Historical Geography Research ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (2): 89-102.

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The Collection, Transmission, and Display of Geographic Knowledge of Northeast Asia During the Imjin War-A Study on Huayi Yanhai Tu

Liu Jing   

  1. Institute of China Studies, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai 200235, China
  • Received:2021-05-11 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-08-31


The Imjin War (1592-1598) was an important historical event with far-reaching influence in East Asia at the end of the 16th Century. The importance of the formation of Huayi Yanhai Tu, a map related with the war situation, is also noteworthy in academic cartography. Through a comprehensive analysis of both Chinese and Korean historical accounts, especially intensive examinations of the Annals of the Chosǒn Dynasty and Korean geographic records, this study reveals an increase in the exchange of geographic knowledge between Ming China and Chosǒn Korea during the late 16th Century. When the Ming official Song Yingchang, who was in charge of the military affairs in Korea, directed the production of Huayi Yanhai Tu (the Coastal Map of China and the Barbarians), he relied not only on his accumulated knowledge but also his direct experience in Korea. This led to the timeliness and accuracy of this map, showing a strategic transformation of the Ming government’s management of the Bohai and Yellow Sea region. There were profound implications behind his selection and handling of specific geographic information. The display and interpretation of seemingly minor information could be effective tools for presenting political stances and military thoughts.

Key words: Song Yingchang, Huayi Yanhai Tu, Imjin War, Chosǒn Korea, geographic knowledge

CLC Number: 

  • K928