Filozofická Fakulta

Ve službách vlasti. Cesta do Ruska v denících Min Jŏnghwana a Jun Čchihoa

Ve službách vlasti. Cesta do Ruska v denících Min Jŏnghwana a Jun Čchihoa

In April 1896, the delegation of Korean King Kojong 高宗 was sent to Russia to attend the coronation of Czar Nikolay II. For this journey two important figures of the Korean pre-modern history were appointed: Min Yŏnghwan (閔泳煥 1861 – 1905), Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Great Chosŏn, with his aide-de-camp, the Vice-Minister of Education Yun Ch’iho (尹致昊 1864 – 1945), the leading personality of the later Independence Club. Both of them documented this six month journey in their diaries – Haechŏnch’ubŏm and Yun Ch’i ho Ilgi. These serve not only as important documents of the level of Korean knowledge about foreign countries at the end of the 19th century, but also draw the interesting portraits of two Korean intellectuals on the eve of modern era, their ways of thinking, expressing emotions etc.
Nevertheless, the main objective of this paper is to present – by samples of both diaries – the essence of the concept of the mission as a service to the country through suffering in various forms and ritualized situations. Min Yŏnghwan and Yun Ch’iho, although travelling together, having a distinct education, background, religion, experience etc., differ in their point of view on everything, therefore also their stress on such phenomena like e.g. service, nation, home, duty and dignity vary. Various prototypes of expressing sufferings and seclusion may also record the main paradigms of this constant of the Korean literati’ travelogues.