It may not be too much to argue that spurred by the increasing influence of the viewpoint of maritime history, topics related to the history of international relations observed through the maritime area surrounding the continent, are drawing an increasing interest of the academic community in East Asia. In particular, in Korea, when the effectiveness and limitations of ‘maritime/ continental’ in the discussion about East Asian Community have been proved, it is being confirmed that the identity of Korea, which was found in East Asian Sea in history with ‘maritime/continental’, was not depending on the policy of maritime trade prohibition(Haegeum, 海禁) but the people’s actions in East Asia Sea, with whom carrying a ‘maritime intentionality’1. And one of those people was the drifter, who survived from the shipwreck.
Research on shipwrecks or the drifter in East Asia focusing on China, Japan, Korea, Ryukyu and so on, has produced a wealth of papers. And most of their topics tend to focus on the salvage activities or individual events in a country or between two regions.2 But compared with Japan, the related researches in Korea and China are still insufficient. Particularly, although Korea and China themselves are keeping a lot of drifting materials related to each other, works dealing with salvage activities and repatriation systems between two countries are still few in number. Personally, the reason should be that the related materials in Korea have not been sorted out effectively, as well as they in China.
This paper focuses on the historical materials on the shipwrecks in China, which have not been compiled separately. These materials, including information on shipwrecks rescue among China, Chosǒn, Japan, Ryukyu and other Southeast Asian countries, are basically scattered in different literature collections or massive archives. This paper aims at introducing the one rescue between Ch’ing Dynasty and Chosǒn among these materials to Korean academics. Certainly, other scholars have begun this work before. Since 1999, Liu Shiuh-feng(劉序楓), Tang Shi-yeoung(湯熙勇) from Taiwan and Matsuura Akira(松浦章) from Japan had begun collating the materials on the shipwrecks around the China coast.3 In addition, in 2004, Liu Shiuh-feng personally published a book with a high reference value, named Catalogue of Shipwreck Records in the Ch’ing Archives(Qingdai dang’an zhong de hainan shiliao mulu, 清代檔案中的海難史料目錄), which lists and catalogues some parts of Ch’ing Dynasty archives related to the historical shipwrecks.4 On the basis of these achievements, this paper will sort out and summarize the historical materials on the shipwrecks related to Ch’ing Dynasty and Chosǒn, and then introduce the relevant retrieval and use methods. Simultaneously, it will be illustrated that the importance of the comparison between the Ch’ing Dynasty archives and the Chosǒn’s archives.
Research to Materials on the Shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea in the Ch’ing Dynasty Archives in China (with the Searching Methods)
The Korean Peninsula’s geographical location, surrounded by sea on three sides, determines its inseparable relationship with the sea. The people, then, born on this land, are by nature carrying a ‘maritime intentionality’. Although Chosǒn Korea implemented the relatively strict policy of maritime trade prohibition, in effect the coastal people’s maritime activities—situations of putting out to sea without authorization—are not completely cut off, which give rise to the increase in the frequency of shipwrecks. The definition of the shipwreck involved in this paper is mainly for the drifters, namely the experiences of the ship’s personnel who managed to survive by drifting to other countries or regions and the cargo carried on board after maritime casualty. This reference scope differs from the relevant connotations in modern law, which has also been clearly pointed out in previous studies.
In Ch’ing Dynasty, shipwreck salvage and survivor’s repatriation between Chosǒn and China were an important part of the diplomatic relations between two countries. In particular, Chosǒn, as the tributary state of the Ch’ing, was an important vassal state in Ch’ing Dynasty’s foreign policy called “chershing men from afar(Huairou yuanren, 懷柔遠人)” and its drifters hence received preferential treatment. In addition, although most of shipwrecks were caused by natural factors such as severe weather, it was not excluded that some people had created an illusion of shipwreck intentionally. On the other hand, the local government conducted relevant inquiries and investigations when they confronted surviving the drifters from Chosǒn. And in principle, these processes would be recorded and reported to the central government. The materials preserved till now were parts of those records. And the other records about the interpersonal process between local scholar-officials and the drifters from Chosǒn were scattered in some local scholars’ anthologies. Similarly, the relevant records of the Chosǒn’s salvage for the drifters of Ch’ing Dynasty would also be delivered to the Ch’ing’s central government, which one were kept in the Ch’ing Dynasty archives. Furthermore, there were no lack of records about the shipwrecks among the historical materials well-known by the academics, for instance, the official materials like Da-Qing huidian(大淸會典), Da-Qing huidian zeli(大淸會典則例) and Da-Qing huidian shili(大淸會典事例). The materials on shipwrecks of Chosǒn in the Ch’ing Dynasty archives collected by author so far could be classified as follows:
Da-Qing huidian(the periods of Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong, Jiaqing and Guangxu) [大淸會典(康熙朝、雍正朝、乾隆朝、嘉慶朝、光緒朝)]
Da-Qing huidian zeli(Qianlong period)[大淸會典則例(乾隆朝)]
Da-Qing huidian shili(Guangxu period)[大淸會典事例(光緒朝)]
Qinding libu zeli(Daoguang period)[欽定禮部則例(道光朝)]
Qinding hubu zeli(Tognzhi period)[欽定戶部則例(同治朝)]
the archives of the Grand Secretariat(Neigedaku dang’an, 內閣大庫檔案)
the Ch’ing palace memorials(Gongzhongdang zouzhe, 宮中檔奏摺)
the Grand Council copies of palace memorials(Junjichu lufu zouzhe, 軍機處錄副奏摺)
the Grand Council imperial edicts(Junjichu shangyudang, 軍機處上諭檔)
Kangxichao Hanwen Zhupi Zouzhe Huibian[康熙朝漢文硃批奏摺彙編] (Beijing: Dang’an Chubanshe, 1984)
Shiliao Xunkan[史料旬刊] (Beijing: Beijing Library Press, 2008)
Mingqing Shiliao[明淸史料] (Taibei: Weixin Shuju, 1972)
Zhengzhi Guanbao[政治官報] (Reprint, Taibei: Wenhai Chubanshe, 1965)
Sanchao Chouban Yiwu Shimo[三朝籌辦夷務始末] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2008)
Qingdai Zhongchao Guanxi Shiliao Huibian[淸代中朝關係史料彙編] (Beijing: China International Culture Press, 1996)
Qingdai Zhongchao Guanxi Shiliao Xubian[淸代中朝關係史料續編] (Beijing: Dang’an Chubanshe, 1998)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Xuanbian[淸代中琉關係檔案選編] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 1993)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Xubian[淸代中琉關係檔案續編] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 1994)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Sanbian[淸代中琉關係檔案三編] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 1996)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Sibian[淸代中琉關係檔案四編] (Beijing: Zhonghua Book Company, 2000)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Wubian[淸代中琉關係檔案五編] (Beijing: Dang’an Chubanshe, 2002)
Qingdai Zhongliu Guanxi Dang’an Liubian[淸代中琉關係檔案六編] (Beijing: Dang’an Chubanshe, 2005)
Qingdai Liuqiu Guowang Biaozou Wenshu Xuanlu[淸代琉球國王表奏文書選錄] (Hefei: Huangshan Publishing House, 1997)
Qingdai Aomen Zhongwen Dang’an Huibian[淸代澳門中文檔案彙編] (Macao: Macao Foundation, 1999)
The above information are supplemented and revised on the basis of the prior researches of Liu Shiuh-feng and Tang Shi-yeoung. First of all, look at the ‘basic historical materials’ section. The parts of (1) to (5) and the archives compilation have been released in the form of publications, consequently for Korean academics there won’t be much problems in their use. Therefore, this paper will focus on the partial materials of (6) to (9) which have not been made full use in Korean academics.
(6) the archives of the Grand Secretariat. These archives were originally kept at the Grand Secretariat Storehouse in the Ch’ing imperial palace. A part of them were removed from the Storehouse when it underwent renovation in 1909, but the rest of them were not. After the overthrow of Ch’ing Dynasty, these archives changed hands several times, and were, at last, divided into two parts: the archives housing at the Institute of History and Philology in Academia Sinica in Taiwan, and the archives housing at the First Historical Archives of China in Beijing. These archives are including imperial decrees, edicts, memorials, tribute document, documents from the offices of the Grand Secretariat, documents from the offices for book compilation and so on. Memorials make up the bulk these documents. In addition, these archives contain valuable source materials for institutional historians. They record general administrative activities and legal cases, many of which cannot be found in the Ch’ing legal compendia.5 According to author’s incomplete statistics, there are 47 records concerning the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea that can be retrieved in the memorials written in Chinese, which are being housed at the Institute of History and Philology in Academia Sinica in Taiwan.6
(7) the Ch’ing palace memorials and (8) the Grand Council copies of palace memorials. Little by little Ch’ing Dynasty developed a secret memorials system after going through the three periods of Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong, by which local officials could delivered either government affairs or private affairs directly to the emperor. Compared with normal memorials, secret ones were characterized by high secrecy, quickness and nonstop to the emperor without registration in the cabinet. The royal memorials of this kind would be returned to the palace, so they were called “palace memorials(Gongzhongdang, 宮中檔)”. In addition, the Grand Council was established during Yongzheng period. After that, the memorials approved by the emperor would be sent to the Grand Council to be transcribed for future reference, thus these transcripts were called “copies of palace memorials(Lufu zouzhe, 錄副奏摺)”. Some of the memorials were written by Chinese while some of them by Manchu, and there were also situations in which written by both Chinese and Manchu. At the present, The Ch’ing Palace Memorials and The Grand Council Copies of Palace Memorials are collected in two places: one is the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, and another one is the First Historical Archives of China in Beijing. According to author’s incomplete statistics, there are 45 palace memorials and 56 copies of palace memorials concerning the Chosǒn shipwrecks among the archives written in Chinese, which are being housed at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan at present.
(9) the Grand Council imperial edicts. In the archives issued by the emperor, “in general, the order issued intentionally by the emperor, or the order which was declared to the all people immediately after memorializing is called ‘Yu(諭)’.”7 In Ch’ing Dynasty, in order to keep the archives on file, many vital government offices had a specialized records of imperial edicts. There is a kind of comprehensive records of imperial edicts in the Grand Council, on which the word ‘Shangyudang(上諭檔)’ was written down. Here is the introduction of this type of records. It was recorded by the bulk of imperial edicts that Ch’ing Dynasty’s supreme decisions on the important affairs of the politics, military, foreign affairs, nationality, economy and culture. In terms of the language, they were recorded both Chinese and Manchu. From 1986 to 1999, the First Historical Archives of China cooperated with Dang’an Chubanshe(檔案出版社) and Guangxi Normal University Press(廣西師範大學出版社) in order of priority, and successively reprinted and published the imperial edicts of the holdings from the period of Qianlong to Xuantong. However, up to now, with the full flow of the archival datamation, a majority of imperial edicts there have achieved the full-text digital retrieval. On the other hand, in Taiwan, the National Palace Museum keeps the imperial edicts of the Qianlong period to the Guangxu period, while there are a lack of volumes in each period. Due to its square shape, they used to be called like “the square imperial edicts(Fangben shangyudang, 方本上 諭檔)”. No matter where they are kept, then, the records involved the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea in the imperial edicts always belong to the category of diplomacy.
Secondly, look at the ‘Archives Compilation’ section. Except for (2), (4) and (5) in the above mentioned archives compilation publications, they are in accordance with some parts of the Grand Council copies of palace memorials since basically they are re-edited and reprinted by the copies of palace memorials. Despite of this, it is still a pretty low rate of usage in Korean academics. Since Liu Shiuhfeng has elaborated the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea in his book,8 it will be no longer detailed here. However, there are still a few points need to be added. Firstly, the records related to the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea included in the Mingqing Shiliao(明淸史料) can be retrieved in (7) and (8) of the ‘Basic Historical Materials’, so there is no need to list them separately. Secondly, according to Liu, there are 417 records in the Qingdai Zhongchao Guanxi Shiliao Huibian(淸代中朝關係史料彙編), in which there are 30 records related to the shipwrecks between the Ch’ing and Chosǒn. But in fact, according to author’s statistics, there are 33 records. Thirdly, records concerning the repatriation of Chosǒn’s drifters involved in the Sino-Ryukyu Relations Archives(Zhongliu guanxi dang’an, 中琉關係檔案) are urgent to be studied, since they belong to the remedy through third-party countries and reflect the handling of diplomatic affairs among the East Asian countries in the tribute trade system9.
Finally, look at the ‘Personal Anthology’ section. As the large number of literati collections in Ch’ing Dynasty, it is impossible to enumerate them one by one here. So there are only two collections, including the records about the communication between local scholars and Chosǒn’s drifters, will be introduced. First one, entitled Cibai shanfang shigao(慈栢山房詩稿), was a manuscript copy of a collection written and edited by a local scholar named Yu E 余鍔(T. 起潛 H. 慈 栢) from Hangzhou. There are two poems, Chaoxianguo xiaolian Cuidoucan hanghai beifeng zhi hang yu xianlinsilou wanghu youzuo yiyun he zhi(朝鮮國孝廉崔斗燦 航海被風至杭庽仙林寺樓望湖有作依韻和之) and Zeng Cui xiaolian(贈崔孝廉), concerning the Chosǒn’s drifter. In 1818, Yu met a Chosǒn’s drifter called Choi Du-chan(崔斗燦)(T. 應七 H. 江海散人, 1779-1821) at Xianlin Temple(仙林寺) in Hangzhou and they both wrote the presenting poems to each other, including the two poems mentioned above. These two poems could be compared with the same one included in the drifting record entitled Seungsalok(乘槎錄), which was written by Choi. Now the Cibai shanfang shigao is kept at Nanjing Library. The second one, which was entitled Goreyo fengsuji(高麗風俗記) (It will hereinafter be referred to as GF respectively) written by the local scholar called Qi Zhou-hua(齊周華, T. 巨山 H. 漆若, 1698-1768) from Taizhou, was included in a written collection edited by Qi himself and entitled Mingshancang fuben(名山藏副本). Qi had directly observed a group of Chosǒn’s drifters came from Jeju in Taizhou on 1741, and marveled at their high ethical attitudes and behaviors. He called Chosǒn Korea a high attitude nation by his words in the GF. Now the written collection is kept at the museum of Linhai City in Taizhou. Overall, the Korean academics need to pay attention to these two collections.10
For Korean academics, there may be some difficulties in using abovementioned historical materials because all of them are kept in the institute affiliated to Chinese government. Therefore, the following will briefly introduce the retrieval and usage of the above-mentioned historical materials, hoping to be helpful to Korean academics.
Currently, the First Historical Archives has opened some directories to search on its home page(http://www.lsdag.com/nets/lsdag/page/index.shtml?Iv=). You can enter the query page by clicking on ‘Use query(Liyong chaxun, 利用查詢)Directory query(Mulu chaxun, 目錄查詢)’ and select the categories of archives which you need to query in the column of “Archives Catalogue(Dang’an mulu, 檔案目錄)”. Then, enter the keyword in the blank of ‘Title(Timing, 題名)’. See Figure 1 below.
The National Palace Museum also provides the retrieval function of the database on its homepage(https://www.npm.gov.tw/index.aspx). It can be accessed by clicking on ‘Collection(Diancang ziyuan, 典藏資源)Database system(Diancang ziliaoku xitong, 典藏資料庫系統)Database of Ch’ing Palace Memorials and Archives of the Grand Council(Qingdai gongzhongdang zouzhe ji junjichudang zhejian mulu suoyin, 淸代宮中檔奏摺及軍機處檔摺件目錄索引)’. Then enter the keyword in the blank of ‘unlimited field(Buxian lanwei, 不限欄位)’ to search. See Figure 2.
However, two retrieval methods mentioned above can only retrieve the file number and the title. it needs to go to the collection places directly if you want to get the specific original text. The First Historical Archives’ address is West Flowery Gate, Forbidden City, Beijing, China, and the National Palace Museum’s address is No. 221, Sec. 2, Zhishan Rd., Shilin Dist., Taipei City, Taiwan.
In addition, the Institute of History and Philology in Academia Sinica provides online retrieval of the archives of the Grand Secretariat(Neigedaku dang’an, 內閣大庫檔案) (http://archive.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/mctkm2/index.html). Click on the ‘Free Trial(Mianfei shiyong, 免費試用)’ button to enter the query page, and enter the keyword in the ‘unlimited field(Buxian lanwei, 不限欄位)’ to search. See Figure 3.
Similarly, ‘Free Trial’ can only retrieve the title without browsing the original text, but if authorized, you can click ‘Authorized Use(Shouquan shiyong, 授權使用)’ in the main page and follow the prompt operation, and then, the original text can be browsed online. Unfortunately, if not authorized, it also needs to go directly to the collection place for inquiry. The collection place is located in the reference room of Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica and Fu Ssu Nien Library. The address is 128 Academia Rd., Sec. 2, Nankang Dist., Taibei City, Taiwan. It is suggested to use the following keywords (in Chinese) when searching the historical materials on the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea: Chaoxian(朝鲜), Gaoli(高丽), Piaofeng(飘风), Piaofeng(漂风), Zaofeng(遭风), Piaodao(漂到), Piaomin(漂民), Nanmin(难民), Nanyi(难夷), Yichuan(夷船) and Piaochuan(漂船). In particular, when visiting the First Historical Archives, recommendation is needed to be prepared in advance. As for the National Palace Museum and the Academia Sinica, it is no required.
The Importance of Contrasting the Historical Materials on Shipwrecks Between China and Korea: A Case Study of the Jeju People’s Drifting Incident in 1741
It should be noted that, although such a batch of historical materials on shipwrecks mentioned above in China can be used for the research, there are still some limitations if only focusing on them. The historical materials on shipwrecks, especially those related to drifting, are characterized by one-sidedness from the perspective of ‘the other’ since they were generally recorded by other countries. Consequently, in order to grasp the historical facts from a broader perspective, it is needed to cooperate with the relevant records of the drifter’s homeland as well, besides the information of the salvation country. On the contrary, Korean academics, as so far, have gained lots of researches about the maritime history, especially in the case study of Chinese and Korean drifters, in which has made considerable progress. But there still have considerable room for the use of the archives in China. The fact that the Korean academics themselves only rely on their own archives to carry out the study of the history of shipwrecks between Korea and China, is really a question needed to be reflected.
As we all know, the shipwreck survivors’ repatriation networks, which gradually institutionalized in the tribute trade system and became a reference for dealing with similar problems later, had existed in the pre-modern East Asian Sea. To be specific, the Asian countries had been treating each other’s shipwreck survivors in a reciprocal manner by rescuing them and offering them assistance to return home from the middle of 18th century, regardless of whether there are diplomatic or trade relations between two countries11. After receiving the returned drifters from other countries, the local government would investigate the drifter and make a record. In this way, the records of both countries can be compared and help to restore the original appearance of the drifting incidents. Therefore, this paper aims at showing many interesting topics that can be found by comparing the records of both countries in use of taking the actual case as an example. Considering that GF has been introduced to Korea, this paper will choose the drifting incident recorded in it as a case study.
The record of a Jeju drifting incident in 1741 in GF is described as follows:
In the summer of 1741, 20 people from Cholla sailed together to barter for rice. Suddenly hit by a hurricane, they were drifted to Shandong Province. Then the boat was flowed to Fujian on the condition that its mast was broken by wind and, in the end, arrived at Taizhou. 12
The same records concerning the accident above, which could be found in the official historical materials both in China and Korea, are as follows:
(the record in China)
Today a barbarian ship from Chosǒn Korea was drifted ashore, with 20 people including the owner Wen Longzhang and the helmsman Han Shoufa. They were all from So’an Island(所安島) in Yeong’am County(靈巖郡), Cholla. Because of crop shortage on the island, 19 pairs of saddles, 10 bags of undaria pinnatifida and a rattan cap were prepared by Wen Longzhang and others. And then they shipped to Dosi Port(都市浦) in Yeong’am County to barter grains. On their way there, they were hit by a hurricane on February 9th 1741. The ship was badly damaged and drifted to the Chuanjiao Sea(川礁洋), which belongs to Linhai County(臨海縣), Zhejiang Province. 13
(the records in Korea)
The 20 people, including Wen Longzhang, were from Yeong’am County in Cholla. They drifted to Linhai County in Zhejiang Province. One of them was died in disease and the others were escorted to Beijing. Under the emperor’s order, the Ministry of Rites demanded an interpreter to send the drifters to Uiju. 14
We were all from Jeju. On February 29th, the court of horses and carriages(Saboksi, 司僕寺) required 18 pairs of saddles, and thus we took them out by ship. But on our way, we were hit by a hurricane, and our ship lost its direction. Then, after the stern’s break, the ship was out of our control thoroughly, and drifted towards either the east or the west, for 42 days. Although being overwhelmed by feelings of depression, we were still afraid of drifting to Ryukyu. Because we were always the abomination in Ryukyu people’s eyes, it was not without the worry of being killed. Therefore, we threw out our identity tag with two characters ‘Jeju’, certifications and 40 taels into the sea.15
According to the words of these drifters, because the court of horses and carriages required 18 pairs of saddles, they took them out and shipped to Cholla on February 29th, 1741. But they were hit by a hurricane on their way, and lost the direction. After drifting for 42 days, they were survived from Linhai County in Zhejiang Province. On June 11th, they left towards Hangzhou. And they left Hangzhou on July 2nd, and arrived at Beijing on August 22nd.
As for the incident itself, there are no problems on the records by neither two countries. However, something interesting would come into sight through the comparison.
Firstly, look at the drifting path. According to the GF, the drifters drifted to Shandong Province at first, then to Fujian Province, and to Zhejiang Province at last. See Figure 4 below. It will bring up a question as follow only according to this record: from geographical perspective, how did the drifters realize this roundabout route, especially returning Fujian to Zhejiang?
But combined with the materials in Korea, it may be easier to be understood. According to the materials in Korea, the drifters drifted on the sea for 42 days. Here another similar drifting accident could be referred to. Choi Du-chan, who was mentioned above, was in a storm on his way from Jeju to Cholla as well in April 1818 and at last drifted to Zhejiang Province just for 16 days,16 which approximates 1/3 of the time Jeju drifters drifted. It seems that, compared with Choi, the Jeju drifters might drift to Zhejiang Province with a more devious route.
What needed to be considered here are the monsoon and ocean current. In particular, according to the materials in Korea, “after the stern’s break, the ship was out of our control thoroughly.” It can be, therefore, considered that the man-made forces at that time could no longer control the direction of the ship.
From the monsoon point of view, the monsoon was blowing from the continent to the sea in the northern hemisphere in February when the drifting incident took place. So in East Asia, it is the Northeast monsoon in February, as shown in Figure 5. And from the ocean currents viewpoint, February is just the enhancing period of Kuroshio Current. In cooperation with China Coastal Current, the direction of ocean currents can be shown in Figure 6.
Therefore, if the record in GF were true, there would be such a conjecture as below: the drifters drifted northward near Shandong Province under the effect of the Kuroshio Current, then southward to Fujian Province under the action of coastal currents, and then re-northward to Zhejiang Province under the influence of the Kuroshio Current in the Taiwan Strait. However, combined with Figures 5 and 6, it is obvious that the possibility of the conjecture mentioned above is minimal. A more reasonable explanation is that Jeju drifters once went north under the action of Kuroshio Current, but under the action of northeast monsoon they drifted southward again, and then delayed in landing under the action of ocean currents. This explanation is also in line with the “either the east or the west” that recorded in the materials in Korea. And obviously, the record in GF was exaggerated.
Next comes the question of the origin of the drifters. According to the record in China, the drifters were from So’an Island, Lingyan County, Cholla and the purpose of going to sea was to go to the Dosi Port for bartering grains. However, according to the records of Korea, it is clear that the drifters came from Jeju. Why is there such a difference between two records?
The drifters themselves explained that “We were still afraid of drifting to Ryukyu. Because we were always the abomination in Ryukyu people’s eyes, it was not without the worry of being killed.” So when they were interrogated by the Ch’ing government, they intentionally concealed their birthplace and lied that they were from Yeong’am County. Here comes a question: what did it do with Ryukyu? See the following record:
The prince of Ryukyu drifted to Jukseoru Pavilion(竹西樓) in Jeju in 1611. At that time, generals and ministers robbed ship and killed the prince because of coveting his treasures. … Since then, Jeju people must have evaded their home and pretended to be from Gangjin or Haenam when they drifted to foreign countries.17
However, the Ch’ing government obviously did not know so many details, and it seems that there was no strict verification in the interrogation process for the drifters. According to the records in Korea, these drifters had thrown their identity tag with two characters ‘Jeju’ into the sea before they went ashore, so they, actually, had no entity to confirm their identities. But, in the interrogation of the Ch’ing government, they went through the customs so easily. It is really an interesting topic. What is more interesting is that, as mentioned above, in the Ginyeonsokpyeon(紀年 續編) of Tongmungwanji(通文館志), supplemented in 1888, the drifters were still be recorded as “people from Yeong’am County in Cholla”. Finding the reason, certainly, is not the point of this paper. But undoubtedly, if we do not compare the historical materials of two countries, many facts hidden behind will be easily ignored.
Even though studies of history were mainly centering on the continent in the past, recently the increasing interest itself of the maritime history may be regarded as a reflection on the paradigm of their own research. The sea, however, can be no more a geographic space but not a historical field in the studies of maritime history currently. But if we take into account the fact that human beings are by nature social creatures at the end of the day, it is no doubt that the “maritime society”, relative to the continent, could be constituted by all ships sailing on there. Further, even the ship itself can also be seen as a concentrated social space. Michel Foucault remarked that “the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea.”18 In this space, sometimes the crews have been very diverse in their composition. For instance, according to the record by Choi Du-chan mentioned above, there were 50 people on the drifting ship, including tradesman, classical scholar, farmer and local governor. In such spaces success, the livelihood and even life itself not only depend on coordinated acts of seamanship, but how the order was maintained effectively. This should be the object of interest to the sociology, which typically focused on much larger and much diffuse social relationships.
In a word, it is hoped that the materials on the shipwrecks of Chosǒn Korea in the Ch’ing Dynasty archives mentioned above could provide new ideas for Korean academics. But the analysis of them should not only stay at the diplomatic level of the two countries but also, from the perspective of maritime history, give attention to the different maritime peoples themselves. Because the sea was a historical field separated from the land symbolically, socially and practically. Just like John Mack remarked, “It is only when we fully comprehend the extent to which the sea is constituted as a domain in its own right that the fuller significance of any such reconciliation of the sea to the land emerges.”19