Taejo of Joseon

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Taejo of Joseon
朝鮮太祖
조선 태조
King Taejo Yi 02.jpg
Portrait of King Taejo
Grand King Emeritus of Joseon
Tenure22 October 1398 – 27 June 1408
King of Joseon
Reign13 August 1392 – 22 October 1398
CoronationSuchang Palace, Gaegyeong, Kingdom of Goryeo
PredecessorDynasty established
Gongyang as King of Goryeo
SuccessorJeongjong of Joseon
BornYi Seong-gye (이성계, 李成桂)
4 November 1335
Ssangseong Prefectures, Yuan Empire
(present-day Kŭmya County, South Hamgyŏng Province, North Korea)
Died27 June 1408(1408-06-27) (aged 72)
Byeoljeon Hall, Gwangyeonru Pavilion, Changdeok Palace, Hanseong, Kingdom of Joseon
Burial
Spouse(s)
(m. 1351; died 1391)

(died 1396)
IssueJeongjong of Joseon
Taejong of Joseon
Posthumous name
  • Joseon dynasty: King Gangheon Seongmun Sinmu Jeongui Gwangdeok the Great[1]
    • 강헌성문신무정의광덕대왕
    • 康獻聖文神武正義光德大王
  • Korean Empire: Emperor Seongmun Sinmu Jeongui Gwangdeok Go[2]
    • 성문신무정의광덕고황제
    • 聖文神武正義光德高皇帝
  • Ming dynasty: Gangheon (강헌, 康獻)[3]
Temple name
Taejo (태조, 太祖)
ClanJeonju Yi clan
DynastyHouse of Yi
FatherYi Ja-chun
MotherLady Choe of the Yeongheung Choe clan
ReligionKorean BuddhismKorean Confucianism (Neo-Confucianism)
SignatureTaejo signature.jpg
Military career
Allegiance Goryeo
Years of service1356–1392
RankCommander-in-Chief of the Three Armies
Battles/wars
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationTaejo
McCune–ReischauerT'aejo
Birth name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationI Seonggye, later I Dan
McCune–ReischauerYi Sŏnggye, later Yi Tan
Courtesy name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationJunggyeol & Gunjin
McCune–ReischauerChunggyŏl & Kunjin
Art name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationSongheon & Songheongeosa
McCune–ReischauerSonghŏn & Songhŏnkŏsa

Taejo of Joseon (4 November 1335 – 27 June 1408),[4][5] born Yi Seong-gye (Korean이성계; Hanja李成桂), was the founder and first ruler of the Joseon dynasty of Korea. After ascending to the throne, he changed his name to Yi Dan (Korean이단; Hanja李旦), and reigned from 1392 to 1398. He was the main figure in the overthrowing of the Goryeo dynasty. Taejo abdicated in 1398 during a strife between his sons and died in 1408.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Taejo's father, Yi Ja-chun, was an official of Korean ethnicity serving the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.[6] Taejo's mother, Lady Choe, was a Goryeo woman from a prominent family originally from Deungju (Anbyeon County) in present-day North Korea. Her father was a Korean chiliarch under the Yuan dynasty who commanded a mingghan. She later moved to Hamgyeong, in Goryeo.[7]

Historical context for rise[edit]

By the late 14th century, the 400-year-old Goryeo dynasty established by Wang Geon in 918 was tottering, its foundations collapsing from years of war and de facto occupation by the disintegrating Mongol Empire. The legitimacy of Korea itself was also becoming an increasingly disputed issue within the court, as the ruling house failed not only to govern the kingdom effectively, but was also affected by generations of forced intermarriage with members of the Yuan imperial family and by rivalry amongst various branches of the royal family, with King U's mother being a known commoner, thus leading to rumors disputing his descent from King Gongmin.

Within the kingdom, influential aristocrats, generals, and ministers struggled for royal favor and vied for domination of the court, resulting in deep divisions among various factions. With the ever-increasing number of raids against Goryeo conducted by Japanese pirates (waegu) and the Red Turbans, those who came to dominate the royal court were the reformed-minded Sinjin aristocracy and the opposing Gweonmun aristocracy, as well as generals who could actually fight off the foreign threats—namely a talented general named Yi Seong-gye and his rival Choe Yeong. With the rise of the Ming dynasty under a former monk, Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor), Yuan forces became more vulnerable. By the 1350s, Goryeo regained its full independence from the Yuan dynasty, although Yuan remnants effectively occupied northeastern territories with large garrisons of troops.

Military career[edit]

Yi Seong-gye started his career as a warrior started in 1360. In October 1361, he killed Park Ui, who rebelled against the government. In the same year, when the Red Turbans had invaded and captured Gaegyeong, he helped the recapture of the capital with 3,000 men. In 1362, when General Naghachu invaded Goryeo, Yi Seong-gye was appointed as a commander and defeated him.[8]

General Yi had gained power and respect during the late 1370s and early 1380s by pushing Mongol remnants off the peninsula and also by repelling well-organized Japanese pirates in a series of successful engagements. He was also credited with routing the Red Turbans when they made their move into the Korean Peninsula as part of their rebellion against the Yuan dynasty. Following in the wake of the rise of the Ming dynasty under Zhu Yuanzhang, the royal court in Goryeo split into two competing factions: the group led by General Yi (supporting the Ming dynasty) and the camp led by his rival General Choe (supporting the Yuan dynasty).

When a Ming messenger came to Goryeo in 1388 (the 14th year of King U) to demand the return of a significant portion of Goryeo's northern territory, General Choe seized the opportunity and played upon the prevailing anti-Ming atmosphere to argue for the invasion of the Liaodong Peninsula (Goryeo claimed to be the successor of the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo; as such, restoring Manchuria as part of Korean territory was a tenet of its foreign policy throughout its history).[citation needed]

A staunchly opposed Yi Seong-gye was chosen to lead the invasion; however, at Wihwa Island on the Amrok River, he made a momentous decision, commonly called "Turning back the army from Wihwa Island", that would alter the course of Korean history. Knowing of the support he enjoyed both from high-ranking government officials, the general populace, and the great deterrent of Ming Empire under the Hongwu Emperor, he decided to revolt and swept back to the capital, Gaegyeong, to secure control of the government.

Revolution[edit]

General Yi swept his army from the Amrok River straight into the capital, defeated forces loyal to the king (led by General Choe, whom he proceeded to eliminate), and forcibly dethroned King U in a de facto coup d'état, but did not ascend to the throne right away. Instead, he placed on the throne King U's eight-years-old son, King Chang, and following a failed restoration of the former monarch, had both of them put to death. Yi Seong-gye, now the undisputed power behind the throne, soon forcibly had a royal named Wang Yo crowned as the new ruler (King Gongyang; 공양왕, 恭讓王). After indirectly enforcing his grasp on the royal court through the puppet king, he then proceeded to ally himself with Sinjin aristocrats, such as Jeong Do-jeon and Jo Jun.

One of the most widely repeated episodes that occurred during this period was in 1392, when Taejo's fifth son, Yi Bang-won (later King Taejong), threw a party for the renowned scholar, poet and statesman Jeong Mong-ju, who refused to be won over by Yi Seong-gye despite their numerous correspondences in the form of archaic poems, and continued to be a faithful supporter of the old dynasty, and a leading figure in the opposition to General Yi's claim to the throne. Jeong Mong-ju was revered throughout Goryeo, even by Yi Bang-won himself, but he was seen to be an obstacle and as such, in the eyes of supporters of the new dynasty, had to be removed. After the party, on his way home, he was murdered by five men on the Seonjuk Bridge (선죽교, 善竹橋) in Gaegyeong. This bridge has now become a national monument of North Korea, and a brown spot on one of the stones is said to be a bloodstain of his which turns red when it rains.

Reign[edit]

In 1392 (the 4th year of King Gongyang's reign), Yi Seong-gye forced Gongyang to abdicated, exiled him to Wonju (where he and his family were secretly executed), and crowned himself as king, thus ending Goryeo's 475 years of rule.[9] In 1393, he changed his dynasty's name to Joseon.[10]

An early achievement of the new monarch was improved relations with Ming China; this had its origin in General Yi's refusal to attack their neighbour in response to raids from Chinese bandits.[11] Shortly after his accession, the king sent envoys to inform the Ming court at Nanjing that a dynastic change had taken place.[12] Korean envoys were dispatched to Japan, seeking the re-establishment of amicable relations. The mission was successful, and Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was reported to have been favorably impressed by this initial embassy.[13] Envoys from the Ryūkyū Kingdom were received in 1392, 1394 and 1397. Siam sent an envoy in 1393.[12]

In 1394, the capital was established at Hanseong (present-day Seoul).[14][15]

When the new dynasty was promulgated and officially brought into existence, Taejo brought up the issue of which son would be his successor. Although his fifth son by Queen Sinui, Yi Bang-won, had contributed most to assisting his father's rise to power, he harbored a profound hatred against two of his father's key allies in the court, the Chief State Councillor Jeong Do-jeon and Nam Eun.

Both sides were fully aware of the mutual animosity and constantly felt threatened. When it became clear that Yi Bang-won was the most worthy successor to the throne, Jeong Do-jeon used his influence on the king to convince him that the wisest choice would be in the son that Taejo loved most, not the son that Taejo felt was best for the kingdom.

In 1392, the eighth son of King Taejo (the second son of Queen Sindeok), Yi Bang-seok was appointed as Crown Prince. After the sudden death of the queen, and while King Taejo was still in mourning for his second wife, Jeong Do-jeon conspired to pre-emptively kill Yi Bang-won and his brothers to secure his position in court.[citation needed]

In 1398, upon hearing of this plan, Yi Bang-won immediately revolted and raided the palace, killing Jeong Do-jeon, his followers, and the two sons of the late Queen Sindeok. This incident became known as the "First Strife of Princes". Aghast at the fact that his sons were willing to kill each other for the crown, and psychologically exhausted from the death of his second wife, King Taejo immediately crowned his second son Yi Bang-gwa (posthumously called King Jeongjong), as the new ruler. Thereafter, Taejo retired to the Hamhung Royal Villa and maintained distance with his fifth son for the rest of his life. Allegedly, Yi Bang-won sent emissaries numerous times, and each time Taejo killed them to express his firm decision not to meet his son again. This historical anecdote gave birth to the term "Hamhung Chasa", which means a person who never comes back despite several nudges.[16] But recent studies have found that Taejo in fact did not kill any of those Hamhung emissaries. Those subjects were killed during revolts, which coincidentally occurred in the Hamhung region.[17]

In 1400, King Jeongjong pronounced his brother Yi Bang-won as heir presumptive and voluntarily abdicated. That same year, Yi Bang-won assumed the throne of Joseon at long last as King Taejong.

Ten years after his abdication, King Taejo died on June 27, 1408, in Changdeok Palace. He was buried at Geonwonneung (건원릉), Dongguneung Cluster, in the city of Guri, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.[18]

The tomb of his umbilical cord is in Geumsan County, South Chungcheong Province, also in South Korea.

Family[edit]

Consorts and their respective issue(s):

  1. Queen Sinui of the Cheongju Han clan (신의왕후 한씨) (4 September 1337 – 21 October 1391)[21][22]
    1. Yi Bang-u, Grand Prince Jinan (진안대군 이방우) (1354 – 15 January 1394), first son[23][24]
    2. Yi Bang-gwa, Grand Prince Yeongan (영안대군 이방과) (26 July 1357 – 24 October 1419), second son
    3. Yi Bang-ui, Grand Prince Ikan (익안대군 이방의) (1360 – 29 October 1404), third son[25][26]
    4. Yi Bang-gan, Grand Prince Hoean (회안대군 이방간) (1364 – 10 April 1421), fourth son[27][28][29]
    5. Yi Bang-won, Grand Prince Jeongan (정안대군 이방원) (13 June 1367 – 8 June 1422), fifth son
    6. Yi Bang-yeon, Grand Prince Deokan (덕안대군 이방연) (1370 – 1388), sixth son
    7. Princess Gyeongshin (경신공주) (? – 22 March 1426), second daughter[30][31]
    8. Princess Gyeongseon (경선공주), third daughter[30][32][33]
  2. Queen Sindeok of the Goksan Gang clan (신덕왕후 강씨) (12 July 1356 – 15 September 1396)[34][35]
    1. Princess Gyeongsun (경순공주) (? – 1407), first daughter[36][30][37][38]
    2. Yi Bang-beon, Grand Prince Muan (무안대군 이방번) (1381 – 6 October 1398), seventh son[39][40]
    3. Yi Bang-seok, Grand Prince Uian (의안대군 이방석) (1382 – 6 October 1398), eighth son[39][40]
  3. Consort Seong of the Wonju Won clan (성비 원씨) (? – 1449)[41][42][43]
  4. Royal Lady Jeonggyeong of the Goheung Yu clan (정경궁주 유씨)[44][45][46]
  5. Princess Hwaui of the Gim clan (화의옹주 김씨) (? – 1428)[47]
    1. Princess Sukshin (숙신옹주) (? – 1453), fifth daughter[48][49]
  6. Lady Chandeok of the Ju clan (찬덕 주씨)[50]
    1. Princess Uiryeong (의령옹주) (? – 1466), fourth daughter[51]
  7. Palace Lady Yi (궁인 이씨)

Ancestry[edit]

One of the many issues demonstrating the early strained relationship between Joseon and Ming was the debate of Taejo's genealogy, which began as early as 1394[52] and became a sort of diplomatic friction that lasted over 200 years. The Collected Regulations of the Great Ming (simplified Chinese: 大明会通; traditional Chinese: 大明會通; pinyin: Dà Míng Hùitōng) erroneously recorded "Yi Dan" (이단; Taejo's personal name) as the son of Yi In-im (이인임), and that "Yi Dan" killed the last four kings of Goryeo, thereby establishing Ming's opinion of Taejo as an usurper first and foremost, from the time of the Hongwu Emperor when he repeatedly refused to acknowledge him as the new sovereign of the Korean Peninsula. The first mention of this error was in 1518 (about 9 years after the publication),[53] and those who saw the publication made petitions towards Ming demanding for redress, among others Left Chanseong Yi Gye-maeng (좌찬성 이계맹) and then-Minister of Rites Nam Gon (예조판서 남곤), who wrote Jonggye Byeonmu (종계변무, 宗系辨誣).[54] It took until 1584 (after many Ming envoys had seen the petitions), through Chief Scholar Hwang Jeong-uk (대제학 황정욱), that the issue was finally addressed.[55] The Wanli Emperor commissioned a second edition in 1576 (covering the years between 1479 and 1584). About a year after its completion, Yu Hong (유홍) saw the revision, and returned to Joseon with the good news.[56]

Legacy[edit]

Despite the fact that he overthrew the Goryeo dynasty, and purged officials who remained loyal to the old regime, many regard him as a revolutionary and a decisive ruler who deposed the inept, obsolete and crippled governing system to save the nation from many foreign forces and conflicts.[citation needed]

Safeguarding domestic security led the Koreans to rebuild and further discover their culture. In the midst of the rival Yuan and Ming dynasties, Joseon encouraged the development of national identity which was once threatened by the Mongols. However, some scholars, particularly in North Korea,[57] view Taejo as a mere traitor to the old regime and bourgeois apostate, while paralleling him to General Choe Yeong, a military elite who conservatively served the old regime of Goryeo to death.

His diplomatic policy successes in securing Korea in the early modern period is notable.[58]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Taejong Sillok vol.16, 7 August 1408, entry 3.
  2. ^ Gojong notably omitted the posthumous name bestowed by China on Taejo, as a sign of the country's "independence" from the Qing dynasty [Gojong Sillok vol.39, 23 December 1899, entry 1].
  3. ^ The title Gangheon (강헌, 康獻) was bestowed by the Ming dynasty, and was added to Taejo's posthumous name [Taejong Sillok vol.16, 13 October 1408, entry 1].
  4. ^ 11 October 1335 – 24 May 1408 (Lunar calendar); 27 October 1335 – 18 June 1408 (Julian calendar).
  5. ^ In the records of the Ming dynasty, there are rumors according to which Taejo was actually born between 1336 and 1338.
  6. ^ 태조실록 5권, 태조 3년 4월 28일 정유 3번째기사
  7. ^ "의혜왕후(懿惠王后) - 한국민족문화대백과사전". encykorea.aks.ac.kr. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  8. ^ "태조(太祖) - 한국민족문화대백과사전". encykorea.aks.ac.kr. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  9. ^ "조선왕조실록". sillok.history.go.kr. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  10. ^ "조선왕조실록". sillok.history.go.kr. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  11. ^ Hussain, Tariq. (2006). Diamond Dilemma: Shaping Korea for the 21st Century, p. 45; Hodge, Carl Cavanagh. (2008). Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914: A–K, p. 401.
  12. ^ a b Goodrich, L. Carrington et al. (1976). Dictionary of Ming biography, 1368–1644 (明代名人傳), Vol. II, p. 1601.
  13. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 320; Northeast Asian History Foundation: Korea-Japan relations> Early Modern Period> Foreign Relations in Early Joseon Archived October 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "Seoul municipality website". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011.
  15. ^ "About Seoul> History> General Information> Center of Korean Culture". Archived from the original on 3 December 2012.
  16. ^ "함흥차사(咸興差使) - 한국민족문화대백과사전". encykorea.aks.ac.kr. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  17. ^ [카드뉴스]이성계는 '함흥차사'를 죽이지 않았다. 아시아경제 (in Korean). 24 February 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  18. ^ Seoul municipality: News> Features> Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty> Ggureung Tomb Complex at Guri-si, Gyeonggi-do.
  19. ^ Also known by his Mongolian name "Ulus Bukha" (吾魯思不花).
  20. ^ a b Firstly, Taejo honored his agnatic forefathers to the 4th degree and their legal wives with the posthumous titles "King" (Wang; 왕) & "Consort" (Bi; 비) on 16 August 1392 [Taejo Sillok, vol.1, year 1, entry 2], further confirmed on 20 November 1392 [Taejo Sillok, vol.2, year 1, entry 1]. Taejong upgraded the earlier honors bestowed on his forefathers by bestowing them the temple names "Progenitor" (Jo; 조) with the style of "the Great (King)" (Daewang; 대왕), and the title of "Queen" (Wanghu; 왕후), on 14 May 1411 [Taejong Sillok, vol.21, year 11, entry 1]. Yi Ja-chun and his wife, Lady Choe, were posthumously honored by their son Taejo as "King Hwan" (환왕) & "Consort Ui" (의비) respectively, and by their grandson Taejong with the temple name "Hwanjo the Great" (환조대왕) & posthumous name "Queen Uihye" (의혜왕후) respectively.
  21. ^ Daughter of Han Gyeong, Internal Prince Ancheon & Duke Gyeongmin (안천부원군 경민공 한경); and Lady Shin of the Saknyeong Shin clan (삭녕 신씨), also known as Grand Lady Shin of the Samhan State (삼한국대부인 신씨).
  22. ^ Taejo posthumously honored his deceased first wife as "Consort Jeol" (절비) in 1393. The title was upgraded by their second son, the then-reigning King Jeongjong, with the posthumous name "Queen Sinui" on 19 December 1398 [Taejo Sillok, vol.15, year 7, entry 1]. Taejong further honored his mother by upgrading her from "Queen" to "Great Queen" (Wangtaehu; 왕태후) on 25 September 1408, but on 6 July 1683, Sukjong reverted her posthumous name to that of "Queen". Elevated in 1897, during the Korean Empire, as "Sinui, the Empress Go" (신의고황후).
  23. ^ Married Lady Ji of the Chungju Ji clan (충주 지씨), also known as Grand Lady Ji of the Samhan State (삼한국대부인 지씨).
  24. ^ His wife's younger sisters became concubines of his second brother, King Jeongjong—Royal Noble Consort Seong (성빈) & Royal Consort Sug-ui (숙의).
  25. ^ Married Lady Choe of the Dongju Choe clan (동주 최씨), also known as Grand Lady Choe of the Samhan State (삼한국대부인 최씨), and had issue (1 son and 2 daughters).
  26. ^ With his concubine, Lady Yi of the Goseong Yi clan (고성 이씨), he had 1 son.
  27. ^ Married Lady Min of the Yeoheung Min clan and had issue (1 son).
  28. ^ Remarried to Lady Hwang of the Miryang Hwang clan and had issue (1 son and 2 daughters).
  29. ^ Married for the third time to Lady Geum of the Gimpo Geum clan (김포 금씨), also known as Grand Princess Consort Geumneung (금릉부부인), and had issue (2 sons).
  30. ^ a b c As a legitimate daughter of the king, her title properly translates to "Royal Princess" (Gongju; 공주, 公主).
  31. ^ Married Yi Ae (이애), birth name Yi Baek-gyeong (이백경), created Internal Prince Sangdang (상당부원군); eldest son of Yi Geo-yi, Internal Prince Seowon & Duke Mundo (서원부원군 문도공 이거이), the killer of Grand Prince Uian.
  32. ^ Married Shim Jong (심종), created Prince Cheongwon (청원군); sixth son of Shim Deok-bu, Duke Jeongan & Count Cheongseong (정안공 청성백 심덕부) (1328 – 1401). The eldest daughter of her older brother-in-law, Shim On (심온), later became Sejong's primary wife.
  33. ^ Died after 1466.
  34. ^ Youngest daughter of Gang Yun-seong, Internal Prince Sangsan & Duke Munjeong (상산부원군 문정공 강윤성); and Lady Gang of the Jinju Gang clan (진주 강씨), also known as Internal Princess Consort Jinsan (진산부부인).
  35. ^ Only known as "Consort Hyeon" (Hyeonbi; 현비) after her death and never granted a posthumous name due to Taejong's enmity towards her and her sons. In 1669, at the recommendation of Song Si-yeol, Hyeonjong granted her her rightful place at the Royal Shrine on 30 August. The posthumous name "Queen Sindeok" was finally granted on 14 September. Elevated during the Korean Empire as "Sindeok, the Empress Go" (신덕고황후) in December 1899.
  36. ^ While none of the birth dates of Taejo's daughters are known, she is believed to have been born around 1372.
  37. ^ Married Yi Je (이제) (1365 – 6 October 1398), created Prince Heungan (흥안군) for services offered during Taejo's foundation of Joseon; son of Yi Il-lip (이인립) and nephew of Yi In-im (이인임) (? – 1388).
  38. ^ After the First Strife of Princes, Yi Bang-gwa ordered her out of the palace.
  39. ^ a b On 14 September 1406, Taejong bestowed upon his slain half-brothers Yi Bang-beon & Yi Bang-seok the posthumous names of "Prince Gongsun" (공순군) and "Prince Sodo" (소도군); Taejong never acknowledged the fact that his youngest brother became the crown prince (7 September 1392; Yi Bang-gwa stripped him off his title during the First Strife of Princes). On 21 August 1680, Sukjong elevated their posthumous names to "Grand Prince Muan" and "Grand Prince Uian".
  40. ^ a b Both princes were slain during the onslaught of the First Strife of Princes (제1차 왕자의 난). Jo Jun (조준) killed Yi Bang-beon out of the city gates; after his younger brother was stripped off his title as crown prince, Yi Geo-yi (father-in-law of his elder half-sister Royal Princess Gyeongshin) and others, appeared from Yeongchumun Gate of Gyeongbok Palace and killed him. Yi Je, the husband of younger sister Royal Princess Gyeongsun, was killed alongside Jeong Do-jeon's faction.
  41. ^ Eldest daughter of Won Sang, Duke Huijeong (희정공 원상); and Lady Son (손씨) (? – 1414).
  42. ^ Entered the palace on 25 February 1398 [Taejo Sillok, vol.13, year 7, entry 2], and was firstly known as Bin (빈, 嬪), which at the time wasn't a rank, but literally meant "concubine".
  43. ^ Taejong treated Lady Won as his legal mother (계모) and in 1406, she became known as "Consort Seong" (Seongbi; 성비, 誠妃), after Taejong promoted her to Bi (비, 妃). This title was reminiscent of Goryeo, where it was given to the highest-level wives (the previous dynasty had a polygamous system which recognized multiple primary wives, as opposed to Joseon, where monogamy—a man could be married to one woman at a time, even if concubines were accepted—was enforced). It roughly translates to "Consort" and the rank was usually equivalent to that of a "Queen" (왕비, 王妃). After Taejo's death, a debate arose over whether she should be treated as his "main palace" (i.e. official wife). It was finally decided that her status was that of a concubine. Perhaps for this reason, the name on her tombstone is Seongbin (성빈, 誠嬪) instead of Seongbi (성비, 誠妃).
  44. ^ Daughter of Yu Jun (유준).
  45. ^ Lady Yu served as a palace maid under Queen Sindeok. In 1398, along with Chiljeomseon, Taejo bestowed on her the title "Princess Jeonggyeong" (정경옹주) [Taejo Sillok, vol.13, year 7, entry 1]. Eight years later, in 1406, Taejong elevated her title to that of "Royal Lady Jeonggyeong" [Taejong Sillok, vol.11, year 6, entry 3].
  46. ^ Her last recorded presence was during Sejong's first year of reign [Sejong Sillok, vol.5, 15 October 1419, entry 5].
  47. ^ Known as Chiljeomseon, she was originally a courtesan in Gimhae. In 1398, Taejo bestowed on her the title "Princess Hwaui" [Taejo Sillok, vol.13, year 7, entry 1].
  48. ^ Personal name Yi Myeo-ji (이며치).
  49. ^ Married Hong Hae (홍해), created Prince Consort Dangseong (당성위); son of Hong Eon-su (홍언수).
  50. ^ Chandeok (찬덕, 贊德) was a second junior rank (종2품) or third senior rank (정3품) that was part of the Internal Court (내명부, 內命婦) in early Joseon. Created during Taejo's era, it disappeared by the time of both Sejong's reign & Lady Ju's death. [Taejong Sillok vol.1, 23 March 1401, entry 2; vol.9, 14 February 1405, entry 3].
  51. ^ Married Yi Deung (이등), created Prince Consort Gyecheon (계천위); son of Yi Gae (이개).
  52. ^ [Taejo Sillok, vol.6, 14 July 1394, entry 1].
  53. ^ [Jungjong Sillok, vol.32, 3 June 1518, entry 1].
  54. ^ [Jungjong Sillok, vol.33, 3 July 1518, entry 1].
  55. ^ [Seonjo Sillok, 2 December 1584, entry 2].
  56. ^ [Seonjo Sillok, vol.22, 23 April 1588, entry 1; 19 May 1588, entry 1].
  57. ^ "[Feature] Chosun: North Korea's Love-Hate Relationship with History - New Focus International". 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  58. ^ Kang, Jae-eun et al. (2006). The Land of Scholars, p. 172; Northeast Asian History Foundation Archived March 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine > Korea-China relations> Early Modern Period> Korea-China relations during the Joseon Archived October 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

References[edit]

Taejo of Joseon
Born: 4 November 1335 Died: 27 June 1408
Regnal titles
New title
King of Joseon
13 August 1392 – 22 October 1398
Succeeded by