Note on Translation

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Note on Translation of the Veritable Records of Joseon Dynasty

This is a sample translation of selected texts from the Joseon Wangjo Sillok (hereafter referred to as the Sillok), or Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty (aka Veritable Records of the Chosŏn Dynasty).

The entries cover from the introduction to the eighth month of the first year (1419) of King Sejong.

This translation is based on the Mt. Taebaek version of the Sillok, which is a version that had been stored at the archive in Mountain Taebaek during the latter phase of the Joseon dynasty and is now serviced online since 2005 by the National Institute of Korean History.

Romanization of Korean names follows the Revised Romanization of Korean proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea in 2000. Also, pinyin and Hepburn systems of romanization are used throughout for Chinese and Japanese terms, respectively.

Numbers appearing in parentheses ( ) refer to dates such as a person's birth and death year and a king’s reign year.

The texts that appear in square brackets are not originally part of the Sillok but interpolated for clarity.

Years in numbers are in Common Era notation, while the month(s) and day(s) are in lunar calendar.

On the head of each entry are listed the year of king’s reign, the year in Common Era in parentheses, lunar month and day, and sequence of the entry of the day. e.g. Year 1 (1419), Month 8, Day 11, Entry 1

The header of each entry is not in the original text of the Sillok; it is to summarize the body of the entry.

In rendering Korean or Chinese terms or book titles, the English equivalents of the terms or titles are followed by their original forms in Classical Chinese characters.

Following texts as well as many other works were taken into consideration in translating the institutional titles of traditional Korea: “Korean History Thesaurus” and “Glossary of Korean Studies” serviced by the National Institute of Korean History and the Academy of Korean Studies respectively, William H. Wilkinson’s The Corean Government (Shanghai: Statistical Department of the Inspectorate General of Customs, 1897), Ki-baek Lee’s A New History of Korea (trans. by Edward W. Wagner with Edward J. Shultz. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), and James B. Palais’ Confucian Statecraft and Korean Institutions: Yu Hyŏngwŏn and the Late Chosŏn Dynasty (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996).

Translation of Chinese institutional titles generally follows Charles O. Hucker’s A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985).