Jinji of Silla

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Jinji of Silla
Hangul 진지왕
Hanja 眞智王
Revised Romanization Jinji wang
McCune–Reischauer Chinji wang

King Jinji of Silla (r. 576-579) was the 25th ruler of the Kingdom of Silla, One of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was dethroned three years after his accession.

Biography[edit]

His birthname was Kim Geumryun and was the second son of King Jinheung of Silla and Queen Sado of Park Clan. On year 576, Geumryun ascended the throne as the 25th king of Silla and became King Jinji, later on. His accession to the throne received different views, some deemed him unfit to rule for his notorious lifestyle. Just like his accession, his reign was also full of intrigues.

According to Samguk Sagi: October of year 577, Baekje attacked the western part of Silla but King Jinji realized their plan early on and sent his troops. Silla's army succeeded in defending their land. King Jinji ordered to build a fortress in the said area, in order to defend it from the future attacks. July of year 578, King Jinji sent an anvoy to Sui Dynasty to maintain their diplomatic relationship. Year 579, Baekje launched an attack which took 3 fortresses from Silla. They also blocked and destroyed important routes and took thousands of Silla people. July of that same year King Jinji died and was succeeded by his nephew who later became, King Jinpyeong.

End of his reign and death[edit]

However, according to Samguk Yusa: During his reign, the court was in conflict and the officials and ministers were greatly divided. And the non-stop attacks by the Baekje forces caused a great loss for Silla, but the king ignored them and continued with his lavish lifestyle and did nothing but drink and feast with different women. As a result, the officials and his people asked him to abdicate. He died on his confinement, 3 months after his abdication.

According to Hwarang Segi: It is said that he was dethroned by his mother, Queen Sado, for refusing to marry her sister(in some accounts, niece) Mishil. He made a promise to marry her and make her his Queen once he became a king but had a change of heart as soon as he took over the throne. He lost interest on her after falling deeply in love with another woman. They spread a rumor that heavens has forsaken Silla for having an immoral king, thus resulted for them losing their lands against the Baekeje. They asked him to abdicate in order to appease the heaven. He was then sent to confinement and died 3 months later. His nephew who was only 10 years old at that time, was then announced as a new king but since he was still too young to rule, Queen Sado acted as his regnant for years.

Legends[edit]

Hwarang Segi says that; King Jinji fell in love with a peasant girl and brought her to the palace to make her one of his concubine. But the woman refused for she was already married to another man. She asked him to let her go and return to her husband, the king asked her "if she knew that she could die for her refusal", the woman told him that "she knew but even so, she still refused for she cannot live having two husband at the same time". The king asked her again if she knew that he can also kill her husband without a problem, the woman told him that she knew "but then she would rather die, than live with another man". The king then asked her, "if she would be able to accept him if she wasn't married", the woman replied "Yes", finally, he let her go. That same year, King Jinji abdicated and died. Two years after his death, the woman's husband died as well, ten days after his death, King Jinji's ghost went on to visit the woman at her house - reminding her of what she said that she will accept him if she wasn't married. The woman then told her mother and father-in-law about it and asked them for approval, the parents of the deceased husband gave her permission - out of fear that their son might suffer in the afterlife if they disobeyed the king. And so, for seven days, the woman's house was filled with smoke and smell of incense. After seven days, the smoke and scent was gone, King Jinji's ghost left as well. Soon, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a child named, "Bihyeong". When King Jinpyeong found out about it, he took Bi Hyung with him and raised him inside the palace. When Bihyeong grew up, the servants from the palace reported to the king that Bihyeong is often leaving the palace at night. The king asked the servant to follow Bi Hyung and find out where he goes at, as it turns out, Bi Hyung was actually meeting with his ghost friends every night on the hills of Hwangcheon River west of the city. When the king heard of it, he asked Bi Hyung to build a bridge on the said river. Bihyeong and the ghosts did build the bridge in just one night,naming it Gwigyo, or Ghost Bridge. One of these ghosts' name was Gildal whom Bihyeong recommended to the royal court and was given the job of guarding the temple. One night, Giltan transformed into a fox and decided to run away, Bi Hyung chased after him and killed him. Because of it, the ghosts started to fear Bi Hyung and decided to left the palace and never returned.

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Jinji of Silla
 Died: 579
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jinheung
King of Silla
576–579
Succeeded by
Jinpyeong