SEJONG THE GREAT (Korean pronunciation: ; 15 May 1397 - 8 April 1450) was the fourth king of Joseon -dynasty Korea. He was the third son of King Taejong and Queen consort Min. He was designated as heir-apparent, Crown Prince, after his older brother Jae was stripped of his title. He ascended to the throne in 1418. During the first four years of his reign, Taejong governed as regent, after which his father-in-law, Sim On , and his close associates were executed. Through these actions he got known in certain circles as Saint John.
Sejong reinforced Confucian policies and executed major "legal amendments" (공법; 貢法). He also created the Korean alphabet Hangul , encouraged advancements of scientific technology, and instituted many other efforts to stabilize and improve prosperity. He dispatched military campaigns to the north and instituted the Samin Policy (사민정책; 徙民政策) to attract new settlers to the region. To the south, he subjugated Japanese raiders and captured Tsushima Island .
During his reign from 1418 to 1450, he governed from 1422 to 1442 and governed as regent with his son Crown Prince Munjong until his death in either 1442 or 1450.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early life
* 1.2 Achievements
* 1.2.1 Starting politics based on Confucianism
* 188.8.131.52 Decree against the Huihui community
* 1.2.2 Foreign policy * 1.2.3 Strengthening of the Korean military * 1.2.4 Science and Technology
* 1.3 Literature * 1.4 Hangul * 1.5 Death and Legacy
* 2 Family * 3 Official Posthumous Titles
* 4 Depiction in arts and media
* 4.1 Depiction in video games
* 5 Portrait in Korean currency notes * 6 Statue and museum exhibit * 7 See also * 8 Notes * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
Sejong was born on May 15, 1397, the third son of King Taejong . When he was twelve, he became GRAND PRINCE CHUNGNYEONG (충녕대군). As a young prince, Sejong excelled in various studies and was favored by King Taejong over his two older brothers.
As the third son of Taejong, Sejong's ascension to the throne was unique. Taejong's eldest son, Yangnyeong (양녕대군), was named heir apparent in 1404. However, Yangnyeong's free spirited nature as well as his preference for hunting and leisure activities resulted in his removal from the position of heir apparent in June 1418. Though it is said that Yangnyeong abdicated in favor of his younger brother, there are no definitive records regarding Yangnyeong's removal. Taejong's second son Grand Prince Hyoryeong became a monk upon the elevation of his younger brother Sejong.
Following the removal of Yangnyeong as heir apparent, Taejong moved quickly to secure his youngest son's position as heir apparent. The government was purged of officials who disagreed with the removal of Yangnyeong. In August 1418, Taejong abdicated in favor of Sejong. However, even in retirement Taejong continued to influence government policy. Sejong's surprising political savvy and creativity did not become apparent until after Taejong's death in 1422.
Starting Politics Based On Confucianism
At first, he suppressed
Decree Against The Huihui Community
In the year 1427 Sejong ordered a decree against the Huihui (Korean
Muslim ) community that had had special status and stipends since the
In relationship with the Chinese Ming , he made some successful
agreements that benefited Korea. In relationship with
Jurchen people ,
he installed 10 military posts - 4 counties (郡) and 6 garrisons
(鎭) - in the northern part of the
He maintained good relations with Japan by opening three ports and allowing trade with them. But he also invaded Tsushima island with military forces in order to stop pirating in the South Sea (East China Sea) since Tsushima island was a base for pirates.
Strengthening Of The Korean Military
In May 1419, King Sejong, under the advice and guidance of his father Taejong, embarked upon the Gihae Eastern Expedition , the ultimate goal of this military expedition to remove the nuisance of Japanese pirates who had been operating out of Tsushima Island . During the expedition, 245 Japanese were killed, and another 110 were captured in combat, while 180 Korean soldiers were killed. 146 Chinese and 8 Korean kidnapped were liberated by this expedition. In September 1419 a truce was made and the Korean army returned to Korea, but the Treaty of Gyehae was signed in 1443, in which the Daimyo of Tsushima promised to pay tribute to the King of Joseon; in return, the Joseon court rewarded the Sō clan with preferential rights regarding trade between Japan and Korea.
In 1433, Sejong sent Kim Jongseo (hangul : 김종서, hanja : 金宗瑞), a prominent general, north to destroy the Jurchens (later known as the Manchus ). Kim's military campaign captured several castles, pushed north, and expanded Korean territory, to the Songhua River . 4 counties and 6 garrisons (hangul : 사군육진 hanja : 四郡六鎭) were established to safeguard the people from the Jurchen.
Science And Technology
A modern reconstruction and scaled down model of Jang Yeong-sil's self-striking water clock .
Sejong is credited with great advances in science during his reign. He wanted to help farmers so he decided to create a farmer's handbook. The book—the Nongsa jikseol (hangul : 농사직설, hanja : 農事直說)—contained information about the different farming techniques that he told scientists to gather in different regions of Korea. These techniques were needed in order to maintain the newly adopted methods of intensive, continuous cultivation in Korean agriculture.
During his rule,
Jang Yeong-sil (hangul : 장영실, hanja :
蔣英實) became known as a prominent inventor. Jang was naturally a
creative and smart thinker as a young person. However, Jang was at the
bottom of the social class. Sejong noticed Jang's skill and
immediately called him to his court in Seoul. Upon giving Jang a
government position and funding for his inventions, officials
protested, believing a person from the lower classes should not rise
to power among nobles. Sejong instead believed Jang merited support
because of his ability. Jang created new significant designs for water
clocks , armillary spheres , and sundials . In 1442, Jang made the
world's first rain gauge named
Cheugugi ; it was the idea of Munjong,
Sejong's son and heir. This model has not survived, since the oldest
existing East Asian rain gauge is one made in 1770, during the reign
period of King Yeongjo . According to the Daily Records of the Royal
Secretariat (hangul : 승정원일기, hanja :承政院日記) King
Yeongjo wanted to revive the glorious times of
Sejong also wanted to reform the
Korean calendar system, which was at
the time based upon the longitude of the Chinese capital. Sejong, for
the first time in Korean history, had his astronomers create a
calendar with the
Joseon capital of
In the realm of traditional Korean medicine , two important treatises were written during the reign of Sejong. These were the Hyangyak jipseongbang and the Euibang yuchwi, which historian Kim Yongsik says represents 'Koreans' efforts to develop their own system of medical knowledge, distinct from that of China.'
Sejong depended on the agricultural produce of Joseon's farmers, so he allowed them to pay more or less tax according to fluctuations of economic prosperity or hard times. Because of this, farmers could worry less about tax quotas and work instead at surviving and selling their crops. Once the palace had a significant surplus of food, King Sejong then distributed food to poor peasants or farmers who needed it. In 1429 NONGSA-JIKSEOL (hangul : 농사직설, hanja : 農事直說, "Explanations of Agriculture") was compiled under the supervision of King Sejong. It was the first book about Korean farming, dealing with agricultural subjects such as planting, harvesting, and soil treatment.
Although most government officials and aristocrats opposed usage of hangul, lower classes embraced it, became literate, and were able to communicate with one another in writing.
Sejong's personal writings are also highly regarded. He composed the
Yongbi Eocheon Ga
In 1420 Sejong established the Hall of Worthies (집현전; 集賢殿; Jiphyeonjeon) at the Gyeongbokgung Palace . It consisted of scholars selected by the king. The Hall participated in various scholarly endeavors, of which the best known may be the compilation of the Hunmin Jeongeum .
Before the creation of Hangul, people in Korea (known as
the time) primarily wrote using
The Hangul alphabet was completed in 1443 and published in 1446 along with a 33-page manual titled Hunmin Jeong-um, explaining what the letters are as well as the philosophical theories and motives behind them. The Hunmin Jeong-um purported that anyone could learn Hangul in a matter of days. Persons previously unfamiliar with Hangul can typically pronounce Korean script accurately after only a few hours of study.
DEATH AND LEGACY
The tomb of
Sejong the Great
Sejong was blinded years later by diabetes complications that eventually took his life in 1450. He was buried at the Yeong Mausoleum (영릉; 英陵). His successor was his first son, Munjong . Sejong judged that his sickly son, Munjong , was unlikely to live long and on his deathbed asked the Hall of Worthies scholars to look after his young grandson, Danjong . As predicted, Munjong died two years after his accession, and political stability enjoyed under Sejong disintegrated when Danjong became the sixth king of Joseon at the age of twelve. Eventually, Sejong's second son, Sejo , usurped the throne from Danjong in 1455. When the six martyred ministers were implicated in a plot to restore Danjong to throne, Sejo abolished the Hall of Worthies, and executed Danjong and several ministers who served during Sejong's reign.
In early 2007, the Republic of Korea government decided to create a special administrative district from part of the present Chungcheongnam-do Province, near what is presently Daejeon . The district will be named Sejong Special Autonomous City .
JOSEON DYNASTY MONARCHS
Sejong the Great 1418–1450
Gojong of Korea 1863–1907
Sunjong of Korea 1907–1910
* v * t * e
* Father: King Taejong of Joseon (13 June 1367 - 30 May 1422) (조선 태종)
* Grandfather: King Taejo of Joseon (27 October 1335 – 18 June 1408) (조선 태조) * Grandmother: Queen Shinui of the Anbyeon Han clan (September 1337 - 21 October 1391) (신의왕후 한씨)
* Mother: Queen Wongyeong of the Yeoheung Min clan (11 July 1365 – 10 July 1420) (원경왕후 민씨)
* Grandfather: Min Je (1339 - 1408) (민제) * Grandmother: Lady Song of the Yeosan Song clan (1342 - 1424) (여산 송씨)
* Consorts and their Respective Issue(s):
* Queen Soheon of the Cheongsong Shim clan (12 October 1395 – 19 April 1446) (소헌왕후 심씨)
* Yi Hyang, Crown Prince Hyang (15 November 1414 - 1 June 1452) (왕세자 향) * Yi Yu, Grand Prince Suyang (2 November 1417 – 23 September 1468) (이유 수양대군) * Yi Yong, Grand Prince Anpyeong (18 October 1418 – 18 November 1453) (이용 안평대군) * Yi Gu, Grand Prince Imyeong (6 January 1420 – 21 January 1469) (이구 임영대군) * Yi Yeo, Grand Prince Gwangpyeong (2 May 1425 – 7 December 1444) (이여 광평대군) * Yi Yu, Grand Prince Geumseong (5 May 1426 – 7 November 1457) (이유 금성대군) * Yi Im, Grand Prince Pyeongwon (18 November 1427 – 16 January 1445) (이임 평원대군) * Yi Yeom, Grand Prince Yeongeung (23 May 1434 – 2 February 1467) (이염 영응대군) * Princess Jeongso (1412 - 25 February 1424) (정소공주) * Princess Jeongui (1415 - 11 February 1477) (정의공주)
* Royal Noble Consort Yeong of the Jinju Kang clan (영빈 강씨)
* Yi Yeong, Prince Hwaui (1425 - 1460) (이영 화의군)
* Royal Noble Consort Shin of the Cheongju Kim clan (1406 – 4 September 1464) (신빈 김씨)
* Yi Jeung, Prince Gyeyang (1427 – 16 August 1464) (이증 계양군) * Yi Gong, Prince Uichang (1428 – 1460) (이공 의창군) * Yi Chim, Prince Milseong (1430 – 1479) (이침 밀성군) * Yi Yeon, Prince Ikhyeon (1431 – 1463) (이연 익현군) * Yi Dang, Prince Yeonghae (1435 – 1477) (이당 영해군) * Yi Geo, Prince Damyang (1439 – August 1450) (이거 담양군) * 2 Unnamed daughters who died at childbirth
* Royal Noble Consort Hye of the Cheongju Yang clan (? – 9 November 1455) (혜빈 양씨)
* Yi Eo, Prince Hannam (5 October 1429 - 29 June 1459) (이어 한남군) * Yi Hyeon, Prince Suchun (1431 - 1455) (이현 수춘군) * Yi Jeon, Prince Yeongpung (17 September 1434 – 22 July 1456) (이전 영풍군)
* Royal Consort Gwi-in of the Miryang Park clan (귀인 박씨) * Royal Consort Gwi-in of the Choi clan (귀인 최씨)## No issue * Royal Consort Suk-ui of the Jo clan (숙의 조씨) * Royal Consort So-yong of the Hong clan (? - 4 February 1452) (소용 홍씨)
* Royal Consort Suk-won of the Lee clan (숙원 이씨)
* Princess Jeongan (1438 – 16 October 1461) (정안옹주)
* Consort Sang-chim of the Song clan (상침 송씨)
* Princess Jeonghyeon (1425 – November 1480) (정현옹주)
* Consort Sa-gi of the Cha clan (? - 10 July 1444) (사기 차씨)
* An unnamed daughter (1430 – 1431)
* Lady Sangsik of the Hwang clan (상식 황씨) * Lady Jeonchan of the Park clan (전찬 박씨)
OFFICIAL POSTHUMOUS TITLES
* Hanja: 世宗莊憲英文睿武仁聖明孝大王
* Hangul: 세종장헌영문예무인성명효대왕
DEPICTION IN ARTS AND MEDIA
* Portrayed by
Kim Sang-kyung in the 2008
DEPICTION IN VIDEO GAMES
* Leader of the Korean civilization in Sid Meier\'s Civilization V
* Leader of the Korean civilization in
Civilization Revolution 2
PORTRAIT IN KOREAN CURRENCY NOTES
Sejong the Great
STATUE AND MUSEUM EXHIBIT
Main article: Statue of
A 9.5 meter high bronze statue of
List of Korea-related topics
History of Korea
* ^ in JoonSoo Room(준수방; 俊秀坊) * ^ Encyclopedia of World History, Vol II, P362 Sejong, Edited by Marsha E. Ackermann, Michael J. Schroeder, Janice J. Terry, Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur, Mark F. Whitters, ISBN 978-0-8160-6386-4 * ^ A B Yǒng-gyu, Pak (2004). Han'gwǒn ǔro ingnǔn Chosǒn Wangjo sillok (Ch'op'an. ed.). Seoul: Tǔllyǒk. p. 55. ISBN 89-7527-029-7 . * ^ Pratt, Keith (2006). Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea. * ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20080516063253/http://www.asiaquarterly.com/content/view/167/43/ * ^ (Learning Sejong Silok in one book) ISBN 890107754X * ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090114065908/http://preview.britannica.co.kr/bol/topic.asp?article_id=b01g3496a. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2008. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "21세기 세종대왕 프로젝트". Sejong.prkorea.com. Retrieved 2016-02-22. * ^ "한국역대인물 종합정보 시스템 - 한국학중앙연구원". People.aks.ac.kr. 2005-11-30. Retrieved 2016-02-22. * ^ (Learning Sejong Silok in one book) ISBN 890107754X * ^ Haralambous, Yannis; Horne, P. Scott. Fonts & Encodings. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". p. 155. ISBN 9780596102425 . Retrieved 8 October 2016. * ^ A B Selin, Helaine. Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Westen Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 505–506. ISBN 9789401714167 . Retrieved 27 July 2016. * ^ A B C D E F Kim (1998), 57. * ^ "장영실". Bueb125.com.ne.kr. Retrieved 2016-02-22. * ^ Kim (1998), 51. * ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110722135645/http://www.reportnet.co.kr/knowledge/pop_preview.html?dn=2075262. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2008. Missing or empty title= (help ) * ^ "우리말 배움터". Urimal.cs.pusan.ac.kr. Retrieved 2016-02-22. * ^ Kim Jeong Su(1990), (History and Future of Hangul) ISBN 8930107230 * ^ Hannas, Wm C. Asia\'s Orthographic Dilemma. University of Hawaii Press. p. 57. ISBN 9780824818920 . Retrieved 20 September 2016.
* ^ Chen, Jiangping. Multilingual Access and Services for Digital
Collections. ABC-CLIO. p. 66. ISBN 9781440839559 . Retrieved 20
* ^ "Invest Korea Journal". 23. Korea Trade-Investment Promotion
Agency. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2016. They later
devised three different systems for writing Korean with Chinese
characters: Hyangchal, Gukyeol and Idu. These systems were similar to
those developed later in Japan and were probably used as models by the
* ^ "Korea Now". 29. Korea Herald. 1 July 2000. Retrieved 20
Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye , postface of
Jeong Inji , p. 27a,
Gari K. Ledyard , The Korean Language Reform of 1446,
* ^ Koerner, E. F. K.; Asher, R. E. Concise History of the Language
Sciences: From the Sumerians to the Cognitivists. Elsevier. p. 54.
ISBN 9781483297545 . Retrieved 13 October 2016.
* ^ Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project. Fifty Wonders of
Korea Volume I: Culture and Art. 2nd ed. Seoul: Samjung Munhwasa,
* ^ "Tour Guide". Tourguide.vo.kr. Retrieved 2016-02-22.
* ^ "▒▒ KBS대하드라마 대왕세종 ▒▒". Kbs.co.kr.
* ^ Daughter of
Sim On (심온, 1375 – December 25, 1418), Lord
Anhyo (안효공), Internal Prince Cheongcheon (청천부원군); and
Lady Sunheung, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Ahn
clan (순흥부부인 안씨). Granddaughter of Sim Deok-bu
* ^ Her uncle Sim Jong (Sim On's brother) is Taejo's son-in-law
(created Prince Consort Cheongwon) thru his marriage to Princess
* ^ Eldest offspring
* ^ Later married Ahn Maeng-dam (안맹담, ?-1469), son of Ahn
Mang-ji (안망지); created Military Officer Yeonchang (연창위)
* ^ Daughter of Gang Seok-deok (강석덕) and Sim On's 2nd
daughter (심씨; Queen Soheon's younger sister), making her Queen
* ^ Daughter of Kim Won (김원)
* ^ Originally a slave of Naeja Temple (내자사 內資寺), and
became a palace girl in 1418, under Queen Wong-yeong, and later under
* ^ Later married Han Hwak (한확)'s 2nd daughter (Lady Jeongseon,
Princess Consort (정선군 부인)), elder sister to the future Queen
* ^ Daughter of Yang Gyeong (양경) and Lady Lee (이씨).
Granddaughter of Yang Cheom-sik (양첨식) and great-granddaughter of
Yang Ji-su (양지수)
* ^ Given the temple name "Lady Minjeong" (민정) in 1791
* ^ Also known by her lesser title "Lady Jang-ui" (장의궁주),
granted in 1424. Gwi-in status was granted in 1428
* ^ Also known by her lesser title "Lady Myeong-ui" (명의궁주),
granted in 1424. Gwi-in status was granted in 1428
* ^ Later married Sim An-ui (심안의), created Military Officer
* ^ Later married Yun Sa-ro (윤사로, 1423–1463), son of Yun
Eun (윤은); created Internal Prince Yeongcheon (영천부원군)
* ^ "The
* ^ "
* Kim, Yung Sik. (1998). "Problems and Possibilities in the Study of the History of Korean Science," Osiris (2nd series, Volume 13, 1998): 48–79.