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"Like a well-balanced fencing stance, or a reasonable argument, the scholar’s life must be even and balanced."
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Sejong of Joseon (15 May 1397 – 8 April 1450), commonly known as Sejong the Great, was the fourth king of the Joseon dynasty of Korea, renowned for his patronage of science and literature, his extensive legal and economic reforms, and particularly for his creation of the Korean alphabet hangul. He leads the Koreans in Civilization VI.

Science! Korea normally is dominant in any game when it comes to Science Science, but when led by Sejong, your Science Science becomes Culture Culture.


Sejong Dewang, Sejong the Great, ruler of Joseon, from your pen proclamations flow that shape the course of history. A new society, a new way of being is yours to direct. Let your people live harmoniously by your example, and let your wisdom and knowledge guide Korea towards its destiny.


Sejong's unique agenda is Neo-Confucianism. He likes civilizations who are behind him in Culture Culture and Science Science, and dislikes those who are ahead of him in either of these fields.

His leader ability is Hangul. When the first technology from a new era is completed, he receives Culture Culture equal to twice the amount of Science Science he is generating per turn.

Detailed Approach[]

To start any Science Science game the pursuit begins with Writing and the unlocking of the Campus and Library. The same is true with Sejong, except that the Seowon unique district is even more powerful than the Campus. The Three Kingdoms ability gives even more Science Science when you place the Seowon district adjacent to Mines. These powerful Science Science bonuses transform into Culture Culture every time you advance into the next Era with Sejong. Korea is the preeminent Civilization for a Science Victory.


Sejong is voiced by Baek Jae-Seung. He speaks Korean.


Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Korean) Notes
Agenda-based Approval The true scholar leads, and provides an example for others to follow. (lit. "A true scholar should lead and set an example for others.") 진정한 학자라면 선도하고, 타인의 모범이 되어야 하는 법.

Jinjeonghan hakjaramyeon seondohago, tain-ui mobeom-i dwe'eoya haneun beop.

Agenda-based Disapproval To take a step down a false path is not progress. (lit. "Going down the wrong road would not be progress.") 잘못된 길로 들어서는 것은 진보가 아니리라.

Jalmotdwen gillo deureoseoneun geos-eun jinbo-ga anirira.

Attacked Joseon will be freed from your bad influence! (lit. "Joseon will be freed from the evil effects caused by you!") 조선은 너희로 인한 악영향에서 벗어날 것이다!

Joseon-eun neohui-ro inhan agyeonghyang-eseo beoseonal geosida!

Declares War Too long has your shadow darkened our land! We will not wait for you to come - we come to you! (lit. "I came to the realization that fruit and cause must embrace what is beneficial and discard what is harmful, and you are the beginning!") 과인은 득이 되는 것은 품고 해가 되는 것은 내쳐야 한다는 사실을 깨닫게 되었나니, 그 시작은 바로 그대이니라!

Gwain-eun deug-i dweneun geos-eun pumgo hae-ga dweneun geos-eun naechyeoya handa-neun sasir-eul kkaedatge dwe'eonnani, geu sijag-eun baro geudae'inira!

Defeated You may defeat my armies and pillage my cities. But you can never erase the grudge that we will bear against you in our hearts. (lit. "Even if you defeated my army and plundered the city, the anger against you in our hearts will never be erased.") 너희가 비록 과인의 군대를 물리치고 읍성을 약탈했다 하더라도 우리 마음속에 지닌 너희를 항한 분노는 결코 지울 수 없을 것이다.

Neohui-ga birok gwain-ui gundae-reul mullichigo eupseong-eul yaktalhaetda hadeorado uri ma'eumsoge jinin neohui-reul hanghan bunno-neun gyeolko jiul su eopseul geosida.

Greeting I am Sejong, the bringer of calm order where once was violent division. 과인은 이 나라가 극심하게 분열되었을 때 혼란을 정리하고 나라에 평안을 가져온 세종이라 하오.

Gwain-eun i nara-ga geuksimhage bunyeoldwe'eosseul ttae hollan-eul jeongnihago nara-e pyeongan-eul gajyeo'on Sejong-ira hao.

Quote from Civilopedia Like a well-balanced fencing stance, or a reasonable argument, the scholar’s life must be even and balanced. (lit. "A scholar's life should always be fair and unbiased, like a balanced swordsmanship posture or reasonable argument.") 균형잡힌 검술 자세나 합리적인 논쟁과 같이 학자의 삶은 늘 공평하고 치우침이 없어야 할지어다.

Gyunhyeongjapin geomsul jasena hamnijeogin nonjaeng-gwa gachi hakja-ui sam-eun neul gongpyeonghago chiuchimi eopseoya halji'eoda.

This is a quote from a letter to Seong Sam-mun, a scholar of the Hall of Worthies.[1]


Delegation: Here - a surasang! Dishes of every thing good to eat in Joseon - sura, jjim, tang, and nine different kinds of kimchi.

Accepts Player's Declaration of Friendship: We may lead each other in the Way.

Rejects Player's Declaration of Friendship: I must choose well those with whom I would associate.

Requests Declaration of Friendship: We only grow by learning from our friends.

Player Accepts Declaration of Friendship: Peace will work - so long as we know our respective roles.

Player Rejects Declaration of Friendship: You tread like an ox over the boundaries we so properly make.

Denounced by Player: Words spoken in anger can have no productive utility.

Denounces Player: You have fallen far into error here.

Too Many Troops Near His Border: I did not become a great king by ignoring threats on my border.

Invitation to Capital: Your lands impress, though still we long for home.

Invitation to City: We should understand the others' lands, that we might better learn.

Civilopedia entry[]

The Joseon Dynasty of Korea was one of Korea’s greatest and longest-lasting dynasties. Sejong is similarly one of – if not the – most productive and famous of this empire’s rulers, noted for building Joseon’s infrastructure, science, and artistic life.

The Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392–1897) arose along with Ming. In the chaos of the Ming wars of succession against the Mongol-dominated Yuan dynasty, there were similar wars in Korea, as the rising Ming called upon Korean allies to overthrow Yuan-occupied regions of the peninsula. Sensing the weakness of both Chinese positions at this time, the general tasked with this revolted and seized power for himself, choosing Joseon as the name of the kingdom and receiving the posthumous name of Taejo. As would be expected, this thrust the region into further unrest. Unrest that would only end with the succession of Taejong’s son, Sejong (1418-1450).

Sejong’s rule was deeply informed by Confucianism – something unsurprising given Confucius’s emphasis on a stable, wise rule. To this end, Sejong implemented scholarships for Confucian students and, most significantly, sponsored state scholars to create a new alphabet - hangul. Chinese characters had been previously used to write Korean words, but this script did not match with the Korean language (as Korean, like Japanese, was influenced by Chinese writing but has phonemes and conjugations that cannot be easily captured by the character-centered Chinese writing system). This was controversial, as more conservative scholars thought that the adoption of such a script would lead to a decline in education and understanding, but the script caught on and is still used today.

On a less sanguine note, Sejong’s reign saw the suppression of Islam and Buddhism in Korea – the former was present in small numbers since Abbasid contact in the 9th century, and the latter had always been important but clashed with Confucian ideas – Buddhism stresses non-attachment and individual enlightenment, whereas Confucianism stresses familial responsibility and service to the state.

As a part of his emphasis on education, Sejong also commissioned scientific studies – notably, for the strategically-minded, the development of gunpowder weapons, and texts on farming. He offered leniency towards farmers’ taxes, and even implemented maternity leave for Korean nobi – those who had sold themselves as into slavery to escape debt. Other significant achievements included a standardized currency and the Hall of Worthies – a collection of the reign’s scientific and cultural achievements. In addition to the hangul script, these included a printing press, rain gauge, and other practical but innovative measures.

In foreign affairs, Joseon was a tributary state of Ming – surprising given its rebellious origins, but early Ming was in no condition to hold grudges. A tributary in the Ming system was a state that paid the throne in Beijing in order to receive protection from outside threats. This had the ancillary effect of promoting peace amongst tributaries – Joseon Korea and Ashikaga Japan enjoyed warm relations, recognizing their mutual status, although this was to collapse in two centuries, as Japan split from Ming and descended into the domestic disputes of the Sengoku era.

For those not in the tributary system, Sejong was aggressive. Joseon faced Manchu states to its north (the same states that would later form the center of the Qing Dynasty of China) and Japanese pirates operating out of Tsushima, an island off of Japan’s western coast that had been a target of the failed Mongol-led invasion in a previous generation and which remained in that time a lawless frontier. Sejong’s influence there, and canny trade agreements with the local So clan, ensured that the raids stopped.

Sejong died of natural causes in 1450, and although royal succession remained contentious, the infrastructure that he built formed the bones of a stable, prosperous Korean society and ensured its persistence.


  • Sejong's leader ability is named after the alphabet he created, while his agenda is named the philosophical school of thought that spread through Asia from the 13th century onwards, a more rationalistic and humanistic revision of Confucianism.
  • The book that Sejong carries is Hunminjeongeum Eonhaebon. However, he holds it upside down, and given that it was published after his passing, this is somewhat ahistorical.
  • Historically, Sejong was privately Buddhist,[2] but his preferred religion is Confucianism in-game. This likely reflects the prevailing views of Koreans during Sejong's rule and his efforts to promote Confucian ideals.




Leader Spotlight- Sejong - Civilization VI- Leader Pass

Leader Spotlight: Sejong

Related achievements[]

Father of Korean Literature
Father of Korean Literature
Win a regular game as Sejong.
Sejong developed Hangul as a written language during his reign.


See also[]

External links[]

Civilization VI Leaders [edit]
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1 Requires DLC

R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.