Un Jangdo

Un Jangdo

In Cale Dixon and the Moguk Murders, a silver knife is used as the weapon of choice. It somewhat odd because the knife is historically used for defense versus an offensive weapon such as a sword. What does the Un Jangdo mean to the Korean people?

Today the Un Jangdo is more of an ornamental knife. Typically a flower, a Chrysanthemum, is decoratively attached at the point where the blade an handle join.

Chastity was valued among Korean women; as much as loyalty to a king for men. Something of a moral code of the Chosun society, ‘one faithful heart’ was as valuable as life itself among men and women.

Many women chose to kill themselves if a situation arose that was out of their control. Women believed that death was the honorable choice rather than taint their body and reputation. Men did likewise when confronted with serving two monarchs in times of political strife or a change of power.

Today the Un Jangdo are frequently associated with a woman’s virtue and chastity by ancient Koreans, particularly during the Confucian-ruled Chosun dynasty (1392-1910).

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