Kija's Tomb

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Kija's Tomb
Mausoleum of Jizi1.JPG
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 기자릉
Revised Romanization Gijareung
McCune–Reischauer Kijarŭng

Jizi allegedly fled China to Korea, where he founded the state of Gija Joseon and eventually succeeded the Dangun as king of Gojoseon. Legend says that Gija brought to the Korean people many skills from China, such as agriculture and weaving; he is also credited with founding the city of Pyongyang.

The site of Gija's burial mound was identified during the Goryeo Dynasty by King Sukjong, who constructed the first mausoleum at the 1102. A memorial temple was later added and the mausoleum was enlarged and repaired in 1324 and again in 1355.

In 1570 King Seonjo of Joseon erected a monument at the site requiring all people riding past to dismount out of respect. When Korea was under Japanese rule, the site was heavily promoted as a tourist venue by the Japanese, who tempered Korean ethnic nationalism by pointing out that the first "Korean" kingdom was founded by a foreigner.

However, the North Korean government denies Gija's existence as a fabrication of the Chinese Han dynasty historians as a propaganda to own Korea legitimately, and has neglected and defaced the tomb. The tomb was allegedly excavated in the 1960s, which in turn yielded nothing but broken bricks and pottery. The current state of the tomb is unknown, though it is believed to have been destroyed shortly after its excavation. The site was purposefully excluded from the list of National Treasures of North Korea.

See also[edit]