Kim Mun-gi

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Kim Mun-gi (1409?~1456) Mun-gi, born in Iwon-myeon in Okcheon, was one of the royal vassals of the early I-Dynasty. Mun-gi, born in Iwon-myeon in Okcheon, was one of the royal vassals of the early I-Dynasty. He was so clever that he passed a high civil minister examination at an early age. He was so devoted to his parents that he was called a filial child from a young age. He was knowledgable of the both literary and military arts. He was honest and straight and would not accept unfairness or injustice. With such dignity, he had stood in favor with King Sejong and King Munjong.

Accordingly, he was posted to several important positions at the central government level during the I-Dynasty.

When he was simultaniously at the posts of industrial minister and general commander of the army, he took part in the revolt to restor the throne of King Danjong. When the revolt ended in failure, he was arrested with his comrades and sentenced to death on the suspicion of insurrection. He was reinstated to his former official positions thanks to the petitioning by his 10th generation ancestor Gim Jeong-gu in 1731(the 7th year of King Yeongjo) and a tombstone was erected at his hometown of Baekjiri, Iwon-myeon in Okcheon in 1790(the 14th year of King Jeongjo). Thereafter recently, the National History Compilation Committee confirmed him as one of the Six Dead Vassals and the Seoul City government decided to enshrin Gim Mun-gi was one of the loyal subjects in the early Joseon Dynasty. His early name was Hyo-gi, the adult name was Yeo-gong, the pen name was Baek-Chon and the birthplace of his first ancestor is Gimnyeong. He was born in Okcheon-Gun, Iwon-myeon, Baekgi-ri as a descendent of Gim Si-hong and a grandson of Gim Sun (the Secretary of the Treasury) and a son of Gim Gwan (the Prime Minister). He had an exceptional talent for learning. In 1426 (Sejong 8), he passed the civil service examination. Also, he was an affectionate and dutiful son. When his father passed away, he mourned at the grave of his father for 3 years. At the time of his mother's death, he did the same thing respectfully. Confucian scholars called him a filial son and named his village Hyoja-dong (a village of filial son). He was skilled in both literary and military arts. And, he was a man of integrity and probity. He never allowed any injustice, immorality and irrationality. Thus, he was trusted by the king Sejong and the king Mun-jong.

kim Mun-giIn 1430 (Sejong 12), he became a spokesman for the king. The year after he actually enshrined true records of the king Taejo, Jungjong and Taejong in the Chungju temple. In 1436 (Sejong 18), he was named as a high-ranking official in the Advisory Committee. In the following year, he became a high official in the Department of Defense. In 1439 (Sejong 21), when he was in Gyeonggi-do, Gim Ho-saeng,

the governor of Sunheung-gun held a party for him. At the time, he made cynical remarks about terrible food and unpleasant Gisaengs (female entertainers) and the ugly governor. He said "First, we have to celebrate fair looks of Gisaengs and the red nose of the governor. Second, we have to celebrate the small figure of the governor and huge wineglasses. Third, we have to celebrate red rice and white soy bean paste." Later, this story is referred to as three messages of Sunheung.

In 1443 (Sejong 25), Gim Mun-gi was appointed a manager in the Department of General Affairs. A year later, he took charge of a religious service. In 1445, he became the director of Military Affairs in Ham-Gil-do. He held an additional office as manager in the Department of Justice in 1448 (Sejong 30) and as manager in the Department of Defense in 1449. In 1450, he became the Assistant Secretary of Defense and the Press Secretary. In 1451 (Munjong 1), he was appointed the governor of Ham-Gil-do. In November 1451, he received commendation from the King Mun-Jong for the great success of garrison farm system in Ham-Gil-do. In 1452, he was again appointed the governor of Ham-Gil-do. In 1453 (Danjong 1), he became the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Justice and was in charge of military affairs in Ham-Gil-do.

At that time, an uncle of the young king attempted a revolt, which ended successfully. The new king tried to purge Gim Mun-gi from the government for leading anti-rebel forces. However, when I Jing-Ok revolted against the new king, Gim Mun-gi, who was in charge of military affairs in Ham-Gil-do, contributed greatly to the security of the northern territories. Thus, the new king appointed him an envoy and Gim Mun-gi visited the Ming (China). In 1455 (Sejo 1), he served concurrently as the Secretary of Industry and Energy and the Chief of the whole army. By this time, he conspired with Bak Paeng-Nyeon and Seong Sam-Mun to restore the former king to the throne. As the leader, he was in charge of directing all military operations. In June 1456 (Sejo 2), however, his plan failed completely because of Gim Jil's betrayal. He and his friends were arrested for treason and died honorably under severe torture. In 1691 (Sukjong 17), 5 out of 6 leaders of this historical event were exculpated from a charge of treason and their original positions were restored. However, Gim Mun-gi was excluded from the reinstatement according to the book about these 6 loyal subjects. This book written by Nam Hyo-on has a lot of errors such as recording Yu Eung-bu instead of Gim Mun-gi.

kim Mun-giLater, in 1717 (Sukjong 43), his descendent, Gim I-hwi petitioned the king for his reinstatement, but failed. According to the record in the Donghak Temple, Gim Mun-gi was finally reinstated in 1731 (Yeongjo 7) as the result of petition by his another descendent, Gim Jeonggu. Then, in 1778 (Jeongjo 2), he received the posthumous name ?the loyal and righteous?. In 1781 (Jeongjo 5), he was appointed honorary posts such as the Secretary of General Affairs, Attorney General, Director of the National Library,

Director of the Advisory Committee, Director of the Diplomatic Documents, President of the National University, Master of the Crown Prince. In 1790 (Jeongjo 14), the monument to Gim Mun-gi was built in his birthplace, Iwon-myeon, Baekji-Ri. A year later, he was enshrined in podium of loyal subjects in Jangreung, Yeongwol and the king named him a Saint. On September 22, 1977, based on historical investigation about the true record of the Joseon dynasty, he was formally acknowledged as one of the six dead loyal subjects by the National History Compilation Committee. In 1978, the Seoul Metropolitan Government enshrined him in the graveyard of the six dead loyal subjects and the temple of the honor. e his name on a tablet within the tomb of the Six Dead Vassals.