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tree With Deep Roots

The novel "Tree With Deep Roots"

Have you heard of the novel “Deep Rooted Tree” and the Korean TV show based on this novel? The novel’s title comes from a line in one of the first books published in Hunminjeongeum. It is a work of fiction detailing the process of creating Hangeul. In the novel there are a series of mysterious serial murders and in the TV show there is a puzzling criminal organization. Of course, the murders and the criminal organization are all fiction, but both book and show add interesting themes of deduction based on historical facts. How was it possible to create such bold creations?

There are detailed historical records showing that King Sejong the Great create Hangeul and the results of that creation, but there are virtually no records about the process. It’s likely that the project to create a new alphabet was conducted in secret. Nowadays it is taken for granted that every country has its own alphabet, but back then Chinese characters (Hanja) were considered to be superior. Therefore, creating a new alphabet was likely to draw complaints from the existing power class. Choe Manri, who made a submission of opposition to Hangeul to the King is a good example of the resistance that continued for a long time.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Korean Alphabet: An Introduction to Hangeul

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)