Noron and Soron

We are hearing this in SKKS a lot, and the tension between Jaeshin and Seonjun is based on this division. Well, Jaeshin added lately another reason to hate the stone Seonjun, heh.
During the reign of King Injo, two political factions were at power: seoin (western faction) and nam-in (southern faction) The political power of dong-in (eastern faction) was shrinkened. In 1659, a big feud started among the nobles, and the reason was the length of the mourning after the second son of the King. Nam-in faction was victorious in it (2 year-long mourning) and the power of seoin waned for the time being. In 1680 nam-in were cut from the power after being accused of the conspiracy. The triumphant faction seoin split into two: noron (the old reasoning) and soron (the new reasoning). The former demanded the severe punishment for the conspirators, the latter were more lenient. In 1696, noron were accused of non-existent conspiracy and temporary shifted from the power, and some of them lost their lives as well. Soron faction’s victory didn’t last long, King Yeongjo (1724-1776) put noron back to the power. The law was strict: anyone who accused noron was sentenced. Soron revolted in 1728. They paid a high price for this mutiny, but in overall, Yeongjo’s reign was peaceful (tangpyeonchaek).

During the events with Prince Sado, noron split into two smaller groups: pyeokpa (strict) and sipa (lenient), the former was tied to the Queen, King Yeongjo’s wife (who hated the unfortunate Prince), the latter was tied to Princess Hong, the wife of Sado (she later becomes Queen Gyeonghui), who was the mother of future King Jeongjo.

Jeongjo died abruptly in 1800 and until today the reason for it hasn’t been proposed. There are many theories, including poisoning. His lifelong wishes were never realized by his son, King Sunjo.
*Noron faction (노론;老論) : Old Doctrine, emblematic color at Korean court : white
*Soron faction (소론 ;少論) : Young Doctrine, emblematic color at Korean court : blue
So, as we see, Jaeshin, accusing noron faction of his brother’s death, doesn’t know the right history. Because soron party did revolt, and according to any law, the conspirators have to pay the price for it. But the personal grudge is another thing. He hates the fact that his father, soron, works for a powerful noron (who is by the way, the Devil himself). But the true is that Noron was behind his brother’s demise, only he forgot that it was Soron who planned to destroy Norons earlier. So it’s just a turn of the tide.
For more, read:
1. Kim Chungil, The History Of Korea, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005
2. Clark Donald N., Culture and Customs of Korea, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000
3. Kang Jae-un, The Land of scholars: two hundred years of Korean Confucianism, Homa & Sekey Books, 2006
4. The article, available for download: here^^, but the transcription is older, not the new one proposed last year as the revised romanisation. Interesting article though.

Hwaseong Fortress, built by King Jeongjo

About ethlenn

Just usual suspect
This entry was posted in kdrama, Korea, korean, Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Noron and Soron

  1. arakira says:

    Thanks for the explanations. An interesting read!

  2. Ethlenn says:


    Judging from the drama, Great Minister, Seonjun's father is from pyeokpa group, because he's against everything that King proposes and wants. Also, Minister of the War is also from pyeokpa. Few of the ministers are sipa though, like the one who is always by King's side.

    I'm not sure about Professor Jeong, but I'm not even sure he belongs to any faction or maybe he is just above all. Since he was confident of the King, that could put him either in pyeokpa group, or even from nomin. Someone said that Yoon Hee's father was nomin. So that would make sense…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks…now i know what is soron and what is noron

  4. Anonymous says:

    i was like wtf is a noron and a soron b4 i read this . thx

  5. Ethlenn says:

    Pure pleasure for me^^
    Glad it explained a bit the terms.

  6. Hermyoni says:

    Thanks for this. I'm watching this show at the moment and they kept referencing the term just not really explaining it. Makes sense why all the hostility towards each other after reading this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    been watching the drama .. . And got so interested.. Thanks to this.

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