Tribute to a beloved teacher

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Tribute to a beloved teacher


Name: Stele for the National Preceptor Nanggongdaesa
Period: Goryeo, 954
Location: Taeja Temple
Status: National Museum of Korea

This stele was created in memory of Nanggongdaesa (832-916), who was a teacher during the Unified Silla period (668-935).

The stele is significant because it contains characters from the calligraphic works of Kim Saeng, one of four noted Korean calligraphers. Kim’s works are rare because many have been destroyed or lost over time. Even though the characters inscribed on the stele are small, they represent Kim Saeng’s powerful literary style well.

The front of the stele records a timeline of Nanggongdaesa’s life and achievements. The back contains the names of the people who created it after the unification of Goryeo (918-1392), including Gwangjong, the Korean dynasty’s fourth king.

*The photos and text for Treasure Trove are provided by the National Museum of Korea. For more information, call (02) 2077-9000 or visit
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