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Guide to Exhibition Experience

State which was Run by Chosuns Scholars

  • Guide to Exhibition Experience
  • No.4 Hall Middle-aged Scholar Village
  • State which was Run by Chosuns Scholars

This is No.4 Hall, the middle-aged scholar village exhibition experience hall.

State which was Run by Chosuns Scholars

  • Since the king is at the highest position of a state, can he do everything the way he wants?
    No! Regardless of the greatness of king Sejong, if there were no Jibheonjeon scholars, then how could Hanguel have been created?
    Also, if the servants were to unconditionally succumb to tyrants like Yeonsangun the nations prospects would be disastrous.
    Therefore a system where the king is at the center while being surrounded with the scholars wisdom was in place to run the state.
    Then, lets see how the scholars actually ran the state.

Beat the Sinmungo

  • It is a drum placed on top of the Munru(In 1401 outside the palace in 1401 (Chosun Dynasty Taejong 1), to solve the woes of the civilians.
  • Although there was a legal system of appeals and denunciations at the beginning of Chosun, the state installed the Sinmungo as a facility for final appeals and direct denunciations. The facility was overseen by Uigeumbu Dangjikcheong which was a direct deputy of the king, and when the king heard the sound of the drums he could receive the submittal of the woe of the plaintiff.
  • In other words, if there were any appeals to be made, they were reported to Jujanggwan in Seoul and to Saheonbu in provincial areas, and for cases that were not able to be solved in these places, they would be passed on to beat the Sinmungo.


  • However, despite such limitation of condition, the Sinmungo was used for insignificant cases in a disorderly way, and this reflected the general civilians difficulty due to the abuse of power of government officials during the beginning of Chosun Dynasty.
  • Afterwards, the use of Sinmungo was further limited, and according to Sokdaejeon) only the four major cases called 4 Geonsa which are matters concerning oneself, matters concerning between father and son, matters between the wives, or Jeokcheob, matters concerning the rich and the poor, or Yangcheon, as well as the matters a descendant wanted to do for the ancestors, matters a wife wanted to do for her husband, matters a younger brother wanted to do for his older brother, matters a servant wanted to do for his/her owner and etc were possible for beating the Sinmungo.
  • However, in reality the use of Sinmungo was used mainly by the government officials in Seoul, and unlike the original purpose it was seldom used by general merchants or servants or officials and individuals residing in other provinces, and thus it was ineffective. Later, when it reached the period of Yeonsangun(ߣ), the system was abolished for a long time, and it was resurrected in November, 1771(Yeongjo 47) which was overseen by Byeongjo.

Understanding the Government Official Positions

  • The common knowledge regarding the positions of the government officials in the former period can be easily understood by participating in this experience.
  • Parliamentary Department, Uijeongbu : Highest institution that decides on the policy. The Yeonguijeong(parliament and the Left-right Uijeong(parliament) would discuss about a matter and receive approval from the king to deliver to Yukjo.
  • Yukjo : Administrative department that oversaw the states political affairs
    • Yijo : Administrative Personnel
    • Hojo : Finance Affairs
    • Yejo : Ceremony, Education, Foreign Diplomacy
    • Byeongjo : National Defense
    • Hyeongjo : Judicial Affair
    • Gongjo : Construction & Other Projects
  • Seungjeongwon : Kings Private Secretary Office
  • Samsa
    • Hongmungwan : Kings advisory institution
    • Saganwon : Criticized the wrong politics of the King
    • Saheonbu : Institution that inspected the government officials
  • Uigeumbu : Judicial institution directly under the king
  • Podocheong : Arrest & punished criminals
  • Chunchugwan : History editing institution

What is devotion,Chung()? What is justice, Ui()?

  • What is Chung()?
    • The character Chung() is composed of middle,Jung() and heart, Sim.
      It means sincere feeling of the inside, or equal mind that does not tilt to one side. A person who has the mind of Chung is honest, sincere and trustworthy. Such people pour in sincerity when they deal with other people or matters . Moreover, being able to sacrifice oneself to do the right thing is called chungui(devotion).
    • In order to practice Chung, it is important to do ones best in his/her respective position. If complying with the national law, being devoted to ones living, and taking care of ones family is the Chung of civilians, putting aside ones profit and only focusing on helping to improve the state and the civilians is the Chung of a public official.
  • What is Ui()?
    • The character, Ui(), is a composed of Yang() and Ah().
      Wearing a great leather clothing() and having oneself neat represents appropriate attitude and behavior. Moreover, the character also means that one should be able to sacrifice him/herself. In other words, it means to refrain from all personal benefits and to keep the principles in order to protect everyone. It is like social justice.
    • Then how shall we live in a just way? We have to get rid of our greed and live with conscience.
      For example, if you wanted to get good grades, should you copy the answer sheet of another student?
      Moreover, if you saw a person doing bad deeds, standing idle and pretending you havent seen it is not just.
      We can say that overcoming personal greed and having the courage to rectify wrongdoings is the attitude of
      practicing justice.
      Ui is a principle that should be practiced in the society with the mind of love which is the original nature of human,
      and it is the righteous path that people should go through.