• Koguryo and Balhae
  • Korea-China History Awareness

Gojoseon Roots

  • ▶ Gojoseon spanned Gija Joseon→ Wiman Joseon→ Four Commanderies of Han and is part of Chinese history.

  • ▶ Gojoseon was a kingdom founded by Dangun that arrived at its Bronze Age independently.
Some Chinese scholars contend that Yin dynasty royalty Gija (Jizi) emigrated to the state of Gojin (Gu Chen), founded Gojoseon, and subsequently pledged subjugation to the Zhou dynasty, thereby making Gojoseon its sovereign state. Furthermore, Gojoseon is claimed to be a part of Chinese history as Wiman Joseon replaced Gija Joseon. The Han dynasty destroyed Wiman Joseon and then established the Four Commanderies of Han.

▲ Liaoning Bronze Dagger
However, Gija Joseon cannot be recognized as such based on archaeological evidence or historical records. China’s claims are based on Sangseodaejeon, a compilation of records from the Han dynasty. The fact that records related to Gija (Jizi), that were previously nonexistent in Chinese history, seemingly appear suddenly is due to contemporary needs.
If people migrated en masse and established a country, they would certainly leave physical traces. However, the bronze culture from the Liaodong Peninsula and Korean Peninsula is fundamentally unique from China and continued to be handed down with gaps in history. Conversely, examples of bronze culture from the Yin and Zhou dynasties are not found in these regions.
The Liaoning Bronze Dagger, Misongri Earthenware, and dolmens are evidence of an independent culture that was facilitated by Dangun (founder of Gojoseon). Wiman from the state of Yan usurped the throne and founded Wiman Joseon. But in this case, the fundamental identity of the country remained the same, and only a part of the Gojoseon ruling class was replaced. The name Joseon continued to be used, and Joseon figures such as the JoseonSang RhoinEncyclopedia of Korean Culture, YeokgaeyeongEncyclopedia of Korean Culture, and Nigesang Cham were placed in senior positions in large numbers during the King UgeoEncyclopedia of Korean Culture period. In other words, Wiman Joseon is included in Gojoseon. This is also the reason why Il-yeon (Buddhist monk from the Goryeo Dynasty) referred to Wiman Joseon as Gojoseon in Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) in relation to Dangun's Joseon. Needless to say, the founding of Joseon by Yi Seong-gye (Taejo of Joseon) was a natural succession of Gojoseon.

Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project

The Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project was an attempt by the People's Republic of China to determine the absolute location and time frame of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties from the establishment of the Xia dynasty to the first year of the Western Zhou period (841 BCE). By determining the time frames for Xia (2070 - 1600 BCE), Shang (1600 - 1300 BCE), late Shang (1300 - 1046 BCE), and Western Zhou (1046 - 771 BCE) dynasties and subsequently publicizing the results of the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project in 2000, China boasted that it established a civilization far earlier than any surrounding country. Although China was able to inspire national pride and confidence and enhance national cohesion, it was widely criticized domestically and internationally for the subjective and imprecise approach to the research.

Chronology for the Xia–Shang–Zhou Project

DynastyKingReign (BCE)
2070 - 1600
ShangEarly1600 - 1300
ShangPan Geng1300 - ?
Xiao Xin
Xiao Yi? - 1251
Wu Ding1250 - 1192
Zu Geng119 - ?
Zu Jia
Lin Xin
Geng Ding? - 1148
Wu Yi1147 - 1113
Wen Ding1112 - 1102
Di Yi1101 - 1076
Zhou Xin1075 - 1046
Western ZhouKing Wu1046 - 1043
King Cheng1042 - 1021
King Kang1020 - 996
King Zhao995 - 977
King Mu976 - 923
King Gong922 - 900
King Yi899 - 892
King Xiao891 - 886
King Yi885 - 878
King Li877 - 841
Gonghe Regency841 - 828
King Xuan827 - 782
King You781 - 771

Origin of Chinese Civilization Project

▶ Stone Figures of Yandi and Huangdi in Yellow River Scenic Area National Park in Zhengzhou, Henan Province
The Origin of Chinese Civilization Project was a national project based on results from the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project to expand the scope of research in terms of time and space. This research was an attempt to establish lineage from the Five Emperors era (3500 - 2000 BCE) according to pre-Xia dynasty literature as determined by the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project. China's attempts to legitimize pre-Xia dynasty legends as factual parts of China's five thousand years of civilization have culminated in the massive stone figures of Yandi (Shennong) and Huangdi (Yellow Emperor) along the Yellow Riverin Zhengzhou, Henan Province. However, the legend of the Five Emperors began during the Warring States period and must be separated from fact as nothing more than mythology.

Liao River Civilization Theory

The Liao River Civilization Theory is a doctrine based on the development of ancient civilizations and culture in the Liao region. Its representative Hongshan culture was a relatively developed Neolithic culture consisting of large-scale stone tombs and temple structures known as Goddess Temples. Based on these elements, Chinese academia considers this culture to be evidence of a developed civilization with authority and hierarchical social structure. In addition, China claims that the prototypical Chinese civilization was born from Hongshan's exchanges with the Yangshao culture from the Yellow River basin and credits the civilization as a creation of the Huangdi (Yellow Emperor) tribe. Much controversy surrounds China's unreasonable application of the term 'civilization' and its attempts to establish the emergence of China's first civilization in the Liao River basin via the Hongshan culture rather than the Yellow River.
▲ Hongshan Culture – Jade Dragon
▲ Hongshan Culture – Jade Pig Dragon
▲ Hongshan Culture - Goddess
▲ Hongshan Culture – Goddess Temple
▲ Stone Ruins of Hongshan Culture

Wiman was a general who was exiled to the western fringes of Gojoseon during China’s early Han dynasty and eventually usurped the throne to found Wiman Joseon.
Four Commanderies of Han
Four commanderies from China's Han dynasty comprised of Lelang, Zhenfan, Lintun, and Xuantuestablished in Gojoseon between 108 - 107 BCE.
Five Emperors
The Five Emperors were mythological rulers and deities from ancient China that include Huangdi (Yellow Emperor)Doopedia, ZhuanxuDoopedia, Dì KùWikipedia, YaoWikipedia, and ShunDoopedia. Other versions of the Five Emperors include ShaohaoWikipedia, Zhuanxu, Dì Kù, Yao, and Shun. The Five Emperors are mythological rules that precede the Xia dynasty, considered to be China's first established dynasty, and are credited with being pioneers of civilization and inventors of wheel carts and various other creations. However, the folklore is unmistakably mythical in nature.
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