Disputed Historical Figure
During the mid-Goryeo period in the 13th century, those in power deprived farmers of their land for various reasons. Farmers who lost their land often degenerated into slaves. To remedy the situation, the Directorate for Reclassification of Farmland and Farming Population was first introduced in 1269. The government organization tasked with land and slavery reform was re-established several more times afterwards. The office played the most critical role ever in 1366 during the reign of King Gongmin. It was Buddhist monk Shin Don who pushed ahead with reform through this organization.
On the back of full confidence of the king, Shin Don grabbed the halls of power. Some describe him as a reformer or a revolutionist, while others call him a corrupt and wicked monk blinded by greed for power. Let’s find out more about Shin don, one of the most disputed historical figures in Korean history.
Buddhist Monk in King Gongmin’s Dream Wipes Farmers’ Tears