Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Placenta Chamber in the Garden

Walking through the park-like section of Changgyeonggung Palace, I came across this octagonal stone fence with a mushroom-like stone sculpture in the center. I was quite surprised to find out what it was - the placenta chamber for King Seongjong. According to Korean tradition, the placenta of a baby was to be stored in a porcelain jar on the seventh day after birth. A few months later, the jar would be sealed multiple times and then placed into a stone chamber. According to the palace's guidebook, this placenta chamber is located here because the Japanese during Korean occupation moved it there in order to display it at the Yiwangga Museum. When looking up where this museum was located, it sounds like Yiwangga was at the nearby Deoksugung Palace. Not sure why it wasn't moved there right away...

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