This paper investigates Confucian literati’s multilayered recognition of kwisin in the Chosŏn dynasty by focusing on three distinct genres: philosophical writings, ritual writings, and fictionalized writings. Multifaceted concepts of kwisin in these three genres are analyzed through interpretive lenses such as philosophical thought, cultural sensibilities, and literary imagination. In the context of philosophy, Chosŏn literati developed the traditional concept of kwisin as spiritual beings in accordance with the Confucian paradigms. In the context of empirical cultural fields, however, sadaebu collected fantastic stories as contemporary cultural research with the aim of publishing encyclopedic collections. In such works, Chosŏn intelligentsia exhibited a dual position: one criticizing the worship of kwisin by the lower classes, the other recognizing such as a cultural tradition. Although literati criticized fictional stories containing ghosts, they penned their own versions with female apparitions, maintaining their patriarchal Confucian ideology by “otherizing” these ghosts of unclear familial lineage. Fictional narratives in which kwisin appeared fostered communication across ideology, folk knowledge, and experiential sensibility and embraced the metaphysical recognition and everyday sense of kwisin. Gendered kwisin stories played the cultural roles of criticizing and reflecting social paradox and received a wide range of social sympathy, from the elite class to commoners.

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