Crown Prince Sado

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  • Born: 1735
  • Died: 1762
  • Other Names: Honorary King Jangjo

Crown Prince Sado was a crown prince of Joseon Dynasty Korea. The second son of King Yeongjo (r. 1724-1776), he became heir to the throne at the age of one, his elder brother having died some years earlier.

Sado was married at the age of ten to a young girl from the Hong clan. His wife later came to be known as Lady Hyegyeong. Their second son would later become King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800).

Sado differed strongly with his father in their political views. This conflict would grow violent, resulting in Sado's expulsion from the position of Crown Prince, and his death by his own father's hand when he was 27 years old. The details of the conflict, and the circumstances of his death, remain unclear, however. According to an epitaph written by his father, Sado was killed by being locked in a rice chest.[1] These political disputes were recorded by Sado's wife, in her now-famous memoir, Record of Sorrowful Days (Hanjunglok).

He was posthumously elevated to the title of King, and named Honorary King Jangjo. In 1789, his son King Jeongjo had his tomb moved to Hwaseong (modern-day Suwon), 19 miles from the capital; Jeongjo would visit the tomb regularly thereafter, accompanied by grand royal processions.


  • Hyeonjeong Kim Han, In Grand Style, San Francisco: Asian Art Museum (2013), 57-64.
  1. Gallery labels, National Museum of Korea.[1]