Who Owns Koguryo Now?

Yonson Ahn’s article in the latest Japan Focus tracks the historiography of the Korean/Manchurian Koguryo state up to the present “textbook wars.” I’ve always found the division between the Silla-focused South Korean and Koguryo-focused North Korean scholarship quite interesting, and a very useful example for students of how contemporary politics can affect the historiography.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but as someone who teaches East Asia it makes more sense to me to include it in Korean history where it can get more attention, than in Chinese history where we’re already shoehorning in as much as humanly possible….


  1. I’m planning a fairly in-depth post on this soon, looking at some less nationalist views of Koguryŏ history from Korean scholars. Looks like I’ll have to incorporate Ahn’s article too…

  2. china Owns Koguryo , korean scholars always display their far too strong nationalism not

    in just this Koguryo issue . they should have show more professionalism

  3. Oh, well, if you say so….

    Seriously, though, if you think for a minute that Chinese scholars don’t share “far too strong nationalism” then you need to reconsider. Koguryo’s territory spanned the modern border on both sides by a long shot, and neither ethnicity nor culture are “owned” or clear enough to establish paternity, so to speak.

  4. Goguryeo was originally the northern Korean part and southern Manchuria. They got more of that Man
    churian land by conquest and history states that it was a Korean Kingdom. Even ancient Chinese
    texts stated that it was the dongyi which means eastern bowmen/barbarians and the three Kingdoms
    of Korea. The Chinese also stated that it’s culture and customs were the same with that of Baekje
    and Shilla. Shilla among the three having less Chinese borrowment because of it’s geography. That
    should actually clench it. For the Balhae part, they stated that they were the succesor state to Go
    guryeo and at times called itself Goryeo guk which means Goyeo state. They also had the ondol tech
    nology which was passed down all the way from Korea’s first state Gojoseon, something of a great
    distinction to the Chinese and not used my the Malgal, Jurchens, or the Chinese. I think that Chin
    ese scholars can be quite oppurtunistic. Also stupid: they said Goguryeo was their history and then
    started the Northeastasia project. I wonder how other people are gonna think. Anti Koreans especial

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