Deep Rooted Tree: The tombs of scholars Park Paeng Nyeon, Song Sam Moon

Deep Rooted Tree, SBS, 2011 Song Sam Moon (Hyun Woo) and Park Paeng Nyeon (Kim Ki Bum) 

In the drama Deep Rooted Tree (2011, SBS), Song Sam Moon and Park Paeng Nyeon were two of the scholars helping King Sejong create Hangul. In the drama they didn’t have huge parts, but they are actually very famous scholars in Korean history…

死六臣 Sayukshin tomb is near Noryangjin station in Dongjak-gu. This is the tomb site for six scholars including Song Sam Moon and Park Paeng Nyeon who are remembered for their loyalty and valour for their part in trying to reinstate the young King Tanjong  after his uncle Prince Suyang usurped the throne in a coup.

What happened? 

At the beginning of the Joseon period the monarchy was very vulnerable. King Sejong was succeeded by his son who became King Munjong in 1450. But Munjong was ill and weak and only ruled for 2 years. So then his 12 year old son became King Tanjong (r. 1452-55) However, he was only a child and so not very powerful. Sure enough another of King Sejong’s son’s, Prince Suyang, had his eye on the throne.

So in 1455 he organised a coup and succeeded in taking the crown.  He became King Sejo and ruled from 1455-1468. But he was ruthless and killed anyone who stood against him – and that included these six scholars who plotted unsuccessfully to help King Tanjong return to the throne. Read more about the six martyred ministers here.

The meaning of Sayukshin 死六臣
 (sa) death  六 (yuk) six 臣 (shin) ministers

不二門 불이문 bulimun When we pass through this gate, we can see the 의절사 uijeolsa memorial hall. It was peaceful here with just the sound of melting snow dripping off the roof. And the smell of incense burning inside the uijeolsa. While in the distance, we can hear the noise of cars on the highway. In the bottom picture are three snow covered graves in the graveyard. 

 

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