What does Kwanggae mean?

Kwanggae refers to Kwanggaeto the Great, the nineteenth king of Koguryo, who lived from 374 to 413 C.E..

Kwanggaeto is one of only two Korean kings to be known as ‘the Great’ – the other being Sejong the Great, after whom another Taekwondo form is also named. Kwanggaeto is renowned for commanding military strikes against the Kingdom of Baekje in the south and Later Yan in the north, advancing the nation’s borders significantly. Under Kwanggaeto, Koguryo entered into a golden age, becoming one of the great powers in East Asia.

Kwanggaeto is regarded as one of the greatest heroes in Korean history. His son, Jangsu, constructed a 6 metre tall monument to him after his death, known as the Kwanggaeto Stele, inscribed into which is information about Kwanggaeto’s reign and achievements. The monument was rediscovered in the late 1800s.

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