Territory of Joseon after King Sejong's conquest of Jurchen in 1433
King Taejo's portrait
Territory of Joseon after King Sejong's conquest of Jurchen in 1433
The throne at Gyeongbok Palace
Portrait of Ha Yeon, who served as Yeonguijeong during the King Sejong's reign
A page from the Hunmin Jeongeum Eonhae, a partial translation of Hunminjeongeum, the original promulgation of the Korean alphabet
Portrait of the neo-Confucian scholar, Jo Gwang-jo (1482–1519)
Jeong Cheol (1536–1593), head of the Western faction
The Turtle ship (replica)
The Turtle Ship interior
A Korean painting depicting two Jurchen warriors and their horses
Portrait of Kim Yuk 김육 (1570–1658), an early Silhak philosopher of the Joseon period
Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon
Sinjeong, Queen Regent of Joseon. She served as nominal regent of Joseon, who selected Gojong to place upon the throne.
Heungseon Daewongun
Emperor Gojong
The Phoenix Throne of the king of Joseon in Gyeongbok Palace
Portrait of Chief State Councillor Chae Je-gong (1720–1799)
Portrait of the Inspector General Yun Bonggu (1681–1767)
Portrait of Kim Hu (1751–1805), a military officer of the Joseon Dynasty
Woman's mourning clothes in Joseon
A portrait of a civil bureaucrat in the Joseon period
A Joseon painting which represents the Chungin (literally "middle people"), equivalent to the petite bourgeoisie
Men's (right) and Women's (left) clothes (Hanbok) of Joseon period. A portrait painted by Shin Yun-bok (1758–?).
Male dress of a Seonbi. A portrait painted by Yi Jae-gwan (1783–1837).
Royal ceremony with Joseon era clothing
Early Joseon landscape painting by Seo Munbo in the late 15th century
15th century. Joseon period, Korea. Blue and white porcelain jar with plum and bamboo design.
Landscape of Mt. Geumgang by Kim Hong-do (1745–1806) in 1788
Korean celestial globe first made by the scientist Jang Yeong-sil during the reign of King Sejong
Surviving portion of the Water Clock (Jagyeongnu)
Japanese illustration of King Gojong and Queen Min receiving Inoue Kaoru
This compilation photo, taken about 1915, shows the following royal family members, from left: Prince Imperial Ui, the 6th son of Gojong; Emperor Sunjong, the 2nd son and the last monarch of Korea; Prince Imperial Yeong, the 7th son; Gojong, the former King; Empress Yun, wife of Sunjong; Lady Kim, wife of Prince Imperial Ui; and Yi Geon, the eldest son of Prince Ui. The seated child in the front row is Princess Deokhye, Gojong's last child. (This is a compilation of individual photographs since the Japanese did not allow them to be in the same room at the same time, and some were forced to leave Korea).
Seal used from 1392 to 1401
Seal used from 1401 to 1637<ref>Veritable Records of Taejong, vol. 1, year of 1401, 6th month, 12nd day</ref>
Seal used between 1637<ref>Veritable Records of Injoo, vol. 35, year of 1637, 11th month, 20nd day.</ref> and 1653<ref>{{cite book |author= 김지남 |date= 1888 |title= Record of Joseon Diplomacy |volume= 3 |chapter=9|url= |page=126~127 }}</ref>
Seal used between 1653 and 1776<ref>Veritable Records of Jeongjo, vol. 2, year of 1776, 8th month, 18nd day</ref>
Seal used between 1776 and 1876
The seal was produced on December 15, 1876, for use in Japanese-related state documents.
"Daegunjubo" designed to replace the former sergeant "Joseongukwangjiin", used as the seal of the king for documents such as appointment documents for high-ranking government officials and ordinances proclaimed in Korea, between 1882 and 1897<ref name="great">Journal of the Royal Secretariat, vol. 2902, year of 1882, 7th month, 1nd day</ref>
"DaejoseonDaegunjubo" were used as the 'seal of state' for credentials in diplomatic relations with other countries, between 1882{{clarification needed|date=April 2022}}

Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for over five centuries.

- Joseon

178 related topics


Satellite image of Korea


Peninsular region in East Asia.

Peninsular region in East Asia.

Satellite image of Korea
A neighbourhood in North Gyeongsang Province
A view of Mount Seorak
Daedongyeojido – this 1861 map of Korea represents the peak of pre-modern mapmaking in the region.
Jeju Island seashore
7th century Tang dynasty painting of envoys from the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla
Seokguram Grotto from the Silla era, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Three Kingdoms of Korea, at the end of the 5th century
Unified Silla and Balhae in the 8th century CE
Goryeo in 1374
Gyeongbokgung Palace
The earliest surviving depiction of the Korean flag was printed in a US Navy book Flags of Maritime Nations in July 1889.
The memorial tablet for the March 1st Movement in Pagoda Park, Seoul
Satellite image of the Korean peninsula taken at night showing the extent of the division between the Koreas today; note the difference in light emitted between the two countries
Moon and Kim shaking hands over the demarcation line on 27 April 2018
Hunminjeongeum, afterwards called Hangul.
Korean Buddhist architecture
Traditional Korean dance (Jinju geommu)
Amitabha and Eight Great Bodhisattvas, Goryeo scroll from the 1300s
Tteokbokki, rice cakes with spicy gochujang sauce.
Bulgogi and side dishes
Jikji, Selected Teachings of Buddhist Sages and Seon Masters, the earliest known book printed with movable metal type, 1377. Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

Following military resistance under King Gongmin that ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon on 17 July 1392.

Bronze statue of Sejong the Great, Deoksu palace

Sejong the Great

Bronze statue of Sejong the Great, Deoksu palace
A modern reconstruction and scaled down model of Jang Yeong-sil's self-striking water clock.
"Sejong" in Hanja
Korean celestial globe first made by the scientist Jang Yeong-Sil during the Chosŏn Dynasty under the reign of King Sejong
Hunmin Jeongeum Eonhae
The tomb of Sejong the Great located in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea.
King Sejong the Great, as depicted on the Bank of Korea's 10,000 won banknote (Series VI).

Sejong the Great (세종대왕, ; 15 May 1397 – 8 April 1450) was the fourth ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea.

Gojong of Korea

The monarch of Korea from 1864 to 1907.

The monarch of Korea from 1864 to 1907.

King Gojong (later Emperor Gwangmu) in 1884. Photo by Percival Lowell
Japanese illustration of King Gojong and Queen Min receiving Inoue Kaoru.
Portrait of Emperor Gojong (age 49)
Portrait of Emperor Gojong of Korea (1852-1919), Yi Myeong-bok, wearing Tongcheonggwan and Gangsapo
Emperor Gojong and the Crown Prince Sunjong with their Pickelhaube
Emperor Gojong in 1904
Gojong wearing a western-style uniform (Korean:태황제 예복, hanja:太皇帝 禮服). He wore it since the abdication of 1907.

He reigned as the last King of Joseon from 1864 to 1897, and as the first Emperor of Korea from 1897 until his forced abdication in 1907.

The Japanese landing at Busan

Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598)

Initial invasion in 1592 , a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597 (Chongyu War).

Initial invasion in 1592 , a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597 (Chongyu War).

The Japanese landing at Busan
Daimyo Konishi Yukinaga commanded the Japanese First Division
Daimyo Katō Kiyomasa commanded the Japanese Second Division
Katō Kiyomasa's (1562–1611) banner and battle standard
Japanese infantry employing fusillade tactics using tanegashima matchlocks
Japanese arquebuses of the Edo period were used by Japanese soldiers during Hideyoshi's invasions.
An illustration of an ampulliform Chinese fire-lance with a gunpowder charge shooting a blast of flame with lead pellets as coviative projectiles. The weapon was called the 'phalanx-charging fire-gourd'.
Joseon cannons such as this one were extensively used by the Joseon navy.
Hwacha, Joseon's multiple rocket-powered arrow launcher.
Large iron-tipped wooden arrow fired from Korean cannons.
An old painting of a Korean panokseon.
"Dongnaebu Sunjeoldo", a Korean painting from 1760 depicting the Battle of Dongnae
Map of invasions
Map of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin's Naval Campaigns – 1592
A turtle ship replica at the War Memorial in Seoul. The historical existence of the ironclad roof is disputed.
Yi Sun-sin's crane wing formation, famously used at the Battle of Hansando
Ming Dynasty Wanli Emperor
Ming-era matchlock firearms used in the 15th to 17th centuries
Painting of the Ming Army camped in Ningxia
A naval battle. Close combat was very rare during Admiral Yi Sun-sin's operations.
Korean and Chinese soldiers assault the Japanese-built fortress at Ulsan
Yeosu in 2005. Admiral Yi Sun-sin's headquarters were located here.

The invasions were launched by Toyotomi Hideyoshi with the intent of conquering Korean Peninsula and China proper, which were respectively ruled by the Joseon and Ming dynasties.


Korean kingdom founded in 918, during a time of national division called the Later Three Kingdoms period, that unified and ruled the Korean Peninsula until 1392.

Korean kingdom founded in 918, during a time of national division called the Later Three Kingdoms period, that unified and ruled the Korean Peninsula until 1392.

Map of Goryeo in 1389
Goryeo's conquest of Silla and Baekje
Bronze statue of Taejo, c. undefined 951
Rafter finial in the shape of a dragon's head and wind chime, c. undefined 10th century
The Cheolli Jangseong (blue), a wall built by Goryeo in the aftermath of the Goryeo-Khitan War
The engraving of the original Tripitaka Koreana was begun in 1011 during the Khitan invasions to draw strength from the Buddha in defense of the kingdom.
The early 12th century was the height of the Korean celadon tradition and saw the full development of the indigenous "sanggam" technique of inlaid celadon.
General Yun Gwan (1040–1111) and his army.
Gyeongcheonsa Pagoda is a 10-story high marble pagoda made in 1348 that now sits in the National Museum of Korea.
King Gongmin (1330–1374) and Queen Noguk.
Yi Je-hyun (1287–1367), a civil bureaucrat and early Neo-Confucian scholar in Goryeo Dynasty.
Yeom Je-sin (1304–1382) was the main political opponent of the monk, Shin Don, who was in power.
Illustration of the Amitayurdhyana Sutra, c. undefined 13th century. A palace exemplifying the architecture of Goryeo is depicted.
General Gang Gam-chan was best known for his military victories during the Third conflict in the Goryeo–Khitan War.
A Goryeo painting which depicts the Goryeo nobility.
Ksitigarbha painting, Goryeo Korea
Illustration of Maitreyavyakarana sutra (彌勒下生經變相圖)
Gwangyeongseopum Byeonsangdo, Goryeo buddhist painting.
Illustrated manuscript of the Lotus Sutra, c. undefined 1340
Kangnido reflects the geographic knowledge of China during the Mongol Empire when geographical information about Western countries became available via Islamic geographers.
Celadon incense burner. National Treasures of South Korea.
Ewer with Cover, first half of the 12th century. Stoneware with underglaze slip decoration and celadon glaze. Celadon ceramics of the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) are among the most celebrated works of Korean art. Their luminous green color is the result of iron in both the clay and the glaze oxidizing in a reduction kiln. Brooklyn Museum
A Korean stoneware cosmetic box with white and black inlay and a celadon glaze, from the Goryeo Dynasty, dated c. 1150–1250
Jikji, Selected Teachings of Buddhist Sages and Seon Masters, the earliest known book printed with movable metal type, 1377. Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris.

In 1388, Yi Seong-gye was sent to invade the Ming dynasty at Liaodong, but he turned his forces around and defeated Choe Yeong in a coup d'état; in 1392, he replaced Goryeo with the new state of Joseon, bringing an end to 474 years of Goryeo rule on the Korean Peninsula.

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements

First Sino-Japanese War

First Sino-Japanese War, major battles and troop movements
Caricature about the dispute between China, Japan and Russia over Korea, published in the first edition of Tôbaé, 1887
Woodblock print depicting the flight of the Japanese legation in 1882
Kim Ok-gyun photographed in Nagasaki in 1882. His assassination in China would contribute to tensions leading to the First Sino-Japanese War.
Itō Sukeyuki, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet
The French-built Matsushima, flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Sino-Japanese conflict
Japanese troops during the Sino-Japanese War
Empress Dowager Cixi built the Chinese navy in 1888.
, the flagship of the Beiyang Fleet
Depiction of the sinking of the Kow-shing and the rescue of some of its crew by the French gunboat Le Lion, from the French periodical Le Petit Journal (1894)
Korean soldiers and Chinese captives
Japanese soldiers of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japan, 1895
The Battle of the Yalu River
An illustration by Utagawa Kokunimasa of Japanese soldiers beheading 38 Chinese POWs as a warning to others
Revisionist depiction of Chinese delegation, led by Admiral Ding Ruchang and their foreign advisors, boarding the Japanese vessel to negotiate the surrender with Admiral Itō Sukeyuki after the Battle of Weihaiwei. In reality, Ding had committed suicide after his defeat, and never surrendered.
Japan–China peace treaty, 17 April 1895
Satirical drawing in the magazine Punch (29 September 1894), showing the victory of "small" Japan over "large" China
Convention of retrocession of the Liaodong Peninsula, 8 November 1895
Western Powers tried to divide their interests and influence in China in the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War.

The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea.

Portrait of Empress Myeongseong at her birthplace

Empress Myeongseong

Portrait of Empress Myeongseong at her birthplace
The national funeral march for Empress Myeongseong two years after her assassination in 1895
Okhoru Pavilion in Geoncheonggung, Gyeongbokgung where the Empress was killed.
Le Journal illustre
Alleged killers (ronin) of Queen Min posing in front of Hanseong sinbo building in Seoul (1895)
Labelled as "a Lady's maid in Korean emperor's court" but also thought by many to be Myeongseong, c.1900; p.183 The passing of Korea (book)
Japanese illustration of King Gojong and Queen Min receiving Inoue Kaoru

Empress Myeongseong or Empress Myungsung (17 November 1851 – 8 October 1895 ), known informally as Empress Min, was the first official wife of Gojong, the 26th king of Joseon and the first emperor of the Korean Empire.

Empire of Japan

Historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan.

Historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II 1947 constitution and subsequent formation of modern Japan.

The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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The Naval Battle of Hakodate, May 1869; in the foreground, and of the Imperial Japanese Navy
The Empire of Japan at its peak in 1942:
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Prominent members of the Iwakura mission. Left to right: Kido Takayoshi, Yamaguchi Masuka, Iwakura Tomomi, Itō Hirobumi, Ōkubo Toshimichi
Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan
Ōura Church, Nagasaki
Interior of the Japanese Parliament, showing the Prime Minister speaking addressing the House of Peers, 1915
Prince Aritomo Yamagata, who was twice Prime Minister of Japan. He was one of the main architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan.
Baron Masuda Tarokaja, a member of the House of Peers (Kazoku). His father, Baron Masuda Takashi, was responsible for transforming Mitsui into a zaibatsu.
The Tokyo Industrial Exhibition, 1907 (Mitsubishi pavilion and Exhibition halls)
Marunouchi District in 1920, looking towards the Imperial Palace
A 1-yen banknote, 1881
Thomas Blake Glover was a Scottish merchant in Bakumatsu and received Japan's second highest order from Emperor Meiji in recognition of his contributions to Japan's industrialization.
Prince Katsura Tarō, thrice Prime Minister and the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan. Katsura commanded the IJA 3rd Division under his mentor, Field Marshal Yamagata Aritomo, during the First Sino-Japanese War.
Map of the Japanese Empire in 1895. This map was issued shortly after the Japanese invasion of Taiwan and is consequently one of the first Japanese maps to include Taiwan as a possession of Imperial Japan.
Marquess Komura Jutaro, 1911. Komura became Minister for Foreign Affairs under the first Katsura administration, and signed the Boxer Protocol on behalf of Japan.
French illustration of a Japanese assault on entrenched Russian troops during the Russo-Japanese War
Japanese riflemen during the Russo-Japanese War
Count Tadasu Hayashi was the resident minister to the United Kingdom. While serving in London from 1900, he worked to successfully conclude the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and signed on behalf of the government of Japan on January 30, 1902.
Port Arthur viewed from the Top of Gold Hill, after its capitulation in 1905. From left are the wrecks of Russian pre-dreadnought battleships Peresvet, Poltava, Retvizan, Pobeda and the protected cruisers Pallada
Emperor Taishō, the 123rd emperor of Japan
Topographic map of the Empire of Japan in November, 1918
Native Micronesian constables of Truk Island, circa 1930. Truk became a possession of the Empire of Japan under a mandate from the League of Nations following Germany's defeat in World War I.
Commanding Officers and Chiefs of Staff of the Allied Military Mission to Siberia, Vladivostok during the Allied Intervention
Groundbreaking ceremony of Ginza Line, the oldest subway line in Asia, 1925. Front row, right to left: Rudolf Briske, Noritsugu Hayakawa, Furuichi Kōi, Ryutaro Nomura.
Count Itagaki Taisuke is credited as being the first Japanese party leader and an important force for liberalism in Meiji Japan.
Count Katō Komei, the 14th Prime Minister of Japan from June 11, 1924, until his death on January 28, 1926
Emperor Shōwa during an Army inspection on January 8, 1938
Tokyo Kaikan was requisitioned as the meeting place for members of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (Taisei Yokusankai) in the early days.
Japanese Pan-Asian writer Shūmei Ōkawa
Rebel troops assembling at police headquarters during the February 26 Incident
A bank run during the Shōwa financial crisis, March 1927
National Diet Building, 1930
Political map of the Asia-Pacific region, 1939
Japanese troops entering Shenyang, Northeast China during the Mukden Incident, 1931
The Japanese occupation of Peiping (Beijing) in China, on August 13, 1937. Japanese troops are shown passing from Peiping into the Tartar City through Zhengyangmen, the main gate leading onward to the palaces in the Forbidden City.
IJN Special Naval Landing Forces armed with the Type 11 Light Machine Gun during the Battle of Shanghai, 1937
Signing ceremony for the Axis Powers Tripartite Pact
Founding ceremony of the Hakkō ichiu (All the world under one roof) monument in 1940
A map of the Japanese advance from 1937 to 1942
Victorious Japanese troops march through the city center of Singapore following the city's capture in February 1942 (Photo from the Imperial War Museum)
Imperial Japanese Army paratroopers are landing during the Battle of Palembang, February 13, 1942.
A model representing the attack by dive bombers from USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Enterprise (CV-6) on the Japanese aircraft carriers, and in the morning of June 4, 1942, during the Battle of Midway
Group of Type 2 Ka-Mi tanks on board of 2nd class transporter of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1944–1945
The rebuilt battlecruiser sank at her moorings in the naval base of Kure on July 24 during a series of bombings.
The Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula in 1945 (National Geographic)
A drawing depicting a speech in the Imperial Japanese Diet on November 1, 1945, the end of the Second World War. In the foreground there are several Allied soldiers watching the proceedings from the back of the balcony.
From left to right: Marshal Admiral Heihachirō Tōgō (1848–1934), Field Marshal Oku Yasukata (1847–1930), Marshal Admiral Yoshika Inoue (1845–1929), Field Marshal Kageaki Kawamura (1850–1926), at the unveiling ceremony of bronze statue of Field Marshal Iwao Ōyama
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1920).
Population density map of the Empire of Japan (1940).
War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army
Naval ensign of the Empire of Japan
Flag of the Japanese Emperor

The First Sino-Japanese War, fought in 1894 and 1895, revolved around the issue of control and influence over Korea under the rule of the Joseon Dynasty.

Portrait of King Taejo

Taejo of Joseon

Portrait of King Taejo

Taejo of Joseon (4 November 1335 – 27 June 1408), born Yi Seong-gye, was the founder and first ruler of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea.

Korea under Japanese rule

Ruled as a part of the Empire of Japan.

Ruled as a part of the Empire of Japan.

1945 National Geographic map of Korea, showing Japanese placenames and provincial boundaries.
Japanese marines landing from the Unyo at Yeongjong Island which is near Ganghwa
1945 National Geographic map of Korea, showing Japanese placenames and provincial boundaries.
Major battles and troop movements during the First Sino-Japanese War
Flag of the Japanese Resident General of Korea (1905–1910)
General power of attorney to Lee Wan-yong sealed and signed, by the last emperor, Sunjong (李坧) on 22 August 1910 (융희4년; 隆熙4年)
A soldier of the Anti-Japanese Volunteer Armies
Terauchi Masatake, the first Japanese Governor-General of Korea
Headquarters of the Oriental Development Company in Keijō
Chinese anti-Japanese poster published after reprisals by Koreans
Japan-Korea. Teamwork and Unity. Champions of the World. – The notion of racial and imperial unity of Korea and Japan gained widespread following among the literate minority of the middle and upper classes.
Kuniaki Koiso, Governor-General of Korea from 1942 to 1944, implemented a draft of Koreans for wartime labor.
A news article showing that Park Chung-hee had submitted an oath of allegiance to Japan in his own blood with his application form to serve in the Manchukuo Imperial Army, 31 March 1939
Crown Prince Lieutenant General Yi Un, Prince Captain Yi Geon and Captain Yi Wu in 1938
Lieutenant Park Chung-hee, Manchukuo, 1944
Korean volunteers in the Imperial Japanese Army, January 1943
A kidnapped girl sold into China by ethnic Korean brokers – 30 June 1933 The Dong-a Ilbo
Korean Comfort Women recorded by U.S. Marine Corps
Photo memorialising the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, 1919
Three Koreans shot for pulling up rails as a protest against seizure of land without payment by the Japanese
Provinces of Chosen Korea under Japanese rule
Groundbreaking for the Keijō–Fuzan railway
Production in Korea under Japanese rule
Industrialization of Korea under Japanese rule
Population of Korea under Japanese rule
Km of railway in Korea under Japanese rule
Telephone subscribers in Korea under Japanese rule
Keijō Imperial University, Keijō
The number of public regular schools (公立普通学校) and students
Enrollment rate of public regular schools (公立普通学校)

Joseon Korea had come into the Japanese sphere of influence with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876; a complex coalition of the Meiji government, military, and business officials