In Search of Its Culture and History

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Goguryeo (sometimes spelled Koguryo) was one of the ancient kingdoms of Korea. The name of the modern state of Korea comes from this powerful and influential kingdom. It ruled northern Korea during the Three Kingdoms period from the 1st century BCE to 7th century CE.  Goguryeo tomb murals, now registered with UNESCO World Heritage, are an important part of Korea’s rich cultural heritage. They are a historic record of the kingdom, one of the most powerful states in Northeast Asia 2000 years ago. The murals, excavated from the late third to seventh centuries in areas of Pyongyang and Anak in North Korea and Ji’an in China, reflect the Goguryeo people’s view on the world, the universe, and afterlife. In addition, these murals provide important insights into their daily life.

Through this book, readers can understand characteristics of Goguryeo life and culture depicted in the Goguryeo tomb murals: individuality based on diversity, universality with originality, and openness with selectivity.


Ho-tae Jeon

Ho-tae Jeon is a professor of Department of History & Culture at University of Ulsan, Korea. He received his BA, MA, and PhD in Korean history at Seoul National University and has been a curator at the National Museum of Korea. He specializes in the ancient cultural history of Korea and has published numerous articles on Goguryeo tomb murals and ancient Chinese art. Professional research projects include GOGURYEO GOBUNBYEOKHWA ILKKI (Reading the Goguryeo Tomb Murals) (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2008), GOGURYEO TOMB MURALS; THE DREAMS OF THE LIVING AND HOPES OF THE DEAD (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2007), GOGURYEO GOBUNBYEOKHWAUI SEGYE (The World of Goguryeo Tomb Murals) (Seoul: Seoul National University Press, 2004), SARA INNEUN URI YEOKSA, MUNHWA YUSANUI SEGYE (Korean History Alive, The World of Cultural Heritage) (Ulsan: University of Ulsan Press, 2004), GOGURYEO GOBUN BYEOKHWA YEON-GU (Study of Goguryeo Tomb Murals) (Seoul: Sakyejul Publishing, 2000). Handbooks for students and general readers include BYEOKHWAYEO, GOGURYEOREUL MALHARA (Murals, Unveil Goguryeo) (Seoul: Sakyejul Publishing, 2004), BYEOKHWARO BON GOGURYEO IYAGI (Seeing Goguryeo through the Tomb Murals) (Seoul: Pulbit Publishing, 1999). He has also written the following educational history books for children: GOGURYEO SARAMDEREUN WAE BYEOKHWAREUL GEURYEONNAYO? (Why Did Goguryeo People Paint Murals?) (Seoul: Five Wagons Publishing, 1998), SILLAREUL WAE HWANGEUMUI NARARAGO HAENNAYO? (Why Was Silla Called the Golden State?) (Seoul: Five Wagons Publishing, 1999

288 pp.
LC# 2008937888
Softcover 17 x 21.5 cm
ISBN-13: 9781565912823
ISBN-10: 1565912829