Zheng He's voyages (Image Source).

Zheng He's treasure ship vs. Columbus's ship. Photograph by Lars Plougmann (Image Source).

Another model of one of Zheng He's treasure ships. The Hong Kong Science Museum (Image Source).

Tribute Giraffe with Attendant 瑞應麒麟圖 (1414) by Shen Du (沈度, 1357–1434), currently held in the National Palace Museum in Taipei (Image Source).

Select Bibliography

Danjō Hiroshi 檀上寬. Mindai kaikin=chōkō shisutemu to Kai chitsujo 明代海禁=朝貢システムと華夷秩序  [The Ming Maritime Ban = The Tributary System and the Sino-Barbarian Order]. Kyōto: Kyōto Daigaku Gakujutsu Shuppankai, 2013.
 
Li, Kangying. The Ming Maritime Trade Policy in Transition, 1368 to 1567. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010.
 
Lo, Jung-pang. China as a Sea Power, 1127-1368: A Preliminary Survey of the Maritime Expansion and Naval Exploits of the Chinese People. Edited by Bruce A. Elleman. Singapore: NUS Press, 2012.
 
Sen, Tansen. "The Impact of Zheng He’s Expeditions on Indian Ocean Interactions." Bulletin of SOAS, 79, 3 (2016): 609-636
 
______. "Zheng He’s Military Interventions in South Asia, 1405–1433." China and Asia Vol. 1 (2019): 158-191.
 
Tsai, Henry Shih-shan. Perpetual Happiness: The Ming Emperor Yongle. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015.
 
Wade, Geoff. "The Zheng He Voyages: A Reassessment," Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 78, No. 1 (288) (2005): 37-58.
The Rise of Merchants: Maritime Sea Trade in East Asia in the 10th to 12th centuries

The Rise of Merchants: Maritime Sea Trade in East Asia in the 10th to 12th centuries

October 31, 2021

In our very first episode, Greg talks about some aspects of his research on the growing role of Chinese merchants in the East Asian sea trade between the 10th to 12th centuries. Diplomacy from the 7th to 9th centuries was dominated by official embassies that neighboring states dispatched to the Sui-Tang courts, but after the fall of the Tang dynasty in the early 10th century, private merchants from southeastern China began to dominate the maritime trading routes to Japan, Korean, and Southeast Asia. Greg shares with us some information about why that came to be, where these merchants came from, where they show up in the textual records, and some of the implications that this had for Sino-Japanese relations.

We apologize for some of the audio quality in this episode. We are just starting out and we are working to improve our audio quality!

Contributors:

Greg Sattler

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Gregory Sattler is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on sea merchants in East Asia from the ninth to thirteenth centuries, with a particular consideration of their place in society, their trade networks, and their relationships with government officials. Gregory has recently published an article titled “The Ideological Underpinnings of Private Trade in East Asia, ca. 800–1127” (Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University 6) and he is currently working on two additional manuscripts. He has received degrees in Taiwan and Japan, and is a proficient speaker of both Chinese and Japanese.

Yiming Ha

Yiming_16uz23.png

Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Credits

Episode No. 1

Release date: October 31, 2021

Recording location: Los Angeles, CA

Transcript

Bibliography courtesy of Greg

Tōjin sōbetsushi narabini sekitoku 唐人送別詩幷尺牘  (Chinese Farewell Poems and Writings). From the Onjō-ji collections 園城寺蔵, currently held in the Nara National Museum 奈良国立博物館. 

Image Source

Select Bibliography 

Ennin 円仁. Ennin’s Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law. Trans. Edwin O. Reischauer. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1955.
 
Reischauer, Edwin O. Ennin's Travels in T'ang China. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1955.
 
Sattler, Gregory. “The Ideological Underpinnings of Private Trade in East Asia, ca. 800–1127.” Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University 6 (2021), pp. 41–60.
 
Tackett, Nicolas. “A Tang–Song Turning Point.” In A Companion to Chinese History, ed. Michael Szonyi, pp. 118­–28. West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell, 2017.
 
Yamauchi Shinji 山内晋次. Nara Heian ki no Nihon to Ajia 奈良平安期の日本とアジア [Japan and Asia during the Nara and Hei'an Periods]. Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2003.
 
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