Shin Saimdang (申師任堂, 신사임당, 1504-1551) was a Chosun dynasty artist, calligrapher, and poet. She is the mother of Yi I (李珥, 이이, 1536-1584), who appears on the 5,000 won note. She was of the Pyeongsan Shin clan (平山申氏, 평산신씨); her courtesy name (字, 자 or 堂號, 당호) was Inseon (仁善, 인선); and her pen name (號, 호) was Saimdang (師任堂, 사임당). Shinsaimdang is viewed as the model of Confucian motherhood, and is called a “benevolent mother and good wife” (賢母良妻, 현모양처,Hyeonmoyangcheo), for being not only fulfilling household duties but also being well versed in Confucian Classics.
She first appeared on Korean currency in 2006 on the 50,000 Won note, making her the first woman to appear on a Korean currency note. This decision was not without controversy, as Korean feminists criticized the addition. It should be noted, however, that women writers in Classical Chinese do not start appearing until the Ming Dynasty in China and Chosun Dynasty in Korea, at the same time that Neo-Confucianism became the adopted philosophy. There was indeed a movement by Chosun Neo-Confucianist scholars to educate women.
Longing for Parents
Thousand Li away my hometown’s mountains and the ten-thousand layered peaks
Return to my mind and remains long within my dreaming soul.
On the ridge of the Hansong Pavilion, the lonely wheeled moon shines;
In front of the Gyeongpo Gazebo, one sudden wind blows.
Above the sands, the white gulls always gather and scatter;
At the sea gate, the fishing boats ably go West and east.
At what time may I again walk the roads of Imyeong
And again wearing my colorful dress and below the wisteria tree sew?
- Hansong Pavilion (寒松亭, 한송정, Hansongjeong) is a pavilion located in Hashidongri (下詩洞里, 하시동리) in Gangreung (江陵, 강릉). It is one of the oldest structures in Korea.
- Gyeongpodae Gazebo (鏡浦臺, 경포대, Gyeongpodae) is a storied structured located in Jeodong (苧洞, 저동) in Gangreung.
- Imyeong (臨瀛, 임영) is the old name for Gangreung.
- 疊(첩) – To be layered (첩첩하다).
- 畔(반) – Ridge (밭두둑).
- 白鷗(백구) – White gull.
- 艇(정) – Small boat.
- 斑衣(반의) – Colorful dress.