restricted access The Makeup of Koryŏ Aristocratic Families: Bilateral Kindred


For Koryŏ aristocratic families, the three-generation segment remained basic as the primary unit for dividing inheritance. This segment includes the oldest lineal ascendant, his sons and daughters (and sons-in-law), and his grandsons and granddaughters by both his sons and daughters, that is, a cognatic three-generation segment. In the private sphere men and women held equal rights but in the public sphere only men had rights and duties. The protective appointment was also granted based on the three-generation segment and likewise investiture in the royal family was similarly regulated. This was much smaller than in China where the patrilineal five-generation segment was the norm for the imperial family. Although Confucian influence on the family system would evolve later in the Chosŏn period, filial piety in which the oldest lineal ascendant was venerated was important for aristocratic families.