The origin of the Korean people is unknown.
The concessionnaires regard Korean labour as docile and intelligent.
Hospitals, orphanages, schools and an admirable college in Seoul have been founded, along with tri-lingual (Chinese, Korean and English) printing-presses; religious, historical and scientific works and much of the Bible have been translated into En-mun, and periodicals of an enlightened nature in the Korean script are also circulated.
Sheng-king is well supplied with railways, Mukden being in direct railway connexion with Peking, Niu-chwang, Port Arthur and Tairen as well as with the Korean railways, and with Europe and Vladivostock by the trans-Siberian line.
The colossal Nara Daibutsu (Vairocana) at Tdai-ji, cast in 749 by a workman of Korean descent, is the largest of the great bronzes in Japan, but ranks far below the Yakushi-ji image in artistic qualities.
The most perfect of the ancient bronzes is the great image of Bhaicha-djyaguru in the temple of Yakushi-ji, Nara, attributed to a Korean monk of the 7th century, named Giflgi.
In administrative reforms the Korean government followed his guidance; laws could not be enacted nor administrative measures undertaken without his consent; the appointment and dismissal of high officials, and the engagement of foreigners in government employ, were subject to his pleasure.
An imperial edict of the 20th of May 1904 annulled all Korean treaties with Russia.
But on the 26th of October, when on a visit to Harbin, he was shot dead by Korean assassin.
Down to 1910 the sum expended by Japan on Korean reforms was estimated to approach fifteen millions sterling.