Nam Yongik

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Nam Yongik was a Korean scholar-official who served as secretary to the ambassador on the 1655 Korean embassy to Edo.

While in Japan, he met with Hayashi Razan, and criticized the scholarly abilities of Razan and his disciples, writing that their knowledge of Chinese history and culture, and understanding of scholarship was lacking, and their writing crude. He went so far as to write "I do not understand how these poor scholars are able to work for the government," and blamed their poor abilities on the Japanese system of hereditary positions rather than meritocratic appointments.[1]


  1. Doyoung Park, "A New Perspective on hte Korean Embassy (Chôsen Tsûshinshi): The View from the Intellectuals in Tokugawa Japan," Studies in Asia Series IV, 3:1 (2013), 12.