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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term that originally designated two categories of the service class in feudal Korea—civil officials (munban) and military officials (muban). Later, for a period beginning in the 12th century and under the Yi dynasty, it was used to refer to the highest class, membership in which was hereditary.

As feudalism developed, the number of yangban grew; the increase was particularly marked in the period of dissolution of feudalism, which began in the 18th century. The yangban were exempt from feudal obligations. In provincial areas, the class expanded as prosperous peasants and merchants paid the government for the right to belong to it.

In modern historical literature the term yangban is applied to the ruling class in feudal Korea and is used in the sense of feudal lords or landowners.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Members of the ruling yangban class (like Kouzuki), landowners, and indigenous leaders who were friendly to Japan made efforts to convince their countrymen and women to facilitate the ideology and policies of the colonizing regime.
We were shown a yangban hanok or a residence of a scholar or aristocrat.
Direct criticism of the yangban was strictly forbidden during that time, so the common people satirized the yangban from behind masks, developing the craft into various forms of mask dance with regional variations.
This required the official recognition of China to ensure the cooperation of the Korean ruling yangban class.
Most cases involve homicide, often triggered by adulterous affairs, and feature suspects and witnesses from all walks of life, from elderly yangban to peddlers, from young slave wives to widowed scholars.
He includes a few references to corruption in the yangban exams and in the "rent-seeking social networking if not corruption at higher education institutes" (p.
While Sirhak ideas initially focused on practicality and fairness, their assimilation after Tasan led to a rigid Korean version of neo-Confucianism wielded by the yangban elite to dominate an increasingly economically backward and stagnant Hermit Kingdom as the 1800s proceeded.
Early converts to evangelicalism were mostly lower-class Koreans from northern parts of the country, but by the late 1890s, evangelicalism was also making inroads into the ranks of the politically minded upper class, or yangban. Like commoners, yangban, too, started to join the church in the 1880s when the country was still under Korean sovereignty.
Holcombe places special emphasis on the economic and social changes, including the commercialization of the Chinese economy, the institution of the Yangban social orders in Korea, and the origins of the samurai and rise of the daimyo in Japan.
Nevertheless, traditional Korean society, which recognized the yangban as an elite stratum, resembles a caste system more closely than a class system, because its membership was more or less fixed or impermeable, members were strongly endogamous, and their legitimate offspring automatically became yangban.
As a cross-cultural adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons), Untold Scandal depicts Chosun aristocratic culture in a very unconventional way: In lieu of royal families, famed artists, or oppressed feudal women, the clandestine libertine sexcapades of the ruling yangban class come into narrative focus.