Time in Korea

  • Moon-hyon Nam
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_9337-2

Timekeeping: Introduction

In the Confucianism-dominated ancient East Asia, following the practices of Emperors Yao and Shun became the ideal politics of royal statesmanship, which was believed to be a way to realize the rule of heaven. Therefore, “observing the heavens and granting the seasons” became a priority for all rulers. As a result, the armillary sphere, a basic instrument for celestial observation, was developed and made the calendrical system based on the observation results collected through this device. Chinese calendar, astronomical instruments and star maps, and timekeeping systems and timepieces were introduced to the Korean peninsula from remote antiquity. Timekeeping was both a royal duty and a royal prerogative in premodern Korea since the period of the Three Kingdoms (ca. 57 BC to 935 AD) of Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo. In this period, Han and Tang Chinese-style sundials and clepsydras (water clocks) might have been introduced, although they developed fire clocks...


Ball Mechanism Gear Wheel Summer Solstice Winter Solstice Dual Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Konkuk University and Jagyeongnu Research InstituteSeoulSouth Korea