Korean Culture

Since I’m interested in the culture and tradition of Korea from watching all the sageuk or period kdramas, I decided to do some posts about it. I’m doing it slowly, one at a time, since I need to do some background reading about the topic I decided to cover.

For now, here’s the topics I’ve covered, mainly inspired by kdramas:

HANBOK

ORNAMENTS ETC

JOSEON

ROYAL FAMILY OF JOSEON

CULTURE

Draft(s):

  • Regency
  • Royal Consorts
  • Kinship Termsx2
  • (Grand?) Hanbok Glossary
  • Facts, Fictions, and Factions of Joseon: Kings and Political Strife Over the Centuries
  • Royal Kings and Princes of Joseon Dynasty

If you have any inquiries or suggestions about something you’re curious about, do drop me a comment or two. I’ll look around for you and share the knowledge (^^,)

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55 thoughts on “Korean Culture

  1. Hi, I really enjoy reading all your articles on the Joseon Dynasty culture..very informative and enlightened me, heart & mind..after watching SKKS, I am now addicted to sageuk kdramas..

    In sageuks, I noticed that they have a spread of cakes on their tables when entertaining guests, even when entertaining a small time thief (in SKKS)..the cakes are colourful with interesting designs.. one of them is made of barley (in Moon/Sun)..

    I will be more happy if you were willing to write an article or two on these..I haven’t watched the Jewel in Palace yet, maybe I can get more info in this drama…thanks

    1. Hello!
      I’m happy to be able to spread a little about Korean culture through the posts and glad you’re enjoying them! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the question! You’re making me hungry right now πŸ˜› The cakes are commonly known as ddeok (λ–‘). They are a variety of Korean rice cakes and the ingredients used to make them can vary from glutinous rice to nuts. One of the common dishes made from it is ddeokbokki (떑볢이). I’ll write up an article about it, so I hope this can answer your question for the meantime.

      1. Thanks..
        I remembered now that they only have rice cakes during that time, that’s why they were very curious & excited when introduced to ‘doughnuts’ in Time Slip Dr Jin…am waiting for your article, thanks again..

  2. Could you do something on traditional ceremonies, like marriages and things like that? I’m actually really curious to know what kind of things they celebrated in those times.

  3. I really like this section of your blog! I’ve watched tons of drama (Korea and China) featuring royal concubines, and I I’ve aways found their lives so fascinating. If you ever have time, and most importantly, the interest, it would be super nice to have a post about women in Joseon era! Their status was below men, but I’ve found that there is also a hierarchy among women. From slaves, to gisaeng, you also have the palace maid (different kind and rank) and the consorts and royal concubines… There are so many strata, and also the mystery of the selection process to enter the palace… that I just can’t figure things out!

    1. You can read minds, right?! I was thinking about it these few weeks…and here you are, suggesting the idea. Hehehe! It’s an interesting thing actually but the source about the topic is very limited, especially in English. I tried reading the Korean sources but my limited Korean made the reading process super long. Can’t really give any promise…but yeah, I’ll try my best! πŸ˜‰

  4. Hello! Very nice articles you have on the Joseon culture and stuff. Love it! Wonder if it will be too much to extend to the other dynasties and beyond? I am fascinated by the Korean history and the fashion shown in kdramas, so it will be great if you are able to cover more if possible πŸ˜€

    Other suggestions (for the Joseon era):
    It will be good if we can find out more about the different government departments and functionalities, since they keep appearing in the dramas but we have a vague idea on what they do, along with their officials’ ranks (male/female) etc.

    Ranks for the concubines and palace ladies would be interesting too, like what the previous commentor suggested. πŸ™‚

    1. Hello~! *waves* Thanks for the love! πŸ˜‰ I am planning to write one for Goryeo’s hanbok but still looking around for more resources and I have to finish those for Joseon. Hehehe. Stay tuned for it..although it will take months, I will do it πŸ™‚

      Oh, government positions…that’s a nice suggestion! I’ll keep that in mind. thank you so much for the ideas! πŸ˜€

      1. No problem! Just looked at your about page and realize that we are actually ‘neighbours’! Hi from Singapore! πŸ˜€

  5. I rarely see yangban’s son or woman in Joseon who has martial art skill. And they are so easy to be bullied when their father accused as traitor. were there rules to forbid them to learn martial art back then? please do write article about that. thank you. πŸ™‚

    1. I’m planning to include some info about the martial art practice in a post about government officials but this is a short answer to your question: The yangban of Joseon Dynasty valued scholarly lifestyle rather than learning how to fight. Plus the martial arts weren’t widely taught back then and the proper schools for learning the martial arts were only reserved for military officers. So that’s why not many of them knew how to fight and since treason was one of the most extreme crimes back then, they couldn’t simply fight when there’s any accusation.

      Hope that helps! πŸ˜‰

  6. Firstyl, thank you for Korean culture knowledge. I really wonder about Eunuch of Joseon Dynasty. I think it is very Important topic after the woman of joseon court. Can you share with us. Also we are waiting for Government Position in Joseon Court. (^^,)

  7. Thank you so much for reply πŸ™‚ I’ve seen this article before. I will also try to send you some knowledge about Joseon Royal Court Life. πŸ™‚ by the way when will you share Government Position in Joseon? These days I am reading The Annals Of King Taejo , there are many knowledge about the first years of Joseon and it’s systems. If you need some help, just tell me. πŸ™‚ Thank you again.

    1. I’m still working on it, compiling what I’ve found πŸ˜€

      If I’m not mistaken, there are slight difference throughout the dynasty regarding the positions..right? I’m not that sure about the earlier Joseon years since what I am reading are mainly on the general positions. I would be so grateful if you can share anything interesting about the Joseon’s earlier government system. Thank you very much! ^^v

  8. For example when you write Naesibu (office of eunuchs) on the search , you will find both goryeo-naesibu and joseon-naesibu.

    1. Currently working on it because…err..I got distracted with the tales of the queens while reading about the government position ^^;

      Do you have any interesting trivia regarding the queens, princesses, and royal concubines?

  9. I have many things like becoming the mother of joseon , the Queen’s pregnancy and delivery and The Queen’s Role and Living Quarters and The Queen’s attire: symbols of labor and virtue. Another thing is mulberry leaf picking and silkworm raising: symbols of women’s work. Δ°f you want all of them, Δ± can share with you. Also Δ± have many things for King. I really want to help you because there is few people interested in Joseon era. We should help each other. Just give me an email adress which Δ± can speak with you.

  10. Please keep writing these fascinating entries πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your efforts πŸ™‚ I used to watch many Chinese dramas, but I’ve changed my interests since I watched Dae Jang Geum and Jang Hee bin played by Kim Hye Soo πŸ™‚

  11. I only found this sacred page today. Thank you for feeding my obsession towards Korean Culture.

    Ladies in Joseon Dynasty sounds amazing. Waiting for the post…

  12. Hi,
    I assume you have finished Misaeng. How about writing a post about the Korean Croporate Titles? It seems like an interesting topic.

  13. I really love your blog! Thank you for posting this wonderful articles!
    But also, I would like to make a suggestion. Actually, I want to read more about this topic, but I didn’t find almost anything related to this. Well, the topic is the roles and the daily life of a king. I know, his was supposed to reign, but what did he actually do? And how was a normal day from a king’s life? I hope you’ll find more about this than me. ^^

    1. You’re welcome πŸ™‚

      I’ll answer your question here first, because it might take some time for me to find out more about the daily routine of a Joseon king.
      A king would be entitled to various palace rules and regulations, and he also had a fixed schedule for his daily routine. His daily activities included studying, meetings with the ministers, reviewing the documents, daily greetings, and also meals.

      A summary of the king’s daily schedule…
      4~5 AM – Waking up (The time actually depended on the season; the king would be awake at as early as 2 during summer and 5 AM was the standard time to wake up)
      5~7 AM – Studying and reading
      7~8 AM – Breakfast
      8~10 AM – Morning greetings (either receiving greetings from queen/princes/princesses or offering greetings to the dowager); teaching the royal children; reading and meditating
      10~11 AM – Meeting with the officials
      11~12 PM – Lunch
      12~1 PM – Meeting with the officials; studying
      1~3 PM – Reading and meditating
      3~5 PM – Reviewing the government documents and appeals
      5~6 PM – Reviewing the palace’s night duties
      6~7 PM – Overseeing the royal children’s studies; studying
      7~8 PM – Dinner
      8~9 PM – Evening greetings
      9~11 PM – Reading and studying
      11~12 PM Getting ready to sleep; sleep

  14. I really love what you are doing!! I love history especially that of Southeast asia! Your works are highly detailed,you go a long way in researching and finding information! Very nice!

  15. Your works mean a lot to me! I’ll like to know when you will be releasing your posts on wedding and food in joseon era. Thanks again! God bless you.

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