(32) 조선시대 화재일지

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Click Into the Hermit Kingdom (32)

Chronology of Fire Accidents, Dispute Over Its Symbolism

By Yang Sung-jin


The Choson period is closely associated with the image of fire, a symbol of the dynasty's civility and its moralistic principles in governing the country. That is why Kwanghwamun (Kwang means 'fire' in Korean), the main gate of Kyongbok Palace, is positioned such that it faces due south (also the direction representing 'fire'). In front of it stands a stone sculpture of a mystical lion named "Haetae," an imaginary animal symbolizing justice, which is said to live on fire, thereby sugesting the power of water.


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[Content available in the book Click into the Hermit Kindgom]




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