Kaito Shokoku-ki (海東諸国紀)

"Kaito Shokoku-ki" (lit. Record of the Eastern Nations) is a historic book about Japan and the Ryukyu Kingdom written in classical Chinese by Joseon Dynasty minister Suk-ju SHIN. It was published in 1471.

After being dispatched to Japan as the recorder of travel logs for the Joseon envoy, Shin wrote the book in 1443 under the order of King Seongjong and it records details including those of Japan's Imperial Family, lords (influential people throughout the ages), place names, the state of national affairs, the movements of the diplomatic mission, and rules of the reception met by the envoy, and so on.

Content

Maps including those of the whole of Japan, Kyushu, Iki Island, Tsushima Island and the Ryukyu Kingdom, and picture of the Korean Sanpo Rebellion are included at the beginning of the book. The main body of the book consists of 'Nihonkoku-ki' (chronicle of Japan), 'Ryukyukoku-ki' (chronicle of the Ryukyu Kingdom) and 'Chohei Osetsu-ki' (chronicle of the Joseon envoy's reception), each of which records details of history, geography, rulers and language. It also records details of how envoys from Japanese regional rulers (daimyo) which visited Joseon were received. In addition to serving as an important resource for the history of Japan and Ryukyu, the book also provides invaluable information on the history of the Japanese language.

Publication

A facsimile edition entitled 'Chosen Shiryo Sokan' (Joseon History Collection) was published by the Korean History Compilation Committee in 1933 and a detailed translated edition was published in Japan by Iwanami Paperbacks in 1991.