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