Munjong of Joseon

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Yi Hyang
King of Joseon
Reign 18 May 1450 – 14 May 1452
Predecessor Sejong of Joseon
Successor Danjong of Joseon
Born (1414-11-15)November 15, 1414
Died June 1, 1452(1452-06-01) (aged 37)
Gyeongbokgung, Hanseong
Consort Queen Hyeondeok
Issue Danjong of Joseon
Posthumous name
King Munjong Gongsun Heummyung Insuk Gwangmun Seonghyo the Great of Korea
Temple name
House Jeonju Yi
Father Sejong of Joseon
Mother Queen Soheon
Munjong of Joseon
Revised Romanization Munjong
McCune–Reischauer Munjong
Birth name
Revised Romanization I Hyang
McCune–Reischauer I Hyang

Munjong of Joseon (15 November 1414 – 1 June 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. He improved Hwacha as well-known type for nowadays, by himself and yonger brother Pe. ImYung(Yi Gu, 임영대군 이구). 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.


King Sejong is considered as the best king in Korean history, however, he didn't have good daughters-in-law. He especially took care of Royal Noble Consort Sun of the Haeum Bong clan (순빈 봉씨) after experiencing a loss of the first daughter-in-law. Firstly, Royal Noble Consort Hwi of the Andong Kim clan wanted to gain love from Munjong. She burned shoes of Munjong's love and made her drink the ashes with alcohol. Later, King Sejong found out and she was kicked out of her position which was the second highest position where women could go during Joseon Dynasty. After Royal Noble Consort Hwi of the Andong Kim clan lost her position, Royal Noble Consort Sun of the Haeum Bong clan (순빈 봉씨) became crowned prince's second wife. However, she was so lonely that she loved one of her maids named So-ssang (소쌍). Also, she relied on alcohol too much and at that time period, woman drinking too much alcohol was unacceptable. She lost her position because the king found out that she was a lesbian. Lastly, Queen of the Andong Kwon clan became the third wife of Munjong. She was the only wife that Munjong loved and she gave birth to Princess Gyeonghye and Danjong. Danjong was the next king of Joseon after Munjong died. She wasn't a troublemaker but she died right after she gave birth to her son.


  1. Royal Noble Consort Hwi of the Andong Kim clan (1410–1429) (휘빈 김씨)[1][2][3]
  2. Royal Noble Consort Sun of the Haeum Bong clan (1414–1436) (순빈 봉씨)[4][5]
  3. Queen Hyeondeok of the Andong Kwon clan (17 April 1418 – 10 August 1441) (현덕왕후 권씨)[6][7][8]
    1. An unnamed Daughter (died in childhood)[9]
    2. Princess Gyeonghye (1436 – 30 December 1473) (경혜공주)[10]
    3. Yi Hong-Wi, Prince Nosan (9 August 1441 – 7 November 1457) (이홍위 노산군)[11]
  4. Royal Noble Consort Suk of the Namyang Hong clan (1418 – ?) (숙빈 홍씨)
    1. An unnamed daughter (died in childhood)
  5. Royal Consort So-ui of the Ryu clan (소의 류씨)
  6. Consort Sa-chik of the Yang clan (사칙 양씨)
    1. Princess Gyeongsuk (1439–?) (경숙옹주)[12]
    2. An unnamed daughter (died in childhood)
  7. Royal Consort Suk-ui of the Nampyeong Mun clan (1426 – 1508)[13][14]
  8. Royal Consort So-yong of the Kwon clan (소용 권씨)
  9. Royal Consort So-yong of the Jeong clan (소용 정씨)
    1. An unnamed son (died in childhood)
  10. Consort So-hun of the Yun clan (소훈 윤씨)
  11. Consort Seung-hwi of the Yu clan (승휘 유씨)
  12. 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

Popular culture[edit]


  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. ^ Eldest offspring
  10. ^ Later married Jeong Jong (정종, ?–1461), son of Jeong Chung-gyeong (정충경); created Military Officer Yeongyang (영양위)
  11. ^ 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
  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 Joseon
May 18, 1450 – May 14, 1452
Succeeded by