Korea’s early history can be traced from the Paleolithic period about 500,000 years ago. It is believed that its history began in 2333 B.C.E. King Tangun, a legendary figure born of the son of heaven and a woman from a bear-totem tribe established the first kingdom named Choson which means “Land of the Morning Calm”. Characterized by clan communities that formed prefectures or provinces like in Japan, the country rose and fell so that by the first century B.C.E., 3 kingdoms emerged. Koguryo
Koguryo was the 1st to mature into a kingdom along the river Yalu. They conquered neighboring tribes one after another and finally drove the Chinese out of Hangawa in 313 C.E. and expanded their territory deep into Machuria. This forced group of refuges to go south. Paekche
The group of refuges who went south founded the kingdom of Paekche at the southern part of Han-gang river in the vicinity of the present Seoul. Known to be peace-loving, the Paekche people kept on moving south to avoid the threats of the Koguryo and finally established their kingdom at the southwesthern part of the peninsula. Silla
Silla was the weakest and most underdeveloped of the 3 kingdoms. The last one to adopt foreign ideas, its people was remarkably clan-oriented. Although politically separated, the 3 kingdoms were related ethnically and linguistically. They even adopted Confucian ethics and Buddhist faith.
In 935 C.E.,Wang Kien united Korea into a single nation called it Koryo from which the name Korea was derived. Koryo made a several everlasting achievement during its existence. 1. The Korean blue green celadon that represents the refined taste of the Korean aristocrats was highly prized throughout of Asia. 2. The World’s 1st movable metal type writing in 1234 was invented. 3. The Buddhist sermons printed on large woodblocks numbering 80,000 called Tripikita Koreana was completed. 4. They adopted the Chinese System of Civil service examination for the...