Alcohol Beverages and Food Culture in the Late Koryo Dynasty: - Focused on Celadon inscribed with Poetry and Government Office Name in the 12th-14th Centuries -
The present study examined the import routes of distilled rice liquor soju and how soju developed among the royal family and the upper classes using celadon inscribed with poetry related to alcohol beverages in the 12th century, Maebyeong style vases inscribed with government office name in charge of alcohol beverages of the royal family in the 14th century during the Koryo Dynasty. Distilled rice liquor was imported from the southwestern region to Koryo by Arabian merchants through direct and indirect routes in the Yuen Dynasty during the age of King Chungsuk and King Chunghye in around the 14th century. As soju was added to existing takju and cheongju, the three major types of alcohol beverages were completed during the late Koryo Dynasty. Celadon pitcher inscribed with poetry shows the delicate sentimentalism, aristocratic prosperity, and poetic sentiment. In particular, it is valuable in that it reflects Koryo people's mind, view of nature, and attitude toward alcohol beverages, and their inner world was also described with celadon patterns. Maebyeong style vases Yangonseo, Saonseo, Deokcheongo, Euiseonggo and Saseonseo, which are real celadon antiques inscribed with government office name, were used for rice liquor preservation. In particular, Maebyeong style vase 〈Euljimyeong Saonseo, 1345〉 has the exact year of creation, so it is a historically important celadon in research not only on alcohol food culture but also on art history. This shows that alcohol beverages were important foods that there were controlled and stored in celadon by the government offices for the royal family's related alcohol ceremonies. Through celadon inscribed with poetry and government office name displaying Koryo people's unique imagination and cultural consciousness, we can read their mind and lifestyle based on historical and social alcohol food culture in the Koryo Dynasty.