What Korean coins and banknotes tell us…

What Korean coins and banknotes tell us…

Do you know the meaning of images on South Korean coins and banknotes?


1 won: Mugunghwa (무궁화) – National flower of South Korea.


5 won: Turtle Boat (거북선) – type of boat used in the naval battle against Japan in the 16th century.


10 won coin: Dabota Tower (다보탑) – Bulguksa temple, this is where you should not miss out on when traveling in Gyeongju, the ancient capital of Silla Dynasty in Korea.


50 won coin represents a branch of rice symbolizing Korean agriculture.


100 won: General Yi Sun Shin (이순신 1545-1598), famous for Myeongnyang naval battle, with only 13 Turtle Boats, he defeated more than 330 Japanese military boats.


500 won: Sarus Crane (두루미) – A crane species in Korea.


1,000 won: Lee Hwang (이황 1501-1570), a famous intellectual scholar, held  many positions in the Joseon Dynasty and was responsible for teaching Confucian theories. He is viewed as the most eminent philosopher of Korea in that era.


5,000 won: Lee Dong Yi (이이 1536-1584), a student of Lee Hwang (이황), well-known for his intelligence, being literate at the age of 3. As a 7-year-old boy, he had learned and understood the whole theory of Confucius, then came first place at the literary contest of the court when only 13 years old. However, at the age of 18 he began to study Buddhism and devoted the rest of his life to serve the Buddha.


10,000 won: King Sejong (세종대왕 1397-1450), the country’s most famous king, is the creator of the modern written language system which later took the place of Kanji – the one previously available only to high-society class. The new system of writing and science simply makes the poor in society at that time also feel easy to learn.

4 R UMAX     PL-II            V1.5 [4]

50,000 won: Saimdang Shin ( 사임당 1504-1551), mother of Lee Yi (이이). She is a multi-talented artist. In that era, Women were just thought of being a good wife, responsible mother and dutiful daughter-in-law. But beyond all of those things, she demonstrated her talent that women of that time did not dare to dream of. Son Lee Yi (이이) is said to have inherited every drop of his mother’s natural talent.

Leave a Reply