The Origin of Korean Literature

If Danun established Gojo as a starting point in the “Myth of Danun”, South Korea has a history of more than 4,300 years. Therefore, Koreans often say that South Korea has a history of 5,000 years.

However, apart from myths, there is no other information that can prove that South Korea’s history can be traced back to five thousand years ago. Judging from archaeological data alone, South Korea’s history cannot even be traced back to the establishment of ancient Korea.

The history of Korean literature can only be based on documentary data as a basis, its origin can only be greatly delayed. After Gojoseon, Buyeo, Goguryeo, Baekje, Silla and other ancient countries were established one after another.

When Chinese characters were introduced to the Korean peninsula and used in BC, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla all compiled large-scale historical documents, which have now been lost, but at least this fact shows that Korean literature originated in BC. However, the oldest existing documents in Korea were compiled in the 12th and 3rd centuries.

As a result, the history of Korean literature cannot even be traced back to a thousand years ago. However, early documents such as “Historical Records of the Three Kingdoms” and “Remains of the Three Kingdoms” quoted a lot of content from previous materials. Through these original materials, the history of Korean literature can be traced back hundreds of years.

In addition, judging from the fragmented records in various other documents, the history of Korean documentary literature can be traced back thousands of years. In the early documentary literature, many of the oral literature passed down through oral traditions. Therefore, the history of oral literature can be traced forward. The characteristics and general situation of South Korea’s history. In the early history, South Korea was centered on the Manchuria region. It had always confronted each other with China.

In the process of cooperating, containing, and confronting China, it has achieved more than 10,000. Compared with Japan, South Korea is by no means a projectile, small country.

South Korea has preserved and developed its own unique cultural traditions. Later, South Korea, located between mainland culture and maritime culture, gradually shifted the center of its activities to the Korean Peninsula. Some upper-class people of Goguryeo went south to establish Baekje, and at the southern end of the Korean peninsula appeared the Silla and Gaya countries.

These small countries at the southern end of the Korean peninsula, Igaya, were quickly annexed by neighboring countries Silla and Baekje. Since then, the so-called Three Kingdoms era of Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla began. Silla and Tang joined forces to destroy Goguryeo and Baekje, and the Three Kingdoms era came to an end.

However, Silla, which unified the three kingdoms (668), fought a war with the allied Tang Dynasty because the Tang Dynasty tried to control the entire Korean Peninsula. In the end, Silla repelled the Tang army, and the Tang Dynasty never dared to covet the Korean Peninsula. At this time, the survivors of Goguryeo and Baekje set off the restoration movement, and finally established Balhae Kingdom (698) in the homeland of Goguryeo in Manchuria, and its ruling class was the survivors of Goguryeo.

In this way, the south of the Datong River is ruled by Silla, and the homeland of Goguryeo on the north of the Datong River is controlled by the Balhae Kingdom. This is the period of the North and South Kingdoms. The period of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms lasted for more than two hundred years, until the demise of the Balhae Kingdom in 926 and the demise of Silla in 935.

The Balhae kingdom was destroyed by the Khitan, and the unified Silla was also in chaos. This is called the post-Three Kingdoms era. At this time, Goryeo held high the banner of inheriting the spirit of Goguryeo and proclaimed the founding of the country (918), and finally put down the war. On the one hand, Korea accepted part of the remnants of Bohai and expanded its territory to the north. At the same time, it established a truly unified nation on the Korean Peninsula.

The Goryeo dynasty has existed for nearly five hundred years. During this process, it was invaded by Mongolia for nearly 30 years in the early 13th century. After the Mongolian invasion, Goryeo was ruled by the Yuan Dynasty for more than 80 years. After the Yuan Dynasty ruled, the Ming Dynasty appeared on the Chinese mainland. Soon after Lee Sung-gye passed a military coup on the Korean Peninsula, following ancient Korea, Buyeo, Goguryeo, Baekje, Silla and other ancient countries were established one after another.

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