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Lecture | Colloquium

Colloquium Translating the Samguk yusa

Thursday 14 April 2022
followed by drinks in the 'koffieruimte' of the Huizinga from 17.00 to 18.30
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

On April 14, the Centre for Korean Studies will host a colloquium on the first academic translation into English of the most popular premodern Korean text, the Samguk yusa (Forgotten Legacies of the Three Kingdoms) from the late 13th century. Often seen as a Buddhist history of the Korean peninsula, this text for the first time mentioned Tan'gun - thereafter seen as the progenitor of the Korean people. The text has a very complicated historical genesis, and its ubiquity sits in sharp contrast with the periods of neglect it went through.


The translation started around 1960 by Frits Vos (then professor of Japanese and Korean Languages and Cultures) has now been finished by his successor Boudewijn Walraven, and his successor, Remco Breuker. The translation was completed and revised, and the text was annotated and critically introduced, resulting in the first academic translation of one of the most important premodern Korean texts.

Both translators will give a short presentation on the text, the translation, and the difficulties and joys associated with bringing a thirteenth-century Korean text (mainly) in classical Chinese that contains the origin myth of Koreans as a people to a contemporary public in English.

The colloquium starts at 15.15 in Lipsius 22 and is followed by drinks in the 'koffieruimte' of the Huizinga from 17.00 to 18.30 .

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