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Outline of Samguk Yusa

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  • Outline of Samguk Yusa
Samguk Yusa』the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, is a chronological form of history of Gojoseon, the Three Kingdoms, Garak, and Husamguk, based on inherited materials and episodes, apart from the regular form of history.
Samguk Yusa consists of 5 volumes, 2 books, and 9 chapters.

It discusses everything on ancient societies, including history, customs, religion, literature, arts, and language. It contains many historical data that are not mentioned in Samguk Sagi, the historical record of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

The exact publication date of Samguk Yusa is not known, but all existing woodblock-printed versions of history are from Joseon, not from Goryeo.

Samguk Yusa consists of 5 volumes, 2 books, and 9 chapters. The 9 chapters include Wangnyeok, Gii, Heungbeop, Tapsang, Uihae, Sinju, Gamtong, Pieun, and Hyoseon.

Section 1 of Wangnyeok describes the kings and the chronology of the Three Kingdoms, Garak, and Husamguk. It details the names of the kings in chronological order, kingship inauguration years and reign periods, names of royal tombs and their locations, cremations, kings’ mothers, queens, era names, diplomatic ties with China, country name, erection of temples, relocation of capital, erection of fortresses, construction of embankments, markets, enemy’s aggressions, and other major state incidents.

Book 1
Section 1 of Gii describes the various states before the Unified Silla, such as Gojoseon, Samhan, Buyeo, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. It mentions 36 items in the summarized history from the ancient Dangun Joseon to King Taejongmuyeol of Silla before the Unified Silla.
Book 2
Undivided by sections, Book 2 details the history after King Munmu of Silla unified the Three Kingdoms, including the Unified Silla, Baekje, Hubaekje, and Garakguk. It contains 23 items, like Book 1.
Book 3
Section 3 of Heungbeop, recounts the history of the preaching of Buddhism, focusing on Silla. Tapsang illustrates the targets of the Buddhist faith, such as pagodas, Buddhist bells, Buddha images, and temples.
Book 4
Section 5 of Uihae, includes the biographies of Silla’s learned Buddhist priests and monks who were experts in Buddhist teachings.
Book 5
Book 5 consists of 4 sections. Section 6 of Sinju traces the activities of the spiritual monks of Esoteric Buddhism; Section 7 of Gamtong contains impressive anecdotes; Section 8 of Pieun, narrates the biographies of high priests in hiding; while Section 9 of Hyoseon discusses filial piety and repayment for grace rendered.