/ Culture - History
Mural Paintings in Koguryo Tombs and Pictures of Four Guardians
  Mural paintings in Koguryo tombs have the longest history among the pictorial relics of Korea.

  Koguryo existed between 277 B.C. and A.D. 668.
  Here is Researcher Kim Song Chol at the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Social Sciences.
  "The mural paintings in Koguryo tombs depicted different themes and rich contents on a high level, such as the contemporary politics, economy, military affairs, culture, customs, old mythology and religious belief.
  Especially, those mural paintings in the Mausoleum of King Kogugwon, the Three Tombs of Kangso and the Tokhung-ri Tomb show well the high development of the mural paintings of Korea at that time.
  The developed mural art of Korea had a great effect on the development of fine arts of Japan in those days."
  Most of the mural paintings in Koguryo tombs are pictures of four guardians. The pictures of four guardians show fantastic animals--"guardians"--defending four directions; east, west, south and north.

  Koguryo people drew the blue dragon with blue scales on the eastern wall, the white tiger with white hair on the western wall, phoenix with red feather on the southern wall and the serpent-tortoise with black skins on the northern wall.
  For example, those mural paintings with four guardians can be found in the Three Tombs of Kangso. They were drawn only in the big and medium tombs, which were perfect and elegant.
  They retain the characteristics of the Korean painting, a national picture, well. The powerful yet soft lines and the bright and clear colours show well the noble colour and formative senses of the Korean people.
  The mural paintings of four guardians in the Three Tombs of Kangso are estimated as a world's masterpiece.