This is the third blog I will make about Korean history. The first one talked about the original people on the Korean Peninsula. If you look up the dates, those people came to Korea in 2333 B. C. They say their first emperor, Dangun, was the son of a son of God and a bear who became a woman (probably a tamed wild woman). In the timeline of the world, it makes a lot of sense because around that time, was the Tower of Babel, and all the languages were confused, and the people scattered all over the earth because they couldn’t speak to one another. It is possible that Dangun’s father was someone who had been at the Tower of Babel because according to Hamil, a ship wrecked sailor who came to Korea when it was shut off from the outside world, the Koreans were telling the story of the Tower of Babel before they ever heard about Christianity, and this is what the Koreans believe. Their territory was the whole Korean Peninsula and Manchuria. Even though a Chinese tribe took Manchuria away from Korea at the end of this time period, Korea was not finished with Manchuria. At this time, Korea was called Gojeoson.
In the second blog I did about Korean History, I talked about the three kingdoms of Korea: Bekjae, Shilla, and Goguryo which lasted from the first century B. C. to 676 A. D. Each of these kingdoms had specific characteristics and were interesting, and you can read about them in my previous blog about Korean History. At the end of this period of time, a general from Goguryo got Manchuria back, and Shilla, the area around the Han River and Seoul, fought to unite Bekjae, Shilla, and Goguryo with the Chinese assistance, and Korea became known as Shilla. You can read about Shilla in my previous blog. Eventually, the people from Manchuria called themselves Goryo, and united all of the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria again back to the land mass that was the original Gojeoson kingdom, but they called it Goryo.
Goryo lasted from 936 A. D. to 1392 A. D. After they reunification of all of the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria, they worked on social stability. They tried to achieve it with Buddhism as the national religion and Confucianism as its political philosophy. There were a lot of artists among the people of this time who worked with porcelain. They also invented a metal printing printing press. I have been to museums that talked about how good the old people of Korea were when it came to pottery and dish making that the Japanese used to invite them as workers to Japan to make dishes and pottery for them, and later, in another time period, the Japanese used to make war on the Koreans and take their artisans back to Japan to work because of their skill and talent. Along the Silk Road, the old world trading route that stretched from Europe, through the Middle East, and on into China, Goryo became known for its abilities with pottery and dishes and well for its printing press. They did a lot of trading.
Along the Old Silk Road, The Old Silk Road was a trading route between China and Europe that went through the middle east.
During the Goryo period is when the rest of the world began calling Goryo, Korea. I have blogged about this somewhere else before, but I can’t remember which blog. It makes sense if you know about the Korean language that the foreigners would call Goryo Korea. You see, there is a letter in Korea that is nebulous. It is sometimes pronounced as the letter “k” and sometimes pronounced as the letter “g.” If you go down to the subway station in Korea, you can really see it. The word for station in Korean is “yok,” and when you see it written in English on the wall of the subway station, that is how they write it. However, when they write it in Korean, they use that nebulous letter that could be either “k” or “g.” I have learned that every person you talk to pronounces the letter slightly differently. If you ride a taxi in Hwagok wanting to go to Hwagok Yok, I learned a long time ago to ignore the English spelling and say, “Hwagong yong” to the taxi driver. If I don’t, the taxi driver will be confused and I will never get there. However, if you get away from Hwagok, in another area of Seoul and say “Hwagong” it confuses them because they will say “Hwagok.” It has become an accent in different places even within Seoul to pronounce this letter differently. Those early people along the Silk Road heard “Koryo” instead of “Goryo,” and the word Korea evolved.
If you keep up with my historical blogs about Korea, the next period of history after Goryo is the Jeoson period. The Koreans talk a lot about the Jeoson period if you go site seeing. The Koreans are very proud of this period of time. They made a lot of progress during the Jeoson period. This is a short recap from the beginning and ending with the Goryo period, and if you are keeping up, the next historical blog will we about the Jeoson period of Korean history.
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