☞ It's probably be obvious enough by the fact that there is some real content, but this little piece wasn't drafted but merely interpreted (fast and loose, of course) by the Sanchon Hunjang from one of the wonderful teenagers enlightening each other with questionable facts over there at Naver 지식. The style is a bit weak (the translated version undoubtedly more so), and it is clearly three or more independant originals slapped together, but the content is interesting.The original can be found here.
- Ancestral Temple Names
The "ancestral temple names 묘호" are names that were given to rulers who had died, together with a posthumous name, to be used in the ceremonies performed on their behalf at the ancestral temple 종묘. Ancestral temple names were already being used in Korea from the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C. - 668 A.D.). Ancestral names were originally names that were given to Chinese emperors after their deaths with to note their accomplishments. "Joe 祖" and "jong 宗" were used as ancestral temple names. "Joe" was given to "Rulers who created and accomplished 創業之主," while "jong" was for "sovereigns who guarded and perfected 守成之君." However, generally, "joe" was used for kings who founded a dynasty or those who overcame crisis, while "jong" was for those who left behind cultural achievements or governed well. Thus King T'aejo (r. 1392 - 1408) was given this title because he founded a dynasty while King Sǒngjong (r. 1457 - 1494) was given this title because of the many cultural institutions that he instituted. King Sǒnjo of the mid-Chosǒn was first called "Sǒnjong," but later his ancestral temple name was changed to Sǒnjo on the basis of his achievement in surmounting the Japanese Invasion of 1592.
On the other hand, "goon 君" was an ancestral temple name that was given to kings who lacked kingly qualities. Kings Yǒnsan (r. 1494 - 1506) and Kwanghae (r. 1608 - 1623) are typical: King Yǒnsan is the Chosǒn period's most famous tyrant while King Kwanghae was judged by the neo-Confucian scholars of the time to have been morally depraved because he had Queen Dowager Inmok (1584 - 1632), widow of King Sǒnjo (r. 1567 - 1608), dethroned and he instigated the deaths of Prince Imhae (1574 - 1609) and Grand Prince Yǒngch'ang 1606 - 1614), both contenders for his throne.
"Joe" and "jong" could not be used in ancestral hall names at the end of the Koryǒ period (918 - 1392). Following the Mongol invasions at the end of the Koryǒ period, when the Mongol Yuan Dynasty was interfering in the Koryǒ court, they forbade the use of "joe" and "jong" in Koryǒ ancestral hall names. Since "joe" and "jong" were used by the emperors of the Yuan, Koryǒ would have to use titles more appropriate to their place as one of the "dukes" or "feudal princes" 諸侯. Therefore they used such ancestral hall names as King Ch'ungnyǒl (r. 1236 - 1308), King Ch'ungsǒn (r. 1298 and 1308 - 1313) and King Ch'ungsuk (r. 1313 - 1330). Generally, "ch'ung 忠 ["the Loyal"]" is not used for kings. Kings are the recipients of loyalty, not the ones who should be offering their loyalty. The word "ch'ung" is used for royal subjects such as Prince Ch'ungmu ["the Loyal and Martial," the posthumous name bestowed upon Admiral Yi Sun-sin in recognition of his accomplishments in driving the Japanese out of Korea during the 1592 invasions]. But the Yuan caused Koryǒ to use "ch'ung" because they wanted the Koryǒ court to remain loyal to the Yuan from generation to generation. Koryǒ kings such as King Kongmin (r. 1351 - 1374), King U (r. 1374 - 1388), King Ch'ang (r. 1388 - 1389) and King Kongyang (r. 1389 - 1392) did not use "ch'ung." These later kings did not continue to use "ch'ung" because, by that time, the power of the Yuan was waning and the Koryǒ kings had received acknowledgment of their dynasty from the Ming (1368 - 1644).
- How Shall We Distinguish Between the Names, Posthumous Names, Ancestral Hall Names and the Syllables Joe and Jong in the Names of the Kings of the Chosǒn
In the Chosǒn period (1392 - 1910), when a king passed away, his life was judged. The outcome is the posthumous name and the ancestral temple name. A posthumous name is a title that is applied to applaud the merits and virtues exhibited by the king when he was alive. An ancestral temple name is also a name that is by appraising of the king's life and is the name that is used inside of the ancestral temple. T'aejo, Chǒngjong, T'aejong, Sejong and similar titles are all ancestral temple names.
The syllable "joe" or "jong" is attached at the end of ancestral temple names; generally "joe" is used in the case of kings with outstanding merits, and on the other hand, "jong" is used for kings with surpassing virtue. Thus those rulers who oversee a recovery from decline are second to those who create great things, and get the appellation "jong." As a rule, it may be said that kings who have such great accomplishments as the founding of a dynasty, or rescuing the people from a rebellion, or those kings who have given rise to great strife become the joes. Examples begin with T'aejo Yi Sǒng-gye and include such other kings as Sejo, Sǒnjo, Injo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo. Those Kings who expand upon the achievements of the previous monarch, ruling the nation with virtue, and create flourishing cultures are mostly called "jong." It is easy to memorize this as, "Creation and accomplishment: joe; guarding and perfecting: jong." This could be said to follow The Book of Rites, where it says, "Those with merit are 'joe' and those with virtue are 'jong.'"
Of the 27 kings of the Chosǒn, only the seven kings T'aejo, Sejo, Sǒnjo, Injo, Yǒngjo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo use the character "joe." Excluding Kwanghae and Yǒnsan, who were kings in life but were not treated as kings after their deaths, the other kings all use the character "jong." King T'aejo was called "joe" because he founded the dynasty. The other "joe" kings either overcame great national crises (Sǒnjo, Injo), or ascended the throne by coup (Sejo). Yǒngjo, Chǒngjo and Sunjo were called "jong" immediately after their deaths, but later their titles were changed to "joe."
The later in the Chosǒn we get, the less transparent that the reasons for giving a king the title of "joe" or "jong" become. Originally there was no differentiation in status between "joe" and "jong." But it appears that these changes in title happened because "joe" came to be perceived as better than "jong."
According to the historian [, professor at Pukyong National University and prolific author of popular books on things Chosǒn] Shin Myǒng-ho, whether a king would receive the name of "joe" or "jong" depended upon the evaluation of later generations. In extreme cases, an ancestral hall name that had already been set could be changed. For example, in the case of King Sǒnjo, his original ancestral temple name is said to have been "Sǒnjong." His virtue was assessed as having been greater than his merits. Later, however, upon the contentions of Hǒ Kyun (1569 - 1618) and Yi I-ch'ǒm (1560 - 1623), this was changed to Sǒnjo. The basis for this change was he had great merit because he drove the "dwarf bandits" out during the Japanese invasions of 1592. Further, in the case of King Chungjong, the contention was raised before the court that he had great merit because he drove out the tyrant King Yǒnsan and thus his title should be changed to Chungjo. However the court officials objected and it was decided to leave his title as "jong."
De-throned kings had the syllable "goon" [prince] attached to their titles. It was used for those monarchs whose immoral actions as king greatly crossed the Confucian order of the Chosǒn Dynasty. These were Kings Yǒnsan and Kwanghae. These monarchs were stripped of their royal status and so they have no name or title in the ancestral temple.
These names were given to kings and queens after their deaths to be used in the royal ancestral temple shrine that looked after their spirit tablets. These names are called "ancestral temple names." The use of the syllables "joe" and "jong" to refer to dead kings was used with Silla King Muyǒl (r. 602 - 661), of the Three Kingdoms period and use continued from Wang Kǒn, Koryǒ King T'aejo ( r. 918 - 943), up until it was no longer allowed due to the intervention of the Yuan. It was only in the Chosǒn Dynasty that this naming method was used from the beginning to the end.
Our author(s) don't mention it, but these titles of kings that are in common knowledge are abbreviated versions. The actual posthumous names given to kings, especially those of the later Chosǒn when ultra-formality was in full swing, can be really long-assed beasts. For example, the name that was posthumously bestowed on even such a lowly king as King Kwanghae runs a 50 syllables.
It is 體天興運俊德弘功神聖英肅欽文仁武敍倫立紀明誠光烈隆奉顯保懋定重熙睿哲壯毅章憲順靖建義守正彰道崇業大王. Of the Chosǒn kings, the average tenure in office was 19 years. The longest stretch on the throne was King Yǒngjo, who sat there for an amazing 52 years. I'll bet it was difficult to summarize his contributions in a word or two. Thus he was given the 72-syllable mouthful
英祖莊順至行純德英謨毅烈章義洪倫光仁敦禧體天建極聖功神化大成廣運開泰基永堯明舜哲乾坤寧配命垂統景曆洪休中和隆道肅莊彰勳正文宣武熙敬顯孝大王 as a posthumous title.
No wonder those royal tombstones are so big!
In most places you had to do something special to become king. Or your father. Or his father. Because of all that divine right, link to heaven stuff and all, not just anyone could become king. Only one with heaven's blessing.
It wasn't so easy to become king. Especially given the decided dearth of kings who were abdicating (although some of these mythical beasts did exist, even ask the author(s)
of the Zhuangzi
). And a glut of people who wanted to sit on that hard throne seat with just one little 방석 to cushion the tushy
. So you had to wrest power from the guy in charge by...say...turning your army back at the Yalu River and taking over the capital
, or you could drive out the current boy king and then have him offed to silence all naysayers
. And there's always the option of locking the crown prince in a rice chest and leaving the whole package out in the heat to expire so he could be replaced by his son
Of course the fact that one is able to become king is then taken as proof ex post facto
that heaven smiled on you, which has got to help a bit. But then when natural disasters occur, it's all your fault for allowing your virtue to degrade to the point where the kingdom and the will of heaven to fall out of alignment
. Talk about your heavy responsibilities. Who'd want that job?
Whatever the cause, these days those poor royalty don't wield much real power. Heck, a king can't even refer to himself as "짐 (朕)
" anymore (but then neither does God (Guobiao Encoded)
, so maybe that's only fair).
And the process of becoming a king has been greatly simplified, too, over the years. This is especially true in the case of Paekche
. They just have a little pageant and the winner is selected to be king. Look at the line up of handsome candidates:
Strangely, the king of Paekche was selected in Incheon last year. But then again, who'd want to live in 공주/부여