The Culture of Balhae
Pic> Stone lantern dating
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|Parhae imported the Tang culture over the
groundwork laid by traditional Koguryo culture to achieve
a relatively developed culture. In Sanggyong, the long
standing capital of Parhae, an aristocratic culture developed,
and it became the center of culture in Manchuria.
Parhae had a Chujagam to instruct Confucianism and Chinese
literature, and many sons of aristocracy studied abroad
in Tang. Thus, Confucianism and Chinese literature were
believed to have been considerably developed. On the epitaphs
of Princess Chonghyo excavated in 1980 and of Princess
Chonghye unearthed earlier, beautiful poems carved in
a pairing style can be found.
As poets of Parhae, Yang T'ae-sa, Wang Hyo-ryom, Injong
and Chongso are especially well-known. They sailed to
Japan where they wrote poems which are still read today.
Among many others, "In the Frosty Sky the Moon Shines
and the Milky Way is So Much Cleaner," written by
Yang T'ae-sa, was highly appreciated for its brilliant
|Buddhism prospered in Parhae
and many temples were erected, but today only the building
sites remain. As monks rose in social status they performed
important roles not only in the field of religion but
also in foreign diplomacy. Injong and Chongso were dispatched
to Japan as members of the diplomatic corps.
Parhae arts possess an overflowing ambitious spirit which
is a character prevalent in the works of Koguryo, and
in addition they possess a soft refined quality. The Buddhist
images and lotus flower designed tiles unearthed in Sanggyong
display the peculiarities of Koguryo art. Moreover, the
Ondols and many tombs in lateral stone chambers found
in Sanggyong prove that Parhae was the successor to the
The two stone lions excavated from the tomb of Princess
Chong-hye are famous for their refinement. The stone lantern
in Sanggyong, which is six meters high, is one of these
masterpieces of the stone art of Parhae.
Tae Kan-chi is also known to be one of the famous painters.
In the recently excavated tomb of Princess Chonghyo a
fresco of twelve personages, through which the life of
the people of ancient Parhae can be seen, was found.
pic> tone lion statue dating
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