Go to contents

Chungmu-gong Did Not Write the “Hamgyeong-do Diary”

Posted April. 05, 2005 23:46,   


A one-page “Hamgyeong-do Diary,” allegedly written by Admiral Chungmu-gong (Lee Sun-sin) [1545~1598] while he was serving as a military officer in Hamgyeong-do, in fact turned out not to be his work, on April 5.

Song Wu-hye, who is writing “A Critical Biography of Lee Sun-sin,” revealed that “Hamgyeong-do Diary” is a document in which Hakbong Kim Seong-il (1538-1593) copied a portion of “Bukjeong Ilrok (Ilrok: daily record),” his diary while working as an itinerary inspector in Hamgyeong-do, with the handwriting of the “Nanjung Ilgi (War Diary)”.

The contents of the document, excluding a few letters, are almost the same as a certain portion of “Bukjeong Ilrok” (page 507), written on March 18 in the 13th year of King Sunjo of Joseon Dynasty. “Bukjeong Ilrok” is included in “Hakbong Jeonjib” which was published in 1972.

In particular, the date changed from the 18th day to the 8th day. Song said, “As the date was corrected, the year of the diary was changed from the 13th year of King Seonjo (1580) to the 16th year (1583). That’s because someone wanted to fabricate the document as Lee Sun-sin’s.”

The document was verified in 1967 by Nosan Lee Eun-sang (1903-1982), a Korean ode poet, and Lee Ga-won (1917-2000), a scholar of Chinese classic and former professor of Sungkyunkwan University, as the writing of Lee Sun-sin, and was donated in 1999 by bibliographer Lee Jong-hak(1928-2002) to Hyunchungsa, Asan City in Chungnam.

However, it is not known why nor who made the document.

After reviewing the two documents, Lee Wu-seong, the chief executive of the Korean Classics Research Institute who also participated in the compilation of “Hakbong Jeonjib,” said, “The handwritings of the two documents are hard to distinguish since they are too similar, so even the expert Nosan seemed to be unable to notice the difference.”