The introduction sets out the historical background to Chŏng Tojŏn and his writings. It situates Chŏng in the dramatic changes of East Asia during the fourteenth century, as dynastic changes occurred in both Korea and China in the wake of the Mongol empire’s collapse. Chŏng went from being an ambitious outsider with little power to one of Korea’s influential men, becoming an important political advisor to the founder of the new Chosŏn dynasty. The introduction concludes with brief discussion of Chŏng’s understanding of history, writing, and their relevance to contemporary society and politics.
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