Study on Jinminso as an Indoor Relief Institution

구한말 민간 빈민구제시설 진민소[賑民所]에 관한 연구

  • Received : 2014.09.30
  • Accepted : 2014.11.07
  • Published : 2014.11.30

Abstract

This is a study of Jinminso. The purpose of the study is to search and analyze the documents about Jinminso. The data is composed with the first hand historical documents both government documents and civil newspapers which are searched by internet. Based on the documents found, it is safe to say that Jinminso has existed and functioned as an indoor almshouse for the poor. It was established in June 25, 1898 by civil people with donated money in order to reduce the burden of Emperor and to share the love and care for their people with a brotherhood mind. The Jinminso resident were the poor, the sick, the orphans, widows, elderly living alone, and the disabled. They received food, clothes, and shelter. However, Emperor Gojong ordered to shut down Jinminso, and it was closed in Sept. 25, in 1898. The main reason was inappropriate collection of money for the agency operation from the merchants. When Jinminso was closed, all the inmates became homeless. The founders asked to reopen it, and it was accepted but this time was opened as a government agency in 1899. Jinminso imposes great meanings. One, Jinminso was not just an office but a direct service agency housing hundreds of poor people; two, poverty was understood as social problem not just a local district problem; three, rules and regulations were prepared to set up a system of modern age social welfare. The findings provide a clue how the government and society perceived poverty and the poor during the time of late 1800s to early 1900s. The existence of Jinminso will pose many new question.

Keywords

Jinminso;relief;relief institute for the poor;period of 1876-1910;private sector;newspaper analysis

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국연구재단