Uigwe are royal protocols created for important royal ceremonies from the Joseon dynasty, which adopted Confucianism as the official state philosophy. During the Joseon era, uigwe helped to preserve and pass down the traditions and practices for such ceremonies. It is through these uigwe that deeper appreciation of court life in Joseon is possible. All stages of royal life are captured by uigwe including birth, investi-ture, wedding, coronation, and funerals. Uigwe also record the activities of the royal family such as banquets and feasts, receiving of foreign envoys, plowing and spinning, archery competitions, and the construction of buildings. Notably, uigwe are dedicated to making detailed records of life events. Along with the list of participants and the size of articles used, uigwe even record details such as the list of those involved in the production of uigwe and the return of articles left unused after the events, thereby making it possible to recreate these royal ceremonies today.
Joseon kings made many visits to the tombs of their preceding kings as a means of expressing their filial piety and demonstrating their legitimacy as sovereign, and King Jeongjo was no exception. King Jeongjo paid frequent visits to Hwaseong where his father Crown Prince Sado’s tomb, Hyeollyungwon, is located, in order to foster an atmos-phere that would restore his father’s honor. In 1795, which was the sixtieth birthday of both his parents, he visited Hyeollyungwon with his mother Hye-gyeonggung and held many ceremonies there. After the trip, he ordered the compilation of Wonhaeng eulmyo jeongni uigwe, royal protocols on his visit, presenting detailed accounts of the trip. This paper provides an overview of the king’s trips and his visits to the tombs during the Joseon period and reviews King Jeongjo’s 1795 visit to Hwaseong in detail, as well as the aspects of the preparation before the visit, ceremonies held in Hwaseong, and actions taken after the trip. His visit to Hwaseong was intended to serve various purposes: to foster the milieu for the restoration of his father’s honor, to show the strength of his supporting mili-tary forces by staging military drills there, and to consolidate the loyalty of the common people by granting them a host of benefits.
Banchado were painted only for processions by the king or royal household that took place as part of royal rituals. Processions represent the moment when royal rituals are directly exposed to the ruled, as the rulers emerge from a closed space. State ceremonies of the Joseon dynasty constituted a highly-developed polit-ical mechanism designed to have the population naturally accommodate the legitimacy of state rule. Changes in banchado illustrations reflect the reality of the late Joseon dynasty that called for changes in achieving the eventual goal of justifying the royal authority. In state ceremonies held in the eighteenth century, the monarch intended not to remain a secluded head priest but to become a magnificent mastermind reorganizing state ceremonies and meeting his people in person. The royal processions aimed at reinforcing royal authority during this period was fully reflected in banchado. In the eighteenth century, the royal household was closed up considerably through attempts to strengthen monarchic authority, the phenomenon of which was sustained in the nineteenth century.
In the early period of the Joseon dynasty, it was common for banquets for unity (hoereyeon) and banquets for the elderly (yangnoyeon) to be held regularly once a year, and celebratory banquets (jinyeon) held on specific occasions, such as national holidays and the birthdays of royal family members. However, after the King Injo’s restoration (1623), regular banquets were abolished and celebratory banquets were limited to commemorating the anniversary of a king’s ascension to the throne, or celebrating the birthday of the kings. Conse-quently, the frequency of such banquets was significantly reduced. Most royal banquets were celebratory banquets, and after these came to an end, the details of these banquets and the procedures involved were recorded in books called uigwe (royal protocols). In the latter part of the Joseon dynasty, the government began to hold ban-quets for common people as well. Banquets were held for people over the age of seventy or eighty (regardless of social status) and provided rice, liquor, and food. The government also arranged opportunities for beggars to be fed for several days, and conducted a series of curtailments of grain loans (hwangok) and land taxes (jeonse). Such efforts were made for in the name of the royal family sharing joy and happiness with the general population.
While it has become trite to comment on the forces of global change, globalization is not simply about economy, technology or culture. When Appadurai defines globalization as a “tension between cultural homogenization and cul-tural heterogenization,” we can easily supplant “cultural” for “linguistic.” Today, English is increasingly established as a global lingua franca, and non-native English speakers such as Koreans are preoccupied with the English learning fever. The main claim of the paper is that the English fever should be seen neither as blind desire towards the glorious commodity of English nor as cheerful appropriation that nativizes the language of the Other. Instead, it is a phenomenon that is firmly grounded in local sociopolitical contexts, yet extends the global hegemony of English onto Korean society. Relevant to our account is the framework of postcolonialism. This paper shall examine the English fever in Korea as well as revisit the hegemony of English in the world.
The Eulmi Incident (1895) refers to the assassination of Queen Min, commit-ted by a gang of Japanese and Korean criminals, who broke into Gyeongbok-gung palace and killed the queen on October 8, 1895. In addition to the factu-al details studied so far, the political ramifications that ensued after the inci-dent also need to be examined. Many important questions remain unan-swered. Did the political environment really change after the Queen’s death, in a fashion that was favorable to the Japanese? What kind of factions came to power after the incident? And what were the positions and initial reactions of the foreign diplomatic ministers in Seoul regarding the incident? Answers to these questions will prove very relevant, as they form the basis for later histori-ans to examine our own perspective and mindset regarding the situation then. These three questions need to be answered if we are going to reexamine and verify the objectivity of our viewpoint and understanding of the incident. This paper focuses on the activities of the Diplomatic Corps Conferences convened in the aftermath of the incident to illuminate the truth behind the Eulmi Inci-dent, the perspectives of the diplomatic ministers of the Russian and Japanese legations with regard to the post-incident developments, and their diplomatic activities aimed at furthering their own imperialist interests.