Ryo Ok and Ancient Song Konghuin

Ryo Ok and Ancient Song Konghuin

Ryo Ok was a poetess and musician of Ancient Joson, the first slave state of Korea. Ancient Joson existed between the early 30th century B.C. and 108 B.C.

Researcher Han In Yong at the Juche Literature Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences says:

"According to old documents, Ryo Ok was the wife of a boatman called Kwak Ri Ja Go. She was good at playing the Konghu, a string instrument, and considerably talented in composing songs. One day, she was told by her husband that an old couple had thrown themselves into a river. With deep sympathy she sang a song of the sad story, playing the Konghu. That is the song Konghuin."

The song represents the tragic fate of the people of the lower classes in the ancient slavery and the composer's sympathy and resentment for the agony and misfortune of the poor, maltreated people.

Konghuin is the only ancient song that is still told in Korea. It is a precious information in studying the characteristics of the literature and arts after the formation of the caste and their ideological and artistic value.

(Materials from KCNA, Uriminzokkiri and VOK)

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