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date: 10 December 2019

Chosŏn dynasty [Yi]locked

  • Junghee Lee

Extract

[Yi]

Korean dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910. The founder of the dynasty, Yi Sŏng-gye, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg 1392–8), established Neo-Confucianism as the official ideology, encouraging a modest and practical lifestyle. Thus the patronage of extravagant art was discouraged, and the status of the artist was reduced. Buddhism was often zealously suppressed but remained the private religion of the palace women, the common people and even some kings. T’aejo, for example, built Sŏgwang Temple in north-eastern Korea, the area of his origin; King Sejo (reg 1455–68) built the marble pagoda of the Wŏngak Temple in Seoul in 1466; and the Dowager Queen Munjŏng patronized painters (see Korea, §IV, 2, (i), (d)) and supported temple constructions during the reign of King Myŏngjong (reg 1545–67).

With the establishment of the capital at Hanyang (now Seoul), T’aejo built the Kyŏngbok and Ch’angdŏk palaces and city walls in ...

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