Cheomseongdae, Korea's National Treasure 31, was built during the reign of Queen Seondeok. She also constructed the nine-story pagoda at Hwangnyongsa Temple which is well described in the historical record, Samguk Sagi. However, about Cheomseongdae, there is only a nine-character sentence, and no other record exists. Therefore, questions arise. Why did Queen Seondeok built Cheomseongdae? And what were the reasons? How did they construct Cheomseongdae? I'll give you a brief historical background on these. Queen Seondeok was a daughter of King Jinpyeong, and her birth name was Deokman. Her mother was Maya, the same name as the mother of Sakyamuni, and their family was Buddhist. Queen Seondeok also had a younger sister. As you can see here, during the reign of Queen Seondeok, many cultural properties were built such as Yeongmyosa Temple, Hwangnyongsa Nine-story Pagoda, and Bunhwangsa Temple. However, as I have mentioned before, referring to Cheomseongdae, only nine letters in Samguk Yusa, the nine-character sentence you see right here is the only record. These nine characters say that at the time of this ruler, they trimmed up stones and constructed Cheomseongdae. This is all. And in Samguk Sagi, no mention of it whatsoever. On the other hand, as I have said, structures like the Hwangnyongsa pagoda is well described. Naturally in Samguk Yusa, Queen Seondeok is described positively. But in Samguk Sagi, it is somewhat... the way she's described is not that favorable. For example, as it's quoted on the slide, "an old granny became the ruler and it's fortunate that Silla didn't perish..." This is how she's described. What happened that led to the first ruling queen in the history of Korea? Silla was patriarchal. And all along, the Kims had stayed on the throne. The 23rd King Beopheung started the bone-rank system with seonggol (sacred bone), jingol (true bone), and six head ranks below the two bone ranks. And he promulgated that only seonggol could succeed to the throne. And after King Beopheung, the throne was succeeded by a seonggol until King Jinheung, King Jinji, and King Jinpyeong. But King Jinpyeong had no son. Therefore, inevitably, because Seondeok was of seonggol, Silla came to see their first female ruler, a queen. This caused a lot of difficulties from both within and outside of Silla. As you can see here, in Samguk Yusa the expression "Jigisamsa (褲建惰啼)" appears. It means "having known three things beforehand." One of the three is the peony story. Emperor Taizong of Tang sent a scroll with red, purple, and white peonies along with peony seeds. As soon as Queen Seondeok saw them, she said that flowers from the seeds would bear no fragrance. When she was asked why that was, she said that on the scroll, there were no butterflies that came for the fragrance. Then indeed, there was no fragrance when the flowers bloomed. And another one is the story of frog at Yeongmyosa Temple. At Okmoon pond in Yeongmyosa Temple, frogs suddenly started to croak. Courtiers thought it was suspicious and went to ask the queen. The queen said that Okmoon meant in the west, and if they went west, they would find Beakje soldiers waiting in ambush, therefore they should go and strike them. Promptly, Alcheon and Piltan, these two generals went and destroyed them. When they asked her how she knew it, she said that frogs croaking meant that there was an army, and the fact that they croaked at Okmoon Pond signified Yeogeun Valley which can be seen even nowadays on the way from Yeongcheon to Seoul. Okmoon Pond signified Yeogeun Valley, and that was why she said those things. The queeen's predictions were all correct. Next, the third story. "When I die on this day in this year, bury me at Doricheon." She said this while she was still healthy. Courtiers asked where Doricheon was. She said "south of Nangsan Mountain." They did not understand it at the time. 33 years later, at the time of King Munmu, Sacheonwang Temple was built. According to the Buddhist scriptures, Doricheon was above Sacheonwang Temple. And people were amazed at her wisdom. The nine-character-long story about Cheomseongdae by Ilyeon is written at the end of the third story. So I wonder if there was any connection between them. In Mount Namsan, there's a granny Buddha. It was built around the time of Queen Seondeok. So, if you look here on the right, you can see that the face of the Buddha is a generous-looking old lady. It's possible that this granny Buddha represents Queen Seondeok. In old days, Buddha statues often reflected the circumstances of the time. According to Samguk Sagi, the 17th King Naemul's tomb site was located about 200 meters away from Jeomseongdae. That Jeomseongdae is the present-day Cheomseongdae site. We can presume that they built Cheomseongdae at that location. When we talk about Cheomseongdae, we often regard it as a structure that reflects symbolic and astronomical aspects. The body has 27 layers. This symbolizes that the queen was the 27th ruler. And moreover, it coincides with one orbital cycle of the moon which is known today as 27.3 days. When you include the two #-shaped layers at the top, the total is 29 layers. This symbolizes one lunar month which has 29.5 days. So it's the same as one lunar month. Next, above and below the window, there are 12 layers each. These are 12 months, and 24 seasonal divisions in a year altogether. This is also one of the significant symbols of Cheomseongdae. And from layer 1 to layer 12, there are 182 stone blocks. This coincides with the number of days from the winter solstice to the summer solstice. Then, from layer 13 to layer 27, the number of stone blocks is 183. This is the number of days from the summer solstice to the winter solstice. And because people are trying hard to give meanings, some things may sound contrived. As an example, the number of stones visible from outside is 364. But on top of the 26th layer, there is one slab, a flat stone. It's 365 including the slab, and it symbolizes 365 days in a year. And then, for six layers at the bottom, the number of stones per layer is 16, 15, 15, 16, 16, and 15. These symbolize days between seasonal divisions: the winter solstice, sohan (before harsh cold), daehan (harsh cold), ipchun(beginning of spring), usu (first rainfall of the year), gyeongchip (end of hibernation), and chunbun (the vernal equinox). Six layers for six seasonal divisions.