Munjong of Joseon

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This article is about 5th Korean ruler during the Joseon Dynasty (r. 1450-1452). For the 11th Korean ruler during the Goryeo Dynasty (r. 1046-1083), see Munjong of Goryeo.
Munjong of Joseon
King of Joseon
Reign May 18, 1450 – May 14, 1452
Predecessor Sejong of Joseon
Successor Danjong of Joseon
Spouse Queen Hyeondeok
Issue Danjong of Joseon
House House of Yi
Father Sejong of Joseon
Mother Queen Soheon
Born (1414-11-15)November 15, 1414
Died June 1, 1452(1452-06-01) (aged 37)
Gyeongbokgung, Seoul
Munjong of Joseon
Hangul 문종
Hanja 文宗
Revised Romanization Munjong
McCune–Reischauer Munjong
Birth name
Hangul 이향
Hanja 李珦
Revised Romanization I Hyang
McCune–Reischauer I Hyang

King Munjong (1414–1452) was the fifth King of the Joseon Dynasty, who ruled Korea from 1450 to 1452. He was the eldest son of King Sejong and succeeded him in 1450, but died of disease two years later. He was succeeded by his son, Danjong of Joseon.

Most of Munjong's achievements were performed during his princely life. Although credited is primarily given to Jang Yeong-sil for inventing the water gauge, the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty state that it was the Crown Prince who found measures of water levels in the ground. Also, it was Munjong who took care of state affairs late during King Sejong's reign, as Sejong developed various illnesses and disorders.

Munjong was the longest holder of the position of Crown Prince during the Joseon Dynasty, holding the position from 1421 to 1450, a record 29 years. From 1442 until his own accession to the throne in 1450, he served as regent to King Sejong.


Monarchs of Korea
Joseon dynasty
  1. Taejo 1392–1398
  2. Jeongjong 1398–1400
  3. Taejong 1400–1418
  4. Sejong the Great 1418–1450
  5. Munjong 1450–1452
  6. Danjong 1452–1455
  7. Sejo 1455–1468
  8. Yejong 1468–1469
  9. Seongjong 1469–1494
  10. Yeonsangun 1494–1506
  11. Jungjong 1506–1544
  12. Injong 1544–1545
  13. Myeongjong 1545–1567
  14. Seonjo 1567–1608
  15. Gwanghaegun 1608–1623
  16. Injo 1623–1649
  17. Hyojong 1649–1659
  18. Hyeonjong 1659–1674
  19. Sukjong 1674–1720
  20. Gyeongjong 1720–1724
  21. Yeongjo 1724–1776
  22. Jeongjo 1776–1800
  23. Sunjo 1800–1834
  24. Heonjong 1834–1849
  25. Cheoljong 1849–1863
  26. Gojong 1863–1907
  27. Sunjong 1907–1910
  • Father: King Sejong (세종)
  • Mother: Queen Soheon of the Cheongsong Shim clan (소헌왕후 심씨, September 28, 1395 – March 24, 1446)
  • Consorts and their Respective Issue:
  1. Royal Noble Consort Hwi[1] of the Andong Kim clan (휘빈 김씨, 1410–1429)[2][3] - No issue.
  2. Royal Noble Consort Sun of the Ha-eum Bong clan (순빈 봉씨, 1414–1436)[4][5] - No issue.
  3. Queen Hyeondeok[6][7] of the Andong Kwon clan (현덕왕후 권씨, 1418–1441)[8]
    1. Yi Hong-wi, the Royal Prince Successor (이홍위 왕세자), only son[9]
    2. An unnamed Daughter (died in childhood)[10]
    3. Princess Gyeonghye (경혜공주, 1436 – December 30, 1473), 2nd daughter[11]
  4. Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Namyang Hong clan (숙빈 홍씨)
    1. An unnamed daughter (died in childhood)
  5. Yang Sa-chik (사칙 양씨)
    1. Princess Gyeongsuk (경숙옹주, 1439–?)[12]
    2. An unnamed daughter (died in childhood)
  6. Moon Suk-ui of the Nampyeong Mun clan (숙의 문씨, 1426 – September 26, 1508) - No issue.[13][14]
  7. Kwon So-yong (소용 권씨)
    1. No issue.
  8. Jeong So-yong (소용 정씨)
    1. An unnamed son (died in childhood)
  9. Yoon So-hun (소훈 윤씨)
    1. No issue.
  10. Yoo Seung-hwi (승휘 유씨)
    1. No issue.
  11. Court Lady Jang (상궁 장씨)
    1. An unnamed son (died in childhood)

His full posthumous name[edit]

  • King Munjong Gongsun Heummyung Insuk Gwangmun Seonghyo the Great of Korea
  • 문종공순흠명인숙광문성효대왕
  • 文宗恭順欽明仁肅光文聖孝大王


  1. ^ Given as a temple name upon her death in 1429
  2. ^ Daughter of Kim O-mun (김오문), Lord Anjeong (안정공), Magistrate Pandon-ryeong (판돈령부사); and Lady Yi (이씨 부인). Granddaughter of Kim Gu-deok (김구덕). Niece of Royal Noble Consort Myeong (명빈 김씨), thru her relationship as Kim Oh-mun's elder sister
  3. ^ First Princess Consort to the Royal Prince Successor, married in 1427. Formally separated in August 18, 1429, then later committed suicide
  4. ^ Daughter of Bong Yeo (봉여), who killed her himself
  5. ^ Second Princess Consort to the Royal Prince Successor, married in October 15, 1429. Formally separated in October 26, 1436 (instigated by Sejong himself), due to a series of scandals, involving her lie of her pregnancy, and her being caught in a lesbian act (sleeping with one of her palace maids) by Sejong himself, in 1435
  6. ^ One of Munjong's former concubines; Seung-hwi rank. Became Lady Hyeondeok, the Princess Consort to the Royal Prince Successor (현덕빈) upon her marriage
  7. ^ Was demoted in June 26, 1457, as Lady Hyeondeok, following her son's deposition and demotion as Deposed Prince Nosan (노산군) in June 21, 1457. Was posthumously restored back in March 12, 1513, and finally in July 15, 1699
  8. ^ Daughter of Kwon Jeon (권전), Internal Prince Hwasan (화산부원군); and Lady Haeju, Princess Consort to the Internal Prince, of the Choi clan (해주부부인 최씨)
  9. ^ Firstly ranked as "Royal Prince Successor Descendant" (왕세손), when Munjong was still "Royal Prince Successor" (왕세자) during Sejong's reign. Became the Royal Crown Prince when his father became King
  10. ^ Eldest offspring
  11. ^ Later married Jeong Jong (정종, ?–1461), son of Jeong Chung-gyeong (정충경); created Military Officer Yeongyang (영양위)
  12. ^ Later married (April 16, 1454) Kang Ja-sun (강자순), created Military Officer Banseong (반성위); which she later killed upon learning of his affair with Lee Gil-sang (이길상)'s daughter.
  13. ^ Daughter of Mun Min-ji (문민지)
  14. ^ Married in 1442
Munjong of Joseon
Born: 15 November 1414 Died: 1 June 1452
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Sejong the Great
King of Korea
Succeeded by