National Palace Museum of Korea

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10 Royal Rituals of the Joseon Dynasty

10 Royal Rituals of the Joseon Dynasty

The Joseon Dynasty was governed according to the principles of Confucianism. National unity and social order were encouraged through forms of propriety known as ye (禮). To regulate state ceremonies in accordance with ye, the king prescribed proper modes of conduct for ve categories: auspicious ceremonies, mourning, military reviews, welcoming foreign envoys, and festive events. This served to reinforce the political power and legitimacy of the royal court, and moreover set an example to the people of a life-long practice of ye. Royal rituals were performed with the utmost sincerity by following precise formalities for objects, food, attire, and music.

10 Royal Rituals of the Joseon Dynasty

Illustration of the Ceremony of the Crown Prince’s Entrance to the National Confucian Academy Joseon, 1817 This album depicts 6 stages of the entrance ceremony of 8-year-old Crown Prince Hyomyeong (1809~1830, posthumously crowned King Ikjong) into the National Confucian Academy (Seonggyungwan) in 1817.

Illustration of the Ceremony of the Crown Prince’s Entrance to the National Confucian Academy

Pyeonjong, Bell Chimes

Pyeonjong, Bell Chimes Joseon | Brass and wood | Bell: Di. 17.8cm, H. 28.4cm each | Frame: W. 222.0cm, H. 155.0cm In 1116, the 11th year of King Yejong’s reign, Goryeo Dynasty, the pyeonjong was introduced from the Song Dynasty (960~1279 AD), China, for playing court ritual music. In the fifteenth century BakYeon, a Joseon scholar, changed the tuning method of the instrument by changing the way in which the tones were differentiated: from size to thickness. A set of sixteen bronze bells are hung in two rows of eight on a wooden frame supported by a pair of wooden lions and decorated with twin dragon heads. The bells are struck on the circular marks on their bottom registers with an ox-horn mallet, playing twelve tones in an octave and four higher tones.

Palanquin of King Joseon | Wood and silk | L. 140.0cm, W. 140.0cm, H. 260.0cm,Tassel L. 126.0cm each Yeon, mounted by the king, consists of a roof, a carriage, and poles for carrying, and overall imitates the structure of a house. The carriage has a round pillar with a dragon design at each corner, supplementary square pillars in between, and railings around the lower half. Its body is lacquered in red and the railings are decorated with drawings of mythical animals in gold. Awnings were hung on the four sides and these can be propped up or drawn down. The phoenix heads decorating each corners of the roof hold a tassels with decorative knots, and gilt dragon heads cap the four ends of the horizontal poles.

Palanquin of King

10 Royal Rituals of the Joseon Dynasty

10 Royal Rituals of the Joseon Dynasty - VR