The tomb of General Kim Yu-sin

General Kim Yu-sin lived from 595-673 and his tomb was located across Mucheon Stream in one of the regions of Gyeongju National Park. Through Heungmumun gate, a stone path led to the site.

Heungmumun gate to General Kim Yu-sin, Gyeongju
Heungmumun gate — the entrance to General Kim Yu-sin’s tomb, Gyeongju

I chose to visit this tomb because unlike others scattered throughout Gyeongju, this 5.3 metre high tomb had stone panels circling the circumference. While many had worn smooth, others clearly displayed one of the twelve oriental zodiac signs.

Oriental zodiac sign, Kim Yu-sin tomb
Oriental zodiac sign on Kim Yu-sin’s tomb

General Kim was the great-grandson of King Gugyeong and joined the military corps at age fifteen. He helped King Taejong Muyeol annex Baekje to Silla in 660 and King Munmu annex Goruryeo to Silla eight years later. He later drove the Tang Chinese forces from the Korean Peninsula.

Plundered tomb near General Kim Yu-sin, Gyeongju
Plundered tomb 500 meters from General Kim Yu-sin’s tomb, Gyeongju National Park

Sadly, when I left the tomb I came across a stone burial chamber that had been plundered. All that was discovered when it was surveyed in 1974 were thirty-two broken pieces of horse bone.

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