1   2   3
In such a circumstance where languages and writings were doing different job from each other, somehow it contributed to maintaining power of the ruling class of those days even though they also felt uneasy on this circumstance. Only persons belonging to the ruling class were allowed to learn Chinese writing and take a test for selecting officials, which was the entrance to the higher society and the chance to grap political power and/or economical benefits.

From the viewpoint of majority, the appearance of new letters, which was easy for ordinary people to learn, was hardly considered or even unwelcomed because they enjoyed various kinds of vested rights based on that structure. Considering this, it was a very striking event in its political aspect that King Sejong invented Hangeul to contribute to a better life for the sake of ordinary people. Sejong correctly predicted that the ruling class would dislike and resisted new letters, so that he progressed it very secretly.

Since Sejong had to do this job in secret, it was not easy to borrow hands of his ministers. Many people assumed that Sejong and scholars of Jiphyeonjeon() cooperated to invent Hangeul or Sejong let the scholars create Hangeul. But, those assumptions do not have any factual grounds. The records of those days such as Sejong Sillok or Preface of Jeong In-ji altogether emphasize that Sejong created Hangeul by himself.

Some people can say, because a work done by ministers could be passed to the achievement of King according to customs in those days, such records were left. But it is a prejudice without evidence as well. Throughout the authentic record of Sejong(Sejong Sillok), the expression "By himself()" was used in only Hunminjeongeum among many works accomplished in the period of Sejong.

If the work was done by ministers under the order of Sejong, then it was clearly addressed that it was the work of ministers without exceptions. As the facts that Sejong invented Hunminjeongeum by himself were addressed clearly several times in authentic records and other records, there should be proper evidences.

If we want to find people who assisted Sejong, they were not ministers but the Crown Prince(, later Munjong) and Suyang Daegun(, later Sejo). The records in preface of written by Shin Suk-ju, 㧡 in witten by Seong Sam-mun say that Munjong assisted Sejong to produce Hangeul.

And after invention of Hangeul, Sejong mobilized lower class officials of Jiphyeonjeon related to Hangeul for translation of , which was the first work in public, then he made the Crown Prince, Suyang Daegun and Anpyeong Daegun(Grand Prince Anpyeong) supervise the work. Because the princes knew Hangeul well, the work could be assigned to them.

However, as soon as lower class officials of Jiphyeonjeon were mobilized, Choi Man-ri the head(Bujehak, ) of Jiphyeonjeon and other ministers presented a petition(Sangsomun, ߾) to the king on 20th day of February, and tried to stop the project related to Hangeul.

If the invention of Hangeul had been publicly processed with mobilization of the scholars of Jiphyeonjeon prior to December 1443, Choi Man-ri and the fellows didn't need to wait to present a petition until February 1444. Therefore the scholars of Jiphyeonjeon involved in Hangeul project in February 1444 after Hangeul had been invented already.

Choi Man-ri says in his petition, "It is not right that the King is taking care of Hangeul project that is not so urgent, even when you needed medical treatment for recuperation." Against this, Sejong showed significant scholastic self-confidence through saying "Do you know Unseo()? and Do you know Four tones(Saseong,)", Seven sounds(Chireum,) and how many Jamo(ٽ) are there? If I don't correct the Unseo(), who will correct it?".

According to these records, we can see that Sejong was an outstanding scholar as he had deep scholarship of Chinese phonology, based on this, had ability to analyze our language precisely and to invent scientific characters suitable to write our language. And also he had a strong love to Hangeul, as he kept studied even being in journey for medical treatment.

Sejong can be considered as the first one if we were looking for someone who had scholastic ability to make Hangeul in those days. Also we can consider what the reason was for him to have strong love for Hangeul business. Was it probably because he invented it by himself?
1   2   3