Balhae Kingdom

In A.D. 698, 30 years after Goguryeo collapsed, Dae Joyoung, a general of Goguryeo, who continued to resist the Tang, founded the Balhae nation with the migrants of Goguryeo and parties of Malgal. As Balhae asserted that Balhae is the successor of Goguryeo, Balhae tried to expand of a territory, so Balhae gained power of the northeast and every region north of manchuria. Balhae took back most of the territory of Goguryeo.

However, today, China is distorting our history of Balhae, and claiming that they were minority race in their empire. China asserts that Balhae was not an independent country but a local government of Tang because the king of Balhae was a vassal of the king of dang. Especially the castle Sanggyeong, in the capital city of Balhae, was the biggest city and was twice the size of Jang-An of the Tang.

Although a place of well made by typical method of Goguryeo and the heritage ondol native to Korea, China shuts off from the outside world and is going to restore them as the method of Tang from 2002. After restoration, it must be the plan to be acknowledged as Balhae is the partial of the chinese history as registering to world cultural heritage.

However, Balhae is an independent nation not related to Tang, and many have proven that Balhae is our history from which Goguryeo was promulgated.

First, the five metallic currency Balhae tongbo, assumed that it was excavated in Sanggyeong Yongcheonbu in 1930s, was proved as the metallic currency of Balhae based of the result of criticism. In this metallic currency, Balhae tongbo letters, reign year, and the range of territory was carved. China has no record that China engraved reign year and the range of territory. Balhae tongbo is the important evidence against Chinese northeast asia project.

Second, sonkkut munui, fingertipspatterned roof tile which is the native tile of Balhae was excavated in Cheonchu and Seomyo tombs which are the representative royal tombs of Goguryeo in China’s jiban city. Sonkkut munui roof tile, which was carved the end of five fingers on the edge, is the only discovery in the heritage of Balhae. Discovering this tile in an old tomb of Goguryeo is epoch-making evidence which proves that Balhae was a successor of Goguryeo such as managing an old tomb of Goguryeo.

Third, a tomb of princess Jeonghye who is the second princess of the third king Mun of Balhae which was constructed by same tomb-making method as Goguryeo’s, stone chamber tombs with tunnel entrance. Stone chamber tombs with tunnel entrance have walls laid up with faced stones, and their ceilings have the mojulim-structure(Goguryeo’s ceiling structure). It is recorded that especially at the cemetery stone, princess Jeonghye had a three-year funeral this kind of funeral tradition is same as Goguryeo’s.

Fourth, Balhae had ondol likewise Goguryeo and succeeded many features of Goguryeo such as fortification, residing style, and appliance. Also, in King mu’s credentials which were sent to Japan in 727, it is written that they recovered original region of Goguryeo and kept customs from Buyeo. At that time, Japanese also called their envoys sent to Balhae ‘Goryeosa’, so we know they recognized Balhae and Goguryeo are the same country. The Chinese representative poet and translator of a diplomatic document for Balhae, Lee Tae Bak’s poetry ‘Okrokchongdam’, the evidence that balhae was called ‘foreign country’, not Tang’s local government, and chinese representative history book ‘Gudangseo’ which recorded the history of Balhae also recorded that Balhae Dae Joyoung was a family of Goguryeo.

There was a lot of difficulty researching Balhae, but we are getting accomplishments confronting to chinese history distortion through recent excavations and an academic interchange with Russia. Also the fact that the national central museum opened an exhibit for Balhae in 2005 was a very important step to make nations and foreign visitors recognize that balhae is a part of Korean history.

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