I often take walks through Jingwan Neighborhood Park, which is near my home. Recently, I was shocked at the sight of tombstone pieces scattered across the path, obviously having been abandoned for some time. This place is known to be the collective grave site for eunuchs and court ladies of the Joseon Dynasty, and I was deeply saddened to see its obvious disrepair.
Yesterday, I revisited this spot with several employees in charge of culture-related departments. While inspecting the area, we discussed various measures that needed to be taken, including a proper surveying of the site, excavation of intact artifacts, installation of an “open museum,” transformation into a tourism resource, story/theme-making of all the historical tombs in Seoul, and the establishment of a museum about life and death on park grounds. Wouldn’t a proper perspective on death give us the right perspective on life as well?