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Stealing a Glance into History
Kim Da-hye  |  hyemoon13@naver.com
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승인 2012.11.05  11:13:02
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When we listen to the word ‘History’, we usually think about very boring history classes and biographies. Remembering the names of many Kings and their great work is too boring, and it gives us a headache. However, there are histories we can be interested in. There are many movies and dramas, which entertain us. The classical scholar, whom we know as a man, is actually a woman. Or the king who is known to be very aggressive, turns out to be a really good person. There is even a story on how a king and a clown exchanged their roles for 15 days. The mix of imagination and factual records in novels and historical dramas is very interesting. Here are the real histories behind the stories. These are the naked unofficial histories hidden in our history.
November is the season for reading books. How about reading the not-well-known history of our own country? Before you read it, please remember that it is just an UNOFFICIAL history, not the truth. Read it just for fun.
 
What are outstanding scholars like in bed.
Toe-gye, whose face is presented on Korean money (1,000 won), and Yul-gok, who also appears on Korean money (5,000 won), were outstanding scholars in the Joseon dynasty. One day, their disciples discussed about who was more outstanding. During the discussion, they wondered what Toe-gye and Yul-gok were like in bed. Since they are extremely outstanding scholars in the country, the disciples wondered how the outstanding scholars become intimate with their wives. Therefore, they made a hole in the door of their rooms and peeked into it at night. During the sexual intercourse, Yul-gok was very gentle. Disciples were full of admiration, because he never lost his dignity even in bed. On the contrary, Toe-gye was very aggressive with his wife so his disciples were ashamed. The following day, one disciple told the truth to Toe-gye. After listening to the story, Toe-gye laughed and said “Sexual intercourse is a combination of Yin (the energy of female), and Yang (the energy of male). Therefore it cannot be quiet. If Yul-gok is really gentle in bed, that goes against the logic of Yin and Yang. I am worried whether he will be able to have a son to carry on his name.” Whether it was because of the logic of Toe-gye or just by coincidence, Yul-gok never had a baby when Toe-gye had one.
 
Was the Great King Se-jong’s second daughter-in-law a lesbian?
The Great King Se-jong, who made the Korean alphabet 'Han-gul', is the most admirable King in Korean history. He also appears on Korean money (10,000 won). In the Korean unofficial history, there is a story about his second daughter-in-law. After 18 years of ruling the country, he banned homosexual love, because he did not like his female maids loving each other. However, his second daughter-in-law, Ms. Bong, was caught unguarded while she was carrying on an affair. In a palace, there were rumors that she always went to bed with her female maid. In addition, she felt jealous of her maid for being with other maids, so she separated them. She sometimes went to the bathroom of her maids and looked at them through a crack in the door. She also liked alcohol, so she often climbed on her maid’s back after drinking a lot. Finally, she was ousted from the Crown Princess and expelled from the palace. After that, she was killed by her own father.
 
Remember once again, these stories are just an UNOFFICIAL history. However, whether the stories are true or not, is very interesting. So we can have interest in our history more easily. Our history is very important for us. There is a very famous saying by E.H. Carr. “History is an unending dialogue between the present and the past.” However, learning and reading about history are too difficult and boring. Therefore it is not bad to start learning about history with interesting unofficial records. Now, the midterm examination has ended, and fall has come. If you are interested in these stories, how about reading more books about Korea's unofficial history? Maybe you will be surprised by finding out how fun our history is.
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