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Highest social class of the Korean Choson dynasty (1392–1910). It consisted of both munban (civilian officials) and muban (military officials). Though the term originated in the Koryo dynasty (935–1392), it was only later applied to the highest of four social classes. The yangban were granted land and stipends and were the only social class permitted to take the civil service examinations. The yangban system was discarded in 1894.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on yangban, visit Britannica.com.
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