|▲ Students are paying attention to Professor Yoon talking about sophisticated structure and historical meaning of the "Tomb of the General"|
Every year, Dongguk University has organized a team to visit the Koguryo area since 2006. They are called the “Chung-mu history explorers”. This year, they went to China for 6 days from July 1st. Participating students were selected considering their grades, report essays, and interviews. They went to Shen-yang, Tong-hua, Huan-ren, Ji-an, Dan-dong, Da-lian, Lu-shun cities which are parts of the Northeast areas in China. Yoon Myung-chul, one of the professor s from Dongguk University, who has been lecturing about Korea’s maritime history and culture, participated in this project to visit the historical sites with the students together, while giving special lectures.
The Post reporter participated in this project. On the first day, the members went to Shenyang Gugong, the imperial palace in China. Its size is one-twelfth of the Forbidden city which is a largest palace in Beijing. It was used during the Qing dynasty, so its architecture style is mixed with Mongolian, Han, and Manchurian culture. The Gugong was seen to have a modern and powerful style. On the second day, the members went to Onyer Fortress which is called the first castle of Koguryo. It was located just above Onyer mountain about 8.5 km from Huan-ren city. The lay of the land is a basin so it seems like a favorable place to hinder enemy forces.
The highlight of this expedition was the third day. The exploring students went to the Tomb of the General, Gwanggaeto Stele, the Tomb of the Gwanggae the Great, the Hwan-do mountain fortress and No. 5 tombs of the Ohoebun (Five Basin Tombs). These are all located at Ji-an city. The Tomb of the General was built with about 1,100 sliced granite stones with exact measurements. The right side of the tomb is estimated to be an ancestral rite site. According to this, the Koguryo people had a cult of ancestor worship and our ethnic people respected their forefathers a long time ago. The Tomb of the Gwanggaeto the Great was erected by Jangsu of Koguryo as a memorial to his deceased father. It is one of the major primary sources that shows the extent of the history of Koguryo, and supplies invaluable historical details on his reign as well as insights into Koguryo mythology. The place has suffered plenty of damage, and today the Chinese do not permit visitors to take pictures of the inside.
Hwan-do mountain fortress was constructed to confront enemy troops. The remains of the castle today are only ruins. Tomb No. 5 of the Five Basin Tomb has mural paintings in a tumulus. In the drawings, there were sacred dragons painted at the top. On the stone below it, there are various Taoists and 4 patron saints such as a blue dragon. It was very beautiful and touching. Inside, there was a lot of moisture so it seemed like the drawings were slowly being erased.
On the fourth day, the exploring students went to Dandong city which was close to the border area between China and North Korea. The trip was focused on seeing North Korea. As we took a cruise ship and approached, the North Korean inhabitants came into sight and looked like they came from a somewhat distant place. It was sad because the North Korean residents and South Korea citizens has the same ethnic roots but now, they cannot meet freely. The next day, the students went to the Seong-san mountain fortress and Bi-sa fortress.
On the last day, the explorers went to Lushun prison. It is famous because about 700 fighters for national independence including Patriot Ahn Jung-geun and ethnohistorian Shin Chae-ho were there during the Japanese colonial era.
After finishing the Chung-mu history exploration, a participating student Choi Won-jun said that, “My degree of satisfaction is 110 out of 100. I did not know much about the history of Koguryo so the explanations by professor Yoon helped a lot. Through this opportunity, I came to know about the exact facts of Koguryo’s history thanks to him. I learned two main things. The first is if I had not experienced this, I would not have developed my knowledge and wisdom in this area. The other is that the members were from different majors. When we saw these historical legacies, each student had their own perspective, but the information that each acquires is relative. So when each opinion is expressed, and gathered, we can see history more accurately.
Kim Seung-uk, a team member of the ‘Student Service team’ and a team leader of this project, mentioned that “Participating in this project recently, I really appreciated Professor Yoon’s contribution to this project. He took a raft in June, and then he broke his legs. However, he delivered his lectures with heart. I feel that there are two advantages of this project. One is that students can build relationships with students with different majors and the other is that lectures were of a high quality. He taught me ways to think logically. ”
The ‘Chung-mu history explorer ’is made for students to increase their awareness of Korean and Chinese history. It provided a good opportunity for students to know about China’s pride and their own history. To deal with the Northeast Asian Project, it seems like Koreans should know more about the history of China and Korea and their relationship.
Learning about the Northeast Asian Project from China’s perspective is more important than Korea’s because Koreans could take actions based on China’s foreign policy. If not, Korea would lose their Koguryo history to the Chinese government, and would not have their own fundamental history. What we should do as Korean citizens is learning how China has used this as a diplomatic and cultural policy rather than choose to rage on about history distortion.
Park Su-jeong firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 동국포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>