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Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in KoreaAncient to Contemporary Times$
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Charlotte Horlyck and Michael J. Pettid

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839680

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839680.001.0001

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Ghostly Encounters

Ghostly Encounters

Perceptions of Death and the Afterlife in Koryŏ and Early Chosŏn

(p.171) 8 Ghostly Encounters
Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife in Korea

Michael J. Pettid

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter uses period accounts from Koryŏ to the mid-Chosŏn to examine how death was understood. Many accounts in the literature of the Koryŏ and Chosŏn periods feature encounters with ghosts or beings from beyond the human world. Although these accounts are sometimes humorous or frightening, their more important value is the insight they offer into how the peoples of these times understood death and the afterlife. In highlighting the continuous presence of the dead among the living, the chapter argues that ghosts were not only to be feared but also served a practical didactic role in society, and these ghost stories provide important insight into how death was interpreted by common people.

Keywords:   death, Koryŏ, Choson, dead, ghosts, ghost stories, afterlife

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