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Korean spelling
Hangeul 일연
Hanja 一 然

Il-yeon also occasionally Iryeon (actually Kim Gyeong-myeong , * 1206 ; † 1289 ) was a Buddhist monk, scholar and writer in Korea in the 13th century.

At the age of 9 he entered the already venerable monastery of the Muryangsa Temple (about 30 km from the city of Puyo ). At the age of 22, he passed the gwageo , the state examination for Korean civil servants. At 54 he was awarded the title of Great Teacher . At the age of 78, Emperor Chungnyeol appointed him to his court as advisor. Il-yeon , however, only held this office for a short time and, according to legend, withdrew from court life on the pretext that his mother was sick and went back to the mountains. There he died. He is remembered by his compatriots to this day as virtuous and extremely learned.

On his tombstone there are about 80 books, mostly on Buddhist topics, written by him. Only the book Samguk Yusa ( 삼국유사 ) ascribed to him has survived . It is a work that, like the older Samguk Sagi, probably serving as a model, reports on the history of the early Korean period with its three partial kingdoms. The book is considered to be one of the most important classical works of Korean literature and an important historical work. It contains the first traditional Korean poems in rhyme form.

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