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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Kings of Joseon Dynasty, Part VI: King Danjong the Young (Yi Hong-wi) - A Young King who buried outside Sudogwon-Gijeon Region


King Danjong the Young of Joseon (Hanja: 端宗王; Born: August 9th 1441 – Immolated: November 7th 1457, Reigned: 1452–1455), born Yi Hong-wi (이홍위/李弘暐) was the sixth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was the son of King Munjong and Queen Hyeondeok of Andong Kwon Clan. He was forced to abdicate by his uncle - Grand Prince Suyang, who became King Sejo of Joseon, and exiled to Yeongwol County, the place where he was later immolated and his remains are buried.

Danjong succeeded his father, Munjong of Joseon, at the young age of 12. Since he was too young to rule, the government of the kingdom fell to the premier, Hwangbo In, and his vice-premier, General Kim Jongseo.

In 1453, this government was overthrown in a coup led by the king's uncle, Sejo of Joseon, who persuaded a number of scholars and officials who had served in the court of Sejong the Great to support his claim to the throne. Hwangbo In and Kim Jongseo were seized and murdered in front of the gate of Gyeongbokgung; in 1455 Danjong was forced to abdicate and exiled to Yeongwol County, Gangwon Province.

The following year, six officials of the court who noted as the Six Martyred Ministers a.k.a Sayukshin attempted to restore him to power, but their plot was discovered and they were immediately executed. Perceiving that he would present a continuing threat to his rule, Sejo then accepted the advice of the court and ordered that Danjong be disposed of. In 1457, he was murdered at his house (by burning King Danjong's house) in the place to which he was exiled.

Danjong had been stripped of his title at the time he was exiled, and was afterwards referred to as "Prince Nosan" (노산군/魯山君). In the reign of King Sukjong, scholars at his court proposed that his title be restored, and in 1698, the demoted Prince Nosan was posthumously restored, receiving the posthumous name of "Danjong", and thereafter was referred to as King Danjong.

He was buried at the Royal Tomb of Jangneung at Yeongwol, which is located at 190 Danjong Avenue/Danjongno, Yeongheung-ri san 133-1 beonji, Yeongwol-eup, Yeongwol County, Gangwon Province. He is the only Joseonese King who buried outside Sudogwon-Gijeon Region a.k.a Seoul National Capital Region/Greater Seoul Region. He was posthumously known as King Danjong Gong-ui Onmun Sunjeong Anjang Gyeongsun Donhyo the Great (단종공의온문순정안장경순돈효대왕/端宗恭懿溫文純定安莊景順敦孝大王).