The Korea Historic Collections Part Three Choson 1800-1900

The Choson Historic Coillections 1800-1900


Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Private Limited Edition In CRD-ROM


Part One Taejo- Choson 1342-1700

Part two Choson 1700-1800

Part Three 1800-1910



 Korea, South THE CHOSoN DYNASTY –

Statue of King Sejong (1418-50), Toksu Palace, Seoul
Courtesy Oren Hadar

At 518 years (1392-1910), the Choson Dynasty is the nation’s longest-lived. Its founder, Yi Song­gye, took the dynastic name Taejo (“Great Prog­enitor”), moved the capital to Hanyang (Seoul), and named the dynasty after the ancient ChosOn Kingdom. This ended the Koryo Dynasty Wang family’s rule and supplanted it with the Chonju branch of the Yi family. Referring to this family name, the Choson Dynasty is often mistakenly called the Yi Dynasty


The Koryo Dynasty had suffered from a number of internal problems; Yi and his followers implemented drastic reforms to place the new dynasty on firmer ground. One of these problems revolved around the deterioration of land administration, a basic issue in a predominantly agrarian society. Contrary to the law specifying public (governmental) ownership of land, powerful clans and Buddhist temples had acquired a sizable proportion of farmland. By exacting a disproportionate share of crops in the form of rents, the “landlords” were causing economic destitution and social discontent among the peasants. By illicitly removing the farms from tax rolls, these clans and temples reduced the government’s income, thus straining the treasury. Yi had sided with reformists even before he took power, hence it was natural for him to rectify past inequities after ascending to the throne.

The reform of the land system, however, had direct repercussions on the practice of Buddhism, because Buddhist temples and monks had been among those exacerbating the land problem. The economic influence of the temples was eliminated when they lost vast lands. The rectification went beyond economic reform, however, because the dominant forces in the new dynasty were devout Confucianists who regarded Buddhism as a false creed. The fact that Buddhist monks had wielded a strong influence in politics, the economy, and society during the latter part of the Koryo Dynasty–and that many of them had been corrupted by power and money–strengthened the opposition to Buddhism. Accordingly, the new dynasty launched a sweeping attack on Buddhism and its institutions, an attack that had profound and enduring effects on the character of civilization on the peninsula.

north korea 1800

Many of the outstanding temples were permitted to remain intact; indeed, a few Choson monarchs were devout Buddhists. Nevertheless, Buddhism exerted little influence over the religious life of Korea under the Choson Dynasty; nor did any organized religion replace it. Although many people adhered to shamanism, geomancy, fortunetelling, and superstitions, Korea effectively became a secular society.

Jar, porcelain decorated in underglaze copper red, Choson dynasty. 18th century.

The Choson Dynasty had an auspicious beginning. During the reign of the fourth monarch, King Sejong (1418-50), a Buddhist, enormous strides were made in the arts, science, and technology. The Korean script, known as han’gul(see Glossary), which eventually came into common usage in the twentieth century, was developed by scholars at that time.

After Sejong, however, the dynasty fell into the hands of lesser men, and in the late fifteenth century the country began a long decline. Succession to the throne often caused long and bitter struggles, particularly when a ruler did not leave behind an heir who had reached the age of majority. Members of the Confucian-educated, scholar-official elite yangban(see Glossary) class quarreled over minor points of Confucian ritual and etiquette, especially the proper period of mourning upon the death of a royal personage. Factional groups began vying for power, frequently going to the extreme of exterminating the members of defeated factions. The civil service examination became a sham, and corruption ran rampant. Royal relatives and members of powerful factions increased their landholdings, which became exempt from taxes and thereby reduced the dynasty’s sources of revenue. The farmers suffered more and more from tax burdens and other extractions imposed by greedy officials and landlords. In short, the country was not being effectively governed. To make matters worse, Japanese attacks in 1592 and 1597 and Manchu assaults in 1627 and 1636 ravaged the country’s economy and turned much of the farmland to waste for a long period thereafter.

The resulting social and economic depression of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fostered the rise of a new intellectual movement advocating the practical use of human knowledge. Pioneered by a Confucian scholar named Yi Su-kwang, the new thought–soon to be called Sirhak (practical learning)–was partly inspired by the firsthand knowledge of occidental sciences that Yi Su-kwang had acquired while on official visits to Beijing. As historian Ki-baik Lee has noted, Sirhak thought encompassed a variety of intellectual activities and several diverse viewpoints. These included proposals for refinement of the traditional administrative and land systems, advocacy of commercial and manufacturing activity, and a renewed interest in Korean history and language. Brought to maturity in the late eighteenth century by Chong Yag-yong, the Sirhak Movement was supported by a group of discontented scholars, petty officials, former bureaucrats, and commoners.

The Sirhak Movement found itself in direct confrontation with the dominant trend in neo-Confucian thought, which stressed the metaphysical and abstract teachings of the renowned Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi (see Traditional Social Structure, ch. 2). Neither the efforts of such wise and able kings as Yongjo (1725-75) and Chongjo (1776-1800), nor those of the Sirhak scholars, were able to reverse the trend against empirical studies and good government.

Western ideas, including Christianity, reached Korea through China in the seventeenth century. By 1785, however, the government had become incensed over the rejection of ancestor worship by Roman Catholic missionaries, and it banned all forms of Western learnin


Archive for the ‘Yi Gahwan (李家煥 이가환)’ Category

Yi Gahwan (李家煥, 이가환, 1742-1801) was a scholar and Chosun government official. He is of the Yeoju Yi clan (驪州李氏, 여주이씨); his courtesy name was Jeongjo (廷藻, 정조, “Water chestnut of the court”); and his pen names were Geumdae (錦帶, 금대, “Silk belt”) and Jeongheon (貞軒, 정헌, “loyal veranda”). In 1771, he passed the civil entrance exams and served on various posts. He was of the Southerners’ faction (南人, 남인) and a member of the Neo-Confucian School of Pragmatic Thought, or Silhak (實學, 실학). Yi Gahwan was also skilled in astronomy and mathematics. He was introduced to Catholicism by Yi Byeok, and studied the new thought with Yi Seunghun, Jeong Yakyong, and Gweon Cheolshin. He was involved in secretly inviting Chinese Catholic priest Ju Munmo (周文謨, 주문모). Yi Gahwan died in prison during the Persecutions of 1801 (辛酉迫害, 신유박해, Shin’yu Bakhae). The following poems (two truncated verses)  are about a pavilion (pictured above) on the Daedong River, which flows through Pyongyang.

練光亭次鄭知常韻 연광정차정지상운

The Yeon’gwang Pavilion Borrows the Tones [1] of Jeong Jisang [2]

江樓四月已無花 강루사월이무화
簾幕薰風燕子斜 렴막훈풍연자사
一色碧波連碧草 일색벽파연벽초
不知別恨在誰家 부지별한재수가

By the river and the pavilion, in April, already does not have flowers.
Upon the hanging bamboo curtains, in the warm breeze, the swallows [fly] crooked.
One color, the blueness of the waves connect with the blueness of the grass [3].
I do not know which house has the grief of separation.

仁聖遺祠歲月多 인성유사세월다
朝天舊石是悲歌 조천구석시비가
大同門外長江水 대동문외장강수
不見迴波見逝波 불견회파견서파

At the Shrine of Benevolent Sage [4], the years and months are many.
Upon the Old Rock of the Morning Sky [5] – this sorrowful song.
Outside the Gate of Grand Union [6], distant are the waters of the river.
I do not see the returning waves; [although] I see the departing waves.


  1. 次韻 (차운, Cha’un) – A technique used among Classical Chinese poets in which one poet takes another poet’s poem and changes some or all of the characters with other characters that are homophones or have similar or contrasting meanings.
  2. 鄭知常 (정지상, Jeong Jisang, ?-1135) – A minister and poet during the Goryeo dynasty.
  3. The colors “green” and “blue” are often called “blue” by Koreans.
  4. 仁聖遺祠 (인성유사, Inseong’yusa) – I think this is a name of a shrine. I cannot find any references of it online.
  5. 朝天舊石 (조천구석,  Jocheon’guseok) – Another reference to a geographic location.
  6. 大同門 (대동문, Daedongmun) – A gate in Pyeongyang.
  • 簾 (렴, ryeom) – bamboo curtain.
  • 薰 (훈, hun) – to be fragrant; or gently blow.
  • 燕 (연, yeon) – swallows.


– The first one baptished featured below is by Yi Seunghun (李承薰, 이승훈, 1756




Figure 12 Rank badge, embroidered silk. Choson dynasty;
19th century.



Western ships began to approach Korean shores after 1801, seeking trade and other contacts, but the government rejected all overtures from abroad. When news of the Opium War in China (1839-42) reached Korea, the dynasty had all the more reason to shut the doors tightly against Western “barbarians.” III.1870-1900


In the meantime, the Choson Dynasty suffered from a series of natural calamities including floods, famines, and epidemics, as well as large-scale revolts of the masses in the northwest (1811-12) and southwest (1862 and 1894-95).

The expansion of Western powers in East Asia in the nineteenth century significantly altered the established order, in which Korea had been dominated by China. China under the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was in decline; its power waned rapidly under the concerted attacks of such Western nations as France, Britain, and Russia.

1800 – 1822 –

Joseon-do – Ulleungdo (朝鮮圖 – 鬱陵島)

The map below is from the atlas “Joseon-do” (朝鮮圖), which is stored in the Osaka Nakanoshima Library (中之島圖書館). It is believed to have been made sometime in the early 1800s.

One of the interesting things about the map is that it shows Ulleungdo (鬱陵島 – 울릉도) with a neighboring island labeled as “Usan” (于山 – 우산). Some Korean historians claim that Usando (于山島 – 우산도) was the old Korean name for “Dokdo” (Liancourt Rocks), but this map and many, many others show that Usando was just a neighboring island of Ulleungdo.
The fact that Usando was drawn just off Ulleungdo’s east shore strongly suggests that it was present-day Jukdo (竹島), which is Ulleungdo’s largest neighboring island and only about two kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore.

Notice that the above map of Ulleungdo is very similar to the following map of Ulleungdo in the Dongyeodo (東輿圖) atlas, which is stored in the University of Tsukuba Library (筑波大學附屬圖書館) in Japan. The Dongyeodo is believed to have been made sometime between 1795 and 1800.
Compare the above maps with the following satellite photo of Ulleungdo’s northeast shore. Notice that the location and shape of the small island offshore in the satellite photo is similar to that of the island labeled as “Usan” (于山) on the above maps. The small island offshore in the satellite photo is Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島), which is about two kilometers offshore.




2. New Trends in Cultural Activities


(1) New Directions in Scholarly Activities

During the Choson period, scholarly works were based on the study of Songrihak or Neo-Confucianism. Scholars in metaphysics professed that only metaphysics was correct and dismissed other learnings. They dismissed not only Buddhism, but the philosophy of Wang Yang-ming which was one current in Confucianism, and concentrated on metaphysics alone. As a result, while it is true that metaphysics developed in Choson and obtained deeper roots, it is also true that by placing too much of a bias on the metaphysical theory alone, an atmosphere encouraging the free development of scholarly activities was not present.

In spite of the fact that the country’s social and economic problems were greatly affected by the damage of the two wars of Waeran and Horan and the livelihoods of the people greatly endangered, metaphysics, which concerned itself with philosophical questions, could not provide the answers to these difficult realities.

At this juncture, there arose a new movement in scholarly learning. To rectify the misaligned metaphysical and Yangban-centered reality and to set new directions for the country which would aid the livelihood of the people, new thinking called “Practical Learning” emerged.


(2) The Origin and Development of Practical Learning


The harbingers of Practical Learning were Han Paek-kyom and Yi Su-kwang; however, the actual leaders of Practical Learning who brought its ideas to fruit as a new thought were Yu Hyong-won and Yi Ik. They did not take positions as government officials, but made efforts in rural communities to nurture disciples in order to create opportunities for the development of this movement. Yu Hyong-won wrote the Pan’gye surok and Yi Ik was the author of Songho sasol, which was written in an encyclopedia form.

In the early 17th and 18th centuries, scholars of Practical Learning dealt mainly with the problems in rural areas, and from the latter 18th century to the early 19th century, scholars dealt with researching economic, technological, and social problems. Furthermore, around the 19th century, these scholars led efforts to build the axes of Han’gukhak (Koreanology) with studies in history, geography, languages, and epigraphy. This branch of Practical Learning led the scholarly world at this time.

So Yu-gu discussed problems in agriculture and showed the way to achieving stability in the livelihoods of the people. Hong Tae-yong, Pak Chi-won and Pak Che-ga insisted that agricultural and commercial industries should be regarded as important, and for that purpose Choson must open its posts to China, import technology and simultaneously increase trade activities.

Chong Yag-yong propagated structural reforms and a theory of industrial restoration based on these two positions. His scholarly activities contributed to the understanding of science, medicine, religion and Confucianism. There was not any field which was left untouched by his scholarly work. He wrote 500 volumes of books including the Mogmin simso, Humhum shinso and Kyongse yup’yo and achieved a synthesis of Practical Learning.


(3) Developments in Kukhak (national learning) and the Significance of Practical Learning


Scholars of the school of “on-the-spot survey” which was one of the trends in Practical Learning believed that people must achieve an academic understanding of the realities and culture of their country. They strove to conduct academic research concerning the country.

Yi Chong-hwi, Yu Tuk-kong, Han Ch’i-yun, and An Chong-bok studied history, and Sin Kyong-chun, Yi Chung-hwan, Kim Chong-ho studied geography. Chong Sang-ki and Kim Chong-ho drew maps of Korea, but Kim Chong-ho is particularly well known for the creation of a map known as the “Taedong yojido” which was made through actual field studies and had a variety of practical uses.


Taedong yojido : Dating back to 1861, it is the oldest detailed map of Korea

Many scholars also studied Korea’s language. The works of Sin Kyongchun and Yu Hui are famous. Springing from an interest in history, Kim Chong-hwi concentrated on studying the epigraphs on stone monuments. As the sphere of cultural activities expanded and scholarly interest in each of the fields increased, many encyclopedia-like books appeared.

Yi Ik’s Songho sasol, Yi Tok-mu’s Ch’ongchanggwan chonso, So Yuku’s Imwon kyongje-chi, Yi Kyu-kyong’s Oju yonmun changjon san’go and the palace-authorized Tongguk munhon pigo are representative examples of such works. Ch’oe Han-ki, during the reign of Honjong, was a scholar comparable to Chong Yag-yong who wrote hundreds of books on the subjects of government, geography, science, medicine, and mathematics.

Through the scholarly activities of these scholars throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, many measures concerning government administration and improvements in the welfare of the people were presented. The activities of field studies also greatly contributed to national development. These scholarly activities displayed an awareness of approaching modern times and a national consciousness, but were still not completely rid of the influence of metaphysics. In addition, because scholars were not in positions to influence policy making, their advancements didn’t affect the actual lives of the people.


(4) Developments in Science and Technology


As the sphere of cultural activities expanded, various industrial activities became active and developments in science and technology and medicine occurred. In addition, Western technology and medicine were partially accepted.

Books based on studies of agricultural technologies were reprinted. Among them were: Sin Sok’s Nongga chipsong, a technical guide to paddy farming; Pak Se-dang’s Saekkyong, a guide to fruit farming, tree planting, livestock farming, floriculture, irrigation and weather; and So Yu-ku’s Imwon kyongje-chi, a book dealing with agriculture, forestry, livestock farming, sericulture, food processing, food preservation, clothing, eating, and housing. In addition, Haedong nongso came out as a book which systematized the agricultural sciences of Korea on the basis of such theories of agricultural technologies and management.


A 1801 report stating the completion of Suwon Castle
Crane : created by Chong Yag-yong
(1752-1836), it’s mechanism is based on the theory of the pinwheel.


“Ssirum” or Korean-style wrestling and “Dancing Boy” by Kim Hong-to (1745~after 1814)

Chong Yak-chon, a pragmatist who went to the island of Huksan to study marine products, researched 155 varieties of fish which he collected and catalogued into a book, Chasan obo.

Many new theories also developed in the fields of astronomy and divination, which are closely related to agriculture. Yi Su-kwang introduced new theories based on his observations of solar and lunar eclipses, tides and other natural phenomena. Kim Sok-mun and Hong Tae-yong advocated a theory of heliocentricity and criticized the traditional geocentric world view.

Kim Yuk introduced the Western calendar from China and put it to use. It is a well-known fact that Chong Yag-yong designed a crane based on a book he read which was imported from China. This crane was used in the construction of Suwon Castle.

In traditional Chinese medicine, achievements were also made with regard to its theory and treatment methods. As basic Chinese medical texts, Ho Chun’s Tongui pogam and the Ch’imgu kyonghombang (a book on acupuncture) are famous and influencial even today. Research on the measles were carried out early on and Chong Yag-yong compiled many books on the subject in order to publish the Makwa hoet’ong. He even experimented with vaccinations.


(5) Growth in the Activities of Popular Culture


“inwang chesekdo : Clear Skies over Mount Inwang.”
by Chong Son(1751)

As industrial activities advanced and the welfare of the people improved with changes in the social status system, the population expressed interest in educational and cultural activities. As their knowledge gradually grew, people displayed creative talents in literature and the arts. Although there were some Sodangs (village schools for the learning of Chinese classics) in the early period of Choson, in the latter period, there was hardly a single village which did not have its own Sodang which was run and maintained by the local population. Sodangs were the institutions of primary education which taught Confucianism and history.

P’ansoris and other songs indigenous to Korea appeared. These accurately reflected the cultural tastes of the people and contained lyrics from novels and folktales. In addition, the Ch’ang-guk developed, a type of operatic theater which the general population greatly enjoyed, and the mask theaters which made fun of the Yangbans were very popular since they expressed the sentiments of the people.

Within the women’s society, traditional social activities were frowned upon. So, some ladies, who were learned, composed novels and short poems for songs in Han’gul.


(6) New Movements in Literature


“inwang chesekdo : Clear Skies over Mount Inwang.”
by Chong Son(1751)

Illustrious Yangban officials exerted most of their energy studying Chinese literature. In opposition to the Yangban’s interest in Chinese Literature, the pragmatists believed that the origins of Confucianism must be rediscovered. Thus, a movement to restudy the classics arose. There also appeared a new movement to use colloquial and everyday language and throw away the old conventions. Pak Chi-won’s Yolha Diary is a work which was written in this new style.

In the late 18th century, the middle class and illegitimate sons of Yangbans engaged in literary activities in order to raise their social status. They revealed the historical origins of the middle class, composed biographies of representative personages, and published anthologies of poems and songs. The Kyusa (History of the Sun Flower) and Ihyang Kyonmullok (Experiences in Foreign Countries) are representative of such biographies and the Ch’onggu yong’on, Haedong kayo and Haedong yuchu are anthologies of poems and songs.

The most conspicuous features of literary activities during the latter period of Choson are the appearance of works which display a popular consciousness and have been written to meet popular tastes. Examples are narratives, novels and the pansoris.

Tales such as the Taedong yasung and T’aep’yong kwanggi were composed. Among novels, Pak Chi-won’s Hosaeng-jon and Hojilmun (Tiger’s Reprimand) as well as works by Yangbanjon were written in Chinese characters. But Ho Kyun’s Hong Kil-tong-jon, Kim Man-chung’s Kuunmong (Dream in Nine clouds) and Sassi namjonggi (Southern Expedition), Changhwa hongnyon-jon (Rose and the Red Lotus), K’ongjwi P’atjwi-jon, Sim Ch’ong-jon, Hungbu-jon, Sukhyang-jon and Ch’unhyang-jon were written in Han’gul and read widely by women and common men. Pansoris were especially favored during the latter period of Choson. Ch’unhyang-ga, Chokbyok-ga, Simch’ong-ga, T’okki t’aryong (Song of the Hare) are the most popular pansoris. The man who became famous for the creation and arrangement of many Pansoris is Sin Chae-hyo.


(7) New Trends in Art Activities


In painting, a new trend arose. Korean landscapes in true life form were drawn. This genre of painting of peculiar customs of everyday life was in vogue and tales which were made popular by the common people laid the groundwork for such paintings.

The pioneers of true life landscape paintings were Chong Son and Sim Sa-hong of Hwawon. Kim Hong-to and Sin Yun-bok of Hwawon are also famous as genre painters depicting the lives of the people in the farming villages and cities. Kim Tuk-sin and Kim Sok-sin, two brothers, were also genre painters who possessed similar styles of painting.

Among civilian scholars, there were many who displayed outstanding talents in drawing. Among them, Kang Se-hwang, Sin Wi and Kim Chong-hui were particularly well known. There were also changes in the Yangban culture of calligraphy. Calligraphers of the past were not able to break away from the influence of Chinese calligraphers, but Kim Chong-hui succeeded in developing a peculiar style of calligraphy known as Ch’usa.


“Orchids” by Kim Chong-hui (1786~1857). Hanging scroll, ink or paper.
A 16th century white porcelain vase with a pinetree, deer, crane, and clouds, all symbols of longevity.


In the latter period of Choson, white porcelain was chiefly developed. Originally, white porcelain was forbidden to the common people, but in the latter period of Choson, white porcelain was freely sold, and even the common people were able to buy and utilize it. Among wares made in white porcelain, landscapes, flowers and grass were drawn on Ch’onghwa paekcha. They were used as jars, flower vases and water bottles. Among wooden goods, stationery cases, cabinets, tables, and small dining tables were the chief items used in everyday life.

Among the architectual works of the latter period of Choson, the most representative with its beautiful and solid structure is the castle of Suwon. Others which still remain today are the Maitreya Palace in the Kumsansa Temple, Taeung-jon in the Sogwangsa Temple, Kakhwang-jon of the Hwaomsa Temple and P’alsang-jon in the Popchusa Temple.


The Maitreya Hall at Kumsansa Temple is the only in Korea with a triple stories roof.
P’alsangjon, Popchusa Temple : built during the Shilla Dynasty under King Chinhung,
reconstructed in 1626.
Suwon castle, Suwon city, Kyonggi province. Built from 1794 to 1796, the castle has been designated Historic Site No. 3.


Peasant Wars of 1812 and 1862

During this period, drought and floods alternately struck the country, causing a succession of bad harvests, which in turn generated a grim cycle of famine.  Excessive tax collection and forced labor ensued.  These adverse natural and social conditions ignited a series of agrarian revolts.  In 1812, Hong Kyong-nae rose up in revolt with the peasants at Kasan, in the northern part of Korea, and held power in that district for some months.  Frightened government officials dispatched the army, and only after waging a hard campaign were they able to suppress the revolt.  In the south, all the way to Chejudo island, as well as in the north, peasants persevered in their struggle against oppression at the hands of the government, the local nobility and the wealthy landlords.

Half a century after Hong Kyong-nae’s well-organized fight, the situation had not improved.  A group of farmers in Chinju, Kyongsang-do province, rebelled against their oppressive overlords, the provincial officials and the wealthy landowners.  THis uprising of 1862 is directly attributable to the exploitation of destitute farmers by Paek Nak-shin, a newly appointed military commander who had jurisdiction over the western half of Kyongsang-do province.

Yu Kye-ch’un, an intellectual native to the district who was outraged by Paek Nak-shin’s rapacious conduct, led the farmers to riot, denouncing corrupt minor officials and wealthy landlords.  The rebels killed local government functionaries, set fire to government buildings and wrought considerable destruction.  The startled Hanyang government hurriedly sent an investigator to the scene.  On the basis of its findings of fraudulent practices by the local officials concerned, the government hastily revised the land, military and grain lending systems in an effort to eliminate such abuses.  From the outset, however, it was unrealistic to expect the ruling class in the central government, which was itself deeply involved in such frauds, to make radical changes.  But at least a superficial attempt at reform was made.

The agrarian revolt in Chinju served as a signal for similar uprisings elsewhere.  In Kyongsang-do, Cholla-do and Ch’ungch’nong-do provinces, on faraway Chejudo island and in Hamgyong-do and P’yong-an-do provinces in the north, groups of farmers rose up, attacking offices in principal towns and routing officials.

Under such social conditions, Ch’oe Che-u (1824-1864) formulated the ideology of Tonghak (Eastern Learning) in order to rescue the farmers from prevalent poverty and unrest, and to restore political and social stability.  His ideas rapidly gained acceptance and he set his doctrines to music so that farmers would understand and accept them more readily.  His teachings were systematized and compiled as a message of salvation to farmers in distress.  The songs he sang were a mixture of traditional elements from Confucianism, Buddhism and Son-gyo (teachings of Shilla’s Hwarang), and to these he added modern humanistic ideas.  Exclusionism was another characteristic of his religion, which incorporated an early form of nationalism and rejected alien thought.







 Document chest, wood covered with black lacquer, inlaid with mother-of-pearl; Tobacco box, iron inlaid with silver; Tobacco box, green soapstone. Choson dynasty, 19th century. .

 the Korean object, an iron helmet decorated with silver inlay, FOUND  in 1878, it was originally documented as Japanese. Such mis-attribution was a recurring feature in the early acquisitions history for Korea.

 the increase of Westerners travelling or living in Korea and returning with objects . Thomas Watters (1840-1901), the son of a clergyman from County Down, Ireland, resided in Seoul as Acting Consul General after having held the position of British Consul in China.  a substantial collection of Korean objects as well as Chinese artifacts. These included a black lacquer document chest (mun’gap) which would have graced the male quarters of a Korean house during the late Choson period (1392- 1910) (). The top of the chest is ornately decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay featuring deer, cranes, pine and bamboo motifs symbolizing longevity, while the sliding doors bear a complex geometric pattern. Tobacco boxes made from green soapstone and iron inlaid with silver, popular souvenirs often brought back from Korea by Western travellers during this period, .


Emperor Gojong

Gojong and the Korean Empire


      Wanchinwang     Prince
      Euichinwang     Yi Bang
            Yi Chang
            Yi Ju
            Yi Gon
            Yi Gwang
            Yi Hyun     30th
Yi Won
            Yi Gap     Yi Sangwoo
            Yi Seuk (Hwangson)
            Yi Hwan
            Yi Jung
Eumin taeja
Yi Gu (1931)

War, Chosun was finally free and no longer was a vassal state of China.

the Great Korean Empire (大韓帝國, 대한제국).

For the first time since the Goryeo dynasty’s subjugation to the Mongols, Korea was able to take titles reserved for China and its Emperor. Thus, to usher a new era, King Gojong assumed the title “Emperor” and changed the name of Chosun to the Great Korean Empire (大韓帝國, 대한제국).

 He attempted to put Korea on par with the imperial Western nations and Japan, and introduced reforms by opening port and bringing in both Westerners and the Japanese. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

The Japanese, with their aspirations to have a foothold on the Asian mainland, interfered in internal Korean politics and forced Emperor Gojong to abdicted  After the defeat to  the Qing dynasty in the First Sino-Japanese


Emperor Gojong – Enjoying Spring

 a poem by Emperor Gojong (高宗光武帝, 고종광무제, r. 1863-1907, 1852-1919), the second to last monarch of the last dynasty.

賞春 상춘Enjoying Spring

花間看蝶舞 화간간접무
柳上聽鶯聲 유상청앵성
群生皆自樂 군생개자락
最是愛民情 최시애민정

flower-between-to see-butterfly-to dance
group-life-all-by themselves-joy
first-to be-love-people-condition

Between the flowers, I spotted a butterfly dancing.
Above the willows, I hearken the nightingale’s singing.
All sorts of life are all together by themselves enjoyable.
The first of these is to esteem the conditions of [Our country’s] people.


  • 蝶 (접, jeop) – butterfly (나비).
  • 鶯 (앵, aeng) – nightingale (앵무새).


Stimulated by these events, Japan proceeded to modernize after having been forced to open its ports by Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the United States Navy in 1853-54. Korea, however, remained dormant, having closed itself to all outside contacts in the early eighteenth century.



 Late Joseon period

Heungseon Daewongun

After invasions from Manchuria, Joseon experienced a nearly 200-year period of peace. King Yeongjo and King Jeongjo led a renaissance of the Joseon dynasty. King Sukjong and his son King Yeongjo tried to solve the problems caused by faction politics. Tangpyeong’s policy was to effectively freeze the parties’ disputes.

Yeongjo’s grandson, King Jeongjo enacted various reforms throughout his reign, notably establishing Kyujanggak, a royal library in order to improve the cultural and political position of Joseon and to recruit gifted officers to run the nation. King Jeongjo also spearheaded bold social initiatives, opening government positions to those who would previously have been barred because of their social status. King Jeongjo had the support of the many Silhak scholars, who supported his regal power. King Jeongjo’s reign also saw the further growth and development of Joseon’s popular culture.

In 1863

King Gojong took the throne. His father, Regent Heungseon Daewongun, ruled for him until Gojong reached adulthood. During the mid 1860s the Regent was the main proponent of isolationism and the instrument of the persecution of native and foreign Catholics, a policy that led directly to the French Campaign against Korea, 1866. The early years of his rule also witnessed a large effort to restore the largely dilapidated Gyeongbok Palace, the seat of royal authority. During Heungseon Daewongun‘s reign, factional politics and power wielded by the Andong Kim clan completely disappeared.

 In 1871,

 U.S. and Korean forces clashed in a U.S. attempt at “gunboat diplomacy” following on the General Sherman incident of 1866.

In 1873,

 King Gojong announced his assumption of royal rule. With the subsequent retirement of Heungseon Daewongun, the future Queen Min (later called Empress Myeongseong) gained complete control over her court, placing her family in high court positions.



Empress Myeongseong.

Deokhye, Princess of Korea


Princess Deokhye
Spouse Count Sō Takeyuki
Countess Sō Masae
Father Gojong of Korea
Mother Lady Bongnyeong
Born 25 May 1912(1912-05-25)
Changdeok Palace, Seoul
Died 21 April 1989(1989-04-21) (aged 76)
Sugang Hall, Changdeok Palace, Republic of Korea
Burial Hongryureung, Namyangju, Republic of Korea
Deokhye, Princess of Korea
Hangul 덕혜옹주
Hanja 德惠翁主
Revised Romanization Deokhye Ongju
McCune–Reischauer Tŏkhye Ongju

Princess Deokhye of Korea (25 May 1912 – 21 April 1989) was the last Princess of Korea.

She was born on 25 May 1912 at Changdeok Palace in Seoul. She was the youngest daughter of Emperor Gwangmu and his concubine, Lady Bongnyeong. In 1917, her name was formally entered into the Imperial Family’s registry. Her father, Emperor Gwangmu, loved her greatly, and established the Deoksu Palace Kindergarten for her in Jeukjodang, Hamnyeong hall. Girls her age from noble families attended the kindergarten. In 1919, she was secretly engaged to Kim Jang-han, a nephew of Kim Hwangjin (a court chamberlain).

In 1925, she was taken to Japan under the pretense of continuing her studies. Like her brothers, she attended the Gakushuin. She was described as silent and isolative. Upon the news of her mother’s death in 1929, she isolated herself in her rooms and was eventually given permission to visit Korea temporarily to attend her mother’s funeral in 1930. In the Spring of 1930, upon the onset of mental illness (manifested by sleepwalking), she moved to King Lee’s Palace, her brother Crown Prince Eun‘s house in Tokyo. During this period, she often forgot to eat and drink. Her physician diagnosed her illness as precocious dementia, but by the following year, her condition seemed to have improved.

In May 1931, after “matchmaking” by Empress Teimei, the consort of Emperor Taishō of Japan, she married Count Sō Takeyuki (武志), {1923-1985} a Japanese nobleman. The marriage had in fact been decided in 1930; her brother had protested against it, and it had been postphoned because of her condition, but when she recovered, she was immediately given instructions that the marriage was to take place. She gave birth to a daughter, Masae (正惠) on 14 August 1932. In 1933, Deokhye was again afflicted with mental illness, and after this, she spent many years in various mental clinics. She finally divorced her husband in 1953. Suffering an unhappy marriage, her grief was compounded by the loss of her only daughter who committed suicide by drowning in 1955. After this, her condition deteriorated.

She returned to Korea at the invitation of the Korean government on 26 January 1962. She cried while approaching her motherland, and despite her mental state, accurately remembered the court manners. She lived in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace, with Crown Prince and Princess Eun, their son Prince Gu, his wife Julia Mullock, and Mrs Byeon Bokdong, her lady-in-waiting. She died on 21 April 1989 at Sugang Hall, Changdeok Palace, and was buried at Hongryureung in Namyangju, near Seoul.

Japan, after the Meiji Restoration, acquired Western military technology, and forced Joseon to sign the Treaty of Ganghwa in 1876, opening three ports to trade and granting the Japanese extraterritoriality. Port Hamilton was occupied by the British Navy in 1885.

Many Koreans despised Japanese and foreign influences over their land and the corrupt oppressive rule of the Joseon Dynasty. In 1894, the Donghak Peasant Revolution saw farmers rise up in a mass rebellion, with peasant leader Jeon Bong-jun defeating the forces of local ruler Jo Byong-gap at the battle of Go-bu on January 11, 1894; after the battle, Jo’s properties were handed out to the peasants. By May, the peasant army had reached Jeonju, and the Joseon government asked the Qing Dynasty government for assistance in ending the revolt. The Qing sent 3,000 troops and the rebels negotiated a truce, but the Japanese considered the Qing presence a threat and sent in 8,000 troops of their own, seizing the Royal Palace in Seoul and installing a pro-Japanese government on 8 June 1894. This soon escalated into the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) between Japan and Qing China, fought largely in Korea.

Empress Myeongseong[19] had attempted to counter Japanese interference in Korea and was considering turning to Russia or China for support. In 1895, Empress Myeongseong (referred to as “Queen Min”[19]) was assassinated by Japanese agents.[20][20] The Japanese minister to Korea, Miura Goro, orchestrated the plot against her. A group of Japanese agents along with the Hullyeondae Army[20] entered the Royal Palace in Seoul, which was under Japanese control,[20] and Empress Myeongseong was killed and her body desecrated in the North wing of the palace.

The Qing acknowledged defeat in the Treaty of Shimonoseki (17 April 1895), which officially guaranteed Korea’s independence from China. It was a step toward Japan gaining regional hegemony in Korea.


The Joseon court, pressured by encroachment from larger powers, felt the need to reinforce national integrity and declared the Korean Empire in 1897. Emperor Gojong assumed the title of Emperor in order to assert Korea’s independence. In addition, other foreign powers were sought for military technology, especially Russia, to fend off the Japanese.


Wongudan, Seoul


 An altar site in Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the rite of heaven

reinstated with the founding of the Korean Empire in 1897

Wongudan, Seoul A 1925 photo of Wongudan, an altar site in Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the rite of heaven. King Seongjong of the Goryeo Dynasty was the first to perform the rite, designed to ensure a bountiful harvest, in the tenth century. The practice was discontinued by later Goryeo kings, revived briefly in the mid fifteenth century by Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty, then reinstated with the founding of the Korean Empire in 1897. Much of the altar complex was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, and the gate and fountain seen here were also subsequently removed, leaving only the three-storey Hwangungu pagoda remaining


 Technically, 1897 marks the end of the Joseon period, as the official name of the empire was changed; however the Joseon Dynasty would still reign, albeit perturbed by Japan and Russia.


In 1863, Prince Yi Ha-ung, better known as the Taewon-gun or Prince Regent, put into effect a series of sweeping reforms encompassing national finance and government administration in order to strengthen the royal authority.  He strongly opposed the increasing infiltration of foreign commercial interests into the country.  In the spring of 1866, the government ordered the rigorous persecution of Catholics.  Aroused by this measure, the French fleet sailed up the Han-gang river and hostilities broke out on Kanghwado island.

Economic and social developments drove the majority of yangban to bankruptcy, while the peasants and merchants were eager to throw off the traditional social constraints.  As these trends developed, the government devised measures to suppress them.  Another impetus to social dynamism was the increase in offspring of the yangban and mothers of lower origin.

Although the emancipation of bondsmen resulted in an increase in the number of taxable people, the exploitation of farmers by the ruling class caused the state’s tax revenues to decline



A Korean street, late 1800’s. A Korean street, late 1800s


The Japanese were the first foreign power in recent history to succeed in penetrating Korea’s isolation. After a warlike Japanese provocation against Korea in 1875 (when China failed to come to Korea’s aid), the Japanese forced an unequal treaty on Korea in February 1876. The treaty gave Japanese nationals extraterritorial rights and opened up three Korean ports to Japanese trade. In retaliation, China sought to counter Japan by extending Korea’s external relations and playing off one Western power against another. Accordingly, Korea signed treaties with the United States, Britain, Italy, Russia, and other countries were signed within the decade after the one with Japan.

Internally, the Korean court split into rival pro-Chinese, pro-Japanese, and pro-Russian factions, the latter two having more reformist and modernizing orientations. In 1895 the Japanese minister to Korea masterminded the assassination of the Korean queen, who with her clan had opposed reform-oriented, Japanese-supported leaders. The Korean king, however, rejected not only Japan but also the various reform measures and turned for support to one of Japan’s adversaries–Russia. The king fled to the Russian legation in Seoul to avoid possible Japanese plots against him and conducted the nation’s business from there. The Japanese blunder had served the Russians well.

In the meantime, under the leadership of So Chae-p’il, who had exiled himself to the United States after participating in an unsuccessful palace coup in 1884, a massive campaign was launched to advocate Korean independence from foreign influence and controls. As well as supporting Korean independence, So also advocated reform in Korea’s politics and customs in line with Western practices. Upon his return to Korea in 1896, So published Tongnip simmun (The Independent), the first newspaper to use the han’gul writing system and the vernacular language, which attracted an ever-growing audience (see The Korean Language, ch. 2). He also organized the Independence Club to introduce Korea’s elite to Western ideas and practices. Under his impetus and the influence of education provided by Protestant mission schools, hundreds of young men held mass meetings on the streets and plazas demanding democratic reforms and an end to Russian and Japanese domination. But the conservative forces proved to be too deeply entrenched for the progressive reformers who trashed the paper’s offices. The reformers, including Syngman Rhee, then a student leader, were jailed. So was compelled to return to the United States in 1898, and under one pretext or another the government suppressed both the reform movement and its newspaper.

The revolt of 1894-95, known as the Tonghak Rebellion, had international repercussions. Like the Taiping rebels in China thirty years earlier, the Tonghak(see Glossary) participants were fired by religious fervor as well as by indignation about the corrupt and oppressive government. The rebellion spread from the southwest to the central region of the peninsula, menacing Seoul. The Korean court apparently felt unable to cope with the rebels and invited China to send troops to quell the rebellion. This move gave Japan a pretext to dispatch troops to Korea. The two countries soon engaged in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), which accelerated the demise of the Qing Dynasty in China.

The victorious Japanese established their hegemony over Korea via the Treaty of Shimonoseki (1895) and dictated to the Korean government a wide-ranging series of measures to prevent further domestic disturbances. In response, the government promulgated various reforms, including the abolition of class distinctions, the liberation of slaves, the abolition of the ritualistic civil service examination system, and the adoption of a new tax system.

Russian influence had been on the rise in East Asia, in direct conflict with the Japanese desire for expansion. In alliance with France and Germany, Russia had just forced Japan to return the Liaodong Peninsula to China (which Japan had seized during the First Sino-Japanese War) and then promptly leased the territory from China. The secret Sino-Russian treaty signed in 1896 also gave the Russians the right to build and operate the Chinese Eastern Railway across northern Manchuria, which served as a link in the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok. Russia proceeded to acquire numerous concessions over Korea’s forests and mines.

The strategic rivalry between Russia and Japan exploded in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, won by Japan. Under the peace treaty signed in September 1905, Russia acknowledged Japan’s “paramount political, military, and economic interest” in Korea. A separate agreement signed in secret between the United States and Japan at this time subsequently aroused anti-American sentiment among Koreans. The Taft-Katsura Agreement was cynical by modern standards, exchanging what amounted to a lack of interest and military capability in Korea on the part of the United States (Japan was given a free hand in Korea) for a lack of interest or capability in the Philippines on the part of Japan (Japanese imperialism was diverted from the Philippines). Given the diplomatic conventions of the times, however, the agreement was a much weaker endorsement of the Japanese presence in Korea than either the Russo-Japanese peace treaty or a separate Anglo- Japanese accord. Two months later, Korea was obliged to become a Japanese protectorate. Thereafter, a large number of Koreans organized themselves in education and reform movements, but by then Japanese dominance in Korea was a reality. Japan annexed Korea as a colony on August 22, 1910

The Last Empress a historical drama about

Queen Min (Empress Myeongseong) , who was assassinated by the Japanese

new information suggest by my friend Yeoung fron turkish site:


Princess Deokhye / 덕혜옹주[Resim: princessdeokhye1.png]

Prenses Deokhye(25 Mayıs 1912 – 21 Nisan 1989) Kore’nin son prensesidir.

25 Mayıs 1912’de Seoul’de Changdeok Sarayı’nda doğdu. Hükümdar Gwangmu ile cariyesi Lady Bongnyeong’un en genç çocuklarıydı. Adı, 1917’de İmparatorluk Ailesi kaydına resmi olarak işlendi. Babası hükümdar Gwangmu onu çokça severdi, onun için Jeukjodang, Hamnyeong Salonu’na Deoksu Saray Anaokulu’nu kurdurttu. Onun yaşındaki asil ailelerin kızları bu anaokuluna gitti.1919’da saray nazırı Kim Hwangjin’in yeğeni Kim Jang-han ile gizlice nişanlandırıldı ve eğitimine devam etmesi bahanesiyle Japonya’ya götürüldü. Erkek kardeşleri gibi Gakushuin’e girdi (Gakushuin, Kraliyet Üniversitesi olarak da bilinen eski bir Japon üniversitesidir). 1930 yılının baharında, ruhsal bir bozukluğun baş göstermesi üzerine (uyurgezerlik olarak ortaya çıktı) Kral Lee’nin sarayından erkek kardeşi Veliaht Eun’ın Tokyo’daki evine taşındı. Doktoru erken bunama teşhisi koydu ama ilerleyen yıllarda durumu düzelmiş olarak göründü.

Mayıs 1931’de İmparatoriçe Teimei’nin çöpçatanlığıyla Japonya İmparatoru Taishō’nın arkadaşı, asilzade bir Japon olan Kont Sō Takeyuki(武志) ile evlendi. 14 Ağustos 1932’de kızı Masae’yi (正惠) doğurdu. Mutsuz bir evliliğe katlanırken, buna intihar eden kızını kaybetmenin acısı da eklendi. Bu olaydan sonra durumu kötüleşti ve 1953’de eşinden boşandı.

Kore hükümetinin davetiyle 26 Ocak 1962’de Kore’ye geri döndü.21 Nisan 1989’da Changdeok Sarayı, Sugang Salonu’nda hayatını kaybetti, Namyangju’daki Hongryureung’a defnedildi.

[Resim: princessdeokhye2.jpg] [Resim: princessdeokhye3.jpg]


Princess Deokhye of Korea (25 May 1912 – 21 April 1989) was the last Princess of Korea.

She was born on 25 May 1912 at Changdeok Palace in Seoul. She was the youngest daughter of Emperor Gwangmu and his concubine, Lady Bongnyeong. In 1917, her name was formally entered into the Imperial Family’s registry. Her father, Emperor Gwangmu, loved her greatly, and established the Deoksu Palace Kindergarten for her in Jeukjodang, Hamnyeong hall. Girls her age from noble families attended the kindergarten. In 1919, she was secretly engaged to Kim Jang-han, a nephew of Kim Hwangjin (a court chamberlain) and was taken to Japan under the pretense of continuing her studies. Like her brothers, she attended the Gakushuin. In the Spring of 1930, upon the onset of mental illness (manifested by sleepwalking), she moved to King Lee’s Palace, her brother Crown Prince Eun’s house in Tokyo. Her physician diagnosed her illness as precocious dementia, but by the following year, her condition seemed to have improved.

In May 1931, after “matchmaking” by Empress Teimei, the consort of Emperor Taishō of Japan, she married Count Sō Takeyuki (武志), a Japanese nobleman. She gave birth to a daughter, Masae (正惠) on 14 August 1932. Suffering an unhappy marriage, her grief was compounded by the loss of her only daughter who committed suicide by drowning. After this, her condition deteriorated, and she finally divorced her husband in 1953.

She returned to Korea at the invitation of the Korean government on 26 January 1962. She cried while approaching her motherland, and despite her mental state, accurately remembered the court manners. She lived in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace, with Crown Prince and Princess Eun, their son Prince Gu, his wife Julia Mullock, and Mrs Byeon Bokdong, her lady-in-waiting. She died on 21 April 1989 at Sugang Hall, Changdeok Palace, and was buried at Hongryureung in Namyangju, near Seoul.

By the 1880s, court power struggles were no longer a domestic issue and took on international aspects .As a newly emergent country, Japan turned its attention towards Korea. It was vital for Japan, in order to protect its own interests and security, to either annex Korea before it fell prey (or was annexed) to another power or to insure its effective independence by opening its resources and reforming its administration. As one Japanese statesman put it, Korea was “an arrow pointed at the heart of Japan”. Japan felt that another power having a military presence on the Korean peninsula would have been detrimental to Japanese national security, and so Japan resolved to end the centuries-old Chinese suzerainty over Korea. Moreover, Japan realized that Korea’s coal and iron ore deposits would benefit Japan’s increasingly-expanding industrial base.

In 1874, King Kojong began his rule and his wife, Queen Min, gained increasing power, which she used to support reform and use Japanese officers to train a new Korean  army .In 8882 a Japanese military instructor arrived to train Korean soldiers in modern methods .The Korean Daewongun (Prince of the Court) Prince Gung, who rejected modernization, used the discontent of the dismissed soldiers and a food shortage to incite them to attack the palace and the Japanese legation in 1882 .Queen Min barely escaped and seven Japanese officers were killed along with 300 pro-reform Koreans .The Chinese sent Admiral Ding Ju-chang twith six gunboats and two transports of troops to investigate the situation who took steps to avoid Japanese punitive action by having the Daewongun arrested and an indemnity of $550,000 to be paid to Japan.Japan was allowed to station troops at its legation .Queen Min returned, who was now strongly opposed to the Japanese .


After the insurrection of 1882, Li Hung-chang took steps to strengthen China’s position in Korea with a commercial treaty, loans and six Chinese battalions to maintain order and check Japanese aggression .Tension mounted between pro-Chinese and pro-Japanese forces. In 1884, China was involved in a war with France and withdrew three battalions. the pro-Japanese faction took this opportunity to launch a coup and captured the king. A pro-Japanese government was sworn in, independence from China was proclaimed and a new Japanese fiance minister was appointed .

The Japanese had been too heavy handed however, and many reformers and pro-Japanese switched to the conservative, pro-Chinese faction .A force of 5,000 Korean and Chinese soldiers under Yuan Shikai fell on the palace The chinese broke through the palace gates, and the Japanese detonated a mine which killed 90 Chinese soldiers .However, there were too many against the Japanese and pro-Japanese forces, and a company of 140 Japanese soldiers and the Japanese minister fought their way to Chemulpo ( Inchon). With the conservatives victorious, the remaing pro-Japanese and progressives were rounded up and executed , along with their families .

An envoy, Ito Hirobumi, was sent to confer with Li Hung-chang, where they reached the Sino-Japanese Tientsin Convention on April 18, 1885. Ito felt that Japan was not yet modernized enough for a war with China .This stipulated that both China and Japan would withdraw their troops from Korea in four months, neither side would train Korean troops and that each would notify the other before dispatching troops to Korea .This in effect made Korea a co-protectorate of China and Japan . Yuan Shi-kai, as chinese pro-consul was very powerful in Korea at this time.and basically ran the Korean government. He dismissed all pro-Japanese advisors, prohibited inland trade with Russia and the sale of rice to Japan, which had in part caused the food shortage before . This greatly angered the Japanese, who granted asylum to progressives who were wanted by the Korean government .There was great anger in the Korean countryside over the abuses of the Yangban ruling class over high taxes, buying land cheap or stealing it, forcing farmers into debt bondage and xenophobia against foreign intrusion in Korea. The Japanese secret society, began to secretly aid a group fighting these injustices, the Tonghaks, hoping Japan could profit from an unstable situation in Korea .

Waning of the Dynasty

uniforms in the late Choson Dynasty

Aside from perceived threats from the West, Korea also faced serious internal problems during the last century of the Choson Dynasty. The 1800s saw increasing corruption and inefficiency in government. The kings were weaklings and policies were made by powerful families or factions of high-ranking individuals at court. Cul­tural and artistic expression flourished, but the country was stunted politically and economically, poorly developed militarily, and naive in in­ternational relations. Voices of dissent were re­pressed and because of yangban oppression of the lower classes, dissatisfaction continued to ferment and sometimes boiled over. An effort, termed the Kabo Revolution, by upper-class pro-Japanese activists in 1884 to bring about drastic changes in government and institute re­forms (similar to those of the Meiji Restoration in Japan a few years earlier) also failed.

In the 1860s, the indigenous religion, Tong­hak(“Eastern learning”), ( more details on the Tonghaks )had been formulated. Combining elements from Buddhism, Confu­cianism, shamanism, and other sources, it es­poused the equality and dignity of all peoples, equal opportunity, national self-sufficiency, and independence from foreign influence. Tonghak followers in 1894 protested against social conditions and the growing dominance of Japanese merchants in the Korean market. They engaged in violent clashes with the Korean army, prompting both China and Japan to send in troops to help suppress the demonstrations. As China and Japan were at this time vying for influence over the Korean Peninsula, the Tong­hak Rebellion brought relations between the two giants to a head and helped spark the Sino­Japanese War (1894-95).


The Korean government banned the movement and had its founder Ch’oe Che-u, executed by decapitation in 1864  and the movement was forced to go underground .The Tonghaks, were aided by the Japanese Genyosha secret society, to organize a mass movement with large protests and stage a rebellion .A Korean army sent to attack the Tonghaks was defeated at Gobu in southwest Korea on January 11, 1894 and the Korean court, fearing a Tonghak invasion of Seoul, asked for Chinese aid.


The initial success of the revolt led a panic court to seek help from  China .In early June a Chinese force of 2,800 was dispatched from Chefoo ( Yingtan) to Asan under general Yuan Shikai, a port outside of Seoul, where they camped.The arrival of the Chinese forces caused the Tonghaks to call off their attack on Seoul after the Korean government arranged a truce . The Tonghak leader, Chon Pong-chun regarded this as an opportunity to archive his objectives without further recourse to warfare. In consequence hostilities came to an end, on condition that an end also be put to government misrule.  .The Japanese considered this action to be a violation of the Convention, and sent their own expeditionary force of 8,000 troops to Korea. to its legation in Seoul ad the surrounding area .

The Daewongun (Taewongun) (1821-1898) was the father of Kojong and was the de facto ruler of Korea as the regent of the young king till his death in 1898. As an old school Confucianist he promoted isolationism and persecution of Korean Catholics, leading to the French attack of Ganghwa Island in 1866 after the execution of a French priest. In 1882 he was abducted by the Qing General in China, Yuan Shihkai and taken to China. He returned 4 years later.

Partially fought on Korean soil, this was the first modern war engaged in by foreign powers on the peninsula. Japan won, dramatically ending Chinese influence there. Japan subsequently demanded that Korea make sweeping changes in its policies to benefit Japanese interests. Because of its loss in the war, China ceded Taiwan and the Liaotung Peninsula to Japan and was forced to recognize Korea as a fully independent nation, ending its centuries-long domination of the peninsula.


Gamgok Parish Church


From Anseong, we (i.e., Andy Jackson and I) got on a bus to Janghowon in nearby Icheon-si. And from Janghowon, we walked across the river to its sister city, Gamgok-myeon, Eumseong-gun in lovely Chungcheongbuk-do.

Gamgok-myeon is home to one of Korea’s oldest—and certainly one of its most beautiful—Catholic churches, Gamgok Parish Church, or more precisely, Gamgok Maegoe Virgin Mary Catholic Cathedral (maegoe is the Sino-Korean word for the Rosary, so I guess the proper way to translate the name of the church—the English name of the official site not withstanding—would be Gamgok Our Lady of the Rosary Church).

Gamgok Parish Church sits atop a hill overlooking the town of Gamgok like a sentinel. The land where the church is now used to be the owned by Min Eung-sik, a second cousin of Empress Myeongseong and a major late Joseon-era conservative. During the Mutiny of 1882, when old-guard military units rebelled against the government’s military modernization plans, Min offered the empress sanctuary at his palatial home. After Empress Myeongseong’s assassination in 1895, Min was arrested and brought to Seoul. His home was occupied by loyalist militias, which made it a target of the Japanese Army, which proceeded to burn it down.

The upside to this was that when French priest Father Camillus Bouillon of the Paris Foreign Missions Society came around looking for a place to build a church, he could buy the land for a song.  Or a Gregorian chant, as the case may be.

It’s said that when Bouillon first saw the massive house (presumably before the Japanese torched it) and the hillside on which it rested, he prayed that if the Virgin Mary were to give him the house and hill, he would become her humble servant, and she would be the patron saint of the church. Well, as it would turn out, the Blessed Virgin Mary held up her end of the bargain (and even got the Imperial Japanese Army to foot the cleanup bill), so Bouillon kept his, establishing a church in May 1896 and dedicating it to the Virgin Mary.

The current Gothic-style church—a miniature version of Myeongdong Cathedral—was built in 1930 (by Chinese laborers), and was designed by French priest Father Pierre Chizallet.

I’ll say this—Bouillon couldn’t have chosen a better spot to put a church. The place gives off a very happy, loving vibe. The church itself is absolutely beautiful—a red-and-black brick Gothic structure of the kind loved by French missionaries in Korea. It’s the surroundings, however, that make it what it is—how it looks out over the surrounding countryside, the beautiful trees that surround it, how you can feel the spring breeze. It’s just a very peaceful place.


Yi Munsun Chip (1241).

missionary who arrived in Korea in 1888 and spent the next forty years there. A prodigious scholar, Gale translated many of Korea’s literary classics into English and wrote numerous books on Korean history, literature, and culture. Gale helped the Library procure a number of Korean classics, including rare books from the estate of the Korean scholar Kim To-hui


Figure 2 Stacking chest, wood covered with red lacquer, inlaid with mother-of- pearl. Choson dynasty, 1890-1910


1894. before the 1894 version of “Choson Seaway (朝鮮水路誌)”

1893 –

 “The Sea Chart of Hokkaido and Northeastern Islands(北洲及北東諸島)” plots Waywoda Rock far outside of Korean territory

Dec. 24th edition of Japan’s San-in Chuo Shimpo(山陰中央新報) (cache)reported that the new evidence which debunks pro-Korean’s distorted claim was found, again.”The Sea Chart of Hokkaido and Northeastern Islands(北洲及北東諸島)” was made by Hydorographic Office of Japan(日本水路部), basing on the British Navy’s seachart, in 1893 originally, just a year before the 1894 version of “Choson Seaway (朝鮮水路誌)” was published. The map plots Waywoda rock near Okushiri island of Japan’s Hokkaido and it also shows the trace Japanese Navy did fathomed to survey around the area, but labelled as “non-existant” just like British “China Sea Directory” reported. The location is exactly the place 1894 “Choson Seaway” reported and it is clearly far outside of Korean territory at a glance.Pro-Korean scholars like Prof. Hori Kazuo(1987) wrongfully claimed as follows and pro-Korean scholars have been blindlessly following his unrealistic claim even up until now.

“However, marine charts usually show geographical features and do not specify sovereign rights to islands in them. As for sovereign rights to islands, therefore, one has to consult a guide to sea routes, an expounder of a chart.(p105)”
“Moreover, the 1894 and 1897 editions of the Chosen suiroshi (Korea’s Sealanes) by the Japanese Navy show Liancourt Rocks/Tokdo,26) along with Ullungdo. There is no doubt the Japanese naval hydrographic anthorities were aware Takeshima/Tokdo belonged to Korea around the end of the 19th century.”

First of all, waterway magazines are just “guide to sea routes” and they don’t represent the “sovereign rights to islands”. They are written for the safety of the voyages as well as seachart. In fact, Liancourt Rocks was listed along with Matsushima(Ulleungdo) and Waywoda rock as “dangerous rocks in the Sea of Japan(左ニ記載スルモノヲ除ク外日本海内絶エテ暗岩危礁ナシ)” for the safe voyages in 1894 “Choson Seaway”. And Waywoda Rock was reported as situated in lat. 42°16′N., long.137°18′E. , way up north from Korean territorial limit in the first place. Pro-Korean always wrongfully refer to this book as one of the evidences Japanese considered Takeshima as Korean territory only because it was listed in the section “East Coast of Choson” of “Choson Seaway.”, ignoring Waywoda rock, which is clearly outside of Korean territory, was also listed in the same section.

Moreover, the preface of this waterway magazine clearly depicts eastern limit of Korean territory is 130º 35′ E.longitude, under the name of the Kimotsuki Kaneyuki (肝付兼行),a director of Hydrography Department. From this fact, we can see that Kimotsuki clearly recognized that Takeshima/Dokdo was outside of Korean territory when Nakai met him in 1904.

Lastly, Eastern Strait(東水道) of Choson Strait, between Tsushima and Iki(壱岐) of Nagasaki, Japan was also listed in the previous chapter(Chapter 3). You cannot claim that the strait between Tsushima and Iki also belong to Korea only because it is listed in the “Choson Seaway”. It also proves that Liancourt Rocks in this waterway magazines were not for territorial issue, but only for the safety of voyages.

It is funny to see that the Prof. Hori’s old unreliable thesis based on out-of-date resources, written more than 20 years ago, is still keep followed by Korean scholars and made them look stupid worldwidely.

1893 北洲及北東諸島_11893 北洲及北東諸島_221893 北洲及北東諸島_41893 北洲及北東諸島_5



The secret Sino-Russian treaty signed in 1896

also gave the Russians the right to build and operate the Chinese Eastern Railway across northern Manchuria, which served as a link in the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok. Russia proceeded to acquire numerous concessions over Korea’s forests and mines.


Queen Min


Funeral of Queen Min (Empress Myeongseong) in 1895 Seoul. She had been assassinated by Japanese due to her pro-Russian stance.Korea was declared a protectorate in 1905 and annexed in 1910. In 1910 name of the city of Seoul was changed to Keijo (Japanese Korean Hanseong).

 After the Chinese loss to the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese War, the Korean government was forced to declare their independence from the Chinese and no longer being a tributary state King Kojong (Gojong) declared Korea to be the Korean Empire. Many in the Korean court such as Qin Minsought Russian help in thrawrting the growing power of the Japanese. Russia , England and France had recently forced Japan to abandon the Liaodong Peninsula which it had won in the recent war with China.


1953 newsreel on Changgyeonggung


The  Japanese, wishing to end this meddling sent a new ambassador to Korea, Miura Goro with orders to arrange the assassination of Queen Min which was done on Oct 8, 1895 at Gyeongbokgung. This is known as the Eulmi Incident. After the assassination King Kojong and Crown Prince Sunjong fled to the Russian Legation on Feb 11, 1896

After the murder of Queen Min in 1895, King Kojong and his heir fled to the Russ­ian legation. Emerging about one year later, the king proclaimed himself emperor. The country’s name was changed to Taehan Cheguk, or “Great Han Empire,” symbolically equalizing the status of Korea, China, and Japan. It was an empty honor, however, as Kojong was nearly powerless in the face of foreign imposition; Korea found herself the pawn of foreign governments which had little concern for the people of the peninsula.


coins started to be minted from modern presses in 1888, such as this silver 5 Yang (兩liang also known as a tael)

대한제국 (大韓帝國)   Greater Korean Empire   1897-1910


The earliest known footage of Korea from 1901.




In a complicated series of maneuvers and counter-maneuvers, Japan pushed back the Russian fleet at the Battle of Port Arthur in 1905. With the conclusion of the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War with the Treaty of Portsmouth, the way was open for Japan to take control of Korea. After the signing of the Protectorate Treaty in 1905, Korea became a protectorate of Japan.


Itō Hirobumi was the first Resident-General of Korea, although he was assassinated by Korean independence activist An Jung-geun in 1909 at the train station at Harbin.


The strategic rivalry between Russia and Japan exploded in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, won by Japan. Under the peace treaty signed in September 1905, Russia acknowledged Japan’s “paramount political, military, and economic interest” in Korea. A separate agreement signed in secret between the United States and Japan at this time subsequently aroused anti-American sentiment among Koreans. The Taft-Katsura Agreement was cynical by modern standards, exchanging what amounted to a lack of interest and military capability in Korea on the part of the United States (Japan was given a free hand in Korea) for a lack of interest or capability in the Philippines on the part of Japan (Japanese imperialism was diverted from the Philippines). Given the diplomatic conventions of the times, however, the agreement was a much weaker endorsement of the Japanese presence in Korea than either the Russo-Japanese peace treaty or a separate Anglo- Japanese accord. Two months later, Korea was obliged to become a Japanese protectorate. Thereafter, a large number of Koreans organized themselves in education and reform movements, but by then Japanese dominance in Korea was a reality. Japan annexed Korea as a colony on August 22, 1910


In 1910,

although many Koreans opposed the annexation, the Japanese Empire annexed Korea by force

The Japanese Administration of Korea 

Did Japan ruin the economy of Korea during the Japanese Administration? Koreans say that Japan did, and that they even stole all the rice and left people starving. However, there is a lot of evidence to say that was not the case.

During the period of Japanese Administration,

there were great increases in population, unprecendented in Korean history. This is not consistent with a people that are starving, because the population should decrease in that case.

Not only are the Korean claims dubious, but it seems that they benefitted in many ways from the Japanese Administration. Lets take a look at picutures of Korea before and during the Japanese Administration.

This was the true state of Koreans in the Choson Era.

Before the Japanese introduced medicine in Korea, Koreans would cure Malaria by writing their names on their feet.

Pre-Japanese era Korean medicine. This childs parents are trying to cure this childs disease by throwing away this straw doll. Various diseases could be ‘cured’ by this ‘method’. The average Korea lifespan at this time was around 24 years old. Thanks to Japanese investment in medicine and nutrition in Korea, the lifespan went up to nearly 50 years old by the end of WW2

The center of Seoul, Namdemun, Circa 1880. Thatched buildings and shops.

Compare that with 1850′s Tokyo. Korea was a basket case.

The common people of the Choson Era lived in a state of slavery, if not in name then in practice. Picture is of Namdemun.

bare breasted woman
Typical Korean Woman of the pre-annexation period. It was common for women to walk around bare breasted in Korea at the time, as in Africa.

It is common in Korea to claim that prostitution did not exist in Korea before the Japanese came, but here is a picture of one anyway.

Che Yonhi
Koreans say that they were simply slaves during the Japanese administration, and werent even allowed to have Korean names. I wonder then how they explain the existence of dancer Che Yonhi, who not only became wealthy and famous, but kept her Korean name. Surely if the Japanese wanted to force Koreans to have Japanese names, they would have started with Korean role models? This is a picture of her in a hotel cafe in Seoul.

A department store in Seoul for Korean consumers. Picture 1937.

Koreans boldly claim that Japan destroyed many Korean cultural monuments that were in truth destroyed by Korean neglect. The above is a before and after photo of Namdaemun. Is this what Koreans mean by Korea being ‘ruined’ by the Japanese?

Massive Japanese investment created industry where there was none. The raised living standards and provided housing. The landlords and oppressors of common people lost their legal right to lord it over others.

The worlds largest Hydroelectric generator (at the time) was built in Korea by the Japanese, at the expense of the Japanese. This contributed much to Korea’s development.

This was Pyongyang under Japanese rule.

Pyongyang again.

Really, one could go on and on about this. I would conjecture that this kind of information is nowhere to be found in Korean textbooks, based on my conversations with Koreans. Could Korean anti Japanism be mostly founded upon Koreans vain belief in their ‘Great History’


Research Articles and Chapters

“Chosŏn hugi ŭi mukwa chedo wa Han’guk ŭi kŭndaesŏng” (The Late Chosŏn Military Examination System and Korean Modernity). In Korean. Han’guk munhwa (Korean Culture) 51 (September 2010): 299–319.

“Saeroun kajoksa ŭi ch’ugu: kŭndae Han’guk ŭi chokpo p’yŏnch’an kwa chungin ch’ŭng ŭi panŭng” [A search for a new family history: genealogy compilation and the reactions of chungin stratum in modern Korea]. In Korean. Trans. Yi Kanghan. Yŏksa munje yŏn’gu (Critical Studies on Modern Korean History) 20 (October 2008): 139–167.

“Imagined Connections in Early Modern Korea, 1600–1894: Representations of Northern Elite Miryang Pak Lineages in Genealogies.” Seoul Journal of Korean Studies 21.1 (June 2008): 1–27.

“Status and ‘Defunct’ Offices in Early Modern Korea: The Case of Five Guards Generals (Owijang), 1864–1910.” Journal of Social History 41.3 (Spring 2008): 737–757.

“War and Peace in Premodern Korea: Institutional and Ideological Dimensions.” In The Military and
South Korean Society, edited by Young-Key Kim-Renaud, R. Richard Grinker, and Kirk W. Larsen, pp. 1–13. The Sigur Center Asia Papers Vol. 26. Washington DC: Sigur Center for Asian Studies, George Washington University, 2006.

“Local Elites, Descent, and Status Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century Korea: Some Observations on the County Notable Listings in the Chosŏn Hwanyŏ Sŭngnam.” In Han’guksa e issŏsŏ chibang kwa chungang [The periphery and the center in Korean history], edited by Chŏng Tuhŭi and Edward J. Shultz, pp. 205–225. Seoul: Sogang University Press, 2003.

“Military Examinations in Sixteenth-Century Korea: Political Upheaval, Social Change, and Security Crisis.” Journal of Asian History 35.1 (2001): 1–57.

“Military Examinations in Late Chosŏn, 1700–1863: Elite Substratification and Non-Elite Accommodation.” Korean Studies 25.1 (2001): 1–50.

“Chosŏn ch’ogi mukwa ch’ulsin ŭi sahoejŏk chiwi: T’aejong-Sŏngjong nyŏn’gan ŭi kŭpcheja rŭl chungsim ŭro” [The social status of early Chosŏn military examination graduates: passers from the reign of T’aejong through that of Sŏngjong]. In Korean. Yŏksa wa hyŏnsil (Quarterly Review of Korean History) 39 (March 2001): 100–126.

“Military Examination Graduates in Early Chosŏn: Their Social Status in the Fifteenth Century.” The Review of Korean Studies 3.1 (July 2000): 123–156.

Between Dreams and Reality: The Military Examination in Late Chosŏn Korea, 1600–1894

As previously mentioned, Rhee Syngman (李承晩, 이승만/리승만, 1875-1965) was the other South Korean president who wrote Classical Chinese poetry. He was of the Jeonju Yi Clan, the same family clan as the old royal family of the Chosun dynasty. His pen name was U’nam (雩南, 우남). After receiving his education in the US, Rhee Syngman became active in the Korean independence movement and served in the Provisional Government of Korea in Shanghai. As president, he was vigorously anti-Communist and went after the leftist political dissidents. He was also a bit mad with the lust for power and changed the election procedures in his favor. He also had members of the old royal family under house arrest, fearing their popularity. After his fourth re-election, the people started demonstrating and Rhee Syngman was exiled to Hawaii, where he passed away in 1965. The following is a poem, he presumably wrote during wartime, based on the title.

戰時春 전시춘

A War Time Spring

半島山河漲陣烟 반도산하장진연
胡旗洋帆翳春天 호기양범예춘천
彷徨盡是無家客 방황진시무각객
漂泊誰非辟穀仙 표박수비벽곡선
成市遺墟如古壁 성시유허여고벽
山川燒地起新田 산천요지기신전
東風不待干戈息 동풍불대간과식
細草遍生敗壘邊 세초편생패루변

On the mountains and rivers of the peninsula, military camps are full of smoke.
Barbarian [1] banners and Western sails conceal the Spring sky.
Wandering and lost are these exhausted travelers without homes.
Among the drifting and roaming, who is not as if living off of little sustenance [2]?
[Where] markets were open, the remaining ruins are are like old  walls.
In the mountains and streams, lands are being burn to arise [again] as new rice paddies.
The eastern winds do not tarry for resting pikes and shields [3].
On the sides of the defeated forts, small grass have [started to] grow about it.


  1. 胡 (호, ho) – refers to the Chinese here. This is the same character that was used referred to the Manchurian Qing Dynasty.
  2. 辟穀 (벽곡, byeokgok) – refers to abstaining (辟, 벽) from grains (穀, 곡).
  3. That is, soldiers.


  • 漲 (장, jang) – to be full of water (물이 넘치다); to be much (많은 모양).
  • 翳 (예, ye) – to conceal or cover (가리다).
  • 彷徨 (방황, banghwang) – to be lost or roaming.
  • 墟 (허, heo) – ruins or to be in ruins.
  • 壘 (루, ru) – small military encampment or fort.


 The last imperial family

This photo, taken about 1915 (actually a compilation of individual photographs taken since the Japanese did not allow them to all be in the same room at the same time, and some were forced to leave Korea) shows the following royal family members, from left: Prince Ui (Ui chinwang 의친왕), the 6th son of Gojong; Sunjong, the 2nd son and the last monarch of Joseon; Prince Yeong (Yeong chinwang 영친왕), the 7th son; Gojong, the former King; Queen Yoon (Yoon daebi), Queen Consort of Sunjong; Deogindang Gimbi, wife of Prince Ui; and Yi Geon, the eldest son of Prince Ui. The seated child in the front row is Princess Deokhye (Deokhye ongju 덕혜옹주), Gojong’s last child.

After the annexation of Korea by Japan in 1910, the Princes and Princesses of the Imperial Family were forced to leave for Japan to be re-educated and married. The Heir to the Throne, Imperial Crown Prince Uimin, married Princess Yi Bang-ja née Nashimoto, and had two sons, Princes Yi Jin and Yi Gu. His elder brother, Imperial Prince Ui had twelve sons and nine daughters from various wives and concubines.

The Crown Prince lost his status in Japan at the end of World War II and returned to Korea in 1963 after an invitation by the Republican Government. He suffered a stroke as his plane landed in Seoul and was rushed to a hospital. He never recovered and died in 1970. His brother, Imperial Prince Ui died in 1955 and the Korean people officially considered this to be the end of the Royal line.[citation needed]

Presently Prince Yi Seok is one of two pretenders[citation needed] to the abolished throne of Korea (the monarchy was abolished in 1910 by Japan and following Japan’s defeat in World War II, North Korea has been organized as a communist regime and South Korea has been organized as a republic). Prince Yi Seok is a son of Prince Gang of Korea, a fifth son of Gojong of Korea and currently a professor of history lecturing at Jeonju University in the Republic of Korea.

Furthermore, many descendants live throughout the United States, Canada and Brazil, having settled elsewhere, outside of Korea.

Today, many tombs of the descendants still exist on top of the mountain in Yangju. According to the pedigree written on the tombstone, it is believed that these descendants are from the great king of Joseon, Seongjeong (The 9th ruler of Joseon Dynasty). It was discovered that this mountain belongs to the member of the royal family named Yi Won (Born in 1958). More details of current descendants of the House of Yi.

 The imperial family

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan 2011

37 responses to “The Korea Historic Collections Part Three Choson 1800-1900

  1. Nice site – will stop by more often.

  2. If you are going to use my material, please cite. Also, Choi Kyuha and Rhee Syngman are not from the 1800-1900 period.

    • thanks for visit my web blog and the corrections,the articles were not finish and edited ,I want to thanks for your info,
      I kinow that Choi kyuha and sygman rhee not from 1800-1900.,but I will editing soon

  3. You’re keeping a large amount of information on Chosen Dynasty.
    Chosen is much more preferable to Josun to me, because it sounds like God-chosen, a beautiful country. I’m much interested in the Last Princess Deok Hye and hope you’re keeping it more about her. Thank you.

  4. Is it a korean song? Surfing websites, I found the uploaded one and the voice so clear and lovely. Thank you.

  5. Deokhye the last princess has been composed for music in her birth country Korea. It’s getting famous…

    You’ll listen to it at the address.

  6. I’m glad to find you helped with uploading a korean song and that the famous music was made and donated only for the Last Princess Deokhye Onju who has a history for all Koreans to remember and not to forget as long as we’re living as Koreans. But the reason why the Last Princess and the books as well as the song are all getting well-known in two different countries of Korea and Japan is that she was born as the Josun Princess and had to spend most of her life in Japan by force.
    Good and conscious Japanese currently begin to reinterprete the Last Princess as the one who was suffering only from the political reason under the Japanese millitarism against the Last Dynasty of Josun. And today, the Deokhye Onju revived through such memories by discovering past histories, books (2 books – one was written by Korean novelist and the other one was Japanse author, respectively) and the song “Tears of Rose (English title)” by a singersong writer.

    * Korean NGO site :

    * Japanese Blog site :

    With Thanks!

    Young Tae Kim

    • hallo Young Tae Kim
      thanks for visit my blog and informations
      Dr Iwan suwandy

      • Young Tae Kim

        As of my final comment here with thanks to Dr. Iwan Suwandy, I’m collecting everything about Deokhye the Last Imperial Highness and found one more Turkish fan site toward the Last Princess.

        I’m informing of the address here.

        Sincerely yours,
        – Kim

        Ps.> Can I let others know and quote your site as one of great source of adressing Korean History and the Dynasty? And specially about Deokhye the Imeprial? If permitted, I’ll be glad.

      • Dear Young Tae Kim,
        thanks for your informations,I will look the site you suggest and new info will upload to my blog,
        I am very happy if you let others known my site,I am still want to know you from north or south korea or another country,I am still need more info for my blog especially about the stamps ,co9in and postal history collections related to the history.
        I am waiting for your new info,thanks very much
        Dr Iwan Suwandy

  7. Seorang teman mengatakan kepada saya alamat blog… Musiknya sangat bagus!!!

  8. Terima kasih, Iwan.
    OK, Terima kasih! Saya ingin berbagi video musik dan gambar lain dengan teman-teman saya. Memiliki hari yang baik!
    – Perkasa

    • terima kasih kembali,Dik Perkasa,dari pada main game lebih bagus tambah pengetahuan dan wawasan lihat dan baca info dari Driwancybermuseum,silahkan klik
      salam dari
      dr Iwan suwandy,MHA

  9. Hello,
    I’m uploading a drama here which was about the days of Josun and has the beautiful background music of Tears of Rose (눈물꽃-허진설)… You can enjoy the drama shortly and may understand how their life was. Moreover, please listen to the same music which I could find and listen to through your blog. I know her indirectly and also like to study something Korean. My korean friend told me about this site. Everything is neat and nice!!!
    Terima kasih!


    ps> please upload the drama if you like it.

    – Perkasa

  10. You may go to the other bloger’s site at “”

  11. Pingback: The Last Empress Dokye Of Korea Historic Collections | Driwancybermuseum's Blog

  12. [Iwan]
    Happy New Year in 2012
    Sorry, the part of [KOREAN HISTORY] of the bloger’s pages at
    I referred your site of the page to the Korean blog at in order to help all people share and have much more knowledge to each other.
    Best regards!
    [Tim Jung]

  13. Pingback: The Last Empress Deokhye Of Korea Art Photography | Iwansuwandy's Blog

  14. What happened the other days? I couldn’t access the site with the address to this museum. But I visit successfully here again. 😛
    – TY Kim

  15. Wow, it’s a nice blog and seems it has a lot of information!!!
    Good reading…

  16. Here I found at the site with the English version of the Last Princess of Deokhye onju which may help those who use English rather than Korean to understand what the lyric exactly means. I wish all could understand and may love the story and the princess as well as the beautiful song.


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