Title:   Kim Suro of the Gaya Kingdom 

Stamp Serial#
Date of Issue
191,400 stamps each
300 & 540 won
The period of nine leaders,
Gujiga ("song of turtle"),
Six golden eggs,
Birth of King Suro,
Marriage with the queen 
Mo, Ji-won 
Image Area
37mm × 27mm 
Sheet Composition
5 X 3 
White unwatermarked 
Printing process
and colors
Photogravure, five colors  
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation 
As part of an ongoing concerted effort to "correctly establish the cultural identity of Korea," Korea Post has been introducing a series of national-founding stories from each era through postage stamps. The series began with 'Dangun Wanggeom of Gojoseon,' and continued with 'Geumwawang of Buyeo,' 'Jumong of Goguryeo,' 'Daejoyeong of Balhae,' 'Park Hyeokgeose of Silla,' and 'Onjo of Baekje.' Introduced this year, 'Kim Suro of Gaya Kingdom' is the latest addition to the series.

According to "Garakgukgi" of Samguk Yusa ("Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms"), there were nine leaders who ruled over people living near the Nakdonggang River. One day, upon hearing a strange sound, the nine leaders and some people gathered on Gujibong Peak in Gimhae. There, those who had previously received a divine revelation began digging in the ground and singing the song "Gujiga," which goes, "Turtle, turtle, raise your head. If you don’t, we will cook and eat you," while dancing. Shortly afterwards, six golden eggs were lowered from heaven in a golden box. It was March 3 by the lunar calendar in 42 AD. Later, six boys hatched from the six golden eggs, and the firstborn was named Suro. He became the king of the Gaya Kingdom and married Heo Hwang-ok, a princess who had traveled by sea from the ancient Indian city of Ayodhya.

From the first century B.C. to its demise and submission to Silla in the mid 6th century, Gaya was a maritime power that actively engaged in trade with China and Japan, based on its stellar mastery of iron, refined culture, and unique ideas and religion. High quality iron produced in the present Gimhae area enabled iron culture to flourish during the period. The artifacts of Gaya, including armor, helmets, swords, and farming equipment, evince its exceptional iron-making skill and advanced iron culture. Among other cultural heritage, golden accessories such as a gold crown; earthenware of delicate craftsmanship; and a gayageum (a zither) and 12 songs of Ureuk (played by gayageum) also bespeak of the artistic refinement of the people of Gaya.