from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical A ruling class of male Confucian intellectuals in Korea at and before the time of the Korean Empire.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Korean 양반, from Middle Korean 兩班.


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  • The hereditary literati class was known as the yangban, or “two orders, ” because its members combined the civil and military functions of state control.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • Over time, the landed estates of yangban families grew larger, especially after the state ceased allocating lands to them.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • It effectively standardized the new yangban governing structure.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • The first literati purge, during the reign of King Ynsan'gun (r. 1494–1506, b. 1476), in which the older yangban elite sought to get rid of many of the Neo-Confucians.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • Likewise, yangban monopolized the civil service exams and hence access to office.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • The reformers also wanted the Taewn'gun returned home, all yangban privilege abrogated, and power recentralized.

    1884, Dec. 4-6 2001

  • The great attraction of Protestantism from the 1880s forward seems to have been centered in the non-yangban sectors.

    1902, Jan. 30 2001

  • During the Yi period, far more families acquired yangban status than under the Kory aristocracy.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001

  • Korea's first school for young women, Ehwa Girls School, was founded earlier (1886) through the work of U.S. missionaries; later, many other girls 'schools were created by Koreans, and these schools were important agencies for liberating young women from the strictures of yangban society.

    1902, Jan. 30 2001

  • These were yangban scholars of a moralistic bent, unlike the primarily scholar-official group of yangban who had been influential until then.

    3. Korea, 1392-1800 2001


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