(Translation) 李睟光 外國3
|Translator(s)||Participants of 2018 Summer Hanmun Workshop (Advanced Translation Group)|
In this section of on Foreign Countries(外國), Isugwang lists countries ranging from those around Japan all the way up to the Islamic world around the central Asia.
One interesting point is that here he mixed empirical record and thing that seems fantastical to us. However, based on his assertion in his own preface, he might well have taken all of these description to be faithful to the reality in some sense. In his preface, he says "as to the things mythical and strange, I did not record a single item(若事涉神怪者, 一切不錄)." Thus, things such as the Country of Beasts and black tigers that transforms into human shapes might have been real enough to be recorded in his book.
As for the apparently fantastic countries, he seems to have been affected by both the Classic of Mountains and Seas(山海經, Shanhaijing) and Matteo Ricci's Complete Geographical Map of Ten Thousand Countries(Kunyu wanguo quantu 坤輿萬國全圖)." Ricci himself incorporated the fantastic animals and countries in his new world map. For example, the Country of Beasts Isugwang describes is located on the northeast of Japan near the North Pole in Ricci's map. This location roughly matches Isugwang's description. According to a research on 坤輿萬國全圖, Ricci was also using the Classic of Mountains and Seas to supplement the information he heard from the European explorers.
- "자서(自序)." http://www.krpia.co.kr/viewer?plctId=PLCT00004513&tabNodeId=NODE04082994#none
- Zhang, Qiong. 2015. Making the New World Their Own: Chinese Encounter with Jesuit Science in the Age of Discovery. Leiden: Brill. pp.73-35.