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The History of Corea


The Prehistoric Age




The first settlements on the Corean Peninsula occurred more over than 700,000 years ago.



* Go-Joseon (2333 - 108 B.C)




The mythical figure Dan-gun founded Go-Joseon, the first Corean Kingdom, in 2333 B.C.



* Jin and Samhan




There were several countries after Go-Joseon. Jin and Samhan were remarkable ones.




The Three Kingdoms Period




Three Hans and Gaya around the southern part of Corean Peninsula were developed into kingdoms.



* Goguryeo (A.D 53 (?) ~ 668): Located the northern part of Corean Peninsula.



* Baekje ( B.C 18 ~ 660): Located south-western part of Corean Peninsula.



* Silla: (B.C 57 ~ ): Located south-eastern part of Corean Peninsula.



* Gaya: ( A.D 42 ~ 562): Located between Silla and Baekje.




The Unified Silla Kingdom and Balhae


  * The Unified Silla(676-935)  


The unified armies of Silla and Tang occupied Baekje and Goguryeo. But Tang showed the ambition to rule Silla. On this, Silla and Tang were involved in some battles. In 676, Silla was newly born. The Unified Silla Kingdom promoted the development of culture and arts, and the popularity of Buddhism reached its peak during this period. BulGukSa and Seokguram were built at that time. The Unified Silla Kingdom was annexed by Goryeo in 935.


  * Balhae(698-926)  


The Balhae Kingdom emerged on the verge of the Goguryeo Dynasty's collapsing. Goguryeo General, Dae Joyeong founded Balhae along with his army of displaced peoples. Once Balhae acquired territories in northern and eastern parts of China, as well as many other developments within the kingdom.



* The Goryeo Dynasty (918 - 1392)




The Goryeo Dynasty was established in 918. Buddhism became the state religion during this time and greatly influenced politics and culture. Famous items produced during this time include Goryeo celadon and the Tripitaka Coreana were produced during the Goryeo Dynasty. Jikji, the world's oldest movable metal type was published 78 years before the German movable metal type created by Gutenburg.



* The Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910)




The Joseon Dynasty was formed at the end of the 14th century. Confucianism became the state ideology. Hangeul, the Corean alphabet was invented in 1443 during the reign of King Sejong. The dynasty was sustained by Yangban(the higher class) cultures. The dynasty got to be declined by foreign invasions.







* The Japanese Colonial Period (1910 - 1945)




In 1876, the Joseon Dynasty was forced to adopt an open-door policy regarding Japan. The Japanese annexation of Corea was officially announced in 1910. The colonial rule continued until the surrender of Japan, which ended World War II.



* The Republic of Corea (1945 - Present)




After some anarchic confusion, the Republic of Corea appeared in 1948. But the Corean Peninsula was then divided into two zones, South and North Corea after the Corean War(June 25, 1950). The wish for unification is so strong that there have been numerous contacts so far.


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