Although Hamel stayed in Joseon only for 13 years,
he had a lot of information of Joseon.
in the world map - Island
Among others, the geographical information of Joseon
mentioned in¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick
Hamel¡» greatly contributed to letting Dutch and
European people know about Joseon and other previously
unknown details of the country.
In particular, he introduced the name of Joseon, only
called as Corea by Europeans, or as Tiocen Cock.
The following were cited from
¡ºThe Journal of Hendrick Hamel¡»
Joseon is situated between 34. 5¡Æ and 44¡Æ north latitude,
the length from north to south is about 140~150 miles,
and the width from east to west is about 70~75 miles.
The whole country is divided into eight roads, holding
360 towns and a number of fortresses. Some of them are
built in mountains or along the coast.
Considering the shipwreck of his Sperwer, it is extremely
dangerous to access Joseon by sea if one have no knowledge
of coast line of Joseon because there are many sunken
rocks to disturb safe voyage.
Regarding the geographical relations with Japan,
Joseon and Japan are very near and the distance from
Busan to Osaka is only 25~26 miles.
There is Tusushima Island in the strait between two
cities, commonly called Daemado by Joseon people.
In spite of distance error, his explanation is very
On the other hand, European and Dutch people of those
days thought Joseon was an island country, but Hamel
apparently defined that Joseon was a peninsula.
Whale fishing by Dutch and other foreign-produced fish
spears are often found in the northeast sea in Joseon.
It means that many whales were distributed in the East
Sea of the Korean Peninsula and that West European countries
frequently hunted whale there in those days.
Joseon appearing in the world
Travelers going from Joseon to China usually use a
ship because the land is bitterly cold in winter and
there are many wild animals in summer.
In winter, the river turns to ice where people can travel.
It means that Hamel knew about the Aprok River and Duman
It is very cold and snows hard and fast in winter. When
he stayed at a temple in the mountain in winter in 1662,
he had an experience of heavy snow.
Snow shoes during
the Joseon Dynasty
The houses and trees were covered with snow, so he had
to dig a tunnel to go to other houses.
Joseon people tie small planks around their feet to
easily go up a mountain and not to sink into the snow.
It is called "Seolpi (snow shoes)" worn in