Historical Truth in The King’s Affection About Twins in Joseon Dynasty!

In this article we will share to you the historical truth and beliefs you can find in the latest historical korean drama The King’s affection about twins. Let’s dive right to it to find out whether it was true.

twins korea history

Credit to KBS

The King’s affection premiered on KBS2 on October 11. This korean drama situated in the Royal palace during Joseon dynasty. The Crown Princess gives birth to a son, the Crown Prince and a daughter. However, they’re twins and that means one of them has to die, which is the girl and pray for a better future. Koreans believed that if the queen gives birth to a twins, boy and girl, it means bad luck for the royal family.

Korean Records of Twins

twins korea history

Credit to Selina Graciana

It was told that the authorities during korean history rewards women with multiple births. According to records, the families reported a multiple birth would receive compensation from the authorities such as bags of foods. However, it is gradually decreasing and so the record of multiple birth are also decreasing as many people chose not to report it.

Twins In Silla Dynasty

twins korea history

Credit to Insu, the Queen Mother (인수대비)

During Silla Dynasty there are also several records of a women gave birth to quadruplets sons and daughter. There is a record of a women who gave birth to three sons and a daughter during the reign of King Munmu of Silla Dynasty. She was given about 200 bags of food, which is something that she can never earn by work all her lifetime.

Twins In Joseon Dynasty

twins korea history

In 1642, during Joseon Dynasty and the reign of King Injo, there’s a record that family in Suncheon and Cheonan gave birth to triplets sons and received food and subsidies as rewards.

They were seen as people who help increasing the population of south korea during that time. So regular people who gave birth to twins are usually seen favorably by people. 

Even there’s a records of a women gave birth of triplets during the reign of King Sejong (1418-1450), and was given nine years worth of food. However, the case were different if it takes place in the royal family.

Twins in Joseon Dynasty Royal Family

twins korea history

The Royal family do believe that the birth of twins means a bad luck for all the royal family and also for the prince. They believe the birth of twins will cause the prince to not be able to ascend to the throne, and so they prefer to kill one of them, which is the girl and pray for better luck for the royal family. 

Even if the twins are same gender, it will later on cause a confusion on public when one of them become king. This will cause chaos and unrest in the kingdom. Based on the royal records, we can assume that even if the Queen chose not to kill the twins, she will prefer not to record one of the twins just to avoid doubt in the kingdom.

The twins records we can find from the royal family is when Queen Munjeong and King jungjong conceived twins, but it was not ended in the killing of their babies, but it was ended in miscarriage.

twins korea history

Other than that, there’s one record during the reign of King Gung Ye in Hugoguryeo period where his daughter gave birth to twins. Both her daughter and the twins were killed without any clear reason, it can be because of her daughter born twins, or another.

Twins In Neighbour Country

twins korea history

Some records about the birth of twins also can be find in China and Japan, Korea’s neighboring country. In ancient times, the birth of fraternal twins in these two countries considered a sign of bad luck. 

For this reason, most likely one of them were killed in order to maintain their good luck and better future, it was believed that this was a common practice.

Korean Beliefs

twins korea history

Credit to KBS

During Joseon era, people believed that fraternal twins were actually a couple with a strong bonds in the previous life. This cause them to be reborn together, this is somehow romantic myth about twins. However, thinking about it, even if it was true, it was so sad to know that in this life they can no longer have that type of love to one another as they’re now brother and sister.

Historical Truth and Beliefs about twins

korea princess history

From this case we can learn that generally twins were seen more as favor rather than a curse or misfortune for korea regular civilian. However, for the royal family it’s consider a bad luck for many reasons, in which one of them are because if the twins are both male, then the same appearance of the two might confuse the people as one of them sit on the throne.

How do you think about this historical truth about Twins? Let us know in the comment sections below!

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