초록 close

Koreans began to use the Korean script extensively as a literary medium in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The combined use of the Korean alphabet and Chinese characters gained official sanction in the late nineteenth century when Korean came to be used in official documents and the civil service examination. Under the reforms of 1894, the government sanctioned the use of Korean in legal and official documents. Such texts could now be written in Korean, Chinese or in gukhanmun--a mixed style of Chinese characters and Korean. Nonfiction books began to appear in the mixed style. Works such as a treatise on agriculture, entitled the Nongjeong seobyo (Essentials of Farm Management) (1886.), a travelogue by Yu Gil-jun entitled Seoyu gyeonmun (Observations on a Journey to the West) (1895), and textbooks such as the Simsang sohak (Elementary School Textbook) (1896), published by the Department of Education (Hakbu) were all published in the mixed style. Korean became a central part of the curriculum in the modern educational system established nationwide in 1895. Translations of foreign texts further promoted the use of written Korean as a literary and educational medium. Pilgrim’s Progress by Paul Bunyan was translated into Korean in 1895 by James Scarth Gale. Vernacular Korean translations of Biblical texts also began to be printed in relatively large volume in 1882.