The Diary of 1636

The Second Manchu Invasion of Korea

Na Man'gap. Translated and with an introduction by George Kallander

Columbia University Press

The Diary of 1636

Pub Date: July 2020

ISBN: 9780231197571

336 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£24.00

Pub Date: July 2020

ISBN: 9780231197564

336 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $120.00£100.00

Pub Date: July 2020

ISBN: 9780231552233

336 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.00

The Diary of 1636

The Second Manchu Invasion of Korea

Na Man'gap. Translated and with an introduction by George Kallander

Columbia University Press

Early in the seventeenth century, Northeast Asian politics hung in a delicate balance among the Chosŏn dynasty in Korea, the Ming in China, and the Manchu. When a Chosŏn faction realigned Korea with the Ming, the Manchu attacked in 1627 and again a decade later, shattering the Chosŏn-Ming alliance and forcing Korea to support the newly founded Qing dynasty.

The Korean scholar-official Na Man’gap (1592–1642) recorded the second Manchu invasion in his Diary of 1636, the only first-person account chronicling the dramatic Korean resistance to the attack. Partly composed as a narrative of quotidian events during the siege of Namhan Mountain Fortress, where Na sought refuge with the king and other officials, the diary recounts Korean opposition to Manchu and Mongol forces and the eventual surrender. Na describes military campaigns along the northern and western regions of the country, the capture of the royal family, and the Manchu treatment of prisoners, offering insights into debates about Confucian loyalty and the conduct of women that took place in the war’s aftermath. His work sheds light on such issues as Confucian statecraft, military decision making, and ethnic interpretations of identity in the seventeenth century. Translated from literary Chinese into English for the first time, the diary illuminates a traumatic moment for early modern Korean politics and society. George Kallander’s critical introduction and extensive annotations place The Diary of 1636 in its historical, political, and military context, highlighting the importance of this text for students and scholars of Chinese and East Asian as well as Korean history.
Providing access to an important text that gives us a sense of life at the frontline of one of the most devastating military invasions in Korea’s history, The Diary of 1636 is a vital text, highlighting a part of Korean history that has been neglected.

About the Author

George Kallander is associate professor of history at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, where he is director of the East Asia Program at the Moynihan Institute. He is the author of Salvation Through Dissent: Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea (2013).