Japanese Archaeology and Special Exhibition (Heiseikan) Thematic Exhibition Room
February 4, 2020 (Tue) - March 15, 2020 (Sun)
This thematic exhibition introduces the court culture of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The exhibits include court furniture and clothing along with the possessions of the court’s elite Confucian scholars (yangban). The objects reveal the court’s continued affinity for Korean traditions even as they adopted ideologies from China.
At the beginning of the Joseon dynasty, the first king moved the capital to Hanyang (present-day Seoul) and ordered the construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The architectural layout borrowed heavily from palaces built at the Chinese court. Brick floors were used in rooms for conducting affairs of state and a raised chair was used as a throne. Yet, in the living quarters, the rooms were characterized by traditional Korean furniture and architectural design, such as raised wooden floors (maru) and heated floors (ondol).
Over the next few centuries, the Joseon kings constructed several such grand palaces in Hanyang. The practice of incorporating both Chinese and Korean elements gradually permeated all layers of court life and is visible in the architecture, furniture, and clothing of the Joseon dynasty.