Sejong the Great

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Sejong Daewang
King of Joseon
Reign September 18, 1418 - May 18, 1450
Coronation September 18, 1418
Born May 6, 1397(1397-05-06)
Died May 18, 1450(1450-05-18) (aged 53)
Predecessor Taejong of Joseon
Successor Munjong of Joseon
Consort Queen Soheon
Children Munjong of Joseon,
Sejo of Joseon
Father Taejong of Joseon
Mother Queen Wongyeong

Sejong the Great (May 6, 1397 – May 18 1450) was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He is one of only two Korean kings called "great" (the other is Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo). He picked out young scholars and tried to fix the prejudice of classes by helping intelligent but low-class prodigies. In 1442, he had Jang Young-Sil, a scientist in Joseon, invent the 'Chuk-Oo-Gi (測雨器)'. This was a kind of tool to help measure the rain and how much it fell. Also, he expanded the territory of Joseon.

One of the best works and the biggest reason why Sejong was called great was because he created the Hoon min jung um (訓民正音). It is called in modern days as 'Han-gul (한글)'. Because of the creating of Hoon min jung um, Joseon (now Korea) had now its own letters. And many of the people can use letters more easily than before.

Early life[change | edit source]

Sejong was the third son of King Taejong. When he was twelve, he became grand prince and married Shim On of Cheongsong. When he was young, he was very good at studying. His father liked him more than his other brothers.

His older brothers, Yangnyeong and Hyoryeong, thought they were not fit to be king and that it was their duty to make Sejong the king, even though he was younger than them. So they acted rudely and badly in front of the court and were soon banished. Yangnyeong became a traveler who wandered in the mountains, and Hyoryeong became a Buddhist monk. This later became a heartfelt and traditional legend in South Korea.

Related pages[change | edit source]

Preceded by
King Taejong
King of Joseon Dynasty
1418-1450
Succeeded by
King Moonjong