Sejong the Great – the Museum

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I knew Sejong as the founding father of Korean modern language and advance technology. Well, i just watched the sageuk (historical) drama around last year so i knew the history a little bit.

Korean people will forever grateful for King Sejong for his invention on hangeul alphabet, Korean modern written language. They used to use Chinese characters only,but the king dedicated years of his time to simplify the letters in order to let all common people be able to read, to be educated. Hangeul alphabet was his greatest legacy.

King Sejong was the genius of his time (born in 1398, throne 1418-1450). He dedicated his life as a ruler of a nation,as well as a scholar who loved knowledge, science and technology so much. Besides the hangeul, he also supported the invention of Korean astronomical system along with the machines. He established the Hall of Worthies where scholars from all over Jeoseon (old Korea) worked to dedicate their lives for science and knowledge for a better future of Jeoseon. But this institution was then burned down by Sejong’s second son, Prince Suyang after the bloody coup de tat towards his own teenage nephew.

Nowadays people could see Sejong’s statue at Gwanghwamun Square, the city-axial function is pretty much like Bundaran HI in Jakarta,but that square is a lot larger and more beautiful. The axial concept from the square towards Gyeongbokgung palace up to the mountain was brilliant, creating a breath taking vista…

Right beneath the big statue is the entrance to the underground Sejong Museum. Visitors could see how cool this museum was started from the foyer.

The museum tells almost everything about King Sejong: him as a human, as a king, as a scholar, as an inventor. Not only has very old manuscripts which hangeul was used for the first years, this museum also has the throne, the astronomical devices that show stars constellation and the readings of them, some musical instruments and many more.

Walls and partitions were painted with hangeuls, paintings and stories. But my favourite one was the glowing partition where the word “bit” as the main focus. The word “bit” (b+i+ch’) means “light” and King Sejong was like bringing the light for Korean people with his great invention of Hangeul.

So if you have a chance to go to Seoul, make sure you don’t miss this place. It’s for free anyway. Besides King Sejong, there is also the statue of Lee Sung Shin and also the museum of him connected with the Sejong Museum. Actually, the museum of Admiral Lee was more cool because it has a 4D theater and stuffs/models/devices we can play. But i’ll probably post about Admiral Lee Museum later.

I wonder when will Indonesia, or at least Jakarta, has a museum like this one. People of all ages can learn about history for fun and learn how to appreciate what their founding fathers had done for their nation.

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