Korea Cultural Heritages
Many diverse countries and cultures exist in the world. They have their own history and that history made their cultural heritage. As people know, there is no perfect history. Sometime it is good as much as people want to go back but sometime it is a bad thing which people do not want to think about it. Cultural heritage also have a same feature. For example, on July 5 2015 one island selected by UNESCO as a cultural heritage.
However that event caused a big issue. The island, Hashima Island, is a symbol of colonialism Japan. Plenty of people stayed in there as a slave. So many Asian countries, especially South Korea, are submitting a petition to UNESCO. Arirang News reprted “UNESCO has urged Japan to tell the world about the brutalities committed against the Koreans it forced to work on Hashima Island during World War Two”( Lee Ji-won Paragraph 1). Like this South Korea have many interesting history and cultural heritages.
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Korean made one of the most important cultural heritages during a war with Mongolian in13th century. NEW WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA said about war “Goryeo’s first contact with the Mongols had been friendly. They cooperated to defeat the Khitans who had caused turmoil in northern Goryeo for two years. Khitan surrendered to a combined Mongol-Goryeo force, leading the Mongols to force a tributary status on Goryeo requiring a heavy annual tribute from 1219 which on occasion Gojong of Goryeo (r. 1213-1259), who reigned as the twenty-third king of the Goryeo dynasty, refused to pay.
In 1225, the Koreans killed the Mongol envoy Chu-ku-yu while traveling back to China”(Mongol invasions of Korea paragraph 2). Korea need to cooperate each other for resist Mongolian. So they started a big national project which is by compiling a Buddhist scriptures, Korea hoped people to combine their ideas and minds. It is Tripitaka Koreana. It consists of eighty- thousand Tripitaka. The project took about 16 years and 1.5 million people joined. Those wood blocks are well preserved as much as there is no damages even thought it past over 750 years. It affected Chinese and Japanese Buddhism.
Do you know korean alphabet is the only one of whom we know made it? It made by King Sejong the great who is one of the most respected person in Korean history. It is called Hangul. King Sejong and his followers made 2 books which explain how to they made it, how to use it, and why they made it. UNESCO said “The manuscript published in the ninth lunar month of 1446, contains the promulgation by Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Choson Dynasty (reigned 1418-1450), of the Korean alphabet of the same name, now called han-gul, the development of which he completed in 1443.
It also contains the Haerye, or Commentaries, later explanations and examples by scholars of the Hall of Worthies, including Chong In-J’is So, or Postface. This edition is therefore often referred to as the Haerye Edition of Hunminjeongum or Hunmin Chongun. It is kept by the Kansong Art Museum”( Hunminjeongum Manuscript Paragraph 1). Before the creation of Hangul, there was no letter describing Korean’s speaking. So people used Chinese letters for writing. But the problem was only some scholars and people who have a power in politic could write and read the Chinese letters.
Therefore many common people could not get knowledge or wisdom because they didn’t know how to read and write. When King Sejong tried discussing about creating Hangul, many privileged class people objected to his opinion. They thought if common people could study language easily, maybe they can read books and get knowledge. That means they could take their power. They were afraid of that. But King Sejong thought that all the people are my sons and daughters in this country but why there is a gap among the people? So he gathered followers and started a huge scale project.
Hwaseong Fortress made by under control of King Jeongjo. The story start from his father. His father was a rebel because his father tried murdering his grandfather. It is not like this from the beginning. There was no conversation between them and this made misunderstanding each other. After all his father got a disease which is can not control his mind if he do not kill someone or something. After his grandfather heard that his father had tried killing him, his grand father shut up his father in the wooden box. Because of this sad story King Jeongjo did not like capital city. So he moved his father’s grave to Suwon city.
Surprisingly after moving he got a son and his son was born same day as his mother. He thought it is a good sigh. That is why he stated plan that building Hwaseong Fortress. UNESCO said “When the Joseon King Jeongjo moved his father’s tomb to Suwon at the end of the 18th century, he surrounded it with strong defensive works, laid out according to the precepts of an influential military architect of the period, who brought together the latest developments in the field from both East and West. The massive walls, extending for nearly 6 km, still survive; they are pierced by four gates and equipped with bastions, artillery towers and other features” (Hwaseong Fortress Paragraph 1).