Museum hosts weapon and armor exhibition

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Museum hosts weapon and armor exhibition

Blade buffs and sabre supporters are in for a treat.

Korea University Museum is hosting an exhibition scheduled to run through Jan. 18 featuring 100 swords from Korea, Japan and China including a sword used by Lee Seong-gye, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Along with the swords, there are also paintings and books that explain the usage of different swords and the story behind the armor on display.

Experts say the exhibition not only gives visitors an opportunity to compare the different shapes of the swords from each country but also to learn more about the role a sword played in ancient times.

“If you focus on the symbolic meaning and go beyond the practical use of the sword, visitors will have a richer experience,” said Heo Yong, a researcher at the museum.

For instance, the Sa In sword was manufactured during a specific period and included the specific Chinese character for tiger.

Thus it was believed that the sword had special power to scare away ghosts.

Such swords were made not for practical purposes but rather were kept as talismans.

Scholars say these kind of swords were usually given by the king as presents to subordinates.

Korea University Museum has a history of collecting old swords as the museum has placed importance on collecting artifacts that could reflect the folk culture.

It started collecting swords in the 1960s and ’70s when they were not valued very highly.

Today the museum is in possession of more than 100,000 artifacts, including three national treasures.

The exhibition consists of five halls divided according to the sword’s use or the user.

For more information please call (02) 3290-1514 or visit

By Kang Hye-ran JoongAng Ilbo []
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