Empire of Korea
Metal - Gold
Science & technology - seal - seal - seal
- Accession Number
In October of 1897, Emperor Gojong held a special ceremony at a hwangudan (圜丘壇, “circular altar”), in which he officially proclaimed the nation to be the “Great Han Empire” (大韓帝國) and declared himself its emperor. He then reorganized the government, renamed many governmental positions, and drastically altered a number of ritual and ceremonial formalities, including ancestral rituals. One of these changes was to update the official royal seals to reflect the new imperial grandeur and authority. Whereas the former seals had been decorated with a turtle, the new Imperial Seals bore the image of a dragon, a symbol more fit for an emperor. The Imperial Seals were used for a wide variety of official activities and actions. The National Museum of Korea currently holds three official seals: daewonsubo (大元帥寶), which was used for military administration and activities; jegojibo (制誥之寶), which was used for government appointments of high-ranking officials; and chingmyeongjibo (勅命之寶), which was used when issuing an imperial command.