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Samguk Yusa: Yonsei’s First National Treasure October 18, 2018

Historical document Samguk Yusa designated as Yonsei’s first national treasure


Samguk Yusa (Pareun Version), a collection of Korean historical records, was declared a national treasure (National Treasure No. 306–3) by the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, thus becoming Yonsei University’s first national treasure.


Samguk Yusa, also known as Memorabilia of Three Kingdoms, is an ancient historical document compiled by Buddhist monk Iryeon in Goryeo Dynasty 1281. Based on the sources collected throughout his lifetime, it is a book of legends, folklore, and historical accounts ranging from the Dangun-Chosun period to the Three Kingdoms era. Samguk Yusa is highly valued by researchers ranging across a wide spectrum of academic fields, including linguistics, culture, religion, philosophy, mythology, geography, art, and music.


The Pareun Version was printed during the early Chosun Dynasty and is the prequel to Samguk Yusa 3–5 (National Treasure No. 306). While the most referenced version of Samguk Yusa is the Jeongdeok “Imsin” Version printed in 1512 (National Treasure No. 306–2), the Pareun version is expected to reveal new historical evidence and erratum, and the its typography holds significant value in the typography resources of the Goryeo period.


Samguk Yusa was donated by the late Professor Po-kee Sohn (1922–2010) of Yonsei University, a leading expert in Korean prehistoric archaeology. While earlier versions contain missing pages and errors, the Pareun version remains in good condition with almost no defects such as erased characters or missing pages.



<Originally published on March 26, 2018> 

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