Last week we celebrated Hangeul Day in Korea. Hangeul is the written Korean language, the alphabet. It was created by a Joseon era king, King Sejong. He is rightly admired to this day as a king for the people, a renaissance man, and an all around decent guy. So, to celebrate the upcoming day off of work, I visited the museum dedicated to telling his story.
To foreigners, creating Hangeul is probably what King Sejong is best known for. Before that time, Koreans used Chinese characters to write the Korean language. It didn’t always work and, of course, only the rich folks knew how to read it. Sejong realized that everyday people needed the opportunity to read and write so he created a phonetic language that made sense and was easy to teach. Thus, the creation of Hangeul.
Sejong, however, did many things to help his country. As much as royalty is a disgusting concept, you have to admire him, this was one guy who tried to do right by his countrymen and women. You can come to the museum and check out some of his other achievements and works.
Within the same museum is also a wing dedicated to Admiral Sunshin Yi, the hero of the Korean people and a man who pretty much saved the entire country from the onslaught of the Japanese. The recent, wildly popular movie, The Admiral: Roaring Currents, has brought this Korean hero to the attention of the world. The Admiral is the story of Yi’s Battle of Myeongryang, in which he and his measly group of 12 ships, defeated the Japanese Navy’s 130 ships. Yeah, its pretty unbelievable.
He has a fascinating life story as well, he wasn’t always a winner, he failed in his first attempts to get into the military and he was demoted more than once, but he is know living in infamy. You can see all this in an awesome “drama” at the museum.
You can get museum times, location, and some bits of other information on their website: