The “Sarim” (士林) were a group of literati scholars who strictly interpreted and emphasized Neo-Confucianism. In the early years of the Joseon Dynasty, the ruling powers had prevented this group from entering politics.

By the late fifteenth century, however, members of the Sarim began to enter the central government, leading to the group’s re-emergence in the sixteenth century, when they implemented many social changes.

As their political activities increased, the Sarim split into different factions depending on their scholarly and political views, leading to wider and more detailed discourse.