Thursday, 26 March 2009

Sado "The Rice-Box Prince" of Korea (사도세자, 1735-1762)

Crown Prince Sado

Prince Sado (1735 - 1762) was born as the second son of the Korean king Yeongjo of Joseon. Because his older brother Prince Hyojang died young, in 1728, Prince Sado was born the royal heir. However, he was mentally ill, wantonly killed people, and was very erratic. This was a disappointment to his father, who finally ordered him to be sealed alive in a large rice chest (an order he obeyed), where he died within eight days. His son became Jeongjo of Joseon after Prince Sado's death.

His full posthumous name

- 사도수덕돈경홍인경지장륜륭범기명창휴장헌세자 (Sado sudeok donkyeong heungin kyeongji jangnyun nyungbeom kimyeon chang hyu jangheon seja)
- 思悼綏德敦慶弘仁景祉章倫隆範基命彰休莊獻世子

Sado "The Rice-Box Prince" of Korea (1735-1762)

Unloved by his father, Crown Prince Sado of Korea (1735-1762) grew up as a sadly disturbed man. His superstitious nature and an obsession with clothes induced him to burn whole sets of new silken clothes. When he felt agitated or depressed, murdering servants brought him relieve. Daily, several dead bodies were carried out of the palace. Raping court ladies was another of his pastimes, and, after murdering his concubine, Sado started harassing his own sister, too. Finally, the King decided upon a very drastic measure, involving a rice box...

Korea had been for several years without an heir after the death of the beloved son of King Yongjo (1694-1776, to the right). The Queen, So Chongsong (1692-1767), was childless, while the King's favourite concubine, Lady S๖nhui (1696-1764), had given birth to a series of daughters. Then, in February 1735, Lady S๖nhui gave birth to Prince Sado, and everybody rejoiced. After 100 days, Sado was established with a governess, eunuchs and maids in the "Palace of the Crown Prince". With his parents far away, the little Prince grew up, doing just as he pleased.

King Yongjo could easily be angered by the most trivial incidents and his little son regularly managed to arouse his father's anger. As a result, Sado became afraid of his father and always behaved with great caution in his presence. When asked a question, he could never find an immediate answer, which irritated his father even more. Whenever they met, King Yongjo's resentment against his son usually predominated over his affection for him. He never sat down together with him, and often scolded him in the presence of others. Gradually, he began to avoid his little son. Lady S๖nhui visited her son every day and tried to bring him up strictly - with instructions always preceding affection. Sado was terrified of her, too, and extremely careful in everything concerning her.

In 1743, the King and Queen chose as Sado's future wife Lady Hong (1735-1815). She was the 8-year-old daughter of Hong Pong Han (1713-1778), a brilliant scholar. He descended from a Korean Princess, but belonged to a poor branch of the Hong family. The two children were married on April 27, 1744. Towards the end of 1745, Sado fell seriously ill and behaved in a peculiar manner. In January 1746, he and his bride were temporarily moved to another palace, closer to his mother's mansion, and there Sado studied earnestly. He was well skilled in the techniques of archery and swordsmanship, but also read mythical works.

The court regulations were very strict, and the young Prince and Princesses were supposed to bring respectful early morning greetings to the King, Queen, Queen Dowager and Lady S๖nhui several times a week. At these meetings, Sado always behaved very stiff. He respected his elder sisters, but sympathised most with his beautiful sister Hway๖p (1733-1752), because she, like himself, was not in the King's favour. In April 1747, Sado and his wife were relocated to the distant Chophoi-dang Hall. The Prince could now see his mother and sisters only rarely and started to abandon himself to amusements.

In 1749, when Sado was 14 years old, it was decided that he should begin full-married life. The next year, Sado's first child was born, a son Uiso, who died 2 years later. Soon afterwards, Lady Hong gave birth to Prince Chongjo (1752-1800). That year a measles epidemic was raging. The court physicians requested that the Crown Prince and Royal Grandson were moved to another residence to avoid the disease. At the time, the baby was less than three weeks old. By sunset, Sado had contracted the disease, along with all the court maids, so Lady S๖nhui came in person to look after her son. Luckily, Sado's symptoms were mild, apart from a very high temperature. As soon as the Prince recovered, his wife, hardly recovered from the confinement, went down with the measles. The baby broke out in a rash, but fortunately he recovered without much trouble. Sado's wife recovered, too, but his favourite sister, Hway๖p, died from the disease.

Since his illness at the age of 10, Sado had been suffering from mental disturbances and slightly abnormal behaviour. Now he began suffering from delusions and nightmares. He declared that he could see an apparition of the god of thunder. He was terrified of the sky and the characters for 'thunder' and 'thunderclap'. If a thunderstorm appeared in winter, Sado would become very concerned lest the King would blame him. He suffered periods of mental instability in 1752 and 1753. Soon outbreaks were occurring more and more frequently. Still, during short official appearances, the Crown Prince usually managed to behave reasonably normal.

Sado had always wanted to see the countryside, but, time after time, his father denied permission. As King Yongjo grew older, he began to shun such words as 'death' or 'return'. When he happened to hear ominous words, he used to wash his ears. After speaking a few words to his son, the King would always rinse out his mouth, wash his ears, and change into a fresh robe. The King was also very particular about which doors he used, distinguishing between doors for pleasant and unpleasant duties. He would often ask Sado to replace him by some ominous task, like presiding at the torture of a condemned criminal. When the Crown Prince was acting for the King, however, there were always difficulties between them, and the Prince could never do any good.

In 1753, King Yongjo had an affair with a court lady, Mun, and made her pregnant. Around the same time, Prince Sado did the same with another court lady, Yangiye. In vain, he tried to procure her an abortion, because he was terrified of his father's reaction. The hypocritical King indeed had an awful fit of rage. Yangiye gave birth to a son, and, soon afterwards, another son followed. By 1754, the King's concubine had given birth to 2 Princesses. Her brother, Mun S๖ng-guk, began reporting details of Sado's eccentric behaviour to the King. It worsened the relation between father and son even further.

In December 1755 Lady S๖nhui became ill and her son went to visit her. King Yongjo flew into a temper and shouted: "Go back immediately!". Sado jumped out of the window and returned in distress to his palace. His condition deteriorated further and he began stammering. In the summer of 1756, the King unexpectedly visited his son. He found him in a state of mental confusion, and he incorrectly assumed his son was drunk. He rebuked him bitterly, gesticulating and shouting. After he left, Sado became violent. While he was chasing his servants, the palace caught fire. The heavily pregnant Lady Hong managed to rescue little Chongjo just in time.

In 1754 and 1756 Lady Hong had given birth to girls, Chongyjo and Chongson. After her last confinement she became melancholic. She was unable to look after herself properly and became completely exhausted. In the summer Sado was finally allowed to accompany his father on a voyage to a royal tomb. The following winter he was stricken with smallpox. Lady Hong nursed him and he recovered soon afterwards. In the spring the Queen and Queen Dowager died shortly after each other. After these deaths, the frustrated Prince took to beating his eunuchs more and more. If a court lady did not give in to his demands immediately, he would become violent and rape her. After the funerals, Sado became even more deranged. He murdered the eunuch on duty and showed his head impaled on a stick to the court ladies. Soon afterwards, he killed a great number of maids at random. Everyone close to the Crown Prince was completely terrified. Sado once explained: "It relieves my pent-up anger to kill people or animals when I am feeling depressed or on edge." His wife tried to soothe him as much as she could.

In 1758 the husband of Princess Hwasun died. She demonstrated her loyalty by starving herself, and thereby brought about her own demise 17 days after his death. She was very much admired for it. The next year, King Yongjo married Kim Ch๖ngsun (1745-1805), who was 10 years younger than her stepson. In the autumn Sado brought a seamstress, Ping-ae, with him. Although he had very little money of his own, he set her up in extravagantly furnished apartments. When the King found out, he was stamping the ground in rage. The Crown Prince, in great distress, threw himself into a well. Since the well was full of ice, the guards could easily rescue him. Hearing of this incident, his father became even more infuriated. Later, Ping-ae gave birth to a son. In January 1761, during a sudden attack of insanity, Sado injured Ping-ae critically. She died shortly afterwards.

Sado became obsessed with clothes. When he wanted to choose a new outfit, his servants had to prepare 10, 20 or even 30 sets of new clothes. Sometimes, he burned several silken outfits as an offering to a spirit figure, before he could finally make a choice of an outfit. If his valet made even the slightest mistake, while helping him to get dressed, he would feel unable to wear that outfit, and would become very agitated. That spring the King permitted the Crown Prince to accompany him to a royal tomb, but along the way it rained so heavily that the King thought that "heaven was showing its displeasure", and he sent Sado back. The Prince was very melancholic and declared: "There is no way I can go on living now." Later, he blamed the incident on a wrong choice of clothes and his clothes obsession intensified. In 1760 he started to see passers-by, who weren't there. He used vulgar language to his elderly mother and screamed at his little children. In the summer he made a voyage to the Onyang Palace. He stayed there for a week, but became depressed again and returned to the court. In May 1761 Sado visited the P'y๖ngyang province. Afterwards, he suffered an attack of malaria that lasted for several months.

Although alcohol had always been strictly prohibited in the Korean court, Sado now started drinking huge quantities of it. He also organised late-night parties with orgies. From March 1762 onwards, he tried to become intimate with his younger sister, Princess Hwawan. At such occasions, she was frightened and swore at him. Sado also maimed and killed royal physicians, translators and court workmen, so that every day several dead bodies were carried out of the palace. During the serious attacks of his mental illness, Sado was scarcely aware of the existence of his wife and children, but in more lucent periods, he was immensely proud of his eldest son. King Yongjo often praised his Royal Grandson, too. On February 25, 1762, Ch๖ngjo was married to Kim Hyoui (1753-1821).

In May 1762, Lady Sonhui came to visit her son and left in tears. In June King Yongjo received a document from one of his ministers, informing him of the misconduct of the Crown Prince. One of the accusations was that he had violated the court regulations by "bringing a nun into the court and cohabiting with her". The minister was tortured and put to death. Prince Sado suspected involvement of the widower of his sister Hwahy๖p, and spoke out his intention to kill his brother-in-law. Meanwhile, he continued to stalk his sister Hwawan and tried to break into her apartments to get near to her.

On July 4, 1762, Sado was summoned by King Yongjo. The King struck the floor with his sword and declared the Crown Prince deposed. Next, a heavy wooden chest, used for storing rice or grain, was taken in. Sado was put into it and it was very tightly shut. In this narrow prison, Sado was left to starve. After 8 days, on July 12, Sado was found death. His body was buried in the royal tomb mound. These events became known as "The Imho Incident".

Sado's eunuchs, court guards, workmen and shamans were put to death, too. His wife was demoted to commoner status and returned to her family home. During the next three years, she was separated from her son. She became melancholic and was often ill. Sado's mother, Lady Sonhui, died on August 23, 1764. Princess Hwawan was demoted, sent into exile and poisoned. Sado's son, Chong-Jo, acceded the Korean throne in 1776. In the 19th century, one of his descendants posthumously awarded Prince Sado the royal title of "Chonjo". By then the false story had been spreading that Prince Sado hadn't been ill, but was executed as a result of false charges. Fortunately, the memoirs of Lady Hong have survived.

Source :

องค์ชายรัชทายาทจังฮอน หรือ "เจ้าชายในรังข้าว หรือ กษัตริย์ในโลงศพ"

องค์ชายรัชทายาทจังฮอน (จีน: 莊獻世子) หรือ องค์ชายรัชทายาทซาโด (จีน: 思悼世子 พ.ศ. 2278 - พ.ศ. 2305) เป็นพระโอรสองค์ที่สองของพระเจ้ายองโจ กับสนมยอง ตระกูลลี ในสมัยพระเจ้าโคจงมีการแต่งตั้งองค์ชายซาโดให้มีฐานะเป็นกษัตริย์ พระนามว่า พระเจ้าจังโจ (莊祖) และต่อมาได้รับสถาปนาเป็น ฮ่องเต้อี (懿皇帝)

เนื่องจากรัชทายาทองค์ก่อน คือ องค์ชายรัชทายาทฮโยจัง สิ้นพระชนม์ไปในพ.ศ. 2271 ราชวงศ์โชซอนอยู่ในภาวะไร้ผู้สืบทอด บรรดาสนมของพระเจ้ายองโจก็ยังไม่มีพระโอรสเลย ดังนั้น เมื่อองค์ชายจังฮอนประสูติในพ.ศ. 2278 ที่พระราชวังชางเกียงกุง จึงได้รับแต่งตั้งเป็นวังเซจา (องค์ชายรัชทายาท) ทันที องค์ชายจังฮอนทรงเรียนรู้ได้เร็ว ทรงย้ายไปที่ทงกุง (ตำหนักตะวันออก) อันเป็นที่อยู่เดิมของมเหสีซอนอีของพระเจ้าคยองจง เนื่องจากองค์ชายจังฮอนเป็นพระโอรสองค์เดียวในขณะนั้นของพระเจ้ายองโจ พระเจ้ายองโจจึงทรงเข้มงวดกับการศึกษาขององค์ชายจังฮอนอย่างมาก ในพ.ศ. 2287 องค์ชายจังฮอนอภิเษกกับพระชายาจากตระกูลฮง (พระชายาฮเยคยอง) ธิดาของฮงพงฮัน

ปกติพระเจ้ายองโจและสนมลียองบินจะไปหาองค์ชายจังฮอนบ่อยๆ แต่นางในที่รับใช้องค์ชายอยู่ที่ทงกุงนั้นเป็นคนรับใช้เก่าของมเหสีซอนอีและพระเจ้ายองโจ จึงตั้งแง่รังเกียจพระเจ้ายองโจเพราะทรงยึดบัลลังก์มาจากพระเจ้าเคียงจง พระเจ้ายองโจจึงเลิกเสด็จไปหาองค์ชายจังฮอน ความสัมพันธ์พ่อลูกจึงเหินห่าง องค์ชายจังฮอนจึงกลายเป็นองค์ชายที่ขาดการใส่ใจ มีเพียงองค์หญิงฮวาเปียงที่เป็นพระขนิษฐาเท่านั้น ที่ยังพูดคุยกับองค์ชายจังฮอนอยู่

จนในพ.ศ. 2291 องค์หญิงฮวาเปียงพระขนิษฐาของพระองค์สิ้นพระชนม์ องค์ชายจังฮอนเสียพระทัยมาก ทรงเริ่มแสดงอาการผิดปกติทางจิต ประกอบกับองค์ชายจังฮอนประชวรบ่อย ในพ.ศ. 2295 ประชวรเป็นโรคหัด องค์ชาวจังฮอนทรงมีพระโอรสพระองค์แรกในพ.ศ. 2293 คือ องค์ชายรัชทายาทอีซอ แต่มีพระชนม์ชีพอยู่สองปีก็สิ้นพระชนม์ ในพ.ศ. 2295 พระโอรสประสูติอีกองค์ ได้รับแต่งตั้งเป็นวังเซซุน (พระนัดดารัชทายาท) ทันที (ภายหลังครองราชย์เป็นพระเจ้าจองโจ) ในพ.ศ. 2300 พระสนมแชร์ซุกอีพระอัยกาและมเหสีจองซองพระมารดาเลี้ยงสิ้นพระชนม์ องค์ชายจังฮอนมีอาการทางพระสติหนักขึ้น ทรงสังหารขันทีซังกุงต่างๆคนรับใช้ตลอดจนหมอหลวง ทำให้ทรงเป็นที่หวาดกลัวไปทั่ววัง และยังทรงคบค้ากับนางทรงที่ชานเมืองฮันยาง พระเจ้ายองโจก็ทรงทราบเรื่องพระอาการของพระโอรสดีแต่ทรงไม่กล้าทำอะไรเพราะเป็นพระโอรส ในพ.ศ. 2304 ทรงทุบตีพระชายาน้อยพระองค์หนึ่งจนเสียชีวิต และทรงตามรังควานพระเชษฐภคินีองค์หญิงฮวาวาน

ในพ.ศ. 2305 ขุนนางฝ่ายโนนนถายฎีกาให้พระเจ้ายองโจลงพระอาญาพระโอรส องค์ชายจังฮอนจขึงจับเอาญาติของขุนนางเหล่านั้นมาทรมานจนเสียชีวิต และขู่จะสังหารบุตรชายของอัครเสนาบดีชินมัน คือ องค์ชายยองซอง ทรงถึงขนาดจะปีนกำแพงวังไปสังหารองค์ชายยองซอง พระมารดาสนมลีทนไม่ไหว ขอให้พระเจ้ายองโจทรงพระอาญาองค์ชายจังฮอน พระเจ้ายองโจจึงมีพระราชโองการปลดองค์ชายจังฮอนและพระชายาฮเยคยอง และบังคับให้องค์ชายจังฮอนเข้าไปอยู๋ในกล่องข้าว หลังจากอยู่ในกล่องเจ็ดวัน องค์ชายจังฮอนก็สิ้นพระชนม์

ภายหลังพระเจ้ายองโจทรงรู้สึกเสียพระทัยที่ทรงลงพระอาญากับพระโอรส จึงแต่งตั้งองค์ชายจังฮอนขึ้นใหม่เป็นองค์ชายรัชทายาทซาโด พระโอรสขององค์ชายซาโด คือ พระเจ้าจองโจ ทรงพยายามอย่างมากที่จะล้างมลทินให้พระราชบิดา ทำให้เกิดคำถามขึ้นว่า องค์ชายซาโดประชวรจริงหรือเป็ฯการใส่ร้ายของขุนนางฝ่ายโนนน

Prince Sado (사도세자, 1735-1762)

1749년 영조는 건강상의 이유로 세자 선으로 하여금 대리청정을 하게 한다. 그런데 세자가 대리청정을 하게 되자 남인, 소론, 소북 세력 등은 그를 등에 업고 정권을 장악하려는 움직임을 보였고 이에 노론 세력과 그들에 동조하던 계비 정순왕후 김씨, 숙의 문씨 등이 세자와 영조 사이를 벌여놓기 위해 이간질을 하였다. 세자에 대한 정순왕후, 숙의 문씨 등의 무고에 따라 영조는 자주 세자를 불러 질책하였으며 이 때문에 세자는 정신 적 압박으로 인해 심한 고통을 받게 되었다. 그래서 함부로 궁녀를 죽이거나 왕궁을 몰래 빠져나가는 등 돌발적인 행동들을 하였다. 영조는 더이상 그로 하여금 대리청정을 시켜서는 안되겠다는 판단을 하기에 이르렀는데 1761년 세 자가 임금도 모르게 관서 지방을 유람하고 돌아온 일이 발생했다. 이 일과 관련하여 세자를 제거할 기회를 노리고 있던 노론측의 윤재겸 등이 세자의 행동이 체통에서 벗어났다는 주 장을 담을 소를 올리자 영조는 세자의 관서 순행에 관여한 자들을 모두 파직시켰다. 그 후 세자에 대한 영조의 불신 은 더욱 격화되었는데 계비 김씨의 아버지 김한구와 그 일파인 홍계희, 윤급 등의 사주를 받은 나경언이 세자의 비행 10조목을 상소하였다. 이때문에 영조는 분노를 참지 못하고 세자에게 자결을 명하였다. 하지만 세자가 이에 응하지 않자 그를 폐위하여 서인으로 강등시킨 후 뒤주 속에 가두어 굶어죽게 하였다.


영조의 '어제사도세자묘지문(御製思悼世子墓誌文)'을 공개했다.

가로 16.7cm·세로 21.8cm·두께 2.0cm 사각형 청화백자 5장에 씌어 있는
이 묘지문의 작성일자는 영조 38년(1762) 7월로 기록돼 있다.
임금이 쓴 묘지문은 통상 문장이 뛰어난 학자가 쓰는 경우가 많다.

그러나 이 묘지문은

"이것은 신하가 대신 쓰는 것이 아니며
내가 누워서 받아적게 하여 짐의 30년 마음을 밝힌 것이니…"라며
영조가 직접 작성한 것임을 밝히고 있다.

"너는 무슨 마음으로
칠십의 아비로 하여금 이런 경우를 당하게 하는고"로
시작하는 이 묘지문에서 영조는
"그래서 난잡하고 방종한 짓을 타일렀으나
제멋대로 군소배들과 어울리니
장차는 나라가 망할 지경에 이르렀노라"면서
아들을 뒤주에 가둔 이유를 밝히고 있다.

이어 아들의 죽음이 뜻밖의 일이라며
"여러날 (뒤주를) 지키게 한 것은 종묘와 사직을 위함이었는데…
진실로 아무 일이 없기를 바랐으나
9일째에 이르러 네가 죽었다는 망극한 비보를 들었노라"며
원통해 하고 있다.

그동안 학계에서는 사도세자가 노소당인(老少黨人)간의 정쟁으로
노론에 의해 사도세자가 희생된 것으로 보는 시각이 많았으나
영조 자신이 아들을 죽이기 위해서가 아니라
훈육하기 위해 뒤주에 가두었다고 쓴 글이 나옴으로써
그 배경을 둘러싼 새로운 논쟁거리를 제공하게 됐다.

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