Court geomancers in Korea during the Joseon period (1392–1897)

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Senior Lecturer, National Research University Higher School of Economics
Affiliation: Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 6

The “official” birth of geomancy (cor. Phunsu chiri sol - “geographical theory of winds and waters” dates back to the 9th century and is associated with the name of the Buddhist monk Toson (827–898). The importance of the theory has grown over the centuries, geomancers have played everything in medieval society This article is devoted to the study of the "status" of a geomancer in Korea during the Joseon period (1392–1897): its social status, education, and responsibilities; examples of their work and contribution are given but into the history and culture of the country.


KeywordsKorea, Joseon, geomancy, phunsu chiri sol, geomants, ideology, chigwan, chunin
Publication date24.12.2019
Number of characters24596
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1. . Hereinafter, Korean words are transcribed according to the L.R. Kontsevich - the main system for recording Korean words in Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. The system was developed by L.R. Kontsevich based on an earlier transcription A.A. Kholodovich. Korean words are recorded according to the official South Korean system for recording Korean words in la-tin.

2. . There are also abbreviations “phunsu” (“winds and waters”) or “phunsu chiri” (“geography of winds and waters”).

3. . Lee Honjik. Se Guksa Sajon: [New Dictionary of Korean History]. Seoul: Kyokhaksa, 1990.S. 1432.

4. . An Encyclopaedia of Korean Culture / ed. Suh Cheong-Soo. Seoul, Hansebon, 2004. P. 254.

5. . Lee Honjik. Decree. Op.

6. . Joseon Vanjo Silok: [The true records of the Joseon Dynasty]. URL:

7. . Sejong silok: [The true records (rule) of Sejon] // Joseon wanjo silok: [The true records of the Joseon dynasty]. Kwon 106, day 21, month 12, 1444. URL: (accessed: 03/14/2019).

8. . Hanguk mingjok munghwa taebekqwa sajon: [Encyclopedic Dictionary of National Culture] / ed. Lee Hyunge. T. 21. Seongnam: Hanguk Jeongsein Munchwa Youngwon, 1992. S. 207–208.

9. . Pak Taeho. Channy yoksa: koindol-putkho napkoldan kkaji, sunbe-va kiphi yoksa: [History of funeral culture: from dolmens to cremation, the history of worship and neglect]. Seoul: Sohemunjip, 2006.P. 169.

10. . Ionova Yu.V. Rites, customs and their social functions in Korea: mid-19th - early 20th centuries M .: Nauka, 1982.

11. . The article "Ten Part Instructions" in the Korean online encyclopedia "Namu Wiki." Electronic resource. URL: /% ED% 9B% 88% EC% 9A% 94% 2010% EC% A1% B0 (circulation date: 03/07/2019)

12. . Simbirtseva T.M. Lords of old Korea. M .: Russian State Humanitarian University, 2012. P. 324. (Orientalia et Classica. Proceedings of the Institute of Oriental Cultures and Antiquities. Issue 35).

13. . Yoon Hong-key. The culture of fengshui in Korea. An Exploration of East Asian Geomancy. Lexington Books, 2006. P. 40.

14. . Pak M.N. Kim Busik as a historian (introductory article to the second volume of the Samguk Saga). Kim Busik. Samguk sagas (Historical Records of the Three States). Chronicles of Goguryeo. Paekche Chronicles. Chrono-logical tables. Text edition, translation, introductory article and comments by M.N. Pak / hole ed. L.R. Kontsevich. M .: Publishing company "Eastern Literature" RAS, 1995. (Monuments of literature of the peoples of the East. Texts. Large series I, 2). S. 9–32.

15. . Lebon Gustave. Psychology of peoples and masses. M .: Publishing house AST, 2017. S. 129-132.

16. . Duncan J.B. The Origins of the Choson Dynasty. Washington: University of Washington Press, 2014. P. 86–89.

17. . Ibid. P. 237–240.

18. . For more details on the meaning of “three foundations - five rules” see: T. Simbirtseva Decree. Op. S. 26–27.

19. . In the same place. S. 37.

20. . There is also a translation of the "Office of Astronomical Observations."

21. . In the years 1414-1466 called the Office of mercy to the people (Heminguk).

22. . Jung Okcha. Joseon Hugi Chunin Munkhwa Youngu: [Study of the Chunin culture in the late Cho-son period]. Ilgisa, 2003. P. 28–29.

23. . Hanguk mingjok munghwa taebekqwa sajon: [Encyclopedic Dictionary of National Culture] / ed. Lee Hyunge. S. 208.

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25. . Simbirtseva T.M. Decree. Op. S. 362.

26. . Pak Taeho. Decree. Op. S. 169.

27. . Yoon Hong-key. P’ungsu: a Study of Geomancy in Korea. New York, 2017. P. 72–73.

28. . Ibid.

29. . The activities of the Inspection of the Royal Graves are reflected in the modern South Korean film Feng Shui (Myeongdan, 2018), directed by Park Hygon (born 1969).

30. . Yoon Hong-key. Op. cit. P. 75.

31. . Ibid. P. 75–76.

32. . Tanjon silok: [The true records of the Tanjon] // Joseon wanjo silok: [The true records of the Joseon dynasty]. Kwon 11, day 17, month 4, 1454. URL: (accessed March 19, 2019).

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35. . Nemeth David J. Korean P'ungsu Maps and Nature's Self-organizing Principles // The Flow of Ideas and Institutions: Korea in the World and the World in Korea. The First Kyujanggak International Sym-posium on Korean Studies. Proceedings. Seoul, 2008. P. 290-315.

36. . Vradiy S.Yu. “Map of Russia (Aguk Yoggido)” is the first Korean description of Primorye. Part 2 // Bulletin of St. Petersburg State University. Ser. 13. Orientalism and Africanism. SPb., 2012. Issue. 2, p. 61.

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