Jongmyo (Royal Shrine): Iconography of Korea

Rii, Hae Un (2003) Jongmyo (Royal Shrine): Iconography of Korea. In: 14th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Place, memory, meaning: preserving intangible values in monuments and sites’, 27 – 31 oct 2003, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Jongmyo, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1995, is the royal ancestral shrine housing the spirit tablets of the successive kings and queens of the Joseon(Chosun) Dynasty, officiating a memorial rite. Jongmyo-Daejae (Royal Shrine Ritual) refers to the worship performed in honour of the royal family’s ancestors of the Joseon Dynasty. During the era of the Joseon Dynasty, Jongmyo-Daejae was the largest and most important ritual. This ceremony was originally performed by the nation five times a year. But the memorial rite was prohibited during the periods of Japanese occupation. Since 1969, it has been performed by the Royal family Association once a year in May. This Memorial Rite and the Music for the Memorial Rite of Jongmyo were declared World Intangible Heritage in 2001. The ceremony was the national memorial rite in the era of the Joseon Dynasty. Being prohibited by the Japanese it lost the meaning as an iconography of the Joseon Dynasty. However, descendants of royal family have preserved and developed the ceremony as their own memorial rite to their ancestors. And now, Jongmyo- Daejae is a valuable intangible cultural heritage of Korea, and Jongmyo, where Jongmyo-Daejae is performed, is regarded as the iconography of the nation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Rii, Hae Un
Languages: English
Keywords: shrine; Joseon Dynasty; rituals; intangible heritage; World Heritage List
Subjects: H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 09. Historic buildings
M. WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
O. INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H. HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 19A. Places of religion and ritual
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Jongmyo Shrine, Korea R
UNESCO WHC Number: 738
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2003, 14th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2010 11:27
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 14:34
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Cultural Properties Administration, ROK, 2000, Jongmyo Jerye and Jongmyo Jeryeak (Royal Ancestral Rite and Ritual Music in Jongmyo Shrine), Application for ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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Pamphlet for Royal Shrine Ritual 2003. Rii, Hae Un, et al, 1994, Transformation of Landscape in Seoul, Series in Seoul Research, No. 2, Seoul: Institute of Seoul Studies. Seoul Metropolitan Government, 1992, Seoul, her History and Culture.

Seoul Metropolitan Government, 2000, Seoul: Facts about Seoul, Seoul City Printing Cooperatives Association.

The Korean Overseas Cultural and Information Service, 1998, A Guide to Korean Cultural Heritage, Hollym International Corp. ; homepage of the Cultural Properties Administration.

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