Danjong of Joseon
Danjong of Joseon was the sixth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He was forced to abdicate by his uncle, who became Sejo of Joseon, exiled to Yeongwol County, where he was put to death and his remains are buried; the day after his birth, Queen Hyeondeok, died in childbirth. King Danjong succeeded his father, Munjong of Joseon, at the age of 12. Since he was too young to rule, the government of the kingdom fell to the premier, Hwangbo In, his vice-premier, General Kim Jong-seo, with his sister, Princess Gyeonghye acting as his guardian. In 1453, this government was overthrown in a coup led by the king's uncle, Sejo of Joseon, who persuaded a number of scholars and officials who had served in the court of Sejong the Great to support his claim to the throne. Hwangbo In and Kim Jong-seo were murdered in front of the gate of Gyeongbokgung; the following year, six officials of the court attempted to restore him to power, but their plot was discovered and they were executed. Perceiving that he would present a continuing threat to his rule, Sejo accepted the advice of the court and ordered that Danjong be disposed of.
In 1457, he was put to death at his place of exile. Danjong had been stripped of his title at the time he was exiled, was afterwards referred to as "Prince Nosan". In the reign of King Sukjong, scholars at his court proposed that his title be restored, in 1698, the demoted Prince Nosan was posthumously restored, receiving the posthumous name of "Danjong", thereafter was referred to as King Danjong. Father: King Munjong of Joseon Grandfather: King Sejong of Joseon Grandmother: Queen Soheon of the Cheongsong Shim clan Mother: Queen Hyeondeok of the Andong Kwon clan Grandfather: Kwon Jeon Grandmother: Lady Choi of the Haeju Choi clan Sister: Princess Gyeonghye Consorts and their Respective Issue:Queen Jeongsun of the Yeosan Song clan Consort Suk-Ui of the Sangsan Kim clan Consort Suk-Ui of the Andong Kwon clan King Danjong Gongeui Onmun Sunjeong Anjang Gyungsun Donhyo the Great of Korea 단종공의온문순정안장경순돈효대왕 端宗恭懿溫文純定安莊景順敦孝大王 Portrayed by Lee Min-woo in the 1983 MBC TV series 500 Years of Joseon:Tree with deep roots.
Portrayed by Jung Tae-woo in the 1998-2000 KBS TV series King and Queen. Portrayed by Noh Tae-yeob in the 2011 KBS2 TV series The Princess' Man. Portrayed by Chae Sang-woo in the 2011 JTBC TV series Insu, The Queen Mother and the 2013 film The Face Reader. List of Korean monarchs Joseon Dynasty politics List of Korea-related topics
Taejo of Joseon
Taejo of Joseon, born Yi Seong-gye, whose changed name is Yi Dan, was the founder and the first king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea reigning from 1392 to 1398, the main figure in overthrowing the Goryeo Dynasty. Taejo's father Yi Ja-chun was a minor Mongol official. Taejo's mother Queen Uihye was Chinese from the Yantai-Weihai area of Shandong. Taejo joined the Goryeo army and rose through the ranks, seizing the throne in 1392, he abdicated in 1398 during the strife between his sons and died in 1408. By the late 14th century, the 400-year-old Goryeo Dynasty established by Wang Geon in 918 was tottering, its foundations collapsing from years of war and de facto occupation by the disintegrating Mongol Empire; the legitimacy of Korea itself was becoming an disputed issue within the court, as the ruling house failed not only to govern the kingdom but was tarnished by generations of forced intermarriage with members of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty imperial family and by rivalry amongst the various Goryeo Dynasty royal family branches.
Within the kingdom, influential aristocrats and prime ministers struggled for royal favor and vied for domination of the court, resulting in deep divisions among various factions. With the ever-increasing number of raids against Goryeo conducted by Japanese pirates and the Red Turbans invasions of Korea, those who came to dominate the royal court were the reformed-minded Sinjin aristocracy and the opposing Gweonmun aristocracy, as well as generals who could fight off the foreign threats—namely a talented general named Yi Seong-gye and his rival Choe Yeong. With the rise of the Ming Dynasty under a former monk, Zhu Yuanzhang, Mongol forces became more vulnerable. By the 1350s Goryeo regained its full independence from the waning Mongol Empire, although Mongol remnants occupied northeastern territories with large garrisons of troops. General Yi Seong-gye had gained power and respect during the late 1370s and early 1380s by pushing Mongol remnants off the peninsula and by repelling well-organized Japanese pirates in a series of successful engagements.
He was credited with routing the Red Turbans when they made their move into the Korean Peninsula as part of their rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty. Following in the wake of the rise of the Ming Dynasty under Zhu Yuanzhang, the royal court in Goryeo split into two competing factions: the group led by General Yi and the camp led by his rival General Choe; when a Ming messenger came to Goryeo in 1388 to demand the return of a significant portion of Goryeo’s northern territory, General Choe seized the opportunity and played upon the prevailing anti-Ming atmosphere to argue for the invasion of the Liaodong Peninsula. A staunchly opposed Yi was chosen to lead the invasion. Knowing of the support he enjoyed both from high-ranking government officials, the general populace, the great deterrent of Ming Empire under the Hongwu Emperor, he decided to revolt and swept back to the capital, Gaegyeong, to secure control of the government. General Yi swept his army from the Yalu River straight into the capital, defeated forces loyal to the king and forcibly dethroned King U in a de facto coup d'état but did not ascend to the throne right away.
Instead, he placed on the throne King U's son, King Chang, following a failed restoration of the former monarch, had both of them put to death. General Yi, now the undisputed power behind the throne, soon forcibly had a Goryeo royal named Yo, now King Gongyang, crowned as king. After indirectly enforcing his grasp on the royal court through the puppet king, Yi proceeded to ally himself with Sinjin aristocrats such as Jeong Do-jeon and Jo Jun. In 1392, Yi dethroned King Gongyang, exiled him to Wonju, ascended the throne; the Goryeo Dynasty had come to an end after 475 years of rule. One of the most repeated episodes that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Goryeo was in 1392, when Taejo's fifth son, Yi Bang-won, threw a party for the renowned scholar and statesman Jeong Mong-ju, who refused to be won over by Yi despite their numerous correspondences in the form of archaic poems, continued to be a faithful supporter of the old dynasty, a leading figure in the opposition to Yi's claim to the throne.
Jeong was revered throughout Goryeo by Yi Bang-won himself, but he was seen to be an obstacle and as such, in the eyes of supporters of the new dynasty, had to be removed. After the party, on his way home, Jeong was murdered by five men on the Seonjuk Bridge in Gaeseong; this bridge has now become a national monument of North Korea, a brown spot on one of the stones is said to be a bloodstain of his which turns red when it rains. Yi Seong-gye declared a new dynasty in 1392–1393 under the name of Joseon, thereby reviving an older state known as Joseon, that was, established nearly three thousand years and renamed the country the "Kingdom of Great Joseon". An early achievement of the new monarch was impr
Jungjong of Joseon
Jungjong of Joseon, born Yi Yeok or Lee Yeok, ruled during the 16th century in what is now Korea. He succeeded his half-brother, because of the latter's tyrannical misrule, which culminated in a coup placing Jungjong on the throne. On the day Yeonsangun was deposed, soldiers belonging to the coup leaders surrounded the house of his half-brother Grand Prince Jinseong, he was about to kill himself, thinking that Yeonsangun was going to kill him. Jungjong worked hard to wipe out the remnants of the Yeonsangun era by reopening the Seonggyungwan, royal university, Office of Censors, which criticizes inappropriate actions of the king. However, during the early days of his reign, Jungjong could not exert regal authority because those who put him on the throne exercised immense power; when the three main leaders of coup died of old age and natural causes eight years Jungjong began to assert his authority and carried out a large-scale reformation of the government with help of Jo Gwang-jo and other Sarim scholars.
Jo Gwang-jo strengthened local autonomy by establishing a self-governing system called Hyang'yak, promoted Confucian writings by translating them into Korean hangul and distributing them pursued a land reform that would distribute land more between the rich and poor, introduced a supplementary system for recruiting talents to the government. He believed that any talented people, including slaves, should be appointed as officials regardless of social status; as Inspector General, he enforced the laws so that no official dared to receive a bribe or exploit the local populace during this time according to Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. However, the reforms faced much opposition from conservative nobles who led the coup in 1506 that placed Jungjong in power. After four years of reformist agenda, Jungjong abruptly abandoned Jo Gwang-jo's programs because he either lost confidence in Jo's programs or feared that Jo was becoming too powerful. While Jungjong and Jo Gwang-jo shared the reformist agenda, Jungjong was chiefly interested in solidifying royal authority whereas the latter was more concerned with neo-Confucian ideology, according to which those who rule must be a virtuous example to the rest.
In November 1519, when conservative officials slandered Jo Gwang-jo to be disloyal by writing "Jo will become the king" with honey on leaves so that caterpillars left behind the same phrase as if in supernatural manifestation, Jungjong executed Jo Gwang-jo on charge of factionalism and exiled many of his followers, abruptly abandoning his reforms. This incident is known as Gimyo massacre of scholars. After Jo Gwang-jo's fall, King Jungjong never had the chance to rule on his own, his reign was marked by tumultuous struggle among various conservative factions, each of them backed by one of the King's queens or concubines. In 1524 the conservative factions collided with each other, one faction deposing the corrupt official Kim Anro. Kim Anro's followers took their revenge in 1527 by intriguing against Consort Park, one of the King's concubines, which led to her execution along with her son Prince Bokseong. Kim Anro came back to power and took revenge on his enemies until he was removed from government and executed by the new queen's brothers, Yun Wonro and Yun Wonhyeong.
However, Yun Im, ally of Kim Anro, was able to keep his nephew as crown prince since the new queen, Queen Munjeong, did not have a son until later. Injong would be declared the crown prince, his uncle Yun Im competed for power with the Queen Munjeong's brothers, Yun Won-hyeong and Yun Won-ro. Many officials and scholars gathered around the two centers of power and each group developed into separate political factions. Yun Im's faction became known as ‘Greater Yun’ and the Yun brothers' faction as ‘Lesser Yun’, their conflict led to the Fourth Literati Purge of 1545 after Jungjong's death. As the dynasty weakened as a consequence of the continual internal conflict, foreign powers driven away by earlier monarchs returned with much greater effect. Wokou pirates and privateers plundered southern coastal regions, while the Jurchens attacked the northern frontier numerous times, bleeding the army dry. Jungjong was a good and able administrator during the reform period led by Jo Gwang-jo. However, historians judge that he was a fundamentally weak king due to circumstances of his ascension to throne, too swayed by both Jo Gwang-jo and conservative ministers who placed him on the throne.
Sometimes he was seen as a tragic figure who never wanted to be a king but was forced to become one and depose his loving queen under the pressure of the coup leaders, who killed her father during the coup. More some historians have suggested that Jungjong was not manipulated by his ministers and in-laws, but rather used them to get rid of one another to strengthen regal authority albeit not so successfully. In either case, his reign was marred by much confusion, violence and court intrigues, he has been criticized for allowing the Third Literati Purge of 1519 and executing Jo Gwang-jo and others on framed charges. In the early days of reform, Jungjong encouraged the publishing of many books, he tried to improve self-government of local areas and succeeded in reforming the civil service examination. In the latter days of his reign, he realized the importance of defense and encouraged military service. Father: King Seongjong of Joseon (20 August 1457 – 20 January
Gojong of Korea
Gojong, the Emperor Gwangmu, was the last king of Joseon and the first Emperor of Korea. Gojong took the Joseon throne in 1863 when still a child; as a minor, his father, the Heungseon Daewongun, ruled as regent for him until Gojong reached adulthood. During the mid-1860s, the Heungseon Daewongun 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 invasion and the United States expedition to Korea in 1871; the early years of the Daewongun's rule witnessed a concerted effort to restore the dilapidated Gyeongbok Palace, the seat of royal authority. During the Daewongun's reign, Joseon factional politics, the Seowon, the power wielded by the Andong Kim clan disappeared as political forces within Korean state life. In 1873, Gojong announced his assumption of direct royal rule. In November 1874, with the retirement of the Heungseon Daewongun, Gojong's consort, Queen Min, gained complete control over the court, filling senior court positions with members of her family.
This angered Heungseon Daewongun, exiled from the court. Some relatives of Heungseon Daewongun and members of the Southerner faction plotted a coup. In the 19th century tensions mounted between Qing China and Japan, culminating in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–1895. Much of this war was fought on the Korean peninsula. Japan, after the Meiji Restoration, had acquired Western military technology and had forced Joseon to sign the Treaty of Ganghwa in 1876. Japan encroached upon Korean territory in search of fish, iron ore, other natural resources, it established a strong economic presence in the peninsula, heralding the beginning of Japanese Imperial expansion in East Asia. The French campaign against Korea of 1866, United States expedition to Korea in 1871 and the Incident of the Japanese gunboat Unyo put pressure on many of Joseon's officials, including King Gojong; the Treaty of Ganghwa became the first unequal treaty signed between a foreign country. With the signing of its first unequal treaty, Korea became easy prey for many imperialistic powers, the treaty led to Korea being annexed by Japan.
King Gojong began to rely on a new paid army of rifle-equipped soldiers. The old army, armed with swords and old matchlocks revolted as a result of their mediocre wages and loss of prestige, the Heungseon Daewongun was restored to power; however Chinese troops led by the Qing Chinese general Yuan Shikai soon abducted the Daewongun and took him to China, thus foiling his return to power. Four years the Daewongun returned to Korea. On 4 December 1884, five revolutionaries initiated the Gapsin Coup, an attempted coup d'état, by leading a small anti-old minister army, attempting to detain King Gojong and Queen Min; the coup failed after 3 days. Some of its leaders, including Kim Okgyun, fled to Japan, others were executed. Widespread poverty presented significant challenges to the 19th century Joseon Dynasty. One indication of this poverty was the poor conditions of life suffered by those of the lower classes, who had little to eat and lived in little more than run down shanties lined along roads of dirt and mud.
A number of factors, including famine, high taxes and corruption among the ruling class, led to several notable peasant revolts in the 19th century. King Gojong's predecessors had suppressed an 1811–1812 revolt in the Pyeongan Province, led by Hong Gyeong-nae. In 1894, another major revolt, the Donghak Peasant Revolution took hold as an anti-government, anti-yangban and anti-foreign campaign. To suppress the rebellion, the Joseon government requested military aid from Japan, thus deepening Japanese claims to Korea as a protectorate. In the end the revolution failed, but many of the peasants' grievances were dealt with by the Gabo Reform. In 1895, Empress Myeongseong known as Queen Min, was assassinated by Japanese agents; the Japanese minister to Korea, Miura Gorō orchestrated the plot against her. A group of Japanese agents entered the Gyeongbokgung in Seoul, under guard by Korean troops sympathetic to the Japanese, the Queen was killed in the palace; the Queen had attempted to counter Japanese interference in Korea and was considering turning to Russia or China for support.
By 1895 Japan had won the First Sino-Japanese War, gaining much more influence over the Korean government. The Gabo reforms and the assassination of the Queen stirred controversy in Korea, fomenting Korean anti-Japanese sentiments; some Confucian scholars, as well as farmers, formed over 60 successive righteous armies to fight for Korean freedom. These armies were preceded by the Donghak movement and succeeded by various Korean independence movements. On 11 February 1896, King Gojong and his crown prince fled from the Gyeongbokgung to the Russian legation in Seoul, from which they governed for about one year, an event known as Korea royal refuge at the Russian legation. In 1897, King Gojong, yielding to rising pressure from overseas and the demands of the Independence Association-led public opinion, returned to Gyeongungung. There he proclaimed the founding of the Empire of Korea redesignated the national title as such, declared a new era name Gwangmu (meaning, "shining and ma
The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul, has been used to write the Korean language since its creation in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great. It may be written as Hangeul following the standard Romanization, it is the official writing system of Korea, both North. It is a co-official writing system in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County in Jilin Province, China, it is sometimes used to write the Cia-Cia language spoken near the town of Indonesia. The Hangul alphabet consisted of 28 letters with 17 consonant letters and 11 vowel letters when it was created; as four became obsolete, the modern Hangul consists of total 24 letters with 14 consonant letters and 10 vowel letters. In North Korea the total is counted 40, it consists of 19 consonant letters and 21 vowel letters as it additionally includes 5 tense consonants and 20. The Korean letters are written in syllabic blocks with each alphabetic letter placed vertically and horizontally into a square dimension.
For example, the Korean word for "honeybee" is written 꿀벌, not ㄲㅜㄹㅂㅓㄹ. As it combines the features of alphabetic and syllabic writing systems, it has been described as an "alphabetic syllabary" by some linguists; as in traditional Chinese writing, Korean texts were traditionally written top to bottom, right to left, are still written this way for stylistic purposes. Today, it is written from left to right with spaces between words and western-style punctuation; some linguists consider it among the most phonologically faithful writing systems in use today. One interesting feature of Hangul is that the shapes of its consonants mimic the shapes of the speaker's mouth when pronouncing each consonant; the Korean alphabet was called Hunminjeong'eum, after the document that introduced the script to the Korean people in 1446. The Korean alphabet is called hangeul, a name coined by Korean linguist Ju Si-gyeong in 1912; the name combines the ancient Korean word han, meaning "great", geul, meaning "script".
The word han is used to refer to Korea in general, so the name means "Korean script". It has been romanized in multiple ways: Hangeul or han-geul in the Revised Romanization of Korean, which the South Korean government uses in English publications and encourages for all purposes. Han'gŭl in the McCune–Reischauer system, is capitalized and rendered without the diacritics when used as an English word, Hangul, as it appears in many English dictionaries. Hānkul in the Yale romanization, a system recommended for technical linguistic studies. In North Korea it is called Chosŏn'gŭl after Chosŏn, the North Korean name for Korea after the old name of Korea; the McCune–Reischauer system is used there. Until the mid-20th century, the Korean elite preferred to write using Chinese characters called Hanja, they referred to Hanja as jinseo or "true letters". Some accounts say the elite referred to the Korean alphabet derisively as'amkeul meaning "women's script", and'ahaetgeul meaning "children's script", though there is no written evidence of this.
Supporters of the Korean alphabet referred to it as jeong'eum meaning "correct pronunciation", gukmun meaning "national script", eonmun meaning "vernacular script". Before the creation of the new Korean alphabet, Koreans wrote using Classical Chinese alongside native phonetic writing systems that predate the modern Korean alphabet by hundreds of years, including Idu script, Hyangchal and Gakpil. However, due to fundamental differences between the Korean and Chinese languages, the large number of characters, many lower class Koreans were illiterate. To promote literacy among the common people, the fourth king of the Joseon dynasty, Sejong the Great created and promulgated a new alphabet; the Korean alphabet was designed so that people with little education could learn to write. A popular saying about the alphabet is, "A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; the project was completed in late December 1443 or January 1444, described in 1446 in a document titled Hunminjeong'eum, after which the alphabet itself was named.
The publication date of the Hunminjeongeum, October 9, became Hangul Day in South Korea. Its North Korean equivalent, Chosŏn'gŭl Day, is on January 15. Another document published in 1446 and titled Hunminjeong'eum Haerye was discovered in 1940; this document explains that the design of the consonant letters is based on articulatory phonetics and the design of the vowel letters are based on the principles of yin and yang and vowel harmony. The Korean alphabet faced opposition in the 1440s by the literary elite, including politician Choe Manri and other Korean Confucian scholars, they believed. They saw the circulation of the Korean alphabet as a threat to their status. However, the Korean alphabet entered popular culture as King Sejong had intended, used by women and writers of popular fiction. King Yeonsangun banned the study and publication of the Korean alphabet in 1504, after a document criticizing the king entered the public. King Jungjong abolished the Ministry of Eonmun, a governmental institution related to Hangul research, in 1506.
The late 16th century, saw a revival of the Korean alphabet as gasa and sijo poetry flourished. In the 17th century, the Korean alphabet novels became a major genre. However, the use of the Korea
Sunjong of Korea
Sunjong, the Emperor Yunghui, was the second and the last Emperor of Korea, of the Yi dynasty, ruling from 1907 until 1910. Sunjong was the second son of Empress Myeongseong; when he was two years old, Sunjong was proclaimed the crown prince. In 1882, he married a daughter of the Min clan, who became Empress Sunmyeonghyo; the Korean Empire was established in 1897, Sunjong became the imperial crown prince. In July 1907, Gojong was deposed as a result of Japanese coercion, Sunjong was made emperor of Korea, he was proclaimed heir to the throne of Prince Imperial Yeong, the younger brother of Sunjong, moved from Deoksugung Palace to the imperial residence at Changdeokgung Palace. Sunjong's reign was limited by the increasing armed intervention of the Japanese government in Korea. In July 1907, he was proclaimed emperor of Korea but was forced to enter into the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1907; this treaty allowed the Japanese government to supervise and intervene in the administration and governance of Korea, which allowed for the appointment of Japanese ministers within the government.
While under Japanese supervision, the Korean army was dismissed on the pretext of lack of public finance regulations. In 1909, Japan implemented the Japan–Korea Protocol which removed Korea's judicial power. Meanwhile, Japan dispatched Itō Hirobumi, Japanese Resident-General of Korea, to negotiate with Russia over problems involving Korea and Manchuria. However, Itō was assassinated by Ahn Jung-geun at Harbin, which led to the Japanese occupation of Korea. Pro-Japanese politicians, such as Song Byung-jun and Lee Wan-yong, merging Korea with Japan by fabricating Korea's willingness and establishing the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty on August 29, 1910. Although still existent on paper, the intervention by the Japanese government ended Sunjong's reign over the Korean Empire and he became powerless within three years of ruling. Japan, in effect, abolished the Korean Empire on August 29 1910, ending 519 years of the Joseon dynasty. After the annexation treaty, the former Emperor Sunjong and his wife, Empress Sunjeong, lived the rest of their lives imprisoned in Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul.
Sunjong could not exercise any power as emperor because there were only pro-Japanese politicians in government. After the Korean Empire collapsed, Sunjong was demoted from emperor to king. Japan allowed him the title of King Yi of Changdeok Palace and allowed for the title to be inherited. Sunjong died on April 24, 1926, in Changdeokgung and is buried with his two wives at the imperial tomb of Yureung in the city of Namyangju, his state funeral on June 10, 1926, was a catalyst for the June 10th Movement against Japanese rule. He had no children. Father: Emperor Gojong Mother: Empress Myeongseong of the Yeoheung Min clan Consorts:Empress Sunmyeong of the Yeoheung Min clan – born to Min Tae-ho, leader of the Yeoheung Min clan, she died. Empress Sunjeong of the Haepyeong Yun clan – daughter of Marquis Yun Taek-yeong, his Imperial Majesty Emperor Sunjong Munon Muryeong Donin Seonggyeong of Korea 대한제국순종문온무령돈인성경황제폐하 大韓帝國純宗文溫武寧敦仁誠敬皇帝陛下 Daehan Jeguk Sunjong Munon Muryeong Donin Seonggyeong Hwangje Pyeha Korea: Founder of the Order of the Auspicious Phoenix Japan: Collar of the Order of the Chrysanthemum Belgium: Grand Cordon of the Royal Order of Leopold Portrayed by Ahn Sang-woo in the 2016 film The Last Princess.
List of Korea-related topics History of Korea Korean Empire Rulers of Korea House of Yi
Gwanghaegun of Joseon
Gwanghae-gun or Prince Gwanghae was the fifteenth king of the Joseon dynasty. His personal name was Yi Hon; as he was deposed in a coup d'état official historians did not give him a temple name like Taejo or Sejong. Gwanghaegun was the second son of King Seonjo, born to Lady Kim, a concubine; when Japan invaded Korea to attack the Ming Empire, he was installed as Crown Prince. When the king fled north to the border of Ming, he set up a branch court and fought defensive battles. During and after the Seven Year War, he acted as the de facto ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, commanding battles and taking care of the reconstruction of the nation after the devastating wars, in the place of old and weak King Seonjo. Although it brought prestige to him, his position was still unstable, he had an elder but incompetent brother Prince Imhae and a younger but legitimate brother Grand Prince Yeong-chang, supported by the Lesser Northerners faction. For Gwang-hae, King Seonjo's abrupt death made it impossible for his most favorite son Yeong-chang Daegun to succeed to the throne.
Before King Seonjo died, he named Prince Gwang-hae as his official successor to the throne, ordered his advisers to make a royal document. However, Lyu Young-gyong of Lesser Northerners faction hid the document and plotted to install Prince Yeong-chang as king, only to be found out by the head of the Great Northerners faction, Chung In-hong. Lyu was executed and Prince Yeong-chang was arrested and died the next year. After the incident, Gwang-hae tried to bring officials from various political and regional background to his court, but his plan was interrupted by Greater Northerners including Lee Icheom and Chung In-hong. Greater Northerners began to take members of other political factions out of the government Lesser Northerners. At last in 1613 Greater Northerners put their hand on Prince Yeong-chang. At the same time Greater Northerners suppressed the Lesser Northerners. However, Gwang-hae had no power to stop this though he was the official head of the government. Despite his infamous reputation in times, he was a talented and realistic politician.
He sponsored restoration of documents. As a part of reconstruction, he redistributed land to the people, he was responsible for the reintroduction of the hopae identification system after a long period of disuse. In foreign affairs he sought a balance between the Ming Empire and the Manchus. Since he realized Joseon was unable to compete with Manchu military power, he tried to keep friendly relationship with the Manchus while the kingdom was still under the suzerainty of Ming, which angered the Ming and dogmatic Confucian Koreans; the critically worsened Manchu-Ming relationship forced him to send ten thousand soldiers to aid Ming in 1619. However, the Battle of Sarhū ended in Manchu's overwhelming victory; the Korean General Gang Hong-rip surrendered to Nurhaci. Gwanghaegun managed to avoid another war, he restored diplomatic relationship with Japan in 1609 when he reopened trade with Japan through Treaty of Giyu, sent his ambassadors to Japan in 1617. During his reign, Gwanghaegun encouraged publishing in order to accelerate reconstruction and to restore the kingdom's former prosperity.
Many books came out during his reign, including the famous medical book Donguibogam, several historical records were rewritten in this period. For his job in public affair, he implemented the Daedong law, which let the subjects to pay the taxes more easily. However, this law was activated only in Gyeonggi Province, the largest granary zone at that time, it took a century for the law to be extended across the whole kingdom. In 1616, tobacco soon popularized by many aristocratic noblemen. In April 6, 1623 Gwanghaegun was deposed in a coup by the Westerners faction; the coup directed by Kim Yu took place at night, Gwanghaegun was captured later. He was confined first on Ganghwa Island and on Jeju Island, where he died in 1641, he does not have a royal mausoleum like the other Joseon rulers. His and Lady Ryu's remains were buried at a comparatively humble site in Namyangju in Gyeonggi Province; the Westerners faction installed Neungyanggun as the sixteenth king Injo who promulgated pro-Ming and anti-Manchu policies, which resulted in two subsequent Manchu invasions.
Although Gwanghaegun is one of only two deposed kings who were not restored and given the temple name, many people consider him a victim of feuds between political factions. However he did a better job of caring for his country than his predecessor King Seonjo, or his successor King Injo, they both contributed to invasions -- the Japanese invasions of the Seven Year War. In modern South Korea, Gwanghaegun is considered one of the wiser kings rather than a despot. Father: King Seonjo of Joseon Grandfather: Yi Cho, Grand Prince Deokheung Grandmother: Grand Princess Consort Hadong of the Hadong Jeong clan Mother: Royal Noble Consort Gong of the Gimhae Kim clan Grandfat