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Volume One

A summary of the holy men of ancient times. Whether they benefitted their nations or established religious out of the kindness of their hearts or used their prodigious strength to disturb the order will not be mentioned. Among the kings who bear the mandate of heaven and decipher the book of prophecy, there too must be those different from the others. They can take advantage of great changes, wield great instruments, and accomplish great deeds. That is why they say when it comes to holy men, the rivers produce paintings and the currents produce books. Fuxi (ancient emperor, inventor, and god) was born when a rainbow wrapped around his mother. A dragon inseminated Nudeng to create Yandi (ancient emperor, doctor, and god). A palace maid was wandering the plains of Qiongsang when she met a divine child who called himself the Son of the White Emperor. Their tryst produced Shaohao (ancient emperor). Queen Jiandi ate an egg and so birthed Xie (forefather of the Shang dynasty). Jiangyuan stepped in a giant footprint to conceive Qi (forefather of the Zhou dynasty). Yao (ancient emperor) was born after fourteen years in the womb. A dragon courted Daze to birth Wu Guang, the Duke of Pei (farmers' rebellion leader). The true list is innumerable. Therefore, is it any surprise that the founders of all three kingdoms are descended from the gods? For this reason, this chapter has been divided into many seconds.

Gojoseon (The Korea of Wanggeom)

According to the Book of Wei, two thousand years ago, there was a king named Dangun Wanggeom. He built his capital in Asadal (It was said to be modern day Mount Muyeop. There are also those who say it is in Baekak in Baekchu. It is also said to be east of Kaesong, where it is now Baekak Palace). The name of his nation was Joseon. It was contemporary with the first Chinese kingdom.

According to the Ancient Records, there was once Hwanung, the younger son of the god Hwanin. Several times, he showed concern over the earth, craving the human experience. Knowing his son's intention to descend to the three peaks of Mount Taebaek so he could widely benefit the human world, Hwanin gave Hwanung Three Heavenly Heirlooms and sent him off to rule the mortal realm.

Hwanung took three thousand followers and descended at the foot of a sacred sandalwood tree atop the peak of Mount Taebok (once named Taebok, this mountain is now named Myohyang). When speaking of Shinshi, it refers to the capital of the Heavenly King Hwanung. He commanded the gods of wind, rain, and cloud and governed agriculture, life, disease, justice, and the balance of good and evil. He cared for all three-hundred-sixty human affairs in this world.

At this time, there lived a tiger and bear who shared the same cave. They often prayed to the divine Hwanung to grant their wish to become humans. The god gave them each a bundle of sacred mugwort and twenty cloves of garlic. He instructed them to eat only this as food and to stay out of sunlight for a hundred days. Should they accomplish it, they would become human. The bear and tiger ate this and set out to wait for three times seven days. At twenty days, the tiger, unable to endure its hunger, ended the fast and ran away. Thus, it did not receive a human form. However, the bear was able to endure for all twenty-one days and became a human woman. Ungnyeo, the bear woman, wished to marry, but none would take her as wife. Thus, she cursed and prayed under the sacred sandalwood tree everyday to be allowed to have a child. Hwanung took on a human form to marry her. They had a child, who they named Wanggeom, Lord of the Sandalwood (Dangun).

Fifty years after the ascension of Emperor Yao, in the year of Gengyin (The year Yao ascended to the throne was Wuchen. Fifty years after would be Dingsi, not Gengyin, so this statement is suspected to be false), the Dangun built his capital in Pyongyang (the current Western Capital) and named the country Joseon. He then moved the capital to Asadal, on Mount Baekak, which was also called Mount Gunghol (or Banghol). It is called Mount Midal now. After King Hu of Zhou ascended the throne, he gave Prince Jizi authority over Joseon in the year Jimao. In response, Dangun moved his capital to Jangdang. Afterwards, he moved it back to Asadal, where he hid away from the world to become a mountain god. He was at the age of one-thousand-nine-hundred-and-eight years. In the Tang Dynasty, the Chronicles of Pei Ju state that Korea was once the kingdom of Guzhu (modern day Haeju). The Zhou Dynasty assigned Jizi to Joseon and the Han Dynasty ruled the Three Commanderies individually. They were Xuantu, Lelang, and Daifang (Northern Daebang). The Tongdian concurs on this point. (The Book of Han, however, speaks of four commanderies, Zhenfan, Lintun, Lelang, and Xuantu. Why are there now mentions of three commanderies with differing names?)

Joseon under Wiman

The Chronicles of the Korea of the Early Han state that the Yan kingdom often conspired to gain Jinbeon and Joseon to appoint officials and create obstacles for invading countries. The Qin destroyed the Yan, but considered Joseon too far east to patrol. The succeeding Han dynasty agreed with the notion that Joseon was too distant, so they simply rebuilt an old border fortress in Liadong. The territory up to the waters of the Bui belonged to the reinstituted Yan feudal principality. The Prince of Yan, however, later joined the Xiong Nu. Wei Man, his subordinate, also became a fugitive. He gathered more than a thousand followers and left the kingdom, going toward the East. They set up camp in lands that the Qin Dynasty had previously purposely cleared. He later became a vassal of the barbarians of Jinbeon and Joseon and called himself the king of the refugees from the states of Qi and Han. He built his capital at Wanggeom (according to Yi, it is a place name; according to the Ode to the Courtiers of the Han, Wanggeom city is in the east of the waters of Bui, near Lelang Commandery) and militarily harassed the neighboring smaller territories. Jinbeon and Imdun both became his vassal nations. He ruled a radius of a thousand li. His throne passed to his son and then to his grandson Ugeo (according to Yan Shigu, his grandson was named Ugeo).

The Jinhan Confederacy of Jinbeon wished to petition and see the Emperor, but the bureaucratic red tape kept their request from going through (originally referred to as the Jin Kingdom in the text, clarified by the note that Jin kingdom refers to the confederacy according to Yan Shigu). In the second year of the Han Dynasty's Yuanzhi era, the Han ambassador She He asked for an audience with Ugeo, but he refused to obey the summons. She He returned to the border and arrived at the waters of Bui. There, the ambassador angrily slew Jang, the Korean nobleman (according to Yan Shigu, Jang was the nobleman's first name) who had been sent to ensure his safe return, and crossed the river. He rode back to China and sent a swift message to the Emperor reporting his return.

The Emperor commissioned She He as the Vice-commander of Liaodong. Joseon, still holding a grudge against She He, launched an attack and killed him. The Emperor assigned Yang Pu as the General of Lochuan. He sailed from the lands of Qi to the Bohai Sea leading fifty-thousand troops. The General of the Left Xun Zhi attacked Ugeo going by land from Liaodong. In response, Ugeo sent his armies, intent on repelling them. The General of Lochuan and seven thousand of his men arrived first at Wanggeom. Ugeo mounted a defense. Once he knew that the General of Lochuan's army was smaller in size, he attacked. The General of Lochuan was defeated. Having lost all of his men, Yang Pu only survived by hiding in the mountains. The General of the Left now attacked the Western Army of the Joseon at the waters of Bui. However, he was unable to break through the ranks. Seeing that his two generals were unable to make any gains, the Emperor sent Wei Shan as an ambassador to seek a surrender from the militarily threatened Joseon. Ugeo agreed to the surrender and sent the Crown Prince to present horses and a more than ten thousand soldiers as tribute. As they prepared to cross the waters of Bui, the Ambassador and the General of the Left suspected the Crown Prince of planning an ambush. They stated that since the Crown Prince had already surrendered, he and his army were not to carry any weapons. The Crown Prince then suspected the Ambassador of planning to assassinate him. He did not cross the waters of Bui, but returned to the Capital, stating that the Emperor had made a false promise of peace.

The General of the Left broke through the Upper Army at the waters of Bui and came to the foot of Wanggeom, surrounding it on the Northwest. At the same time, Lochuan set up base in the city's south. Ugeo mounted a strong defense and the siege lasted many months without breaking. The Emperor saw that there was no decisive victory after so long and ordered the Prefect of Jinan, Gongsun Zhuo, to join the campaign and attack at a convenient time. Gongsun Zhuo arrived in Korea, arrested Yang Pu, and combined his army into Xun Zhi's army. He and Xun Zhi led a swift attack on Joseon. The Ministers of Joseon Roin and Hando, Minister of Nigye Cham (according to Yan Shigu Ningye is a place name, so there were four officials), and General Wangkyop all suggested surrendering to the Han. The King would not allow it. Roin, Hando, and Wankyop all deserted to surrender, but Roin died on the way. In the summer of the third year of the Yuanfeng era, Cham instructed a gladiator to assassinate Ugeo so the city could surrender to the Han. However, there was still no surrender because Ugeo's old subordinate Seongi led a rebellion. The General of the Left had Ugeo's son Jang and Roin's son Choe order their people to murder Seongi. Thus, Gongsun Zhuo subdued Joseon and divided it into Zhenfan, Lintun, Lelang, and Xuantu.

The Mahan Confederacy

According to the Annals of Wei, when Wiman attacked Joseon, the king took his courtiers and headed south to the land of the old Han kingdom. There, they established a country called the Mahan. The Book of the Elder Gyeon Hwon states that the member states of the Mahan rose to dominate the world. One of its members was the Baekje kingdom at Mount Jinma. Choe Chiwon states "Mahan is Goguryeo and Jinhan is Silla" (according to the biographies of the monarchs, Silla was first established in a Jiazi year while Goguryeo was later established in a Jiachen year. Those who agree with this theory base their evidence on direct statements of the king, who knew that at the start of the reign of King Dongmyeong, they had already absorbed the Mahan Confederacy. The alternate theory of the location of Mount Jinma, which identifies Baekje as the successor of the Mahan, is completely incorrect. Mount Eupsan is in Goguryeo, which marks it as the Mahan Confederacy).

The Four Barbarians, the Nine Barbarians, and the Nine Han were the ones who governed the Four Barbarians and the Nine Maek of the Yemaek. The descendants of the Easter Barbarians were called the Nine Barbarians. According to the Book of the Three Kingdoms, they occupied the Goye kingdom in Myeongju. A wild man, plowing his fields, discovered the royal seal and offered it to the king. It was also called Chunju, Gousuju, and the Gomaek Kingdom. Another varying point is whether it was located in modern day Myeongju or Pyongyang. According to Zhunnanzi, there were nine tribes of Eastern Barbarians. In the book Analects, it says that the nine tribes were Xuantu, Lelang, Gaoli, Manshi, Fuyu, Sujia, Dongtu, Weiren, and the Tianbi. The Chronicles of Ansong of Haidong claim that the Nine Han were Japan, China, the Wuyue people, the Youluo people, the Yingyou people, the Mohe people, the Dan Kingdom, the Jurchens, and the Yemaek.

The Two Departments

According to the Book of the Early Han, in the fifth year, Jihai, of Emperor Zhao's Shiyuan era, he established two foreign departments. The old territories of Joseon, such as Pingna and Xuantu, were put under the authority of the Admiral of Pingzhou. The territories of Lintun and Lelang were put under the authority of the Magistrate of Dongdu (I have said previously that there were Four Commandaries, but here, Zhenfan is replaced by Pingna. It should be two different names for the same place).

The Seventy-two Kingdoms

The Tongdian states that remnant people of the Joseon dynasty formed seventy-two kingdoms and were spread over a hundred li. The Book of the Later Han states that the Western Han turned the former lands of Joseon first into Four Commanderies, and then into Two Departments. The people gradually tired of the official divisions and divided themselves into seventy-eight kingdoms. Each had about ten thousand people (Mahan in the West had fifty-four little cities, all of which were states. Jinhan in the East had had twelve little city-states. Byeohan in the South had twelve little cities, all of which were states).  

The Nangang Kingdom

Lelang was originally one of the Four Western Han Commanderies. Ying Shao states that it was once the Kingdom of Joseon. The New Book of the Tang states that Pyongyang used to be Lelang of the ancient Han. The History of the Dynasty states that in the thirtieth year of Hyeokgeose, people from Nangang sought refuge with him. Again, in the fourth year of the Third Monarch King Yuri, the Third Ruler of Goryeo King Muhyul attacked and destroyed Nakrang. The people of the nation sought refuge in Silla at Daebang (Northern Daebang). Again in the twenty-fourth year of King Muhyul, the Han Emperor Guangwu sent an army to conquer Nangnang and divide its territory in commanderies and towns. Everything south of Salsu belonged to the Han (according to the above text, Nangnang is Pyongyang. It is believable. However, another statement has Nangnag as the land of the Mohe at the foot of Mount Jungdu and Salsu as the Taedong River. The veracity of this claim is untested). King Onjo of Baekje would also say ";There are Nangnang to the East and the Mohe to the North". In the time of the ancient Han, Chiktae was one of the territories of Nangnang. The people of Silla also refer to themselves as the people of Nangnang. Therefore, we now have, in this dynasty, a Lady of Nangnang. There is also the Princess of Nangnang.

Northern Daebang

Northern Daebang was once the city of Jukdam. In the fourth year of King Yuri, the people of Daebang, along with the people of Nangnang, sought refuge with Silla (previously, they had both been commanderies that had proclaimed their independence, but now they sought to surrender).

Southern Daebang

During the Wei Dynasty of the Cao family, the Southern Daebang Commandery was established (modern day Namwon City). There is a thousand li sea to the south of Daebang called Hanhae Sea (The Later Han established the wilderness to the south of Mahan as Daebang Commandery. The Japanese and the Koreans all came to pay tribute).

Mohe (Motgit) and Balhae

The Tongdian states that Balhae originated from the Mohe of Sumo. Its chief Joyeong established the kingdom and created his era as Jindan. It was only during the first Tianzhong era (during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang) that they rid themselves of the Mohe title. In the seventh exalted year of establishing the Kingdom of Balhae, Joyeong died and was venerated as King Go. The Crown Prince ascended to the throne and was awarded the title "King of Gyeru"; by the Ming Emperor. He changed his title without Chinese approval. It was a great power in the Haedong region. Its lands consisted of five capitals, fifteen prefectures, and sixty-two provinces. Later, during the advent of the Song Dynasty, it was conquered by Khitans. From there on, it would be ruled only by Khitans (According to the History of the Three Kingdoms, in the third year of the Xifeng era, Emperor Gaozong invaded Korea. The ragtag remnants of Goguryeo gathered North of Mount Taebaek and established Balhae. In the twentieth year of the Kaiyuan era, Emperor Ming of Tang led his generals to attack. The year can also be called the thirty-second year of King Seongdeok or the Jiawu year of Xuanzong. The Mohe of Balhae attacked Dengzhou in China by sea and Xuanzong attacked back. The Old Records of Silla state that a general of Goguryeo, Joyeong of the Dae family, led his remaining troops and established a kingdom to the South of Mount Taebaek named Balhae. According to the above text, Balhae came from a splinter tribe of the Mohe, but their pronunciations were very different. Going off of the Concise Atlas, Balhae seems to be off of the Northeastern corner of the Great Wall). Jia Dan, in his Record of Counties and Nations states that four of the prefectures of Balhae: Amrok, Namhae, Buyeo, and Soseong, were once the territories of the Goguryeo Kingdom. From Cheonjeong Commandery in Silla (Records of Geography state that Cheonjeong Commandery was in Sakju City, now Yongju)to Soseong Prefecture, there were thirty-nine cities and prefectures. In the final years of Baekje, the Mohe of Balhae and Silla split Baekje's territory (based on this, Hanhae was once again split between two kingdoms). The people of Silla would say "There are Mohe to the North, Japanese to the South, and Baekje to the West. All of them are threats to our nation." Mohe territories also bordered Silla. The Records of Dongming state "The soldiers of our city are right next to the Mohe" (they might be in present-day Dongzhen). In the fourteenth year of the Sixth Monarch of Silla King Jima, the Mohe entered the northern border, laying siege to Daeryeongchaek and crossing the Iha River. The later Wei would call the Mohe "Motgit". The Concise Atlas states "the Yilou and the Motgit are both Sushen in Heishui and Okjeo." According to the Atlas of the Eastern Lands, there used to be Northern and Southern tribes north of Jinhan. They were destroyed ten years into the reign of Emperor Dongmyeong.

Northern Okjeo

In the forty-second year of King Onjo, twenty something Souther Okjeo families asked for refuge in Baekje. In the fifty-second year of King Hyeokgeose, Eastern Okjeo envoys sent good horses as a tribute. Thus, there is also an Eastern Okjeo Kingdom. The Concise Atlas says that the Heishui live North of the Great Wall while the Okjeo live South of the Great Wall.

Iseo Kingdom

In the fourteenth year of King Yuri, the Iseo people attacked Geumseong City. According to the Ancient Chronicles of the Yumun Temple's Record of Each Temple's Land Tribute, in the sixth year, Renchen, of the Zhenguan era, the Yeongmi Temple of Iseo Commandery in present-day Gunchon submitted some land. It is now Cheongto in Gunchon. This means Cheongto Commandery was once a part of Iseo.

The Five Gaya (according to Ode to Gara, a red cloth-wrapped bowl descended from heaven, carrying six eggs. Each hatched into a boy, five of whom headed toward their own territories. One stayed in Jaseong to become King Suro. The other five became the founders of the Five Gaya. Geumgwan is not counted as one of the Five Gaya. However, in this era, texts often make the mistake of replacing Geumgwan with Goryeong.)

Ara (or Aya) Gaya (in modern day Haman), Goryeong Gaya (in modern day Haryeong), Dae Gaya (in modern Goryeong, which has different characters than Goryeong Gaya), Seongsan Gaya (in modern day Gyeongsanhyeon), and Bisan Sogaya. The history of our current dynasty also says that King Taizu in the fifth year, Genzi, of the Tianfu era changed the names of the five Gaya. They are now Geumgwan (Kimhae prefecture), Goryeong (Gari City), Bidae (Changryeong, which might violate the taboo name of Goryeong), Ara, and Seongsan (same as above, but including the Sogaya).

Northern Buyeo (Bukbuyeo)

On April Eight of the fifth year, Renwu of the Shenjue era of Emperor Xuan of the Early Han, a Heavenly Prince descended down to Heulseunggol City (inside the borders of Daeyoui Province) in a chariot drawn by five dragons. He established a capital and created himself as king. He gave his name as Hae Mosu. His son was Buru, who took on “Hae” as his family name. Later, by the order of the Heavenly Emperor, Hae Buru moved his capital to Eastern Buyeo (Dongbuyeo). Dongmyeong (no relation to the later Goguryeo monarch) succeeded to the throne of Bukbuyeo and built his capital in Jolbon Province. They would now be called the Jolbon Buyeo and become the ancestors of Goguryeo.

Eastern Buyeo (Dongbuyeo)

Aranbul, the minister of the King of Bukbuyeo, Hae Buru, had a dream one night that the Heavenly Emperor descended and said "My descendants shall build a nation on this land. You must evacuate (an omen foretelling the coming of King Dongmyeong) to the shores of the Eastern Sea. In that place, there is a fertile piece of land called Gaseopwon. It would be very easy to establish a new capital there." Aranbul convinced his king to move the capital there and change the nation's name to Dongbuyeo.

Even in his old age, Buru had no children. One day, he was sacrificing to the mountains and rivers so they would answer his prayers and give him an heir. The horse that he was riding on took him to Lake Gonyeon. He saw a big rock with water flowing out of it, as if it were crying bitter tears. The King became curious and asked his retinue to turn the rock over. There was a golden frog-like child under the rock. The King called out, delighted, "This must be my son sent to me by heaven!"

And so he adopted the child. He called him Geumwa (golden frog) and, because he was the King's only child, created him Crown Prince. After the King and Queen died, Geumwa inherited the throne. His heir was his son Daeso. In the third year, Renwu, of the era Dihuang (the Xin Dynasty created by the usurper Wang Mang), King Muhyul attacked the kingdom. He killed King Daeso and the kingdom was destroyed.

Goguryeo

Goguryeo is Jolbon Buyeo. However, there are also mistaken theories that it was in modern day Hwaju or Seongju. The Jolbon Province is around Liaodong territory. Native Chronicles of the National History of Goguryeo states that the founding Emperor Dongmyeong's family name was Eon and his now taboo personal name was Jumong.

In the beginning, there was Hae Buru of Bukbuyeo. He evacuated to Dongbuyeo. After his death, Geumwa inherited the throne. One day, at the Ubal River to the south of Mount Taebaek, he met a woman. He asked her who she was. She replied:

"I am the daughter of the river god Haebak. My name is Yuhwa. I was out playing with my several younger siblings. At that time, a man appeared, calling himself Hae Mosu, the son of the Heavenly Emperor. He lured me to a palace chamber under Mount Ungshin, by the banks of the river Amrok where we made love, but he left and never returned (The Records of Dangun state that Hae Mosu proposed to the daughter of Haebak and he had a son named Buru. Based off of this record, it seems that Hae Mosu had an affair with the river god's daughter to produce Jumong. The Records of Dangun state Hae Mosu had a son named Buru, so Buru and Jumong were brothers by the same father but not the same mother). My father became angry at me for eloping with a man before I could be properly wed, so he exiled me here."

Geumwa took her with him and kept her in one of his rooms. When the sunlight shone on her, she tried to escape and hide herself, but the sunlight pursued her and continued shining on her. Finally, she became pregnant and produced an egg that was around five sheng (5 liters) in volume. The King threw it to the dogs and pigs, but none of the animals would eat it. He again abandoned it in the road, but the cattle and horses stepped around it. He abandoned it in the wilderness, but the birds and beasts sheltered it. The King attempted to slice it open, but it refused to break. Finally, he returned it to its mother. Its mother wrapped it in cloth and put it in a warm place.

A boy hatched from the egg. He was a handsome youth of about seven years old who had strong bones. He was also a child prodigy at archery, creating his own bow and arrow and hitting the bull's-eye on every attempt. The people of the kingdom called skilled archers "Jumong", so it became the boy's name.

King Geumwa had seven sons from another wife. They often played with Jumong, but none could match his level of skill. Thus, the Crown Prince Daeso went to the King and said "Jumong was not born of mankind. Unless he is disposed of quickly, he might become a threat to us." The King was not convinced and gave Jumong a position as a stable boy.

Jumong picked out the noblest steeds from the herd and purposely decreased their food supply, causing them to become scrawny. He properly fed and cared for the lesser horses and caused them to become plump and healthy. The King kept and rode for himself the plump horses and gave the scrawny horses to Jumong. Meanwhile, the king's sons and advisors all schemed to kill Jumong. Words of the plan reached Yuwha's ears and she warned her son "They are scheming to kill you. With your talents, you could make a living anywhere, so hurry and escape from this place."

So Jumong, along with Joi and two other friends, went until they reached the waters of Eom (location is unknown today). Jumong called to the river, saying "I am the son of the Heavenly Prince and the grandson of Haebok! On this day, I am trying to escape, but my pursuers are close to overtaking me! What shall I do before this rushing river?" In response, the fish and turtles in the water formed a bridge. After Jumong's party crossed, the animals composing the bridge scattered and the pursuers could not cross the river. Jumong travelled until he came to Jolbon (in the area of Xuantu Commandery) and built his capital there. He did not scramble to construct a palace, but instead built a residence at Biryusu. He named his nation Goguryeo and took as a family name "Go" (His family name was originally Hae, but since he was the son of the Heavenly Prince and born from sunbeams, he changed his name to "Go" or "high"). At the time, he was twelve years old. In the second year of the Jianzhao Era of Emperor Xiaoyuan of Han, Jumong turned twenty-one and ascended to the throne. At the height of Goguryeo, there were two-hundred-and-ten-thousand-five-hundred-and-eight households living in the nation.

In the twenty-first chapter of the Chronicles of Zhulin, it states that a serving maid of King Yeongpumri became pregnant. A seer predicted that the child was born to a magnificent destiny and would become king. The King stated "It was not born from me, so it should be killed." The maid replied "I was impregnated by energy from heaven." The King believed at the child's birth that it was an inauspicious omen. So, he threw it into the pig pen, but the pigs cradled it until it slept; he threw it into the stables, but the horses gave it their milk. In both incidents, the child did not perish. Later, this child, Jol, became the King of Buyeo (this refers to King Dongmyeong as the ruler of Jolbon Buyeo. This Jolbon Buyeo was the alternate capital of Bukbuyeo, so he was called King of Buyeo. Yeongpumri was another name for King Buru).

Byeonhan/Baekje (also called Nambuyeo, in modern day Sabi)

Nineteen years into the reign of Silla's progenitor King Hyeokgeose, in a Renwu year, the people of Byeonhan willingly gave their country over to him. The Old and New Books of Tang state that those who say the descendants of Byeohan people are living in Nangnang either say the line of Onjo came from Dongmyeong, or that people from Nangnang established a country in Byeonhan, which stood alongside Mahan; this means that Byeohan existed before Onjo and extended beyond the area north of Nangnang. Another theory says that Namguyong Mountain was also named Byeona Mountain. This is all a fabrication from those who would say Goguryeo is Byeonhan. There is a mountain called Mount Byeon in Baekje, and it is from this mountain that Byeonhan takes its name. At the height of Byeonhan, there were one-hundred-fifty-two-thousand-three-hundred households in the state.

Jinhan (or Chinhan)

By the words of the Book of the Later Han and the respected elders of Jinhan, refugees from the Qin dynasty came to Korea. Mahan allowed them to settle on some of its land and referred them as a client state. The refugees thought their new land to be much like that of the Qin Kingdom, so they called themselves "Jinhan" (Jin being the Korean pronunciation of Qin).

There were twelve little member nations, each with about ten-thousand households. There is also Choe Chiwon’s theory that Jinhan was composed of Yan refugees. They took their names from the Zhuo River (in Hebei Province) and called the territory that they lived in "Satak" or "Chamtak." (In the Silla dialect, the "tak" sound is rendered as "do". Therefore, an alternate spelling is "Saryang", with "ryang" also being pronounced "do" in the dialect.)

At the height of Silla, the capital had one-hundred-thousand-seventy-eight-thousand-nine-hundred-thirty-six households, one-thousand-three-hundred-thirty-six neighborhoods, fifty-five li of land, and thirty-five gilded mansions (in other words, large, richly furbished mansions). They were the Southern Mansion, Northern Mansion, Ubiso Mansion, Bonpi Mansion, Ryang Mansion, Jisang Mansion (in the same district as Bonpi), Jaemaejeong Mansion (ancestors of the Duke of Yusin), Bukyu Mansion, Namyu Mansion (down the street from Banhyang Temple), Dae Mansion, Binji Mansion (opposite Banhyang), Jangsa Mansion, Sangaeng Mansion, Haaeng Mansion, Sumang Mansion, Cheon Mansion, Yangsang Mansion, Hangi Mansion (south of Beopyu Temple), Bihyeol Mansion (in the same place) Panjeok Mansion (up the street from Bunhwang Temple), Byeolgyo Mansion (Cheongbuk), Anam Mansion, Kimyangjong Mansion (South of Ryanggwan Temple), Goksu Mansion (Cheongbuk), Yuya Mansion, Saha Mansion, Saryang Mansion, Jeongsang Mansion, Inam Mansion (Uso Mansion), Sanaegok Mansion, Ji Mansion, Sasang Mansion (also called Daesuk Mansion), Imsang Mansion (a pool still remains to the east of Cheongyong temple), Gyonam Mansion, Hangjil Mansion (in Bonpi district), Nusang Mansion, Isang Mansion, Myeongnam Mansion, and Jeongha Mansion. There were also four seasonal mansions for travelers. Spring was Dongya Mansion, Summer was Gokryang Mansion, Autumn was Guji Mansion, and Winter was Gai Mansion. In the era of the forty-ninth sovereign Heongang the Great, there was not one thatch house left in the city. The houses in the city were connected wall to wall. Music filled the streets and lasted the entire night.

The Progenitor of Silla, King Hyeokgeose

There were once six villages in the lands of the Jinhan. The first was Yangsan in Alecheon. It was south of the Dameom Temple of today. The chief's name was Alpyeong. He came from Mount Pyopum and is the ancestor of the Yi family of Gyeongju (In the ninth year of King Yuri, he ordered the Naeryang to change their name to Gyeongju in the fifth year. Gengzi, of the dynasty’s Tianfu Era. It is now Dongchong on Mount Pachedong). Second was Goheo in Dolsan. Their chief's name was Sobeolgong. He came from Mount Hyeongsan and is the ancestor of the Chung family of Saryang (the ryang character is pronounced "do", and can also be spelled with alternate characters). It is now Namsanbu. Places like Kuryeong and Beolma or Odo and Bukhoedeok now belong to Namchong (people now call it the ancestor’s residence, like in the example below). Third was the Daesu in Musan. The chief's name was Guyemal. He came from Mount Yi (or Gaebi), now Jeomryang (or –taek). He was also considered to be the ancestor of the Son clan of Moryang, now Jangbok. It now belongs to the Pakgok and four other villages. The fourth was Jinji of Chwisan (also known as Binji or Binja or Suji). Its chief was named Jipaeho. He first came from Hwasan and he is the ancestor of the Choi clan of Bonpi. Currently, it is Tongseon and places like Chaepa belong to Dongnamchong. Chiwom’s family was originally from Bonpi. There are ruins said to be the remains of the residence of the Lord Choi south of Nammisi in Hwangyongsi. However, the truth of the matter is unclear. The fifth was Gari in Geumsan (now the northern peak of Mount Geumgang’ Paekyul Temple). The chief's name was Jita. He first came from Mount Myeonghwal in Hangi and is the ancestor of the Bi of Hangi. Today, it is in Gadeok. Towns like Upper and lower Seoji and Naemak belong to Dongchong. The sixth is Goya in Myeonggwalsan. The chief's name was Hojin. He first came from Mount Geumgang. He is the ancestor of the Seol clan in Seuppi. Now it is in Imcheon. Villages like Muli, Inggu, and Gwolgok (or Galgak) belong to Dongbukchong.

Going by the above text, it seems that all six of the village chiefs descended from heaven. In his ninth year, King Yuri changed the names of the six villages and gave them six surnames. Popular legend says that he considered people of Gyeongju as his mother, the people of Jangbok as his father, the people of Imcheon as his son, and the people of Gadeok as his daughter. It is unknown whether he really thought that way.

In the first day of March in the first year, Renzi, of the Dijie era of the Early Han (the earlier texts use the first year of Jianhu and the third year of Jianyuan; all are wrong), the six chieftains and their various followers met on the shores of the Alcheon River. There, they had a discussion.

"We have no lord or master to mind the people. The masses are left to their own devices in a state of anarchy and do whatever they like. We should look for a wise man and, once we find him, make him our ruler."

All the chiefs agreed to this. They ascended to high altitudes and looked to the south. Under Mount Yangsan, next to the Naejong well, they found a strange light shining on the ground like a lightning bolt. A white horse was bowing there. The chiefs searched around and found a purple egg (others say it was a large blue egg). When the horse saw the chiefs, it uttered a cry that echoed through the heavens.

The chiefs cracked open the egg. They were shocked when they saw a beautifully formed boy inside. He was bathed in the Dongcheon Spring (The Dongcheon Temple is north of Sanoeya) and his body shone with light. The birds and beasts danced around him and Heaven and Earth seemed to shake. Because the sun and the moon both hung clear in the sky, he was named King Hyeokgeose (it comes from an ancient Korean dialect; either that or it was pronounced Bulgeunae, meaning "bright world." There are many interpretations. Some say he was born from the goddess Seosul, known to the Chinese as the Goddess of the Peaches of Immortality. Some she is also Samshin Halmang It has come to the point that no one even knows whether or not the chicken-dragon's ribs producing Alyeong was engineered by the Western Queen Mother). He took up the title "Geoseogan." (When he first opened his mouth, he uttered the words "Aljigeoseoganigi" and was named according to that. From then on, it became the word for "king") At the time, the people cheered "Our King has finally come!"

A virtuous wife would be found for him. A chicken-dragon had appeared next to the Alyeong (or Aliyeong) well in Saryang. A girl was birthed from its left armpit (some say the dragon had died and the girl was cut out of its belly). She was extremely beautiful, but her mouth was shaped like a beak. When bathed in the river, her beak fell off. Therefore, that river would now be called "Balcheon," or "Detaching River."

The villages in Seonok in Namsan (modern day Changimsi) were raising two holy infants. The boy was born out of a gourd-like egg. The people called gourds "Park," so the boy was given the name "Park." The girl was named after the well by which she was found. They were known as the two saints. When they were thirteen years old, in the first year, Jiazi, of the Wufeng era, the boy became king and the girl became his queen. They named their country Seorabeol. It was also called Seobeol (the modern name for this city in Japan is Seobeol) or Sara, or Saro. The first king was born at Gyejong, the country was also called Gyerim or "Chicken's forest." It honors the appearance of the chicken-dragon. Another version has that in the era of King Talhae, the King adopted Kim Alji, who had been born in a forest and fed by chickens. Therefore, the country’s name was changed to Gyerim. The future generations then decided on the name of Silla.

Sixty-one years into his reign, the King headed into the heavens for seven days. Later, his remains fell scattered onto the ground. The Queen too died in the clouds. The people collected their bodies and attempted to bury them together, but a giant snake hindered their efforts. In the end, they were forced to bury the five dismembered body parts of the King and Queen each in five different tombs. The tombs are also called the Snake Tombs. They are located in the northern burial grounds of Dameom Temple.

The Second Monarch King Namhae

Namhae Geseogan's title could also be rendered as Chachaung, a title that means "guide." This king's father was Hyeokgeose and his mother was Alyeong. His wife’s name was Unje (or Untae; currently, there is a goddess called the Holy Mother of Mount Unje located west of Yeongil. Prayers to her are said to bring rain to arid places). In the fourth year, Jiazi, of the Yuanshi Era of the Emperor Ping of the early Han Dynasty, the King ascended to the throne. He ruled for twenty-one years and died in the fourth year, Jiashen, of the Dihuan era.

This king was said to have three names. The first name, according to the History of the Three Kingdoms, is "Geoseogan," the Silla word for "king." In their language, it means "ruler," but can also be a generic term for "nobleman." The other name is Chachaung or Jachung. According to Kim Daemun, Chachaung is the word for "shaman." The people worship an animistic religion and depend on the shamans to communicate with gods and spirits, so they have great respect for shamans. Therefore, they call leaders "Chachaung" or "Isageum," which means "tooth mark." Soon after King Namhae died, his son Yuri at first wanted to give the throne to Talhae. Talhae commented "I hear that wise and holy men have more teeth." The two tested this by each biting into bread. This anecdote has been spread since ancient times. Another name is Maripgan (Masugan). Kim Daemun claims that Marip means "peg". Pegs must be placed into the appropriate holes. The King was the chief peg, while the advisors were all smaller pegs. Therefore, it became another title for the King. Of the Geoseogan of Silla, one was a Chachaung, sixteen were Isageum, and four were Maripgan. The famous scholar Cheon Chinwon, working in the final days of Silla, created a list of all the kings and their eras. He only referred to them as kings and not as Geoseogan and such. It was not because the words were considered barbaric and not fit to be the titles of kings; even now, when recording the matters of the four divisions of Silla, we use the old vocabulary. It is because high ranking personages have the title of Galmunwang, a word of unsure meaning, conferred to them after death.

In the era of this king, the Nangnang laid siege to Geumseong. They were repelled before they could conquer the city. And in the fifth year, Wuyin, of the Tianfeng Era, seven nations originally allied with Goguryeo surrendered themselves to Silla.

The Third Monarch King Yuri

At first, Park Yuri Ijilgeum (or Chijilwang) wished to give the position of king to Talhae, the husband of his younger sister. Talhae told him "Those who are more virtuous have more teeth. We should try counting our tooth marks to see who is better suited." Both of them tested this by biting into bread and counting the tooth marks. King Yuri had more teeth, so he succeeded to the throne first. He was given the title Ijilgeum (tooth mark). The title Ijilgeum started with this king. In the first year, Guiwei, of the Gengshi Era of Liu Shenggong (the Gengshi Emperor of Han), Yuri inherited the throne and changed the names of the six villages, granting six surnames to their chiefs.

In his reign, people began composing the Song of Tushita (a Hyangga). There would be several variants of this song. People began using the Li form of hoe and cellars that held ice. They made chariots to ride in.

In the eighteenth year of Jianhu, Silla invaded and destroyed Iseo. The next year, Goguryeo troops invaded.

The Fourth Monarch King Talhae.

King Talhae Ijilgeum (also known as Tohae Isageum). In the time of King Namhae (the ancient books state that people estimate it to be a Renyin year which, if later, comes after the early reign of Yuri and means the succession conflict never happened; and if earlier, happens in Hyeokgeose's time. Therefore, we know it is not a Renyin year), a ship came into the waters of the Garak Kingdom. The country’s King Suro and his subjects gave it a warm and excited welcome, hoping to convince whatever passengers to stay, but the ship sailed on.

The ship sailed until it reached the shore of Ijin in Lower Seojichon in the east of Gyerim. At the time, there was an old woman on the shore named Ijinieuseon. She was a woman who lived off the sea of King Hyeokgeose's kingdom. As she looked at the ship, she spoke: "This sea has no jutting rocks. Why then, are the birds flocking to one place and making calls?"

She rowed her boat up to take a closer look. The birds were all gathered on a boat. On that boat, there was a box twenty chi long and thirty chi wide (606 cm x 909 cm/238.5 in x 358 in). She pulled the boat onto the land, into a forest. Not know whether if it contained good or ill, Ijinieuseon called to heaven to be her witness as she carefully opened the box. She saw a handsome youth sitting in there with seven treasures. After she cared for him for seven days, he opened his mouth and told her his story.

"I am originally from the Yongseong Kingdom (also called Jeongmyeong or Hwanha or Hwaha; Yongseong is about a thousand li northeast of Japan). My country once had twenty-eight dragon kings born from human wombs. They ascended to the throne one after another, each at but five or six years old. They taught the people the proper way to live and created eight castes in their bone rank system. However, they all inevitably had to return to the heavens. At the time, my father King Hamdalpa courted and wed the princess of Jeoknyeo. For a long time, they had no children to inherit the throne, so they offered prayers and worship and awaited a reply. After seven years, my mother gave birth to a big egg. My father held a discussion with his advisors and said 'From the start of history to this day, I have yet to hear of a human laying an egg. This cannot be a good omen.' Thus, he had this box built and place me in it alongside seven treasures. As I was sent drifting down the sea, my mother gave me her blessing, wishing that if I arrive at the place I am meant to belong in, I should establish my own kingdom. A red dragon came and guarded my journey until I arrived here."

One day, the boy took two servants with him and built a stone house. He stayed there for seven days and nights, searching for a permanent residence in this country. He saw a mountain peak like three suns and moons, so he headed in that direction. It was the estate of Hogong, a high-ranking official. The boy decided to gain the house through a trick. He secretly buried crumbs from a whetstone by the side of the house. The next morning, he came to the door, claiming that this place was his ancestral residence. Hogong, of course, denied it. The two argued back and forth, unable to come to an agreement, so they finally took the matter to the courts. The official asked if the boy had any proof that it was his house. The boy replied "I am a metal smith. I had to go on a trip to a distant place and during that time, this man started squatting in my house. To confirm my story, dig around the house." The official did that discovered the pieces of the whetstone. The boy was able to take the house. At this time, Namhae heard of Talhae’s reputation as a clever man, so he married his oldest daughter to Talhae. Her name was Ani.

One day, Talhae climbed the Dongak Mountains. On the way back, he sent his wife (also called a Baekui or white clothes based on the manner of her clothing), to fetch some water. She thought to take a sip before presenting it to her husband. However, the edge of the cup stuck to her lips and would not come away. Her husband, seeing this, chided her. Ani swore that if she were ever given the task again, she would steal no sips and hold the cup far from her face. At this, her mouth was finally able to detach from the cup. From then on, she was completely loyal to her Master and never tried to cheat Talhae again. Even now, there is a well in Dongnak called the Yonae (distant) well.

After King Yuri's death, in June in the sixth year, Dingsi, of Emperor Guwangwu's Zhongyuan Era, Talhae ascended to the throne. Because he took another man’s house by claiming that the house had formerly belonged to him, he took the family name of Chak (former). Another explanation is that because magpies had opened his box, he removed the bird radical from the character for magpie to form the character Chak. He was released from a box and hatched from an egg, so he was named Talhae (characters for release and hatch). He ruled for twenty-three years. In the fourth year, Jimao, of the Jianchu Era, he died and was buried in Socheongu hill. Afterwards, his spirit appeared and proclaimed "Do not bury my bones!" His skull measured three chi and two cun (96.96 cm/38 in) in circumference. His skeleton was nine chi and seven cun (293.91 cm/116 in) tall. His teeth seemed to have all merged into one. His joints seemed to all be locked together by chains. It was truly the skeleton of an invincible hero. The people crushed his bones and sculpted them into a statue. They placed the statue in the palace. The spirit spoke again, telling the people "Bury my bones at Dongak." So he was finally buried there. (Some say that twenty-seven generations after his death, in the time of King Munmu, on the Xinyou hour of March Fifteenth of the second year, Gengchen, of the Tiaolu Era, had a dream about his ancestors. He saw an old man with a fierce countenance, who said "I am Talhae, dig my bones out of Socheongchu, make them into a statue, and place the statue at Mount Gongham." The king did as he said. From then on, the kingdom offered sacrifices to Talhae. There are even those who say he became the God of the Eastern Mountain Ranges.)

Kim Alji in the Time of King Talhae

On August fourth, in the third year, Gengshen, of the Yongping Era (some say it is the sixth year of Zhongyuan. That is a mistake. The Zhongyuan era only lasted two years), Hogong headed to the west of Geumseong at night. He saw a bright light coming from Sirim (or Gyerim) forest. A violet cloud came from the sky and blanketed the area. A golden box dropped out of the clouds and landed on a tree branch. The box shone with light and a white rooster crowed under it.

This matter was reported to the King, who rode to that forest. He opened the box and found a child inside. Though first lying down, he quickly sat up. Like Hyeokgeose, he was named for his first words, which were “Alji.” The King brought the child back to the palace. On his way, the birds and beasts all followed him. The King was overjoyed and chose a good date to make Alji Crown Prince. However, Alji later let Prince Pasa take the throne and did not become king. Because he was born from a golden box, he took Kim (gold) as his family name. Alji begat Sehan. Sehan begat Ado. Ado begat Suryu. Suryu begat Ukbo. Ukbo begat Gudo (can be written with different characters). Gudo begat Michu, who succeeded to the throne. The royal Kim clan of Silla originated from Alji.

The Man Yeono and the Woman Seo

Four years into the reign of the eighth monarch King Adalla, a Dingyou year, there was a man named Yeono and a woman named Seo living on the shores of the Eastern Sea. They were husband and wife and shared one dwelling.

One day, Yeono was sailing the sea, fishing for kelp, when a rock (or a fish) rose and bore him to Japan. When the people saw him, they believed that he was not a normal man and made him their king (going by the Japanese list of Emperors, there never was a Korean who became Emperor. Therefore, it must have been one of the small surrounding countries and not the actual Japan). Seo, worried that her husband had not returned, went looking for him. She found one of his shoes on a rock in the sea. This rock was the same one as the one that had borne Yeono to Japan; now it took Seo to the same place. The people were shocked and presented the woman who had come over to the king as tribute. Yeono recognized her and made her his queen.

Meanwhile, the sun and moon in Silla lost their light. The advisor in charge of the calendar told the king “The spirits of the Sun and Moon descended to our country, but have now gone to Japan. Therefore, this strange phenomenon has occurred.” The king sent envoys to plead with Yeono and his wife to return to Silla.

Yeono replied "I came to this kingdom by the will of Heaven. Why should I return? However, here is a satin tapestry that the Queen wove. Use it to offer sacrifices to heaven and your light will return." Saying this, he gave the envoys the tapestry. They offered sacrifices as Yeono had said and the light of the sun and moon indeed returned. The people of Silla stored the tapestry in the Royal Vault and viewed it as a national treasure. The vault was named Gwibi Vault (The Imperial Consort’s Vault) and the place where the sacrifices were carried out was named Yeongil (Welcoming the Sun) City.

King Michu and the Bamboo Leaf Army

The thirteenth King Michu (or Miju or Migu) Ijilgeum was the seventh-generation descendant of Kim Alji. He grew up in a noble family and was virtuous and wise. Since allowing the descendants of Yuri and Talhae to take the throne, the Kim clan finally had their first king (this was the first instance of a king's tomb being called the Hall of the Ancestors. It was first constructed at the start of the reign of the Kim clan and called such because all future kings of the Kim clan revered Michu as their ancestor). He ruled for twenty-three years before he died and his tomb is east of Heungyun Temple.

In the era of the fourteeth monarch King Yurye, the people of Iseo attacked Geumseong (the above references to it being in the reign of King Yuri are confusing the names of the two kings. The battle and subsequent annihilation of Iseo took place during the reign of King Yurye). Our people made a great effort to resist them, but to no avail. Suddenly, a strange army arrived to aid them. All of the soldiers wore bamboo leaves as earrings. Together, the two armies repelled the dastardly invaders. The bamboo leaf army then retreated to parts unknown. However, the people later found piles of bamboo leaves around Michu’s grave. They saw that the bamboo leaf army had been sent by the spirit of the departed King. They then called his grave Jukjangneung (Bamboo Chief Tomb).

During the era of the thirty-sixth monarch King Hyegong, in April of the fourteenth year, Jiwei, of the Dali era, there rose a tornado from the tomb of Duke Yusin (Kim Yu-shin, a famous Korean general). In the center, there was a man who had the dress and manner of the general. Around him were forty or so armored men holding weapons. They marched into Jukjangneung and disappeared, but afterwards sobs and pleas could be heard from the tomb. One voice reported to the other, "In life, I gained many merits and achievements from saving this country whenever it fell into disaster. Now, my spirit guards the borders. My desire to relieve disasters and save the afflicted have never changed or wavered, but in the last Gengxu year, my descendants were executed without just cause. The King gave not one thought to my contributions. I intend to move elsewhere and cease with my current assignment. My liege, please approve of my request." The voice of the King replied. "Think, oh Duke, what the people shall do without you? Return to your post and resume your former efforts, Duke."

The Duke pleaded three times, but was refused three times. Finally, the tornado rose again and returned to the tomb of the Duke. The King was frightened when he heard of this and sent his minister Kim Gyeongsin to give thanks at the grave of Duke Kim. He also donated to Chwisin Temple thirty jie of land to be the reward for the Duke’s achievements. It would sustain the Duke in the afterlife. This temple was chosen because it had been built by the Duke to pray for his own prosperity after his Pyoyngang campaign.

No spirit but that of Michu could have assuaged the rage of Duke Kim. The King's acts made no small contribution to protecting his nation! The people missed and worshipped him, holding him in regard no lower than the three mountains. They elevated him above the five mountain ranges and called him Daemyo (Great Temple).

King Naemul (Naemi) and Kim (actually Park) Jesang


In the thirty-sixth year, Gengyin, of the seventeenth sovereign Naemul, the King of Japan sent an envoy who told the King "Our Lord has heard that of your divine might, Great King. We ambassadors have come to report to Your Majesty the sins of Baekje. Please send one of Your Majesty's princes to show your honest intentions toward our Lord."

So the King sent his third son Misaheun (or Micheul/Mihae) as a representative to Japan. Misaheun was but ten years old. He was not yet mature in speech or movement, so the king sent a palace official Park Sanam to assist him. The King of Japan kept Misaheun for thirty years without allowing him to return.

This continued until the third year, Jiwei, of King Nulji. King Jangsu of Goguryeo sent envoys saying "Our Lord hears that Your Majesty's younger brother Bokho is handsome, smart, and talented. He wishes to take Your Majesty's royal brother as a son-in-law. I was sent to deliver the invitation."

This proposal would be a great rise in the fortunes of the royal house, so the King readily agreed. He ordered his younger brother Bokho to go to Goguryeo and sent the palace officials Kim Jeong and Kim Al as his assistants. King Jangsu too retained the Prince without allowing him to head home. This lasted until the tenth year, Yichou, in the King’s reign.

The King called a meeting of the various advisors and heroes in the kingdom. He himself toasted them at a feast and gave them three rounds of wine. Just as the guests started enjoying themselves, tears began to slide down the King's cheeks while he spoke to his guests.

"In the days past, my predecessor, thinking whole-heartedly about his people, sent his beloved son as a representative to the Wa in the East. He was unable to see the boy again before he died. When I ascended to the throne, the neighboring armies had been seized with fervor and our battles with them were endless. Only Goguryeo came and offered me a proposal of marriage. I believed them and sent my younger brother as a representative to Goguryeo. However, Goguryeo too kept him and refused to allow him to return. Though I am living comfortably now, there is not one day when I do not think of this matter and weep. If there is any way to allow me to see my two younger brothers, the three of us together will bow in thanks to the one responsible. We will also be able to properly show our gratitude to the people of this country. Is there any here who can fulfill this request?"

All the advisers replied "This is no easy task! The one who can accomplish this must have both courage and tact. We believe the Governor of Sapla, Jesang, is the one most fit."

The King called Jesang to him and Jesang, bowing to the King, replied, "I have heard that if the King is grieving, then it is a great shame for the officials. If the King is ashamed, then it means death to the officials. Those who would discuss the ease and difficulty of an undertaking before going are not loyal. Those who would discuss the possibility of death before acting are not brave. Though I do not believe myself to be qualified, I am still willing to receive Your Majesty's command."

The King was elated. The two of them drank from their goblets and shook hands as they parted.

Jesang received the order before the King’s curtains. Going by the North Sea, he entered Goguryeo dressed as a commoner. He entered Bokho's residence and discussed a plan of escape with him, setting the date for May fifteenth. An anchored vessel would await him at the bay of Geoseong. Toward the day of departure, Bokho claimed illness and did not attend court for several days. On the scheduled day, Bokho escaped in the night and went to the beach at Geoseong. When King Jesang knew of this, he sent several tens of people to pursue Bokho until they reached Geoseong. However, during his time in Goguryeo, Bokho had treated everyone around him extremely well. Therefore the soldiers, sympathizing with him, removed their arrowheads before shooting the arrows at Bokho. Bokho was able to return to his country unscathed.

Seeing Bokho, the King missed Misaheun even more. He was both jubilant and sad. Looking to the courtiers on his left and right, he said "I am like a man who has only one arm and one eye. Though I have one of each, I have also lost one of each. I cannot help but feel pained."

When Jesang heard this, he once again bid the court farewell and rode his horse to Nyulpul, without even stopping at his home for a visit. His wife heard of this and chased him to Nyulpul on a red horse, but when she arrived, she saw her husband was already on his boat. His wife's wails touched him deeply, but though his hands trembled, he did not stop.

Arriving in Japan, he lied to the king saying "The King of Gyerim executed my father and elder brother without cause, so I escaped to this place." The King of Japan believed him and gave him a house to stay in. Jesang often travelled the beaches alongside Misaheun. They caught fish and birds and every time, they presented their game to the King of Japan. The King was delighted and never suspected them of anything.

They discussed their plans from the early morning mists to the pitch darkness of night. Finally, Jesang said "You can leave now."

Misaheun said "Let us leave together then."

Jesang replied "If I leave, the Japanese might notice and pursue us. Thus, I will stay and stop them from pursuing you."

Misaheun protested "You are now like a father or brother to me. How can I abandon you and return alone?"

Jesang stated "If I can save Your Majesty's life and sooth my king's spirits, then it will be enough. Why should I be concerned about living?" With these words, he toasted Misaheun with wine.

There was in Japan a man from Gyerim named Gang Guryeo. Misaheun went with this man and escaped. Jesang went into Misaheun's room. In the morning, the Prince's servants sought to enter and see him. However, Jesang came out and stopped them, saying that Misaheun had been too caught up in last night's hunt and ended up becoming sick; he was now still resting. Around the afternoon, the servants thought it strange that Misaheun had still not awoken and so asked Jesang again. The reply was that Misaheun had long since gone.

The servants quickly informed the King. The King sent his cavalry in pursuit, but they could not find Misaheun. Therefore, the King imprisoned Jesang instead and questioned him, saying "Why did you release the Prince from your native land?"

Jesang replied "Because I am a subject of Gyerim, not a subject of Japan. I wished to carry out the wishes of my lord. Why should I have told you anything about my plan?"

The King was enraged and told him "You are now a Japanese subject, but you call yourself a subject of Gyerim? You will be put to the Five Tortures for your treason! But if you start calling yourself a Japanese subject, you will be richly rewarded."

The reply was "I would rather a dog or pig in Gyerim than a minister in Japan! I would rather be flogged in Gyerim than to receive titles and rewards in Japan!"

The King was angered and ordered the skin of Jesang’s feet to be flayed. He cut sedge and forced Jesang to walk upon it (now any cuts or bleeding that comes from sedge is called the blood of Jesang). Then he asked Jesang "Which country are you a subject of?"

Jesang replied "I am a subject of Gyerim!"

The King forced him to stand on hot iron and asked him "Which country are you a subject of?"

Jesang replied "I am a subject of Gyerim!"

The King knew he would never get Jesang to submit, and so burned him at the stake in Kishima.

After Misaheun returned to Silla, he first had Guryeo inform the people of the nation. The king was surprised and happy. He ordered his hundered officials to welcome Misaheun at Mokto station. The King and his brother Bokho welcomed their brother at Namkyo. They returned to the palace and held a feast. Pardons declared for the entire country. The King gave Jesang's wife the title of Lady Gukdae and married Jesang's daughter to Misaheun. When people discussed this, they said "In olden days, an official of Han, Zhou Ke, was captured at Rongyang by Chu soldiers. Xiang Yu (the King of Chu, a famous tragic hero in Chinese legend) spoke to Zhou Ke saying 'Become my vassal and I will make you a marquise with a thousand followers.' Zhou Ke did not submit, but instead reviled Xiang Yu. The King of Chu killed him for this. Jesang's loyalty was no less when compared with that of Zhou Ke."

When Jesang had originally left, his wife had heard of it and chased him, but could not catch up. Instead, she went to the south of the gate of Mangdeog Temple and there, flung herself on the sand and uttered long lamentations. Therefore, the sands there were named Jangsa (long sands). Two of her relatives took her by the arms and tried to get her to return home, but the woman stretched out her legs and sat there, refusing to stand. This place was named Beorjiji. After a while, the woman had no desire for the admiration she received from others. She took her three daughters and climbed to the Chisullyeong hills. She died as she cried and wailed, looking toward Japan. She was deified as the Goddess of Chisullyeong. The shrine is there to this day.

The Eighteenth Monarch King Silseong

In the ninth year, Guichou, of the Yixi Era, the Great Bridge of Pyongyang Province completed construction (most likely southern Pyongyang, which is now Yangju). The King feared that Nulji, the Crown Prince from before the throne was passed to the older Silseong, had a better reputation. He attempted to assassinate the prince by setting the soldiers of Goguryeo up to kill Nulji. However, the people of Goguryeo, seeing that Nulji behaved virtuously, killed King Silseong instead. They established Nulji as king and returned home.

Shooting the Zither Case

Ten years after twenty-first sovereign King Bichoe (or Soji) ascended to the throne, in the Wuchen year, the King went to Cheoncheonjeong. At this time, a crow and a mouse came and made some calls. "Follow the crow to wherever it leads you," said the mouse in a human voice (others say that the King was going to make offerings at Heungryung Temple and saw many rats with their tails tied together, which blocked his chariot. The next morning, at the cock's crow, he set out and followed the strange bird. This story is mistaken).

The King ordered his horsemen to chase after the bird. They went south until they reached Pichon Village (currently Yangpisa Village in Dongryeo in Namsan). There, they saw two boars fighting and stopped to watch them. However, as they did that, they lost track of the bird and had to turn back. On their way, they met an old man who rose out of a pond and offered them a sealed letter. On the envelope of the letter was written "If this is opened and read two people will die; if left unopened, one person will die."

The servants presented it to the King. The King stated "Better that it be left unopened and one man die than it be opened and two people die."

One of his ministers said to the King "The two people are but commoners, but the one man is a King."

Hearing this, the King opened the letter. Inside were written but a few words: Shoot the zither case!

The King returned to his palace, where he found the Queen's zither case. He shot three arrows into it. When opened, it showed a wounded man: the palace monk Bunsu. He had been having an adulterous tryst with the Queen. The two were arrested and executed.

From then on, it became a national custom that the first days of January were designated as days of rest and the people dared not work. The fifteenth day was the Day of Honoring the Crows (Ogiil or Daeboreum, the Korean New Year). Offerings to them were made in glutinous rice. The festival is still held to this day. The people colloquially call it Daldo. It is said that there are a hundred taboos that, if not followed, would bring disaster for the next year. The pool from which the old man had come was named Sajeogje.

King Jicheollo the Great

The twenty second monarch King Jicheollo had the family name Kim and the personal name Jidaero. He was also called Jidaro and his temple name was Jijeung. The custom of temple names began with him. The practice of calling kings "Maripgan" in the countryside also started with him. The King succeeded the throne in the second year, Gengchen, of Yongyuan (or Xinsi, the third year).

The King's penis was one chi and five cun long (31.815 cm/12 inches). It was very hard for him to find a suitable wife. Therefore, he scoured the land for a woman who could accommodate him. One day, he came to Moryang, where he saw two dogs chewing on a piece of feces as big as a drum under an old bishopwood tree. The dogs were frantically chewing on the two ends. The King went to ask people in the area about this. A young girl told him "This was excreted by the daughter of the master of this area. She lives deep in the forest."

The King sent men to find her home and visit her. She was seven chi and 5 cun (227.25 cm/89.5 in) tall. When the King heard this, he sent a chariot to bring her to the capital so they could be married. His advisors all celebrated the occasion.

In another incident, there was an island in the Eastern Sea called Ulyeong around a two day voyage's distance from Haseulju (currently Myeongju). It was twenty-six-thousand-seven-hundred-thirty steps in circumference. The natives of the island believed that the waters around their island were deep, and so were haughty and refused to serve the King. The King ordered Park Ijong (Kim Isabu) to make war on them. Ijong made a big lion doll out of wood and placed it on the deck of his flagship. He threatened the natives of the island saying "Surrender or I will release this beast at you!"

The natives all feared Ijong and surrendered.

King Jinheung the Great

The twenty-fourth sovereign King Jinheung was only fifteen when he ascended to the throne. The Queen Mother served as his regent. She was the daughter of King Beopheung and the wife of Galmunwang Ipjong.

Toward the end of his life, the king shaved his head and wore a monk's robe as he died.

In September of the third year of Chengsheng, the army of Baekje laid siege to Ojin City. They took at loot thirty-nine-thousand men and women and eight-thousand horses. Before this, Baekje attempted to have Silla ally with them and join them in attacking Goguryeo. However, King Jinheung had replied "The rise and fall of kingdoms is decided by Heaven. If Heaven does not yet despise Goguryeo, how dare I look upon the nation with covetous eyes?"

Goguryeo was touched by his words. They became allies with Silla. Baekje, on the other hand, became angry and thus went on this raid.

Dohwanyeo and Bihyungrang

The twenty-fifth monarch King Geomryun had the temple name Jinji the Great. His family name was Kim. His wife was the daughter of Duke Gio, Lady Jido. He ascended to the throne in the eighth year, Bingshen, of Dajian (older books call it the eleventh year, Jihai, but that is wrong). He ruled for four years. His reign was chaotic and he led a debauched lifestyle. The people of the kingdom deposed him.

Before this, there was a beautiful and elegant civilian woman named Dohwanyeo living in Saryang. When he heard of her, the King summoned her into the palace, intending to seduce her. However, she told him "The base of a woman's virtue is to never serve two husbands. I already have a husband and intend on remaining loyal to him despite Your Majesty’s power. I will never submit to you."

The King asked "What if I would kill you otherwise?"

The woman replied "I would rather be publically executed than wish to be divided from my husband."

The King joked "What if you had no husband?"

She replied "Then it would be alright."

The King died soon after he was deposed. Two years later, Dohwanyeo's husband also died. Ten days after the funeral, in the middle of the night, the King suddenly appeared before Dohwanyeo in the same form that he had in life. He told her "You had previously promised me that should you have no husband, you would become mine. Now that you no longer have a husband, shall we have our tryst?"

The woman would not easily consent and went to her parents. Her parents told her "Why should you disobey a King's orders?"

With her parents' approval, the woman entered the bedroom. She and the King pleasured each other for seven days. During this time, clouds of five colors often blanketed the room and the room was filled with a delightful fragrance. At the end of seven days, the King suddenly vanished.

The woman was left pregnant by this encounter. She gave birth after the appropriate amount of time. Heaven and Earth trembled and she delivered a boy. She named him Bihyung. King Jinpyeong heard of the boy's unique status and brought him to live in the palace. At fifteen, he was assigned the position of a Jishi (a sort of official).

Bihyung would run out to play every night. The King sent fifty brave soldiers to guard him. The soldiers found that every night, the boy flew to Geumcheong, and then went west to the banks of Hwangcheon (in the west of the Imperial City), where he played with the various ghosts and ghouls that gathered there. The soldiers hid in the forest and watched the gathering of ghosts. When the bells of the temples rang, signaling the sunrise, the creatures vanished and Bihyung too returned to his home.

The soldiers reported this to the King. The King summoned Bihyung and asked him "It is true that you lead the ghosts and demons in their nightly parade?"

Bihyung replied "Indeed."

The King stated "Then command the ghosts to build a bridge in Sinwongsi." (Others say Sinjungsi or, mistakenly, a deep ditch east of Hwangcheon)

Bihyung did as he was ordered to. He commanded his followers to chisel the stones and the great bridge was completed in only one night. It is named Gwigyo (Ghost Bridge).

The King asked again "Are there any among the ghosts and demons who could aid a human king in managing his government?"

Bihyung replied “Yes. The one named Gildal can help you manage your government.”

The King said "Summon him here."

The next day, Gildal came to court with Bihyung. He too was given the position of Jishi. He was indeed loyal and virtuous without compare. At the time, Gakgang (a military officer) Im Jong had no children, so the King made him adopt Gildal. Im Jong ordered Gildal to build a gate south of Heungryun Temple. Because Gildal slept there every night, it became known as the Gildal Gate.

One day, Gildal tried to escape in the form of a fox. Bihyung commanded all the ghosts chase after Gildal and kill him when they caught him. From then on, all ghosts quailed and fled at the mention of Bihyung’s name. The people of the time composed an ode saying:

The babe formed of the Emperor’s Holy Spirit,
Young Lord Bihyung this way comes.
Ghosts and goblins passing and staying,
Depart to your homes!


It is said that in the countryside, sticking this phrase to one's door could ward off ghosts.

The Jade Sash from Heaven (In May of the fourth year, Dingyou, of the Qingtai Era, the Inspector-general Kim Bu offered as tribute to the King a very long sash that had ornaments engraved with gold and adorned with jade. It had sixty-two gold-engraved dangling ornaments. Kim Bu claimed that it was a sash sent to King Jinpyeong from Heaven. King Taejo accepted it and stored it in his treasury)

The twenty-sixth monarch King Baekjeong was honored as Jinpyeong the Great after his death. He was a member of the Kim family. He ascended to the throne in August of the eleventh year, Jihai, of the Dajian Era.

Jinpyeong was eleven chi (333.3 cm/131 in) tall. One day, he went to the Inner Palace of Indra (also called Cheonju Temple by the King), and, as he ascended the stone steps, the rock cracked in half underneath him. The King ordered his retainers not to disturb the rock so it could serve as an example of the King’s power to later generations. It became one of the Five Immovable Stones of Silla.

In the first year of his reign, a Heavenly Messenger descended to the Throne Room and told the King "The Heavenly Emperor has sent me to give you this jade sash."

After the King knelt and accepted it, the messenger returned to the sky. Whenever a great celebration occurred in the court, the King would wear this belt.

Years later, when the King of Goguryeo wanted to attack Silla, he asked "I hear there are Three Main Treasures of Silla that cannot be profaned. What are they?"

"The first is the Statue of Buddha at Hwangnyong Temple, the second is the nine-story tower at the same temple, and the third is the Jade Sash from Heaven of King Jinpyeong."

Hearing this, the King ceased in his plotting and exclaimed:

The Colosseum ringed across the Dragon Gown's span
Makes a graceful image of the sash from beyond the clouds.
So heavy and wide stretches the form of this man
That the Ming's iron must cushion his step.


Three Things that King Seondeok Knew

The twenty-seventh King Deokman (the characters vary) was honored as Seondeok the Great after death. She was a member of the Kim clan and her father was King Jinpyeong. She ascended to the throne in the sixth year, Renchen, of the Zhenguan Era and ruled for sixteen years.

There were three things she had precocious knowledge of. In her childhood, Emperor Taizong of Tang sent a picture of peonies in three colors: red, purple, and white; as well as three sheng (3 liters) of peony seeds. The Princess saw the picture and stated "These flowers most likely carry no fragrance."

Nevertheless, her father ordered the seeds to be planted in the royal gardens. When they bloomed, it was as the Princess had said: the blossoms had no fragrance.

The second time was at Yeongmyo Temple’s Jade Gate Pond. In the winter, a group of white frogs gathered in the pond and croaked for three or four days. The people of the nation were baffled and turned to the King for guidance. The King instantly ordered her Gakgang Al Cheon and Pil Tan to take two-thousand of the best soldiers to Nyeogeun (Woman’s Root) Valley in the western borderlands, where they would find enemy soldiers. They were to ambush and kill them. The two generals received the orders and each led a thousand men to the western wastelands. There was indeed a Nyeogeun Valley under the Busan Mountain. Five-hundred Baekje soldiers were hiding there. The Silla army easily ambushed them. The Baekje commander attempted to lead his army into the cliffs of Mount Namsan to hide, but he was surrounded and shot to death with arrows. One-thousand-five-hundred Baekje soldiers came as reinforcements. They too were all shot and killed. Not one of them remained.

The third time was when the King was ill and dying. She called all her ministers to her and said "I shall die on a certain day in a certain month in a certain year. When that time comes, bury me in Doricheon (Heaven of Grieved Merits)."

The ministers were all confused because they had no knowledge of that place. They asked the king where it was located.

The King replied "South of Langsan Mountain."

When that day and month arrived, the King indeed died. The various ministers of the court buried her in the specified location South of Langsan. Several decades later, King Munmu constructed Sacheonwang Temple under the late King's tomb.

The Buddhist sutras had read "Above the Four Heavenly Kings is the Heaven of Grieved Merits." This was accomplished by the Great King's holy spirit.

At one point, her advisors all came to her and asked her "How did Your Majesty know of the matters of the flowers and the frogs?"

The King answered "In the picture of the flowers, there were no bees or butterflies; thus, the blossoms lacked the fragrance with which to attract them. The Tang Emperor was mocking the fact that my family lacked the proper heirs. The frogs looked like they were angry soldiers. The Jade Gate is a euphemism for female genitalia and females are aligned with the element of yin. The frogs were white. White is the color of the West, so I knew the soldiers were in the West. When male genitalia is inserted into female genitalia, it will become stuck and die. Therefore, I knew they would be easy to capture."

All the advisors were impressed to her wisdom on par with the divine. Have the people who sent the three-colored flowers all come to know that Silla had three regnant Queens? They were Seondeok, Jindeok, and Jinseong, and the Tang Emperor believed Seondeok to have the wisdom to release the bonds that kept people from gaining enlightenment. In the Yeongmyo temple build by Seondeok, he had "The Master of Healthy Ambitions" carefully carved.

Other records state that in her era, the Cheomseongdae (Star-gazing tower/observatory) was built out of rock.

King Jindeok


The twenty-eight monarch King Jindeok, upon her ascension to the throne, wrote the Song of Peace. She used brocade as her manuscript and ordered her envoys to deliver it to the Tang Dynasty (Some say her ambassador was Duke Chunchu, the later King Muyeol the Great. He asked the Emperor to sent soldiers to aid Silla. Emperor Taizong happily agreed and sent men like Su Dingfang. However, this is a mistake. Muyeol had already ascended to the throne before the era of Xianqing. In the Gengshen year of Xianqing, the Emperor was also not Taizong. It was the reign of Gaozong. Su Dingfang was sent in during the Gengshen year of Xianqing. Therefore, it is know that they were delivering the brocade manuscript and not asking for aid. It was in Jindeok's time. Of course, it was at the same time as pleading for Kim Heumsun’s release)

The Emperor of Tang was very pleased. He changed her title to King of Gyerim. The poem said:

Dawn opens on the golden age of the Tang; only success will meet your lord.
Your might stops the swords’ clamor. On your authority titles of kings hang.
Your showers pierce drought to its root. In your lands resides the Natural Order.
Your royal grace blankets the celestial light; your Dynasty protected by heroes astute.
How bold your banners streaming; how booms your drums and trumpets gleaming.
The scourge of Heaven shall lash the pagan kings who make sinful war on those who are right.
The mouths of the just meditate wisdom in your court. Kingdoms, competing, will seek you to adore.
Calm pervades the sacred night. From the sun's eve to Saturn's fall, you look out with eyes keen.
The mountains yield up their sages. The Emperor their aged wisdom embraces.
Five Sovereigns and Three Emperors combine. So the Emperor of Tang comes to be.


In the time of this king, men such as Duke Alcheon, Duke Imjong, Duke Sujong, Duke Hoim (father of Jajang), Duke Yeomjang, and Duke Yushin met in Uchi in Namsan to discuss the matters of the kingdom. A tiger walked into the meeting room, startling all the various gentlemen. Only Duke Alcheon was unflustered. Even as he pulled the tiger to the ground by the tail and killed it, he talked and laughed as naturally as ever. Because Alcheon had such great strength, he was allowed to sit at the head of the table. However, all the Dukes would later be impressed with the courage of Kim Yushin.

Silla has Four Holy Places. Whenever a great matter pertaining to the Kingdom is to be discussed, the various officials must meet and plan in one of those places. They are Mount Cheongsong to the East, Mount Uchi to the South, Mount Pijeon to the West, and Mount Geumgang to the North.

In the reign of this king, the people first offered New Year's Greetings. It was also the first use of the "Assistant Minister" rank.

Kim Yushin

He was the son of Gakgang Kim Seohyeon, said to have the strength of a tiger. The oldest son of the Kim family was named Yushin, his younger brother was named Heumsun. As for sisters, the older one was named Bohui and her childhood nickname was Ahae. The younger one was named Munhui and her childhood nickname was Aji.

Duke Yushin was born in the seventeenth year, Yimao, of King Jinpyeong's reign. He was born with the power of the seven days of the week and had a tattoo of the Big Dipper on his back. He also had other divine powers. At eighteen years old, in the Renshen year, he completed his swordsmanship studies and became a Gukseon (leader of the Hwarang guards).

At the time, there named a man named Baekseok. No one knew where he came from, but he had been a member of the Hwarang for a number of years. Yushin was making plans day and night for invading Goguryeo and Baekje. Hearing of his schemes, Baekseok told Yushin "We should first go on a secret reconnaissance mission to the enemy camps. Then, when we return, we can plan accordingly."

Yushin was elated and indeed rode out with Baeksok at night. Just as they paused on a steep hill, two girls appeared and followed Yushin. When they stopped to rest for the night at Golhwacheon village, a third girl appeared. As the Duke and the three maidens flirted back and forth, they presented him with delicious cakes. The Duke accepted and ate the cakes. He fell in love with the three of them and told them of his feelings. The three maidens coyly told him "We understand your words, oh Duke. Please leave your companion's side and follow us into the forest. There, we shall consummate our love among beds of flowers."

Yushin did as they ordered and followed them into a cave. There, they changed into their true divine forms, saying "We are the three goddesses of the sacred peaks that guard the kingdom: Naeim, Hyeollye, and Golhwa. Currently, an enemy spy is luring you into a trap, but you know not your true destination. To save you and keep you here, we three have taken form in this place."

As soon as they finished speaking, they vanished. Yushin was shocked and knelt in thanks. Giving a quick bow, he retreated from the cave. He returned to his inn room and slept there for the night.

The next morning, he told Baekseok "I left for the journey to a foreign land in such a hurry that I have forgotten important documents at home. I wish for you to accompany me as I return home to retrieve them."

When they returned to Yushin’s house, the Duke had Baekseok arrested and interrogated.

Baekseok confessed "I am originally from Goguryeo (older books say Baekje, but this is incorrect; Chunam was from Goguryeo and the reversal of Yin and Yang also happened in the reign of King Bojang). The officials of my country say that Kim Yushin is actually the reincarnation of the seer Chunam (an error in older editions has him and Cheongnam) from our country. In our country, there is a river that reversed its course (or a river that has reversed its gender, meaning that the water is experiencing backflow). He was told to divine its cause. He told the King that it was the Queen's practice of black magic that caused it. The King was shocked while the Queen was enraged and declared it must be a fox demon's tricks. She asked the king to ask him of other matters, and if he were wrong, he would be subjected to the most torturous forms of execution. She hid a mouse in a box and asked what the hidden object was. He replied that it was mice and that they numbered at eight. He was judged to be wrong and sentenced to be beheaded. Before his death, the seer cried out 'In my next life, I wish to be a great general and destroy Goguryeo!' Afterwards, the mouse’s belly was sliced open. It was discovered that it was pregnant with a litter of seven. Then the people knew that his predictions had all been accurate. The next night, our King dreamt that Chunam had entered the womb of the wife of Duke Seohyeon of Silla. He told the various officials and all of them agreed that Chunam was indeed carrying out his last wish. Therefore, they sent me to lead you into a trap."

Yushin publicly executed Baekseok. He offered a hundred delicacies to the goddesses of the three mountains as thanks. They all appeared to accept the offerings in person.

When his wife, Lady Jaemae, died, she was buried in a valley above Cheongyuan. Because the valley was henceforth called the Jaemae (money and purchases) Valley, every year on the first day of spring, the men and women of the clan would gather and hold a banquet on the southern rim of the valley. During this time, a hundred blossoms would all spread their petals. The caves would become covered in the pollen. A little building by the entrance of the forest is a temple. It is said to be able to grant any wish made there.

After Yushin's death, in the time of the fifty-fourth monarch King Gyeongmyeong, the Duke was consecrated as King Heungmu the Great. His grave is located Mount Songhwa in the Western Mountains, Northeast of Moji Temple.

King Daejong, the Duke of Chunchu

The twenty-ninth ruler King Daejong the Great was named Chunchu and born to the Kim family. He was the son of Gakgang Yongsu, honored as King Munheung the Great after death. His mother was Lady Cheonmyeong, daughter of King Jinpyeong. His wife was Queen Munmyeong, Kim Munhui. She was Kim Yushin's youngest sister.

One night, Munhui's older sister Bohui had a dream that she ascended to the Western Peak and then urinated. It drowned the entire capital city. When she woke up, she told her little sister about the dream.

After she finished listening to her sister, Munhui said "I would like to buy the dream."

Bohui asked "What will you be offering as payment?"

"Would a new silk dress do?"

"Alright."

The younger sister bared her breast to accept the dream.

The older sister said "The dream that was once mine shall now be transferred to you."

Munhui repaid her older sister with the promised dress. Days later, on Ogiil (see the above zither case story from Choe Chiwon), Yushin and Duke Chunchu were playing Cuju (the people of Silla called all ball games Cuju) in Yushin's home. Yushin stepped on Chunchu's robes and tore them. He told his friend "Please come inside so it can be mended."

The Duke did so. Yushin called to Ahae to come mend the robe. However, Ahae replied "How can I approach a nobleman so casually and for such a small matter?"

Therefore, she was excused (older books say she was sick and could not come) and Aji was called instead. The Duke knew of Yushin's intentions and made advances on Aji. Aji accepted and they spent the night in each other's arms. Afterwards, he often made visits to her.

In time, Aji became pregnant, and when Yushin found out, he scolded her. "You became pregnant without the knowledge of our parents. What do you make of your actions?"

He spread the word throughout the kingdom, saying that he was going to burn his sister at the stake for her whorish behavior.

One day, as King Seondeok was touring Namsan, Yushin gathered up firewood in his hall; he made a bonfire and the smoke drifted over the area. The King saw it and asked where the smoke was coming from.

The officials to her left and right replied "We fear it is Yushin burning his sister at the stake."

The King asked for the reason.

"Because she is unmarried, yet pregnant."

The King asked "Who has fathered the child?"

At the time, the Duke was in her presence. The shock and fear caused his face to become discolored.

The King stated "It must have been done by you! Go and save her at once!"

The Duke received his orders and rode his horse to Yushin's house. He ordered Yushin to stop by royal decree. Soon afterwards, he married Aji.

After the death of King Jindeok, Chunchu ascended to the throne in the fifth year, Jiayin, of the Yongwei Era. He ruled for eight years. He died in the first year, Xinyou, of the Longshuo Era at fifty-nine years of age. He was buried in the east of Aekong temple and there is a stele devoted to him.

The King and Yushin combined their great strength and skill in strategy to unite the Three Koreas. He made a large contribution to nation. Therefore, his Temple Name is Daejong. The Crown Prince Beommin, Gakgang Immun, Gakgang Munwang, Gakgang Roja, Gakgang Jigyeong, Gakgang Gaeweon, and others, were all born from Munhui. When she first bought the dream, she only had a subtle hunch about its indications; but now, it was a proven fact. His sons from concubines were Gadeug, Yeongkong, Madeug, and Agan. He also had five daughters.

Just the King's lunch would be three dou (30 liters) of rice and nine chickens every day. After Baekje was vanquished in the Gengshen year, the King stopped eating lunch; he only ate breakfast and dinner. Even then, he still consumed six dou (60 liters) of rice and wine and ten chickens per day. In the city market place, one roll of cloth could sell for thirty sacks of rice, or even fifty. People called this a golden age.

When he was still the Crown Prince, he attempted to stop the Goguryeo expansion by calling for aid from the Tang Dynasty. The Emperor was impressed with his magnificent air and declared him to be a holy man. The Emperor wanted to keep him as a Tang official, but allowed him to return after Chunchu implored him many times.

At the time, the King of Baekje, Uija, was the oldest son of King Mu. He was fierce and strong and had the courage to match. He was filial to his parents and served them without complaint. He treated his friends like his own brothers. The people called him "the Zengzi of the East." He ascended to the throne in the fifteenth year, Xinchou, of Zhenguan. However, he drowned himself in sensual pleasures. His reign became turbulent and his country was in danger.

Jopyeong (a Baekje officer rank) Seongchung submitted a passionate plea. The king would not listen and imprisoned him. He froze to death there, starved and exhausted. His message had said: "A loyal subject does not forget his lord even on the verge of death. He is willing to die to give an honest piece of advice. I have concluded there would soon be armed conflict. If soldiers were to be dispatched, as long as they can examine their location and attack their enemy from the higher ground, then they would be safe. If the armies of other nations invaded, the army cannot retreat past Tanhyeong (or Simhyeon; it is a crucial point in Baekje) and the navy cannot retreat past the beaches of Kibalpo (Jangmang, also known as Sonang; or Hwapo, also known as Baekking). If they hold their ground, then it would be alright." The King paid no attention to this.

In the fourth year, Jiwei, of the Guanqin Era, at the Ohwi Temple (Ohap Temple), a big red horse walked around the temple for an entire day. In February, a group of foxes invaded Uija’s palace. One white fox sat on the Jopyeong’s table. In April, the hens in the Crown Prince’s quarters mated with little sparrows. In May, a big dead fish washed up on the banks of Sabi (a river in Buyeo). It was three chi long (90.9 cm/36 in). All who ate its meat later died. In September, a sound like human wailing came from the pagoda trees in the palace. At night, ghosts sobbed around the palace’s southern road. In the spring of the fifth year, Gengshen, The water in the Capital’s wells all turned the color of blood. Several little dead fish washed up on the shores of the Western Sea. There were too many for the people to eat them all. The waters of the Sabi turned into blood. In April, tens of thousands of toads gathered on trees. The people of the Capital, for little reason, were seized with frenzy as if they were possessed by something. More than a hundred people were scared to death. Countless people lost money or possessions. In June, all the monks of Wangheung Temple saw a barge oar washed into the gates of the temple by a flood. A dog as big as a deer walked from the West to the banks of the Sabi and barked at the Royal Palace. The reason is unknown, but the dogs in the various cities all gathered in the streets, barking and howling. After a while, they dispersed. A ghost went into the palace and yelled "Baekje falls, Baekje falls!" Then, it vanished into the ground. The King was baffled and told his subjects to dig in that area. After digging into three chi (90.9 cm/36 in) of ground, they found a turtle. It had words carved on its back saying "Baekje is like the full moon, while Silla is the new moon."

The King consulted his seers. Some of them replied “Those who are like the full moon are already full. Those that are full will begin to decay. Meanwhile, those like the new moon are not yet filled. They will eventually grow and fill.” The King became angry and killed them.

Some of the seers replied "Those who are like the full moon are bright and prosperous, while those like the new moon are dim and insignificant. Our country is prosperous while Silla is still a backwater land." The King was soothed by this.

Daejong learned of all the strange occurrences in Baekje. In the fifth year, Gengshen, he sent Kim Imun to ask the Tang to send him soldiers. The Emperor of Tang called Su Dingfang, the Duke of Ji and the Marshal of the Left Tiger Army as the Supreme Commander of the Army of the Singu Pass. He led the Left Army Generals Liu Boying and Yu Renyuan, the Left Tiger General Feng Shigui, the Left Cavalry General Pang Xiagong, and others. They attacked with one-hundred-thirty-thousand troops (The Hyanggi records that one-hundred-twenty-two-thousand-seven-hundred-and-eleven soldiers and one-thousand-nine-hundred boats. The Tang Dynasty’s histories are vague as to the number). The Silla King Chunchu was the Supreme Commander of the Army of the Ui Pass. They would combine the might of the armies of the countries. Dingfang would lure the Baekje army from Jehae in Seongsan to Deokmuldo in the west of the country. There, the King of Silla would send Kim Yushin to fight against them with fifty-thousand soldiers.

When King Uija heard of this, he summoned his advisors to ask them about guarding or attacking.

The Jopyeong Eojik said "The Tang soldiers live far away from the beaches and the oceans. They are not good at naval battles. The soldiers of Silla will underestimate their enemies due to the fact that they have the support of a bigger nation. If they see the Tang at a disadvantage, they will become frightened and will not advance. We can first engage the Tang in battle."

Dalsol Songyeong protested "The Tang army comes from a great distance, so they will wish to fight as soon as possible. We cannot stand against their might. However, the Silla army has suffered numerous defeats under our army before. They will surely be intimidated if they see our army. Today’s strategy should be to first temporarily stall the Tang and then wait for the army to lose its motivation. Meanwhile, we will send a detachment to attack Silla to destroy their morale. And then, we will fight according to whichever circumstances are more advantageous.

The King hesitated, not knowing which plan to choose.

At the time, Jopyeong Heungsu had offended the king and escaped to Jiheun Village in Gomami. The officials sent a man to ask him "What shall we do now that the country has an emergency?"

Heungsu replied "It is just as Seongchung has said."

The other officials did not believe him. They said "Since Heungsu is fettered, he begrudges his king and does not love his country. We cannot trust his words. We should lure the Tang Army into the Baekking River (Kibalpo), where the currents will render their box ships useless. We should lure the Silla army into Tanhyeong, where they will be unable to ride horses due to the narrow roads. They will be like chickens in a cage of fish in a net."

The King answered "We shall do just that."

However, he then heard that the Tang and Silla forces had passed Tanhyeong. He sent General Gyebaek to lead five-thousand suicide troops out of Hwangsan. They fought the Silla soldiers and won four initial battles. But in the end, they were outnumbered and exhausted and fell. Gyebak died in the battle.

The advancing armies combined and stopped at Bingang in Bakjingu. Suddenly, a bird began flying circles around Su Dingfang’s tent. His servants cast a prediction and it said it was an omen that the general would be grievously hurt. Su Dingfang because scared and was ready to stop the army from advancing any further.

Yushin turned to Dingfang and said "You cannot miss a chance granted by heaven because of odd behavior from one bird. What bad luck is there in going with the wishes of Heaven and men and attacking the wicked?"

He pulled out his sword and swung it at the bird, chopping it in half and causing it to fall before Dingfang’s seat.

Thus, Dingfang attacked from the left cliff and met the Baekje soldiers. The Baekje army suffered a great defeat. King Daejong’s ships rode the tide. The ships were so large that their ends could not be seen. They advanced to the sound of beating drums. Dingfang’s infantry and cavalry headed within one she (909 cm/360 in) of the Capital. The reserve soldiers in the city tried to defend, but they were again defeated and lost more than a hundred thousand men. The Tang Army rapidly approached the city upon their victory.

The King, knowing he would not be spared, sighed "I regret not using Seongchung’s advice and falling to this point."

He and his Crown Prince Ryung (also mistakenly called Hyo) went to the Northern Borderlands. Dingfang surrounded the city. Uija’s second son Tae crowned himself as King and led the people of the city to stubbornly resist the invaders.

The son of the Crown Prince, Munsi, saw Tae on the throne and said "The King and the Crown Prince have left the city. Uncle Tae is now the King. If the Tang are repelled, how can my family still survive?"

He took his followers and left the city. Many civilians followed him. Tae could not stop them. Dingfang ordered his soldier to scale the walls and plant Tang flags. Tae, now desperate, could only open the door and surrender.

Thus, the King, Prince Ryung, Prince Tae, the official Jangbok, and the various civilians of the city all surrendered. Dingfang sent King Uija, Crown Prince Ryung, Prince Tae, Prince Yeong, eighty-eight officials, and twelve-thousand-eight-hundred-and-seven civilians to the Tang Capital of Changan.

This nation once had five provinces, thirty-seven counties, two hundred cities, and seven-hundred-six-thousand households. It was re-divided into the five Departments of Ungjin, Mahan, Dongmyeong, Kimryeon, and Deokan. Su Dingfang assigned his supply chief to be the Head Admiral. He had the general Liu Renyuan guard the former Capital. He assigned General Wang Wendu as the Admiral of Ungjin. They comforted the remaining people. Su Dingfang himself had an audience with his captives. Though he scolded them, he was also lenient.

When King Uija died, he was assigned the title of "Lord and Minister Field Marshal of Gold and Violet Shining Prosperity." Many old subordinates went to his funeral. He was buried next to Sun Hao and Chen Shubao (a subtle insult in that though the two were kings, they were regarded as fools who lost their kingdoms).

In the seventh year, Renmao, Su Dingfang was assigned the post of Supereme Commander of the Liaodong Passage, later called the Pyongyang Pass. He routed the Goguryeo army at the waters of Bui and occupied Mount Maeub as his camp. He surrounded Pyongyang, but had to retreat due to the fierce blizzards. He was made into the Ambassador of the Peace of Liangzhou. He was to pacify the natives of the area. However, he died two years into his new career. The Emperor personally mourned him, giving him the posthumous title of the Left Cavalry General, Admiral of Youzhou. His posthumous name was "Zhuang." (The above text is from the Tang Dynasty histories)

Silla Byeolgi states that at the end of August, in the fall of the fifth year, Yichou, of Emperor Munmu’s rule, the King himself led his army to Ungjin. He met the deposed King Ryung and the two built an altar. They slew a white horse to consecrate their alliance. First they made offerings to the gods of the heavens, mountains, and rivers. Then they sipped the blood and used it to write the words of their oath:

The former King of Baekje was misguided and went against the fates. He would not respect the friendly surrounding countries, nor would he have any affection for his in-laws. He consorted with Goguryeo and communicated with Japan, both countries being savage and cruel. He laid siege to Silla, crushing their provinces and butchering their cities. Not one peaceful day was had under him. The Son of Heaven had empathy for all things and pity for the slaughtered civilians. Again and again, he sent his envoys, hoping to make peace between the two nations. However, Baekje, being overly proud in its dangerous terrain and its great distance, disdained the authority of Heaven. The Emperor was rightfully angered and mad war on them. All of his banners were pointed at Baekje. One decisive battle was needed to purify the polluted palace and mansions. May this serve as an admonition for future generations that evil must be nipped in the bud! May this serve as an example to our descendants to keep kindness in mind when punishing treacherous nations! Let the previous King’s evil example end with his death. We will turn out minds to philosophy, learn from the ancients, and peruse their books! Thus, the Emperor consecrates the heir of the former King of Baekje, Lord Nungzheng, as the Admiral of Ungjin. We will mind our rituals, protect your homeland, and rely on Silla. We shall forever become one prosperous nation. We will wipe away old grudges. We will make peace and marry our families to each other. We shall obey our orders and be good subordinate nations. The Emperor has sent his ambassador, the Right General of the Mightiness Army and the Mayor of Lucheng, Liu Renyuan to mediate between us and announce this edict. Engagements should culminate in marriage; desires should culminate in oaths. By slaying an animal and both drinking of its blood, we are now sworn to care for each other's wellbeing. We will share in disaster and in prosperity and be like brothers. We will keep to our oaths without regrets. After the alliance, we shall stand alongside each other against the ravages of time. If we show the slightest bit of disobedience and do not abide by our morals; if we raise an army and attack the borders, then with the all the myriad gods as witnesses, a hundred plagues shall fall upon our houses. Our seed shall completely wither; our nation shall have no heir. Our blessings will be completely removed, and we will have no end to disasters. This oath has been carved on a slab of gold. We will store it in our temples. For all the many generations to come, if they do not violate this, then the gods who are watching will surely bless them.

They finished drinking and buried the rags used to wipe their mouths north of the altar. The text of the oath was place in the Great Temple. The oath was written by the Admiral of Daebang Liu Rengui (going by the above Tang history, Dingfang delivered King Uija and his Crown Prince Ryung, now Former King Ryung of Buyeo, to the Imperial City. For some reason the Tang Emperor took a liking to Ryung and sent him to be the Admiral of Ungji. That was in the text of the oath, which was proven by Tang histories).

Older books also say that in the first year, Wuchen, of the Zongzhang Era (if the timing is actually Wuchen in Zongzhang, then it must be Li Ji's mission and the subsequent reference to Su Dingfang is mistaken. If it was Dingfang, then the Era should be the second year, Renmao, of Longshuo, when he surrounded Pyongyang), the Tang Army called in by the people of the nation set up camp near Pyongyang and sent a letter saying "Quickly deliver our supplies!"

The King called a meeting of his officials and spoke to them. "To go into enemy territory to bring supplies to our allies is a dangerous task. To leave our allies and not give them supplies even when they are in want does not seem to be a wise choice either. What shall we do?"

Yushin replied "We can deliver the supplies, Your Majesty. Please do not worry."

Then, Yushin and Imun and others let several tens of thousands of troops into Goguryeo territory. They delivered two hu (2000000 liters) of supplies and returned. The King was elated.

His next move was to try to join his armies with that of the Tang. Yushin first sent Yeongi and Byeongjeon to ask for the date of the rendezvous. The Tang Commander Su Dingfang drew a phoenix and a calf on a paper and handed it to them as a reply. The people of the nation were confused and could not understand the message. They consulted the Shaman Weunghyo. He solved the puzzle and told them "Retreat quickly. The calf and phoenix means that it will be a flanking maneuver."

Following the Shaman’s orders, Yushin indeed retreated. When they arrived at the waters of Bui and were about to cross, Yushin told them "The ones who cross last shall be killed."

The soldiers all scrambled to cross. Soon after, the Goguryeo army attacked, killing those who had not yet crossed. The next day, Yushin counter-attacked and chased the Goguryeo soldiers. He killed and captured tens of thousands of them.

The Ancient Records of Baekje
state that in the northern corner of Buyeo City, there is a great cliff that looks straight down at the river. King Uija and his entourage, knowing that they would likely not be spared discussed among themselves. "We would rather commit suicide than die at the hands of others."

Saying this, they all threw themselves off of the cliff and drowned. This is why this place is called Tasi (falling death) Cliffs. This is all a fabrication. But the suicides of several of Uija’s entourage and Uija’s own death in Luoyang are well attested to in the Tang histories.

Ancient Records of Silla state that after successfully attacking Baekje and Goguryeo, Dingfang turned his eyes to Silla. Thus, he stayed there even after the battles were over. Yushin found out about his plans. He held a feast for the Tang soldiers and poisoned them all. Afterwards, he dumped all the bodies in a mass grave. Today, on the border of Sangju, there is a Danggyo (Tang) Bridge that marks their grave. (There is no mention of his death in the Tang histories, but there is one in the text. Why? It is a nationalistic lie that has pervaded the countryside. If in the campaign of Renmao, the Silla army murdered Dingfang’s soldiers, then why did they ask in the Wuchen year of Zongzhang for help against Goguryeo? From this, we know the legend has no base in fact. After the conquest, Silla indeed did things unbefitting of a vassal, but not by killing the Tang generals)

After Baekje was conquered, the King’s Army returned. The King of Silla then ordered them to capture Baekje's remnant forces. They set up camp in Hansan City, where they were surrounded by the two armies of Goguryeo and Mohe. No matter how they fought, they could not break out of the enclosure. It continued from May eleventh to June twenty-second. Our army was in danger. Hearing of this, the King gathered his ministers and said “I still cannot decide on a way to retrieve our generals.” Yushin stated "This is a dire emergency indeed. The strength of men will be to no avail. We must call on the forces of the gods."

Therefore, he built and altar upon Mount Seongbu and practiced the divine arts. A ball of light as big as the mouth of a water tank came out of the altar; it was the power of the stars and it flew toward North and South. (This why it is called Mount Seongbu. There is another story about why it has its name. The mountain is located to the south of the forests surrounding the capital. It was the tallest peak in the area. A man in the Capital wished to obtain an official title. He had his son construct a big torch and hold it as he climbed the mountain at night. That night, as the people of the Capital saw it, they all believed that a strange star had descended to the mountain. The King was intimidated when he heard about it and offered a reward to anyone who could make the star go away. The father came forward and said he could do it. However, the official in charge of the calendar said "This is not a sign of a great calamity, but merely an omen that a family’s son will die and the father will weep." Thus, the King took no action to ward off the star. That night, coming down from the mountain, the son was indeed killed by a tiger)

In Hansan City, the soldiers were complaining that reinforcements had not yet arrived. They were weeping to each other. The enemy army wanted to press the attack. However, a light rapidly approached from the southern edge of the sky. It turned into a bold of lightning and destroyed more than thirty cannons. The enemy army’s bows, arrows, spears, halberds, and other weapons, all crumbled and fell to the ground. Sometime later, they were finally able to snap out of their trances and scattered, retreating. Our army was able to return.

When Daejong first ascended the throne, there was a man who offered as a gift a pig with one head and two bodies. The man stated "This is a good omen that Your Majesty will conquer and unite all of Korea."

During this time, kings started wearing Chinese clothes, hats, and ivory fingernails. The monk Master Jajang invited the Tang Emperor over to teach the King how to wear such garments.

During the time of Simun, Emperor Gaozong of Tang sent ambassadors that said "My Honored Father was able to recruit men like Wei Zheng and Li Chunfeng. Uniting their efforts, they conquered the world. That is why he is the Taizong (the Great One) Emperor. Your Silla is but a little country on the edge of the sea. To have Daejong as a title is an insult to the late emperor. This is a disloyal act! Change your late king's title at once!"

The King of Silla wrote a reply saying "Silla might be small, but the previous king had gained a magnificent official in Kim Yushin. He was able to unite all three Koreas, and thus I call him Daejong."

Upon seeing the letter, the Emperor stopped to consider. When he was still just a Crown Prince, the Heavens had suddenly sung out "A man named Yushin from the thirty-three heavens will descend to Silla!"

He had recorded the strange event in a book. Taking the book out, he looked at the recording and was shocked. He quickly sent another party telling the King of Silla that he could keep the previous king's posthumous title of Daejong.

Jangchunrang and Parang

When Silla first warred with Baekje in Hwangsan, two friends named Jangchunrang and Parang died in the conflict. Later, when Silla further attacked Baekje, the two men appeared before Daejong in a dream saying:

"We, along with so many others, gave our lives for the country. Now we are but piles of bones lying in the wilderness. Though we were but commoners, we wished to protect our nation. Thus, we joined the army and did not rest for the entirety of our service. However the Tang Commander Dingfang, considering us weak, exercised his power and consigned us to the rear. We wish for the King to lend us just a little more strength so we may continue to defend our nation in death."

The King was shocked. He had monks recite sutras for an entire day at Mosanjeong for the two restless spirits. He also built Jangeui temple in Hansanju for them so he could help them in the underworld.

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