Baekje Kingdom

In 18 B.C., Baekje was founded in the hangang river basin, emerged as the dominant kingdom of the three kingdom period(5th century). In the 4th century, when king Geunchogo was on the throne, Baekje, with its excellent diplomatic skills and geopolitical location, connected ancient China’s Yoseo, present-day Hebei and Shandong provinces to the Korean peninsula and Japan.

It became the center of northeast Asia’s economy and trade due to its important role as marine traffic route. Furthermore, Baekje dispatched many scholars including Ah Jikgi and Wang In. These scholars introduced Buddhism, the thousand-character text and Chinese literature to japan. Their teachings helped Asuka cultureJapan’s first Buddhist culture in the 7th century – to flourish. Horxu Temple, located in Nara Prefecture, Japan is where we can find Baekje’s relics.

The Baekje Gwaneumsang, avalokitesvara image, enshrined in this building is the oldest wood-carved structure in japan. The figure that stands higher than 2m, and its graceful beauty shows the perfection of Baekje’s buddhist fine arts. Baekje is the ancient Korean kingdom that is closely related to Japan. The Japanese still use word, Baekje as the name of an area and today’s emperor of Japan, Akihito, is a descendant of King Muryeong of Baekje, In 1993, a piece of Baekje’s artifact astonished the world. it was the “Geumdongdaehyangno”, the gilt-bronze incense burner of baekje.

On the top, a phoenix, which appears as if it is ready to fly away, is holding a cintamani ball and, on the cover, over 42 animals such as the phoenix, tiger, deer, and others are hanging about in the spaces among 74 mountain peaks.

There are nearly 140 sculptures of dancers and musicians who are playing piri, the Korean flutes and gayageums, a twelve-string plucked zither moreover, plants, rocks, mountain paths, streams, and waterfalls around Geumdongdaehyangno compel admiration. The body, which is shaped like semicircular bowl, is composed of three layers of lotus flowers and 27 animals. There are two people are carved in relief. Underpinning looks like a dragon supporting a lotus flower bud in full bloom. Geumdongdaehyangno shows the essence of baekje craft made of implication of spiritual world and artistic aptitude, and is considered as the best ancient metal craft because of standing originality and shape.

The collapse of Baekje dynasty is one of the saddest incidents in the history. The Baekje fell due to an attack of Silla and Tang alliance. The people of the baekje dynasty are said to have been mild in manner. Their artistic world lives with splendor and mysteriousness which are unrivaled by any other era.

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