Bojang of Goguryeo
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|Bojang of Goguryeo|
|Revised Romanization||Jang, Bojang|
|Monarchs of Korea
Bojang of Goguryeo (died 682) (r. 642–668) was the 28th and last king of Goguryeo the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was placed on the throne by the military leader Yeon Gaesomun. His reign ended when Goguryeo fell to the allied forces of the southern Korean kingdom of Silla and the Tang Dynasty China.
The period of his rule over Goguryeo is recounted in the final two books of the Goguryeo annals in the Samguk Sagi. King Bojang’s given name was Chang, though he was also known as Pojang.
Bojang was son of the younger brother of the previous king Yeongnyu. In 642, the general Yeon Gaesomun carried out a coup d'etat and killed Yeongnyu and many of his supporters. Bojang was then placed on the throne.
For most of his reign, Bojang was a puppet Emperor, giving a veneer of legitimacy to Yeon Gaesomun's military rule. For example, at Yeon's instigation he supported Taoism and issued edicts repressing Buddhism in the country, which had formerly been officially Buddhist.
Goguryeo experienced many natural disasters during his reign.
Goguryeo continued battle against the southern Korean kingdom of Silla, in alliance with the third of the Three Kingdoms, Baekje. Silla was further isolated by Goguryeo's restored relations with the Wa of Japan. In 642, Silla sent Kim Chun-chu to negotiate a treaty, but when Yeon Gaesomun demanded the return of the Seoul region, talks broke down, leading Silla to eventually ally with the Tang Dynasty.
In 645, the Tang Taizong led a major expedition against Goguryeo by land and sea, but Yeon Gaesomun and Yang Manchun repelled the invasion, as well as subsequent smaller attacks by the Tang. In 654, Goguryeo attacked the Khitans, who were allied with the Tang. In 655, Goguryeo and Baekje attacked Silla.
The Baekje kingdom finally fell to Silla-Tang in 660. Yeon Gaesomun defeated major invasions of Pyongyang in 661 and Sasu River in 662, but Silla and Tang were now free to focus and intensify their attacks against Goguryeo. In 663, the Baekje revival movement ended as its leader Buyeo Pung retreated to Goguryeo.
After the death of Yeon Gaesomun in 666, Bojang was unable to gain control over the country, which instead was wracked by a succession struggle between Yeon's sons.
Fall of Goguryeo
Tang faced increasing problems ruling the former inhabitants of Goguryeo, as well as Silla's resistance to Tang's remaining presence on the Korean Peninsula. In 677, Tang crowned Bojang "King of Joseon" and put him in charge of the Liaodong commandery (Hangul : 요동주도독 조선왕 Hanja:遼東州都督朝鮮王) of the Protectorate General to Pacify the East.
However, King Bojang continued to foment rebellions against Tang in an attempt to revive Goguryeo, organizing Goguryeo refugees and allying with the Malgal tribes. He was eventually banished to Szechuan in 681, and died the following year.
Because Bojang was the last ruler of Goguryeo, he did not receive a temple name after his death. There was a brief attempt at Goguryeo restoration made by Anseung, who ultimately surrendered to Silla.
In popular culture
- Portrayed by Ahn Shin-woo in 2012-2013 television series The King's Dream.
- Portrayed by On Joo-wan in 2013 television series The Blade and Petal.
|King of Goguryeo