Title: Goguryeo Series (2nd Issue) 
Stamp Serial#
NOT listed 
Date of Issue
480 won 
"Sanseongha Tombs " 
Kim Soe-jeong 
Image Area
37mm x 27mm 
(Combination of round
perforations and ones
shaped like Goguryeo
at the height of its
Sheet Composition
3 x 4 + 2
Composite Sheet
White Unwatermarked 
Printing process
and colors
Photogravure, six colors 
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation 
Another window to Goguryeo: its ancient tombs and murals. Through Goguryeo's ancient tombs and murals, we can glimpse the way the Goguryeo people thought and lived. The tombs in the early years of Goguryeo are Stone-mound tombs. With huge grave mounds made of stones, these stone-mound tombs show Goguryeo's unique style of constructing tombs. In the later years of Goguryeo, stone-mound tombs were replaced by Stone-chamber tombs featuring the corridor and main chamber where the deceased is laid. Of these two types of tombs, ancient tomb murals are more abundantly found in stone-chamber tombs.

The themes of Goguryeo's ancient tomb murals evolved from their way of life, to Pattern, and to the Four (Directional) Deities, the Blue Dragon, the White Tiger, the Red Phoenixes and the Black Tortoise & Serpent. In the early years of the Goguryeo dynasty that lasted from the late 3rd century to the early 5th century, most murals depicted their way of life, in the hope that the life of this world will begin again in the next world. In the middle years of the Goguryeo dynasty that lasted until the early 6th century, two different types of murals prevailed: one described a mixture of their way of life, the Four Deities and Pattern such as lotus flowers; the other portrayed only Pattern. This seems to show how the dissemination of Buddhism at the time affected the way people perceived and expressed the next world. In the later years of the Goguryeo dynasty that lasted from the mid-6th century to early 7th century, conflicts and political strife among the ruling classes led to greater insecurity in this world as well as serious agony in the next world. As a result, most murals of the time depicted the Four Deities. In particular, a mural that only described either lotus flowers or the Four Deities can't be found anywhere else in the world -- the characteristics unique only to Goguryeo murals.

The stamps issued for this series illustrate: "Janggunchong (Janggun Tomb), Sanseongha Tombs" (both are Stone Mound Tombs located in Jian, China); "the God of Sun and the God of Moon" in the Ohoebun Tomb No. 4 (located in Jian, China) which project Goguryeo's unique power and energy. In addition, the selvage of the sheet displays: "the God of Fire and the God of Cultivation" in Ohoebun Tomb No. 5; the inside of the Gangseodaemyo (Gangseo Great Tomb), and the Black Tortoise & Serpent" drawn on the North Wall of the main chamber of the Gangseodaemyo; "Gilt-bronze open work in sun shape" which, excavated from Jinpari Tomb No. 7, is a representative relic featuring the Three-legged Crow.