7 Responses to “Empress Myeongseong”

  1. Nana Anna

    I’d like to say here that I bought your book on my birthday and did not regret it at all -even if it was a whooping $50.
    Though I would like to add that as a Korean girl, it would have been great if you had thrown in more Korean women like Queen Seondeok, Nongae or Park Kyong Ni. I’m not saying that you have to throw them into another book or whatever, but if you ever feel the desire to search them up and you’ll find that all three have incredible stories worthy to be mentioned. Also they happen to be far more respected and celebrated as great women in Korea than Myeongseong. In fact, when my mother had seen her entry in the book, she was taken aback because back in her high school years she was taught that she was an ambitious and evil ruler who allowed the Japanese to invade in the first place.
    Then again, from my own research I did not find a so-called villainous queen at all (there were some fishy parts, duh). Maybe it just was my mother’s teacher’s bias, or there’s more that is in Korean texts about her than non-Korean accounts that suggest otherwise. Regardless, I’m not saying I was disappointed in the book for the lack of Korean women. Your respect towards all cultures and beliefs throughout the book made up for the absence and I learnt more than what I would ever have been able to discover without this book. It’s definitely more than what most feminists, particularly celebrities, have ever done to represent women of different races.
    (And yes, this was pretty much a half compliment, half annoying “But what about this and that?” comment.)

  2. Jeanette Wu

    Myeongseong was recent enough in history to have her personal faults clearly recorded, and lived in a chaotic enough time for her political alliances to be criticized. She dragged Korea kicking and screaming into the modern age, and leaned toward allying with Japan until a pro-Japanese coup threw her and her husband out of the palace. However, given that Japan was the only Asian power that successfully modernized, I think she can be forgiven for being pro-Japanese. And of course, contemporary sources include tales of her jealousy, embezzlement, and political monopoly, but she was no saint. Contemporary sources all hated her up until the point she got assassinated. Then she became a martyr.

    It’s awesome to meet another history fan on here!

  3. Jason Porath

    :) I get comments like this asking for more (Brazilian/Australian/Canadian/Filipina/Thai/Native/etc) entries on a daily basis. Thank you for being kind in how you phrased it.

    I’m always on the lookout for good entries, thank you for the suggestions.

    (and sorry the book was so much! it was as low as $16 on Amazon a lot of the time…!)

  4. Nana Anna

    Well that’s concerning. If it got as low as $16 and my store raised it as high as $50, how much are you really getting for your book then? :(
    Also you’re welcome about the suggestions! Hope you have a good day! :)

    (Edit: and may you find happiness and success throughout this journey)

  5. Nana Anna

    Nice to meet another one too!
    And thanks for clarifying some things for me about her. Some of the contradicting and mixed responses about her were confusing me at times!

  6. Jeanette Wu

    Actually, I’m working on translating some of the contemporary sources about her into English. You can see one of the in-progress draft here. If you speak Korean, maybe you can help check my work?


  7. Jason Porath

    (can I just add how thrilled this thread makes me?)