Jeollanam-do Tangible Cultural Asset No. 113
Hampyeong Hyanggyo (Government-Run Provincial School)
Date of cultural asset designation: February 25, 1985
Hampyeong Hyanggyo (government-run provincial school) is located in Hyanggyo-ri, Daedong-myeon, 1.5 kilometers east of Hampyeong-eup. Hampyeong Hyanggyo was relocated to its current location in 1631, which was previously located in an area currently known as Oedaehwa, Naegyo-ri, Hampyeong-eup. Like other government-run provincial schools, Hampyeong Hyanggyo was also believed to be built in the early Joseon Dynasty, but its detailed historical background remains unknown. Foundation stones and roof tile pieces, considered to be remains of Hyanggyo, were found in the eastern mountain in Oedaehwa Village in Naegyo-ri as its traces.
Hyanggyo was first destroyed by Japanese troops in September 1597 during the second Japanese Invasion of Korea, which was disclosed in detail by Roh Gyeong-deok, who was a Confucian scholar and righteous army soldier at the time. In his travel certificate, it say “as Japanese troops made all servants working at Hampyeong Hyanggyo near Oedaehwa, Naegyo-ri run away, sacrificial rites were held at their own expense and with their servants,” which clearly shows how Hampyeong Hyanggyo disappeared at the time.
Having merely maintained its existence, in 1672 Park Jeong-cheong, the then-governor of Hampyeong tried to reconstruct Hampyeong Hyanggyo in its current location, but the plan was discontinued because of the later Jin Invasion of Joseon. In 1631, 22 Hampyeong Confucian scholars’ proposals prompted the completion of Daeseongjeon Hall and Myeongryundang Lecture Hall, becoming a full-fledged hyanggyo building.
In 1643, Confucian scholar brothers Kim Hyeong-bok and Kim Hyeong-woo in Jangseong burned the “Book of Confucian Scholars,” while exchanging circular letters with Jeong Ji-hyun, one of the key figures in the relocation and reconstruction of Hyanggyo, which triggered a tremendous stir in and around Jeollanam-do. In 1662, Yi Hwang’s ancestral tablet was even taken out of Hyanggyo, which further complicated and worsened matters. A fire broke out in 1816, destroying part of Daeseongjeon Hall and Myeongryundang Lecture Hall, which were later repaired and have been maintained to date.