Kisaeng (also spelled gisaeng) were artists who work to entertain others, such as the yangbans and kings. First appearing in the Goryeo Dynasty, kisaeng were legally entertainers of the government, required to perform various functions for the state. They were carefully trained, and frequently accomplished in the fine arts, poetry, and prose, although their talents were often ignored due to their inferior social status. Kisaeng held the status of cheonmin, the lowest rank of society. They shared this status with other entertainers, as well as butchers and slaves. For this reason, they were sometimes spoken of as “possessing the body of the lower class but the mind of the aristocrat." This status was hereditary, so the children of a kisaeng were also of cheonmin status, and the daughters automatically became kisaeng as well. Kisaeng could only be released from their position if a hefty price was paid to the government; this could usually only be done by a wealthy patron, typically a high government official.
Women of the kisaeng class performed various roles. Aside from entertainment, these roles included medical care and needlework. Many kisaeng were skilled in poetry, and numerous sijo composed by kisaeng have survived. These often reflect themes of heartache and parting, similar to poems composed by scholars in exile. In some cases, such as at army bases, kisaeng were expected to fill several such roles. Kisaeng, both historic and fictional, play an important role in Korean conceptions of the traditional culture of the Joseon Dynasty. Some of Korea’s oldest and most popular stories, such as the tale of Chunhyang, feature kisaeng as heroines. Although the names of most real kisaeng have been forgotten, a few are remembered for an outstanding attribute, such as talent or loyalty. The most famous of these is the 16th-century kisaeng Hwang Jin-i.
The career of most kisaeng was very short, generally peaking at age 16 or 17, and over by age 22. Only a few kisaeng were able to maintain their business for very long beyond this time. It may be for this reason that the kisaeng training institutes accepted entrants as young as eight. Women entered the kisaeng class through various paths. Some were the daughters of kisaeng, who inherited their mother’s status. Others were sold into the gijeok by families who could not afford to support them. On occasion, even women from the yangban aristocracy were made kisaeng, usually because they had violated the strict sexual mores of the Joseon period. All kisaeng, even those who did not work as prostitute or entertainers, were obliged by law to retire at age 50.
Kisaeng played a number of important political roles. Thanks to their frequenting the taverns and guest-houses of the town, kisaeng were often among the most knowledgeable on local affairs. It was through information supplied by kisaeng that the rebel army of Hong Gyeong-rae was able to easily take the fortress of Jeongju in the early 19th century. Some of Korea’s most famous kisaeng, including Non Gae of Jinju, are remembered today for their bravery in killing or attempting to kill leaders of the imperial Japanese army. Some kisaeng were also active in the Korean independence movements of the early 20th century. In this they resembled other women of Joseon, who often took a leading role in the independence struggle. Aengmu, a kisaeng of Daegu, was a major donor to the National Debt Repayment Movement in the early 20th century. Some fifty kisaeng of Jinju took part in a demonstration as part of the March First Movement in 1919.
Very few traditional kisaeng houses continue to operate in South Korea, and many of the traditions and dances have been lost forever.
Happy Korean Alphabet Day! Hangeul Day, or Hangeul Proclamation Day celebrates the birth of the Korean Alphabet, Hangeul. Today, let’s take a brief look into the origins of the alphabet and its creator!~
[The Origin of Hangeul]
Hangeul was established by The Great King Sejong (세종대왕) who reigned during the Joseon Dynasty in the 1400s. A scholar himself, King Sejong placed a great emphasis on scholarship and education, strongly promoted research in Korea’s culture, economics, and political heritage, and sponsored the development of science, philosophy, music, and linguistics. His reign which lasted well into the mid-1400s was a period of immense cultural and intellectual is often referred to as the Golden Age.
Before Hangeul was created, the majority of literature and texts were written in Chinese, and although a spoken language had been roughly established, a majority of the Korean population was illiterate due to the complexity and immense variety of Chinese characters. Only male nobles, or yangban, were able to become educated and fluent enough to read. Thus, the King set out to create the “Proper Sounds for the Education of the People" or “훈민정음” (hun min jeong eum), in which “A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a common man can learn them in the space of ten days.”
The result of the creation of a new alphabet was a more accessible means for Koreans to have a means to express themselves through written language, as well as a significant improvement in the literacy of the common peoples. The new alphabet is was is used in the modern era, and is deemed “one of the easiest alphabets to learn”.
In addition to establishing the new alphabet, The Great King Sejong is also accredited with his many progressive reforms and advancements to Korean society.
[TRANS] M+ A Trivial Interview: “INFINITE Sunggyu, are you ready to become his fan?”
1. Kim Sunggyu, please do a three syllable poem with your name. Kim - Kim Sunggyu Jjang Sung - Sunggyu Jjang Gyu - Gyu Jjang (T/N: Jjang means ‘bomb’)
2. A flower that’s like you? Rose
3. What was your childhood nickname? Shrimp eyes
4. Who was your first love? My friend when I was a first year in high school
5. What is Sunggyu’s charm point? Everything
6. What would you be doing if you didn’t become a singer? I don’t think I would’ve done anything.
7. Your sexy moment that no one knows about? I’m not sexy.
8. As a man, what is your score out of 100? 50
9. What do you think you were in previous life? A yangban (T/N: Wiki)
10. Out of all the members, who is most dissimilar in terms of humor? Hoya
11. What is your rank in the team in terms of charms? 1st place
12. What should we be watching out for in MBC Every1 ‘Showtime’? It has been 2 years since our last reality show, so I hope everyone watches how all the members work hard!
13. If you can return to the past, what is one thing you wouldn’t do? Drinking! Of course, I don’t drink that much.
14. You’re a real man in what situation? I’m always a real man!!!!
15. What is one habit you want to fix? Slouching. I slouch a lot so I want to fix it ㅠㅠ
16. When were you most regretful? I’m always regretful, but since it already has passed, I tend to forget it. Since I thought that was right at that time, I shouldn’t regret.
17. What physical features do you want to pass down to your child? Nothing. But of course, I am handsome~
18. Something you don’t want to pass down? (Including personality) Everything!!! I hope for a good child who is better than I am.
19. A secret about your body that you can’t tell anyone about? You’re not supposed to tell a secret that you can’t tell anyone about!
20. A prejudice about you that you want to break? It’s hard to break prejudices. How others view you is important, but it’s hard to change it. I gave up~
21. Drinking capacity and drinking habit? My drinking capacity is around two bottles of soju. I really want to stop drinking~ My habit is just sleeping.
22. My dream wedding? I want to have a quiet wedding ceremony with just my family and close friends.
23. How does your personality change when you’re dating? It doesn’t change!
24. You can’t date someone like - I can never date someone who is selfish.
25. Your turning point in life? Ever since INFINITE
26. If there was one thing you did for world peace? Prayer. I pray for world peace to come~
27. Your favorite English word? ‘Yes’
28. What is the driving force behind your wit? I wouldn’t call it a driving force; I just talk a lot. I used to be more cheerful, but I’ve actually become a lot more gloomy.
29. What kind of person will you be in 10 years? I hope I’m cheerful; a person who always laughs!
30. If you’re sick with 2nd Year Syndrome, what symptoms do you have? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I don’t know about symptoms, but I think I still have the disease ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
31. What is the most memorable hateful comment you’ve seen online? I don’t remember a specific one but there was one time when I was heartbroken because people who were my fans yesterday spoke ill of me. I was really shocked then.
32. Your special way of destressing? I usually would drink, but since I’m going to quit drinking, I’m going to box, study my love music, and go shopping!
33. If you were born as a woman, which member do you think would fall for you? No one! It’s terrifying just thinking about it.
34. Any memorable fan? There is a person who tells me that she’ll always be my fan and support me despite what might happen in the future and tells me ‘kyuzizi’. I’m very thankful.
35. Happiest moment of the day? When I’m sleeping! I’m happy when I wake up refreshed after a good sleep.
36. Which celebrity friend do you contact the most via Katalk? (Excluding the members) No one. I don’t really contact my celebrity friends often.
37. Are you going to date openly or not? I’m not going to date.
38. How would you grade your life of a 27 year old, on the grading scale of ABCDF? F
39. You opened your eyes one day as a 50 year old man. How is your surrounding? I hope I’m laughing happily, with the people who I consider precious to me.
40. Anything you want to accomplish from your bucket list next year? Exercise. Compose a song. Musical. Try something new.
41. Someone who makes you jealous recently? No one. I’m not originally a jealous person.
42. Sunggyu is composed of 80% —? Bones and flesh.
43. Who is your role model? I don’t have a role model, but I did have a goal of not living my life like someone. I think I’m living the way I am now because I’ve tried to not live like that person.
44. What makes you angry? When I’m not trusted.
45. What is most beautiful in the world?! An uninhabited island.
46. Happiest moment of your life? When I worked hard for my dream!
47. How many times have you dated? I don’t remember! Ahaha!
48. A pretty but dumb woman vs. An ugly but wise woman: who would you pick? A pretty ‘dumb’ woman. Because, I’m the ugly but wise man!
49. If you were to liken yourself to a song? “Only That is My World” (T/N: a song by Wild Chrysanthemum 들국화)
The yangban were part of the traditional ruling class or nobles of Korea during theJoseon Dynasty. It consisted of both civilian officials and military officials. The term yangban originated in the Goryo dynasty (935–1392), when civil service examinations were held under the two categories of civilian and military. By the Yi dynasty, the term came to designate the entire landholding class.They comprised the Korean Confucian idea of a “scholarly official."
Unlike the European and Japanese aristocracy where noble titles were conferred on a hereditary basis, the yangban title was given to those individuals who passed state-sponsored civil service exams called gwageo (과거, 科擧). Upon passing such exams several times, which tested one’s knowledge of the Confucian classics and history, a person was usually assigned to a government post. The yangban family that did not succeed to produce a government official for more than three generations could lose its yangban status and become a commoner. In theory any member of any social class except indentured servants, baekjeongs, and children of concubines could take the government exams and become a yangban. In reality, only the upper classes, i.e., the children of yangban, possessed the financial resources and the wherewithal to pass the exams as years of studying were required to support successful candidates.
As an elite class, the yangban enjoyed many privileges and actively sought to preserve the purity and exclusivity of their group—for instance, through marriage only among members of the yangban class. . Yangbans dominated the Royal Court and military of pre-Modern Korea and often were exempt from various laws including those relating to taxes and military duties.They were permitted to have their slaves serve their own terms of punishment.
In the later years people could even purchase yangban status by paying to procure either lower government posts or jokbo, the noble pedigree. During the twentieth century yangbans suddenly lost their ancient political, social and economic power. The legality of yangban was abolished in 1894 and subsequently their political and administrative role was replaced by Japanese colonial government and its administrators. When South Korea began its new government after the Korean War, yangban were mostly extinct and powerless.
In modern-day Korea, the yangban, as a social class with legal status and landed wealth, no longer exists. Nevertheless, those who are well-connected in Korean society are sometimes said to have "yangban” connections. The word itself is also used, at least in South Korea, as a common reference (sometimes with distinctly negative connotations) to an older, sometimes cantankerous/stubborn man.
kimheenim: I’m going to talk about a story from the past.. when your oppa was around 20 years old, he had all kinds of colored contact lenses. Before Kibumie became Yangban Kim and Siwonie looked like Bugsy. But!! At some point Kibumie started to fall in love with beards and Siwonie started to fall in love with muscles and this Oppa.. fell in love with game characters, it’s such a ‘So Sad’ story.. what’s more funny is I was 'Cinderella’, Kibumie was 'Snow White’, Siwonie was 'Simba’…. #mystoryfromthepast #Cinderella #SnowWhite #Simba (cr)
140614 kimheenim: Fans gave me ‘MAXIM’ as a gift. What is the reason.. 1. Asking me to have a haircut quickly, 2. They thought it was coffee, 3. Asking Heebum to look at it…. But Heebum’s expression looks like he was caught reading it secretly 'ㅅ’ #CoffeeShouldBeMaxim
140614 kimheenim: How I look like with moustache. Looks totally like Yangban Kim, Kim Kibumㅋㅋ A rare item that is really not easy to see^-^ #Moustache |x|
My family’s 탈 (tal). These mounted 하회 (Hahoe) masks are often thought to bring good luck. 양반 (Yangban) is on the left, 부네 (Bune) is on the right.
Yangban is the nobleman, and Bune is the nobleman’s courtsan and in some stories, his mistress.
Traditional masks have long since been used in cultural plays, dances, and mudangs’ rituals.
In my practice, these masks hold high cultural significance. I believe that the spirit of the Nobleman and the spirit of the Courtesan is held within them. I clean then every now and then and whisper to them, asking they grant me good luck. That 양반 teach me wisdom, the arts and restraint, that 부네 teach me grace, coyness and beauty. I leave out a cup of 소주 (soju) underneath them.
Warnings: Arousal - the feeling you will never be able to feel unless you get behind these walls.
Glossary: yangban: the upper class/nobles during Joseon era. sangmin: the one of the lower class/peasants during Joseon era. Hanseong (also known as Seoul nowadays): the capital of South Korea. hanbok: traditional costume of Korean women.
I was raised to behave, to stay where I was put. The thought
of being able to gain awareness of my own will and ability to make decisions
occasionally come cross my mind, but they have never been welcomed and never
have I pitied them for not being embraced. Still, they come and go. I’ve gotten
used to its routine, to the point I feel numb.
“I’m going to stay at the palace tonight after the feast.” My
father’s back faces me. I’m used to looking at his back, to the point where I
think I can describe it better than his face. Does he have to inform me, when
it has already become such a common thing? Being the daughter of a yangban
family, I reluctantly signed up for a life where my heart can never taste the
sweetness of love. I’m just a more high class slave in training, who is dressed
well and fed well to obey instead of being paid. My dear father, a born and
raised noble, can give me everything except his love but sometimes I would
trade the world to hold it for seconds. My mom? All I know is she’s somewhere
out of my reach, may not even be under the same sky.
The night covers Hanseong with its loneliness. I wonder if I’m
not the only who feels this way, when my only companion is the silence and the
moonlight shining through the gaps between the window bars. My mind runs through
the tape showing what my father is doing: drinking and laughing, probably hitting
on some servants while he’s tipsy. Then I think about how to face him when he
returns, what kind of mask I should put on in order to not get in trouble with
my truthful feelings. Not like I’ve never done this before to have to put much
thought into it. Ironically, I’m the expert. Suddenly a loud rustle vibrates
the subtle atmosphere. It seems to be coming from outside, so I take a peek,
like a normal curious person. In front of my eyes is a decent looking guy,
perhaps around my age or a couple years older, trying to pick up the vegetables
scattering on the ground. He spells out loud the aura of a sangmin, maybe too
dandy to be one. His eyes accidentally meet mine, and there is a pause in time
before he looks away.
“How much are those cabbages?” It didn’t take long for me to
realize my question was randomly stupid.
“3 mun for each.” He whispers, as if this conversation is
something he’s not interested in.
“Can you come here this time tomorrow? So… um… I want to buy
them.” It feels awkward. I’ve never had to think about what to buy and what to
eat since there is always the servant. Why am I suddenly so enthusiast in
buying my own food? His face lightens, brighter than any stars above our heads.
The smile crests to his coal stained cheekbones, then forms into a rectangular
shape under the curves of his half closed eyes. I swear it’s the most beautiful
thing I’ve ever encounter.
“Yes, miss.” He nods and grips tightly on the handles on the
sides of his wagon as his back leg levers to push him forward.
“Wait!” I shout, but quickly cover my mouth.
He turns around, showing the sharpness of his jawline, “Yes?”
“What’s your name? Mine is Y/N.” Honestly, with a weird and
sudden question from a stranger like that, I don’t expect an answer from him.
Still… even if he gives me a fake name, at lease I can call him by something.
“Taehyung.” He smiles widely, more than that typical
merchant smile. “Kim Taehyung.” And for the first time in my life, I start to
acknowledge my own feelings towards things that exist outside these walls.
Our conversations exceed further than just buying vegetables
as days pass by. Through those window bars, I’ve discovered so much about the
outside world. Taehyung talks about the customers he met, how he sold three
bags of potatoes in a morning. He brings me newspapers and reads them to me
like bedtime stories. If I have my eyes closed, his voice sounds like someone
around father’s age. Father has never read to me, so comparing the two voices
is not a possible task. Sometimes, I hear his name coming from Taehyung’s mouth
when it’s scrolling through the articles. Father must be important, and there
must be something more important to father, more than I’ll ever be.
“Taehyung, what does the palace look like?” Yet, another
“The palace?” His reading flow is interrupted. “Fancy and
secured. That’s what I see from the outside. You’ve never seen it?”
“No… is that strange?”
“No… some are just luckier than other.” I don’t say anything
more. His answer was too sufficient, but lack of satisfaction.
“Go home, Taehyung. It’s late.” I see the eye bags as they
drag his eyes down. He rubs them lightly, then blinks a couple of times.
He looks up at me. “Well, if I’m not here, who’s going to
keep you company?”
“I don’t want to make you feel obligated to do this.”
“Then are you obligated to hear me reading this newspapers?”
I can sense his anger, so I stop talking. It seems like it only takes one drop
of water of spill the whole glass. “Good, let me finish reading this article.”
For the first time, I experience the taste of being
listened. Taehyung doesn’t leave when I tell him too. He thinks of how lonely I
am and will be once he leaves. My body reacts opaquely, little rosy shades
tinting my cheeks and my eyes locking on his crooked fingers.
I tip toe to the door, trying my best to create minimum
amount of noise. Father isn’t at home tonight, or at least he isn’t supposed
to. The temperature drops immediately as soon as I set foot out the door. The
neighborhood shimmers through the thick layer of mist. The excitement of being
able to set foot outside without supervision is too exciting to content. I sway
my body, releasing the extra energy that’s about to burst. My feet land lightly
on the ground to the alley where Taehyung usually stands and where my window is
The view of my window from outside feels different. The more
I look at it, imagining myself grabbing onto the wooden bars, the more I pity
myself and my desire for the outside world. Then I think about having to go
back in. The fear wraps me tightly in its arms.
“Y/N? What are you doing out here?” Taehyung’s wagon is
almost empty. There are only couples of bok choy and apples. He seems
surprised, and he has all the right to.
“Just wanting to see what is behind those walls. I’ll go
back in right away so don’t worry.”
We sit on his wagon and talk for hours as usual, but there
is no barrier between us. I starts to feel like I’m sharing his world, rather
than living in two different ones. He shows me his merchandises that he traded
and got and I teach him all about table manners and etiquette. Gradually, my
dad becomes my least burden. I’m just tasting happiness at the tip of my
“You know what? For a yangban, you’re pretty okay.” He looks
up to the sky.
“Well thank you for the blunt compliment. You’re not too bad
yourself.” I look at him.
Taehyung turns his head to me. He falls into my eyes like a
rabbit hole and we, two heads of a magnet, is sucked into each other. I feel
his lips on mine, melting the ice freezing on my ear lobes. His hand place on
my thigh as I feel them slowly heading inward. Taehyung stands up, helping my
feet get on the ground so he can pin me to the wall. He pulls down the sides of
my hanbok, revealing my bare shoulders to the cold weather. His lips trail down
to nip on the nape of my neck, creating this strange sensation rushing through
my body. He sucks harder and as if my body has a switch, my arousal activates
itself. Smoke gently comes out of my mouth. The night has broken its silence.
As Taehyung runs his tongue on the curve of my neck, I moan
into his ears, hoping that they are the only place it would drip in. I’m
confused if it’s because of the diminutive space between us or is he purposely
grinding himself on me. Either way, I’m soaking my under garment. He slowly
unties my hanbok and gently places it on the wagon so it won’t get dirty. The
same is done to my under garments. Now I’m exposed, cornered up in an alley. Our
only alibi is the night and how silent it is. Taehyung pulls down his pants,
showing off his big hard cock. I gulp, wondering how I am going to fit him.
My legs open as soon as I see him coming close. He puts it
in, let it sink as he presses me onto the wall. The sound coming out of my
mouth is similar to when nightmare visits me at night, but this time I’m enjoying
the moment. He thrusts into my entrance while his hands lock my wrists together
on top of my head. I bite my lips, preventing the moans coming in through the
window. But they don’t disappear, they transform into heavy exhale instead. My
honey drips on the side of my thighs as he goes faster. Taehyung lifts me up to
the peak of ecstasy until I release all that burden me inside. The sound of
pleasure echo from the ground between my legs. Our smokes mix together,
condense the air even more than it should. Taehyung lifts my face up with his
hands cupping on my cheeks. Once again, his lips touch mine, this time more
“Y/N, where are you?” A voice slips through the window bars
and hit my ear drums. Father?
For the anon who asked for Taehyung smut during Joseon era, hope you liked it because it was hella hard to write. A bit of knowledge about Korean history might come in handy.
today’s songs (the theme was: songs recommended by his peers/friends that suits blue night’s theme.)
01. walking shoes - mali music (recommended by minho) 02. somewhere only we know (recommended by snsd’s sooyoung) 03. wish you were my girl - a.n.d/end (recommended by a friend of jonghyun’s in england) 04. amnesia - justin timberlake (recommended by snsd’s taeyeon) 05. in the fall - roy kim (recommended by a friend) 06. magic - coldplay (recommended by webtoon artist) 07. by my side - david choi (recommended by a friend) 08. circle - jun bum sun & the yangban (recommended by staff who was recommended the song by cnblue’s jonghyun)