Title : LITERATURE SERIES (1ST Issue)  (View Souvenir Sheet)
Stamp Serial#
1829 
KPC#
C-1391 
MICHEL#
1853 
StanGib#
2170 
Scott#
1817 
Date of Issue
09/25/1995 
Quantity
3,000,000 
Denomination
130 won 
Design
Kuji-ga Song 
Designer
Chung Yung-nam 
Image Area
23mm*33mm 
Perforation
13 
Sheet Composition
Sheet of 20 (4*5) 
Paper
White Unwatermarked
Print
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation 
Description
The Ministry of Information has decided to issue, beginning in 1995, a series of stamps featuring some masterpieces of Korean literature, through which the spirit and lives of the Korean people can be expressed to the general public. The first collection of the literature series, now being issued, depicts the scenes of the Kuji-ga Song and the Chongeop-sa Song, chosen from a myriad ancient songs and lyrics.

1. Kuji-ga Song (The Turtle's Back Song).
Kuji-ga gains importance from being the oldest existent dance song as well as work song performed by a chorus in Korea. According to a sketchy description taken from the "Karak-kuk-ki" (a narrative on the founding of the Karak-kuk) in the "Sam-guk-yusa" (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), this short song, consisting of four lines, was first sung about 42 AD by the nine chiefs and villagers of the Kimhae region, South Kyongsang Province when they prayed for Suro, the legendary founder of Karak-kuk, asking him to desend to Earth and become their King. They danced on Kuji-bong Peak and sang "Kuha! Kuha! (turtle! turtle!) Stick out your head. If you don't, we'll cook and eat you". At first, the song was sung as an incatation in ceremonies to greet divine deities, but it later took on the role of a work song.

2. Chongeop-sa Song.
Chongeop-sa is a lyrical song classified "Mugo" (Drum Dance) portion of the (Standards of Musical Science). It is the only song from the Paekche Dynasty to survive and is the oldest to be preserved in the Korean alphabet. In this song, a hawker's wife prays to the moon under its rays for the safe return of her travelling husband. The moon, in this song, is symbolically associated with the image of wish and prayer, because it brightens the world in the darkness of night.