Title : LITERATURE SERIES (2nd Issue)  (View Souvenir Sheet)
Stamp Serial#
1878 
KPC#
C-1427 
MICHEL#
1902 
StanGib#
2213 
Scott#
1820 
Date of Issue
09/16/1996 
Quantity
3,000,000 
Denomination
150 won 
Design
Ch'an Kiparang-ga Song 
Designer
Chung Yung-nam 
Image Area
33mm*23mm 
Perforation
13 
Sheet Composition
5*4 
Paper
White unwatermarked
Print
Korea Minting and Security Printing Corporation 
Description
The Ministry of Information and Communication selected the Che mangmae-ga Song (Requlem for a Deceased Sister) and the Ch'an Kip'a-rang-ga Song (Ode to Knight Kip'a) from among all of the hyangga (native songs) of the Unified Shilla period, for the second collection of the Korean Literature stamp series.

The hyangga were Korea's first vernacular genre of poetry for which the lyrics were transcribed into Chinese charaters chiefly on the basis of phonetic values in a system hyangch'al. This genre flourished during the Unified period and the early part of the Koryo period. According to the "Samguk-saki" (History of the Three Kingdoms), the hyangga were first written around the fifth year of King Yuri's reign of Shilla(A.D.28). 25 hyanggas still exist today. 14 of these are in the "Samguk-yusa" (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), and the other 11 are devotional poems in the "Life of the Great Master Kyunyo". Among them, the Che mangmae-ga Song and the Ch'an Kip'arang-ga Song are considered the best for their verbal felicity and lyricism.

1. Che mangmae-ga Song
The Che mangmae-ga Song is a ten-stanza hyangga written by a monk named Wolmyng in remembrance of his deceased sister during the reign of King Kyongdok (742бн) of Unified Shilla. This poem represents old Korean lyrical expressions, poignantly portraying fear of death, longing for a deceased loved one, Buddhist consciousness of the transience of earthly life, and devotion to the Buddhist faith.

2. Ch'an Kip'a-rang-ga Song
The Ch'an Kip'a-rang-ga Song is a ten-stanza hyngga which was written by a monk named Ch'ungdam in honor of a person known as Knight Kip'a during the reign of King Kyongdok of Unified Shilla. Views vary on whether Kip'a was one of the elite corps of Knights known as the "hwarang" (meaning literally "flower boy"), a high- official, or a monk of high virtue. What is undeniable, however, given the concluding stanza likening the knight to the pine tree that scorns frost and snow, he must have been a great man.

1996 is a special year. Designated by the government as the Year of Literature, many commemorative events are now under way under the theme, "Share the pleasure of Literature with the Peaople".

The Ministry of Information and Communication is issuing two commemorative stamps to spread knowledge of Korean Literature at home and abroad and to promote the role of literature as a profound study of the human being and human nature.