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◈ 윤치호일기 (1900년) ◈

해설본문  윤치호

1. 12월 14일

1
14th. (23th of 10th Moon, Kyong-ja Year). Friday. Chilly-snow.
 
2
Another year nearly gone. This has been to me a year of motion and commotion. Some of the principal events in my personal history of the year as follows:
3
1. Fight with peddlers. Peddlers, the favorites of His Majesty and the curse of the country, tried to organize their hellish association in Wonsan in order to collect illegal taxes etc. Armed, as they were, with the edicts of the Palace and the official sanctions of the Peddlers Society, I had no right to prohibit them from coming to Wonsan. Yet I did everything that I could legally to check their unlawful practices. For instance, I would not allow them to sell their certificates of membership(帖狀) to anybody who was unwilling to join the association, or to sell them at the street corners or the market places; or to collect taxes from villagers coming to the fairs, or to exercise any judicial functions. These restrictions, welcome enough to the people, were galling to the peddlers, In order to strengthen their position, they enrolled the entire fraternity of coolies―about 300 strong―into their ranks. This was, on the part of the peddlers, a master stroke, as with the coolies on their side, they could easily suppress any popular opposition. Fortunately, a few instances of outrage committed by the coolie―peddlers gave me the pretext of prohibiting the coolies from joining the peddlers. Their claws thus taken away, the heads of peddlers thought it prudent to make themselves scarce in Wonsan. They went to Anbyon and from there they concocted all sorts of plots to overthrow me, as may be seen later on. February and March.
4
2. Trouble with the Chief-of-Police, 劉漢源.
5
Yu Han Ik 劉漢翼 used to be a common soldier. Hi frequented the Palace, during the life time of the late Empress, as a Ka Mu Pyong Jung, or a singing and dancing soldier! He sang and danced himself into the royal favors and was promoted to high offices. His influence secured for his brother the position of the Chief of Police first at Fusan then at Wonsan. This worthy is said to have been a Kuang-dai, or public buffoon, while his consort was a village sorceress 巫女. His sudden promotion to "Yang-ban" ship turned his head and in his manners and speech he out "Yang-banned" "Yangban". Well, when he came to Wonsan, I treated him with consideration. Now and then, he did things highly improper, usurping powers which did not belong to him. Avoiding as much conflicts as possible, I shut my eyes at many a little offense. Finally, it came to my knowledge that he had caught a counterfeiter of Japanese bank notes (?) ; that, the criminal being too poor to bribe himself out, a friend of his had been made to pay200.00 under the threat of being punished as the accomplice of the counterfeiter, and that Yu had gobbled up the money and set the criminal free. A secret investigation left no ground for doubt. I made the ex-buffoon to own his sin in public and to give back the money to the man. The cussed hypocrite swallowed the bitter pill of humiliation with pale cheeks and clinched fists. Unfortunately this affair didn't end here.
6
When the people of Wonsan, who hated Yu as a viper and feared him as a tiger, saw him thus humbled, they got up a mob and went to the police station to make Yu give up the petty sums of cash which he or his subordinates were said to have squeezed from the people. On hearing of this I hurried to the station and dispersed the crowd by promising them that I would redress their wrongs if they came to me with reliable proofs. A few days later I examined into their complaints and settled everything to their satisfaction.
7
Humbled to the dust by these checks, Yu, instead of mending his ways, conceived and matured his plans to revenge himself on the leaders of the people. Thinking, and that rightly too, that I would interfere if he arrested any of the people on his authority, he got, of pretended to have got, an Imperial Instruction to arrest certain Wonsanites whom Yu hated most. Of course this was clean out of my power. The people of Wonsan were thoroughly scared, for if the Police Chief could so easily secure an Imperial Instruction for arresting people who had no other crimes than that of having exposed the corruptions of Yu, who―especially those who have money―could be safe? They knew it was useless to appeal to me under the circumstances. No sooner were the two men safely locked up in jail under heavy chains(!) than Yu threw off the thin cloak of repentance and threatened to teach a lesson to the Wonsan people. The indignation and fear and hatred of the populace were brought to a climax on the 22nd of March, when Yu, on very trivial charges, whipped or bastinadoed several respectable elders of the town on the street under the gaze of hundreds of people. That evening, the Prime Minister, Yun Yong Sun, stopped at Wonsan on his way to Yung Hung. The people appealled to him for deliverance from the clutch of the infernal Yu. The Minister, naturally, told them to go to me. The populace got desperate. That night, about 10, a mob attacked the Police Station, smashing up windows, doors and furniture, making a bonfire of such combustible stuffs as they found. The Chief of Police jumped out of a back window and, through mud and paddy fields, escaped to the Japanese garrison. The mob then went about tearing down the houses of the policemen who had acted as Yu's minions. I had to go out, and after a long talk dispersed the crowd.
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3. The Procession of the Portrait of the Founder of the Dynasty 太祖高皇帝影幀行次.
9
Yung Hung, being the birthplace of H.M., the First King of the present dynasty, a temple 璿源殿 is built on the spot in which his 胎 was buried. A life-size portrait of His Majesty is enshrined in the temple. When the portrait was painted the robe, the crown(?) and the colors were royal, in contradistinction to being imperial. But, as His Majesty, the present King of korea, was promoted to the Emperorship of this hopeful Dai Han, the learned Doctors of Korean Divinity and the Palace women and the eunuchs and those others interested in such grave questions where so much money can be squeezed out of the treasury―in short, interested parties persuaded His Majesty that the Founder's portrait must also be imperialized, that is, painted yellow. So, the Prime Minister, the Master of Ceremonies, a eunuch of first rank, the Chief of the Private Library―if one knows what that means―a little secretary of the same, and several other officers, each of whom having from 6 to 15 chair coolies, and pony coolies, were sent up from Seoul to Yung Hung to bring the August Portrait to the Capital. The whole crowd was escorted by sixty soldiers. A big chair carried by 60 coolies, a little chair borne by 30 coolies, an incense chair carried by 8 coolies, yellow umbrellas, yellow lanterns, yellow flags carried by over 80 coolies in yellow robes, accompanied the procession. The whole crowd, over 300 strong, went up and down the 750 li between Seoul and Yung Hung like an avalanche of armed robbers, beating people, stealing whatever came within their reach, and extorting money from magistrates and magisterial servants. The soldiers had his coat and gun or anything that was cumbersome, carried by coolies made to bear the heat and burden of the journey without pay, and walked leisurely, one here another there, with pipes in their mouths and sticks in their hands. These braves, these defenders of this country, had feet as tender as those of a dancing girl. So most of them rode on horses taken from the country people by force. When a pony was not in sight, the soldiers would take the oxen from ploughs and straddled them to the next stopping place. Woe unto them who refused to give to the soldiers or the procession coolies anything they asked. The whole thing was a terror, a farce, a shame. As the magistrate of Tokwon, I had to run about, repairing the roads, looking after the coolies hiring and the accommodating of the big and little officers, their coolies, their soldiers. Couldn't sleep for several days and nights. It was sickening Korea is the veritable Hades!
10
The procession to and from Seoul cost the magistracies from over 10,000 Yangs to 5,000 Yangs each. All this falls on the shoulders of the people. I spent about 2,400 Yang for the first and 1,800 Yang for the second procession. Of this sum 2,000 Yang was defrayed by the voluntary offers of 李金堤, 金進士, 金移城 without my asking. Not a cash was levied on the people. Tokwon spent the least.
11
Be it said in justice that the high officers of the procession showed a degree of anxiety to keep order. But the rag-tag of the gang would not obey anybody. At least200,000.00 were wasted in the processions and the repainting or the yellow-izing of the imperializing of the innocent portrait.
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4. The Royal Inspector vs. myself.
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While I was busy in entertaining the procession etc. Yu Han Won, the ex-Police Chief of Wonsan, and the peddlers conspired to overthrow me. They being closely connected with the whispering favorites of His Majesty and with the leading officials in the Government, their plot was successfully arranged and carried into effect. A telegram was sent to the Palace by the peddlers to the effect that I had been the ring-leader of the mob who attacked the Police Station. An Inspector or 按廉使 or Royal Detective, armed with plenitude of power was sent from the Capital to inquire into the misdeeds of local functionaries in general and the causes of the popular outrages in Wonsan, in particular. A few days before the arrival of the Inspector to Wonsan, rumors went about to the effect that the special business of the Royal Detective was to find fault with me and to disgrace me. A friend of mine (北靑郡守尹字燮) who had an interview with the Inspector told me, about the 16th April, that I must pack everything up as the Inspector had secret instructions from high authorities to "blow the hair to find the scar" with me. 吹毛覔疵. I thanked my informant and replied that I had always been ready to go at a short notice.
14
On the 18th or 19th of April the Royal Inspector李南珪 came quietly to Wonsan. I had to pay him an official visit. So, I went to his quarters with my official seals, being determined to throw them at him in case he should show signs of hostility. To my agreeable surprise, I found him most affable and courteous. He told me that my administration did not belie the flattering reports he had heard of me. He congratulated me on the successful and economic way in which I had discharged the honorous and delicate duties of entertaining the Procession. He further volunteered the information that he had nothing to do in Wonsan or Tokwon except to investigate into the Police Station affair. When the people of Wonsan petitioned him to retain me as long as possible in my position, there being not a grain of truth in the malicious reports of the peddlers, his reply was. "The results of a good administration are real, therefore, I shall report the same to the Emperor for reward, but the slanders are false, hence they shall be duly cleared." 治有實蹟自當奏褒, 謗由靈誣亦當卞晰細事.
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The following two days he occupied in examining witnesses etc. in regard to mob outrages. Here again he threw no blame on me, as may be seen in his telegrams to the Government. 元港擾端 專由全成三申錫甫之提囚 其時警務謂奉勅敎而 民人認以矯勅 至有起擾 今兩民垂淚自現曰 有勅無勅唯俟處 分 卽此自現 可知無罪 然不敢⊙方 姑令牢囚 將此奏禀 俾蒙恩放. April 18th. On the 19th he sent another telegram to the Home Department, saying 港民釋疑在申錫甫全成三蒙放卽爲禀放. Yu Han Won was only responsible for the attack on the Police Station―and rightly too. On the 20th he went to the Tokwon saying that he had no business to go there except to find a quiet place to prepare his reports in. I visited him there and in the night of the 21st to bid him gook-bye. On my telling him that I had no desire to remain in the office, the Royal Inspector kindly said: "No, you are needed here. Hope to see you again when I come back in the Autumn."
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On the 23rd April, at about 3 p.m., the 鄕長 or the District Counsellor, came in a great distress and told me that the Inspector, that morning on his way to Mun Chun, called out the magisterial clerks etc., to the principal gate and told them "Your magistrate is disgraced or 封庫. Send this telegram to Seoul and post this proclamation, in Wonsan." In reading over the elaborately prepared proclamation, there was no charge made against me. The whole gist of the document was that "To love the people too much is worse than tormenting them too much." 愛民太過甚於虐民太過. He then exhorted the people not to follow after what is convenient and easy, nor to love what is new and strange. 勿趨便易勿嗜新異.
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The effect of the news on me was astonishment and then a sense of relief. I had nothing to be ashamed of. Can an official be disgraced on a better ground than that of loving the people too much? By my over-loving, had the people become unruly and disobedient? No! True they have smashed up the police station. But it is my principle that, as police station and officials are made for the people and not vice versa, when officials are corrupt and cruel and treacherous, the people ought to, especially in a country like this where justice is unknown, smash up anything and everything to teach wholesome lessons to the infernal officials. If my influence had instilled into the half-dead souls of the people some stirring sentiments of popular rights and public spirit―why that is my glory. I felt so easy, being unburdened of the anxieties of office, I slept better, through the nights, than I had done for months past.
18
The effect of my dismissal on the people was quite different. Simple old folks wept. Children on the street cursed the Inspector.
19
A few young fellow who went to a "Kisaing" house to have a good time were severely reproved by their elders for indulging in singing and music when the whole town and magistracy were in sadness. When, a week later, I was, to my disgust, reinstated in the office of Kamni, the people of Wonsan came to the Yamen with music and dancing. The people of Wonsan and of Tokwon prepared banquets. the former at Namsan, and the latter in a small temple 再醒庵 about one-fourth of a mile from the magisterial Yamen. It was affecting to see old men 70 years old dancing with their rubicund faces and snowy hairs. For days continued different guilds, even the women of Wonsan, sent me "tables of food", not always enjoyable but expressive of the kindly feelings of the populace.
20
When I first went to Wonsan last year, interested parties―Paing (彭翰周) and his parasites―had the rumors circulated that I would cut off the topknots and disregard the religious and social prejudices of the people. Paing succeeded in persuading certain Confucianists not only to get up a petition praying the Government to retain him in the kamniship, but also to incite the country people not to accept me as their magistrate. The latter plan didn't work, however. But the people soon found out that there was a vast difference between me and the bribe-taking, justice-selling, money- grabbing Paing. My integrity and kindness inspired their confidence and love. At the risk of losing my position, I protected with resolute hand the people from the extortions of various government agents who made havoc in the neighboring districts.
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5. Return to Seoul.
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The 17th of 4th moon, (O.S.) , or the 15th of May being the 61st birthday of my father, I applied to the Foreign Office for a leave. But I was refused. His Majesty would not, I was afterward told, let return to Seoul lest I might again be the President of the Independent Club. It almost looks as if His Imperial Majesty refused me a leave in order to be disgraced by the Inspector. Yi Too Yon(李斗淵) , the friend of the Inspector, told me that he, the Inspector, while in Wonsan, had six telegrams urging him to disgrace me, reason or no reason. By the way it is widely reported that Cho Byong Sick, the arch-demon of the government, and Min Kyong Sick, the Vice Minister of Home Department set the Inspector against me. Most likely.
23
The tardy grant of leave came only after the 10th May! Then the returning procession of the Portrait was on hand. That kept me busy until the end of the month. It was only on the 5th June that I could leave Wonsan for Seoul. Left my Darling and children in Wonsan as the travelling expenses would be too great in case we had to return to the port. Thanks to the magnificent constitution of the chair coolies, who seemed to feel no fatigue, we made the distance of 500 li in 3 days, inspite of the mountain passes and rocky roads which we had to overcome. It is needless to say that father and mother and sister were delighted to see me. I was no less so.
24
On the 25th of the 5th Moon, or the 21 May, father and I gave a big entertainment to all the high dignitaries of the whole government in the spacious halls of the new Chun-yon-jung or 天然亭. There used, by the way, to be a building of this name on the ground which the new brick foreign structure occupies. In 1882, when no Japanese or a foreigner of any nationality was allowed admittance within the gates of Seoul without a special permission of His Majesty, the old Shun-yon-jung was occupied by the Japanese Minister, Mr. Hanabusa. In the same year, during the mutiny of soldiers instigated by Tai Won Kun, the temporary Japanese Legation was razed to the ground by an infuriated mob. The ground had been left to weeds and neglect until the Independence Club in 1896-7-8 made it a kind of Club property. With the breaking up of the Club, the ground became once more a government property. Kim Yong Joon cajoled His Majesty into the grant of6,000.00 to build a foreign-style Chun Yon Jung, to be used as a government club house. Am told that only4,000.00 were put into the building―the balance into Kim's pocket.
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6. My sickly experience in Seoul.
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Except the pleasure of being with my parents, I had very little reason for enjoying my stay in the Capital. I was almost always sick to begin with. The poor food of Wonsan, the anxiety and fatigue I had undergone during the few months past, the forced march in a sedan chair from Wonsan to Seoul, seem to have told severely on my health. Hives, malaria, stomach-ache and sundry other ailments, made the heat and smell of Seoul more oppressive to my weakened constitution. Our house is big, with more rooms than I see the need of. With certain pulling down and other innovations, we might be able to have a decent house and garden. But my Father's way is not my way. His monthly expenses are great enough to keep his family and himself in a very comfortable and cheerful style, if he should dismiss unnecessary members of the household. But all irregularity, all noise, all disorder, all busy the live long day without actually doing anything―all dirt and dust everywhere―all this, so alike to the higgledy-piggledy management of the Korean government, seem to please the dear old gentleman better than order, system, cleanliness, which I prefer. Then the awful smell of Jun Dong, in the middle of which our house is located, is enough to drive a sane man crazy. Father has bought a beautiful site on a slope of Namsan and built a miserable foreign style two-story house. I wish he would build a permanent and suitable house on this site and live there, away from the disease-breeding odors and filthy surroundings of a mid-town house.
27
Then again my pessimism grew intenser every day in seeing and hearing of the infernal intrigues and damnable deeds of the big and little devils in the pandemonium―the( ) . The whole capital is nothing but a great gambling hell where chance and fraude rule the day―the night too, as in the Palace. As the easiest way to get office and money is to get into the Imperial Favor, and as the easiest way of getting there is to tell the biggest lies or to pay the highest bribes or to betray even the truest friends, men and women, each with some lies or some treacherous plots, run about in feverish excitement. Quacks, whose patent pills might have by chance, cured a eunuch or a palace woman; a sorcer or sorceress, through whom the spirit of the late Queen is said to communicate its wants and wishes to the Emperor; Lady Um's former day paramours, who seem to possess lasting attractions for her; bonzes, nuns and blindmen whose prayers(?) for the long life and happiness of the Imperial Family to the spirits of mountains and rivers are most efficient in drawing tens of thousands of dollars from the Palace; the minions of Foreign Legations and concession hunters, who, like Yi Chai Yon, Min Sang Ho, Yi In Yung, O In Taik, Hyon Sang Kun etc., care more for the interests of their Foreign masters than for the good of their native land; ex-coolies and ex-buffoons, whose dirty songs and vulgar dances are rewarded with important offices in the military and civil departments; an army of thieves and cut-throats, who, as magistrates and governors, coined heaps of dollars out of the blood of helpless people; a crowd of rascals who impose on His Majesty with so called plans of recalling or assassinating the refugees in Japan; actually hundreds of geomancers who had succeeded in persuading the Emperor to remove the grave of the Queen to a more lucky ground; physiognomists who examine the face of the Imperial Family every night to read what the god of fate writes on the "August Dragon" features and who can inform His Majesty, with unerring precision, who are loyal and who are treasonable, a pack of cheats, patronized by nobles and princes, who pretend to have invented armors impenetrable to rifle bullets, and bows and arrows more effective than the latest foreign arms of precision, and to whom the Emperor gave over15,000.00, while I was in Seoul, to manufacture these wonderful defensive and offensive weapons;―these are some of the specimens of humanity who make nights hideous in the Palace. Where lies are so remunerative, honesty is the worst policy. Reputation or rectitude or fidelity are laughed at with scorn. Everybody being on the qui vive to entrap someone into utterances or proposals that he may inform His Majesty as treasonable in order to get office or money, mutual confidence is utterly gone between friends. Suspicion, fear, and perfidy reign supreme. Nobody dares to talk to another in an undertone on the street. The so called newspapers 皇城新聞 and 帝國新聞 dare not publish anything but the official Gazette and China news copied from Japanese papers.
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7. Some public events of the year:
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The butchering of An Kyong Soo, who had to flee to Japan in 1898 for having started a plot to compel His Majesty to abdicate in favor of the Crown Prince, An returned to Korea last Spring, no one knows why.
30
Kwon Ung Chin met with the same fate. He cleared out of Korea in '95-6 for having been deeply implicated in the murder of the Empress. He returned to Seoul after An Kwon was served fight.
31
The appointment of Mr. Sands, the secretary of the U.S. Legation at Seoul, to the Advisorship of the Household. This was a work of Ye Chai Yon, Yi Yun Yong, Min Sang Ho, and the arch-eunuch, Kang Suk Ho. One of the first great services of this new Advisor was the transformation of the Police Office into a Ministerial Department!
32
The removal of the Queen's grave decided. The work of geomancers with Kil Yung Su at the head. Millions of dollars will again be wasted.
33
Yi Chai Yon dead. Nobody is sorry for his untimely death except Dr. Allen and a clique of Americans who found in him a useful slave to go-between them and the Palace. In spite of the notorious corruption of this long time, the Governor of Seoul, Dr. Allen saw nothing wrong in him. Gilt interest has a marvelous power of darkening one's visions. I wonder what Yi is doing now. If he be in paradise, St. Peter will have to keep a sharp lookout on the gold pavement.
34
The fall and rise of Kim Yong Joon. Yi Chai Yon and Kang Sulk Ho conspired to down him. Once it became so hot for him that he had to go to Shanghai for a change of air. However, he returned in July and picked up his lost influence with wondrous quickness.
35
His Excellency Cho Byong Sick was sent to Japan in September or thereabout as His Majesty's ambassador to attend the marriage of the Crown Prince of Japan. By putting his hob-nailed shoes on an elegant mahogany flower stand, the old fellow came near being ejected by the Japanese hotel keeper. He must have been a sight when he went to a banquet in a swallow tailed coat with his big Korean hat(갓) on. On his return he made His Majesty to promulgate a kind of a sumptuary law prescribing who should wear embroidered silks, who, the simple silks, and who, the cotton stuffs alone. A swallow tailed coat with a Korean get seem to be allowed by the law!
36
This has been a disastrous year to China. The Empress Dowager and Prince Tuan encouraged and co-operated with Boxers―a kind of Chinese Tong Haks 東學―to massacre missionaries, attack Legations and to clear China of foreigners in general. The hostility began as early as in May. The foreign powers sent an allied army which, after severe fights, took Peking. The old lady and her evil advisors had to clear out of the city double quick. So for the present, and for all practical purposes, China is going as an independent power. Thanks to the exclusive sway of Confucianism, China is a big Korea and Korea is a little China. The same religion, the same political system, the same moral standard, the same corruption, the same pig-headedness, the same aversion to improvement―the same end!
 

2. 12월 18일

1
18th. Rather warm. Chinnamo.
 
2
How I came to be here. His Majesty would not allow me to stay in Seoul. Sung-Jin (城津) was the first place they had decided on to transfer me to. Then through the kind offices of Mr. Pak Cheisoon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and of Koo Pom Soh, a physiognomist, I was transferred the Kamni of Chinnampo on the 25th June. In fact I swapped my post with that of Mr. Paing Han Joo, my predecessor at Wonsan.
3
My Darling and children joined me in Seoul early in July. For various cogent reasons we decided that my Darling should remain in the Capital for the time being. On the 20th of July, went to Chemulpo in the 10 a.m. train, and leaving the port at 4 p.m. the same day per the S.S. Owari Maru, arrived at Chinnampo about 2:30 p.m. the next day. Came to the Kamni Office directly on landing. Now I have been here fully five months. My impressions etc. of the new place!
4
1. Chinnampo was opened a treaty port in 1897-8. Being to Pyong Yang what Chemulpo is to Seoul. Nampo, or Chinnampo, had a short but a booming prosperity, soon after its opening. Merchants from Wijoo and Pyong Yang, flocked to the port, and building big houses, planned commercial enterprises and speculations with more courage than wisdom. The opening up of Pyong Yang as a treaty centre with the violent fall in the price of rice last year ruined many a merchant, both Korean and Japanese. The trade came to a standstill this year almost all the time until a sign of life returned in the late fall. The Customs receipts average( ) per month this year.
5
Six villages for the Korean community with 531 houses (the 30th of October) fully two-thirds of whose deeds are in the hands of Japaness and Chinese creditors. Nothing mending, all these villages will turn Japanese or Chinese within a few years. All the lots of the valuable land, including the main street running from the Foreign Settlement to the Kamni Office, are owned by the thieves, Yi Wan Yong and Paing Han Joo, who had bought up the lands some years ago, (when Yi was the Foreign Minister) dirt cheap by scaring the Korean owners that the Government would confiscate them for public uses etc. Then these scoundrals sell the land to Chinese by metres at enormous profit. By and by there will be no Korean living on the streets in front of the Kamni Office. The only remedy is to compel the thieves to sell the property around the Office to the Government, at a reasonable price, to be sold to Koreans only. But no hope!
6
There are about 340 Japanese, mostly in the Settlement, and between 260 and 300 Chinese in and out of the Settlement. Most of the Chinese are from Shan Tong, the beggarliest province in China. Their marvelous industry and skill as farmers: their patience and steadiness and cheapness as carpenters, masons, brickmakers and common coolies, their economy and perseverance in all undertakings, are gradually but surely ousting the lazy, foresightless and unthrifity Koreans from all these lines of employment. The only thing a Korean excels all other nationalities put together in is "hyup-chap" 挾雜, or cheating. The King cheats the Ministers; the Ministers cheat their subordinates; their subordinates cheat the people; the people cheat among themselves; until I have made up my mind to trust in no Korean, be his words as fair as fair can be. By the way, when a Korean is learned or able, 能, or clever 有才, shun him or kill him.
7
2. Paing Han Joo is a good specimen of the Koreans of today, his official career here was stinking corrupt. He pocketed all the monthly allowances60.00 of the office without doing anything for it. He drew out400.00 from the money intended to build the main office under the pretext of building the wall, which cost him only about150.00, if that much. He confiscated several thousand dollars from Chinese smugglers in North Pyongando and Whanghaido. He pocketed all after greasing the mouths of the chusas with30.00 to50.00. He changed the six officers of the Confucian temple at the rate of twice a month. At least 3,000.00 Yang or600.00 were realized in this vile traffic. He sold the position of "chipkang," or county officer, at 80 Yang, when the annual salary of this functionary ranges between 100 and 160 Yang. These are all known, but his hidden devilments nobody can tell. Besides four wives(?) , no woman was safe within his reach.
8
The thief found an able accomplice and tool, for all his nefarious trades, in the person of Kim Kio Haing, a Senior Chusa of the Office. It is notorious that Kim made his fortune by fooling Paing. So, I am told, what P. robbed of the government and of the people went mostly into the belly of his trusted Kim. Now this Kim is a Korean scholar with the Confucian precepts at his tongue's end. His habits are dirty both in and out.
9
3. Lottery (萬人契) is the curse of the surrounding districts. Governors outwardly forbid it but grant it on the receipt of bribes from400.00 to800.00. Multiplying, these figures by 22―the number of magistracies encouraging lottery―the Governor of South Pyongando would get, at the lowest,8,800.00 each time he sells his permission. Repeat this several times―the gain is enormous. The demoralizing effects of the lottery are apparent everywhere. Gambling, robbery, murders, bankruptcies, suicides characterize every Man-In-Kye or 10,000 men's associations. Each ticket is sold0.60. From the day of my arrival I have been fighting against this new curse to the country. Not only prohibiting such an association within my district, I confiscate the prizes that any may have drawn from the neighboring lottery and distribute the money among the country schools. This effort may be better than no effort; but, as the gambling mania is on everybody, I find it almost impossible to keep people from secretly joining the lottery associations in the neighboring magistracies.
10
4. The Korean Telegraph and Post Office at Chinnampo, is a curiosity in the matter of its location. Avoiding the business centres of the community, the Office is built away up on a high hill, out of touch with everybody. Six officers―three in each office, where as in the post office two even would be too many―keep the public means of communication as quiet as a monastery.
11
5. Personal. Unwell most of the time while in Seoul, I have been bothered by all sorts of complaints ever since my arrival here. Found the water undrinkable―tasting like highly flavored with rotten straw juice. The food is bad. The Koreans in this part of the country are excessively fond of garlics, and their culinary knowledge is in the most backward state. Then the rooms in the office are so small―hot, infected with millions of cockroches, detestable in smell and sight. The red soil smells bed bugs. For nearly a month I was laid up with coughs, fever and rheumatism. There is no foreign doctor at the port. A Japanese doctor, but he is said to be too proud to see a Korean patient. He has such a murderous look on his brutal face, too. Heavens deliver me from the necessity of applying to him for any cure.
12
But for the commodious 東軒 or official residence of Samwha, I don't see how I could have survived the oppressive Summer. I have never before suffered from heat as I did this year. Rather fortunate my Darling and children did not accompnay me. They might have suffered as much as I from the climate and the inconveniences. Yet how lonesome I am without them. As the winter sets in and deepens, my loneliness and mental depression at having nobody to love and to be loved are often intolerable. Insomnia is getting worse. Oh the tediousness of waiting for the dawn during these long and sleepless nights! I told my Darling to stay in Seoul during the winter, as my Father and especially my Mother would feel so lonesome and cheerless without their grandchildren playing before them. But in hours of fretfulness and weariness, I do wish I had brought my sweet wife and children to cheer me on my journey over this thorny path.
13
6. The Magisterial Yamen of Samwha is about 30 li from Chinnampo. It is surrounded by hills as bare as a bonze's head with, here and there, a few patches of pines reminding one what these hills once were. There is no river or stream of any size, hence no scenery of striking beauty around the Yamen. The houses are lower and meaner than those of Tokwon even.
14
The official number of houses within the magistracy is 5,433, while number of "Kyol(結) " is 2,393.88. The amount of taxes collected a year, at 3 Yg per house and 15 Yg per "Kyol" is 52,272.87 Yg or10,454.574. From this year 25 Yg per Kyol. This was proposed by Kim Ka Chin at the end of the year, thus not only adding taxes without consulting the wishes of the people, but also extorting money from them without a fair notice
15
There are 14 counties in the magistracy and 123 villages.
16
Each village has its schoolhouse, tiled mostly, supported by the contribution of the villagers. A refreshing fact this is. The only pity is that in these schools only rotten Chinese classics and histories are taught―nothing about Korea―nothing to make the learners to be progressive and alive. We are more Chinese than Koreans because we have been taught from childhood Chinese books only. We read like Chinese, write like Chinese, think like Chinese, worship like Chinese, govern like Chinese, and we are undone like Chinese―thanks to Confusius and its blooming flowers.
17
7. By the way, it is not fair to make Confucius responsible for all the evils and ills of Korea. Any religion, Christianity not excepted. will first elevate then invariably degrade and oppress any people, if it be given an undisputed or unprotested sway in a state. Look at what Confucianism has done for China, Korea and Annam. Brahmanism in Hindoostan, Mohammedanism in Turkey, Buddhism in Burma only strengthens cy conviction. The Greek Church of Russia, the Catholicism in the Latin nations of Southern Europe and in South America further illustrate that even a religion of the highest type ought not to be given a supreme reign in a state.
18
Happy Japan! Her feudal competition and sword kept her religions, Buddhism, Confucianism and Shintoism, from turning the fair islands into little China or India; while her religions so tempered her warlike spirit as to prevent her children from becoming merely the red-Indians of Far East.
 

3. 12월 25일

1
25th. Sunny and beautiful. Samwha.
 
2
The past few days, especially the 22nd. 23rd. 24nd, have been as lovely as the finest Spring days. This day has been to me as tasteless, both withins and without, as any other preceeding day. How I wish I could believe―no matter if irrationally―in the dogmas theological! I would then be happier, better and more useful.
3
When I think or try to think of the eternity behind me and the eternity before me; of the infinite space; and of the millions and millions of worlds, my poor head swims in the vastness of the contemplation. What an omnipotent and omniscient being the Creator must be! When I read and see and hear of wrongs and injustice and wickedness that have prevailed and do prevail and will prevail since the time immemorial down to the present and in the future my little mind can not help calling into question the justice or love of that being whom the English language calls God. What would you think of the King or Emperor who looks on with indifference at the injustice or cruelty of his governors and ministers to his people? If I were to allow my subordinates to beat and rob and murder the villagers under my jurisdiction, everybody would call me bad names―and possibly, unless I could bribe the judges, the law, such as it is, would hold me answerable for the evil deeds done by my servants. Now if God is just and good, how can he allow or let go unpunished the Kings and Emperors and others, either individuals or nations, who commit all sorts of injustice and crime?
4
It may be said that the Almighty God looks only to grand, final results and that in the accomplishment of His grand purpose, the minute-hand of His clock counts by millions of years, and His forces are billions of suns; and that His justice and love deal with countless worlds and not with individual. Doubtless such a Being is great and worthy of all admiration and awful reverence. But then what is He personally to me? How can He be touched in sympathy with my little sorrows or joys? Then no use of praying to Him or worshipping Him. One may argue that, while God works out the majestic destines of countless suns, His wisdom and power are no less manifest in the tiniest flower or the microscopic organization. True, but what does He care if a carload of these tiny flowers or a world of these microscopic beings were, as they are everywhere, crushed to death? In short the wickedness that has triumphed and is triumphing in Korea particularly and in the world generally drives me more and more to doubt the Fatherhood of God, unless He be an unnatural Father, devoid of love and pity.
5
When one puts his finger into a blazing flame, he will get burned, no matter if he were the Czar of Russia. Two and two will make four and liquids will seek the level always and everywhere. In nature and science the laws of the Creator are sure and right, and "in keeping of them there is great reward." But in religion and morality, there being no one invariable standard, each system has its laws and precepts coupled with punishments for their violation and rewards for their obedience. Yet so uncertain and irregular are these punishments and rewards that the laws, religious and moral, are broken with impunity and in whole-sale. Not only Turks massacre Armenians; not only orthodox Russians persecute Jews; not only Confucian and Buddhist Chinese slaughter Christian missionaries and Christians by the thousands, but also the soldiers from Christian Europe and America butcher the Chinese without regard to age or sex; first rape then mangle, then drown young and old women indiscriminately; burn and loot shops, temples; houses and palaces; destroy beautiful monuments and desecrate even the tombs of emperors. Among individuals, the violation of religious or moral laws is oftener followed by rewards than by punishment. In fact the more wicked a man is the more he flourishes "like a tree planted by the rivers of water." All this is an old, old story, yet ever new.
6
Now what perplexes me is why didn't God make moral laws as impartial and unchangeable as the laws of science? Then there could be no doubts, no fighting. It may be said that had God made moral laws as sure and inexorable as the laws of science, the beauty of choice would be gone.
7
A man would then be good because he couldn't help being so. But, the human nature being what it is, where one man may go to heaven for having chosen the narrow path of virtue, millions will certainly go to hell, if the teachings of many religions are correct. Now knowing, as God must know, what man is, can it be compatible with His love or fairness to let the countless human being run such a risk?
 

4. 12월 28일

1
28th.Friday. Gloomy―but not very cold.
 
2
As early as on the 11th ult, snow fell and water froze in shady places. This was soon followed by snaps of bitterly cold weather. The Pyong Yang river―the fresh water portion of the Taidong Kang was frozen on the 8th inst. The last boat for the winter was the S.S. Kyong Kui (京畿丸) which left Nampo about the 21 inst. But the weather for the last week or two has been very mild―too mild to be healthy.
3
My insomnia continues. No appetite. Dizziness the latest symptom. These monotonous days and lead-winged nights without anybody to love or to be loved make me crazy. The only one whom I care to talk with in the village is an old man of 75. He is a wiry little man with his senses unimpaired. He chats with undisguised pleasure of the "glorious" (훌륭한데) old days when the "Won-nim", or the magistrate of Samwha went about in a six-men-chair with thirty "Tong-ins", or ushers; fifty runners; thirty-eight big banners; musicians and bearers of pipes and tobacco pouches, of urine pots and spitoons, of tiger skin cushions and screens. He regrets that these fine things have all gone never to return; and sincerely pities me for not having been born early enough to enjoy them. His summum bonum of life is a well stocked harem and a set of good teeth to eat "kimchi" with. He voices the rooted conviction of the mass of Koreans when he says with a perfect resignation that the mountains and streams, wind and soil (山川風土) of Korea have made it impossible for us Koreans to be anything but dependent on some other nation. Wisely did Moses wander in the wilderness for forty years to let the generation of slaves who longed after the flesh pots of Egypt die out, making room for a new and independent-spirited generation. The Chinese books, with their faith-killing, and grossly materialistic ideals and precepts, have been the Egypt―a land of slavery―to us. The first thing a sensible Government should do would be the prohibition of all Chinese books in the primary schools. The present generation of Koreans, of which this knotty little septuagenarian is a fair specimen, accepts slavery as a predestined fate.
 
4
From this chatty old man I gather that when he was a lad:
5
1 mal of rice about 40 cash now 255 cash.
6
1 pair of sandals about 2 to 3 cash now 20 to 25 cash.
7
1 bundle firewood about 3 cash now 15 cash.
8
1 pouchful tobacco about 1 cash now 5 to 6 cash
9
1 chicken about 12 cash now 100 to 200 cash.
10
1 big ox or cow about 40.00 Yang now 145 to 200 Yang.
11
1 斗落 best paddy field about 50.00 Yang now over 200 Yang.
12
1 meal in an inn 9 cash now 50 to 600 cash.
13
1 piece cotton 20 cha cash 200 now 600 to 700 cash.
 
14
He tells me of a villager who walked 20 li, or rather 40 li in all, over two big mountains with three bundles of fire brush for which he was overjoyed or get the magnificent sum of 12 cash.
 

5. 12월 30일

1
30th. Sunday. lovely.
 
2
A perfectly lovely day―more like a day in May than one in December. Took a long walk over the hills of the village. A fine grove of pines back of the hamlet is the only attractive feature in the neighborhood.
3
Two pictures: Judging from what Korea has been in the centuries past, she would be what she is for the centuries to come. Yang-ban-archy with all its concomitant evils; Confucianism with all its stagnating formulas; hovel-and-"kimchi" standard of living; a paternal but grinding system of government; and a kind of a graveyard peace would reign over the land forever. Now and then, say eery four of five hundred years, when the corruption and crimes of a dynasty reach their climax, a new family of Kings would take the throne, introducing some much needed reforms― such as lightening the burden of the people or appointing a better set of officials. After the first or second King, the new dynasty would fall into the same old rut of corruption and oppression. The dunghills and cesspools, with their dreadful smells and sights, would continue occupying their prominent places of honor in every village and town. At the end of ten thousand years the Korean would be no cleaner, no more intelligent, living in no better house, with no better means of conveyance, no better system of teaching, no better art of healing, than the Korean has today, Stagnation and vegetation now and forever. A dismal picture this is.
4
But, thanks to the foreign influence and pressure, Korea must change willy-nilly. Either under a Korean or a foreign rule, rail-roads, telegraph, steamers and post will, in the course of the coming century, so revolutionize Korea that a Korean in the year of grace 2,000 A.D. will be a new creature, compared with the Korean of this day. By 2,100 A.D. these poor huts with cesspools all around will give place to decent brick houses. These bare hills and mountains now lifting up their haughty peaks to Heaven, silently cursing and accusing the ungrateful and beastly Koreans who have derobed them of their waving forests, will then again be clothed with the beauty of trees and flowers. The patient and long-suffering millions of the peninsula will then no longer be flayed to support in silk and delicacy an army of sorcerers and sorceresses. geomancers and physiognomists, fortune tellers and grave venders, eunuchs and legation slaves who now throng the Palace; but be taxed, with their consent, to keep public roads in order, schools in efficiency and national defenses in effective conditions. Sometimes I do wish I could come back to Korea after three hundred years to see the transformation that she may have gone through.
5
The Kobe Chronicle, which shows level-headedness and broadness of view on all other subjects, becomes singularly bitter and narrow directly it touches Christianity and missionaries. To throw a stone at this religion and its preachers, the journal never misses a chance, though often the mark. Of late the Chronicle has made it a common cause with certain Japanese papers to praise the Japanese troops sky high for their orderliness and humanity in Pekin and to attribute to Christianity everything that goes wrong in Northern China. The Kobe paper leaves in one's mind the impression that Christianity and missionaries are responsible for all the barbarities and atrocities that have been perpetuated this year in Pekin and its vicinities, from the Boxers' massacres to the outrages of European soldiers―notably Russians and French.
6
It should be remembered in the first place that Japan has learned her orderliness and humanity in war from Christian nations, so called. Without restraining public opinion, Japanese troops showed their cloven feet in the notorious Port Arthur massacres of '94. When she joined the allied forces this year, Japan was anxious, very anxious, to win the approval of her teachers and to wipe out the disgrace of '94. Her all absorbing and praiseworthy ambition is to be ranked with first class powers of the West. Thus Japan had, happily, more than one weighty reason to be "orderly" and "humane." On the other hand the other nationals of the allied army, too proud of their firmly established fame and power, careless of applause or censure, preferred silks and furs, retaliation and sensualism, to the unsubstantial considerations of human kindness. Be it far from me to deny that Japan does really deserve credit for her humanity―be the motive what it may―and that the European soldiers, in their brutality, have unpardonably cast the darkest reflections on their countries and religions. Yet I maintain that if Russians, the most barbarous of the allies, were in the place of Japanese, they would have behaved as decently as the islanders, and vice versa.
7
I have seen many a Japanese gentlemen―educated too―who, in the presence of foreign gentlemen and ladies, would ridiculously imitate, toward his wife, all the external signs and wonders of occidental gallantry. But, no sooner was the identically same gentleman out of the sight of his foreign friends, than he would "Ko-ra," "Oi," and "Omai" the identically same Japanese lady, treating her no better than a servant.
 

6. 12월 31일

1
31. Monday. A lovely day.
 
2
Another beautiful day, only a little colder than yesterday.
3
When I was in Wonsan I met with two remarkable persons. One was a Korean over three-score and ten. For the past thirty years, He assured me to have lived on flour made of pine leaves and water. In spite of his age, his eyes were bright, his hearing, good; his body, erect; his teeth, sound; and his steps, elastic. He could cover a hundred li a day for several days running without being the worse for it. He, with child-like simplicity, told me that he had seem, among the Sok-ni mountains of Chulla-do, two or three persons who had lived over five hundred years on pine leaves and water. I didn't press the matter too far, as I might have been subject to similar hallucinations, too, had I dieted on dried pine leaves and water for thirty years.
4
The other was a fair minded, impartial Japanese. Captain Ushi-oh (潮敬二) came to Wonsan in the Spring of '99 as the Commander of the Japanese garrison at that port.
5
He was a little man; but, in soled worth. I wouldn't give him for a carload of your arrogant, uppish semiforeignized Japanese. He had all the good qualities of a Japanese gentleman sans their Japanese blemishes. His politeness had no varnish; his kindness, no sugar coating; and his courage, no assassin's daggers peeping through it. He was sympathetic and thoughtful. He was so fair-minded that he reproved, to their faces, the petty tyranny and unjust practices with which his compatriots lorded it over the poor Korean. So impartial and frank the good Captain was that he was charged by some Japanese with having no Yamato Tamashi. All through his stay in Wonsan, he proved himself a constant friend to the Koreans. An impartial and sincere Japanese―a rare phenomenon! I expect to see a Korean who had lived five centuries on pine leaves and water sooner than another such fair-dealing and generous Japanese.
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