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Eunuchs in East Asian History


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Nam, Hyunwoo
Research Paper, Summer 2009



Table of Contents


Second Draft , Sept. 2nd 2009
First Draft , Aug. 24th 2009



Second Draft, as of September 2nd 2009 .. go to Teacher's Log

Table of Contents
I. Eunuchs in the Chinese Empire
I.1 Introduction
I.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
I.3 The Methods of Castration
I.3.1 Before the Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
I.3.2 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
I.4.1 Castration of War Prisoners
I.4.2 Castration as a Sentence to the Convicts ()
I.4.2.1 Ancient Periods
I.4.2.2 From the Han Dynasty until the Southern & Northern Dynasties (206 B.C. - 589 A.D.)
I.4.2.3 Since the Sui Dynasty (after 581 A.D.)
I.4.3 Castration Done by Personal Willingness
I.4.3.1 Ancient Periods
I.4.3.2 From the Tang Dynasty until the Sung Dynasty (618 - 1279)
I.4.3.3 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.5 The Role of Eunuchs
I.5.1 Before the Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
I.5.2 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.5.2.1 Jian ()
I.5.2.2 Si ()
I.5.2.3 Ju ()
I.6 How Eunuchs Contributed to the Change in Chinese History
I.6.1 The Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.)
I.6.2 The Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.)
I.6.2.1 Historical Background
I.6.2.2 Famous Figures
I.6.3 The Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)
I.6.4 The Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1662)
I.6.4.1 Historical Background
I.6.4.2 Famous Figures
I.6.5 The Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1912)
I.7 Conclusion

II. Eunuchs in Korean History
II.1 Introduction
II.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
II.3 The Methods of Castration
II.3.1 Before the Joseon Dynasty (until 1392)
II.3.2 Since the Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897)
II.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
II.4.1 Forced Castration
II.4.2 Accidental Castration
II.4.3 Inborn Eunuchs
II.4.4 Inborn Eunuchs
II.5 The Role of Eunuchs
II.5.1 Before the Joseon Dynasty
II.5.1.1 Early Goryeo (918 - mid 12th Century)
II.5.1.2 Mid-Goryeo (mid 12th Century - 1258)
II.5.1.3 Goryeo under Mongolian Rule and After (1259 - 1392)
II.5.1.4 A Distinctive Characteristic of Goryeo's eunuch system
II.5.2 Joseon Dynasty
II.5.2.1 Gamsun ()
II.5.2.2 Jeonmyung ()
II.5.2.3 Sumun ()
II.5.2.4 Sojae ()
II.5.2.5 A Distinct Characteristic of Eunuchs in Joseon
II.6 The Life of Eunuchs
II.6.1 Education
II.6.2 Economic Conditions
II.6.3 Living Conditions
II.7 Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Eunuchs in the Chinese Empire

I.1 Introduction
            As one of the centres of human civilisation throughout history, China has a grand history that contains a great range. Accordingly, Chinese history has to be studied by different sub-categories, such as Chinese history viewed by the relationships with neighbouring nations, the change of women's social status, the religious impact, and so on. In this paper, I chose to view Chinese history with the existence of eunuchs.
            Dictionaries define the word 'eunuch' as 'a castrated man especially one formerly employed in some Oriental courts.' (1) As it is stated, a eunuch is neither a man nor woman. Rather, it is a newly created gender created not by god, by human. These eunuchs had served very important roles under numerous empires throughout the world particularly China. Among many countries which had eunuchs, China would be the representative for having the greatest number of eunuchs in the world without any doubt. Some researchers even say that the history of China can be explained by the study of eunuchs of their history. Because of China, neighbouring countries, which had been influenced greatly by China, also adopted the eunuch system. Since China had been the centre of power in the East Asian culture, it is very important to study their culture; and studying about eunuchs will be a part of it. Researching on eunuchs in the Chinese empire, therefore, is of great importance.
            To support my research effectively, the paper is categorised into five sections and their subcategories. First section describes the origin of eunuchs. Next section explains the reason why so many people had become eunuchs throughout the Chinese history. What the eunuchs did throughout the long period is discussed next. Finally, the last section outlines the way eunuchs contributed to the Chinese culture through history. The order is determined to let the readers understand how the eunuchs were in the past, and how the affected the Chinese history easily.

I.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
            The exact time when eunuchs started to emerge is still unclear even to historians. Since there are not enough sources to determine the existence of eunuchs, many historians are still puzzled. However, it is normally believed by most of the historians that these castrated men started to serve their roles from the 8th century B.C.
            During the Spring and Autumn period (722 - 481 B.C.) in the Chinese history, eunuchs began to emerge. There is a written document, the Rites of Zhou, () (2) saying that when the Zhou dynasty (1045 - 256 B.C.) moved to the eastern coast of the Chinese territory, they had many eunuchs serving the emperor until they reached their destination (3). This is the earliest written material that proves the existence of eunuchs.
            However, it is unclear whether eunuchs existed before this period of time in history. There is a theory that the Shang dynasty (1600 - 1046 B.C.) also had eunuchs. On the discovered oracle bone scripts during this period, there is a letter seeming to imply the meaning of eunuchs. The shape of the hieroglyphic character discovered seems to be the shape of men's genitals divided from the body. Some historians argue that this definitely is the proof that could support the idea that eunuchs had existed from the Shang dynasty. This argument has no critical weaknesses but many historians still think it will be too hasty to approve this argument without enough historical documentation. Still, this argument is of great importance in the field of history.
            We do not know the precise year when eunuchs emerged in Chinese history. However, one thing clear is that China has a very long history of having eunuchs. And these eunuchs continued to exist until the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911 A.D.) collapsed.

I.3 The Methods of Castration
            To be a eunuch, men had to be castrated. Castration, therefore, was the key process of producing eunuchs. The way of castrating men and making them into eunuchs may vary throughout the Chinese history, but not in a significant scale. The difference of the methods to castrate men can be largely divided into two sections: before and after the Ming dynasty.

I.3.1 Before the Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
            Eunuchs existed many centuries before the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1662 A.D.) as it is stated above. Before the Ming dynasty, however, a safe and clean method of castration was not available. Therefore, eunuchs were created in a rather primitive way. Usually the way eunuchs were created in the ancient periods was mainly by castrating the war prisoners or by sentencing the guilty.
            Since castration and a creation of eunuchs were not voluntary at these periods, castration methods also were very harsh. Their genitals were ruthlessly cut without any safety actions. As a matter of fact, many people had died out of this process.

I.3.2 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            The castration process after the Ming dynasty, on the other hand, is somewhat more complex compared to that of before. People started to study the way of castration that could not only be safe but also 100% successful. Studies had been successful and the government started to give licences to people who are educated to conduct castrating operations properly without any mistakes (4) . One interesting thing was that operators did not conduct any operations unless his parents (if he doesn't have any, then his wife) agreed with his decision. Once this process had been passed, operations started.
            To be more specific, before the operation is held, the operator washes the medical subject's body part where the operation will be done with a pepper broth three times. Then, the main operation starts by letting the man lie down but his upper body standing upright to the floor. Next, one apprentice holds the man's waist, and another two, the man's legs each. After this process is done, the operator comes with a knife on his hand. And then he finally asks the man whether he would regret or not. If the man doesn't reply immediately or seems to be nervous, the operator aborts the operation and refuses to do it again. If the man's willingness to become a eunuch is solid, then with a small curved knife that looks like a sickle, the operator slices the penis and the scrotum together at once (5). Next, lead needles and wooden nails are inserted into the urethra of the castrated man. The affected part is then covered with a paper soaked with cold water (6). Next, two apprentices help the castrated man walk around for two to three hours by holding his arms. Finally the man is allowed to lie down. Castrated men are not allowed to drink water for three days after the operation since it may produce urine which is an unimaginable pain for the patient (7). After three days, patients are allowed to pull out the needles and nails inserted into the urethra; if urination occurs like a fountain, the patient is now able to become a flawless eunuch. However, if urination does not happen, the patient has no choice but to prepare his upcoming death. (8)
            Of course this process was not for the criminals or war prisoners who were castrated by the emperor's order. These people were castrated without being asked to select whether to be castrated or not. But for those who applied voluntarily to become eunuchs had experienced this complicated process since the Ming dynasty. One surprising thing is that, since castration was done by experts with flawless skills, dying out of castration was very rare (9).

I.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
            Chinese males throughout their history had become eunuchs for three reasons. Some captives were castrated by their enemies and others as a means of punishment. Also there were volunteers who wished to become eunuchs by their own will. These reasons why people became eunuchs during the Chinese history will be described in detail in the following sub-categories.

I.4.1 Castration of War Prisoners
            During the Han dynasty (206 - 220 A.D.) emperors frequently castrated prisoners of war when they won against their enemy. For example, emperor Wu (157 - 87 B.C.) of the Han dynasty conquered his neighbouring country and castrated all of the prisoners of war and made them into eunuchs. The most important goal of castration held especially to foreigners was to show off the winner's mighty power. Also by this process, the victorious country tries to boast its power and force the losers to obey to the winner. Castration meant the most shameful thing one could ever experience. Therefore castrating the prisoners of war had to do with the winner's desire to trample the loser completely.

I.4.2 Castration as a Sentence to the Convicts ()

I.4.2.1 Ancient Periods
            Eunuchs were also created by castrating convicts within a nation. In the ancient China, all prisoners received so called 'five penalties ().' (10) Among these penalties, castration has something that is different from other four penalties. Other four penalties were given to the convicts who had committed unlawful deeds. However, castration was only saved for those who had improper sexual relationship which is against the social law those days (11). In short, castration was sentenced to sexual criminals. Therefore, unlike the other four penalties, castration was given to people differently depending on the convicts' gender (12).
            One thing important is that criminals were the ones who had conducted misbehaviours. The Chinese people emphasised courtesy as one of the most important manners for people to have in their minds. However, since there were social ranks, normal citizens had nothing to do with courtesy. The aristocrats did not even count those normal citizens as those who deserve to be courteous. Therefore, even if normal citizens are being promiscuous, they did not receive any penalties; of course, castration was not performed. The ones who received this penalty were usually from the royal family, feudal lords, or the gentries who all belonged to the nobles (13). There is a record written during the Zhou dynasty that documents the performance of castration to the promiscuous convicts.

I.4.2.2 From the Han Dynasty until the Southern & Northern Dynasties (206 B.C. - 589 A.D.)
            According to Shiji () (14), which means 'records of the grand historian,' of the five penalties, only two were left after the emperor 'Wendi (, 202 - 157 B.C.)' during the Han dynasty (15). However, castration was not included in the three abolished penalties. Castration survived and continuously gave pain to the convicts. Particularly when emperor Wudi (, 156 - 87 B.C.) was in power, he produced numerous eunuchs. One interesting thing is that the author of Shiji (), Sima Qian ().' , was also castrated by emperor Wudi in the year of 99 B.C.; Sima Qian also becomes a eunuch after all (16). After emperor Wudi, castration continued to be given to the convicts; and this policy continued to exist until the Sui dynasty reunited the Chinese continent.

I.4.2.3 Since the Sui Dynasty (after 581 A.D.)
            The most important change during the Sui dynasty (581 - 618 A.D.) was that castration was firstly banned as a penalty. Therefore, eunuchs were not created by castrating convicts who committed crimes any more. Eunuchs were only produced by castrating those who hoped to be eunuchs or those who were captured as prisoners of war.
            Long time after the collapse of the Sui dynasty, however, castration as a penalty revived again. Written documents say that even emperor Xuanzong (, 1398 ~ 1435 A.D.) of the Ming dynasty, famous for his wise rule, penalised convicts by castrating them. This piece of information implies that castration as a penalty did not disappear completely from the Chinese history.
            Still, the Sui dynasty's decision of banning castration as a penalty is considered revolutionary, since castrating convicts and making them into eunuchs was so customary that nobody those days could ever consider it cruel. One limitation concerning this revolutionary alteration of penalty is that this did not last long. Anyway, the way people think of castration definitely changed after the Sui dynasty; and this is one thing for which the Sui dynasty should be praised.

I.4.3 Castration Done by Personal Willingness

I.4.3.1 Ancient Periods
            Some people personally volunteer to become eunuchs even though they recognise the hardship which they have to experience: castration. This might seem to be insane to us who do really consider castration a brutal and an unworthy thing to experience. However, these people had existed since the ancient periods. According to Shiji, during the Spring and Autumn period (, 770 - 403 B.C.), there was a man named Huangong () who volunteered to be castrated. He wished to serve the emperor forever; and this was why he decided to receive castration (17). However, during the ancient periods, the number of eunuchs created by personal willingness was rare.

I.4.3.2 From the Tang Dynasty until the Sung Dynasty (618 - 1279)
            From the beginning of the Tang dynasty (618 - 907) until the Sung dynasty (960 - 1279), the number of males who wished to be eunuchs surged incessantly. This is mainly because the status system started to break up. Aristocrats still continued to exist and monopolise the political powers. At the same time, however, freedom of the people also started to be recognised. Often there were non-aristocratic people overcoming their social status, which used to be considered unchangeable, and become aristocrats. Since the social ambience seemed quite generous, many people dreamed of being aristocrats and having vested rights.
            In this point of view, being a eunuch goes into the same category. Since eunuchs live in the palace and do not have to worry about basic life matters, many low class people rather selected the way to live as a eunuch. Once they became eunuchs, they did not have to worry about the clothes they wear, the food they eat, the place they live, and so on. To the low class people, being a eunuch was a charming way to overcome their contemptuous social status. (18)

I.4.3.3 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            The Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) is famous for having the largest eunuch population not only throughout the Chinese history but also the world history. People started to consider being a eunuch the very way to lead a similar lifestyle with the aristocrats. Even some emperors said "Being a eunuch is because they want to gain wealth." (19) This directly implies the social atmosphere; people had tried to be eunuchs just to gain wealth and prosperity.
            What is more surprising is that when three thousand seats for new eunuchs were open, almost twenty thousand people applied for this occupation. Since only three thousand eunuchs were able to be accepted by the palace, the other seventeen thousand eunuchs had to find something else to do. Seeing this, the government increased the number of eunuchs to be employed to four thousand and five hundred. Despite the government's endeavour to find a solution to this problem, still thousands of eunuchs were not accepted.
            However, these unemployed eunuchs began to cause several problems within the nation. Since they were not even capable to find jobs only for males (20), one of the major options left for them to do in order to continue living was robbery Robbery during the Ming dynasty surges owing to this reason. The upsurge of robbery spread countrywide. Since castrated men who failed to become official eunuchs had to return to their hometowns, robbery happened in every hometown of these dropped out eunuchs, which meant practically everywhere. However, the government had few choices to soothe the unemployed eunuchs because the number of castrated males greatly outnumbered that of eunuchs employed. The period during the Ming dynasty can surely be summarised into one phrase : the flood of voluntary eunuchs.
Though men knew that castrating does not directly correlate to becoming a eunuch, many still castrated themselves. This was because they had nothing to lose by castrating. These men usually came from the low social stratum. Being employed as a eunuch was the only route to survive, which led thousands to self castration. Even the low possibility of becoming hired as official eunuchs failed to turn down the high self castration rate. The fundamental reason why thousands of men had committed such dangerous and inconsiderate deeds themselves lied under the serious social problem: extreme poverty of the poor.

I.5 The Role of Eunuchs

I.5.1 Before the Ming Dynasty
            Unfortunately, there are not enough historical documents left that are related to eunuchs. In particular, reliable sources before the Ming dynasty is very hard to find. The Ming dynasty, on the other hand, has many records about eunuchs since this period was the world of eunuchs. Since this is the case, even though we know that eunuchs had existed a very long time before the Ming dynasty, it is very hard to make certain what the eunuchs practically did before the Ming dynasty appeared.
            But a few sources tell us in which ways the eunuchs served their emperors. From remote antiquity, eunuchs were employed for two main functions : as guards and servants in harems or other women's quarters, and as chamberlains to kings (21). Eunuchs were considered the most suitable guards for the many wives or concubines a ruler might have in his palace. Some rose to become bodyguards, confidential advisers, and even ministers, generals, and admirals (22). The work eunuchs had to do was not fixed. They were simply people who do all the work that needs to be done but not preferably done by normal vassals. Therefore, many eunuchs were required to do many different work and their professions were not fixed into one subject.

I.5.2 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            From the beginning of the Ming Empire, however, the duties of eunuchs were stabilised and categorised into parts. Division of labour took place in the area of eunuchs; duties started to be detailed and specified. Since there were so many eunuchs inside the palace, things had to be divided even into small portions. Chang-an () was the capital of this empire and the palace was extremely immense. Therefore, the government divided eunuchs into 12 jian (), 4 si (), and 8 ju (); and 24 yamen () indicated these all bureaus in which the eunuchs belonged to (23).

I.5.2.1 Jian ()
            Among the 12 jians (), the first one is called Nei-guan- jian (). The eunuchs in this bureau had to manage any construction that is done under the order of the emperor. They also had the responsibility for repairing all the buildings inside the palace (24). Next, Yu-yong jian () has the duty to produce the necessities for the emperor: chairs, desks, clothes, and so on (25). Si-shou jian () is responsible for creating the necessities for the emperor particularly for ceremonial use. Yu-ma jian () nurtures horses and elephants. Also they had to manage the pasture located outside of the palace. Next is the Shen-gong jian () which is responsible for cleaning the graveyard and lighting candles (26). Rearing dogs by eunuchs in this bureau was forbidden strictly. If this rule was not observed, the violator, a eunuch of course, was fired immediately. Shang-shan jian () manages parties and feasts held by the royal family (27). One thing interesting is that eunuchs prepared all the food for the emperor. Shang-yi jian () manufactured the clothes that emperor has to wear which includes shoes, underwear, formal dresses, hat, and so on. Dou-zhi jian () is the policemen during those days. They arranged the path before the emperor, and worked as a sentinel. (28)
            Since jian is the biggest eunuch department of all, the leader of all eunuchs was also a eunuch in this department. He was called T?i jian (). This position is the highest among all eunuchs and also a very high position even considering other normal government official posts.

I.5.2.2 Si ()
            Different from the 12 jians (), 4 sis () consists of Xi-xin si (), Zhong-gu si (), Bao-miao si (), and Hun-dang si (). All these four quarters required the eunuchs to do miscellaneous affairs. Chores, sentry guarding, timbering are what the eunuchs in these quarters were asked to do. (29)

I.5.2.3 Ju ()
            Finally the 8 jus () is the last department of eunuchs. Bing-zhang ju () produced weapons used in wars. Gun powders were also created by eunuchs here. Wan-yi ju () served as a national prison. Convicts were jailed here forever; and the eunuchs were required to watch them. Other six jus were very small in scale, and therefore had no distinctive duties given. (30)

I.6 How Eunuchs Contributed to the Change in Chinese History

I.6.1 The Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.)
            The period when the Qin dynasty was in reign will be the point when eunuchs firstly started to corrupt. Increase in the number of corrupted eunuchs account for the reason why the Qin dynasty fell in just fifteen years. There was a famous eunuch named Zhao-gao (, died in 207 B.C.) who was considered to have more power than the emperor. Since he controlled the emperor by the way he wanted, vassals on the opposite side from Zhao-gao were simply assassinated. Vassals had to obey what Zhao-gao had said and follow him. (31)
            There is an interesting story about this topic. One time, Zhao-gao captured a deer and showed it to the emperor. Then, he said this animal is a horse. But the emperor argued that the animal is not a horse, but a deer. The funny part is what the other vassals there said. They sided with Zhao-gao and said that the animal in front of the emperor is not a deer, but a horse even they know their answer is wrong (32). This story shows how powerful a eunuch was. Owing to the increase in the number of these powerful eunuchs, the Qin dynasty collapsed soon yielding the Han dynasty to take the hegemony of the vast Chinese territory.

I.6.2 The Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.)

I.6.2.1 Historical Background
            Han dynasty got in power after the Qin dynasty fell. Since officials of Han dynasty was aware of the fact that the Qin dynasty collapsed due to many corrupted eunuchs, they did not try to employ eunuchs. As a result, only few eunuchs were employed at first times.
            However, Han dynasty also was not able to avoid employing eunuchs. The reason was because of the influences of the relatives. Certain families gained power during this period by letting their daughters marry the emperor (33). By these marriages, normal noblemen became fathers-in-law of emperors; and nobody will doubt that this means great authority. Naturally, the power of the emperor decreased and the power of the relatives grew. This definitely had been a nuisance for the emperors.
            At this situation, the eunuchs were at the side of the emperor, and helped the emperor to gain absolute power. They helped the emperor by killing the powers of the relatives by many ways: murder, conspiracy, and so on. As a result, emperors depended on eunuchs much more than before and granted them with great power and wealth. This relationship soon leads the emperor to employ many eunuchs in order to strengthen his power. However, as we saw the case which the Qin dynasty experienced, corrupted eunuchs emerged again putting the nation into several crises.

I.6.2.2 Famous Figures
            Different from these gloomy stories, there were many brilliant eunuchs who contributed greatly to their country. For example, Sima Qian (, 145 - 85 B.C.), a eunuch of the Han Empire, was the first great Chinese historian, noted for his authorship of the Shiji (35), which is considered to be the most important history of China down to the end of the 2nd century. However, Sima Qian is important not only as a historian but also as a master of racy, flexible Chinese prose. He exerted a potent influence on later writers, particularly upon the early writers of narrative prose and fiction (36). Since Sima Qian's time, his history has been acknowledged as the great historical masterpiece in Chinese, a standard against which all later histories would be measured and a model for large-scale historical composition, not only in China but in all East Asian countries influenced by the Chinese literary tradition. (37)
            Cai Lun (, 50 - 121), also a eunuch of Han Empire, was a innovative inventor. About the year 105 A.D. Cai Lun conceived the idea of forming sheets of paper from the macerated bark of trees, hemp waste, old rags, and fishnets. The paper thus obtained was found to be superior in writing quality to cloth made of pure silk (the principal writing surface of the time), as well as being much less expensive to produce and having more abundant sources. Cai Lun reported his discovery to the emperor, who commended him for it. Important improvements were subsequently made to Cai Lun's papermaking process by his apprentice, and the process was rapidly adopted throughout China, from which it eventually spread to the rest of the world. (38)

I.6.3 The Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)
            The period when the Tang dynasty was in rule experienced a noticeable growth of eunuch's power. The point when eunuch's power started to surge was the period when emperor Xuan Zong (, 685 - 762 A.D.) was in reign. Gao Lishi (, 684 - 762 A.D.), a eunuch, was emperor Xuan Zong's favourite advisor no matter what the issues are. (39) He received great trust of the royal family as well as the emperor leading him to have great power. After Gao Lishi, another eunuch contributes greatly to increasing the power of eunuchs. Li Fuguo (, 704 - 762 A.D.), a eunuch of the Tang dynasty, lead a coup d'etat when emperor Su Zong () was in reign (756 - 762 A.D.). What he did first was to declare himself the chief general of the military force. This was sensational because eunuchs were not able to reach such high status. After the coup, he wanted to be the chancellor of the Tang dynasty. Unfortunately, this dream did not come true to him; he was assassinated. Anyway, this story tells us how eunuchs were powerful and ambitious. And Li Fuguo's trial was the starting point of the new world to the eunuchs.
            To be more explanatory of this topic, there are many proofs that show how eunuchs had exerted their power during this period. Emperor Xian Zong (, 778 - 820) and Jing Zong (, 809 - 826) was poisoned to death by eunuchs. Besides, Mu Zong (, 795 - 824), Wen Zong (, 809 - 840), Wu Zong (, 810 - 856), Xuan Zong (, 847 - 860), Yi Zong (, 833 - 873), and Zhao Zong (, 867 - 904) were enthroned by the eunuchs. Eunuchs those days even had the power to enthrone an emperor which used to be a holy authority of emperors and the royal family. Eunuchs had continuously enthroned emperors who were kind to them; therefore, the emperors could not ignore them as well. This surely shows how high the status of eunuchs was. Even the emperor was unable to oppress the great influence of eunuchs.

I.6.4 The Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1662)

I.6.4.1 Historical Background
            After the Tang dynasty was toppled, the influence of aristocrats as well as the number of them continued to decrease gradually. This process continued until the establishment of the Great Ming Empire. When the Ming dynasty was in power, aristocrats had almost no influence. Therefore, this was the very time for the emperor to gain absolute authority and power. The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Hongwu emperor (, 1328 - 1398 A.D.), knew that it is very important not to depend on eunuchs because he learned what his ancestral countries had experienced (40); the Qin dynasty, the Han dynasty, the Tang dynasty, they all collapsed partially due to fierce eunuchs with mighty powers. Therefore, Hongwu emperor's first and foremost policy was to oppress the eunuchs from gaining authority. To be specific, he lowered the highest status until which eunuchs can practically reach. (41) Also, he banned any type of communication between eunuchs inside the palace and those outside. This was to prevent any type of coups that could possibly damage the palace. Moreover, in front of the buildings inside the palace, Hongwu emperor attached an iron tablet written 'Eunuchs are not allowed to join any type of conferences.' These policies which the first emperor of the Ming dynasty pursued were to prevent the history from repeating itself. (42)
            However, after Hongwu emperor's death the power of eunuchs started to grow again. This was because Hongwu emperor's method was excessively strong. After his death, his grandson the Jianwen emperor (, 1377 - 1402 A.D.) inherited his grandfather's place, and what he did was to reinforce the policies. This brought about resentment of the eunuchs towards the government (43). Eunuchs then tried to find a new leader they can serve. And this was the next emperor of the Ming dynasty: the Yongle emperor (, 1360 - 1424 A.D.). The Yongle emperor allied with the eunuchs promising to help them gain power as well as wealth. Naturally, a civil war between the Jianwen and Yongle emperor broke out. The final winner of this battle was, however, the Yongle emperor with the eunuchs behind him as supporters (44). Since eunuchs were fervent supporters of the Yongle emperor, he did not have any choice but to employ them. As a result, the great efforts of Hongwu emperor to eradicate eunuchs from gaining more than enough power became a fruitless effort (45). Eunuchs, like the past, regained power as well as wealth leading them to be one of important the members of the government. Their number definitely grew, and at the latter period of the Ming dynasty there were a hundred thousand eunuchs (46). This unbelievable numerical value reflects how the Ming dynasty had treated the eunuchs.

I.6.4.2 Famous Figures
            Zheng He (, 1371 - 1433 A.D.) probably would be the most well-known eunuch during the period of the Great Ming Empire. Zheng He is famous for his expeditions. Between 1405 and 1433, the Ming government sponsored a series of seven naval expeditions. Emperor Yongle designed them to establish a Chinese presence, impose imperial control over trade, and impress foreign peoples in the Indian Ocean basin. He also might have wanted to extend the tributary system (47). Zheng He was placed as the admiral in control of the huge fleet and armed forces that undertook these expeditions (48). "Zheng He's first voyage consisted of a fleet of around 300 ships (other sources say 200) holding almost 28,000 crewmen. These were probably mainly large six-masted ships. One of a set of maps of Zheng He's missions, also known as the Mao Kun maps, 1628. Zheng He's fleets visited Arabia, East Africa, India, Indonesia and Thailand (at the time called Siam), dispensing and receiving goods along the way. Zheng He presented gifts of gold, silver, porcelain and silk; in return, China received such novelties as ostriches, zebras, camels, ivory and giraffes." (49)

I.6.5 The Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1912)
            The Qing dynasty was first established in 1636 by the Manchus to designate their regime in Manchuria. Since Manchu people did not have eunuchs, eunuchs were not employed until Shunzi emperor (, 1638 - 1661 A.D.) reigned. Still, the number was way fewer compared to the number of eunuchs during the Ming Empire; there were only four to five hundred eunuchs serving during the Qing dynasty in the early ages. The maximum number of eunuchs hired was still not over than two thousand which is fifty times fewer than that of the Ming's.
            However, the duty of eunuchs did not change. One thing different from the Ming dynasty was that eunuchs were able to be hired not only by emperors but also by other aristocrats. This implies that eunuchs partially became substitutes of servants. (52)
            The eunuchs of the Qing dynasty also could not avoid being corrupted. They started to be spoiled when Tongzhi emperor (, 1861 - 1875 A.D.) was enthroned. When he ascended the throne, he was only five years old (53). Since the emperor was a child, his mother, empress Dowager Cixi (, 1840 - 1908 A.D.), became the actual power. She and her family started to rule the country which is quite similar to the situation of the Han dynasty. Empress Dowager Cixi allied with the eunuchs in order to increase her influence over the country; and this again granted the eunuchs with great power. (54)
            In 1908, empress Dowager Cixi died, and so did the influence of eunuchs. Soon, the Qing dynasty fell after the Xinhai revolution () in 1912. This revolution pursued modernisation which led to the abolition of producing eunuchs. By the collapse of the Qing dynasty, eunuchs throughout the Chinese history disappeared permanently. The year 1912, therefore, would practically be the year when the history of eunuchs culminates. (55)

I.7 Conclusion
            Throughout Chinese history, people artificially had made a new gender by castrating men since very ancient periods. This production of eunuchs was a process done in almost every single dynasty in China. These eunuchs were supplied by many ways. Castration of war prisoners, convicts, or self castrations were the ways from which empires gained eunuchs.
            Eunuchs in the Chinese empire were required to do certain tasks, and these differed depending on which department a eunuch belonged to. Tasks were divided and categorised. Under this system, they had played very significant roles throughout the history. Some eunuchs contributed greatly to the field of science, such as astronomy, paper producing technology, and others to fields including history, military forces, and so on. These innovative developments made by eunuchs are considered very praiseworthy. Many of the inventions made or discoveries done by China were the contributions of numerous hard-working eunuchs of China in the past.
            However, eunuchs did not only give good effects. Instead, they also were the ones who contributed to the collapse of several dynasties. The Qin, Han, Tang, and Ming dynasties are typical examples. Since eunuchs had the great authority to control the whole nation, sometimes even emperors were not able to object to their ideas. Being so powerful, eunuchs started being corrupted and finally leading the dynasties to perish. The power of eunuchs in many empires in China sometimes was a toxin to them. One thing interesting is that, even though the newly established empires had recognised the fact that many empires fell due to exorbitant authority given to the eunuchs before, many of them fell by the same reason. Unlike the positive effects given by eunuchs, they also did make the Chinese history much more complex and busy.
            Despite all things considered, deciding whether eunuchs were helpful existences to the Chinese history or not cannot be done easily. However, one thing obvious is that eunuchs surely affected the Chinese dynasties in a great extent. Eunuchs already had occupied a very important area of Chinese history that must not be underestimated.

Notes

(1)      Hornby 1948, p. 771.
(2)      Rites of Zhou, in Chinese Zhou-li () formerly known as the Book of Rites, one of the classics of Confucianism. see Articles : Rites of Zhou and Classic of Rites, from Wikipedia.
(3)      () 1983, p. 22.
(4)      Ibid. p. 25
(5)      Anderson 1990, pp. 15-18.
(6)      See supra note 3, pp. 25-26.
(7)      Ibid.
(8)      Ibid.
(9)      This was why many males actually did apply for being eunuchs. When Ming dynasty was in power, innumerous men were castrated in order to become eunuchs, which meant that castration was a process that is safe enough for them to trust. If this operation was dangerous, people would not have volunteered so much. See supra note 5, p. 19.
(10)      Five penalties () refers to tattooing, nose-cutting, leg-amputation, castration, and execution. See supra note 3, p. 53.
(11)      () 1987, pp. 101-103.
(12)      See supra note 3, p. 54.
(13)      Ibid.
(14)      This is a book written by Sima Qian (, 145 or 135 B.C. ~ 86 B.C.), a historian during the Han dynasty. He is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography because of this book: Records of the Grand Historian (), an overview of the history of China covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to Emperor Han Wudi () Article: Sima Qian, from Wikipedia.
(15)      () 1994, p. 29.
(16)      Article: Sama Qian, from Naver.
(17)      See supra note 15, p. 89.
(18)      See supra note 3, p. 62.
(19)      Ibid.
(20)      When males were castrated, one of the major occupations left to them was that of a eunuch. Few other occupations were available for the castrated males to do. Since they become girlish and weak after castration, they practically were not able to perform the same amount of work as normal males. This is why castrated males who were not accepted to serve the emperor as eunuchs had a hard time making a living.
(21)      Article: eunuch, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(22)      Ibid.
(23)      See supra note 3, p. 94.
(24)      Ibid. p. 55.
(25)      Ibid.
(26)      Ibid.
(27)      Ibid. p. 56.
(28)      Ibid.
(29)      Ibid. p. 63.
(30)      Ibid. p. 66.
(31)      () 1983, p. 281.
(32)      This funny story was transmitted by word of mouth and now it symbolises the flattering people to the authorities. This is called '() (pointing a deer and calling it a horse).'
(33)      () 2001, p. 54.
(34)      Ibid.
(35)      Shiji () is the book meaning 'historical records.'
(36)      Durrant 1995, p. 172.
(37)      Article: Ssu-ma Ch'ien, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(38)      Article: Ts'ai Lun, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(39)      Park 2007, p. 79.
(40)      Huang 1981, p. 118.
(41)      Before Ming dynasty, eunuchs were able to reach third pum (; level of government officials. Lower numbers indicate higher status)at maximum. However, Hongwu emperor limited the maximum pum to fourth level which is one step lower than before. See supra note 3, p. 225.
(42)      Ibid.
(43)      Ibid. p. 228.
(44)      Ibid. p. 231.
(45)      See supra note 40, p. 143.
(46)      Ibid. pp. 144-145
(47)      Article: Emperor Yongle, from Wikipedia.
(48)      Article: Zheng He, from Wikipedia.
(49)      Ibid.
(50)      The Manchus are the people who lived for many centuries mainly in Manchuria (now Northeast) and adjacent areas of China and who in the 17th century conquered China and ruled for more than 250 years. Article: Manchu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(51)      Article: Ch'ing Dynasty, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(52)      See supra note 3, p. 259.
(53)      See supra note 39, p. 93
(54)      Article: Empress Dowager Cixi, from Wikipedia.
(55)      See supra note 3, p. 211.


Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited at the end of July 2009.
1.      Anderson, Mary. Hidden Power: The Palace Eunuchs of Imperial China. Buffalo NY: Prometheus, 1990.
2.      Durrant, Stephen. The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian. Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.
3.      Hornby, A.S. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1948.
4.      Huang, Ray. 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
5.      Park, Hanje. Atlas Chinese History. Seoul: Four Seasons Publishing, 2007.
6.      . (Eunuchs). Tokyo: Chuo Korong Publishing, 1983.
7.      . (300 Important Events of Chinese Cultural History). Shanghai: Classics Publishing, 1987.
8.      . (Chinese History). Zhengzhou: Petrel Publishing, 2001.
9.      (Korean translation by ) . Seoul: Kachi Publishing, 1994.
10.      (Korean translation by ). Seoul: Eulyoo Publishing, 1983.
11.      Article: Ch'ing Dynasty, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
12.      Article: Eunuch, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
13.      Article: Lunyu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
14.      Article: Manchu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
15.      Article: Ssu-ma Ch'ien, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
16.      Article: Ts'ai Lun, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
17.      Article: Han dynasty, from Wikipedia.
18.      Article: Sama Qian, from Wikipedia.
19.      Article: Zheng He, from Wikipedia.
20.      Article: Rites of Zhou, from Wikipedia.
21.      Article: Empress Dowager Cixi, from Wikipedia.
22.      Article: Emperor Yongle, from Wikipedia.
23.      Article: Sama Qian, from Naver.


II. Eunuchs in Korean History II.1 Introduction
            China is the very country known to have had the greatest eunuch population in the world. Eunuchs in China had served many roles and were an inseparable existence to Chinese empires. Every empire that ruled the Chinese territory had eunuchs though the scale may vary. Adopted from China, Korea also had the eunuch system. Since China has been the most influential and powerful country in East Asia historically, it seems that Korea had the eunuch system established by Chinese influence.
            However, the eunuch system of Korea had some differences from that of China. Some distinct features are to be found, and these are those that are mainly going to be dealt with in this research paper. Since there were not many countries that had such eunuch systems throughout the world, conducting a research on the topic of eunuchs will serve as a great guideline for those who are interested in this unique eunuch system; and researching how things have been done in Korea as well as China will be a great addition to the original paper that deals only with the eunuchs in the Chinese empires.

II.2 The Origin of Eunuchs in Korea
            Similar to China's case, the exact date when eunuchs first emerged is still unclear to historians. However, it is estimated that Korea first had eunuchs in Silla period (57 B.C. - 935 A.D.) (56). According to Samguk Sagi () (57), a eunuch first emerged when King Heungdeok of Silla was in reign (826 - 836) (58). The text does not directly mention or explain the eunuch system, but a reference of eunuchs appears in the middle of a story within a chapter called chapter Silla Bonki () the story is about King Heungdeok. In the middle of the story, there is a sentence "King Heungdeok had no one to rely upon except for the eunuchs" from which we can find a word that we are trying to find: the eunuchs (59). This is the very first reference of eunuchs in Korean history. It is unknown whether eunuchs had existed even before this period. However, it is at least true that there was a eunuch system late in Silla period.
            Unfortunately, no other historical texts provide any information regarding eunuchs during the ancient periods. Even though we know that eunuchs had existed throughout Silla period, we do not know how the process of castration was held, the government managed the eunuch system, and the eunuchs were treated. Therefore, historians regard late Silla as the origin of eunuchs in Korean history for convenience. Emergence of eunuchs in Korea was very late compared with that in China. Therefore, we can easily conclude that Korea has a comparatively short history of eunuchs.

II.3 The Methods of Castration
            Since Korea has a short history of having eunuchs, there are not enough sources from which we can learn how castration was held. Accordingly, nobody exactly knows how eunuchs were produced in Korea. However, most of the historians agree to divide Korean history into two sections depending on the ways eunuchs were produced.

II.3.1 Before the Joseon Dynasty (until 1392)
            Goryeo-sa () states that "people had become eunuchs because their sexual organs were bitten by dogs" (61) which shows the fact that eunuchs were not produced in a formal manner. Rather, it can be concluded that people in Korea had become eunuchs accidentally. This claim can also be supported by the fact that Goryeo did not have castration as a penalty to the convicts like China; castration was one of the penalties that convicts in China had to take, also called gong xi?ng (). This was one route from which eunuchs were produced in China. But it seems that Korea did not have it.

II.3.2 Since the Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897)
            Same problem happens here as well. Lack of information confuses us from knowing the exact way of castrating men. However, there are things we can presume by integrating information that is available. First, we can conclude that castration was held officially during Joseon period. Since Joseon was a country established on the thoughts of strict Confucian beliefs, harming one's body was considered insolent. Castration, which is also doing harm to one's genitals, therefore, was strongly prohibited by law. Rather, the government practised castration which was the only legal and allowed way eunuchs were produced. From this, we can presume that there must be a skilled official labour force that professionally castrated men. Since self castration was strictly prohibited, government had to hire skilled professionals who can create eunuchs.
            However, no historical texts provide information related to this section. Though it is mostly believed that professionals who castrated men had existed during Joseon period, it is still unclear who the professionals were. Some argue that there were professionals whose work was solely castrating men. However, this claim is generally considered untrue. Since Joseon government hired only a few eunuchs (63), there was no need to hire a castrating professional. Then who were in charge of castrating men and creating eunuchs ?
            This part is also presumable. As it is stated above, Joseon followed strict Confucius norms; and these norms supported social caste system, which thus developed in Joseon. Therefore, the order of rank in Joseon was very rigorous. Noblemen had absolute power and were indulged in great elitism. They looked down on lower class people and thought that it is of no doubt to relish the privilege of being noble. These high class noblemen in Joseon viewed touching flesh as filthy (64). Therefore, the people who engaged in work that required touching others' flesh mainly consisted of low class population. Doctors and butchers are great examples. Castration, which requires the operator to touch flesh, must have been performed by butchers (65). Butchers were the only ones who knew how to use daggers well. With the daggers, hired butchers must have performed castration of men by slicing the genitals (66). However, the method of castration is also unknown unfortunately.

II.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
            It is unclear why people became eunuchs in Korea. Not enough historical sources support one stable theory. Historians, however, largely reach a consensus with the idea that there were four reasons why men became eunuchs. (67)

II.4.1 Forced Castration
            No historical texts provide information of castrating men as a sentence in Korean history. This is one of the main differences between the way eunuchs were created in China and Korea (68). However, some historians claim that forced castration was held during the Goryeo period in a small scale; and several historical texts support this idea. According to these historians, the Goryeo kingdom often did castrate people and produced eunuchs for special cases. Some historical texts mention the fact that Goryeo had to offer a tribute to China (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368), and one of the tributes was eunuchs. They claim that this was the only case when castration was held by the national government. But still, this was different from China's since castration was not sentenced as a conviction. Also, the scale was incomparably small compared with that of China. Though this claim can be true, the proportion of eunuchs created by this way would have been somewhat minimal.

II.4.2 Accidental Castration
            Many men became eunuchs mostly because of unfortunate accidents. It is well known that men who accidentally lost their sexual abilities became eunuchs during Joseon as well as Goryeo period. Goryeo-sa () states that "people had become eunuchs because their sexual organs were bitten by dogs" (69), directly indicating the main reason of men becoming eunuchs; eunuchs were mainly created by accidents. However, cases of becoming sexually disabled accidentally after birth are extremely rare. Supplying eunuchs by this route to enlarge eunuch population is impossible unless the government practises castration widely. Therefore, this can be a ground of the fact that Korea traditionally had only a few number of eunuchs hired.

II.4.3 Inborn Eunuchs
            Inborn eunuchs refer to those who are sexually impotent since birth; they have sexual organs but they do not function normally. These men traditionally had been adopted to eunuchs and castrated to inherit his stepfather's position (70). Since these men had nothing else to do for living, they had no choice but to be castrated and serve as eunuchs in the palace. Therefore, without almost any exception, inborn eunuchs had to be eunuchs after all. The government, accordingly, recruited these inborn eunuchs officially. Historical texts state that during early Joseon period, the government officially collected these inborn eunuchs from all over the country. (71)

II.4.4 Self Castration
            Self castration rarely occurred. Considering the fact that Joseon was a strictly Confucius society, harming one's body must have been almost impossible. On the other hand, Goryeo, the preceding dynasty of Joseon, had self castrated eunuchs. Historical texts also provide information regarding self castrated eunuchs during Goryeo period (72). Self castration was particularly held during the period when Goryeo was became a tributary of the Yuan dynasty of China (73). Goryeo had to offer tributes to the Mongols, and one of the tributes was eunuchs. To send eunuchs to Yuan, Goryeo had to castrate men forcibly, but there were people who voluntarily applied for being sent as eunuchs. These people castrated themselves and applied to become sent as a tribute to China. This was mainly because being a eunuch in China guaranteed wealth and power, different from being a eunuch in Goryeo. Historically, eunuchs gained great wealth and power in China (74). And those who knew this fact in Goryeo castrated themselves and went to China as eunuchs. Therefore, it is mainly thought that those who castrated themselves were low class population who dreamed of overcoming their social status.

II.5 The Role of Eunuchs

II.5.1 The Goryeo Dynasty

II.5.1.1 Early Goryeo (918 - mid 12th Century)
            During early Goryeo, eunuchs were assigned to perform miscellaneous tasks (75). They were not allowed to manage important tasks that directly relate to governmental administration. Rather, most of them were practically the unofficial workforce for the royal family of the Kingdom. Serving the king with his orders or serving simply as sentinels are some of the duties they were asked to do (76). Historical documents partly imply that the Royal family of the Goryeo dynasty hired eunuchs as private servants.
            The scale of eunuch population was extremely small. They were even banned to meet people outside the palace, which implies that eunuchs were kings' private and secret servants whose identity must not be revealed (77). It was not until when Injong (, 1122-1146) became the 17th monarch of Goryeo that eunuchs were able to be public officials. However, the rank given to the eunuchs were very low (78), and most of all, the number of ranked eunuchs was few; many of them still were merely unofficial servants (79). Still, eunuchs could not participate in conferences though some of them were officials (80). However the eunuchs were, the most important fact during early Goryeo is that most of them were not officially ranked officials. Besides, the number of eunuchs who had official ranks was extremely few. (81)

II.5.1.2 Mid-Goryeo (mid 12th Century - 1258)
            It was not until when Uijong (, 1146-1170) became the 18th monarch of Goryeo did eunuchs start gaining power. The change began as King Uijong appointed eunuch Jung Ham () as Hap-Mun-Ji-Hu (, (82) an official rank. This triggered the civil service officers, who abhorred becoming co-workers of a eunuch, to appeal to the king to withdraw his decision (83). However, King Uijong fasted as an opposition against the public officials' appeal. Eventually, King Uijong succeeded nominating Jung-ham as an official.
            Since then, King Uijong did not discuss national issues with the high functionaries of the country (84). Instead, he discussed issues with eunuchs whom he granted an official rank and wealth. Moreover, eunuchs started to serve roles that were not allowed to them before, such as announcing national policies to the public, meaning that their power had grown tremendously. Other than this, eunuchs gained the authority to technically appoint new governmental officials (85). Promotion of the officials was also under the control of eunuchs. Eunuchs also served as auditors, managing the national budget (86). Besides, eunuchs even meddled in the administration of justice resulting in a chaos within the nation (87). These were the main roles eunuchs served during this period. Since the power of eunuchs grew to such a fearful scale, nobody could dare to tackle them (88). Most of all, eunuchs had the king on their side, forming a group that nobody could criticise.
            However, a big historical event occurred that toppled the untouchable power of eunuchs. In 1170, a group of army officers led by Jeong Jung-bu, Lee Ui-bang and Lee Go launched a coup d'etat and succeeded (89). They just could not sit and watch the nation in chaos. Supreme king Uijong went into exile and supreme king Myeongjong was made a king by the army officers (90). The ostensible reason for the rebellion was to knock down the power of civil officers who discriminated army officers. However, the core reason was to overthrow the government controlled by eunuchs (91). Since this was the case, eunuchs lost their power suddenly due to the coup. Some eunuchs tried to down the military force from holding power but failed. Instead, it was eunuchs who were savagely murdered. Historical texts record 20 men (eunuchs) to be killed (92). As a result, the influential power eunuchs had in the past suddenly became nothing. They lost their power and hence had no roles given to perform. Therefore, mid-Goryeo can be summarised as the period when eunuchs first gained power and prospered, and fell afterwards.

II.5.1.3 Goryeo under Mongolian Rule and After (1259 - 1392)
            After the coup d'etat, Goryeo was led by army officers not by the civil functionary. However, beginning with King Wonjong (, 1259-1274), Goryeo became a tributary of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (93). The military government collapsed, changing everything; reintroduction of the eunuch system followed. The restoration of the Royal Regime, though it was not so positive due to the Mongolian interference, definitely led to gradual incline of the influence of eunuchs. (94)
            Before King Wonjong, the highest official Pum () (95) where eunuchs can reach was limited to level 7. However, King Wonjong abolished such rule and let eunuchs actively participate in discussions with many other civil officials. As a result, eunuchs became possible to reach levels higher than level 7 from then (96). Various tasks were given to the eunuchs. Basic duties required to normal civil officers were also given to eunuchs as well. Moreover, some eunuchs were asked to perform special tasks, such as diplomacy. Diplomacy with Yuan was mostly done by eunuchs. The number of eunuchs involved in governmental affairs skyrocketed. Discrimination towards eunuchs disappeared; rather, Goryeo became a society controlled by influential eunuchs. (97)
            After Goryeo became a tributary of the Mongols, the Mongols forced Goryeo to pay tributes; and eunuch was one of them. King Chungnyeol (, 1274-1308) sent eunuchs as one of the tributes in the 26th year of his reign (98). The role given to the eunuchs from Goryeo in China was mainly related to diplomatic issues. Since they were the emperor's closest associates as well as those who had Korean origins, the emperor had taken advantage of them to deal with numerous diplomatic matters with Goryeo (99). Most of the eunuchs from Goryeo were deployed to this section of the nation. Therefore, many Korean eunuchs of Yuan frequently visited Goryeo as an ambassador of the emperor of the Yuan dynasty. However, what they had done was not only what the emperor had ordered to them to accomplish. Rather, they exerted their power to illegally lead their families to great prosperity. To be more specific, some eunuchs even pressured officials in charge of personnel affairs into appointing their families or relatives to high official ranks. These kinds of immoral attitudes shown by Korean eunuchs sent to Yuan irritated Koreans. However, people practically had no way to prevent them from doing so, since their power was strongly supported by the emperor of Yuan.
            On the other hand, there were eunuchs who strived for the independence of Goryeo. Once, the emperor of Yuan tried to remove the name Goryeo and incorporate Goryeo into Yuan's territory. The emperor thought that making Goryeo into a tributary was not enough. He wanted to remove the name Goryeo. However, the one who blocked this plan from happening was a eunuch named Bang Shinwoo from Goryeo who was sent to Yuan as a tribute. He was the one who stopped the plan of the emperor by strenuous efforts to persuade the king to withdraw his plan (100). This was an achievement that any other officials in Goryeo had failed to reach. Likewise, the chance to succeed as well as many new roles given to eunuchs increased; and this resulted in both positive and negative impacts to Goryeo.
            After Yuan collapsed, however, the influence of eunuchs started to decline. Corrupted eunuchs bemused the nation. Since eunuchs had no supporters as before, kings and other civil officials of Goryeo started to disdain eunuchs again. Still there were several eunuchs who were in high positions due to successful achievements. However, eunuchs other than them had to face a new era totally different from the past. As one of the efforts to eradicate the participation of eunuchs in national administration, King U (, 1374 - 1388) removed the department where most of the eunuchs belonged to. Accordingly, the power of eunuchs drastically plunged. The roles given to them also were inconsequential. Again, they had been merely in charge of miscellaneous services including cleaning or simple errands (101). However, kings of Goryeo in this period failed to rearrange the eunuch system successfully. Everybody agreed to remodel the eunuch system into a better one, but failed to put the plan into accurate practice. The systemisation of eunuch system was left as homework to the next generation to solve.

II.5.1.4 A Distinct Characteristic of Goryeo's eunuch system
            A distinct characteristic of eunuchs in the history of Korea is found in Goryeo. Eunuchs in Asian countries mostly adopted the system of China's. Therefore, eunuch systems are almost the same among Asian countries. Eunuchs of Korea also basically have few different factors to distinguish themselves from that of China. However, the eunuch system during the Goryeo dynasty has a factor that distances itself from China's.
            In China, eunuchs were placed in a special department called Neishifu () Neishifu was a special department for the emperor of China. Emperors considered eunuchs of Neishifu to be the closest people whom he can trust in. Thus, eunuchs as an official of Neishifu always accompanied the emperor wherever the emperor went. Eunuchs in this department were given work to perform in a systemised rule. The requirement to enter this department was castration. Men not castrated, therefore, were not allowed to become officials of Neishifu. Neishifu comprised castrated men only. Many other Asian countries adopted this system from China. Countries founded departments only for eunuchs and restricted normal people from entering in.
            However, Goryeo was different. Goryeo also adopted the eunuch system from China like many other Asian countries. The name of the department was also same in Chinese character though it is different in pronunciation. Neshibu () is the Korean name of Neishifu. Officials of Neshibu served similar roles compared with China in that they were the king's closest associate. However, the point different from China was that the members of Neshibu were not eunuchs initially. Rather, the officials of Neshibu were restricted to young noblemen (102). Only a few eunuchs were allowed to enter. After several years of serving the king as a member of Neshibu, these young noblemen were able to move into other departments and become important functionaries of the government. Therefore, in early Goryeo, eunuchs took a very small portion of the whole Neshibu, which was totally different compared with the system of China's (103). It was not until late Goryeo when Neshibu became the department only for eunuchs. Before then, eunuchs of Goryeo had no fixed department to work. Extremely few eunuchs belonged to Neshibu, some belonged to other departments, and others had no attached departments.
            Mainly, eunuchs of Goryeo before King Gongmin (, 1351 - 1374) were deployed into three different departments called Sam-Jun () which comprises Dae-Jun (, the great hall), Nae-Jun (; private inner royal hall), and Tae-Hu-Jun (; the Queen's quarter) (104). Eunuchs in different departments were asked to perform different tasks depending upon their position. It was King Gongmin who changed Neshibu into the department only consisted of eunuchs. He arranged this department to have ranks (pum) from level 2 to 9 (105).

II.5.2 The Joseon Dynasty
            Since eunuchs were one of the contributors to the collapse of the Goryeo dynasty, officials of Joseon planned to abolish the eunuch system. However, King Taejo (; 1392 - 1398), the first king of Joseon, opposed the plan. He thought that eunuchs were essential for many reasons. First, he needed somebody to do miscellaneous work for him. Second, he needed men unable to rape women inside the palace including the queen, ladies of the royal family, and maidens. Third, he needed someone who can fully dedicate one's life to him. Fourth, the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) of China ordered Joseon to send eunuchs as one of the tributes. For these reasons, King Taejo decided to preserve the tradition to hire eunuchs in the palace. Yet, since he knew the negative influences the eunuchs created in the past, he recognised the necessity to reform the eunuch system. Therefore, he had a eunuch named Kim Sa-Heng (106) to create an ideal eunuch system (107).
            The eunuch system that Joseon adopted is well shown in the Gyeongguk daejeon () (108) It is written that eunuchs basically four tasks to do in large.

II.5.2.1 Gamsun ()
            According to Gyeonggook Daejeon, The first task given to the eunuchs is Gamsun (), which literally means tasting the royal family's meal beforehand to confirm safety. To prevent the possible poisoning of the meals the eunuchs tasted the food before the king. The tasting process was very complex. Eunuchs had to supervise the whole process of cooking. Selection of the recipe was also the duty of eunuchs. Therefore, if the king suffered from food poisoning, it was inevitable for the eunuchs to circumvent the harsh punishment for their malpractice. Once, eunuch Jung Duk-Kyung () was cudgelled 60 times and went into exile, for he did not taste the King's meal beforehand (109).
            The eunuchs who served this role were called Sullie (). These Sullies were responsible for cooking meals the king preferred. For example, King Yeonsangun (, 1494 - 1506) personally preferred to eat the tail and tongue of a deer (110). Then, sullies had to find a deer all over the country for the king. Besides, it was very hard to buy fresh food. Particularly, food that goes bad easily was hard to be supplied. Since the technology to preserve food against decay was undeveloped then, food like fish was very hard to convey from the seashore to the palace. However the situations are, the eunuchs had to do the work by themselves (111).
            Sullies also had to be in charge of the food for numerous national anniversaries. Considering the fact that Joseon was a country based on strict Confucius norms, anniversaries were regarded as of great significance. Arrangement of foods and even the direction of the laid bowls had to be observed strictly. Eunuchs had to prepare food considering all these complicated rules. If something went wrong with this, the manager (eunuch) was punished harshly. No mistake was tolerated.

II.5.2.2 Jeonmyung ()
            Jeonmyung is probably the most fundamental duty given to the eunuchs. This literally means sending messages. Depending on the importance and secrecy of the messages, this task was responsible to different levels of eunuchs. The eunuchs who served this role had to be nearest to the king. It may vary historically, but there used to be 1 to 5 eunuchs for this job on average. (112)
            However, this system had some problems. Important messages used to be carried by officers from department Seungjungwon (). There were messages that eunuchs were not allowed to carry. Nevertheless, the problem was that many kings ignored the original process and continuously used eunuchs to send every kind of messages from unimportant issues to top secret issues. Some civil officials appealed to the king and high ranked officials that they should follow the law, and requested that the eunuchs should be excluded from carrying messages of great importance. The king, however, turned down such suggestion and continued to let eunuchs serve such role.
            Meanwhile, the eunuch serving this role gained great power compared with other eunuchs. Since they were almost the only route to actually converse with the king, even civil officials had to treat them with respect. If not, the eunuchs could have distorted the message deliberately and caused negative influence to the official. Mid-Joseon, however, presented a different style of sending messages (113). Joseon became a country more centred on the officials, and they pinpointed that the king and officials should send messages to each other based on the law (114). This was the way how the officials checked the regal power. The result was successful and hence the king had to call officials from Seungjungwon as well to send messages. Moreover, a new law was enacted that the messages should be in written texts. This was to prevent the words from being distorted by eunuchs or other officials who served roles as messengers. However, this law was followed only for a short period of time. Shortly after, there were officials who took advantage of the so-called illegal way to send messages for convenience (115). Furthermore, this new code was totally ignored in the late times of Joseon. (116)

II.5.2.3 Sumun ()
            Sumun literally means to guard the buildings within the palace. Since castrated men did not have physical power to fight with enemies, the main role of these eunuchs was to give the king or other important figures a piggyback and flee fast. It is assumed that these eunuchs must have known many secret ways to escape from the palace without being seen. This job was not new since it had been a duty of the eunuchs in Goryeo as well.
            Eunuchs ranked in level 5 Pum were given the responsibility to manage all eunuchs who serve this role. Because level 5 was very high, only 4 eunuchs were in this level (117). They managed four different buildings and if there were any loopholes of guarding, they had to face harsh punishment.

II.5.2.4 Sojae ()
            Sojae simply means cleaning. Usually eunuchs with no official rank served this role. Joseon had approximately 60 officially ranked eunuchs and 80 to 200 eunuchs with no official rank. The eunuchs with official ranks mainly assumed jobs that do not require hard physical work. However, the ones who failed to achieve an official post had to be in charge of work that somewhat required physical moving. Cleaning was one of them. Cleaning must have been one of the toughest tasks since eunuchs had to clean all things inside the palace.

II.5.2.5 A Distinct Characteristic of Eunuchs in Joseon
            One distinct characteristic of eunuchs in Joseon was that they had to take examinations regularly (119). This examinations were mandatory until a eunuch reaches the age of 35. The test score comes out in 4 grades: Tong (), Yack (), Joe (), and Bultong () (120). Subjects were various and were selectable (121). However, since the level of the examinations were difficult, eunuchs had to study hard in order to pass the test. As a result, intelligent eunuchs generally had more opportunities to succeed in promotion. This kind of system had already been practised in China, but not so successful. However, Joseon successfully operated this new system, heightening the overall intelligence of eunuchs compared with other Chinese dynasties.
            Besides, Joseon was successful in preventing eunuchs from participating in national administration. One reason why Goryeo collapsed was because of the chaos brought about by the eunuchs' excessive participation in national administration. Learnt from the mistakes committed, Joseon introduced a new eunuch system that strictly restricted the influence of eunuchs from growing (122). However, the new system allowed eunuchs to freely apply for higher social ranks by taking examinations, and practically removed the limit of promotion. This new rule was enough to soothe the eunuchs since they obtained the same right to promote as other normal officials. Because this new eunuch system that Joseon invented was so perfect, not a single disorder related to eunuchs occurred. It had become hard to find cases that eunuchs abuse their power or overstep their authorities anymore.

II.6 The Life of Eunuchs

II.6.1 Education
            Originally, education for eunuchs was not allowed in China. If eunuchs had been intelligent they might have distorted messages. To prevent such disaster, early Chinese empires did not allow eunuchs to take any educational steps. Uneducated eunuchs did not have the possibility to distort written messages because they were illiterate. However, emperors began to realise that intelligent eunuchs were more convenient to work with. As a result, emperors established institutions in order to educate eunuchs up to a certain level (123). Likewise, Joseon adopted this system from China. Joseon did not establish a school but they had civil officials teach the eunuchs in a regular basis (124). As it is stated before in this research paper, eunuchs had to take examinations based on what they had learned in these classes.
            All eunuchs basically had to study the system of domestic administration. Moreover, eunuchs had to listen to lectures based on other Classics of Confucianism. Non-uh (), Daehak (), Joongyong (), Maengja (), Sohak (), Samganghengshil (), and etc. (125) After learning these subjects, eunuchs had to take examinations, results of which were reflected to promotion. Regular examinations were mandatory until one reaches the age of 35. However, if a eunuch finishes all his studies and passes all the examinations he has to take before 35, he is allowed not to take any further courses. What is more, fast promotion to a higher rank was guaranteed. Therefore, eunuchs had to study hard in order to succeed in life. (126)

II.6.2 Economic Conditions
            As a rule, most of the eunuchs during the Goryeo dynasty could not be paid (127). The only treatment eunuchs received was simply a place to live and three meals a day. Since poor men from low social class became eunuchs, being unpaid was not a problem at all as long as they have a place to live and eat. However, eunuchs who became public officials after Mid-Goryeo started to receive official salaries. A certain amount of land was given. According to the law, the lands given to the officials as a salary should have been returned to the king after every eunuch retired. However, many eunuchs found loopholes in the law and passed their private properties including land to their step-children. Such illegal inheritance became a social problem, but the king and the other officials had no clue to eradicate the problem clearly. There were extreme cases such as a single eunuch becoming a landlord of an area containing more than hundreds of farming fields. Illegally stealing lands of normal civilians was also one way of enlarging their land (128). They did not steal lands and became owners officially. Instead, they left the land to have its original owners, and took the actual power behind. This was to evade tax (129). By this way, eunuchs did not have to pay taxes since the legal owner of the land was someone else than eunuchs who were the real power. Such illegal proliferation of wealth enabled eunuchs to outstretch their power towards other areas during late Goryeo, finally contributing to the collapse of the dynasty.
            On the other hand, eunuchs during Joseon did not receive land as salary. Rather, eunuchs were paid with other materials, such as rice. The amount of payment depended on the rank. The higher the rank is, the more the salary one receives. Eunuchs also received other men as helpers. Eunuchs were allowed to order whatever they needed, of course for official use only. 2 to 3 helpers were granted to eunuchs depending on their rank (130). However, different codes of different times record the number of these helpers differently. For example, Gyeonggook Daejeon records that eunuchs should receive 1 to 2 helpers depending on their rank (131). Problems occurred as the number of eunuchs increased during Mid-Joseon. But the king did not change anything. Also, the government gave 12 sacks of rice to retired eunuchs who are older than 70 to help them continue living (132). Likewise, Joseon did not grant eunuchs with materials that could lead to corruptness. This kind of policy was to prevent eunuchs from gaining excessive power, which could have led Joseon into social chaos.

II.6.3 Living Conditions
            One huge difference between eunuchs of China and Korea is marriage. In China, eunuchs had not been allowed to marry and have a family. Accordingly, married lives of eunuchs in China had to be in secret. It is said that even the royal family knew this but tacitly permitted such behaviour. However, eunuchs in Korea were allowed to marry and have a family officially. It is unclear when eunuchs were firstly allowed to marry, but historical records of Goryeo show that many eunuchs had wives (133). Furthermore, women even competed to become wives of eunuchs during Goryeo since eunuchs had great power and wealth (134). Some actually benefited by marrying eunuchs. People of low class background were able to become public officials by the support of family eunuchs. Yet, these vices almost disappear by the start of Joseon because new law strictly forbade eunuchs from gaining power. This does not mean that eunuchs were not able to marry. Rather, the government encouraged eunuchs to marry. Marriage levied responsibility to the eunuchs, which naturally made them more cautious.
            Eunuchs gained children by adoption. However, one premise was that the stepson must become a eunuch in the future. This system, allowing eunuchs to have a family, was beneficial since it contributed to the continuous supply of eunuchs to the government. Besides, by making eunuchs busy managing his family, the government could limit eunuchs from being overpowered. Stepsons took the same last name with his father and were inherited everything left as well. The name of these eunuchs were recorded in a book named Yangsegyebo (), a pedigree that records the family tree of eunuchs during Joseon (135). As we can see, eunuchs in Korea comparatively enjoyed a better quality of life compared with those of China's.

II.7. Conclusion
            One thing sad during researching information regarding this topic was the lack of sources. Historical documents of Korea scarcely records information of eunuchs. Since the number of them was so small compared with that of China, only a few sources contain several pieces of information. Even the few sources record only the times starting from Goryeo. We do not have any ways to know further about eunuchs before Goryeo due to lack of sources.
            Since that is the case, most of the portion of this paper deals with eunuchs since Goryeo. But still, there were many historical events related to eunuchs. Many big historical events did engage with eunuchs for various reasons indeed. Particularly during late-Goryeo, eunuchs were even one of the strongest groups within the palace. These strong eunuchs had great power, sometimes threatening the king or high ranked officials. Unfortunately that was one factor that led Goryeo to fall.
            Since Joseon, though the power shrunk the eunuch system survived but in a different shape. Strict legal system prevented them from gaining more than enough power. This was to prevent catastrophe caused by the overpowered eunuchs. Many restrictions were newly made. However, the government guaranteed a better life, soothing the possible opposition. Based on this system, eunuchs were able to create their own custom, holding one part of the whole Korean history. Korea had her own history of eunuchs, which has many different parts from China. Considering Korean eunuchs to have no difference from Chinese eunuchs is wrong. Many different factors exist which distinguishes eunuchs of Korea and China, and the crux of this research paper was to figure out exactly what those are.


Notes

(56)      "Silla (57 BC - 935 AD) was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and the longest sustained dynasty in Asian history." Other two kingdoms were Goguryeo and Baekje. All these countries had existed within the Korean peninsula. Article: Silla, from Wikipedia.
(57)      Samguk Sagi is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. The Samguk Sagi is written in Classical Chinese (the written language of the literati in traditional Korea) and undertaken by the government official and historian Kim Busik () and a team of junior scholars. It was completed in 1145. It is well known in Korea as the oldest extant Korean history. Article: Samguk Sagi, from Wikipedia.
(58)      Y.K. Park 2004, p. 19.
(59)      Ibid.
(60)      Goryeo-sa () or History of Goryeo is the principal surviving history of Korea's Goryeo Dynasty. The Goryeo-sa, written in Literary Chinese, consists of 139 volumes of which 46 consist of chronicles, 39 of geography, 2 of timetables, 50 of miscellaneous tales, and 2 of lists. Article: Goryeo-sa, from Wikipedia.
(61)      Chang 2007, p. 67. (Cited in ()
(62)      See supra note 58, p. 36
(63)      According to Kyung-gook Daejeon (), the national code of Joseon dynasty, the government had to hire 140 to 300 eunuchs, which was too few to hire castrating professionals. There was no need of them. Unlike Korea, the reason why Chinese empires had those professionals throughout their history was because the population of eunuchs was incomparably large. For example, during Ming period (1368 - 1662), the number of eunuchs reached thousands. See supra note 61, p. 7.
(64)      See supra note 58, p. 37.
(65)      Ibid.
(66)      Ibid.
(67)      Lee 1958, pp. 19-22
(68)      China had castration as a sentence. China, therefore, acquired eunuchs from castrating prisoners of wars, convicts, and etc. However, the neighbouring country Goryeo and Joseon did not have such penalties. See supra note 61.
(69)      Ibid.
(70)     
(71)      See supra note 58, p. 67.
(72)      See supra note 61, p. 67.
(73)      The Mongols had invaded the Korean peninsula six times with large scale military forces. After these six times of big campaigns, which is roughly late 13th century, Goryeo dynasty had to become a tributary of Yuan dynasty. After the peace treaty, Goryeo was subject to occasional political interference from the Mongols. Article: Korea, history of, Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(74)      In China, eunuchs had great power, sometimes even more than noble officials. The reason why thousands of men voluntarily became eunuchs in China was because they wanted to overcome their low social status. In order to overcome their inborn caste, they had no choice but to become eunuchs. I.S. Park 2003, p. 48.
(75)      See supra note 61, p. 85.
(76)      See supra note 58, p. 45
(77)      See supra note 68, pp. 25-26. (Cited in .)
(78)      Goryeo had a level system to control officials called Pum (. ). Numbers are given as grades, and lower numbers meant higher status. But eunuchs were not allowed to reach to the highest point. Certain low positions were the only ones open for the eunuchs, which shows the discrimination towards eunuchs. Ibid. p. 26. (Cited in .)
(79)      Ibid.
(80)      Ibid.
(81)      Ibid.
(82)      Ibid. p. 26.
(83)      See supra note 58, p. 45.
(84)      Ibid.
(85)      See supra note 68, p. 27. (Cited in .)
(86)      Ibid.
(87)      Apparently, eunuchs were not judges in the court. Though, they had the power to interfere with judicial processes. It is written in historical texts that eunuchs often pardoned murderers, meaning that eunuchs did perform their power even in the boundary of social justice. Ibid. (Cited in .)
(88)      Eunuchs raised other eunuchs and recruited them to serve as governmental officials. This was the way how eunuchs enlarged their influence: by enlarging their population. For example, eunuch Jung Ham recruited Wang Gwang-Chee, Paek Sun-Yeon as his partner. The purpose doubtlessly was to reinforce his power. See supra note 58, p. 45.
(89)      Article: Goryeo, from Wikipedia.
(90)      Ibid.
(91)      See supra note 68, p. 27.
(92)      Ibid. (Cited in . and .)
(93)      Article: Mongol invasions of Korea, from Wikipedia.
(94)      See supra note 68, p. 29.
(95)      Pum (. ) system is already explained before. See supra note 79
(96)      See supra note 68, p. 29.
(97)      Ibid. p. 31. (Cited in . and )
(98)      Ibid. p. 30. (Cited in )
(99)      Ibid.
(100)      See supra note 58, p. 46.
(101)      Ibid. p. 47.
(102)      See supra note 68, p. 24.
(103)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(104)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(105)      Ibid. p. 25. (Cited in )
(106)      Kim Sa-Heng became a eunuch under the reign of King Gongmin. He once worked in Yuan dynasty as well. Under the reign of King U and King Kongyang, he was the leader of all eunuchs. And after Goryeo dynasty was toppled, he helped King Taejo of Joseon to establish an ideal eunuch system; he was a fit person for the post. See supra note 58, p. 49.
(107)      Ibid. p. 48
(108)      Gyeongguk Daejeon is a complete code of laws that comprises every law, acts, customs, ordinances to have been released since the late period of the Goryeo Dynasty (918 - 1392) to the early Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897). It had been a basis for the over 500 years-long Joseon Dynasty in politics. Gyeongguk Daejeon was promulgated in 1485, the 16th year of King Seongjong's reign after the final edition was codified. Article: Gyeongguk Daejeon, from Wikipedia.
(109)      See supra note 61, p. 87. (Cited in )
(110)      Ibid. p. 90
(111)      Ibid. p. 93
(112)      Ibid. p. 100
(113)      Ibid. p. 102 (Cited in )
(114)      Ibid.
(115)      Ibid. p. 103.
(116)      Ibid.
(117)      See supra note 58, p. 52.
(118)      Ibid. p. 51.
(119)      Ibid. p. 50.
(120)      Tong means that the examinee passed the test excellently. If a eunuch received this grade, he was given two extended days of service (more days of service meant more possibility to promotion). Yack also refers to passing the examination, yet one level lower than Tong. One extended day of service is given in this case. Joe is also a 'pass' but not excellent. Half day of extended service is granted. Bultong refers to 'fail'. Three days of service is taken from the eunuchs in this grade. This system contributed to the raise of overall intelligence of the eunuchs. Ibid.
(121)      Ibid.
(122)      Ibid. p. 53.
(123)      Ibid. p. 60
(124)      Ibid.
(125)      The books mentioned are originally those written by great Chinese scholars. These texts mainly contain the words of Confucius, teaching basic ethical concepts. Most of these textbooks were systemised by a Chinese philosopher named Zhu Xi () in 12th century. In this paper, the English spelling of these books followed the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters. Article: Lunyu, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(126)      See supra note 58, p. 61.
(127)      See supra note 61, p. 37.
(128)      Ibid.
(129)      Ibid.
(130)      See supra note 61, p. 79. (Cited in )
(131)      Ibid.
(132)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(133)      See supra note 58, p. 62.
(134)      Ibid. p. 63.
(135)      Ibid. p. 66



Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited at the end of June 2008.
1.      Chang, Huiheung. (Political Power and Eunuchs during Joseon). Seoul: Kyong-in Munhwasa, 2006.
2.      Park, Insu. (Eunuch: A Secretary of Emperors). Seoul: Seokpill, 2003.
3.      Park, Youngkyu. (Eunuchs and Maidens). Gyeonggi: Kimyoungsa, 2004.
4.      Sejong the Great Commemorating Community. (A Record of Official and Private Affairs). Seoul: Sejong the Great Commemorating Community Publishing, 1983.
5.      Lee, Woochul. (Eunuchs during Goryeo). ÞÈùÊæÚϼ ð¯ 1Ïé (Historical Researches Book 1), 1958.
6.      Article: Korea, history of, Encyclopaedia Britannica. Chicago: American edition, 2009. (CD>
7.      Article: Goryeo, from Wikipedia.
8.      Article: Goryeo-sa, from Wikipedia. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeo_sa>
9.      Article: Gyeonguk Daejeon, from Wikipedia. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyeongguk_daejeon>
10.      Article: Mongol Invasions of Korea, from Wikipedia. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasions_of_Korea>
11.      Article: Samguk Sagi, from Wikipedia.
12.      Article: Silla, from Wikipedia. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silla>



First Draft , Aug. 24th 2009 .. go to Teacher's Log



First Draft

Table of Contents
I. Eunuchs in the Chinese Empire
I.1 Introduction
I.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
I.3 The Methods of Castration
I.3.1 Before the Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
I.3.2 Since the Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
I.4.1 Castration of War Prisoners
I.4.2 Castration as a Sentence to the Convicts ()
I.4.2.1 Ancient Periods
I.4.2.2 From Han Dynasty until Southern & Northern Dynasties (206 B.C. - 589 A.D.)
I.4.2.3 Since Sui Dynasty (after 581 A.D.)
I.4.3 Castration Done by Personal Willingness
I.4.3.1 Ancient Periods
I.4.3.2 From Tang Dynasty until Sung Dynasty (618 - 1279)
I.4.3.3 Since Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.5 The Role of Eunuchs
I.5.1 Before Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
I.5.2 Since Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
I.5.2.1 Jian ()
I.5.2.2 Si ()
I.5.2.3 Ju ()
I.6 How Eunuchs Contributed to the Change in Chinese History
I.6.1 Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.)
I.6.2 Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.)
I.6.2.1 Historical Background
I.6.2.2 Famous Figures
I.6.3 Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)
I.6.4 Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1662)
I.6.4.1 Historical Background
I.6.4.2 Famous Figures
I.6.5 Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1912)
I.7 Conclusion

II. Eunuchs in Korean History
II.1 Introduction
II.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
II.3 The Methods of Castration
II.3.1 Before Joseon Dynasty (until 1392)
II.3.2 Since Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897)
II.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
II.4.1 Forced Castration
II.4.2 Accidental Castration
II.4.3 Inborn Eunuchs
II.4.4 Inborn Eunuchs
II.5 The Role of Eunuchs
II.5.1 Before Joseon Dynasty
II.5.1.1 Early Goryeo (918 - mid 12th Century)
II.5.1.2 Mid-Goryeo (mid 12th Century - 1258)
II.5.1.3 Goryeo under Mongolian Rule and After (1259 - 1392)
II.5.1.4 A Distinctive Characteristic of Goryeo's eunuch system
II.5.2 Joseon Dynasty
II.5.2.1 Gamsun ()
II.5.2.2 Jeonmyung ()
II.5.2.3 Sumun ()
II.5.2.4 Sojae ()
II.5.2.5 A Distinct Characteristic of Eunuchs in Joseon
II.6 The Life of Eunuchs
II.6.1 Education
II.6.2 Economic Conditions
II.6.3 Living Conditions
II.7 Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Eunuchs in the Chinese Empire

I.1 Introduction
            As one of the centres of human civilisation throughout history, China has a grand history that contains a great range. Accordingly, Chinese history has to be studied by different sub-categories, such as Chinese history viewed by the relationships with neighbouring nations, the change of women's social status, the religious impact, and so on. In this paper, I chose to view Chinese history with the existence of eunuchs.
            Dictionaries define the word 'eunuch' as 'a castrated man especially one formerly employed in some Oriental courts.' (1) As it is stated, a eunuch is neither a man nor woman. Rather, it is a newly created gender created not by god, by human. These eunuchs had served very important roles under numerous empires throughout the world particularly China. Among many countries which had eunuchs, China would be the representative for having the greatest number of eunuchs in the world without any doubt. Some researchers even say that the history of China can be explained by the study of eunuchs of their history. Because of China, neighbouring countries, which had been influenced greatly by China, also adopted the eunuch system. Since China had been the centre of power in the East Asian culture, it is very important to study their culture; and studying about eunuchs will be a part of it. Researching on eunuchs in the Chinese empire, therefore, is of great importance.
            To support my research effectively, the paper is categorised into five sections and their subcategories. First section describes the origin of eunuchs. Next section explains the reason why so many people had become eunuchs throughout the Chinese history. What the eunuchs did throughout the long period is discussed next. Finally, the last section outlines the way eunuchs contributed to the Chinese culture through history. The order is determined to let the readers understand how the eunuchs were in the past, and how the affected the Chinese history easily.

I.2 The Origin of Eunuchs
            The exact time when eunuchs started to emerge is still unclear even to historians. Since there are not enough sources to determine the existence of eunuchs, many historians are still puzzled. However, it is normally believed by most of the historians that these castrated men started to serve their roles from the 8th century B.C.
            During the Spring and Autumn period (722 - 481 B.C.) in the Chinese history, eunuchs began to emerge. There is a written document Zhou-li () (2) saying that when the Zhou dynasty (1045 - 256 B.C.) moved to the eastern coast of the Chinese territory, they had many eunuchs serving the emperor until they reached their destination (3). This is the earliest written material that proves the existence of eunuchs.
            However, it is unclear whether eunuchs existed before this period of time in history. There is a theory that Shang dynasty (1600 - 1046 B.C.) also had eunuchs. On the discovered oracle bone scripts during this period, there is a letter seeming to imply the meaning of eunuchs. The shape of the hieroglyphic character discovered seems to be the shape of men's genitals divided from the body. Some historians argue that this definitely is the proof that could support the idea that eunuchs had existed from the Shang dynasty. This argument has no critical weaknesses but many historians still think it will be too hasty to approve this argument without enough historical documentation. Still, this argument is of great importance in the field of history.
            We do not know the precise year when eunuchs emerged in Chinese history. However, one thing clear is that China has a very long history of having eunuchs. And these eunuchs continued to exist until Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911 A.D.) collapsed.

I.3 The Methods of Castration
            To be a eunuch, men had to be castrated. Castration, therefore, was the key process of producing eunuchs. The way of castrating men and making them into eunuchs may vary throughout the Chinese history, but not in a significant scale. The difference of the methods to castrate men can be largely divided into two sections: before and after the Ming dynasty.

I.3.1 Before Ming Dynasty (before 1368 A.D.)
            Eunuchs existed many centuries before Ming dynasty (1368 - 1662 A.D.) as it is stated above. Before Ming dynasty, however, a safe and clean method of castration was not available. Therefore, eunuchs were created in a rather primitive way. Usually the way eunuchs were created in the ancient periods was mainly by castrating the war prisoners or by sentencing the guilty.
            Since castration and a creation of eunuchs were not voluntary at these periods, castration methods also were very harsh. Their genitals were ruthlessly cut without any safety actions. As a matter of fact, many people had died out of this process.

I.3.2 Since Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            The castration process after the Ming dynasty, on the other hand, is somewhat more complex compared to that of before. People started to study the way of castration that could not only be safe but also 100% successful. Studies had been successful and the government started to give licences to people who are educated to conduct castrating operations properly without any mistakes (4) . One interesting thing was that operators did not conduct any operations unless his parents (if he doesn't have any, then his wife) agreed with his decision. Once this process had been passed, operations started.
            To be more specific, before the operation is held, the operator washes the medical subject's body part where the operation will be done with a pepper broth three times. Then, the main operation starts by letting the man lie down but his upper body standing upright to the floor. Next, one apprentice holds the man's waist, and another two, the man's legs each. After this process is done, the operator comes with a knife on his hand. And then he finally asks the man whether he would regret or not. If the man doesn't reply immediately or seems to be nervous, the operator aborts the operation and refuses to do it again. If the man's willingness to become a eunuch is solid, then with a small curved knife that looks like a sickle, the operator slices the penis and the scrotum together at once (5). Next, lead needles and wooden nails are inserted into the urethra of the castrated man. The affected part is then covered with a paper soaked with cold water (6). Next, two apprentices help the castrated man walk around for two to three hours by holding his arms. Finally the man is allowed to lie down. Castrated men are not allowed to drink water for three days after the operation since it may produce urine which is an unimaginable pain for the patient (7). After three days, patients are allowed to pull out the needles and nails inserted into the urethra; if urination occurs like a fountain, the patient is now able to become a flawless eunuch. However, if urination does not happen, the patient has no choice but to prepare his upcoming death. (8)
            Of course this process was not for the criminals or war prisoners who were castrated by the emperor's order. These people were castrated without being asked to select whether to be castrated or not. But for those who applied voluntarily to become eunuchs had experienced this complicated process since Ming dynasty. One surprising thing is that, since castration was done by experts with flawless skills, dying out of castration was very rare (9).

I.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
            Chinese males throughout their history had become eunuchs for three reasons. Some captives were castrated by their enemies and others as a means of punishment. Also there were volunteers who wished to become eunuchs by their own will. These reasons why people became eunuchs during the Chinese history will be described in detail in the following sub-categories.

I.4.1 Castration of War Prisoners
            During the Han dynasty (206 - 220 A.D.) emperors frequently castrated prisoners of war when they won against their enemy. For example, emperor Wu (157 - 87 B.C.) of Han dynasty conquered his neighbouring country and castrated all of the prisoners of war and made them into eunuchs. The most important goal of castration held especially to foreigners was to show off the winner's mighty power. Also by this process, the victorious country tries to boast its power and force the losers to obey to the winner. Castration meant the most shameful thing one could ever experience. Therefore castrating the prisoners of war had to do with the winner's desire to trample the loser completely.

I.4.2 Castration as a Sentence to the Convicts ()

I.4.2.1 Ancient Periods
            Eunuchs were also created by castrating convicts within a nation. In the ancient China, all prisoners received so called 'five penalties ().' (10) Among these penalties, castration has something that is different from other four penalties. Other four penalties were given to the convicts who had committed unlawful deeds. However, castration was only saved for those who had improper sexual relationship which is against the social law those days (11). In short, castration was sentenced to sexual criminals. Therefore, unlike the other four penalties, castration was given to people differently depending on the convicts' gender (12).
            One thing important is that criminals were the ones who had conducted misbehaviours. The Chinese people emphasised courtesy as one of the most important manners for people to have in their minds. However, since there were social ranks, normal citizens had nothing to do with courtesy. The aristocrats did not even count those normal citizens as those who deserve to be courteous. Therefore, even if normal citizens are being promiscuous, they did not receive any penalties; of course, castration was not performed. The ones who received this penalty were usually from the royal family, feudal lords, or the gentries who all belonged to the nobles (13). There is a record written during Zhou dynasty that documents the performance of castration to the promiscuous convicts.

I.4.2.2 From Han Dynasty until Southern & Northern Dynasties (206 B.C. - 589 A.D.)
            According to Shiji () (14), which means 'records of the grand historian,' of the five penalties, only two were left after the emperor 'Wendi (, 202 - 157 B.C.)' during the Han dynasty (15). However, castration was not included in the three abolished penalties. Castration survived and continuously gave pain to the convicts. Particularly when emperor Wudi (, 156 - 87 B.C.) was in power, he produced numerous eunuchs. One interesting thing is that the author of Shiji (), Sima Qian ().' , was also castrated by emperor Wudi in the year of 99 B.C.; Sima Qian also becomes a eunuch after all (16). After emperor Wudi, castration continued to be given to the convicts; and this policy continued to exist until the Sui dynasty reunited the Chinese continent.

I.4.2.3 Since Sui Dynasty (after 581 A.D.)
            The most important change during the Sui dynasty (581 - 618 A.D.) was that castration was firstly banned as a penalty. Therefore, eunuchs were not created by castrating convicts who committed crimes any more. Eunuchs were only produced by castrating those who hoped to be eunuchs or those who were captured as prisoners of war.
            Long time after the collapse of Sui dynasty, however, castration as a penalty revived again. Written documents say that even emperor Xuanzong (, 1398 ~ 1435 A.D.) of the Ming dynasty, famous for his wise rule, penalised convicts by castrating them. This piece of information implies that castration as a penalty did not disappear completely from the Chinese history.
            Still, Sui dynasty's decision of banning castration as a penalty is considered revolutionary, since castrating convicts and making them into eunuchs was so customary that nobody those days could ever consider it cruel. One limitation concerning this revolutionary alteration of penalty is that this did not last long. Anyway, the way people think of castration definitely changed after Sui dynasty; and this is one thing for which Sui dynasty should be praised.

I.4.3 Castration Done by Personal Willingness

I.4.3.1 Ancient Periods
            Some people personally volunteer to become eunuchs even though they recognise the hardship which they have to experience: castration. This might seem to be insane to us who do really consider castration a brutal and an unworthy thing to experience. However, these people had existed since the ancient periods. According to Shiji, during the Spring and Autumn period (, 770 - 403 B.C.), there was a man named Huangong () who volunteered to be castrated. He wished to serve the emperor forever; and this was why he decided to receive castration (17). However, during the ancient periods, the number of eunuchs created by personal willingness was rare.

I.4.3.2 From Tang Dynasty until Sung Dynasty (618 - 1279)
            From the beginning of Tang dynasty (618 - 907) until Sung dynasty (960 - 1279), the number of males who wished to be eunuchs surged incessantly. This is mainly because the status system started to break up. Aristocrats still continued to exist and monopolise the political powers. At the same time, however, freedom of the people also started to be recognised. Often there were non-aristocratic people overcoming their social status, which used to be considered unchangeable, and become aristocrats. Since the social ambience seemed quite generous, many people dreamed of being aristocrats and having vested rights.
            In this point of view, being a eunuch goes into the same category. Since eunuchs live in the palace and do not have to worry about basic life matters, many low class people rather selected the way to live as a eunuch. Once they became eunuchs, they did not have to worry about the clothes they wear, the food they eat, the place they live, and so on. To the low class people, being a eunuch was a charming way to overcome their contemptuous social status. (18)

I.4.3.3 Since Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) is famous for having the largest eunuch population not only throughout the Chinese history but also the world history. People started to consider being a eunuch the very way to lead a similar lifestyle with the aristocrats. Even some emperors said "Being a eunuch is because they want to gain wealth." (19) This directly implies the social atmosphere; people had tried to be eunuchs just to gain wealth and prosperity.
            What is more surprising is that when three thousand seats for new eunuchs were open, almost twenty thousand people applied for this occupation. Since only three thousand eunuchs were able to be accepted by the palace, the other seventeen thousand eunuchs had to find something else to do. Seeing this, the government increased the number of eunuchs to be employed to four thousand and five hundred. Despite the government's endeavour to find a solution to this problem, still thousands of eunuchs were not accepted.
            However, these unemployed eunuchs began to cause several problems within the nation. Since they were not even capable to find jobs only for males (20), the only thing left for them to do in order to continue living was robbery. Robbery during the Ming dynasty surges owing to this reason. However, the government had few choices to soothe the unemployed eunuchs because the number of castrated males greatly outnumbered that of eunuchs employed. The period during the Ming dynasty can surely be summarised into one phrase : the flood of voluntary eunuchs.

I.5 The Role of Eunuchs

I.5.1 Before Ming Dynasty
            Unfortunately, there are not enough historical documents left that are related to eunuchs. In particular, reliable sources before Ming dynasty is very hard to find. Ming dynasty, on the other hand, has many records about eunuchs since this period was the world of eunuchs. Since this is the case, even though we know that eunuchs had existed a very long time before Ming dynasty, it is very hard to make certain what the eunuchs practically did before the Ming dynasty appeared.
            But a few sources tell us in which ways the eunuchs served their emperors. From remote antiquity, eunuchs were employed for two main functions : as guards and servants in harems or other women's quarters, and as chamberlains to kings (21). Eunuchs were considered the most suitable guards for the many wives or concubines a ruler might have in his palace. Some rose to become bodyguards, confidential advisers, and even ministers, generals, and admirals (22). The work eunuchs had to do was not fixed. They were simply people who do all the work that needs to be done but not preferably done by normal vassals. Therefore, many eunuchs were required to do many different work and their professions were not fixed into one subject.

I.5.2 Since Ming Dynasty (after 1368 A.D.)
            From the beginning of the Ming Empire, however, the duties of eunuchs were stabilised and categorised into parts. Division of labour took place in the area of eunuchs; duties started to be detailed and specified. Since there were so many eunuchs inside the palace, things had to be divided even into small portions. Chang-an () was the capital of this empire and the palace was extremely immense. Therefore, the government divided eunuchs into 12 jian (), 4 si (), and 8 ju (); and 24 yamen () indicated these all bureaus in which the eunuchs belonged to (23).

I.5.2.1 Jian ()
            Among the 12 jians (), the first one is called Nei-guan- jian (). The eunuchs in this bureau had to manage any construction that is done under the order of the emperor. They also had the responsibility for repairing all the buildings inside the palace (24). Next, Yu-yong jian () has the duty to produce the necessities for the emperor: chairs, desks, clothes, and so on (25). Si-shou jian () is responsible for creating the necessities for the emperor particularly for ceremonial use. Yu-ma jian () nurtures horses and elephants. Also they had to manage the pasture located outside of the palace. Next is the Shen-gong jian () which is responsible for cleaning the graveyard and lighting candles (26). Rearing dogs by eunuchs in this bureau was forbidden strictly. If this rule was not observed, the violator, a eunuch of course, was fired immediately. Shang-shan jian () manages parties and feasts held by the royal family (27). One thing interesting is that eunuchs prepared all the food for the emperor. Shang-yi jian () manufactured the clothes that emperor has to wear which includes shoes, underwear, formal dresses, hat, and so on. Dou-zhi jian () is the policemen during those days. They arranged the path before the emperor, and worked as a sentinel. (28)
            Since jian is the biggest eunuch department of all, the leader of all eunuchs was also a eunuch in this department. He was called T?i jian (). This position is the highest among all eunuchs and also a very high position even considering other normal government official posts.

I.5.2.2 Si ()
            Different from the 12 jians (), 4 sis () consists of Xi-xin si (), Zhong-gu si (), Bao-miao si (), and Hun-dang si (). All these four quarters required the eunuchs to do miscellaneous affairs. Chores, sentry guarding, timbering are what the eunuchs in these quarters were asked to do. (29)

I.5.2.3 Ju ()
            Finally the 8 jus () is the last department of eunuchs. Bing-zhang ju () produced weapons used in wars. Gun powders were also created by eunuchs here. Wan-yi ju () served as a national prison. Convicts were jailed here forever; and the eunuchs were required to watch them. Other six jus were very small in scale, and therefore had no distinctive duties given. (30)

I.6 How Eunuchs Contributed to the Change in Chinese History

I.6.1 Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.)
            The period when Qin dynasty was in reign will be the point when eunuchs firstly started to corrupt. Increase in the number of corrupted eunuchs account for the reason why Qin dynasty fell in just fifteen years. There was a famous eunuch named Zhao-gao (, died in 207 B.C.) who was considered to have more power than the emperor. Since he controlled the emperor by the way he wanted, vassals on the opposite side from Zhao-gao were simply assassinated. Vassals had to obey what Zhao-gao had said and follow him. (31)
            There is an interesting story about this topic. One time, Zhao-gao captured a deer and showed it to the emperor. Then, he said this animal is a horse. But the emperor argued that the animal is not a horse, but a deer. The funny part is what the other vassals there said. They sided with Zhao-gao and said that the animal in front of the emperor is not a deer, but a horse even they know their answer is wrong (32). This story shows how powerful a eunuch was. Owing to the increase in the number of these powerful eunuchs, Qin dynasty collapsed soon yielding Han dynasty to take the hegemony of the vast Chinese territory.

I.6.2 Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 A.D.)

I.6.2.1 Historical Background
            Han dynasty got in power after Qin dynasty fell. Since officials of Han dynasty was aware of the fact that Qin dynasty collapsed due to many corrupted eunuchs, they did not try to employ eunuchs. As a result, only few eunuchs were employed at first times.
            However, Han dynasty also was not able to avoid employing eunuchs. The reason was because of the influences of the relatives. Certain families gained power during this period by letting their daughters marry the emperor (33). By these marriages, normal noblemen became fathers-in-law of emperors; and nobody will doubt that this means great authority. Naturally, the power of the emperor decreased and the power of the relatives grew. This definitely had been a nuisance for the emperors.
            At this situation, the eunuchs were at the side of the emperor, and helped the emperor to gain absolute power. They helped the emperor by killing the powers of the relatives by many ways: murder, conspiracy, and so on. As a result, emperors depended on eunuchs much more than before and granted them with great power and wealth. This relationship soon leads the emperor to employ many eunuchs in order to strengthen his power. However, as we saw the case which Qin dynasty experienced, corrupted eunuchs emerged again putting the nation into several crises.

I.6.2.2 Famous Figures
            Different from these gloomy stories, there were many brilliant eunuchs who contributed greatly to their country. For example, Sima Qian (, 145 - 85 B.C.), a eunuch of the Han Empire, was the first great Chinese historian, noted for his authorship of the Shiji (35), which is considered to be the most important history of China down to the end of the 2nd century. However, Sima Qian is important not only as a historian but also as a master of racy, flexible Chinese prose. He exerted a potent influence on later writers, particularly upon the early writers of narrative prose and fiction (36). Since Sima Qian's time, his history has been acknowledged as the great historical masterpiece in Chinese, a standard against which all later histories would be measured and a model for large-scale historical composition, not only in China but in all East Asian countries influenced by the Chinese literary tradition. (37)
            Cai Lun (, 50 - 121), also a eunuch of Han Empire, was a innovative inventor. About the year 105 A.D. Cai Lun conceived the idea of forming sheets of paper from the macerated bark of trees, hemp waste, old rags, and fishnets. The paper thus obtained was found to be superior in writing quality to cloth made of pure silk (the principal writing surface of the time), as well as being much less expensive to produce and having more abundant sources. Cai Lun reported his discovery to the emperor, who commended him for it. Important improvements were subsequently made to Cai Lun's papermaking process by his apprentice, and the process was rapidly adopted throughout China, from which it eventually spread to the rest of the world. (38)

I.6.3 Tang Dynasty (618 - 907)
            The period when Tang dynasty was in rule experienced a noticeable growth of eunuch's power. The point when eunuch's power started to surge was the period when emperor Xuan Zong (, 685 - 762 A.D.) was in reign. Gao Lishi (, 684 - 762 A.D.), a eunuch, was emperor Xuan Zong's favourite advisor no matter what the issues are. (39) He received great trust of the royal family as well as the emperor leading him to have great power. After Gao Lishi, another eunuch contributes greatly to increasing the power of eunuchs. Li Fuguo (, 704 - 762 A.D.), a eunuch of Tang dynasty, lead a coup d'etat when emperor Su Zong () was in reign (756 - 762 A.D.). What he did first was to declare himself the chief general of the military force. This was sensational because eunuchs were not able to reach such high status. After the coup, he wanted to be the chancellor of Tang dynasty. Unfortunately, this dream did not come true to him; he was assassinated. Anyway, this story tells us how eunuchs were powerful and ambitious. And Li Fuguo's trial was the starting point of the new world to the eunuchs.
            To be more explanatory of this topic, there are many proofs that show how eunuchs had exerted their power during this period. Emperor Xian Zong (, 778 - 820) and Jing Zong (, 809 - 826) was poisoned to death by eunuchs. Besides, Mu Zong (, 795 - 824), Wen Zong (, 809 - 840), Wu Zong (, 810 - 856), Xuan Zong (, 847 - 860), Yi Zong (, 833 - 873), and Zhao Zong (, 867 - 904) were enthroned by the eunuchs. Eunuchs those days even had the power to enthrone an emperor which used to be a holy authority of emperors and the royal family. Eunuchs had continuously enthroned emperors who were kind to them; therefore, the emperors could not ignore them as well. This surely shows how high the status of eunuchs was. Even the emperor was unable to oppress the great influence of eunuchs.

I.6.4 Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1662)

I.6.4.1 Historical Background
            After Tang dynasty was toppled, the influence of aristocrats as well as the number of them continued to decrease gradually. This process continued until the establishment of the Great Ming Empire. When Ming dynasty was in power, aristocrats had almost no influence. Therefore, this was the very time for the emperor to gain absolute authority and power. The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Hongwu emperor (, 1328 - 1398 A.D.), knew that it is very important not to depend on eunuchs because he learned what his ancestral countries had experienced (40); Qin dynasty, Han dynasty, Tang dynasty, they all collapsed partially due to fierce eunuchs with mighty powers. Therefore, Hongwu emperor's first and foremost policy was to oppress the eunuchs from gaining authority. To be specific, he lowered the highest status until which eunuchs can practically reach. (41) Also, he banned any type of communication between eunuchs inside the palace and those outside. This was to prevent any type of coups that could possibly damage the palace. Moreover, in front of the buildings inside the palace, Hongwu emperor attached an iron tablet written 'Eunuchs are not allowed to join any type of conferences.' These policies which the first emperor of Ming dynasty pursued were to prevent the history from repeating itself. (42)
            However, after Hongwu emperor's death the power of eunuchs started to grow again. This was because Hongwu emperor's method was excessively strong. After his death, his grandson the Jianwen emperor (, 1377 - 1402 A.D.) inherited his grandfather's place, and what he did was to reinforce the policies. This brought about resentment of the eunuchs towards the government (43). Eunuchs then tried to find a new leader they can serve. And this was the next emperor of Ming dynasty: the Yongle emperor (, 1360 - 1424 A.D.). The Yongle emperor allied with the eunuchs promising to help them gain power as well as wealth. Naturally, a civil war between the Jianwen and Yongle emperor broke out. The final winner of this battle was, however, the Yongle emperor with the eunuchs behind him as supporters (44). Since eunuchs were fervent supporters of the Yongle emperor, he did not have any choice but to employ them. As a result, the great efforts of Hongwu emperor to eradicate eunuchs from gaining more than enough power became a fruitless effort (45). Eunuchs, like the past, regained power as well as wealth leading them to be one of important the members of the government. Their number definitely grew, and at the latter period of Ming dynasty there were a hundred thousand eunuchs (46). This unbelievable numerical value reflects how Ming dynasty had treated the eunuchs.

I.6.4.2 Famous Figures
            Zheng He (, 1371 - 1433 A.D.) probably would be the most well-known eunuch during the period of Great Ming Empire. Zheng He is famous for his expeditions. Between 1405 and 1433, the Ming government sponsored a series of seven naval expeditions. Emperor Yongle designed them to establish a Chinese presence, impose imperial control over trade, and impress foreign peoples in the Indian Ocean basin. He also might have wanted to extend the tributary system (47). Zheng He was placed as the admiral in control of the huge fleet and armed forces that undertook these expeditions (48). Zheng He's first voyage consisted of a fleet of around 300 ships (other sources say 200) holding almost 28,000 crewmen. These were probably mainly large six-masted ships. One of a set of maps of Zheng He's missions, also known as the Mao Kun maps, 1628. Zheng He's fleets visited Arabia, East Africa, India, Indonesia and Thailand (at the time called Siam), dispensing and receiving goods along the way. Zheng He presented gifts of gold, silver, porcelain and silk; in return, China received such novelties as ostriches, zebras, camels, ivory and giraffes. (49)

I.6.5 Qing Dynasty (1616 ? 1912)
            The Qing dynasty was first established in 1636 by the Manchus to designate their regime in Manchuria. Since Manchu people did not have eunuchs, eunuchs were not employed until Shunzi emperor (, 1638 - 1661 A.D.) reigned. Still, the number was way fewer compared to the number of eunuchs during the Ming Empire; there were only four to five hundred eunuchs serving during the Qing dynasty in the early ages. The maximum number of eunuchs hired was still not over than two thousand which is fifty times fewer than that of the Ming's.
            However, the duty of eunuchs did not change. One thing different from Ming dynasty was that eunuchs were able to be hired not only by emperors but also by other aristocrats. This implies that eunuchs partially became substitutes of servants. (52)
            The eunuchs of the Qing dynasty also could not avoid being corrupted. They started to be spoiled when Tongzhi emperor (, 1861 - 1875 A.D.) was enthroned. When he ascended the throne, he was only five years old (53). Since the emperor was a child, his mother, empress Dowager Cixi (, 1840 - 1908 A.D.), became the actual power. She and her family started to rule the country which is quite similar to the situation of the Han dynasty. Empress Dowager Cixi allied with the eunuchs in order to increase her influence over the country; and this again granted the eunuchs with great power. (54)
            In 1908, empress Dowager Cixi died, and so did the influence of eunuchs. Soon, Qing dynasty fell after the Xinhai revolution () in 1912. This revolution pursued modernisation which led to the abolition of producing eunuchs. By the collapse of Qing dynasty, eunuchs throughout the Chinese history disappeared permanently. The year 1912, therefore, would practically be the year when the history of eunuchs culminates. (55)

I.7 Conclusion
            Throughout Chinese history, people artificially had made a new gender by castrating men since very ancient periods. This production of eunuchs was a process done in almost every single dynasty in China. These eunuchs were supplied by many ways. Castration of war prisoners, convicts, or self castrations were the ways from which empires gained eunuchs.
            Eunuchs in the Chinese empire were required to do certain tasks, and these differed depending on which department a eunuch belonged to. Tasks were divided and categorised. Under this system, they had played very significant roles throughout the history. Some eunuchs contributed greatly to the field of science, such as astronomy, paper producing technology, and others to fields including history, military forces, and so on. These innovative developments made by eunuchs are considered very praiseworthy. Many of the inventions made or discoveries done by China were the contributions of numerous hard-working eunuchs of China in the past.
            However, eunuchs did not only give good effects. Instead, they also were the ones who contributed to the collapse of several dynasties. Qin, Han, Tang, and Ming dynasties are typical examples. Since eunuchs had the great authority to control the whole nation, sometimes even emperors were not able to object to their ideas. Being so powerful, eunuchs started being corrupted and finally leading the dynasties to perish. The power of eunuchs in many empires in China sometimes was a toxin to them. One thing interesting is that, even though the newly established empires had recognised the fact that many empires fell due to exorbitant authority given to the eunuchs before, many of them fell by the same reason. Unlike the positive effects given by eunuchs, they also did make the Chinese history much more complex and busy.
            Despite all things considered, deciding whether eunuchs were helpful existences to the Chinese history or not cannot be done easily. However, one thing obvious is that eunuchs surely affected the Chinese dynasties in a great extent. Eunuchs already had occupied a very important area of Chinese history that must not be underestimated.

Notes

(1)      Hornby 1948, p. 771.
(2)      Zhou-li () is one of three ancient ritual texts listed among the classics of Confucianism. Article: Rites of Zhou, from Wikipedia.
(3)      () 1983, p. 22.
(4)      Ibid. p. 25
(5)      Anderson 1990, pp. 15-18.
(6)      See supra note 3, pp. 25-26.
(7)      Ibid.
(8)      Ibid.
(9)      This was why many males actually did apply for being eunuchs. When Ming dynasty was in power, innumerous men were castrated in order to become eunuchs, which meant that castration was a process that is safe enough for them to trust. If this operation was dangerous, people would not have volunteered so much. See supra note 5, p. 19.
(10)      Five penalties () refers to tattooing, nose-cutting, leg-amputation, castration, and execution. See supra note 3, p. 53.
(11)      () 1987, pp. 101-103.
(12)      See supra note 3, p. 54.
(13)      Ibid.
(14)      This is a book written by Sima Qian (, 145 or 135 B.C. ~ 86 B.C.), a historian during the Han dynasty. He is regarded as the father of Chinese historiography because of this book: Records of the Grand Historian (), an overview of the history of China covering more than two thousand years from the Yellow Emperor to Emperor Han Wudi () Article: Sima Qian, from Wikipedia.
(15)      () 1994, p. 29.
(16)      Article: Sama Qian, from Naver.
(17)      See supra note 15, p. 89.
(18)      See supra note 3, p. 62.
(19)      Ibid.
(20)      When males were castrated, the only occupation left for them is a eunuch. Nothing else was available for the castrated males to do. Since they become girlish and weak after castration, they practically were not able to perform the same amount of work as normal males. This is why castrated males who were not accepted to serve the emperor as eunuchs had nothing else to do.
(21)      Article: eunuch, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(22)      Ibid.
(23)      See supra note 3, p. 94.
(24)      Ibid. p. 55.
(25)      Ibid.
(26)      Ibid.
(27)      Ibid. p. 56.
(28)      Ibid.
(29)      Ibid. p. 63.
(30)      Ibid. p. 66.
(31)      () 1983, p. 281.
(32)      This funny story was transmitted by word of mouth and now it symbolises the flattering people to the authorities. This is called '() (pointing a deer and calling it a horse).'
(33)      () 2001, p. 54.
(34)      Ibid.
(35)      Shiji () is the book meaning 'historical records.'
(36)      Durrant 1995, p. 172.
(37)      Article: Ssu-ma Ch'ien, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(38)      Article: Ts'ai Lun, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(39)      Park 2007, p. 79.
(40)      Huang 1981, p. 118.
(41)      Before Ming dynasty, eunuchs were able to reach third pum (; level of government officials. Lower numbers indicate higher status)at maximum. However, Hongwu emperor limited the maximum pum to fourth level which is one step lower than before. See supra note 3, p. 225.
(42)      Ibid.
(43)      Ibid. p. 228.
(44)      Ibid. p. 231.
(45)      See supra note 40, p. 143.
(46)      Ibid. pp. 144-145
(47)      Article: Emperor Yongle, from Wikipedia.
(48)      Article: Zheng He, from Wikipedia.
(49)      Ibid.
(50)      The Manchus are the people who lived for many centuries mainly in Manchuria (now Northeast) and adjacent areas of China and who in the 17th century conquered China and ruled for more than 250 years. Article: Manchu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(51)      Article: Ch'ing Dynasty, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(52)      See supra note 3, p. 259.
(53)      See supra note 39, p. 93
(54)      Article: Empress Dowager Cixi, from Wikipedia.
(55)      See supra note 3, p. 211.


Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited at the end of July 2009.
1.      Anderson, Mary. Hidden Power: The Palace Eunuchs of Imperial China. Buffalo NY: Prometheus, 1990.
2.      Durrant, Stephen. The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian. Albany: SUNY Press, 1995.
3.      Hornby, A.S. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1948.
4.      Huang, Ray. 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
5.      Park, Hanje. Atlas Chinese History. Seoul: Four Seasons Publishing, 2007.
6.      . (Eunuchs). Tokyo: Chuo Korong Publishing, 1983.
7.      . (300 Important Events of Chinese Cultural History). Shanghai: Classics Publishing, 1987.
8.      . (Chinese History). Zhengzhou: Petrel Publishing, 2001.
9.      (Korean translation by ) . Seoul: Kachi Publishing, 1994.
10.      (Korean translation by ). Seoul: Eulyoo Publishing, 1983.
11.      Article: Ch'ing Dynasty, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
12.      Article: Eunuch, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
13.      Article: Lunyu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
14.      Article: Manchu, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
15.      Article: Ssu-ma Ch'ien, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
16.      Article: Ts'ai Lun, from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2009.
17.      Article: Han dynasty, from Wikipedia.
18.      Article: Sama Qian, from Wikipedia.
19.      Article: Zheng He, from Wikipedia.
20.      Article: Rites of Zhou, from Wikipedia.
21.      Article: Empress Dowager Cixi, from Wikipedia.
22.      Article: Emperor Yongle, from Wikipedia.
23.      Article: Sama Qian, from Naver.


II. Eunuchs in Korean History II.1 Introduction
            China is the very country known to have had the greatest eunuch population in the world. Eunuchs in China had served many roles and were an inseparable existence to Chinese empires. Every empire that ruled the Chinese territory had eunuchs though the scale may vary. Adopted from China, Korea also had the eunuch system. Since China has been the most influential and powerful country in East Asia historically, it seems that Korea had the eunuch system established by Chinese influence.
            However, the eunuch system of Korea had some differences from that of China. Some distinct features are to be found, and these are those that are mainly going to be dealt with in this research paper. Since there were not many countries that had such eunuch systems throughout the world, conducting a research on the topic of eunuchs will serve as a great guideline for those who are interested in this unique eunuch system; and researching how things have been done in Korea as well as China will be a great addition to the original paper that deals only with the eunuchs in the Chinese empires.

II.2 The Origin of Eunuchs in Korea
            Similar to China's case, the exact date when eunuchs first emerged is still unclear to historians. However, it is estimated that Korea first had eunuchs in Silla period (57 B.C. - 935 A.D.) (56). According to Samguk Sagi () (57), a eunuch first emerged when King Heungdeok of Silla was in reign (826 - 836) (58). The text does not directly mention or explain the eunuch system, but a reference of eunuchs appears in the middle of a story within a chapter called chapter Silla Bonki () the story is about King Heungdeok. In the middle of the story, there is a sentence "King Heungdeok had no one to rely upon except for the eunuchs" from which we can find a word that we are trying to find: the eunuchs (59). This is the very first reference of eunuchs in Korean history. It is unknown whether eunuchs had existed even before this period. However, it is at least true that there was a eunuch system late in Silla period.
            Unfortunately, no other historical texts provide any information regarding eunuchs during the ancient periods. Even though we know that eunuchs had existed throughout Silla period, we do not know how the process of castration was held, the government managed the eunuch system, and the eunuchs were treated. Therefore, historians regard late Silla as the origin of eunuchs in Korean history for convenience. Emergence of eunuchs in Korea was very late compared with that in China. Therefore, we can easily conclude that Korea has a comparatively short history of eunuchs.

II.3 The Methods of Castration
            Since Korea has a short history of having eunuchs, there are not enough sources from which we can learn how castration was held. Accordingly, nobody exactly knows how eunuchs were produced in Korea. However, most of the historians agree to divide Korean history into two sections depending on the ways eunuchs were produced.

II.3.1 Before Joseon Dynasty (until 1392)
            Goryeo-sa () states that "people had become eunuchs because their sexual organs were bitten by dogs" (61) which shows the fact that eunuchs were not produced in a formal manner. Rather, it can be concluded that people in Korea had become eunuchs accidentally. This claim can also be supported by the fact that Goryeo did not have castration as a penalty to the convicts like China; castration was one of the penalties that convicts in China had to take, also called gong xi?ng (). This was one route from which eunuchs were produced in China. But it seems that Korea did not have it.

II.3.2 Since Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897)
            Same problem happens here as well. Lack of information confuses us from knowing the exact way of castrating men. However, there are things we can presume by integrating information that is available. First, we can conclude that castration was held officially during Joseon period. Since Joseon was a country established on the thoughts of strict Confucian beliefs, harming one's body was considered insolent. Castration, which is also doing harm to one's genitals, therefore, was strongly prohibited by law. Rather, the government practised castration which was the only legal and allowed way eunuchs were produced. From this, we can presume that there must be a skilled official labour force that professionally castrated men. Since self castration was strictly prohibited, government had to hire skilled professionals who can create eunuchs.
            However, no historical texts provide information related to this section. Though it is mostly believed that professionals who castrated men had existed during Joseon period, it is still unclear who the professionals were. Some argue that there were professionals whose work was solely castrating men. However, this claim is generally considered untrue. Since Joseon government hired only a few eunuchs (63), there was no need to hire a castrating professional. Then who were in charge of castrating men and creating eunuchs ?
            This part is also presumable. As it is stated above, Joseon followed strict Confucius norms; and these norms supported social caste system, which thus developed in Joseon. Therefore, the order of rank in Joseon was very rigorous. Noblemen had absolute power and were indulged in great elitism. They looked down on lower class people and thought that it is of no doubt to relish the privilege of being noble. These high class noblemen in Joseon viewed touching flesh as filthy (64). Therefore, the people who engaged in work that required touching others' flesh mainly consisted of low class population. Doctors and butchers are great examples. Castration, which requires the operator to touch flesh, must have been performed by butchers (65). Butchers were the only ones who knew how to use daggers well. With the daggers, hired butchers must have performed castration of men by slicing the genitals (66). However, the method of castration is also unknown unfortunately.

II.4 The Reason Why People Became Eunuchs
            It is unclear why people became eunuchs in Korea. Not enough historical sources support one stable theory. Historians, however, largely reach a consensus with the idea that there were four reasons why men became eunuchs. (67)

II.4.1 Forced Castration
            No historical texts provide information of castrating men as a sentence in Korean history. This is one of the main differences between the way eunuchs were created in China and Korea (68). However, some historians claim that forced castration was held during the Goryeo period in a small scale; and several historical texts support this idea. According to these historians, the Goryeo kingdom often did castrate people and produced eunuchs for special cases. Some historical texts mention the fact that Goryeo had to offer a tribute to China (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368), and one of the tributes was eunuchs. They claim that this was the only case when castration was held by the national government. But still, this was different from China's since castration was not sentenced as a conviction. Also, the scale was incomparably small compared with that of China. Though this claim can be true, the proportion of eunuchs created by this way would have been somewhat minimal.

II.4.2 Accidental Castration
            Many men became eunuchs mostly because of unfortunate accidents. It is well known that men who accidentally lost their sexual abilities became eunuchs during Joseon as well as Goryeo period. Goryeo-sa () states that "people had become eunuchs because their sexual organs were bitten by dogs" (69), directly indicating the main reason of men becoming eunuchs; eunuchs were mainly created by accidents. However, cases of becoming sexually disabled accidentally after birth are extremely rare. Supplying eunuchs by this route to enlarge eunuch population is impossible unless the government practises castration widely. Therefore, this can be a ground of the fact that Korea traditionally had only a few number of eunuchs hired.

II.4.3 Inborn Eunuchs
            Inborn eunuchs refer to those who are sexually impotent since birth; they have sexual organs but they do not function normally. These men traditionally had been adopted to eunuchs and castrated to inherit his stepfather's position (70). Since these men had nothing else to do for living, they had no choice but to be castrated and serve as eunuchs in the palace. Therefore, without almost any exception, inborn eunuchs had to be eunuchs after all. The government, accordingly, recruited these inborn eunuchs officially. Historical texts state that during early Joseon period, the government officially collected these inborn eunuchs from all over the country. (71)

II.4.4 Self Castration
            Self castration rarely occurred. Considering the fact that Joseon was a strictly Confucius society, harming one's body must have been almost impossible. On the other hand, Goryeo, the preceding dynasty of Joseon, had self castrated eunuchs. Historical texts also provide information regarding self castrated eunuchs during Goryeo period (72). Self castration was particularly held during the period when Goryeo was became a tributary of Yuan dynasty of China (73). Goryeo had to offer tributes to the Mongols, and one of the tributes was eunuchs. To send eunuchs to Yuan, Goryeo had to castrate men forcibly, but there were people who voluntarily applied for being sent as eunuchs. These people castrated themselves and applied to become sent as a tribute to China. This was mainly because being a eunuch in China guaranteed wealth and power, different from being a eunuch in Goryeo. Historically, eunuchs gained great wealth and power in China (74). And those who knew this fact in Goryeo castrated themselves and went to China as eunuchs. Therefore, it is mainly thought that those who castrated themselves were low class population who dreamed of overcoming their social status.

II.5 The Role of Eunuchs

II.5.1 Goryeo Dynasty

II.5.1.1 Early Goryeo (918 - mid 12th Century)
            During early Goryeo, eunuchs were assigned to perform miscellaneous tasks (75). They were not allowed to manage important tasks that directly relate to governmental administration. Rather, most of them were practically the unofficial workforce for the royal family of the Kingdom. Serving the king with his orders or serving simply as sentinels are some of the duties they were asked to do (76). Historical documents partly imply that the Royal family of Goryeo dynasty hired eunuchs as private servants.
            The scale of eunuch population was extremely small. They were even banned to meet people outside the palace, which implies that eunuchs were kings' private and secret servants whose identity must not be revealed (77). It was not until when Injong (, 1122-1146) became the 17th monarch of Goryeo that eunuchs were able to be public officials. However, the rank given to the eunuchs were very low (78), and most of all, the number of ranked eunuchs was few; many of them still were merely unofficial servants (79). Still, eunuchs could not participate in conferences though some of them were officials (80). However the eunuchs were, the most important fact during early Goryeo is that most of them were not officially ranked officials. Besides, the number of eunuchs who had official ranks was extremely few. (81)

II.5.1.2 Mid-Goryeo (mid 12th Century - 1258)
            It was not until when Uijong (, 1146-1170) became the 18th monarch of Goryeo did eunuchs start gaining power. The change began as King Uijong appointed eunuch Jung Ham () as Hap-Mun-Ji-Hu (, (82) an official rank. This triggered the civil service officers, who abhorred becoming co-workers of a eunuch, to appeal to the king to withdraw his decision (83). However, King Uijong fasted as an opposition against the public officials' appeal. Eventually, King Uijong succeeded nominating Jung-ham as an official.
            Since then, King Uijong did not discuss national issues with the high functionaries of the country (84). Instead, he discussed issues with eunuchs whom he granted an official rank and wealth. Moreover, eunuchs started to serve roles that were not allowed to them before, such as announcing national policies to the public, meaning that their power had grown tremendously. Other than this, eunuchs gained the authority to technically appoint new governmental officials (85). Promotion of the officials was also under the control of eunuchs. Eunuchs also served as auditors, managing the national budget (86). Besides, eunuchs even meddled in the administration of justice resulting in a chaos within the nation (87). These were the main roles eunuchs served during this period. Since the power of eunuchs grew to such a fearful scale, nobody could dare to tackle them (88). Most of all, eunuchs had the king on their side, forming a group that nobody could criticise.
            However, a big historical event occurred that toppled the untouchable power of eunuchs. In 1170, a group of army officers led by Jeong Jung-bu, Lee Ui-bang and Lee Go launched a coup d'etat and succeeded (89). They just could not sit and watch the nation in chaos. Supreme king Uijong went into exile and supreme king Myeongjong was made a king by the army officers (90). The ostensible reason for the rebellion was to knock down the power of civil officers who discriminated army officers. However, the core reason was to overthrow the government controlled by eunuchs (91). Since this was the case, eunuchs lost their power suddenly due to the coup. Some eunuchs tried to down the military force from holding power but failed. Instead, it was eunuchs who were savagely murdered. Historical texts record 20 men (eunuchs) to be killed (92). As a result, the influential power eunuchs had in the past suddenly became nothing. They lost their power and hence had no roles given to perform. Therefore, mid-Goryeo can be summarised as the period when eunuchs first gained power and prospered, and fell afterwards.

II.5.1.3 Goryeo under Mongolian Rule and After (1259 - 1392)
            After the coup d'etat, Goryeo was led by army officers not by the civil functionary. However, beginning with King Wonjong (, 1259-1274), Goryeo became a tributary of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty (93). The military government collapsed, changing everything; reintroduction of the eunuch system followed. The restoration of the Royal Regime, though it was not so positive due to the Mongolian interference, definitely led to gradual incline of the influence of eunuchs. (94)
            Before King Wonjong, the highest official Pum () (95) where eunuchs can reach was limited to level 7. However, King Wonjong abolished such rule and let eunuchs actively participate in discussions with many other civil officials. As a result, eunuchs became possible to reach levels higher than level 7 from then (96). Various tasks were given to the eunuchs. Basic duties required to normal civil officers were also given to eunuchs as well. Moreover, some eunuchs were asked to perform special tasks, such as diplomacy. Diplomacy with Yuan was mostly done by eunuchs. The number of eunuchs involved in governmental affairs skyrocketed. Discrimination towards eunuchs disappeared; rather, Goryeo became a society controlled by influential eunuchs. (97)
            After Goryeo became a tributary of the Mongols, the Mongols forced Goryeo to pay tributes; and eunuch was one of them. King Chungnyeol (, 1274-1308) sent eunuchs as one of the tributes in the 26th year of his reign (98). The role given to the eunuchs from Goryeo in China was mainly related to diplomatic issues. Since they were the emperor's closest associates as well as those who had Korean origins, the emperor had taken advantage of them to deal with numerous diplomatic matters with Goryeo (99). Most of the eunuchs from Goryeo were deployed to this section of the nation. Therefore, many Korean eunuchs of Yuan frequently visited Goryeo as an ambassador of the emperor of Yuan dynasty. However, what they had done was not only what the emperor had ordered to them to accomplish. Rather, they exerted their power to illegally lead their families to great prosperity. To be more specific, some eunuchs even pressured officials in charge of personnel affairs into appointing their families or relatives to high official ranks. These kinds of immoral attitudes shown by Korean eunuchs sent to Yuan irritated Koreans. However, people practically had no way to prevent them from doing so, since their power was strongly supported by the emperor of Yuan.
            On the other hand, there were eunuchs who strived for the independence of Goryeo. Once, the emperor of Yuan tried to remove the name Goryeo and incorporate Goryeo into Yuan's territory. The emperor thought that making Goryeo into a tributary was not enough. He wanted to remove the name Goryeo. However, the one who blocked this plan from happening was a eunuch named Bang Shinwoo from Goryeo who was sent to Yuan as a tribute. He was the one who stopped the plan of the emperor by strenuous efforts to persuade the king to withdraw his plan (100). This was an achievement that any other officials in Goryeo had failed to reach. Likewise, the chance to succeed as well as many new roles given to eunuchs increased; and this resulted in both positive and negative impacts to Goryeo.
            After Yuan collapsed, however, the influence of eunuchs started to decline. Corrupted eunuchs bemused the nation. Since eunuchs had no supporters as before, kings and other civil officials of Goryeo started to disdain eunuchs again. Still there were several eunuchs who were in high positions due to successful achievements. However, eunuchs other than them had to face a new era totally different from the past. As one of the efforts to eradicate the participation of eunuchs in national administration, King U (, 1374 - 1388) removed the department where most of the eunuchs belonged to. Accordingly, the power of eunuchs drastically plunged. The roles given to them also were inconsequential. Again, they had been merely in charge of miscellaneous services including cleaning or simple errands (101). However, kings of Goryeo in this period failed to rearrange the eunuch system successfully. Everybody agreed to remodel the eunuch system into a better one, but failed to put the plan into accurate practice. The systemisation of eunuch system was left as homework to the next generation to solve.

II.5.1.4 A Distinct Characteristic of Goryeo's eunuch system
            A distinct characteristic of eunuchs in the history of Korea is found in Goryeo. Eunuchs in Asian countries mostly adopted the system of China's. Therefore, eunuch systems are almost the same among Asian countries. Eunuchs of Korea also basically have few different factors to distinguish themselves from that of China. However, the eunuch system during Goryeo dynasty has a factor that distances itself from China's.
            In China, eunuchs were placed in a special department called Neishifu () Neishifu was a special department for the emperor of China. Emperors considered eunuchs of Neishifu to be the closest people whom he can trust in. Thus, eunuchs as an official of Neishifu always accompanied the emperor wherever the emperor went. Eunuchs in this department were given work to perform in a systemised rule. The requirement to enter this department was castration. Men not castrated, therefore, were not allowed to become officials of Neishifu. Neishifu comprised castrated men only. Many other Asian countries adopted this system from China. Countries founded departments only for eunuchs and restricted normal people from entering in.
            However, Goryeo was different. Goryeo also adopted the eunuch system from China like many other Asian countries. The name of the department was also same in Chinese character though it is different in pronunciation. Neshibu () is the Korean name of Neishifu. Officials of Neshibu served similar roles compared with China in that they were the king's closest associate. However, the point different from China was that the members of Neshibu were not eunuchs initially. Rather, the officials of Neshibu were restricted to young noblemen (102). Only a few eunuchs were allowed to enter. After several years of serving the king as a member of Neshibu, these young noblemen were able to move into other departments and become important functionaries of the government. Therefore, in early Goryeo, eunuchs took a very small portion of the whole Neshibu, which was totally different compared with the system of China's (103). It was not until late Goryeo when Neshibu became the department only for eunuchs. Before then, eunuchs of Goryeo had no fixed department to work. Extremely few eunuchs belonged to Neshibu, some belonged to other departments, and others had no attached departments.
            Mainly, eunuchs of Goryeo before King Gongmin (, 1351 - 1374) were deployed into three different departments called Sam-Jun () which comprises Dae-Jun (, the great hall), Nae-Jun (; private inner royal hall), and Tae-Hu-Jun (; the Queen's quarter) (104). Eunuchs in different departments were asked to perform different tasks depending upon their position. It was King Gongmin who changed Neshibu into the department only consisted of eunuchs. He arranged this department to have ranks (pum) from level 2 to 9 (105).

II.5.2 Joseon Dynasty
            Since eunuchs were one of the contributors to the collapse of the Goryeo dynasty, officials of Joseon planned to abolish the eunuch system. However, King Taejo (; 1392 - 1398), the first king of Joseon, opposed the plan. He thought that eunuchs were essential for many reasons. First, he needed somebody to do miscellaneous work for him. Second, he needed men unable to rape women inside the palace including the queen, ladies of the royal family, and maidens. Third, he needed someone who can fully dedicate one's life to him. Fourth, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) of China ordered Joseon to send eunuchs as one of the tributes. For these reasons, King Taejo decided to preserve the tradition to hire eunuchs in the palace. Yet, since he knew the negative influences the eunuchs created in the past, he recognised the necessity to reform the eunuch system. Therefore, he had a eunuch named Kim Sa-Heng (106) to create an ideal eunuch system (107).
            The eunuch system that Joseon adopted is well shown in the Gyeongguk daejeon () (108) It is written that eunuchs basically four tasks to do in large.

II.5.2.1 Gamsun ()
            According to Gyeonggook Daejeon, The first task given to the eunuchs is Gamsun (), which literally means tasting the royal family's meal beforehand to confirm safety. To prevent the possible poisoning of the meals the eunuchs tasted the food before the king. The tasting process was very complex. Eunuchs had to supervise the whole process of cooking. Selection of the recipe was also the duty of eunuchs. Therefore, if the king suffered from food poisoning, it was inevitable for the eunuchs to circumvent the harsh punishment for their malpractice. Once, eunuch Jung Duk-Kyung () was cudgelled 60 times and went into exile, for he did not taste the King's meal beforehand (109).
            The eunuchs who served this role were called Sullie (). These Sullies were responsible for cooking meals the king preferred. For example, King Yeonsangun (, 1494 - 1506) personally preferred to eat the tail and tongue of a deer (110). Then, sullies had to find a deer all over the country for the king. Besides, it was very hard to buy fresh food. Particularly, food that goes bad easily was hard to be supplied. Since the technology to preserve food against decay was undeveloped then, food like fish was very hard to convey from the seashore to the palace. However the situations are, the eunuchs had to do the work by themselves (111).
            Sullies also had to be in charge of the food for numerous national anniversaries. Considering the fact that Joseon was a country based on strict Confucius norms, anniversaries were regarded as of great significance. Arrangement of foods and even the direction of the laid bowls had to be observed strictly. Eunuchs had to prepare food considering all these complicated rules. If something went wrong with this, the manager (eunuch) was punished harshly. No mistake was tolerated.

II.5.2.2 Jeonmyung ()
            Jeonmyung is probably the most fundamental duty given to the eunuchs. This literally means sending messages. Depending on the importance and secrecy of the messages, this task was responsible to different levels of eunuchs. The eunuchs who served this role had to be nearest to the king. It may vary historically, but there used to be 1 to 5 eunuchs for this job on average. (112)
            However, this system had some problems. Important messages used to be carried by officers from department Seungjungwon (). There were messages that eunuchs were not allowed to carry. Nevertheless, the problem was that many kings ignored the original process and continuously used eunuchs to send every kind of messages from unimportant issues to top secret issues. Some civil officials appealed to the king and high ranked officials that they should follow the law, and requested that the eunuchs should be excluded from carrying messages of great importance. The king, however, turned down such suggestion and continued to let eunuchs serve such role.
            Meanwhile, the eunuch serving this role gained great power compared with other eunuchs. Since they were almost the only route to actually converse with the king, even civil officials had to treat them with respect. If not, the eunuchs could have distorted the message deliberately and caused negative influence to the official. Mid-Joseon, however, presented a different style of sending messages (113). Joseon became a country more centred on the officials, and they pinpointed that the king and officials should send messages to each other based on the law (114). This was the way how the officials checked the regal power. The result was successful and hence the king had to call officials from Seungjungwon as well to send messages. Moreover, a new law was enacted that the messages should be in written texts. This was to prevent the words from being distorted by eunuchs or other officials who served roles as messengers. However, this law was followed only for a short period of time. Shortly after, there were officials who took advantage of the so-called illegal way to send messages for convenience (115). Furthermore, this new code was totally ignored in the late times of Joseon. (116)

II.5.2.3 Sumun ()
            Sumun literally means to guard the buildings within the palace. Since castrated men did not have physical power to fight with enemies, the main role of these eunuchs was to give the king or other important figures a piggyback and flee fast. It is assumed that these eunuchs must have known many secret ways to escape from the palace without being seen. This job was not new since it had been a duty of the eunuchs in Goryeo as well.
            Eunuchs ranked in level 5 Pum were given the responsibility to manage all eunuchs who serve this role. Because level 5 was very high, only 4 eunuchs were in this level (117). They managed four different buildings and if there were any loopholes of guarding, they had to face harsh punishment.

II.5.2.4 Sojae ()
            Sojae simply means cleaning. Usually eunuchs with no official rank served this role. Joseon had approximately 60 officially ranked eunuchs and 80 to 200 eunuchs with no official rank. The eunuchs with official ranks mainly assumed jobs that do not require hard physical work. However, the ones who failed to achieve an official post had to be in charge of work that somewhat required physical moving. Cleaning was one of them. Cleaning must have been one of the toughest tasks since eunuchs had to clean all things inside the palace.

II.5.2.5 A Distinct Characteristic of Eunuchs in Joseon
            One distinct characteristic of eunuchs in Joseon was that they had to take examinations regularly (119). This examinations were mandatory until a eunuch reaches the age of 35. The test score comes out in 4 grades: Tong (), Yack (), Joe (), and Bultong () (120). Subjects were various and were selectable (121). However, since the level of the examinations were difficult, eunuchs had to study hard in order to pass the test. As a result, intelligent eunuchs generally had more opportunities to succeed in promotion. This kind of system had already been practised in China, but not so successful. However, Joseon successfully operated this new system, heightening the overall intelligence of eunuchs compared with other Chinese dynasties.
            Besides, Joseon was successful in preventing eunuchs from participating in national administration. One reason why Goryeo collapsed was because of the chaos brought about by the eunuchs' excessive participation in national administration. Learnt from the mistakes committed, Joseon introduced a new eunuch system that strictly restricted the influence of eunuchs from growing (122). However, the new system allowed eunuchs to freely apply for higher social ranks by taking examinations, and practically removed the limit of promotion. This new rule was enough to soothe the eunuchs since they obtained the same right to promote as other normal officials. Because this new eunuch system that Joseon invented was so perfect, not a single disorder related to eunuchs occurred. It had become hard to find cases that eunuchs abuse their power or overstep their authorities anymore.

II.6 The Life of Eunuchs

II.6.1 Education
            Originally, education for eunuchs was not allowed in China. If eunuchs had been intelligent they might have distorted messages. To prevent such disaster, early Chinese empires did not allow eunuchs to take any educational steps. Uneducated eunuchs did not have the possibility to distort written messages because they were illiterate. However, emperors began to realise that intelligent eunuchs were more convenient to work with. As a result, emperors established institutions in order to educate eunuchs up to a certain level (123). Likewise, Joseon adopted this system from China. Joseon did not establish a school but they had civil officials teach the eunuchs in a regular basis (124). As it is stated before in this research paper, eunuchs had to take examinations based on what they had learned in these classes.
            All eunuchs basically had to study the system of domestic administration. Moreover, eunuchs had to listen to lectures based on other Classics of Confucianism. Non-uh (), Daehak (), Joongyong (), Maengja (), Sohak (), Samganghengshil (), and etc. (125) After learning these subjects, eunuchs had to take examinations, results of which were reflected to promotion. Regular examinations were mandatory until one reaches the age of 35. However, if a eunuch finishes all his studies and passes all the examinations he has to take before 35, he is allowed not to take any further courses. What is more, fast promotion to a higher rank was guaranteed. Therefore, eunuchs had to study hard in order to succeed in life. (126)

II.6.2 Economic Conditions
            As a rule, most of the eunuchs during Goryeo dynasty could not be paid (127). The only treatment eunuchs received was simply a place to live and three meals a day. Since poor men from low social class became eunuchs, being unpaid was not a problem at all as long as they have a place to live and eat. However, eunuchs who became public officials after Mid-Goryeo started to receive official salaries. A certain amount of land was given. According to the law, the lands given to the officials as a salary should have been returned to the king after every eunuch retired. However, many eunuchs found loopholes in the law and passed their private properties including land to their step-children. Such illegal inheritance became a social problem, but the king and the other officials had no clue to eradicate the problem clearly. There were extreme cases such as a single eunuch becoming a landlord of an area containing more than hundreds of farming fields. Illegally stealing lands of normal civilians was also one way of enlarging their land (128). They did not steal lands and became owners officially. Instead, they left the land to have its original owners, and took the actual power behind. This was to evade tax (129). By this way, eunuchs did not have to pay taxes since the legal owner of the land was someone else than eunuchs who were the real power. Such illegal proliferation of wealth enabled eunuchs to outstretch their power towards other areas during late Goryeo, finally contributing to the collapse of the dynasty.
            On the other hand, eunuchs during Joseon did not receive land as salary. Rather, eunuchs were paid with other materials, such as rice. The amount of payment depended on the rank. The higher the rank is, the more the salary one receives. Eunuchs also received other men as helpers. Eunuchs were allowed to order whatever they needed, of course for official use only. 2 to 3 helpers were granted to eunuchs depending on their rank (130). However, different codes of different times record the number of these helpers differently. For example, Gyeonggook Daejeon records that eunuchs should receive 1 to 2 helpers depending on their rank (131). Problems occurred as the number of eunuchs increased during Mid-Joseon. But the king did not change anything. Also, the government gave 12 sacks of rice to retired eunuchs who are older than 70 to help them continue living (132). Likewise, Joseon did not grant eunuchs with materials that could lead to corruptness. This kind of policy was to prevent eunuchs from gaining excessive power, which could have led Joseon into social chaos.

II.6.3 Living Conditions
            One huge difference between eunuchs of China and Korea is marriage. In China, eunuchs had not been allowed to marry and have a family. Accordingly, married lives of eunuchs in China had to be in secret. It is said that even the royal family knew this but tacitly permitted such behaviour. However, eunuchs in Korea were allowed to marry and have a family officially. It is unclear when eunuchs were firstly allowed to marry, but historical records of Goryeo show that many eunuchs had wives (133). Furthermore, women even competed to become wives of eunuchs during Goryeo since eunuchs had great power and wealth (134). Some actually benefited by marrying eunuchs. People of low class background were able to become public officials by the support of family eunuchs. Yet, these vices almost disappear by the start of Joseon because new law strictly forbade eunuchs from gaining power. This does not mean that eunuchs were not able to marry. Rather, the government encouraged eunuchs to marry. Marriage levied responsibility to the eunuchs, which naturally made them more cautious.
            Eunuchs gained children by adoption. However, one premise was that the stepson must become a eunuch in the future. This system, allowing eunuchs to have a family, was beneficial since it contributed to the continuous supply of eunuchs to the government. Besides, by making eunuchs busy managing his family, the government could limit eunuchs from being overpowered. Stepsons took the same last name with his father and were inherited everything left as well. The name of these eunuchs were recorded in a book named Yangsegyebo (), a pedigree that records the family tree of eunuchs during Joseon (135). As we can see, eunuchs in Korea comparatively enjoyed a better quality of life compared with those of China's.

II.7. Conclusion
            One thing sad during researching information regarding this topic was the lack of sources. Historical documents of Korea scarcely records information of eunuchs. Since the number of them was so small compared with that of China, only a few sources contain several pieces of information. Even the few sources record only the times starting from Goryeo. We do not have any ways to know further about eunuchs before Goryeo due to lack of sources.
            Since that is the case, most of the portion of this paper deals with eunuchs since Goryeo. But still, there were many historical events related to eunuchs. Many big historical events did engage with eunuchs for various reasons indeed. Particularly during late-Goryeo, eunuchs were even one of the strongest groups within the palace. These strong eunuchs had great power, sometimes threatening the king or high ranked officials. Unfortunately that was one factor that led Goryeo to fall.
            Since Joseon, though the power shrunk the eunuch system survived but in a different shape. Strict legal system prevented them from gaining more than enough power. This was to prevent catastrophe caused by the overpowered eunuchs. Many restrictions were newly made. However, the government guaranteed a better life, soothing the possible opposition. Based on this system, eunuchs were able to create their own custom, holding one part of the whole Korean history. Korea had her own history of eunuchs, which has many different parts from China. Considering Korean eunuchs to have no difference from Chinese eunuchs is wrong. Many different factors exist which distinguishes eunuchs of Korea and China, and the crux of this research paper was to figure out exactly what those are.


Notes

(56)      Silla (57 BC - 935 AD) was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and the longest sustained dynasty in Asian history. Other two kingdoms were Goguryeo and Baekje. All these countries had existed within the Korean peninsula. Article: Silla, from Wikipedia.
(57)      Samguk Sagi is a historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla. The Samguk Sagi is written in Classical Chinese (the written language of the literati in traditional Korea) and undertaken by the government official and historian Kim Busik () and a team of junior scholars. It was completed in 1145. It is well known in Korea as the oldest extant Korean history. Article: Samguk Sagi, from Wikipedia.
(58)      Y.K. Park 2004, p. 19.
(59)      Ibid.
(60)      Goryeo-sa () or History of Goryeo is the principal surviving history of Korea's Goryeo Dynasty. The Goryeo-sa, written in Literary Chinese, consists of 139 volumes of which 46 consist of chronicles, 39 of geography, 2 of timetables, 50 of miscellaneous tales, and 2 of lists. Article: Goryeo-sa, from Wikipedia.
(61)      Chang 2007, p. 67. (Cited in ()
(62)      See supra note 58, p. 36
(63)      According to Kyung-gook Daejeon (), the national code of Joseon dynasty, the government had to hire 140 to 300 eunuchs, which was too few to hire castrating professionals. There was no need of them. Unlike Korea, the reason why Chinese empires had those professionals throughout their history was because the population of eunuchs was incomparably large. For example, during Ming period (1368 - 1662), the number of eunuchs reached thousands. See supra note 61, p. 7.
(64)      See supra note 58, p. 37.
(65)      Ibid.
(66)      Ibid.
(67)      Lee 1958, pp. 19-22
(68)      China had castration as a sentence. China, therefore, acquired eunuchs from castrating prisoners of wars, convicts, and etc. However, the neighbouring country Goryeo and Joseon did not have such penalties. See supra note 61.
(69)      Ibid.
(70)     
(71)      See supra note 58, p. 67.
(72)      See supra note 61, p. 67.
(73)      The Mongols had invaded the Korean peninsula six times with large scale military forces. After these six times of big campaigns, which is roughly late 13th century, Goryeo dynasty had to become a tributary of Yuan dynasty. After the peace treaty, Goryeo was subject to occasional political interference from the Mongols. Article: Korea, history of, Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(74)      In China, eunuchs had great power, sometimes even more than noble officials. The reason why thousands of men voluntarily became eunuchs in China was because they wanted to overcome their low social status. In order to overcome their inborn caste, they had no choice but to become eunuchs. I.S. Park 2003, p. 48.
(75)      See supra note 61, p. 85.
(76)      See supra note 58, p. 45
(77)      See supra note 68, pp. 25-26. (Cited in .)
(78)      Goryeo had a level system to control officials called Pum (. ). Numbers are given as grades, and lower numbers meant higher status. But eunuchs were not allowed to reach to the highest point. Certain low positions were the only ones open for the eunuchs, which shows the discrimination towards eunuchs. Ibid. p. 26. (Cited in .)
(79)      Ibid.
(80)      Ibid.
(81)      Ibid.
(82)      Ibid. p. 26.
(83)      See supra note 58, p. 45.
(84)      Ibid.
(85)      See supra note 68, p. 27. (Cited in .)
(86)      Ibid.
(87)      Apparently, eunuchs were not judges in the court. Though, they had the power to interfere with judicial processes. It is written in historical texts that eunuchs often pardoned murderers, meaning that eunuchs did perform their power even in the boundary of social justice. Ibid. (Cited in .)
(88)      Eunuchs raised other eunuchs and recruited them to serve as governmental officials. This was the way how eunuchs enlarged their influence: by enlarging their population. For example, eunuch Jung Ham recruited Wang Gwang-Chee, Paek Sun-Yeon as his partner. The purpose doubtlessly was to reinforce his power. See supra note 58, p. 45.
(89)      Article: Goryeo, from Wikipedia.
(90)      Ibid.
(91)      See supra note 68, p. 27.
(92)      Ibid. (Cited in . and .)
(93)      Article: Mongol invasions of Korea, from Wikipedia.
(94)      See supra note 68, p. 29.
(95)      Pum (. ) system is already explained before. See supra note 79
(96)      See supra note 68, p. 29.
(97)      Ibid. p. 31. (Cited in . and )
(98)      Ibid. p. 30. (Cited in )
(99)      Ibid.
(100)      See supra note 58, p. 46.
(101)      Ibid. p. 47.
(102)      See supra note 68, p. 24.
(103)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(104)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(105)      Ibid. p. 25. (Cited in )
(106)      Kim Sa-Heng became a eunuch under the reign of King Gongmin. He once worked in Yuan dynasty as well. Under the reign of King U and King Kongyang, he was the leader of all eunuchs. And after Goryeo dynasty was toppled, he helped King Taejo of Joseon to establish an ideal eunuch system; he was a fit person for the post. See supra note 58, p. 49.
(107)      Ibid. p. 48
(108)      Gyeongguk Daejeon is a complete code of laws that comprises every law, acts, customs, ordinances to have been released since the late period of the Goryeo Dynasty (918 - 1392) to the early Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1897). It had been a basis for the over 500 years-long Joseon Dynasty in politics. Gyeongguk Daejeon was promulgated in 1485, the 16th year of King Seongjong's reign after the final edition was codified. Article: Gyeongguk Daejeon, from Wikipedia.
(109)      See supra note 61, p. 87. (Cited in )
(110)      Ibid. p. 90
(111)      Ibid. p. 93
(112)      Ibid. p. 100
(113)      Ibid. p. 102 (Cited in )
(114)      Ibid.
(115)      Ibid. p. 103.
(116)      Ibid.
(117)      See supra note 58, p. 52.
(118)      Ibid. p. 51.
(119)      Ibid. p. 50.
(120)      Tong means that the examinee passed the test excellently. If a eunuch received this grade, he was given two extended days of service (more days of service meant more possibility to promotion). Yack also refers to passing the examination, yet one level lower than Tong. One extended day of service is given in this case. Joe is also a 'pass' but not excellent. Half day of extended service is granted. Bultong refers to 'fail'. Three days of service is taken from the eunuchs in this grade. This system contributed to the raise of overall intelligence of the eunuchs. Ibid.
(121)      Ibid.
(122)      Ibid. p. 53.
(123)      Ibid. p. 60
(124)      Ibid.
(125)      The books mentioned are originally those written by great Chinese scholars. These texts mainly contain the words of Confucius, teaching basic ethical concepts. Most of these textbooks were systemised by a Chinese philosopher named Zhu Xi () in 12th century. In this paper, the English spelling of these books followed the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters. Article: Lunyu, from Encyclop©¡dia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.
(126)      See supra note 58, p. 61.
(127)      See supra note 68, p. 37.
(128)      Ibid.
(129)      Ibid.
(130)      See supra note 61, p. 79. (Cited in )
(131)      Ibid.
(132)      Ibid. (Cited in )
(133)      See supra note 58, p. 62.
(134)      Ibid. p. 63.
(135)      Ibid. p. 66



Bibliography

Note : websites quoted below were visited at the end of June 2008.
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2.      Park, Insu. (Eunuch: A Secretary of Emperors). Seoul: Seokpill, 2003.
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8.      Article: Goryeo-sa, from Wikipedia. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeo_sa>
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