[Humanist Publishing Group Inc.] The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty


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A lively cartoon version of the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, a UNESCO Documentary Heritage.


Park Si Baek

Park Si Baek was born in 1964 on Jeju Island in South Korea. In 1996, he started his career as an editorial cartoonist at The Hankyoreh daily newspaper. He showed an insightful and sharp satire through his comic strip called 'Hankyoreh Geurimpan' in the newspaper. As he became fascinated ‘The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty’ in 2000, he planned to make it as a cartoon, and left The Hankyoreh in order to carry it out in 2001. In 2003, 'Park's The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty' was first released, garnering him the Korea Content Award for Ministerial Award of Ministry Culture and Tourism. In the following 10 years, he completed 20 books covering 500 years histories. With 13 years of complete works to his name, he was awarded the 2013 prize of Bucheon International Comics Festival for Best Cartoon. 

Park's The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty

'The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty' which recorded the times and reign of every Joseon king for nearly 500 years, features a most magnificent scale, from the reign of King Taejo to the reign of the 25th King Cheoljong. It consist of 1,893 volumes and 888 books (total of 64 million Chinese characters). It was registered as a World Cultural Heritage in Records, by UNESCO in 1997. 

Graphic novelist Park Si Baek publishes the 20-volume 'Park's The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty,' based on one of the kingdom's best-kept primary sources. He says he was one day inspired to illustrate Joseon history when he was watching a period soap opera on TV.

It took Park 13 years to animate a total of 2,077 volumes of the annals. It would apparently take four years to read them all if you were to read for eight hours per day. He read more than 100 books and filled 121 notebooks with hand-written notes as part of his research. Based on this, he finished about one graphic novel every six months, spending half the time reading the primary sources. Park wonderfully describes the people and explains the historical events of the time using drawings and contemporary language, making it easier for today's modern readers to enjoy. These graphic novels are easy and fun to read.

The 20th and final volume of 'Park's The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty,' originally published in 2013, had its second edition 2015. In this new edition, minor things such as the color of the clothes or the appearance of the characters were corrected to be more faithful to the original source. Each book includes an English abstract of the original book.


  1. The Founding of a Dynasty: Dreaming of a New World
  2. The Annals of King Taejo and King Jeongjong: The Reformation of Jeong Dojeon and the Rebellion of the Prince
  3. The Annals of King Taejong: Establishing of Royal Authority
  4. The Annals of King Sejong and King Munjong: Advent of the Golden Age
  5. The Annals of King Danjong and King Sejo: Treason after Treason
  6. The Annals of King Yejong and King Seongjong: From a System of High Officials to Censorate Power
  7. The Diaries of King Yeonsangun: The Dangerous Pursuit of Absolute Power
  8. The Annals of King Jungjong: Reform Dies After the Death of Jo Gwangjo
  9. The Annals of King Injong and King Myeongjong: Queen Dowager Munjeong and the In-Law Officials (Cheok-sin)
  10. The Annals of King Seonjo: Yi Sunsin of Joseon
  11. The Diaries of King Gwanghaegun: The Monarch Trapped in his Own Experiences
  12. The Annals of King Injo: Obsession Over duty to Ming Triggers Manchu War
  13. The Annals of King Hyojong and King Hyeonjong: A Weak Throne with Strong Subjects
  14. The Annals of King Sukjong: Political Manipulation, Covert Royal Conflicts, and Changes in the Regime
  15. The Annals of King Gyeongjong and King Yeongjo: Under the Flag of the Impartiality Policy
  16. The Annals of King Jeongjo: High Ideals and Outstanding Talent
  17. The Annals of King Sunjo: A Clan Takes Over a Faction
  18. The Annals of King Heonjong and King Cheoljong: Internal Worries and Troubles Abroad
  19. The Annals of King Gojong: A Dynasty at the Crossroads: Between Closing and Opening the Door
  20. The Fall of Joseon: A 500-Year-Old Dynasty Comes to an End

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