National Palace Museum of Korea

National Palace Museum

EXHIBITIONS& COLLECTIONS

11 Scientific Achievement of the Joseon Dynasty

11 Scientific Achievement of the Joseon Dynasty

During the Joseon dynasty, science was means to legitimize the power of the ruler and stabilize society. The sovereign directed signicant efforts towards the study of science and technology to enhance public welfare, national prosperity, and military power. As a result, the state fostered remarkable scholars across diverse elds, including astronomy, meteorology, the calendrical system, and measurement, which helped advance the agriculture—the bases of Joseon economy. Moreover, medicine and therapeutic remedies suited to the local environment were developed, and weaponry was rened to reinforce national defense.

11 Scientific Achievement of the Joseon Dynasty

Restored Model of jagyeokru, the Clepsydra

Restored Model of Jagyeokru, the Clepsydra Joseon | Wood and silk | L. 140.0cm, W. 140.0cm, H. 260.0cm,Tassel L. 126.0cm each Accurate timekeeping was a very important office of the monarchy. Whosoever oversees the regulation of clocks also controls the routines of society, and essentially regulates the lives of the people. Hence, the clock was both a symbol and an instrument of power and control. Primitive water clocks working by regulating the flow of liquid and sundials telling time by the precise shadows cast across them by the sun had been in use in Korea since at least the Three Kingdoms Period (c. 4~7 AD.). Korea’s first self striking water clock, Jagyeokru was produced under the orders of King Sejong (r.1418~1450). It was created by Jang Yeong-sil, known as a prominent scientist. Jagyeokru was housed in Borugak, a special building on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It officially became the national time standard in1434.

11 Scientific Achievement of the Joseon Dynasty - Main Artifacts

11 Scientific Achievement of the Joseon Dynasty - Main Artifacts - VR