Pan’gye surok (or “Pan’gye’s Random Jottings”) was written by the Korean scholar and social critic Yu Hyŏngwŏn (1622-1673), who proposed to reform the Joseon dynasty and realise an ideal Confucian society. It was recognised as a leading work of political science by Yu’s contemporaries and continues to be a key text in understanding the intellectual culture of the late Joseon period.
Yu describes the problems of the political and social realities of 17th Century Korea, reporting on his attempts to solve these problems using a Confucian philosophical approach. In doing so, he establishes most of the key terminology relating to politics and society in Korea in the late Joseon. His writings were used as a model for reforms within Korea over the following centuries, inspiring social pioneers like Yi Ik and Chŏng Yakyong. Pan’gye surok demonstrates how Confucian thought spread outside China and how it was modified to fit the situation on the Korean peninsula.
Providing both the first English translation of the full Pan’gye surok text as well as glossaries, notes and research papers on the importance of the text, this four volume set is an essential resource for international scholars of Korean and East Asian history.