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Korean Monument to Chinese General
Post Time:09/01/2017 Browse Number:

  Park Hyeon-gyu, a 59-year-old Doctor of Literature, is a Chinese language professor atSoonchunhyang University and the former chairman of the Chinese Culture Association in South Korea; he hasfocused on the history of China and South Korea for over ten years. More recently, he has conducted abundant research on the history of the Yiwu Army and “Qi’s Troop” (a troop disciplined by Qi Jiguang), which battled against wokou (Japanese pirates) in the Ming Dynasty. Last year, on the afternoon of November 11, hecame to Yiwu during a vacationto search for the birthplace of Zhang Haibin, an ancestor of over 2000 descendants of the Yiwu Army who settled in South Korea. Although hewas ultimately unable to find the exact place, Parks name and his magnificent feat left a deep impression on Yiwu’s residents.

  On December 5, Park Hyeon-gyuinitiatively provided the results of hisresearch since his visit last year. He stated that when he investigated the relics of Wu Weizhong (a Chinese military general in the battle against the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592) in the Korean Peninsula, he unexpectedly discovered seven different monuments to Wu, four of which were well preserved.

  I started doing research on Wu Weizhong last June.Focusing on theinvestigation of Wu’s relics in the Korean Peninsula took me about one year,Park Hyeon-gyu said. Here, Wu’s relics in the Korean Peninsula include existing relics and recorded relics, as well asall information relevant to the name of Wu Weizhong.To his surprise, during his research, he foundtablets dedicated to Wu Weizhong.

  Park Hyeon-gyu said that after combing through a number of documents and objects, he found that wherever Wu Weizhong marched, local people set up monuments to him, particularly in the southern region of the Five Ridges area, where Wu’s monuments are everywhere. It is a pity that most of them were destroyed in wars.

  In addition to the four tablets, the name of Wu Weizhong was also seen on two other monuments:

   “One is the Wu’anwang Monument at the Guanwang Temple in Andong, and the other one is the monument to defeating wokou in Jaseungdae, Busan,”Park Hyeon-gyu said.The Guanwang Temple in Andong is sometimes called Guandi Temple, which is used to enshrine and worship Guan Yu, a general of the Shu Kingdom.After the Japanese invasions of Korea in 1592 broke out, as the Ming troops entered and garrisoned, construction on the Guanwang Temple began on the Korean Peninsula. The Ming soldiers actively constructedthe Guanwang Temple, praying for Guan Yu’s help to defeat Japanese pirates. Inthe spring of 1598, Chen Yin firstly constructed the Guanwang Temple(South Guanwang Temple) out of the South Gate in Hanyang (Seoul) In April, Xue Huchen established the Guanwang Temple in Andong.

  “Engraved with the name of Wu Weizhong,the Wu’anwang Monumentis in the Guanwang Temple in Andong,Park Hyeon-gyu explained.The Guanwang Temple in Andongis located in the norther wing of the west gate of the Andong Palace. In the temple are also enshrined and worshiped, the stone figure of Guan Yu, the wood statues of Guan Ping, General Yang, Zhou Cang, and Zhao Zilong, and the Wu’anwang Monument. On the monument, with exception for the name of the creator, Xue Huchen, and the year and the date of construction, most of the writing has been worn. In contrast, the back of the stone tablet was well preserved. The 51 names of the heads of the Ming army,the generals, the assistant generals who were once stationed in Andong area are still clearly visible, as is the name of the stonemason. “Wu Weizhong, Deputy Commander in the battle against wokou” is written on the right edge of the back of the stone tablet. Park added, It can be speculated that Wu Weizhong participated in the construction of the Guanwang Temple in Andong.

  In early August in 1599, General Wan Shide ledGeneral Li Chengxun and his subordinatesto the highest peak in Busan, announcing to the world that they had successfully driven the Japanese pirates back across the sea, and he ordered Jia Weiyue to write an inscription and carve it into a stone tablet. On October 1, Han Shu reported the first draft of Jia’s inscription to the imperial court. Before long, the first draft had been completed, and the monument to defeating wokou in Busan was set up in Jaseungdae.“The monument clearly recordedthe great feat of the Ming army in the battle against wokou. Apart from the related people mentioned in the inscription, the names of 58 generalswho participated in the war were also written on the back of the stone tablet, and Wu Weizhong was one of them. ”(By Wang Zhijian, translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Xiamara Hohman)

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