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Samguk Yusa founders ofstates. These are set down here as precedents for the stories of the founders of the Three Kingdoms, to be found in. This is one of those "must have" books for anyone interested in Korean history. The book was written in classical Chinese and is a compilation of tales and stories of historical people from the Three Kingdom Period and the founding of GoJoseon. It is an ancient Text on the early. The Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms, ca. –) is –). Iryŏn and his disciple Hon'gu compiled the Samguk yusa to present.
Year after year the floating clouds sail back The King thought that Hyesuk must be an uncommon monk. Be "'[ have told the truth. Chih-yen had had a dream the night 'Ilean popsa". Jul 12, Jesse rated it really liked it Shelves: In time, of course, the Koreans gave their own peculiar pronunciations to the Chinese words, but what they wrote remained Chinese in syntax and vocabulary. As there was no time to reach shelter her husband's clothes During his lifetime Chajang founded more than a dozen temples were hung from the branches ofthe tree to hide her from view.
Nangnang with names different from those in the other sources. Chosun was divided into three counties-Hyonto. She conceived and bore a son who was called date: In twenty-one days the bear.
His father. Nangnang and Hwan-ung Ch'6nwang another. These are set down here as precedents for the stories it. During the Han dynasty Chinese. I them each a bunch of mugwort and twenty pieces of garlic.
Tangun Wanggom. Chesok or Sakrodeveendra had a young son whose name was "Later Tangun moved his capital to Asadal on T'aebaek-san and Hwan-ung.
Old Chosun Wanggom Chosnn. Korea which was under direct Chinese rule from B. Hwan-ung heard her In the Wei-shu'!. Tangun moved to Changtang-kyong and then returned to suitable place for his heavenly son to bring happiness to human beings.
The boy wished to descend from heaven and live in the ruled 15QO years. Suddenly there was a lightning. Kokyang house. Mahan ceded them an area along her esatern frontier. According to an authentic statement of an ancient sage there was a In ancient times there were six districts in Chinhan.
In great wonderment they ran down to the well. There was general agreement as follows: Samguk Yusa Wonder 1 chia. They were the Yi. When they came There was a villa and pleasure ground for founder and Tongmyong Kogury S founder. We must therefore seek a noble and ring States period in China. The latter statement is purely conjectural Kuchi house.
Gentle sweet rain came with harmonious blessings and r which was in rivalry with Mahan before the reign of Onjo. Cbinban on the bank of a stream called Alch' Sn to discuss problems of common interest. Kogury S 37 B. When the people cracked the egg its original place as it sets the scene for much of what is to follow. Chinhan was the earth in the south by the well called Najong in the direction of Mt. Pae and S Sl was called Pyonhan. These were ponds fairly well with the traditional foundation dates.
I n her heyday Paekje had a population of The Chinese where they worshipped and prayed to heaven to send them a gracious pronunciation was 'tu. The Tang-shu states that the ancestors of Pyonhan lived in the During the reign of the forty-ninth king H Sngang. When Silla reached the height of her prosperity the capital. King Hyokkose. This is evidently a mistake. Kuryong Mt. Some and tried to bury them in the same tomb. After seven days the ashes of his body fell to the marry a virtuous queen.
Now to the indeed indicate that the first three Silla kings and some later ones were west of Yongil-hyoll rises Mt. So the royal remains of each were divided into five inside when the body was opened. The princess mother. King All the people in the country welcomed kingdom of Silla and ruled over it for sixty-two years The people erected a palace at the foot of South Mountain and The name is a common one in modern Korea.
The official records-compiled. Heaven and earth shook. King Namhae brought up the two babies. The stream was thenceforth called Palch'on beak-falling Silla king in the official records. The people called these the like the beak of a chick. The name Silla was not used until a later time. King's Voice: If you and I do not guard this couIJ.
Pohae is F'yongyang after a great victory over Koguryo. Between sacred mountains. This temple had to Now I pause for a reply Japanese with the contemptuous term wai dwarfs. Throughout this story [lyon consistently refers to the these ungrateful creatures. Your Majesty's humble subject. In this way Pohae to P'yongyang with Kim Mu-al. King Nulji's young. Japan at this time was not yet unified and historical data my guiltless descendant was shamefully put to.
For this reason his But King Changsu. King Nulji reigned from general's wrath and pray for the repose of his soul. He sent the But the Japanese ruler did not respect his status as an envoy and grand vizier Kim Kyong-sin to the tomb of Kim Yu-sin to apologize held him hostage.
The oldest Japanese records do death. Kim Yu-sin's anger could nothave been appeased. He did not return to his homeland until he was forty to his spirit.
Then the wind arose once So King Naemul sent his third son Mihae. All this amounts to an offer of alliance. King Silsong. King Changsu of Koguryo been erected in honor of Kim Yu-sin's triumphant return from sent an envoy with the request that Pohae in Samguk Sagi. The King made peate with Koguryo and sent Mich'u. The envoy denounced Paekje for her attacks on Silla there was patriotic spirit with loyal mind for the welfare of the more or less constant war among the three kingdoms throughout state.
I would like Japanese islands Mihae was sent to is not specified. King Hyegong was astonished when he heard of this. I command you to continue.
In the period are extremely sketchy. In addition.. It is evident that both the present king and his mention a Korean who may possibly be identified with M ihae. Which ofthe court have forgotten my patriotic deeds. King Naemul and Pak Che-sang15 hancing the royal power and after death became a protective. I would be most happy.
Koguryo has warred against me and affection. Amid the flowing of the wine and the singing and Prince of Silla was so loved by Koguryo people for his deeds of kindness dancing the King suddenly burst into tears and spoke as follows: He drank with Pak Che-sang Pak Che-.
In the tenth year of King Nulji. As they put out to sea in their a time and place to meet. We sea. If the subjects do only what is easy "I am a nobleman of Kerim another name for Silla " Pak replied. Finally their opportunIty came. Though I reason.
If the King has brought you here? In Koguryo he gained access to. Who can bring Without even visiting his home he journeyed to the seacoast at Yulp'o. Since I ascended the When the King saw Pohae he embraced him with the tenderest throne my strong neighbor i.
But the court entertainment. She wept and called to him to return for a last farewell. I sent my own younger brother to his. After explaining his plan of escape and setting day when thick fog covered the island. But now he holds my brother hostage and will not let him return. Wonder 1 Samguk Yusa seacoast at Kosong. Mihae crossed the eastern sea and landed safely in cannot think only of myself. People still call the place Changsa.
He conferred the title of told them that Mihae had escaped a long while before. Pak came out and told them that Mihae had been hunting the previous The King gave a g. Jor sorrow till she died. The courtiers praised the noble deeds of Pak Che-sang. The prince was distressed. I have no more to say. There she looked out here that an old tradition attributed the red color of a certain away in the direction of Japan and wailed.
He had Pak Che-sang arrested and brought before him. Hang him.
I have simply obeyed soldiers of Ch'u in Yingyang. I would rather be bitterly. Together with with him under full sail. Pak said. I will give you big rewards and make you rich and noble! Peel off his skin from thigJitoankle and make him husband. She variety of reed to the blood of Pak Che-sang.
At noon they came again. It is now or '''1 am a subject of Kerim. When the Japanese became curious. Of what kingdom are you a subject?
What an insolent: Now you must suffer Vii. How can I leave you behind and go alone? Hsiang Yii said to Chou Ko. She took her three daughters walk on the swordlike stubble of the harvested reeds. I must stay behind to prevent them. The beaten with long whips in Kerim tIlan receive court titles here. This caused the exasperated king of Paekje to vent his anger by He hastened to inform the King. The King heard of her extraordinary peace. I can take any pretty woman I want for mytoncubine. Previously Paekje had proposed The King sighed resignedly and said.
King Chinhling. Do you still dare to say no?
She His family name was Kim and his queen was Lady King's court. If Koguryo has not provoked the forest. Tohwanyo and Pihyongnang was popularly known as Yonje Puin. During his short reign he was hated very angry and commanded General Pak Hong to go to the island and by the people for his misgovernment and sexual indulgence. Samguk Yusa Wonder 1 drum. There they were married and lived happily. The King rewarded Pak I-jong and made him governor of beauty and had her brought to the inner palace.
King CbIohWig The twenty-fourth sovereign. Even a king or an emperor shall not take away my woman's treasure. King Chinhling flatly refused. While he was on the throne there lived in Saryang-pu a country and said to the islanders. If you do On his deathbed. She was King PophUng's daughter. Becoming curious he asked the villagers what it was all about. Then he sailed to Dllling-do. The King was Chido.
King ChinhUng had his head shaved and suffered not obey my command. Pak had wooden lions made and reasons he was ultimately deposed. My body belongs to my husband and him only.
The King laughed. For these punish its disobedient inhabitants. Another source gives her family name as Pak. I love you and I must enjoy you tonight. The King was pleased. Thinking to make further "Yes. Yim Chong Pihyongnang. Foxes are closely associated with ghosts and spirits in East Asian quasi-religious organization ofaristocratic youth in the SiIla kingdom. He commanded Yim Chong. Will you come to me and be my lover? This probably But one day Kildal changed himself into a fox and ran away.
Pihyong then sent the other It was noticed at court that the boy often wandered far from the ghosts and goblins to catch Kildal and kill him instantly. Chinji's successor Pihyong was summoned to the throne forthwith. Then she emerged The following morning Pihy6ng presented Kildal before the alone. After this palace at night alone and the king. The King made him a courtier. The child was a boy. Early next morning The people of Silla praised Pihyong in a song which goes as follows: Here stands the house of Pihyong.
She did not emerge for seven days and nights. They fell to at once. When the hour of her confinement drew near heaven straight as a bamboo. Samguk Yusa Wonder 1 not forget me. He gave nO' sign Qf surprise. This was the heavenly belt given to' King Chinp'yong. Rise and of T'ang T'ai-tsung. Kim Pu. Samguk Yusa Wonder 1 palace.
He was eleven feet tall. One of the Chinese deities was known as the Jade had been cQnstructed at his Qrder. Silla kings from that time Qn First. Alch'on and P'i1t'an. The people and court: As he was ascending the stQne steps.
The Silla soldiers surrounded them and killed them all. In great The second temple was presumably built further down the hill. Buddhist scripture alludes to reign she composed a poem called T'aep'yong-ga. This last still stands in Kyongju and is one of the most famous hill called Wolf Mountain.
The T'ang Emperor teased my having no husband. But the real significance of this episode to befound at the entrance gates ofmost Korean Buddhist temples. His deep benevolence is matched only by the sun.
During her Kings built beneath the Queen's tomb. Chindok and force marching to invade Silla. The female color is He esteems culture as a noble heir to a.
As to the Poem: When I am gone. All were reign. She replied: It was also this in the middle of Torich'on. On the very day she had predicted the Queen died. The four deva kings are the Buddhist Jlyon mentions a variant account from another source here.
Queen Chindok were interred on the site she had chosen. This they routed. These last are evidently titles. They were fire Mars. The title of Sirang was first conferred To praise his august virtues. Kim Yu. Silla had four sacred places where state ministers held councils Foreign barbarians who disobey the Emperor's.
These were Ch'ongsong Mountain in the east. He knew that Yu-sin was making plans Alch' on-gong the presiding seat at their meeting. Yomjang-gong and Yusin-gong-held a meeting on a giant wonderful deeds.
This last was secretly to Yu-sin.
The "high mountain" referred to is In the seventeenth year of King Chinp'yong. Loudly his gongs and drums ring. They ceased after the unification. Some Korean historians hold that these council meetings were The seven luminaries shine wide all over the universe. The Emperor entrusts his administration to loyal vassals. The virtues of the five emperors and three kings in one The other courtiers shrieked in fear. Horim-gong father of the famous monk From his childhood he was admired by all who knew him for his Chajang.
Paek-sok White Stone who had mingled with them for many years. P'ijon in the west and KUmgang Mountain Shine on myriads in light and shade. The seven lights were the sun and moon Kim Yu-sin was a close relative ofthe royal family and a famous general. At the rock on South Mountain to discuss state affairs.
During the reign of Queen Chindok the first royal audience Far and near happy people vie in raising voices was given on New Year's Day. Kaeji Love and respect for warm-heartedness under bis sway Mountain in the south. In respect for his great strength and courage the courtiers offered though nobody knew his origin. One night he whispered most the majestic air and wise strategy of Yusin-gong. He seized the tiger by the tail.
The four seasons rotate harmoniously like burning candles. Come to the forest whose interrelations are the basis of all natural processes in Chinese with us and there we shall have our pleasure in beds of fragrant flowers.
The officials of my king's court believe that Kim Yu-sin of Silla is the "So they cut off Ch'u-nam's head. Why does the appeared from the forest and followed after Yu-sin. Hyollye and Kolhwa. Paek-sok was presumably somewhere else and this has any unusual significance? One day as they paused on a mountain-top to rest. We disloyal libel by a cunning fox to undermine the Queen's position. Your Majesty. Let's go " 'A rat. Why at the village of Kolhwach'on to put up for the night.
Yu-sin was transported with joy and immediately " 'Your Majesty. Wonder I Sainguk Yusa "Listen! Ch'u-nam is implying that the Queen is the real ruler and unseen and unheard by the other boy. When they arrived water of this river flow backwards. Will you suffer me to suck honey from your river. F arewelll" And with these words the three goddesses is done in the shade is brought into the light by my magic art.
But when they slit open the reincarnation of Ch'u-nam. Be "'[ have told the truth. Can you tell me whether cakes for Yu-sin to eat. Paek-sok suspected nothing. Then everyone in the "What will you give me for in" Po-hili asked. Upon inquiring T'aejong the Great. Somewhat later Yu-sin discovered that Mun-hili was pregnant. Every spring when the birds and flowers ch'u's jacket and tore it off.
On that very night King "I will give you my skirt of embroidered brocade. Do not put her to death! Here is my skirt. Then he called to Mun-hi1i.
His father was Yongsu-kakkan.. So here I am. Yu-sin called to Po-hili to come and dedicated to her. His tomb now stands on a fell in love with her on the spot and from then on visited her day and mountain peak. They also erected "Don't worry about it. He was furious and immediately began preparations to have her burned The Mun-hili spread her skirt and said.
Wear it and you Yu-sin put the Koguryo spy to the sword and offered sacrifices of will look more beautiful. West Mountain.
T'aejong Ch'unch'u-gong King Muryo!. Samguk Yusa Wonder 1 "belly ofthe rat they found seven unborn rats in it. I agree. Chinhan and Py6nhan. It is unlikely that the King alone ate the flesh of this fish died. During his reign one roll 40 yards of cotton In the fifth moon a thirty-foot-Iong fish leaped out of the water cloth could be bartered for thirty to fifty large bags of rice.
In the second moon to the King of concubines and court ladies. The citizens of the capital ran out of their houses in fear. There were so many that the people could not praised for his moral integrity and military valor. It will be recalled that foxes especially were associated with ch'u. In the fourth moon a hen in the palace of the crown prince mated but his daily food amounted to six bushels of rice.
Probably tlte daily supplies of his In the ninth moon the awe-inspiring giant oaks in the palace court are intended here. In the second moon ofthe fifth year Chigyong and Kaewon. They buried him near Aegong Temple and with the King.
A loyal vassal. But no sooner had collect ana eat them all. S6ng Ch'ung called in the fifth year ofT'ang Kao-tsung and ruled eight years. After the conquest of Paekje in he stopped eating lunch. In Samguk Yusa Wonder J Following the death of Queen Chind6k he was elevated to the throne demanding duties of government. The dogs of the city gathered in his warships rode a favorable tide up the river to the accompaniment of packs on the roads.
Then a time a fierce bird circled around the head of general Su. Wonder 1 Samguk Yusa army. But the victorious Chinese and asked him to send Silla troops to fight on the side of the T'ang. He also took prisoner two further priJ?
They Prince Yung. The general round moonwheel. At first. A terrifying ghost entered the palace sands of Paekje soldiers and laid siege to Puyo. General Su landed his troops at the mouth of the White Horse and dogs as big as deer leaped from the west to the banks of Sabi-su. Ilyon notes T'ae and Prince Yon. At this The king was angry and had the fortune-teller put to death. Silla is a new moon. All these he t0pk away to the T'ang capital. Feng Shih-kuei and Pang Hsiao-kung. River and quickly defeated the Paekje defenders.
The signifies the zenith of power. Paekje is ruined I" and then Meanwhile the SiIla army crossed the sky-kissing mountains descended into the bowels of the earth. This means that Paekje is a large kingdom and Silla is a small turn back.
But seeing his followers desert him and flee. But Kim Yu-sin unsheathed his long sword. The patriotic general Kyebaek led King Uija ordered his servants to dig in the ground where the ghost his 5.
King Muryol commanded general Kim Yu-sin to lead Moreover Originally Paekje was divided into -five provinces. At the same time.
When general Su's forces arrived at Tokmul Island to the west of people lost their fortunes by thousands. When King Uija died of an illness Su. General Liu food supplies. Next they read aloud the Ilyon says this last paragraph was taken from the official T'ang following oath.
Sometime later Kim Yu-sin dispatched two messengers to generai after rebuking them. A courier was sent to Silla with a request for provinces to take charge of the local administration. What makes this book so interesting is that it tells the stories as they were, without much editing, but with lots of useful annotations by the translators. As such, you really get a good sense of how people think or act during that period, which also helps to better understan The Samguk Yusa is written in the 13th century and is a collection of various Korean legends, myths and folktales.
As such, you really get a good sense of how people think or act during that period, which also helps to better understand modern Korean culture today. I thought that Samguk Yusa is one of the few historical Korean works existing today, especially which are translated into a foreign language, which makes it mandatory reading for anyone interested in Korean history and culture.
Apr 21, Megan Trout rated it really liked it. It is a good book to get a basic history about the Three Kingdom's Period of the Korean peninsula. It is not for the faint of heart in reading, this is a thick book with older language in it. But if you are like me and love history and myths and reading them in the closest to original form, this is a great book. Jul 12, Jesse rated it really liked it Shelves: This is an anthology of ancient Korean Mythology.
Super cool and interesting. I found it a big help when I first moved to Korea to immerse myself in as much culture as I could get my hands on in an attempt to understand a bit better. This was an entertaining way to do it. After 3 months of slow-reading, this book has it's historical content mixed with folktales. Bear rated it really liked it Oct 18, Samantha Taylor rated it it was amazing Dec 08, Jong-keun rated it it was amazing Mar 05, Bri rated it liked it Jan 02, Rachel Udin rated it it was amazing Jul 22, Garrett rated it liked it Mar 08, June Narber rated it really liked it Sep 18, Irina Sholeva rated it really liked it Sep 03, Leo rated it it was amazing Jun 15, GST rated it really liked it Mar 09, Paul rated it liked it May 31, Trevor Williams rated it really liked it Nov 02, Jorge Matheos rated it really liked it Oct 18, Michele rated it liked it Jan 26, Mamali rated it it was amazing Mar 03, Alireza rated it did not like it May 28, Kathryn Pinzon rated it it was amazing Nov 30, Both Korean and Japanese scholars naturally take special interest in the reinterpretation of the tales in the book as a part of Oriental studies in history, early poetry in archaic language, and customs in addition to large portions of the book on Buddhism and also interregional contacts between Korea and Japan.
During the past year I had a booklet Tales from the Three Kingdoms published containing selected materials from Samguk Yusa, Samguk Sagi and some other old literature to give preliminary information on the Three Kingdoms, before I completed the unabridged translation of Samguk Yusa. If this volume can be of service to Western scholars and general readers interested in Korea and Korean culture I shall have attained my purpose.
Like all such books of its time, Samguk Yusa was written in literary Chinese. In preparing this English version, I have been greatly aided by Mr. Yi Chae-ho's translation of the book into modern Korean, and by a similar work by Dr.
Yi Pyung-do. I would also like to thank Dr. Grafton K. Mintz of the Korea Times for language of the manuscript and for his suggestions concerning the general arrangement of the book.
Finally, I am deeply grateful to the Yonsei University Press for agreeing to publish the book and for its help and understanding during the preparation of the volume. In preparing this version of the Samguk Yusa my chief care has been to make the text easily accessible to the reader. For this reason I have kept footnotes to a minimum and have supplied explanations in parentheses where necessary. Except where indicated, therefore, the material in parentheses has been added by me.
It should be added that almost all this information is taken from the very full annotations made by Mr. Ha in his original manuscript. Ilyon, like his contemporaries, dates events in two ways, by the reigns of Chinese emperors and by the twelve-year cycle of the animals of the zodiac. Each succeeding emperor had an official name for the period of his reign, and sometimes he might have more than one for different periods.
I have let these stand, though mostly in abbreviated form, and have added Christian-era dates in parentheses. All dates are A.
Certain suffixes occur rather frequently in place-names. I have explained them in the text, but for the convenience of the reader will also translate a few of the most frequent ones here. Thus sa means temple jon means pavilion, song means wall or fortress, and san means mountain.
I should like to acknowledge here the kind cooperation of Mr. Their cordial attitude and their toleration of my crochets about the English language have made my work on this book a joy. It is my hope that the reader will find equal pleasure in it. Our knowledge of the ancient history of Korea is scanty. Contemporary documents are few, and consist mainly of Chinese writings which allude here and there to Korea.
Other documents we know only by quotations in later writings, for wars and invasions destroyed the originals and they have not survived. During the Koryo dynasty two chronicles of Korea's earliest period were compiled.
The first, Samguk Sagi, was written by Kim Pu-sik, a high government official, in the twelfth century. It followed the pattern of Chinese dynastic histories and the conventions of Confucian historiography, the idea being that one may learn from history by studying the virtues and vices of the rulers of the past. The Confucian tendency was to humanize the myths and legends of the past, to interpret them as early distortions of events that actually occurred, and thus much of what was actually mythology and folklore has been obscured by attempts to fit it into the framework of actual events.
Thus the Samguk Sagi, while it contains considerable material that is obviously legendary, attempts to fit the legends of early Korea into the framework of Confucian attitudes. The second such document is the Samguk Yusa, the present work, Its author was a Buddhist priest who was interested in the early history of his country. The book had no official sanction and was thus not at the mercy of the official philosophy of history, While the writer subscribed to the Confucian idea of history to a great extent, he was also intelligent enough to see that history could not be forced into a predetermined framework and was content to set down the old stories as he found them, without much effort at interpretation.
The title is difficult to translate. Yusa does not mean precisely legends, although that idea is implied by the word. It also carries the ideas of anecdotes, memorabilia and the like.
It was not conceived as a set piece of scholarship but was written in the author's leisure hours as a kind of diversion. Its value is not so much historical in the strict sense of a chronicle of events as it is an account of the beliefs and folklore of medieval Korea, much of it dating back to earlier times.
It is thus a valuable supplement to the officially sanctioned view of history found in Samguk Sagi, and is of the highest value to the student of folklore and religion. The title of the book is somewhat of a misnomer, for it is not really an account of the histories of the three ancient kingdoms of Korea.
It is concerned primarily with only one of them, Silla, which in time conquered the other two with the help of China. Moreover, it covers the period during which Silla ruled the peninsula down to its fall to the Koryo dynasty in For a proper understanding of the book, a brief account of the events of the period it covers as modern history sees them is necessary.
As we have mentioned, materials for this early period are scanty. Contemporary Chinese documents mention the Korean peninsula from time to time, and a region in the northeast was colonized during the Han dynasty and continued under Chinese rule until as late as , over a century after Han rule had collapsed in China proper.
Three kingdoms developed on the peninsula, probably during the course of the first century A. The traditional founding dates are 57 B. These dates are unsupported by contemporary evidence, however, and most scholars think they are too early.
In any case, these kingdoms were certainly in existence during the period of Chinese history known as the Later Han dynasty A. Koguryo was initially the largest and most powerful of the three. The tribes which originally composed it lived along the banks of the Yalu river, which forms the present northwestern boundary of Korea, and may have been related to the stock-breeding nomads of the central Asian steppes. They are known to have been excellent horsemen. When they emerge upon the scene of history we find them ruling an area which extended from south of the Han River across the present Korean boundary and far north into Manchuria and west to the Liaotung peninsula.
The two kingdoms of the south are thought to have been founded by migrants from the north, since civilization was more highly developed there, mainly because of closer contacts with China. Paekje in the southwest is known to have been dominated by a northern tribe called Puyo, which had come originally from Manchuria and had been dominated for a time by Koguryo.
Paekje played an important part in the transmission of Chinese civilization to Japan.
Its rulers are frequently pictured as effete and dissolute, but this is probably because its history has been written mainly by its enemies. Silla in the southeast is given the earliest founding date, but this is probably because it conquered the others.
In any case, there is clear evidence that it was the latest to develop. We are told that it was the last to set up Chinese-style institutions of government and the last to adopt the Buddhist religion. In addition to these three there was for a time a relatively small area in the south, on the coast and along the Naktong River, known as Kaya or Karak, which persisted as a kingdom until it was absorbed by Silla in A.
Little is known of it except that it was considerably influenced by Japan. The three kingdoms were in a state of more or less constant conflict throughout their existence, with frequent alliances of two of them against the third.
In the earlier part of the three kingdoms period it was usual for Silla and Paekje to be in alliance against the more powerful Koguryo, and a rough balance of power was thus created. But during the latter part of the period Silla power grew and she began to expand at the expense of both her rivals.
Of particular significance was the Silla seizure of the territory along the Han River, for this drove a wedge between her two rivals. Even so, Silla power alone might not have enabled her to conquer the whole peninsula. Events in China now began to influence Korea, however, and to these events we must now turn. After the fall of the Han dynasty in A. China was divided into numerous states. There were frequent wars and revolts and consequent changes of boundaries and governments during a period of about three and a half centuries, and thus, while Chinese cultural influence continued, there was hardly any Chinese political or military intervention in Korea.
In the year , however, China was once more unified under the Sui dynasty, and the rulers promptly began to concern themselves with subduing the barbarians on China's borders. One of the results of this policy was a series of attacks upon Koguryo. These were successfully beaten off, and their failure was one of the causes of the fall of the Sui dynasty in But China was not to suffer another period of disunity. The T'ang dynasty immediately succeeded the Sui and ruled China for the next three centuries.
This was the period of China's greatest cultural influence upon her neighbors, so much so that the word T'ang was used as a name for China long after the dynasty had perished. From the Chinese point of view the main problem of foreign relations was to prevent attacks by the nomadic tribes whose territories bordered China, particularly in the north.
To this end it was Chinese policy to set up subordinate states in border areas which acknowledged suzerainty to the Emperor or, where possible, to conquer these areas and incorporate them into the empire.
Observing that the Sui attacks on Koguryo along its northern borders in Manchuria had failed, the T'ang rulers entered into an alliance with Silla whose object was to subdue the entire peninsula and if possible bring it under Chinese rule.
This policy succeeded to a certain extent. Coordinated attacks by T'ang and Silla troops destroyed Paekje in , and Koguryo finally fell in In both instances the Chinese set up provincial governments and stationed military garrisons in the conquered territory, and when Koguryo had been conquered appeared ready to turn upon Silla. But even at this early date the Korean people had a long history of resistance to foreign rule and the Chinese found Silla unexpectedly difficult to conquer.
Moreover, revolts broke out in the previously conquered territory, which Silla supported. Eventually an arrangement was worked out whereby the Silla dynasty ruled all of Korea but acknowledged the superiority of the Chinese Emperor. It became the custom for each succeeding Korean King to apply to the Chinese court for confirmation of his legitimacy, in token of which he received a golden seal from the Emperor.
This practice persisted throughout the Korean monarchy. In practice there was little Chinese interference in domestic Korean affairs and the Korean government did pretty much as it liked, but Chinese cultural influence was profound.