By Lee Jong-hwan
(World Korean newspaper publisher)
Seoul, July 4 (World Korean News)= Wouldn't the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592 have a tremendous impact on Koreans living in the Liaoning Peninsula in China? Maybe their existence has been lost by the war? I thought of this when I visited Beiling Park in Shenyang, China.
Beiling Park is a park located in the north of Shenyang City. It is a park where the royal tombs of Hongtaiji, the emperor of the Qing Dynasty, are located. This park has the name Sorung, but it is called Beiling because it is located in the north of the city.
I visited this park the day after the inauguration ceremony of the Korean Association of the Three Provinces in Northeast China. It just happened to be Saturday, so the park was crowded from morning. Entering quite far from the main gate, a statue of Hongtaiji appeared. It was bigger than the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. The gate to the royal tomb appeared after passing the statue of Hongtaiji.
Hong Taiji was the king who overthrew the Ming Dynasty and conquered the Chinese continent. His grave was magnificently decorated. But what was impressive was that there was no grass growing in his tomb. It is said that the tomb was made by mixing three types of soil to prevent lawn or grass from growing.
Hong Taiji invaded the Korean Peninsula during the Joseon Dynasty. This war is called the Manchu war of 1636. He invaded Seoul with 200,000 Manchurian soldiers. His troops attacked Namhansanseong Fortress. He was surrendered by King Injo of Joseon and captured many Koreans.
Looking at his tomb, I thought about whether the Qing Dynasty would have been created without the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592.
There is a book called Pyohaerok written in the Joseon Dynasty. It was written by Choe Bu (AD 1454-1504), a scholar during the reign of King Seongjong of the Joseon Dynasty.
He was on his way to his hometown of Naju from Jeju Island for his father's funeral when his ship was wrecked. He drifted through the sea and landed on land in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. After being questioned by local officials, he moved to Joseon via Beijing and Liaoning. The whole process is included in the book, Pyohaerok.
He wrote in his book what he saw while passing through the liaoning Peninsula at that time.
"In Haizhou and Liaodong areas of the liaoning Peninsula, Chinese and Korean, Manchurian people live evenly. Most of the people who live from Seokmunryeong Pass to the south to the Yalu River are people who migrated from Joseon. Their clothes, hats, language and women's ornaments are the same as ours."
The Haizhou mentioned here is the current city of Haicheng in Liaoning Province. liaodong is the present liaoyang city. Seokmunryeong Pass is located in Fusun near Shenyang. In other words, Joseon people lived from Shenyang to Yalu River in the liaoning Peninsula .
There is a similar content in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. This is the records of 14th year of King Sejo (1468) .
"The number of Koreans in Dongnyeongwi (liangyang city) was 30,000 during the reign of Hongmu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1398) and 40,000 during the reign of Yeongnak Emperor (1403-1424). Of the Liaoning population, Koreans make up 30 percent. Koreans are concentrating on Liaoyang to the west, Kaizhou to the east, and Haizhou to the south."
Where did these many Joseon people in the Liaodong Peninsula go after the Japanese Invasion of Korea? Were they included in the Ming army and came to the Joseon Peninsula to help Joseon, but were they sacrificed in the war?
At that time, the Ming army was led by Yi Yeo-song, a Korean. Lee's father, Lee Seong-ryang, was the commander of the army in Liaodong. The commander was responsible for suppressing the rise of ethnic groups in the Liaoning area.
When the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, the Koreans of Liaoning followed Lee Yeo-song, the eldest son of Lee Seong-ryong, as relief soldiers from the Ming Dynasty. They fought against the Japanese invaders.
As the Koreans left the liaoning Peninsula, there was a power vacuum in the area. I thought that the Manchurian built the Qing Dynasty through that opportunity. The war which Japan invaded the Joseon Peninsula was not limited to the Korean Peninsula. This war even affected the Korean community in the neighboring Liaoning Peninsula, China. And when the Korean people, who played a role in suppressing the Manchurian Yeojin people, were put into war. In the end, the Manchurian Yeojin people established the Qing Dynasty.
**(This translation was sponsored by Oh Won-Seong, former chairman of the Korean Association of Dallas.)