Koryo Dynasty

Mun Ik jeom (문익점, 文益漸) was a rare individual who was honoured by the kings of two royal dynasties, first by King U of Goryeo and second by the great Joseon King Sejong. The honour received from Sejong was posthumous, and was in recognition of what started, in modern day terms, as industrial espionage. And […]

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The Art of Printing: Korea’s Evolving Printing Types

by Philip Gowman 5 April 2014
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Organised to coincide with the London Book Fair, this exhibition at the KCC is curated by the Korean Publishers Association: The Art of Printing: Korea’s Evolving Printing Types Exhibition Dates: 07 April 2014 – 14 June 2014 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK The World’s Oldest Wooden and Metal Printing Technologies – Korea’s Printing Culture presented […]

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Korean Naval Firepower Part 2 – Koryo and Columbus

by Matthew Jackson 9 September 2013
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Choi Mu-seon was not the inventor of heavy artillery, although he made many innovative variations of the concept. Why did other countries not simply take their cannons and heavy firearms with them on board their ships? The problem with a wooden ship is, if its displacement is sufficiently small, the recoil of a heavy weapon […]

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Photos of King Taejo’s tomb in Kaesong

by Philip Gowman 21 July 2013
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The Rodong Sinmun has some nice pictures and a brief article on the tomb of Wang Kon, founder of the Koryo dynasty as King Taejo. The tomb is one of the Historic Monuments and Sites of Kaesong recently entered into the UNESCO list of world heritage. Update: links to the full set of Rodong Sinmun’s […]

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Korean Naval Firepower Part 1 – When Wako Attack

by Matthew Jackson 29 March 2012
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The Battle of Lepanto, wherein the allied forces of Venice, Genoa, and Spain overcame the Turks by means of a superior number of cannons, was a turning point in naval history in the West. Dominance of the sea enabled countries such as the Netherlands and England to play a dominant role in world affairs. The […]

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Reading the Heavens Part 1 – Two Millennia of Astronomy in Korea

by Matthew Jackson 14 February 2012
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To celebrate star-crossed lovers everywhere, Matthew Jackson starts a series of articles on Korean astronomy As we can tell from ancient monuments like the Dolmen stones and more recent buildings such as Cheomseongdae, astronomy was big in Korea. Why was this exactly? Reverence for nature was part of it, but it was in fact more […]

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Archaeology study day in Cambridge

by Philip Gowman 2 February 2012
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An interesting half day this Saturday, 4 February: Study Day on the Archaeology of Early States on the Korean Peninsula AT THE McDONALD INSTITUTE FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE SATURDAY 4TH FEBRUARY 2012 Organised by Professor Kim Jong-Il (Seoul National University and Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge) and Dr Simon Kaner (Sainsbury Institute […]

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Koryo dynasty warship found off Nagasaki

by Philip Gowman 27 October 2011
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Warship from Kublai Khan’s 13th century Mongol invasion fleet found off Nagasaki http://t.co/x3XCi8Cz and http://bit.ly/vov7GJ – sunk by the ‘kamikaze’ storms. The fleet contained many Koryo dynasty ships.

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Koryo and Liao Relations in the 10th-11th century

by Philip Gowman 28 February 2011
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SOAS has a series of East Asian Art and Archaeology Research Seminars. The next one is of relevance to Koreanists, and will be held in the Brunei Gallery, room B111 on Friday, 4 March, at 3 pm. All are welcome. Koryo and Liao Relations in the 10th-11th century – Impact on Buddhist Culture – Youngsook […]

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Korean art – two millennia of globalisation

by Philip Gowman 19 November 2010
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“Why did it have to end so early?” asked a member of the audience at the conclusion of the British Museum’s study morning “Korea at the Crossroads” last weekend, 13 November. Strictly, the event had overrun by about five minutes, but you knew what she meant. More to the point would have been the question […]

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