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Tombstones Without a Tomb : Korea's Queen Sindeok from Goryeo into the Twenty-first Century
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Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Heavy, intricately carved tombstones are embedded in the banks of the Cheonggyecheon Stream that cuts through downtown Seoul, in the shadows of the Gwangtonggyo Bridge, echoing the story of their owner, Queen Sindeok, the first of the Joseon Dynasty. Why are these stones here under the bridge, out in public view, rather than surrounding their assigned tomb, the Royal Tomb of Queen Sindeok?To examine and understand this enigmatic situation, TOMBSTONES WITHOUT A TOMB first seeks to understand why the status of Queen Sindeok, who played a crucial role in the foundation of the new dynasty, was degraded after her death, and then traces the process of how the Queen's honor has since been restored. As the hidden story unfolds, the book brings awareness to the history of Neo-Confucianism and the Neo-Confucian mindset among scholar-officials and the throne throughout the six hundred years of the Joseon dynasty.A well-organized and useful resource, this original English publication helps readers explore the life and legacy of Queen Sindeok and take a look into the Neo-Confucian society of the Joseon Dynasty.