Chosun Dynasty

Topics: Joseon Dynasty, Korea, History of Korea Pages: 8 (2832 words) Published: January 23, 2013
Have you thought of a situation in which you just got married to a husband, but you have no idea who he is and how he looks? The moment you know who he is and how he looks was on your honeymoon. What an embarrassing moment it is! Marriages in Cho-sun Dynasty were not gotten by chemical relationship between a wife and a husband, but by each parent’ agreement, in terms of background of family. The purpose of this research is to discuss how women lived during the Chosun Dynasty and the circumstances that contributed to the creation of gender relation in Korean society in the time. Before going through the life of women in Chosun Dynasty, there are several concepts to be explained to understand my essay. First, there were “Different social classes” in Chosun Dynasty. There were four different classes in Chosun Dynasty such as “Yang-Ban” who are in the top class, “Joong-In” who are in the middle between common people and Yang-ban, “Sangmin” who are common people, and “Slave”. The role of women from different classes was different. And among them, Yang ban class was the most influential class in Chosun Dynasty on women’s lives. I would like to focus on women of other classes after the introduction in detail. Secondly, there was a Palace of Chosun Dynasty. All of the most important national deals were connected with the palace because people of the top classes such as king and yang ban class belonged to there. The palace still exists in South Korea and is known as No.1 cultural heritage now. Thirdly, there was “Different kind of women working in the palace”. There were three types of women in the palace as “Palace women” serving king and yang ban class, “women physicians”, and “women entertainers”. And lastly, there was a social philosophy, Confucianism which was a base ideology in Chosun Dynasty. It was one of the most influential social ideology in Chosun Dynasty, changing a social trend and cultures.

Brief history of Korea and the Philosophy of Confucianism
Generally people think one’s behavior is brought from individual thinking and personality. However, sometimes one’s behavior is mostly influenced by a social philosophy. As an example people’s behavior in Chosun Dynasty had been influenced by a social ideology. Chosun Dynasty had discrimination between male and women. The most influential philosophy on the discrimination was an ideology called “Confucianism”. It had lessons teaching how to behave and treat older people well and was based on patriarchy. The ideology had been brought from china to Korea a long time ago, in previous period called “Koguryo”. Almost everything from family culture to national politic system was influenced by the philosophy, Coufucianism. It especially had a great impact on Women’s lives in Chosun Dynasty. According to an author, Sohee Kim(n.d), who wrote a journal about women’s lives and Confucianim in Chosun Dynasty, she says that “Confucianism in Korea had extremely negative impact on the status of Korean women. Since the social ideas legitimized men as authorities and privileged them as the sole bearers of the family names, more attention was paid to men.” It was like a vicious cycle that if women do not reproduce a male who were legitimized, the family also have not been legitimized. Not only as a matter of family, but also discriminating women was taken for granted in Chosun Dynasty. According to Hee-sook(2004), she argues that “Confucianist ideals establish several regulations governing women’s lives and their lifestyles. As a part of these restrictions which were imposed on yangban women during this period, women were prohibited from doing almost everything.” As an example, women lived during the Chosun Dynasty had been prohibited from visiting the temple which is personal religious life, and engaging in direct contact with men. Not only behavioral codes but also their dressing codes were regulated outside of house. There were distinctive clothings which women had to...
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