Taejo of Joseon (4 November 1335 – 27 June 1408),[ii][iii][iv] personal name Yi Seong-gye (Korean이성계; Hanja李成桂), later Yi Dan (Korean이단; Hanja李旦), was the founder and first ruler of the Joseon dynasty of Korea. After overthrowing the Goryeo dynasty, he ascended to the throne in 1392 and abdicated six years later during a strife between his sons. He was honored as Emperor Go (Korean고황제; Hanja高皇帝) following the establishment of the Korean Empire.

Taejo of Joseon
조선 태조
Portrait of King Taejo
Grand King Emeritus of Joseon
Tenure5 September 1398 – 24 May 1408
King of Joseon
Reign17 July 1392 – 5 September 1398
EnthronementSuchang Palace, Gaegyeong
PredecessorDynasty established
Gongyang as King of Goryeo
BornYi Seong-gye (이성계; 李成桂)
4 November 1335
Ssangseong Prefectures, Great Yuan (present-day Kŭmya County, South Hamgyŏng Province, North Korea)
Died27 June 1408(1408-06-27) (aged 72)
Byeoljeon Hall, Gwangyeonru Pavilion, Changdeok Palace, Hanseong, Joseon
(m. 1351; died 1391)
(m. 1370; died 1396)
among others...
Era name and dates
Adopted the era name of the Ming dynasty:
  • Hongmu (Hongwu) (홍무; 洪武): 1392–1398
Posthumous name
  • Joseon: 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[i]
    • 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
ReligionKorean Buddhism
Military career
Allegiance Goryeo
Years of service1356–1392
RankCommander-in-Chief of the Three Armies
Korean name
Revised RomanizationTaejo
Birth name
Revised RomanizationI Seonggye, later I Dan
McCune–ReischauerYi Sŏnggye, later Yi Tan
Courtesy name
Revised RomanizationJunggyeol & Gunjin
McCune–ReischauerChunggyŏl & Kunjin
Art name
Revised RomanizationSongheon & Songheongeosa
McCune–ReischauerSonghŏn & Songhŏn'gŏsa

Taejo emphasized continuity over change. No new institutions were created and no massive purges occurred during his reign. His new dynasty was largely dominated by the same ruling families and officials that had served the previous regime.[4] He re-established amicable ties with Japan and improved relations with Ming China.[5][6][7]

Biography edit

Early life edit

Taejo's father was Yi Ja-chun, an official of Korean ethnicity serving the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty.[8] His mother, Lady Choe, came from a prominent family originally from Deungju (present-day Anbyŏn County, North Korea); her father, another Yuan official of Korean ethnicity, rose to the position of commander of a mingghan.[9] For quite some time, Lady Choe had been rumored to be of Chinese ethnicity,[4] but due to a lack of evidence and other historical documents that contradict this claim, Lady Choe and her family are recognized by modern historians as ethnic Koreans who served the Yuan dynasty after the Mongol invasions.[10][11]

Historical context 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 the royal family itself was also becoming an increasingly disputed issue within the court, as the ruling house not only failed to govern the kingdom effectively, but was also affected by rivalry among its various branches and by generations of forced intermarriage with members of the Yuan imperial family, while King U's biological mother being a known slave led to rumors contesting his descent from King Gongmin.

Influential aristocrats, generals, and ministers struggled for royal favor and vied for domination of the court, resulting in deep divisions between various factions. With the ever-increasing number of raids against Goryeo conducted by Japanese pirates and the Red Turbans, those who came to dominate the royal court were the reformed-minded Sinjin faction of the scholar-officials and the opposing Gwonmun faction of the old aristocratic families, as well as generals who could actually fight off the foreign threats—namely Yi Seong-gye and his rival Choe Yeong. As the Ming dynasty started to emerge, the Yuan forces became more vulnerable, and Goryeo regained its full independence by the mid-1350s, although Yuan remnants effectively occupied northeastern territories with large garrisons of troops.

Military career edit

Yi Seong-gye started his career as a military officer in 1360, and would eventually rise up the ranks.[4] In October 1361, he killed Park Ui, who rebelled against the government. In the same year, when the Red Turbans had invaded and seized Gaegyeong, he helped recapture the capital city with 3,000 men. In 1362, General Naghachu invaded Goryeo and Yi Seong-gye defeated him after being appointed as commander.[12]

General Yi had gained prestige during the late 1370s and early 1380s by pushing Mongol remains off the peninsula and also by repelling the well-organized Japanese pirates in a series of successful engagements.[4] Following in the wake of the rise of the Ming dynasty under Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor), the royal court in Goryeo split into two competing factions: the camp led by General Yi (supporting the Ming) and the one led by General Choe (supporting the Yuan).

When a Ming messenger came to Goryeo in 1388 to demand the return of a significant portion of Goryeo's northern territory, General Choe Yeong 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 Korean 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 known as the Wihwado Retreat (위화도 회군; 威化島 回軍; lit. 'Turning back from Wihwa Island' or 'Return from Wihwa Island'), which would alter the course of Korean history. Aware of the support he enjoyed from both high-ranking officials and the general populace, he decided to revolt and return back to Gaegyeong to secure control of the government.

Revolt 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 himself. Instead, he placed on the throne King U's eight-year-old son, Wang Chang, and following a failed restoration attempt 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 distant royal relative named Wang Yo (posthumously King Gongyang) crowned as the new ruler. After indirectly enforcing his grasp on the royal court through the puppet king, he proceeded to ally himself with Sinjin scholar-officials such as Jeong Do-jeon and Jo Jun.

One of the most widely known events that occurred during this period was in 1392, when one of Yi Seong-gye's sons, Yi Bang-won, organized a banquet for the renowned scholar and statesman Jeong Mong-ju, who refused to be won over by General Yi despite their assorted correspondence in the form of archaic poems, and continued to be a faithful advocate for the old regime. Jeong Mong-ju was revered throughout Goryeo, even by Yi Bang-won himself, but in the eyes of the supporters of the new dynasty he was seen as an obstacle which had to be removed. After the banquet, he was killed by five men on the Seonjuk Bridge. This bridge has now become a national monument in North Korea, and a brown spot on one of the stones is said to be one of Jeong Mong-ju's bloodstains that turns red when it rains.

Reign edit

In 1392, Yi Seong-gye forced King Gongyang to abdicate, exiled him to Wonju (where he and his family were secretly executed), and crowned himself as the new ruler, thus ending Goryeo's 475 years of rule.[13] In 1393, he changed his dynasty's name to Joseon.[14]

Among his early achievements was the improvement of relations with the Ming; this had its origin in Taejo's refusal to attack their neighbor in response to raids from Chinese bandits.[6][7] Shortly after his accession, he sent envoys to inform the court at Nanjing that a dynastic change had taken place.[15] Envoys were also dispatched to Japan, seeking the re-establishment of amicable connections. The mission was successful, and Shōgun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu was reported to have been favorably impressed by this embassy.[5] Envoys from the Ryūkyū Kingdom were received in 1392, 1394 and 1397, as well as from Siam in 1393.[15]

In 1394, the new capital was established at Hanseong (present-day Seoul).[16][17]

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

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

In 1392, the eighth son of King Taejo (his second son by Queen Sindeok), Yi Bang-seok, was appointed as crown prince. After the sudden death of the queen in 1396 and while Taejo was still in mourning for his wife, Jeong Do-jeon began conspiring to pre-emptively kill Yi Bang-won and his brothers to secure his position in the royal 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' (제1차 왕자의 난). Aghast at the fact that his sons were willing to kill each other for the throne and psychologically exhausted by the death of his second wife, Taejo immediately named his second son, Yi Bang-gwa (posthumously King Jeongjong), as the new successor and abdicated.

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 the former king executed them to express his firm decision not to meet his son again. This historical anecdote gave birth to the term Hamhung Chasa (함흥차사; 咸興差使), which means a person who never comes back despite several nudges.[18] However, recent studies have found that Taejo did not actually execute any of the emissaries; these people died during revolts which coincidentally occurred in the region.[19]

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

Death edit

King Taejo died ten years after his abdication, on 27 June 1408, in Changdeok Palace. He was buried at Geonwonneung (건원릉), Dongguneung Cluster, in present-day Guri, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.[20] The tomb of his umbilical cord is located in Geumsan County, South Chungcheong Province, also in South Korea.

Family edit

  • Father: Yi Ja-chun, King Hwanjo of Joseon (조선 환조 이자춘) (1315 – 18 April 1360)[v][vi]
    • Grandfather: Yi Chun, King Dojo of Joseon (조선 도조 이춘) (? – 24 July 1342)
    • Grandmother: Queen Gyeongsun of the Munju Park clan (경순왕후 박씨)
  • Mother: Queen Uihye of the Yeongheung Choe clan (의혜왕후 최씨)[vi]
    • Grandfather: Choe Han-gi, Internal Prince Yeongheung (영흥부원군 최한기)
    • Grandmother: Lady Yi, Grand Princess Consort of Joseon State (조선국대부인 이씨)

Consorts and their respective issue:

  1. Queen Sinui of the Cheongju Han clan (신의왕후 한씨) (4 September 1337 – 23 September 1391)[vii][viii]
    1. Yi Bang-u, Grand Prince Jinan (진안대군 이방우) (1354 – 13 December 1393), first son[ix][x][xi]
    2. Yi Bang-gwa, Prince Yeongan (영안군 이방과) (1 July 1357 – 26 September 1419), second son[xii]
    3. Yi Bang-ui, Grand Prince Ikan (익안대군 이방의) (1360 – 26 September 1404), third son[xiii][xiv]
    4. Yi Bang-gan, Grand Prince Hoean (회안대군 이방간) (1364 – 9 March 1421), fourth son[xv][xvi][xvii]
    5. Yi Bang-won, Prince Jeongan (정안군 이방원) (16 May 1367 – 10 May 1422), fifth son[xviii]
    6. Yi Bang-yeon, Grand Prince Deokan (덕안대군 이방연) (c. 1370c. 1387), sixth son
    7. Princess Gyeongshin (경신공주) (? – 22 March 1426), second daughter[xix][xx][xxi]
    8. Princess Gyeongseon (경선공주), third daughter[xxii][xxiii][xxiv]
  2. Queen Sindeok of the Goksan Gang clan (신덕왕후 강씨) (14 June 1356 – 13 August 1396)[xxv][xxvi]
    1. Princess Gyeongsun (경순공주) (? – 7 August 1407), first daughter[xxvii][xxviii][xxix]
    2. Yi Bang-beon, Grand Prince Muan (무안대군 이방번) (1381 – 26 August 1398), seventh son[xxx][xxxi][xxxii][xxxiii][xxxiv]
    3. Yi Bang-seok, Grand Prince Uian (의안대군 이방석) (1382 – 26 August 1398), eighth son[xxxv][xxxvi][xxxvii][xxxiii][xxxiv]
  3. Consort Seong of the Wonju Won clan (성비 원씨) (? – 29 December 1449)[xxxviii][xxxix][xl]
  4. Royal Princess Jeonggyeong of the Goheung Yu clan (정경궁주 유씨)[xli][xlii][xliii][xliv]
  5. Princess Hwaui of the Gim clan (화의옹주 김씨) (? – 14 December 1428)[xlv][xlvi]
    1. Princess Sukshin (숙신옹주) (? – 8 February 1453), fifth daughter[xlvii][xlviii][xlix]
  6. Lady Chan-deok of the Ju clan (찬덕 주씨)[l]
    1. Princess Uiryeong (의령옹주) (? – 1 February 1466), fourth daughter[li]
  7. Palace Lady Gim (궁인 김씨)

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[31] and became a sort of diplomatic friction that lasted over 200 years. The Collected Regulations of the Great Ming erroneously recorded 'Yi Dan' (Taejo's personal name) as the son of Yi In-im, 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),[32] and those who saw the publication made petitions towards Ming demanding for redress, among others left chanseong Yi Gye-maeng and minister of rites Nam Gon, who wrote Jonggye Byeonmu (종계변무; 宗系辨誣).[33] It took until 1584 (after many Ming envoys had seen the petitions), through chief scholar Hwang Jeong-uk, that the issue was finally addressed. The Wanli Emperor commissioned a second edition in 1576 (covering the years between 1479 and 1584). About a year after its completion, Yu Hong saw the revision, and returned to Joseon with the good news.[34][35]

Legacy edit

Although Taejo overthrew Goryeo and expelled officials who remained loyal to the previous dynasty, many regard him as a revolutionary and a decisive ruler who eliminated an inept, obsolete and crippled governing system to save the nation from foreign forces and conflicts.

The resulting safeguarding of 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,[36] 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 Goryeo to death.

His diplomatic successes in securing Korea in the early modern period are notable.[37][38][39]

Gallery edit

In popular culture edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 16, 7 August 1408, entry 3
  2. ^ Gojong Sillok vol. 39, 23 December 1899, entry 1
  3. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 16, 13 October 1408, entry 1
  4. ^ a b c d Seth, Michael J. (2019). A Brief History of Korea: Isolation, War, Despotism and Revival: The Fascinating Story of a Resilient But Divided People. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 9781462921119.
  5. ^ a b "Korea–Japan Relations → Early Modern Age → Foreign Relations in Early Joseon". Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b Hussain, Tariq (2006). Diamond Dilemma: Shaping Korea for the 21st Century. Seoul Selection USA. p. 45. ISBN 9781430306412.
  7. ^ a b Hodge, Carl Cavanagh (2008). Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. Vol. 2. Greenwood Press. p. 401. ISBN 9780313334047.
  8. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 5, 28 April 1394, entry 3
  9. ^ "한국민족문화대백과사전 – 의혜왕후 (懿惠王后)" [Encyclopedia of Korean Culture – Queen Uihye]. encykorea.aks.ac.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  10. ^ "한국민족문화대백과사전 – 안변군 (安邊郡)" [Encyclopedia of Korean Culture – Anbyeon County]. encykorea.aks.ac.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  11. ^ "의혜왕후" [Queen Uihye]. Naver Encyclopedia (in Korean). Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  12. ^ "한국민족문화대백과사전 – 태조 (太祖)" [Encyclopedia of Korean Culture – Taejo]. encykorea.aks.ac.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  13. ^ "조선왕조실록 – 태조가 백관의 추대를 받아 수창궁에서 왕위에 오르다" [Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty – Taejo ascends to the throne at Suchang Palace]. sillok.history.go.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  14. ^ "조선왕조실록 – 국호를 조선으로 정하는 예부의 자문" [Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty – Advice to change the name of the country to Joseon]. sillok.history.go.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  15. ^ a b Fang, Zhaoying; Goodrich, Luther Carrington (1976). Dictionary of Ming Biography, 1368–1644. Vol. 2. Columbia University Press. p. 1601. ISBN 9780231038331.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  16. ^ "Seoul municipality website". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  17. ^ "About Seoul → History → General Information → Center of Korean Culture". Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ "한국민족문화대백과사전 – 함흥차사 (咸興差使)" [Encyclopedia of Korean Culture – Hamheung Chasa]. encykorea.aks.ac.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  19. ^ Kim, Cheol-hyun (24 February 2016). "이성계는 '함흥차사'를 죽이지 않았다" [Yi Seong-gye did not kill 'Hamheung Chasa']. asiae.co.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty". 29 July 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  21. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 1, year 1, entry 2
  22. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 21, year 11, entry 1
  23. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 15, year 7, entry 1
  24. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 13, year 7, entry 2
  25. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 13, year 7, entry 1
  26. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 11, year 6, entry 3
  27. ^ Sejong Sillok vol. 5, 15 October 1419, entry 5
  28. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 13, year 7, entry 1
  29. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 1, 23 March 1401, entry 2
  30. ^ Taejong Sillok vol. 9, 14 February 1405, entry 3
  31. ^ Taejo Sillok vol. 6, 14 July 1394, entry 1
  32. ^ Jungjong Sillok vol. 32, 3 June 1518, entry 1
  33. ^ Jungjong Sillok vol. 33, 3 July 1518, entry 1
  34. ^ Seonjo Sillok vol. 22, 23 April 1588, entry 1
  35. ^ Seonjo Sillok vol. 22, 19 May 1588, entry 1
  36. ^ "[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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  37. ^ Kang, Jae-eun (2005). The Land of Scholars: Two Thousands Years of Korean Confucianism. Homa & Sekey Books. p. 172. ISBN 978-1931907378.
  38. ^ "Northeast Asian History Foundation". Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  39. ^ "Korea–China relations → Early Modern Period → Korea–China relations during Joseon". Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 11 January 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

Notes edit

  1. ^ Gojong notably omitted the posthumous name bestowed by China as a sign of the country's "independence" from the Qing dynasty.[2]
  2. ^ Unless otherwise noted, all dates in this article are given in the lunar calendar.
  3. ^ Born on 4 November 1335 and died on 27 June 1408 according to the solar calendar.
  4. ^ The records of the Ming dynasty contain rumors which place Taejo's birth between 1336 and 1338.
  5. ^ Sometimes known by his Mongolian name Ulus Bukha (吾魯思不花).
  6. ^ a b In 1392, Taejo honored his agnatic ancestors to the fourth degree and their legal wives with the ranks of 'king' (왕) and 'consort' (비), respectively.[21] In 1411, Taejong upgraded the earlier honors by bestowing them the temple name 'progenitor' (조) with the style of 'the great (king)' (대왕), and the rank of 'queen' (왕후).[22] As a result, Yi Ja-chun and Lady Choe were honored by Taejo as 'King Hwan' (환왕) and 'Consort Ui' (의비), and by Taejong with the temple name 'Hwanjo the Great' (환조대왕) and posthumous name 'Queen Uihye' (의혜왕후).
  7. ^ Daughter of Han Gyeong, Internal Prince Ancheon and Duke Gyeongmin (안천부원군 경민공 한경); and Lady Shin of the Saknyeong Shin clan, Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인 삭녕 신씨).
  8. ^ In 1393, she was posthumously granted the title 'Consort Jeol' (절비) by Taejo, while Jeongjong honored her with the posthumous name 'Queen Sinui' (신의왕후) in 1398.[23] In 1408, Taejong further honored her by upgrading the rank from 'queen' (왕후) to 'great queen' (왕태후), but the decision was reverted by Sukjong in 1683. Elevated during the Korean Empire to 'Sinui, Empress Go' (신의고황후).
  9. ^ Married Lady Ji of the Chungju Ji clan (충주 지씨), Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인); they had issue (1 son and 1 daughter).
  10. ^ His wife's younger sisters became concubines of his second brother, King Jeongjong: Royal Noble Consort Seong (성빈) and Royal Consort Sug-ui (숙의).
  11. ^ By a concubine, Lady Wang of the Haeju Wang clan (해주 왕씨), he had 1 son and 1 daughter.
  12. ^ Changed his personal name to Yi Gyeong (이경); later became the second monarch of Joseon, posthumously King Jeongjong (정종).
  13. ^ Married Lady Choe of the Dongju Choe clan (동주 최씨), Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인); they had issue (1 son and 2 daughters).
  14. ^ By a concubine, Lady Yi of the Goseong Yi clan (고성 이씨), he had 1 son.
  15. ^ Married firstly to Lady Min of the Yeoheung Min clan (여흥 민씨), Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인); they had issue (1 son).
  16. ^ Married secondly to Lady Hwang of the Miryang Hwang clan (밀양 황씨), Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인); they had issue (1 son and 2 daughters).
  17. ^ Married thirdly to Lady Geum of the Gimpo Geum clan (김포 금씨), Grand Princess Consort Geumneung (금릉부부인); they had issue (2 sons).
  18. ^ Later became the third monarch of Joseon, posthumously King Taejong (태종).
  19. ^ In 1396, she married Yi Ae (이애), Internal Prince Sangdang (상당부원군), birth name Yi Baek-gyeong (이백경); eldest son of Yi Geo-yi, Internal Prince Seowon and Duke Mundo (서원부원군 문도공 이거이) (1348–1412); they had issue (1 son).
  20. ^ Her father-in-law was among those who killed her half-brother, Yi Bang-seok, Grand Prince Uian (무안대군 이방석), during the First Strife of Princes.
  21. ^ Her fourth brother-in-law, Yi Baek-gang, Internal Prince Cheongpyeong (청평부원군 이백강) (1381–1451), married Princess Jeongsun (정순공주) (1385 – 25 August 1460), eldest daughter of King Taejong by Queen Wongyeong.
  22. ^ Born in the early to mid-1380s and died after 1446.
  23. ^ In 1393, she married Shim Jong (심종), Prince Cheongwon (청원군); sixth son of Shim Deok-bu, Count Cheongseong (청성백 심덕부) (1328–1401); they had issue (1 daughter).
  24. ^ Her fifth brother-in-law was Shim On; his eldest daughter was Queen Soheon, the wife of Sejong the Great.
  25. ^ Youngest daughter of Gang Yun-seong, Internal Prince Sangsan and Duke Munjeong (상산부원군 문정공 강윤성); and Internal Princess Consort Jinsan of the Jinju Gang clan (진산부부인 진주 강씨).
  26. ^ She continued to be known as 'Consort Hyeon' (현비) after her death and was not 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 a place at the Royal Shrine and the posthumous name 'Queen Sindeok' (신덕왕후). Elevated during the Korean Empire to 'Sindeok, Empress Go' (신덕고황후).
  27. ^ Born in the early 1370s.
  28. ^ Before 1387, she had married Yi Je (이제), Prince Heungan (흥안군) (? – 26 August 1398), a contributor to the founding of Joseon; son of Yi In-lip (이인립) and nephew of Yi In-im (이인임) (1312–1388); they had no biological issue.
  29. ^ Her husband was killed alongside Jeong Do-jeon's faction during the First Strife of Princes.
  30. ^ Married Lady Wang of the Gaeseong Wang clan (개성 왕씨), Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State (삼한국대부인) (? – 7 August 1449), also known as Princess Gyeongnyeong (경녕옹주); eldest daughter of Wang U, Prince Jeongyang (정양군 왕우) (? – 24 February 1397) and niece of King Gongyang; they had no biological issue.
  31. ^ Yi Hyo-son, Prince Pungan (풍안군 이효손), son of Yi Dam, Prince Yeongcheon (영천군 이담) (1379–1401) and grandson of Yi Hwa, Grand Prince Uian (의안대군 이화) (1348–1408), became his adopted son; Prince Pungan's own adopted son was Yi Yeo, Grand Prince Gwangpyeong (광평대군 이여) (2 May 1425 – 7 December 1444), fifth son of King Sejong by Queen Soheon.
  32. ^ His concubine, Lady Byeon of the Wonju Byeon clan (원주 변씨), was the daughter of Byeon An-ryeol (변안렬) (1334 – 16 January 1390), founder of the Wonju Byeon clan.
  33. ^ a b Both of Queen Sindeok's sons were slain during the onslaught of the First Strife of Princes. Jo Jun killed Yi Bang-beon outside of the city gates; after Yi Bang-seok was stripped of his title as crown prince, Yi Geo-yi (father-in-law of his half-sister, Princess Gyeongshin, and his niece, Princess Jeongsun) along with others, appeared from the Yeongchumun Gate of Gyeongbok Palace and killed him.
  34. ^ a b Taejong bestowed upon his half-brothers Yi Bang-beon and Yi Bang-seok the posthumous names 'Prince Gongsun' (공순군) and 'Prince Sodo' (소도군), respectively; he never acknowledged the fact that his youngest brother was once a crown prince (Yi Bang-gwa stripped him of his title during the First Strife of Princes). In 1680, Sukjong elevated their posthumous names to 'Grand Prince Muan' and 'Grand Prince Uian'.
  35. ^ Married firstly to Lady Yu (유씨). After it was discovered that she had commited adultery with an eunuch named Yi Man (이만), she was deposed and became known as 'Deposed Crown Princess Yu' (폐세자빈 유씨).
  36. ^ In 1394, he married secondly to Lady Shim (심씨), titled 'Grand Princess Consort of Samhan State' (삼한국대부인) after the First Strife of Princes; daughter of Shim Hyo-saeng, Prince Buseong (부성군 심효생) (1349–1398), a contributor to the founding of Joseon who was killed during the First Strife of Princes.
  37. ^ Lady Shim had given birth to an unnamed son in the early summer of 1382; the baby was most likely killed along with his father a few months later. Yi Yu, Grand Prince Geumseong (금성대군 이유) (28 March 1426 – 21 October 1457), seventh son of King Sejong by Queen Soheon, became Uian's adopted son; Grand Prince Geumseong's own adopted son was Yi Dang, Prince Chunseong (춘성군 이당), second son of Yi Chim, Prince Milseong (밀성군 이침) (1430 – 1 January 1479) and grandson of King Sejong.
  38. ^ Eldest daughter of Won Sang, Duke Huijeong (희정공 원상); and Lady Son (손씨) (? – 1414).
  39. ^ Entered the palace on 25 February 1398,[24] and was firstly known as bin (빈; 嬪), which at the time wasn't a rank, but literally meant 'concubine'.
  40. ^ Taejong recognized Lady Won as his stepmother (적모). In 1406, she was promoted to bi (비; 妃) with the prefix seong (; ; lit. 'sincerity'). This rank 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 this rank was often equivalent to that of 'queen' (왕비). After Taejo's death, a debate arose over whether she should be treated as his 'main palace' (i.e. legal/primary wife). It was finally decided that her status was that of a concubine. Perhaps for this reason, the name on her tombstone is 'Seong-bin' (성빈) rather than 'Seong-bi' (성비).
  41. ^ Daughter of Yu Jun (유준).
  42. ^ Originally one of Queen Sindeok's palace maids.
  43. ^ In 1398, Taejo bestowed upon her the title 'Princess Jeonggyeong' (정경옹주).[25] Eight years later, in 1406, Taejong promoted her to 'Royal Princess Jeonggyeong' (정경궁주).[26]
  44. ^ Her last recorded presence was during Sejong's first year of reign.[27]
  45. ^ Known by the name Chiljeomseon (칠점선; 七點仙; lit. 'Seven Specks Fairy'), she was originally a courtesan in Gimhae.
  46. ^ In 1398, Taejo bestowed upon her the title 'Princess Hwaui' (화의옹주).[28]
  47. ^ Born before 1398.
  48. ^ Personal name Yi Myeo-ji (이며치).
  49. ^ Married Hong Hae (홍해), Prince Consort Dangseong (당성위); son of Hong Eon-su (홍언수); they had issue (3 sons and 1 daughter).
  50. ^ Chan-deok (찬덕; 贊德; lit. 'virtuous assistant') was a second junior rank or third senior rank that was part of the Internal Court in early Joseon; it disappeared by the time of both Sejong's reign and Lady Ju's death.[29][30]
  51. ^ Married Yi Deung (이등), Prince Consort Gyecheon (계천위); son of Yi Gae (이개).

Sources edit

Taejo of Joseon
Born: 11 October 1335 Died: 24 May 1408
Regnal titles
New title
King of Joseon
17 July 1392 – 5 September 1398
Succeeded by