6) HONGRYONGPO – THE RED DRAGON ROBE OF THE JOSEON KING
The gonryongpo or yongpo is an everyday attire for the king, crown prince and his first son (the future crown prince), however, the identity of the wearer is crucial and makes for various distinctions.
One of them is the colour – The gonryongpo came in various colours. For instance, the king often dons a scarlet or red robe known as hongryongpo (which is a variation of gonryongpo, hong meaning red) as a hongryongpo could have been worn only by the king, however, it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t wear different shades such as blue, purple or black (heukryongpo). Same goes for the crown prince and his son. The only colour that was excluded from the king’s use during the most part of the Joseon Dynasty was gold. Such a garment was called hwangpo or hwangryongpo (hwang meaning gold) and due to China’s influence couldn’t be worn until 1897 when China weakened politically and King Gojong proclaimed himself an emperor.
Another difference is the dragon emblem (yongbo) sewn on the arms, the chest and the back – The monarch’s dragon is 5-toed (ohjoeryongbo), the crown prince’s 4-toed (sajoeryongbo) and his son’s 3-toed (samjoeryongbo).
The jaded waistband around LS’s midsection is called gakdae.
The robe is complemented by boseon (white socks) and hwas (boots), specifically worn by a king called heukhwa (black ceremonial shoes).
They were very expensive, boot-shaped, cold and water resistant footwear favored by the hightest ranked men of the Joseon Dynasty.
However, the king’s boots used to be higher and thicker than official’s mokhwa and decorated with red cloth edging along the scams, toecaps, and insteps and a wider one along the top edge.
His hair which were pulled into the typical sangtu is covered by a black ikseongwan (crown worn by kings and crown princes). The front part of the crown is lower than the back and there is placed a twisted, tightly laced black cord just in the middle between the back and the front part.
The most eye-catching part is definitely the cicada wing-shaped yangbak attached to the top back part, which rise upwards, symbolizing his Majesty the King, while those of government official’s samo turn downward.
When LS isn’t wearing the ikseongwan, his topknot is mantained by a small coronet called sangtugwan and he has many variations of it to choose from. Well, what else is to be expected from the fashionista king.
Blog Naver, SBS official website, google images,
King’s Costume by Doh-Ol Kim, Young-oak,