Kim Satgat – Baduk

This a post on a blog I follow by Kuiwon, who translates Classical Chinese poetry by Koreans as a hobby. This poem specifically is part of a series he did on traditional games, and explores baduk (or gi [기, 棋], as it often appears in compounds, such as the Korean name of the Korean Baduk Association: Hankuk kiwon [한국기원])

歸源 (Kuiwon)


Kim Byeongyeon (金炳淵, 김병연, 1807-1863) is perhaps the most famous Chosun dynasty poet. He is better known as Kim Satgat (김삿갓; 金笠, 김립). He was of the Andong Kim Clan (安東金氏, 안동김씨); his courtesy name (字, 자) was Seongshim (性深, 성심); and his pen name (號, 호) was Nan’go (蘭皐, 난고). Although he was born into a Yangban (兩班, 양반) family, since his grandfather had surrendered to Hong Gyeongrae’s Rebellion (洪景來의 亂, 홍경래의 난, 1811-1812) his family faced punishment by association. He spent wondering Chosun in a bamboo hat and writing poetry mostly in Classical Chinese, although he did write a few poems in mixed script and Hangul.

In the poem below, Kim Satgat writes about Baduk. Baduk is known as Go in Japanese and Weiqi in Mandarin. It is played on a grid board, typically 19×19. The objective is to encircle the most amount of territory by the end…

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