ABSTRACT

During its latter days, the Kingdom of Goryeo had relations with manyother countries besides China, and the concept of gyorin (交隣) wasdeveloped to explain the international relations of the Korean peninsulafrom a Confucian point of view. After the establishment of the JoseonDynasty, when the ideological content of Confucianism was clarified,Joseon intellectuals sought to adjust the concept of gyorin to render it moresuitable for the international relations of their era. By gradually eliminatingall non-confucianism elements from the concept of gyorin, most notably theBuddhist world view, they established it as a purely Confucian concept,characteristic of the early Joseon Dynasty. The concept of shidai (事大) wasalso important at this time, and by maintaining a distinction between this concept and gyorin, the possibility of independent development wassuccessfully preserved. The way in which gyorin reflected the internationalrelations of that time can be seen from Joseon’s relations with diverseneighboring states. With countries like Japan and the Ryukyu Kingdom,Joseon applied the concept of gyorin through dialogue premised upon amutual and equal relationship, but Joseon also sometimes sought to buildunequal relationships with other parties, and this was also regarded as arealization of the concept of gyorin. The importance of the concept ofgyorin can be clearly understood from its usage in such texts as Haedongchegukki (海東諸國記), which was compiled during the reign of KingSeongjong in order to codify established diplomatic institutions andprotocols.

KEYWORD

gyorin (交隣), confucianism, international relations

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