ing Sejong is printed on 10,000 won bills which are the most used bills in Korea. Most of the Koreans meet King Sejong printed on the 10,000 won-denominated bill.

Sejong who played a crucial role in Joseon Dynasty was the third prince of King Taejong, the third King of Joseon Dynasty. Since he was not the Crown Prince, he was called as 'Chungnyeongdaegun'. His academic nature, however, was on a superb level, compared with the Crown Prince Yangnyeong at that time. In Joseon Dynasty when Confucianism swept the nation, Chungnyeong's knowledge captivated the King and the lieges. Finally, when the Crown Prince Yangnyeong was dethroned by his misconduct, Chungnyeong was throned as the new Crown Prince of Joseon. At that time, it was a custom that if a crown prince who has a son was dethroned, his son automatically was bestowed with the power. Considering this, Chungnyeong's installation of the Crown Prince was a considerably innovative personnel change in defiance of opposition from some Cabinet members. His sagacity which had led

himself to the throne shined brightly during the reign of King Sejong.

Sejong also called as Yosun, legendary sovereign in a Chinese myth, in Haedong. His great achievements were found in various fields. Sejong focused on building national strength through pragmatic diplomacy. He promoted the Japanese studies to the diplomats of those days and had the translators use the selected foreign languages in Sayeogwon, the translation department. Sejong's innovative leadership showed his practical style of ruling and his ways were favored even today. By the same token, Sejong achieved a lot of things to guarantee national rights and interests as a sovereign. He made Yi Jongmu subjugate Daemado, drove out Japanese pirates, saved Joseon and Ming people who were abducted and informed the lord of Daemado in written form that the island is under the jurisdiction of Kyungsangdo governor. Sejong also had Choe Yundeok and Kim Jongseo expel Yeojin people living around Aprok and Duman rivers. He expanded Joseon's territory which had been suddenly reduced after the period of the Three States by setting up the Four Troops and Six Army Posts. Those are the unbelievable achievements which decorate the history of Joseon. Appointing Jang Yeongsil, a genius inventor, to a higher position can be thought as Sejong’s latent brilliance on his rational and practical method of assigning a superior man, regardless of his social position. In his period, a great number of inventions were made such as a celestial globe, a water clock, a sundial, a rainfall gauge, a astronomical observatory and a bronze printing type. Sejong's innovative headhunting policy that had appointed a gisaeng's son, Jang Yeongsil, was based on his innovative human resource policy.


Sejong was a sovereign who valued a person. He was a man of character who kept away from the dogmatic authority he had. In his political activities, he solved problems through talks and negotiations with Cabinet member of the Court. This proves his love towards the people and tolerance, as only a few gentry were punished to death in his period. He banned receiving the interest exceeding the principal, offered a hundredday maternity leave even for the maidservants of the government. Those policies were so humane that it is still looked upon now as Korea tries to promote the national welfare.

It is the invention of Hangeul that showed his academic talent, utilitarian sense and love of people. When he managed the affairs of the state on November 7th of the lunar calendar in the fourteenth year of Sejong, he mentioned, 'Even if one is a man of sense, he would know the gravity of the offence only when he knows law. Therefore, how can the foolish people know the gravity of the offence and correct themselves! Although it is impossible for the people to know the every detail of the law, isn't it a duty to select and write few provisions in severe charges, translate them in Idu and distribute them to folks, in order to have the people avoid crimes?' Through this, we can understand his intention of wanting to find a way for the people suffering from unfairness and inconvenience. His purpose of the invention of Hangeul can be inferred from above. Furthermore, Hangeul was invented through Sejong's prominent academic knowledge and the distribution of Hangeul was an achievement of great importance which was accomplished through talks and negotiations with Cabinet members of the Court in opposition. This represents Sejong's outstanding ability and benevolent character.


There are many other kings worth noticing in Joseon Dynasty for their talent. The reason why Sejong is still praised, however, is his talent came from his love of the people and he continuously kept practicing his spirit of love which could have been left as an ideal. Things in life became so familiar that the necessity of changes were forgotten, things were overlooked for one's comfort even if they needed some change. Sejong took a step to renovate them and gave rise to Renaissance of Joseon. This was possible only because he loved the people.

About six hundred years has passed but King Sejong's benignant heart still lingers in our heart. King Sejong Station in King George Island, Antarctica, which is named after King Sejong, is a base for a Korea Antarctic Research Program. King Sejong Literacy Prize rewards people or organizations that strived to improve literacy. It was established by UNESCO. Sejong Soloists is an ensemble that is directed by a Julliard school professor, Kang Hyo. King Sejong Ship is the first warship of the South Korean Navy's aegis destroyer, KDX-3 and Sejong City is a name of the administrative complex city which Korean government's ministries and offices will move to by 2015. Sejong Science High School is one of the science high schools and Sejong University is a four-year-course university in Korea. The name of the front left building of Cheongwadae, the Presidential Residence of the Republic of Korea, is Sejong Hall. The date for the Teachers' Day falls on May 15th in tandem with King Sejong's birthday of the solar calendar. King Sejong who we can meet on 10,000-won bills, is still in our heart, influencing out daily lives with his excellent invention, Hangeul.