The Koryô Dynasty was a pivitol era in Korean History it signaled the end of the Three Kingdoms era and ushered in the Chosôn Dynasty (a Dynasty which would last almost 600 Years).

King T'aejo was the founder of the Koryô Dynasty he unified the Three Kingdoms and guided Korea through massive political, social, and cultural changes. Viewed as a transition between Silla and the Chosôn, the importance of this era is often times neglected, yet in many ways the Koryô Dynasty proved vital for the events of the next millenium.

The Koryô Dynasty was responsible for a rebirth of literature to the Korean people. For examples see Like the sun, Winter Night or Questions to the Creator

Buddhism was popular and flourished during the Koryô Dynasty, in fact it was during the regin of King T'aejo that Buddhism was made the official religion of the state. Buddhism at the time was divided into sects and subsects, The two main sects were the Textual (kyo) and Contemplative (Son) Schools. The Textual School was supported by the ruling dynasty and the aristocracy. While the Contemplative School was supported by the local gentry. Inevitable, there was discord and disunity amongst the sects. However, there was an attempt to resolve the conflicts and to eventually unite the two by Uich'on, the monk who established the Ch'ont'ae (T'ien-t'ai) sect. However, he died before succeeding.

In the early Koryo dynasty, many Buddhist thinkers were looking for texts through which they could learn more about the practice of meditation and etc... In the process, they achieved a systemization with the woodblock printing of the Buddhist canon, the Tripitaka. The publication of the Koryo Tripitaka, "Three Baskets", was a complete collection of Buddhist scriptures. Being the religion of the state, the Koryo government largely supported Buddhist activities. In fact, the government sponsored the printing of the Koryo Tripitaka. This is perhaps such a great achievement because it is the product of more than eighty thousand separate woodblocks (currently located at Haein Monastery in South Korea). Among the twenty versions of Tripitaka originating in East Asia, the Koryo Tripitaka is esteemed as one of the finest. The Koryo Tripitaka is highly regarded on the basis of its accuracy, the calligraphy style , and the quality of the woodblock carving.

The Tripitaka was created during the times when they were in danger from foreign powers such as the Khitans or the Mongols. They ritually believed that the publication of the Tripitaka would give them protection under the divine Buddha. They believed that if would ward off the invaders and halt the invasions.. The complete printing of the Tripitaka took two attempts. The first carving started in 1011 when the Koreans were under Khitan attacks and was completed in 1087. However, the woodblocks, located at the Puin Temple in Taegu, for this printing were destroyed in the thirteenth century during the Mongol invasion. The second and the last session of the carving took place in the middle of the Mongol invasions. Once agin during a time of invasion. The carving of the new set began in 1236 and was finished in 1251. These new woodblocks were stored at the Haein Temple, near Taegu. The completion of the Tripitaka took about seventy years.

Sources: The Korean History Project, USC Berkley, A New History of Korea(1984) By Ki-baik Lee, and the research of Deborah Kim, Robert Weeks and Angel Lee

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