All posts tagged: Joseon

Uigwe, The 8-Day Festival (KBS, 2013)

Original title: 의궤, 8일간의 축제 Release date: April 17th, 2014 (Korea, 3D) Jeongjo, the 22nd monarch of the Joseon dynasty, is one of the most revered Korean rulers of all time. Politically, he successfully managed to balance factionalism between the many parties. Diplomatically, he opened up to Western powers for their technology while repressing Christianity  (the Joseon Sillok records that Jeongjo wore glasses in his forties due to his deteriorating eyesight). Socially, he paved the way for equality: Seo-eol, sons of concubines, were recruited in key government positions; efforts were made to abolish the slavery system. Culturally, advances were made in the printing press & The Suwon Fortress was built using modern technologies such as pulleys. In 1762, Jeongjo’s father, then crown prince Sado, was sentenced to death. His mental illnesses escalated in killing and raping sprees. Yeongjo, Sado’s father, eventually sentenced he be locked up in a wooden box without any food or drink. He died after 8 days. Although Jeongjo did not avenge political figures who supported his father’s death (and who subsequently argued that Jeongjo had no right to …

Jeonju – Royal Portrait Museum

Last week I traveled through Jeollado with my mother and a friend of ours. Our first stop was Jeonju, a  city in Jeollabuk-do (Jeollado is divided into North and South). It’s famous for the Hanok Village, which has kept traditional Korean architecture and foods to an art form. My mother’s friend runs two Hanok guesthouses and a modern guesthouse there, so we visited all three. Courtyard of an art gallery Traditional roofing of a shop One of the main museums in Jeonju Hanok Village is  Oejinjeon, the Joseon Royal Portrait Museum. Since I love history, it was great for me to visit it. Although all the portraits except for that of King Taejo are reproductions or approximations, it is interesting to see how they may have looked like according to royal records (or photographs, in the case of Gojong and Sunjong). Portrait of Taejo Lee Seongkye Image source: Hankook Ilbo for Kids Originally, there were 26 portraits of Taejo, but all of them except for one were destroyed during the Japanese invasions of 1592-3. The piece on …