• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Tokhung-ri Tomb
Northern Wall of the Antechamber
TitleNorthern Wall of the Antechamber
Northern wall of the antechamber
Northern wall of the antechamber(Illustration)

This is a complete view of the mural on the eastern wall of the antechamber in Tokhung-ri Tomb. The mural is separated into heaven and earth by the decorative joist that spans the antechamber wall. Its primary motifs include the procession, tributes by the 13-county prefects, and the depiction of the government house. The heavens are represented by the Sun, Moon, and Stars & celestial objects, immortals, auspicious animals, cloud patterns and flame patterns.
Upon closer examination of the real-world imagery depicted on the northern wall of the antechamber, the procession that begins on the southern wall can be seen spanning through the eastern wall and ending on the northern wall. The mural seen in the image depicts the tail end of the procession with three horse carriages and multiple equestrian figures. The four-line formation of the procession can be seen similar to the eastern and southern walls. Youzhou Provincial Governor Jin's portrait, the antechamber's centerpiece, is depicted to the left of the threshold.
The heavens on the ceiling include depictions of Mercury, Saturn, Orion's Belt, Big Dipper, various auspicious animals, and inscriptions. This mural is particularly significant, as the Provincial Governor Jin's name and the era designation for King Gwanggaeto the Great have been inscribed, indicating not only the name of the tomb owner, but the date of creation as well. In addition, vibrant cloud-pattern decorations in the five cardinal colors enhance the imaginative depiction of the heavens. Buddhist flame patterns can be seen above the joist (symbolizing the boundary between heaven and earth) and on the sides of parallel supporting stones at the peak of the ceiling.