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Sejong the Great
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Royalty
    (May 6, 1397-May 18, 1450)
    Born in Hanyang (Seoul), Korea (South)
    Fourth king of Choson Dynasty (1392-1910)
    Generally considered to be Korea’s greatest monarch
    Best known as inventor of Korean alphabet (hangul)
    Helped develop rain gauge, water clock, sundial and musical notation
    Reformed agriculture, taxation and the legal system
    He married at age 12.
    He frequently fought with the Chinese and Manchus.
    His father meddled in court politics even after he abdicated.
    His Korean alphabet was opposed by the upper class who preferred the old system of Chinese characters.
    His Buddhism often put him at odds with his Confucian officials.
    The South Korean navy calls its missile destroyers ‘Sejong the Great class destroyers.’
    His older brothers thought Sejong would be a better king and deliberately got themselves exiled.
    He rid Korea of Japanese pirates.
    He gave talented lower class people opportunities to advance.
    He founded ‘Jade Hall,’ an institution devoted to scholarly and practical learning.
    He encouraged Koreans to develop their own culture rather than copying the Chinese.
    The Korean writing system he developed was easy to learn and increased literacy.

Credit: Georgina


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