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A Study on Memorial Stone Boxes in the Joseon Dynasty

OH IM SUK 1

1창원문성대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Once born, people are bound to die someday and there are some people trying to leave traces of their lifetime after death. A memorial stone is one of the means leaving traces of their lifetime. A memorial stone can be said to be the history of a person because a lot of information including the social status or lineage, marital status etc. of the buried person is recorded in it from birth to burial after death. In Korea, memorial stones appeared from the Three Kingdoms Period but the memorial stone culture bloomed in earnest as many ordinary people participated in the Joseon Dynasty. In the Joseon Dynasty unlike Goryeo, a memorial stone box was prepared in many cases to store a memorial stone safely rather than burying it in the ground. First, materials of a memorial stone box appear to be various such as stone material, ceramics material, soil material, wood material etc. However, the analysis by rank shows that it was mostly produced limited to senior officials of 3rd rank or higher. And 『Annals of King Sejong』, 『Gukjooryeeui』, 『Jujagarye』, 『Sangryebiyo』, 『Saryebyoenram』etc. reveal that memorial stones are produced and buried in front of or near the shed on a burial day. Therefore, it can be said that a memorial stone box for storing a memorial stone safely was also prepared during the funeral period and buried in front of or near the shed on a burial day. This memorial stone box appeared from the 15th century but was produced only for some royal and senior officials in the contemporary atmosphere at that time. This implies that the importance of 『Jujagarye』 was emphasized at the national level but did not reach the complete settlement stage. And then, it hardly appeared in the 16th century and increased after the 17th century and significantly increased around in the 18th and 19th centuries, showing the aspect of changing its form from the previous stone box to ceramics box. Especially in the 19th century, their own unique disk-shaped memorial stone was all the rage among senior officials. Mostly, a separate box for storing a memorial stone was made and the box was produced according to the shape and size of the disk-shaped memorial stone. In addition, a memorial stone box also played a role of title statement and these examples are very interesting because they can be found in ceramics, soil box including stone material box.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.