Jeongjo of Joseon
|King of Joseon|
|Reign||27 April 1776 – 18 August 1800|
|Born||28 October 1752|
|Birthplace||Changgyeong Palace, Kingdom of Joseon|
|Died||18 August 1800(aged 47)|
|Place of death||Changgyeong Palace, Kingdom of Joseon|
|Buried||Geolleung, Hwaseong, Gyeonggi|
|Predecessor||Yeongjo of Joseon|
|Successor||Sunjo of Joseon|
Royal Noble Consort Won, concubine
Royal Noble Consort Hwa, concubine
Royal Noble Consort Ui, concubine
Royal Noble Consort Su, concubine
|Issue||Crown Prince Munhyo
Sunjo of Joseon
|Royal House||House of Yi|
|Father||Crown Prince Sado|
|Jeongjo of Joseon|
|Revised Romanization||I San|
King Jeongjo (28 October 1752 – 18 August 1800) was the 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (r. 1776-1800). He made various attempts to reform and improve the nation of Joseon. He was preceded by his grandfather King Yeongjo (r. 1724–1776) and succeeded by his son King Sunjo (r. 1800–1834).
Some say Jeongjo is one of the most successful and visionary rulers of the Joseon Dynasty. But it is also pointed out that he was overestimated.
Born as Yi San, he was the son of Crown Prince Sado (who was put to death by his own father, King Yeongjo) and Lady Hyegyeong (who wrote an autobiography, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong detailing her life as the ill-fated Crown Princess of Joseon). Lady Hyegyeong's collection of memoirs serves as a significant source of historical information on the political happenings during the reigns of King Yeongjo (her father-in-law), King Jeongjo (her son), and King Sunjo (her grandson).
When he was the Crown Prince, King Jeongjo met Hong Guk-yeong (홍국영, 洪國榮; Westernized spelling also as Hong Gook Young), a controversial politician who first strongly supported Jeongjo's accession and toiled to improve the king's power, but ended up being expelled because of his desire for power.
Jeongjo spent much of his reign trying to clear his father's name. He also moved the court to the city of Suwon to be closer to his father's grave. He built Hwaseong Fortress to guard the tomb. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The era before his rule was in disorder as his father was killed by royal decree of his own father, King Jeongjo's grandfather. King Yeongjo's ultimate decision to execute Crown Prince Sado was greatly influenced by other politicians who were against the Crown Prince. After King Yeongjo's death and on the day that Jeongjo became the King of Joseon, he sat on his throne in the throne room and looked at everyone and said, "I am the son of the late Crown Prince Sado..." This was a bold statement that sent shivers down the spines of all the politicians who were complicit in his father's death.
During his accession, he also issued a royal decree that his mother, Lady Hyegyeong, be a Dowager Queen since his father, her husband, was supposed to be the King before him. Thus, she became the Queen Dowager, the widow of Crown Prince Sado. From then on, King Jeongjo experienced many turbulent periods, but overcame them with the aid of Hong Guk-yeong.
King Jeongjo led the new renaissance of the Joseon Dynasty, but was initially stopped by continuing the policy of Yeongjo's Tangpyeong rule. He tried to control the politics of the whole nation to advance and further national progress.
He made various reforms throughout his reign, notably establishing Kyujanggak (규장각), a royal library. The primary purpose of Kyujanggak was to improve the cultural and political stance of Joseon and to recruit gifted officers to help run the nation. Jeongjo also spearheaded bold new social initiatives, including opening government positions to those who were previously barred because of their social status.
Jeongjo had the support of the many Silhak scholars who supported Jeongjo's regal power, including Scholars Jeong Yak-yong, Yu Deuk-gong, Pak Ji-won and Pak Je-ga. His reign also saw the further growth and development of Joseon's popular culture.
King Jeongjo was known as an innovative person despite his high political status in Joseon. In 1800, he died suddenly under mysterious circumstances at the age of 48, without seeing his lifelong wishes that were later realized by his son, Sunjo. There are many books regarding the mysterious death of Jeongjo, and speculation as to the cause of his death continues even today.
- Father: Crown Prince Sado (사도세자, 1735–1762)
He is given the posthumous title, "Jangjo" (장조)
- Mother: Queen Heongyeong of the Poongsan Hong clan (헌경왕후 홍씨, 1735–1815)
- Consorts and Issues:
- Queen Consort Hyoui of the Cheongpung Gim clan (효의왕후 김씨, 1753–1821)
- Royal Noble Consort Won Bin of the Pyeongsan Hong clan (원빈 홍씨, 1766–1779)
- Prince Sang Gye (상계군, 1770–1786): Adoptive son following her death
- Royal Noble Consort Hwa Bin of the Yun clan (화빈 윤씨, 1765–1824)
- Royal Noble Consort Ui of the Seong clan (의빈 성씨, 1753–1786)
- Prince Successor Mun Hyo (문효세자, 1782–1786; Westernized name also spelled as Moon Hyo); birth name, Prince Yi Hyang
- Unnamed Princess (1784)
- Unborn child (1786); died in utero as a result of mother's death
- Royal Noble Consort Su of the Bannam Park clan (수빈 박씨, 1770–1822)
- Prince Yi Gong, and later Sunjo the Royal Prince Successor (왕세자,1790–1834)
- Princess Suk Seon (숙선옹주, 1793–1836)
Full posthumous name
- King Jeongjo Gyeongcheon Myeongdo Hongdeok Hyeonmo Munseong Muryeol Seongin Janghyo the Great of Korea
Portrayal in works of media
Jeongjo portrayed in modern films and TV dramas:
- Played by Kim Yong-gun in 500 Years of Joseon Dynasty: Pa Mun – a 1989 TV series.
- Played by Jung Jae-gon in Hong Guk-yeong – a 2001 TV series about Hong Guk-yeong, Jeongjo's right hand.
- Played by Lee Seo-jin in Yi San – a 2007 TV series concerned primarily with Jeongjo's life story and a fictionalized account of his relationship with the Lady Ui.
- Played by Ahn Nae-sang in Conspiracy in the Court (also known as Seoul's Sad Song) – a 2007 TV series that evolves from a mystery thriller into a court intrigue surrounding the king and his conservative ministers.
- Played by Kim Sang-joong in Eight Days, Assassination Attempts against King Jeongjo (also known simply as Eight Days) – a 2007 cable TV series depicting the mysterious events that surrounded Jeongjo when he traveled to the completed site of Hwaseong, where he planned to move the nation's capital.
- Played by Bae Soo-bin in Painter of the Wind – a 2008 TV series about the painters Shin Yun-bok and Kim Hong-do, adapted from Lee Jeong-myeong's novel of the same title.
- Played by Han Myeong-goo in Portrait of a Beauty – a 2008 film adaptation of the novel Painter of the Wind by Lee Jeong-myeong.
- Played by Jo Sung-ha in Sungkyunkwan Scandal – a 2010 TV series about a female who enters Sungkyunkwan University during Jeongjo's reign in a time when women were not allowed to enter the school under penalty of beheading if caught.
- Played by Hong Jong-hyun in Warrior Baek Dong-soo – a 2011 TV series about the life of Jeongjo's bodyguard Baek Dong-soo.
- Played by Hyun Bin in The King's Wrath – a 2014 film.
- IMmvp (StarCraft 2 Progamer) – one of the Korean StarCraft 2 GSL winners, he's also known on the Korean ladder (his unofficial nickname) as King JJ
|Ancestors of Jeongjo of Joseon|
- Digital Korean studies (Korean site) http://www.koreandb.net/koreanking/html/person/pki60022.htm Archived 23 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- National Heritage – Hwaseong
- Daughter of Hong Bong-han (홍봉한) and Lady Yi of the Hansun Yi clan
- Queen Heongyeong is also called "Lady Hyegyeong" (혜경궁)
- Daughter of Kim Si-muk (김시묵) and Lady Hong of the Namyang Hong clan
- Daughter of Hong Nak-chun (홍낙춘) and younger sister of Hong Guk-yeong (홍국영). She became Noble Royal Consort 1778, but she died suddenly a year after receiving the title.
- Son of Jeongjo's half-brother, Prince Euneon. After the banishing and death of Hong Guk-yeong, he was also banished for treason and committed suicide by poison.
- Daughter of Yun Chang-yun (윤창윤). She became Noble Royal Consort in 1781; conceived, but the child was stillborn.
- Daughter of Seong Yun-u (성윤우) and Lady Im. She did not receive the title Noble Royal Consort until her son became Grand Prince in 1782. She died suddenly in 1786 (most likely from liver cancer), just months after the death of her son.
- Died after birth (1784)
- Daughter of Park Jun-won (박준원) and Lady Won. Also called Royal Noble Consort Hyeon(현빈). She became Noble Royal Consort in 1787.
- Chung, Ah-young (13 November 2007). "Renaissance of Joseon King Jeongjo". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
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