Jung Il-woo as the Ambassador to the National Museum of Korea records his voice for an exhibit.

2019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 1

November 27, 2019

Jung Il woo participated in the audio of a new exhibit called “Gaya Nature Castle-Knives and Prefectures.”  It will open on December 3rd. Exactly one year after he became ambassador to this museum.

You can hear Oppa’s beautiful voice here:


This is a video I made on his voice:

This is a translation of what he says more or less:

Boat-shaped earthenware.

We assume that the ships in the Gaya’s ports looked like this. This is a earthenware which mimicked ships sailing between China and Japan. It is a good resource to guess Gaya’s ships which may have been used in seaborne trade, because the parts of of the ship are described in many details. The trade route from Nakrang (northern part of Korean peninsular) to Wae (Japan) is recorded in a part of the book “Records of the Three Kingdom”, even until today there are many Chinese coins, bronze mirrors, earthenwares from Nakrang and Wae, and many more are found showing that there has been variety of trade through this route.

Under the clip it says this in English:

Registered National Museum of Korea in 2019 Production 25 2019. 11.25.
Meet the story of the ancient mysterious nation ‘Gaya’ with the voice of ‘National Central Museum Ambassador Jung Il-woo’!

Special Exhibition <Gaya Nature Castle-Knives and Prefectures>
2019.12.3.Tue-March 20, 2020.Sun / permanent exhibition hall

These are photos and a video of him recording his voice. Cr. The National Museum of Korea and its Cultural Foundation.

2019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 82019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 52019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 32019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 62019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 7

There is also a chance to win free tickets to the exhibit… follow the instructions HERE.  By the way have you seen the lates feature of  theGoogle Translate APP?  If you hold the camera over the text in Korean in your computer it changes to English in your phone’s screen!  It blows my mind how it can do this!!!  I have to show my students… amazing… this is a screen shot of my phone translating:


2019 11 26 Jung Il woo records his voice for an exhibit about Gaya for the National Museum of Korea. 2

Gaya Exhibit Poster. The National Museum of Korea. Nov 2011.jpg

This article written by Mark Cartwright from ancient eu.com, published on 28 September 2016 gives a good idea of who the Gaya People were.



Gaya (aka Kaya or Karak) was a confederation which ruled central-southern Korea during the Three Kingdoms period from the 1st to 6th century CE. The peninsula was dominated by Gaya’s more powerful neighbouring kingdoms of Goguryeo (Koguryo), Baekje (Paekche), and Silla, but Gaya, often the forgotten entity in this period, was nevertheless rich in iron ore and their craftsmen became highly skilled at fashioning iron objects such as armour and weapons. The high level of culture achieved by the Gaya states would influence Japan, their most important trading partner. The confederation came to a definitive end when it was fully conquered by the Silla kingdom in 562 CE.

Gaya Pottery.jpg


The traditional dates for the Gaya confederacy are 42-532 CE, however, modern historians prefer to emphasise the entity’s more certain existence from the 2nd century CE. The confederation consisted of six tribes, the most powerful of which were the Dae Gaya and Guya tribes, with the latter later known as the Bon Gaya (‘Original’). These had developed from the original 12 states of Byeonhan. The overall area of Gaya control was west of the Naktong River and south of Mt. Gaya. The chief city-state was Geumgwan Gaya (Bon-Gaya).


The Gaya confederation prospered due to its fertile agricultural lands, maritime trade, and above all, its rich iron ore deposits. There are few details available on the working of the Gaya states or daily life, but we can imagine a similar model to the contemporary Three Kingdoms where a royal family dominated a hierarchical aristocracy which, in turn, governed the provinces dominated by a farming peasantry.

There are some clues as to Gaya religious life offered by artefacts recovered from tombs. There many pottery vessels contain residues of food offerings suggesting shamanistic beliefs. Some examples of royal crowns imitate trees and antlers, again suggesting links with shamanism. In addition, a mural in one Gaya tomb has the typical motifs seen in Buddhist art such as lotus leaves and clouds.

Three Kingdoms of Korea Map by Ashraf Kamel. 9 20 2016.png


Throughout their history, the Gaya states were constantly harassed by their neighbours the Silla and Baekje kingdoms and consequently never had the opportunity to form a more centralised state which political stability might have permitted. From the mid-4th century CE, Baekje became more territorial ambitious during the reign of King Geunchogo and attacked Gaya lands. Then when the Silla kingdom expanded in the 6th century CE, Gaya’s alliance with Baekje did it no good at all and Bon-Gaya was conquered and destroyed (532 CE), as was Daegaya (562 CE) and the other important Gaya towns. The Gaya confederation was no more.

Relations with Japan & China

Ties with the Wa (Wae) of Japan were particularly close, and scholars continue to debate which culture more influenced the other. The issue is coloured by nationalistic bias so that some historians claim that Gaya was a Japanese colony while others propose that horse riders from the Eurasian steppe came to Japan via Gaya and introduced the burial tumulus to that culture. Evidence is lacking either way, although most scholars agree that the Gaya was the more advanced culture and recent finds of iron horse armour, notably from a 5th century CE tomb, suggest that the Gaya did master the use of that animal. More certain is that iron was the most important Gaya export to Japan. Early relations with Han China is evidenced by 1st-century CE Chinese coin finds at Bon-Gaya and by the presence of the sloping kiln used by Gaya potters.

Gaya Gold Crown. Cr. anciet .eu by Presspochista.jpg

Art & Architecture

Gaya artists produced grey stoneware clay pottery in the form of stemmed cups, horn-shaped cups, tall jars with pierced stems, and spouted vessels in the form of ducks, shoes, warriors, boats, and even houses. Stoneware requires a high firing temperature, and this technology was, no doubt, connected to the furnaces required to produce iron. Gaya potters likely passed on this innovation to Japan where the famous sueki (or sue) stoneware would be produced as a result.

Objects were also made of silver and gold by Gaya craftsmen, including high and intricate crowns. Gaya iron products include swords, riveted body armour, helmets, and arrowheads. These were so esteemed as to be exported to the north-east region of Korea, China and Japan. Another successful export was the gayageum (kayagum), a zither with 12 silk strings thought to have been invented by King Gasil in the 6th century CE, which would be taken up by musicians in Japan and which remains a potent symbol of Korean culture even today.

The Gaya region is rich in tombs; over 1,000 have been identified at Bon-Gaya alone. In the 4th century CE, the tombs of the Gaya typically took the form of rectangular or oval pit graves set into natural mounds. From the mid-5th century CE, the Gaya constructed stone chamber tombs with later examples having a horizontal entrance. As already mentioned, many tombs have equestrian equipment such as iron armour, saddle parts, bits, and stirrups suggesting the horse was an important part of Gaya culture and warfare. 


Dearest Ilwoo, it gave me such joy to hear of some news of you as the ambassador to the museum.  Now people will hear your voice…  telling a little piece of the great history of your country.  And now I and many international  fans know a bit more about it too!

This past Tuesday I was headed to work very early in the morning for a 7:15 AM meeting.  The misty gray skyline of Cambridge reflected on the  Charles River.  As the car rode, the sunrise’s gold was reflected on the different buildings one by one.  I delighted trying to guess which building would be dressed in gold next. It was so magical!

It made me think of how god reflects this gold in our lives… in blessings every single day. 일우 씨 you are one of those blessings in my life!  I’ve learned so much through you… know you have my gratitude every single day!

Happy Thanksgiving!