• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Procession on the eastern wall of the antechamber

This is a detailed view of the large-scale procession on the eastern wall of the antechamber in Tokhung-ri Tomb. The procession is comprised of a four-line formation. Among these, the carriages carrying the noble couple are depicted in the second line from the top. Of the three carriages depicted in the second line, the two leading chariot-like are estimated to feature Provincial Governor Jin and another high-ranking official. The First Lady's carriage featuring an angled sunshade (slight angle in the middle rather than the usual straight-line configuration) can be seen towards the end of the procession. Of all Koguryo tomb murals, this procession, featuring three carriages in one outing, is unique to Kokhung-ri Tomb. Civil servants on horseback can be seen in tow. A line of military attachés are depicted in the third line from the top, to the right of the carriages. Finally, heavily-armored Gaemamusas (iron-armored lancers) are safely escorting the procession in the two outside lines.
None of the formation lines are overlapping, allowing for a clear view of each element in the mural. As this depiction displays a higher level of artistry in comparison to the murals of other antechamber walls, this artwork is estimated to have been completed by the most skillful of artists. The elegant, yet subtle level of detail in the Gaemamusas and carriages decorated in flower canopies exhibit the outstanding skill level of the artist.
The procession motif is an important element for exhibiting authority and appears frequently in early to mid-Koguryo era tomb murals. Although the sheer number of figures appearing in the procession isn't substantial, the key characteristics of each figure are well-realized, and this mural in Tokhung-ri Tomb is an excellent visual reference understanding the nature of Koguryo era processions.