Kim Si-seup (pen name Maewoldang) (1434~1493)

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Kim Si-seup (pen name Maewoldang) (1434~1493)

Kim Si-seup
A scholar and literary man, he is one of Saengyuksin (six faithful subjects by surviving the bad king´s persecution and abandoning their offices). His original ancestor hailed from Gangneung. He was a born genius to be able to read eight months after he was born. At five, he could read Jungyong (the Right Path) and Daehak (the Great Learning), making himself known as a five-year old genius. At 21, when he heard that Prince Suyangdaegun usurped the throne, he became a Buddhist priest and never took a government post, thus remaining faithful to his principles.

He wrote Geumosinhwa, the first novel in Chinese written in Korea. Also he wrote other brilliant Books: Siphyeondamyohae, Tangyugwanseorok, and Tangyuhonamrok. Of these, Tangyugwandongrok is poetry about Gangwon-do. Kim Si-seup was born in Seoul, but he had special links with Gangwon-do. His original ancestor was born in Gangneung. Furthermore, he has handed down many poems in his poetry book titled Maewoldangjib. He wrote this book as he toured Cheongpyeongsa temple in Chuncheon,; and famous mountains in Gangwon-do: Geumgang Mountain, Seorak Mountain, Odae Mountain and Taebak Mountain. Oseam temple in Seorak Mountain can trace back to the ‘five-year old genius Maewoldang.’ It is at the Myeongjugun King tomb site at Bogwang-ri, Seongsan-myeon, Gangneung that his portrait is kept, and he was designated as the cultural person of the month in September 1999, by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.