S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.44 (2008)
동아시아에 떠도는 김옥균 서사
- 李, 羲煥
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.44, pp. 75-98
- In this article, the Gabshin-year Coup, which was a very important event that marked the transformation of the very Modern period of Korea, and a person named Kim Ok-kyun who personally led that coup, are examined in order to reevaluate his actions and the meaning of this incident from an East Asian perspective, instead of a national perspective based upon the conditions of an isolated country. Since 1884 when the Coup took place, various entities from Japan, Korea and Chinese Qing dynasty have created all kinds of narratives regarding Kim Ok-kyun.
The "Asianists" in Japan portrayed Kim Ok-kyun as an extraordinary revolutionist and a tragic figure who had wonderful dreams, and they used his tragic death as a catalyst for the Sino-Japanese war. On the other hand, inside the Qing dynasty very negative narratives regarding Kim Ok-kyun floated around. As we can see from 〈Jeomseokjae Hwabo〉 which was published in Shanghai, Kim Ok-kyun was described as a very negative bad guy and a threatening official to the King.
Kim Ok-kyun narratives became an important motif in political novels and romantic plays in Japan during the Meiji era. Tracing the Kim Ok-kyun narratives that appeared in Meiji literature could provide us with important connections between them and Korean modern narrative literature. After Kim Ok-kyun"s honor was restored in 1894 by the Gabo Reform regime, Kim Ok-kyun was reinstated from a pro-Japanese figure and a treacherous vassal to the King, and was transformed into a modern visionary. He was also worshipped as a "Grand Asianist" during the early 1940s, the National literature period.