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information on Korean stamp
Date of Issue : 2022.06.24
Types : 7
Denomination : 520 won
Design :
Stamp No. : 3604
Printing Process
& Colors
: null
Size of Stamp : 28×35
WholeSheet
Composition
: 7×1
Image Area : 28×35
Paper : null
Perforation : -
Printer : null
Designer : null
Quantity : 492,100
Detail
Astronomy was an extremely important field of study in ancient Korean kingdoms as they built the national economy on agriculture. Finding the exact time and season by paying close attention to the movements of the sun and moon as well as constellations changing according to seasons determined successful harvest. Kings of the Joseon dynasty found the source of their political order in divine providence, and used astronomy to strengthen their power and achieve political stability. In particular, King Taejo showed great interest in astronomy since his founding of Joseon and completed the scientifically creative sky map Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido. “Cheonsang yeolcha bunyajido” means “a star map that depicts the heavenly bodies in their natural order, allocated on their respective 12 celestial fields.” After the fall of the Goryeo dynasty in 1392 and the advent of the new Joseon dynasty, the Korean people were reluctant to welcome the new line of kings. King Taejo, realizing the view of the populace, turned his back against Buddhism that supported the Goryeo dynasty and adopted neo-Confucianism as the new ruling concept of his dynasty. Under the neo-Confucian decree of ruling based on divine providence, King Taejo went out to create a sky map to proclaim that his ascension to the throne was an order by a higher power. As it happens, one man donated a rubbed copy of a stone-carved sky map that was located in the old Pyeongyang Castle. Delighted by the opportunity, King Taejo ordered his subjects to work on this rubbed copy and carve a new stone map. This work is called the Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido, a stone-carved sky map that depicts constellations, created in the 4th year of King Taejo`s reign (circa 1395). The Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido consists of two large sections. There is a sky map that shows various constellations in the center circle, and surrounding it are pictures and comments written to explain them. There are 2,932 characters on one side, and a total of 1,467 stars depicted. Later on, the Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido has been produced and distributed as stone carving, wood carving, manuscript copies, and more. The oldest copy (King Taejo`s stone carving version) was designated as a national treasure in 1985 and is currently kept in the collection of the National Palace Museum of Korea. This commemorative stamp is issued as a sticker using the rubbed-paper copy of the sky map kept in Sungshin Women’s University Museum. This is a rare relic that shows the harmony of Korean ancestors` scientific creativity and their concept of dynastic reign, resolved to rule the nation and honor the heavens. We hope this commemorative stamp serves as an opportunity to enjoy the Cheonsang Yeolcha Bunyajido, and gain insight into the founding philosophy of the Joseon dynasty as well as the development of astronomic research.
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