The Late Medieval Japanese Invasion of Korea, 1592-1598

The conflict would not only have devastating consequences for all concerned but permanently sour relations between Japan and Korea. Introduction The two Japanese invasions of Korea between 1592 and 1598 CE, otherwise known as the ‘Imjin Wars’, saw Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598 CE), the Japanese military leader, put into reality his long-held plan to invade China[…]

The Goryeo Kingdom of Medieval Korea

Goryeo (Koryo) ruled ancient Korea from 918 CE to 1392 CE. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Goryeo (Koryo) ruled ancient Korea from 918 CE to 1392 CE. The kingdom oversaw an unprecedented flourishing in culture and arts with developments in architecture, ceramics, printing, and papermaking. The kingdom was repeatedly invaded by the Mongols in the 13th[…]

The Evolution of Ancient Pyongyang

Pyongyang was the capital of several successive ancient Korean kingdoms. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Located on the Daedong (Taedong) River in the north of the peninsula, the site was chosen by the legendary Dangun (Tangun), founder of the first Korean state Gojoseon (Gochoson), to be his capital city on earth. Pyongyang remained an important city[…]

A History of Korean Religion

Religion in Korea encompasses Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Daoism and Shamanism as practiced historically in Korea, as well as contemporary North Korea and South Korea. Introduction Religion in Korea encompasses Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Daoism and Shamanism as practiced historically in Korea, as well as contemporary North Korea and South Korea. Shamanism represents Korea’s first religion, the[…]

Ancient Korean Architecture

The architecture of ancient Korea is epitomized by the artful combination of wood and stone. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The architecture of ancient Korea is epitomised by the artful combination of wood and stone to create elegant and spacious multi-roomed structures characterised by clay tile roofing, enclosures within protective walls, interior courtyards and gardens, and the whole placed upon[…]

A History of Korean Pottery

The pottery of ancient Korea stretches back to prehistory when simple brown wares were made and decorated with geometrical incisions. By Mark CarwrightHistorian Introduction The pottery of ancient Korea stretches back to prehistory when simple brown wares were made and decorated with geometrical incisions. Potters would benefit from the ideas and techniques of their Chinese counterparts and go[…]

Ancient Korean and Chinese Relations

Contact between Korea and China goes back to mythology and prehistory. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Contact between Korea and China goes back to mythology and prehistory. Trade developed from the Bronze and Iron Ages with raw materials and manufactured goods going in both directions for centuries thereafter. In addition to traders, migrants came, beginning with[…]

A History of Korean Architecture

Examining Korean architecture from the Neolithic period to the modern world. Introduction The early stages of Korean architecture date to the Neolithic period; archaeological evidence of ondol, the unique Korean floor panel heating system, was found among the remains of the burnished plain pottery culture. For the first century B.C.E., Korean architecture was influenced by the Chinese. After[…]

A Brief Historical Overview of the Split between North and South Korea

The two Korean states both claim to be the legitimate government of the divided Korean Peninsula. By Matthew Wills / 03.17.2017 The two Korean states, which both claim to be the legitimate government of a divided Korean Peninsula, are in the news again. North Korea is testing missiles that could potentially carry nuclear warheads. South Korea[…]

Shamanism in Ancient Korea

Cheongung, or the main Shrine Hall of the Three Sages, on the grounds of Samseonggung. Samseonggung Shrine is dedicated to the traditional worship of the three mythical creators of Korea: Whanin, Whanung, and Dangun. Its influence on ancient Korean culture is most tangible in surviving art, architecture, literature, and music. By Mark Cartwright / 11.08.2016 Historian Introduction Bangsadaps,[…]