Today, Hangul Proclamation Day is a memorial commemorating King Sejong the Great, the creation of Hangul in order to relieve the people’s frustration.
Hangeul has been known to be a collaborative effort with scholars who are not the inventors of the King Sejong the Great. Kim Sung-joon, a researcher of the Hangul Studies Society, who led the restoration of Hun-min-jeong-um hae-lye-bon in 2015, said in an interview with Yonhap News on September 9, “Hangul is a solitary creation of King Sejong.”
As proof, he wrote, “Even the officials who participated in the writing of the Hunminjeongeum ritual did not use Hangul” and “Sejong wrote only the commentary with hie bureaucrats.” is the dominant opinion of academia today.
The reason why we turn the Hangul into the virtue of King Sejong is that the spirit of love of the people is contained in the diffusion and utilization of Hangul which would not have been possible without his reign.
In addition to Hunminjeongum, other works compiled in his era such as ‘Agricultural directing‘, which compiles farming methods suitable for our country’s climate, and ‘鄕 药 集成 方 medical book for people‘ made for people who can not buy expensive medicines from China It also suggests a different kind of affection.
There is also an anecdote not known to King Sejong the Great, who boasted the love of different people. Let’s find out some unknown stories of achievements and anecdotes of King Sejong right after Hangul Day.
1. He played the instrument well
King Sejong was far from the throne because he was born as the third son. His father, King Taejong, gave him various instruments saying to him, “You are not crown prince and you have nothing to do, so please enjoy yourself.”
From that time, King Sejong had reached a level where he could immerse himself in the Geomungo and Gayageum and teach his brothers. The poem records that musical instruments were taught and learned from each other, and King Sejong and Yangnyeong Infante could reconcile relationship each other.
2. King Sejong was huge meat lover
King Sejong has a tendency to like meat and not to move since childhood and suffered from adult diseases caused by obesity throughout his life. Although his father King Taejong had recommended the ‘exercise’ after the reign of King Sejong, his tendency not to eat the cutlery without meat dish was not easily remedied.
He did not eat meat during the three-year mourning, but he worried that his son could not eat meat and his body would go bad. He left a will to give Sejong a meat dish.
King Sejong did not eat meat during his father’s three-year mourning, because of his lack of taste, he could not eat properly and his servants told him to “Please eat the meat.”
3. Created policies for children and the elderly
Nobi(servant) who’s over 90 years old was ordered to provide about 288kg of rice in the meaning of longevity. The elderly people who are over 80 years old, regardless of their status, should be present at the “Yangon Yeon(National party for elderly)”, a feast for seniors.
King Sejong also launched a policy for children who lost their parents. The medical institution ‘Jusen Won’ ordered to take care of the abandoned children and help them adopt.
4. King Sejong lived in small thatched house for two years.
King Sejong tried to suffer with the years when the people’s life became depressed by the years of famine in Joseon. King Sejong built a small thatched house just like the house of the people on the east side of Gyeonghoeru and continued a frugal life for two years.
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The servants who worried about it put a pile of straw on the floor of the herbage house in secret to King Sejong. When he found out, he scolded them greatly.
5. Introduced maternity leave
King Sejong had given a month’s leave before the birth of a public servant woman who worked at the palace, so she did not work during her full pregnancy period. Not only that, she also gave birth to a child and set up 100-day maternity leave. Remember, we are talking about the story in 15th centuries not in 2017.
The male public servant also ordered 30 days’ leave to help with child care if she gave birth to a child!
6. He suffered from eye disease
King Sejong’s eyesight was so bad that his daily life was uncomfortable due to the illness (eye sickness). In the book of Sejong Silok(The Annals of the Joson Dynasty), volume 92, there is a written statement, “It is now 10 years since I got an eye disease.”
King Sejong experienced a visual impairment for 20 years during his 32-year reign, and he hardly ever looked ahead for eight years before his death.
7. Made a delivery room for his Queen
King Sejong’s reign and after the purge of his father-in-low due to political strife, always had the heart to feel sorry for his wife, Queen Soheon. Since Queen Soheon got pregnant, King Sejong ordered that “I hope safe delivery and healthy” the queen let the pregnancy palace was a gift that ‘Gunsungak’ means the delivery room.
8. Policy for the disabled
King Sejong dismissed people with disabilities as being socially highly discriminated and despised. Therefore, a person with blindness who is dealing with musical instruments and who is a visually impaired person is ordered to try and recruit talent. In addition, vocational training for disabled people could be greatly promoted by actively supporting nursing and rice to disabled groups.
9. King Sejong gave the people the land of the royal family
As a result of years of famine, the people’s songs were heard everywhere, and King Sejong took special measures. It greatly reduced the land owned by all the large armies, including the fugitive forces, and encouraged them to lend the land to the people at affordable prices and to farm.
10. King Sejong implemented a referendum to know the people
It was a different concept from the current election and voting, but it was a revolutionary way to identify the people and directly reflect them in the policy. King Sejong dispatched the local governor to vote on the people for about five months ahead of the land law enactment in 1437 which is 580 years ago from this year 2107!
Land law is a problem directly connected with the lives of the people, so it was the policy of King Sejong’s aggression to actively reflect the voice of the people. There was the time the king’s decision was the law of the nation but it is amazing that King Sejong had put forward a policy that reflects the opinions of the people.