山村訓長但知覓

The Sanchon Hunjang
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8/14/2008

 

Not just any old Joe

☞ 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.





  1. 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).


  2. 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.

Curious?

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!

Comments:
블로그 관리자가 댓글을 삭제했습니다.
 
Hi. My name is Lee Hyunmin and I am a student of Seoul National University. First of all I appreciate your consideration for Korea. I would like to introduce Korean culture more, so would like to I send you an e-mail about that. My e-mail address is i
oyuu@hanmail.net
I will wait your e-mail. Thank you very much. :)
 
Great Blog, you should submit it too The Expat Directory: http://www.theexpatdirectory.com/forms/add_site.php
 
very interesting post

thanks for sharing
 
블로그 관리자가 댓글을 삭제했습니다.
 
What happened to your blog?
 
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Hunjangnim, are you still writing somewhere- another blog, or even in print? It's been ten years since I first stumbled across this blog and eight since the last update- I hope you've simply moved onto another platform and all is well. I still find myself coming back from time to time to reread your pieces- each time hoping maybe you'll leave a forwarding address. Thanks for the insights regardless.
 
Thank you so much for the very kind words, Mr/Ms/Mrs Anonymous. The Sanchon Hunjang really, really enjoyed writing this blog, but when the he moved to China, he found to his chagrin that the regime in power there so fears the power of Blogger that they permanently block access. They also do this with other known seedbeds of sedition such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the like. Without access, I can't update, so it all fell by the wayside. Fortuitously, your very nice comment landed in the Sanchon Hunjang's inbox just as he happened to be in the transit lounge at Incheon International. Should anyone so desire, the Sanchon Hunjang can be reached at the name of the author at the end of each of these posts (starts with "t") @hotmail 점콤.
 
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