Wrongful Deaths: Selected Inquest Records from Nineteenth-Century Korea

Paperback | November 14, 2013

Translated bySun Joo Kim, Jungwon Kim

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This collection presents and analyzes inquest records that tell the stories of ordinary Korean people under the Choson court (1392-1910). Extending the study of this period, usually limited to elites, into the realm of everyday life, each inquest record includes a detailed postmortem examination and features testimony from everyone directly or indirectly related to the incident. The result is an amazingly vivid, colloquial account of the vibrant, multifaceted sociocultural and legal culture of early modern Korea.

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This collection presents and analyzes inquest records that tell the stories of ordinary Korean people under the Choson court (1392-1910). Extending the study of this period, usually limited to elites, into the realm of everyday life, each inquest record includes a detailed postmortem examination and features testimony from everyone dir...

Sun Joo Kim is the Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History at Harvard University. Jungwon Kim is assistant professor of Korean history at Columbia University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9.03 × 6.02 × 0.65 inPublished:November 14, 2013Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295993138

ISBN - 13:9780295993133

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Translators’ Notes Map of Nineteenth-century Korea

Introduction Choson Korea in Its Last Century

Case 1 An Adulterous Widower Meets a Violent DeathYang Hang-nyon (P’yongyang, P’yongan Province, 1866)

Case 2 A Family Activist Confronts a Local MagnateMs. Pak (Yongin, Kyonggi Province, Late Eighteenth Century)

Case 3 A Defiant Slave Challenges His Master with DeathYi Pong-dol (Anui, Kyongsang Province, 1842)

Case 4 Two Widows FightMadam Chang and Ms. Un (Yech’on, Kyongsang Province, 1842)

Case 5 A Heartless Wet Nurse Abuses an InfantMun Chong-ji (Chunghwa, P’yongan Province, 1866)

Case 6 A Widower Seeks Private SettlementMs. Chong (Yongch’on, Kyongsang Province, 1889)

Case 7 Adultery Leads to MurderMs. Paek (Anak, Hwanghae Province, 1897)

Case 8 An Illegal Burial Begets a Son but Kills a RelativeKim Kap-san (Hoeyang, Kangw n Province, 1899)

Notes Glossary Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

This collection presents and analyzes inquest records that tell the stories of ordinary Korean people under the Choson court (1392-1910). Extending the study of this period, usually limited to elites, into the realm of everyday life, each inquest record includes a detailed postmortem examination and features testimony from everyone directly or indirectly related to the incident. The result is an amazingly vivid, colloquial account of the vibrant, multifaceted sociocultural and legal culture of early modern Korea.This is an important contribution that significantly advances our knowledge of nineteenth—century Korean legal history. The translated cases shine by being able to introduce daily struggles of nonelites and illustrate the complex dynamics of the judiciary system during the last century of the Choson dynasty. - Jisoo Kim, George Washington University