Chosun Dynasty Treasures Found in Japan

  • Arirang News

    March 25, 2010 09:23

    More long-lost Korean national treasures from the Chosun Dynasty have been located in the Japanese Imperial Household Agency.

    According to Korean newspaper Joongang Ilbo, rare records from 1392 to 1910 that were looted during the Japanese colonization of Korea were found in the possession of the agency that handles matters of the imperial family.

    The relics include Tongjeon, which is a set of education materials read by kings from as early as the Koryo Dynasty all the way up to the Chosun Dynasty. They are believed to be the only educational records from ancient Korea that have survived to this day.

    Another 38 royal books such as medical texts and records of Chosun customs marked with the royal stamps of the Korean Empire were also found to be in Japan's possession.

    Korea also confirmed that Japan held parts of the Uigwe, a series of books that record all of the major state ceremonies and events of the Chosun Dynasty through text and illustrations. Elaborate pictures of the state funeral of the last empress Myeongseong were revealed for the first time.

    Recognized for their uniqueness and value in the world, the Chosun Dynasty Uigwe were listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007.

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of Japan's annexation of Korea. Since Japanese rule ended, Korea has sent multiple requests for the Uigwe and other books.

    Currently Seoul is planning to make yet another formal request, urging that Japan return all of the royal texts in its possession including the newly discovered books.

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