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A Genealogy of DissentThe Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea$
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Eugene Y. Park

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781503602083

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503602083.001.0001

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Search for a Ritual Heir, 1450–1589

Search for a Ritual Heir, 1450–1589

(p.48) Chapter 2 Search for a Ritual Heir, 1450–1589
A Genealogy of Dissent

Eugene Y. Park

Stanford University Press

Chapter 2 focuses on the Chosŏn state’s effort to maintain a line of ritual heirs of Koryŏ and the reemergence of the Kaesŏng Wang as an aristocratic descent group. Disproving a widespread assumption, this chapter demonstrates that a number of Wangs, especially the members of the Kwach’ŏn lineage, passed government service examinations and received offices—even attaining significant, prestigious civil posts. By the mid-sixteenth century, the advantage of being a Kaesŏng Wang was such that Wang-surnamed individuals of varying shades of social status claimed Koryŏ royal descent. Accordingly, the court had to scrutinize competing claims when, on two occasions, it had to secure a new line of ritual heirs.

Keywords:   Chosŏn, Munjong, Sejo, ancestral rite, ritual heir, shrine, examination system, descent, lineage, social status

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