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  #61  
Old 10-10-2009, 11:21 PM
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I never thought there would be a post on Korean monarchy here!

As Korean, I don't believe the monarchy will be restored any time soon. When the Japanese took over, all trust in the Korean monarchy was destroyed -- how can one respect a parent who failed to protect his children (i.e., the people)?

But as far as I know, The Yi Royal family remained the wealthiest clan in the Korean peninsula until the Korean liberation/independence from the Japanese in 1945. That year was the turning point where the Yi family went downhill in respect and wealth. There are several reasons to this:

1) the Korean war -- this war screwed everybody up, so to speak. Everybody had to abandon their homes and flee south. Although I am not certain how the royal family survived the war, there is no doubt in my mind that the Korean war perished most of their belongings and other sources of wealth.
For example, my maternal grandmother was a woman of aristocratic birth (her mother, my great-grandmother whom I adored as a child, was a member of the minor branch of the Yi Royal family). Her grandfather served as an ambassador to China and growing up she had luxuries only other women her age could dream of such as a record player, violin, cello, etc. However, under the Japanese rule she left her home town and came to Seoul to work as a secretary to earn a living. And during the Korean war she had to work at a beauty parlor to make ends meet (my grandfather was only an interpreting officer with the Korean army at the time).
What I'm saying is that in times of war, nobody is immune to poverty, not even the Yi family.

2) When the Republic of Korea was established in 1945 (and it technically DID exist throughout the Korean war), the first president to be elected made it his personal mission to "snuff out" the royal family. This is ironic in a sense, because President Yi was also a descendant of the royal family.
But President Yi considered himself as a patriot, a fighter of the Japanese. And indeed he spent years in Hawaii working hard to gain Korea its rightful independence from Japanese rule prior to 1945. He blamed the Japanese invasion of Korea on the Yi Royal family, and as soon as he became president he took steps to take away the vast wealth of the Yi Royal family. As far as he was concerned, these people were criminals and did not deserve to continue live in the lap of luxury. He took away their land, then the palaces, kicking them out to fend for themselves. Several remained in Korea, living in poverty. The younger ones either immigrated to America or went to live in Japan.

Even today your royal family "connections" are nothing to brag about. People try not to say it, for it is frowned upon still.

But I've got some hilarious stories about my great-grandmother though -- for one thing, she REFUSED to pick up the phone. You know why? Because 1) the person on the other line is probably of a lower status than she is and therefore, she didn't want to speak politely to the person (Korean etiquette dictates that you must speak politely to a stranger over the phone) and 2) she has not been properly introduced to the person she's talking to!
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  #62  
Old 10-10-2009, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by us13doolittle View Post
Hi All!

Can anyone help me identify these royals? Their pictures are on a pre-WWII postcard that I purchased on Ebay for several dollars. All three photos have captions under their faces. I wish I read Japanese! Can anyone help identify them?

Sincerely,

Doolittle

Hey dolittle!

Manny is riht, the picture is Crown Prince Euimin and his Japanese wife, Masako. You can check their profiles on wikipedia at

Crown Prince Euimin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bangja, Crown Princess Euimin of Korea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Personally, I find them to be one of the most fascinating royal couples. They remind me of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI because they were inexperienced young couple who married due to politics but grew close to each other despite the turmoil and the suffering they went through.

I've read several of their biographies and both Korean and Japanese writers are sympathetic toward the couple.

After the liberation of Korea the couple were abandoned by both Korea and Japan. The Korean government didn't want to have anything to do with the Crown Prince whom they considered as nothing but a Japanese puppet, while the Japanese government had better things to worry about than some princess who was married to a Korean and therefore, the royal couple was the Korean government's responsibility.

In all the books I read I believe they truly grew to love and respect each other. Even when her firstborn was poisoned and died a horrendous death, she did not hate the Koreans. She did everything to adapt to the Korean custom and lifestyle but from the moment she set foot in Korea everyone from the RF to the common people hated her. She struck me as a very old school type of person who believed in the sense of humility and duty. Whether she liked it or not, it was her duty to become CP of Korea. She did not consider herself Japanese when she married her husband and identified herself as Korean throughout her marriage. She took care of several Royal members throughout their ill health even when the Korean government refused to support them.

As a Roman Catholic convert she also helped out with a lot of charitable work. She established work-study programs for the disabled so they could make their own living. When she died I believe she was given a state-funeral.

Sometimes I wonder why she was so devoted to the Yi Royal family and Korea. It is hard to just think it all came from her sense of duty -- she went through too many hardships. I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. I know for many women in her position and generation, divorce was not an option. However, I believe if she really wished it, I'm sure she could have pulled something off. I truly think she was patient and dutiful to her adoptive country because she was in love with her husband.

You can find several pictures of the last Crown Prince and the Crown Princess of Chosun in the website below.

이방자 :: 네이버 이미지검색
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  #63  
Old 02-10-2010, 07:52 PM
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Seoul presses for royal documents | The Japan Times Online

Seoul is working to secure the handover of hundreds of volumes of Korean royal documents, including official records of the royal family, that were looted during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

The official quoted by Yonhap said the government had "recently confirmed that (Japan's) Imperial Household Agency is safekeeping hundreds of volumes of royal documents of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)."
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  #64  
Old 02-23-2010, 02:01 AM
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Life of princess Deokhye (1912-1989), the last princess of the Joseon Kingdom, became an inspiration for a new bio book.
Deokhye was born in 1912 in Changdeok Palace in Seoul as the youngest daughter of King Gojong and his concubine. She was particularly beloved by her father who was in his 60s when she was born.

He established the Deoksu Palace Kindergarten for her in Jeukjodang, Hamnyeong Hall in order to protect her from being sent to Japan like her brothers.

To save her from the Japanese scheme to sever the line of royal heirs, King Gojong had his daughter secretly engaged to Kim Jang-han, a nephew of Kim Hwang-jin, a court chamberlain.

But the powerless king suddenly and suspiciously died and she was taken to Japan with the excuse of continuing her studies.

In Japan, the young princess suffered ostracism from the Japanese nobility and even involuntarily married Count So Takeyuki who was by no means powerful or influential.

Takeyuki was nice and gentle to her but she didn't open her heart as her mental health was seriously hurt by the solitude, and the homesickness for her homeland.

Despite Takeyuki's efforts to make a good marriage, she finally developed a mental illness and was diagnosed with "precocious dementia". But amid this, she gave birth to a daughter who was named Masae, or Jeonghye in Korean, in 1932.

Deokhye dreamed of bringing her daughter back to Korea and raising her as Korean not Japanese. But as the daughter grew up, she suffered from an identity crisis ― being half Korean and half Japanese and harbored anger against her mother.

In 1945, finally the liberation came and Japan's imperial ambitions were shattered. But Jeonghye's agony and trauma gripped Deokhye whose obsession with her daughter grew stronger.

Her husband sent her to a ``mental hospital'' and her daughter went missing after leaving a note hinting she committed suicide. After an unhappy marriage, her grief exploded with the death of her only daughter. Then, her condition deteriorated, and she finally divorced her husband in 1953.

While trapped in the hospital for 15 years, Deokhye became a miserable, forgotten woman nobody cared about or recognized. But her childhood fiance, Jang-han, went to save her with help of her lady-in-waiting, Bok-sun.

At last, 37 years after leaving Korea, she returned home at the invitation of the Korean government in 1962. She cried when she arrived in her motherland, and despite her unstable mental condition, she accurately remembered court manners.

The princess lived in Nakseon Hall, Changdeok Palace and died in Sugang Hall on April 21, 1989, also in the palace.
The Korea Times - an article with photos
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  #65  
Old 02-27-2010, 02:02 AM
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Seoul is working to secure the handover of hundreds of volumes of Korean royal documents, including official records of the royal family, that were looted during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
"The government has recently confirmed that (Japan's) Imperial Household Agency is safekeeping hundreds of volumes of royal documents of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)," the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
The documents kept by Japan include 375 volumes of books said to describe various aspects of life under Joseon Dynasty from its customs and medical science to the history of its military, as well as books used in the education of the royal family, the official said.
The Japan Times
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The ZeeNews
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  #66  
Old 03-21-2010, 04:30 AM
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The titular Empress of Korea celebrated 82nd birthday

Julia Mullock, the American citizen of Ukrainian origin, who was the consort to HIH Gu, Prince Imperial of Korea, celebrated her 82nd birthday on March 18th.
Her marriage was never recognized by the Imperial family of Korea, but many American sources credit her as "The Last Crown Princess of Korea".
Their marriage lasted for 23 years, and in 1982 the Princely couple got divorced. The marriage was childless.
Julia Mullock was present at her ex-husband's funeral in 2005. She lives between South Korea and Hawaii now.

Julia Mullock and Prince Gu photo
Julia Mullock in Wikipedia
Julia Mullock in AZNLover
Julia Mullock, an American who was a former princess of Korea, born today in 1928
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  #67  
Old 03-25-2010, 03:32 AM
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The Korean TV historical drama Queen Seondeok becomes the film of the year.
The movie tells the story of the Queen Seondeok, the kingdom of Silla's twenty-seventh ruler, and its first reigning queen (632-647).
The synopsis of the movie + video opening
One more article + video
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  #68  
Old 03-31-2010, 12:14 AM
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Hey Moon, a Buddhist monk at Bong Sun Temple in Namyang, Gyeonggi, is fighting for a worthy cause. The monk is working to have several ancient cultural properties, either stolen or looted from Korea, rightfully returned to their place of origin.
The hideous sword "Hizendo" which was used by Japanese to murder the Korean Empress Myeongseong (Queen Min) is among these cultural objects.

Securing the rightful return of our relics - JoongAng Daily
More Joseon dynasty treasures found in Japan - Chosun Ilbo
Korea wants Japanese sword that stuck Empress - The Korea Herald

See also the posts ## 63 and 65 in this thread for the returning of the Joseon Imperial archive.
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  #69  
Old 06-12-2010, 02:14 AM
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The Emperor Kojon's secret letter over protectorate treaty

Japan had forced the Korean government to sign the treaty under duress. Their accounts are well known but there are other lesser-known but equally damning accounts. Stephen L. Selden, a lawyer in Seoul, wrote in late November 1905:

"It has been officially announced that an agreement has been reached with Korea, and such announcement has undoubtedly gone out to the world as a fair and unbiased contract. But when it becomes known that the so called agreement was signed by only four of the eight Ministers, and those four only through fear of losing their lives if they refused; when the world learns that the Emperor and his Prime Minister refused to sign and that in order to get the seal of his office attached to the document, they sent to his house a detachment of police and took by main force the box which contained the seal, and carried it to the Place, broke open the box, and the Japs themselves took it out and applied the seal to the instrument as a legal proceeding." - KoreaTimes
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  #70  
Old 08-07-2010, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kurenai View Post
When the Japanese took over, all trust in the Korean monarchy was destroyed -- how can one respect a parent who failed to protect his children (i.e., the people)?
Why you say that. Please expand the subject. I want to learn more.
What the royal family did at that time, and was wrong? Could they done something better, and they did not?
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  #71  
Old 08-08-2010, 11:53 PM
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The life of the Princess Deokhye reveiled

he life story of Deokhye (1912 - 1989), the last princess of the Joseon Dynasty, is a tragedy that reflects the wretched fate of Korea뭩 last monarchy. More than 20 years after her death, her life, once written out of history, is making a comeback in different forms and ways.

On Thursday, the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage published a book chronicling about 50 pieces of clothing and personal belongings worn by the Princess, along with 150 other Korean costumes from the late 19th to the mid-20th century. The pieces are currently owned by Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum in Tokyo, Japan. - The Korea Herald
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  #72  
Old 08-15-2010, 11:47 PM
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Gwanghwamun, the main gate to Imperial Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul, was revealed to the public on Liberation Day after a four-year restoration that has kept it hidden from view. Its long-lost nameplate was also restored and put back on the gate's facade. - Korea Times
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  #73  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:59 PM
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It's great that there is a thread for Korea. I am a big fan of this country, I love all kind of Korean things such as its culture, history, films, dramas, language etc... I just fell in love with this country.
I watched Goong (Princess Hours) which is about Korean monarchy but it looked too modernized & I think we can't compare it with the old real monarchy in Korea, right?

Also I have one more question; what I know is nearly half of Korea follows Atheism & I wonder if the people in monarchy believe in religion or not? If they believe, what is it?
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  #74  
Old 09-25-2010, 02:12 AM
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The story of the relationship of the last Crown Prince of Korea Yi Gu (1931-2005) and his longtime lover Yu Wi-jin (1931-2010) has been unveiled by the adopted son of that woman.- JoongAng Daily
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  #75  
Old 09-28-2010, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Turkish Delight View Post
...I wonder if the people in monarchy believe in religion or not? If they believe, what is it?
Dear Turkish Delight,
There is a significant difference in the Eastern people's attitude towards the monarchy from the Western one.
Try to read about the Mandate of Heaven. This article has some info which may help you.
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  #76  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:10 AM
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I know Kasumi as I am studying Chinese at university also, learning Korean at the same time. But as you know, Eastern people are completely different from the Westerners but also, they are completely different from eachother sometimes. This is the reason why I asked the question.
Thanks for answering, anyway.
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  #77  
Old 11-09-2010, 11:06 AM
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Japan to return 1200 of royal documents to Korea

Japan has agreed to return more than 1200 Koren royal documents (see posts #65 and # 68 on this page) seized during Japanese colonial rule of the Korean peninsula - NineMSNnews
More on Donga.com

Japan's promise to return royal books met with mixed feelings - Korea Herald
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  #78  
Old 11-13-2010, 11:41 AM
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I am very curious and interested in the Korean monarchy, and believe that there can and should be a role for the monarchy in a unified Korea. I wish it would take the path of the Spanish monarchy restoration, and use the Spanish constitution possibly as a framwork from which to work from.

To the general discussion participants:

I have been curious to know if the Korean monarchy should be restored as a kingship rather then empire. It may be a western perspective for me, but 'empire' denotes possessing a huge amount of land, territories, and peoples, while Kingship is more intimate and localized. One could say China and Russia even today are 'empires' using this context. Furthermore, the 'imperial' component of the Korean monarchy was only established in 1899 and for all intents and purposes disbanded in 1905.

So the question is imperial or royal monarchy? And does it matter really?
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  #79  
Old 01-10-2011, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kurenai View Post
Even today your royal family "connections" are nothing to brag about. People try not to say it, for it is frowned upon still.
I don't see the Korean people wanting a restoration any time soon...however with dramas coming out regarding the imperial family...hm.

I agree with Kurenai, it's best to keep those connections out of conversation. I mean, I didn't even know that my maternal grandmother had links to the royal family! I found out only recently and was quite shocked. Her greaaaaaaaaaat (three greats? LOL, I'm not quite sure) grandfather was a prince. She doesn't really like talking about it. But she came from 'old' money. So yes. It's quite sad though, the Koreans losing faith in the royal family. There were obvious external factors, but oh well.

I have to admit though, it's quite exciting to know that my grandma has links to the royal family!
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:46 PM
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Family Search

Would like more information on searching Documents. Adopted, Korean Mother and Father said to be Hawaiian.
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Originally Posted by Kasumi View Post
Seoul is working to secure the handover of hundreds of volumes of Korean royal documents, including official records of the royal family, that were looted during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
"The government has recently confirmed that (Japan's) Imperial Household Agency is safekeeping hundreds of volumes of royal documents of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)," the official was quoted as saying by Yonhap.
The documents kept by Japan include 375 volumes of books said to describe various aspects of life under Joseon Dynasty from its customs and medical science to the history of its military, as well as books used in the education of the royal family, the official said.
The Japan Times
RTT News
The ZeeNews
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