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Joseon Dynasty Royal Family Documents Returned to Korea
“When the day returns, if that day returns/ Triangle Mountain will rise up to dance/ Han River will spin/ It must be returned before my life is over/ I must fly like a crow in a dark night sky/ I will strike my head on the bell to commemorate that occasion.” (From the poem “When that day comes” by the author. Simhun)
With the 33 strikes of the Jongno bell, repossession of Korea’s precious royal documents was celebrated in Seoul on December 8th, 2011. Joseon Uigwe is a collection of documents from Joseon royal family, taken away during the colonial rule of Japan.
Buddhist community welcomed back 1200 of these cherished books to Korea. 33 striking of the bell represent Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara dividing his body 33 to help all sentient beings of different worlds.
Korean Heritage Repossession Department from Lay Buddhist Association for Jogye Order and Committee for Repossession of Joseon Dynasty Royal Family Documents have been working together to have these precious cultural heritage return back to Korea.
Ven. Hyemun from Lay Buddhist Association and Doctor Kim Eui Jeong from the Committee for Repossession of Joseon Dynasty Royal Family Documents, Lee Jeonghyeon a member of the National Assembly, Kim Taehee from Seoul City Assembly, along with 33 other representatives gathered for this happy celebration.
Ven. Jiwon from Buddhism Propagation Department of Jogye Order stated, “This Korean cultural heritage was stored in Japan for the last 89 years. Therefore, repossession of these documents have significant meaning,” and added “On behalf of the people of Korea I would like to say Congratulations.”
These cultural heritages are the nation’s pride, history and spirit. We must keep these heritages well for the future generation.