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10000 Won 2007, South Korea

in Krause book Number: 56a
Years of issue: 22.01.2007
Signatures: no signature
Serie: 2006 - 2007 Series
Specimen of: 22.01.2007
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 148 x 68
Printer: Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation, Gajeong-dong, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

10000 Won 2007




The portrait of Sejong the Great and Electrotype "10000".


10000 Won 2007

monument collage

Sejong the Great (15 May 1397 - 8 April 1450) was the fourth king of Joseon-dynasty Korea. He was the third son of King Taejong and Queen consort Min. He was designated as heir-apparent, Crown Prince, after his older brother Jae was stripped of his title. He ascended to the throne in 1418. During the first four years of his reign, Taejong governed as regent, after which his father-in-law, Sim On, and his close associates were executed.

Sejong reinforced Confucian policies and executed major "legal amendments" (공법; 貢法). He also created the Korean alphabet Hangul, encouraged advancements of scientific technology, and instituted many other efforts to stabilize and improve prosperity. He dispatched military campaigns to the north and instituted the Samin Policy (사민정책; 徙民政策) to attract new settlers to the region. To the south, he subjugated Japanese raiders and captured Tsushima Island.

During his reign from 1418 to 1450, he governed from 1422 to 1442 and governed as regent with his son Crown Prince Munjong until his death in either 1442 or 1450.

Although the appellation "the Great" / "(대왕;大王)" was given posthumously to almost every ruler of Goryeo and Joseon, this title is usually associated with Gwanggaeto and Sejong.


On background is Irworobongdo.

Irworobongdo is a Korean folding screen with a highly stylized landscape painting of a sun and moon, five peaks which always was set behind Eojwa, the king’s royal throne during the Joseon Dynasty. It literally means "Painting of the Sun, Moon and the Five Peaks" and is also called "Irwoldo" or "Irwolgonryundo". The sun and moon symbolize the king and queen while the five peaks denotes a mythical place. The screen serves to display the majesty of the Joseon royal court.

The scene depicts a burning red sun, a full moon, five craggy peaks, and two fast-flowing streams with cascades, all flanked by a pair of conifers. The brilliant colours - known as tang-chae (Chinese colours) - were fixed with either animal or fish glue, rendering the screens brilliant and waterfast. New York Times critic Holland Cotter has described the screen's solid, saturated colors and robust forms as being regular as "textile patterns", and noted that these screens have "an archaic, hieratic look unlike Chinese or Japanese painting of the time."

There are no existing documents from an early period to explain the original iconography of the Five Peaks. Chadwick reports the findings of Dr. Yi Song-mi, Professor of Art History at the Academy of Korean Studies in Seoul. He has suggested that these screens were one of the most important elements in the throne hall, and that this formalized landscape illustrates the Joseon political cosmology. The "almost" red sun represents the king as the yang, the positive male principle, while the white moon represents the queen as the yin, the negative female principle. These two principles make the universe work.

An alternative explanation is that the screen might represent the blessing of Korea by Heaven, symbolized by the sun and moon in balance. When the king sat in front of this screen, he appeared to be at the pivotal point from which all force emanated and to which all returned. Thus, imbued with sacred power, the screen manifests a political cosmology as evidence of Heaven's favour, mandate, and continued protection of the ruler.

Chadwick (1998)[4] also reports Yi's (1996) study of the history of such screens. He attempts to establish whether they were used at the start of the Joseon Dynasty reigned by King Taejo (r. 1392–1398). One suggestion Yi reports is that the practice of using the Five Peaks screen was established by Jeong Do-jeon. He was instrumental in the adoption of Neo-Confucianism as the Joseon's state ideology. Jeong Do-jeon used the screen as an important part of the design of the Joseon palace architecture in 1392. However, there is a painting from the XVI century referred to as "The martial arts performance at Soch'ong-dae in the reign of King Myeongjong" (r. 1545–1567) and there is no screen behind the throne. A 19th century copy however has the screen in place behind the throne. Yi therefore suggests that the 1392 date might be far too early and prefers a more recent date for the establishment of the screens. He suggests that screens role might well have been adopted after the 1592 Imjin wars as an attempt to reaffirm the dynasty's power.

The National Museum of Korea's entry on the screens asserts that the earliest written evidence for the use of a Sun, Moon, and Five Peaks screen in the Joseon palace dates from the mid-seventeenth century, but suggests that they could have been used earlier, as part of the Joseon court tried to distinguish itself from that of the Goryeo court.

Palace records suggest that the screens were constantly being produced. Today however, only around twenty originals remain. None are signed. Examples of the screens can be seen at royal palaces in Seoul such as at Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Changgyeonggung.

Yongbieocheonga Yongbieocheonga

Also, on background, is Yongbieocheonga.

Although most government officials and aristocrats opposed usage of hangul, lower classes embraced it, became literate, and were able to communicate with one another in writing.

Sejong's personal writings are also highly regarded. He composed the famous Yongbi Eocheon Ga ("Songs of Flying Dragons", 1445), Seokbo Sangjeol ("Episodes from the Life of Buddha", July 1447), Worin Cheon-gang Jigok ("Songs of the Moon Shining on a Thousand Rivers", July 1447), and the reference Dongguk Jeong-un ("Dictionary of Proper Sino-Korean Pronunciation", September 1447).

Yongbieocheonga literally means Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and was the first work written in hangul. It was compiled during the reign of Sejong the Great as an official affirmation of the Joseon dynasty and its ancestral heritage. The Songs, in the form of 125 cantos, were composed through the efforts of a committee of Confucian philologists and literati. This compilation was the first Korean writing to depart from a long history of reliance on Chinese characters and to be recorded in hangul, the first and official alphabet of Korea. Several important themes in addition to that of the establishment of the Joseon dynasty reflect the events that gave rise to the creation of these poems: historical events that took place in China, the apotheosis of virtuous Kings preceding the fall of the Goryeo dynasty in Korea, and the Confucian political and philosophical ideologies of an era that rejected Buddhism.

In 1259, following years of natural disasters and conflict in East Asia, a peace treaty was signed between the Goryeo King and the Mongol empire, immediately resulting in a one hundred-year period of Mongol influence over Korea. The Korean community suffered grave injustices as Mongolian customs were forcibly imposed, corruption overwhelmed the nobility, and political insurgences broke out. During this period, Buddhism, which had been the national religion for nearly eight hundred years, began to wane and would eventually be replaced by Confucianism. There was desperate need of a leader who could address these increasing problems and strengthen Korea's threatened national identity.

Yi Seong-gye was born in 1335. He had come from a long line of men who had served as government officials familiar with Mongolian customs, he and would later prove to be one of Korea’s greatest army generals and kings. In a series of military successes, Yi rose to the position of a commanding general in the army. Among his numerous victories, three battles are best known and most emphasized in Korean history: the recapture of the old Korean capital Kaesong from the Red Turbans in 1362, the defeat of Japanese pirates at Mt. Hwangsan in 1382, and the rebellion in 1388 against pro-Mongol government officials after Yi refused a command to march his troops to Liaotung in order to capture Ming strongholds. Subsequent to these and other successes, Yi Seong-gye made himself a dominant force in determining the fate of the Korean people. With the help of his sons and neo-Confucianist supporters, Yi fought for an independent Korea by eradicating all advocates and previous rulers of the weakening Goryeo dynasty. This was finally accomplished with the execution of Goryeo’s last minister Jeong Mong-ju in 1392 and the exile of Goryeo’s last king. Not long after this, Yi Seong-gye became the first king of a new dynasty. In 1393 Korea received a new name and for the next 520 years would be known as Joseon (brightness of the morning sun). All of these events and many more are presented in the songs celebrating the history of a new Korea.

In 1418, the throne passed to Sejong the Great, third son of Yi Bangwon. It was under Sejong that Korea began to experience a significant shift in academics and Confucian philosophical ideologies. Through the establishment of the Academy of Worthies in 1420, Sejong cultivated the generation of scholars that gave rise to an era of cultural and political enlightenment. They were primarily responsible for the spread of Confucianism, the creation of hangul, and a number of literary works including the Songs.


Yongbieocheonga was written in hangul.

Hunminjeongeum (lit. The Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People) is a document describing an entirely new and native script for the Korean language. The script was initially named after the publication, but later came to be known as hangul. It was created so that the common people illiterate in hanja could accurately and easily read and write the Korean language. It was announced in Volume 102 of the Annals of King Sejong, and its formal supposed publication date, October 9, 1446, is now Hangul Day in South Korea. The Annals place its invention to the 25th year of Sejong's reign, corresponding to 1443-1444.

The Korean alphabet, known as Hangul in South Korea (also transcribed Hangeul) and as Chosŏn'gŭl/Chosŏn Muntcha in North Korea is the alphabet that has been used to write the Korean language since the XV century. It was created in 1443 under King Sejong the Great during the Joseon Dynasty. Now, the alphabet is the official script of both South Korea and North Korea, and co-official in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture and Changbai Korean Autonomous County of China's Jilin Province. In South Korea, Hangul is used primarily to write the Korean language, as using Hanja (Chinese characters) in typical Korean writing had fallen out of common usage during the late 1990s.

Left of center is the hologram window with denomination 10000 and map of Korea inside.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners. Centered in words.


10000 Won 2007

The highpoint of Korean astronomy was during the Joseon period.

On banknote are: Honcheonsigye (혼천시계), observatory telescope RC and Korean star map of XIV century.

혼천시계 혼천시계

The Honcheonsigye is an astronomical clock created by Song I-yeong in 1669. It is designated as South Korean national treasure number 230.

The clock has an armillary sphere with a diameter of 40 cm. The sphere is activated by a working clock mechanism, showing the position of the universe at any given time.

The clock is owned by Korea University. It is the only remaining astronomical clock from the Joseon Dynasty.

The copy of such clock located in front of the statue of Sejong The Great in Seoul.


Right of center, on banknote, is the observatory telescope.

I did found same picture of telescope, here is the article:

"Many years of experience in automation and robotization of astronomical devices resulted into the project “Development of the technologies for fast robotic observatories and laser communicating systems”, based on the company's know-how. The project itself has been realized in cooperation with the Astronomical Institute in Prague supported by Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA ČR). Within only 18 months a fully robotized observatory, which was called “Blue Eye”, was designed, built and installed.

On ultra speed Alt/Az installation (speed of moving is up to 90°/sec) a RC optical system telescope with diameter of the mirror of 0.6 meter is installed. The installation which is exclusively based on industrial components including PLC Beckhoff is equipped with most modern direct-drive control. A special dome is designed so that it enables fast opening and doesn't prevent the telescope from fast moving. All modern industrial electronics is installed in a special container and a number of meteorological sensors independently care about ultimate safety of the whole observatory.

Observing can be performed in several modes such as local, remote or fully robotized ones with usage of the planning software which enables the astronomer nice calm sleep in his bed while the telescope works absolutely independently. The communication interface for customer own solutions with the protocol ASCOL is a part of the basic version. The aim of this project is universality, full automation, speed of slewing and mobility. Everything is easy to be disassembled, moved and assembled again without necessity to cast concrete pillars. That all considerably decreases installation costs.

The complete equipment can serve not only for astronomy but also for example for watching gamma flashes, for laser terminals or telemeters, for searching cosmic dust/satellites and so on." (www.projectsoft.cz)


On background is Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido.

Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido is a fourteenth-century Korean star map, copies of which were spread nationwide in the Joseon Dynasty. The name is sometimes translated as "chart of the constellations and the regions they govern."

King Taejo ordered royal astronomers to carve the constellations on a flat black stone in December 1395. The stone was about 122.5 cm. in width, 211 cm. in height, and 12 cm in depth. The engraved stone shows 1,467 stars, 264 constellations and their names, the ecliptic and equatorial lines, and 365 scales around. It was compiled through a combination of a Goguryeo star map with more recent observations.

The map showed positions of the heavenly bodies in their natural order and allocated on their respective celestial fields. Its map projection law is found to be the polar equatorial and equidistance projection: the linear distance of an object on the map from the center is lineally proportional to the north polar angular distance.

The epoch of the stellar positions is estimated to be near the First Century for the stars with declination less than fifty degrees, and to be near 1395 AD for stars with declination higher than fifty degrees.

This map became standard during the Joseon dynasty, with numerous copies printed and disseminated throughout the kingdom, until it was superseded by Western planispheres in the nineteenth century.

The map is the 228th national treasure of South Korea, and is kept in the Korean Royal Museum in Seoul.

Denominations in numerals are in top left and lower right corners.