Standard Rhymes of the Eastern State

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Standard Rhymes of the Eastern State

The book “Dongguk Jeongun” (Standard Rhymes of the Eastern State) was completed in September 1446 during the 28th year of King Sejong from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The ruler ordered it to be printed and it was later distributed in November the following year to Seonggyungwan, a renowned Confucianist academic institution, and Sabuhakdang, the four public intermediate prep schools that prepare candidates for admittance to Seonggyungwan.

This book was initially intended as a compilation of “Hongmujeongun” from China’s Ming Dynasty in order to Koreanize the sounds of Chinese characters. Only volumes 1 and 6 of the book have survived. They are privately owned by the Kansong Art Museum.

Larger characters in the text were printed with woodblocks, and both smaller and larger characters of the preface were printed with gabinja (a third-generation metal type font called gyemija, which was revised in King Sejong’s era).

The handwritten larger characters are attributed to Prince Jinyang.

This is a valuable classic book, which can be used as a dictionary to mutually supplement the content of “Hunminjeongeum,” which was written by King Sejong.

“Hunminjeongeum” is a guide to the Korean alphabet, known as Hangul. It was written by scholars of Jiphyeonjeon (Academy of Worthies, a royal research institute established by King Sejong).

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Name: Dongguk Jeongun (Standard Rhymes of the Eastern State)

Period: Joseon Dynasty

Location: Seongbuk District, Seoul

Status: National Treasure No. 71

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