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The Ten Injunctions

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Chapter Summary

The Ten injunctions left by Taejo are considered his political and administrative will. The injunctions were written during the reign of Hyŏnjong and subsequently rediscovered among the estate of Choe Hang. Hyŏnjongs most trusted, loyal and powerful ministers were involved in the forgery of Taejos political will and in all probability Hyŏnjong knew about and perhaps even instigated the forgeries. The Ten injunctions were meant as a practical guide for governing Koryŏ over a longer period of time; they articulated a vision concerning Koryŏs future. This chapter considers the injunctions as a historical document. The pattern and texture of Hyŏnjongs reign have been imprinted on the injunctions, making them an extension and exaggeration of expressions that were deeply cherished and held to be genuine. The chapter argues that the injunctions must be understood precisely as the ideological mishmash that they are.

Keywords: Hyŏnjong; T'aejo; Ten injunctions



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