This article discusses developments among Jurchen tribes on Chosŏn Korea’s northeast frontier during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. By the sixteenth century, it is often argued, Chosŏn court officialdom had thoroughly internalized Sinocentric ideology, and this caused them to despise Jurchens as barbarian outsiders. By exploring court debates and poetry related to Jurchen uprisings in northern Hamgyŏng, however, this essay argues that Sinocentric ideology was only one factor in sixteenth-century Chosŏn views of the Jurchens. The long-established relationship of certain Jurchen groups with the Chosŏn court and the important role that Jurchens played in Chosŏn’s defense also influenced Chosŏn attitudes. Even Sinocentric ideology, whereby Jurchens were considered inferior barbarian outsiders, could be used rhetorically to call Chosŏn officials to treat their Jurchen inferiors with paternalistic concern.


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pp. 23-44
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