Jo Feb 3, 2023

The monument to Mausoleum of King Kwanggaetho is a stone monument erected in 414 by his son, King Jangsu (25th king), in praise of the meritorious deeds of King Kwanggaetho, 24th king of Koguryo (ruling period: 391-412). The mausoleum is located 6 kilometres north-east of Kungnae Walled City (Jian City, Jilin Province), the second capital of Koguryo.

The monument is made up of a body stone and a stone pedestal. On the four sides of the smoothly processed body are drawn lines vertically and horizontally where letters are inscribed clearly. Only 1 530 of the letters written vertically in 44 lines are recognizable.

The words on the monument are largely divided into three parts.

The first part covers from the legend of the founder of Koguryo to the enthronement and demise of King Kwanggaetho. The second part deals in detail with the meritorious deeds of extending the territory of Koguryo performed by King Kwanggaetho. The third part regulates the number limit of mausoleum guards and the rules they had to follow.

The monument reflects the struggle and desire of Koguryo people for the unification of the three kingdoms. It also has a lot of valuable information that is not found in documentary records of political, social and economic situations of Koguryo, class relations, and relations with Silla, Paekje and Japan, etc. of that time.

The letters are written in a peculiar font, Yeso. The majestic and vigorous font demonstrates the lively and vigorous spirit of Koguryo people.

The monument gives an account of the vastness of the territory and the might of Koguryo, the eastern power. For its magnificence (longest and biggest of all grave stones made by our ancestors) and rich content, it proves to be precious cultural inheritance of our nation and important material for historical research.

Kim Son Yong, researcher at the Academy of Social Sciences