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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Kings of Joseon Dynasty, Part XXIII: King Sunjo (Yi Gong) - When his Governmental Reformations went KAPUT...


King Sunjo, previously known as Prince Gongbo (Hanja: 純祖王 [公寶君]; Born: 29 July 1790 – Died: 13 December 1834, reigned: 1800–1834), born Yi Gong (이공/李玜) was the 23rd king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was the second son of King Jeongjo which King Jeongjo had with Lady Subin of Bannam Park Clan, one of King Jeongjo concubines.

Sunjo ascended to the throne in 1800 upon the death of his father, King Jeongjo, at age 11. In 1802, King Sunjo married Lady Kim of Andong, known posthumously as Queen Sunwon, daughter of Kim Jo-sun, Internal Prince Yeong-an (영안부원군 김조순/永安府院君 金祖淳) who was a leader of Andong Kim clan.

Since he ascended the throne at a young age, Queen Dowager Jeongsun, the second queen of King Yeongjo, ruled as queen regent, which allowed her to wield power over state affairs. Despite King Sunjo’s efforts to reform politics, the fundamental principles of government deteriorated. The state examination became disordered and corruption in the government personnel administration prevailed. This resulted in disorder in society and various kinds of riots broke out among the people, including the revolt by Hong Gyeong-nae. The Ogajaktongbeop (五家作統法, a census registration system to group five houses as one unit) was also carried out in this period, and oppression against Roman Catholicism began in earnest.

King Sunjo died after reigning for 35 years in 1834 at the age of 44. He was first buried next to Royal Tomb of Paju Jangneung in 90 Jangneung Avenue/Jangneungno, Galhyeon-ri san 25-1 beonji, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju City, Gyeonggi Province, where King Injo and Queen illyeol laid to rest but later moved to Royal Tomb of illeung (仁陵) - a part of Royal Tomb of Heon-illeung in 34 Heon-illeung Drive/Heonilleung-gilNaegok-dong san 13-192 beonji, Seoul Seocho-gu; as the Feng Shui (Korean: Pungsu/풍수) at the old site was deemed to be unfavorable.

He was posthumously known as King Sunjong Yeondeok Hyeondo Gyeong-in Sunhui Mun-an Mujeong Heon-gyeong Seonghyo the Great (순종연덕현도경인순희문안무정헌경성효대왕/純宗淵德顯道景仁純禧文安武靖憲敬成孝大王). In 1897, Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu promoted King Sunjo into Posthumous Emperor during the Foundation of the Korean Empire. Thus, King Sunjo granted long and tongue-twisted Posthumous Imperial Name, which is known as Emperor Sunjo Yeondeok Hyeondo Gyeong-in Sunhui Cheseong Eungmyeong Heumgwang Seokgyeong Gyecheon Baegeuk Yung-won Donhyu Uihaeng Soryun Huihwa Jullyeol Daejung Jijeong Honghun Cheolmo Geonsi Taehyeong Chang-woon Honggi Gomyeong Bakhu Ganggeon Sujeong Gyetong Suryeok Geon-gong Yubeom Mun-an Mujeong Yeonggyeong Seonghyo, Emperor Sook of Korean Empire (순조연덕현도경인순희체성응명흠광석경계천배극융원돈휴의행소륜희화준렬대중지정홍훈철모건시태형창운홍기고명박후강건수정계통수력건공유범문안무정영경성효숙황제/純祖淵德顯道景仁純禧體聖凝命欽光錫慶繼天配極隆元敦休懿行昭倫熙化峻烈大中至正洪勳哲謨乾始泰亨昌運弘基高明博厚剛健粹精啓統垂曆建功裕範文安武靖英敬成孝肅皇帝).


AGAIN, my tongue hurts.