Eowudong or Uhwudong (어우동, 於宇同; 1440 - 18 October 1480), also known as Eoeuludong (어을우동, 於乙宇同), née Park (박, 朴), was a Korean dancer, writer, artist, and poet from a noble family in the Joseon Dynasty of the 15th century. Most of her work has not been preserved. She is described to be one of the evil women from the Joseon Dynasty along with Queen Munjeong, Jang Nok-su, and Royal Noble Consort Hui.

Revised RomanizationEoudong, Eoeuludong
McCune–ReischauerŎudong, Ŏŭludong
Birth name
Revised RomanizationPark Guma
McCune–ReischauerPark Kuma

Life Edit

Born as Park Gu-ma (박구마, 朴丘麻), Uhwudong was from was a noble family, the Eumseong Park clan (음성 박씨, 陰城 朴氏), of the Joseon Dynasty. She married Yi Dong, Prince Taegang (태강수 이동, 泰江守 李仝[1]), the great-grandson of Queen Wongyeong and King Taejong.[2] She was forced to divorce him on account of adultery charges and subsequently she became an active poet, writer, artist, and dancer.

She was noted for her exceptional beauty, dancing, singing talent, poetry, quick wit and charm, and extraordinary intellect.

Sex scandal and execution Edit

In 1480, she was put on trial for adultery. She was charged with having committed adultery with multiple male partners, including royal relatives, court officials and slaves.[3]

During this time period, the position of women deteriorated in Korea with the introduction of Confucian gender segregation, and there was an increasing severity in the persecution of women who committed adultery, and particularly noblewomen. Several such cases are known, such as those of Yu Gam-dong, who was sentenced to become a slave kisaeng, and Geumeumdong and Dongja, both noblewomen who were punished for having committed adultery with male relatives. Yi Gu-ji was also an example of committing adultery. The case of Uhwudong was however the perhaps most infamous of all, and became a famous scandal involving many men of high standing. The case ended with her conviction and execution. The death penalty for female adultery was formally introduced by king Jungjong of Joseon in 1513.[3]

Family Edit

  • Father
    • Park Yun-chang (박윤창, 朴允昌)
  • Mother
    • Jeong Gwi-deok (정귀덕, 鄭貴德) (? - 20 June 1488)[4]
  • Sibling(s)
    • Older brother - Park Seong-geun (박성근, 朴成根) (? - 22 August 1488)
  • Husband
    • Yi Dong (이동, 李仝)[5]
      • Father-in-law - Yi Jeong, Prince Yeongcheon (영천군 정) (1422 - ?)[6][7]
      • Mother-in-law - Princess Consort Kwon of the Yecheon Kwon clan (군부인 예천 권씨)
  • Children
    • Daughter - Yi Beon-jwa (이번좌)
    • Unnamed son[8]

Works Edit

Although only a handful of sijo (formatted verse used in Korea, as in English sonnet) and geomungo pieces exist today, they nonetheless show skilled craftsmanship of words and musical arrangement. These verses hint at the tragedy of her lost loves. Some are also responses to numerous famous classic Chinese poems and literature.

Poems Edit

[玉淚丁東夜氣淸 / The beads flow and illuminate the night][9]

玉淚丁東夜氣淸 / The beads flow like tears, illuminate the night

白雲高捲月分明 / The white clouds flow high, the moonlight is brighter.

間房叔謐餘香在 / Your scent remains in one small room.

可寫如今夢裏情 / I will be able to picture a dreamlike affection.

[白馬臺空經幾歲 / How long has the Baekma-dae been empty?]

白馬臺空經幾歲 / How many years passed the house been empty?

落花巖立過多時 / 'The stone with fluttering flowers(Nakwha-am낙화암 [ko])' spent many years standing.

靑山若不曾緘黙 / If the 'blue mountain(Cheong-san)' was not silent,

千古興亡問可知 / I would have been able to find out about the rising and falling of long time.

Legacy Edit

Her personal life has become almost myth-like, having inspired novels, movies, TV series, operas, and numerous poets. After the destruction of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910, due to her renowned assertive and independent nature, she has become a modern popular cultural icon of Korea.

In popular culture Edit

See also Edit

External links Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Uhwudong:Nate
  2. ^ grand son of Grand Prince Hyoryeong
  3. ^ a b Pae-yong Yi: Women in Korean History 한국 역사 속의 여성들
  4. ^ Was murdered 8-9 years later after her daughter’s death by her son
  5. ^ a great-grandson of King Taejong
  6. ^ The 5th son of Grand Prince Hyoryeong and Princess Consort Yeseong of the Haeju Jeong clan (예성부부인 해주 정씨, 藝城府夫人 海州 鄭氏; 1394 - 1470)
  7. ^ His older brother, Prince Boseong, eventually became the great-great-grandfather to Gu Sa-maeng and the great-great-great-grandfather to Queen Inheon thru his great-granddaughter, Lady Yi.
  8. ^ Was conceived with another man
  9. ^ There is also a saying that this poet is not Uhwudong's poem.