Park (Korean surname)

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Country Korea
Parent house Itself
Titles King of Silla
Founded 57 BC
Founder King Hyeokgeose
Final ruler King Gyeongae
Dissolution Fall of Silla in 935
Revised Romanization Bak
McCune–Reischauer Pak
Percentage of family names in South Korea

Park is a notable Korean surname, traditionally founded by King Hyeokgeose (혁거세) and theoretically inclusive of all his descendants. In Chinese characters (Hanja), it was written as ; in Hangul, it is written . The name "Park" comes from the Korean word '밝' which means "radiant". Transferred into Chinese character, it stands for gourd tree.

Founding legend[edit]

According to Samguk Sagi, a white horse led a village chief to the location of a big egg, and King Hyeokgeose was said to have been hatched from it amid rays of light. the[clarify] ray of light, or radiance, in pure[clarify] Korean, "밝" is pronounced "Park" or "Bhak".[citation needed][tone] The Chinese character "朴" (pronounced piao in Mandarin and boku in Japanese) was chosen in antiquity to represent the sound.[citation needed]

Position in society[edit]

King Hyeokgeose was said to have founded the Korean kingdom of Silla at the age of thirteen in 57 BC. Park was one of three houses of the Korean kingdom of Silla. Among the houses of Park, Kim, and Seok, princes rotated on the throne of Silla. Sometime in the third century, the Kingship remained in the Kim clan, but the Parks continued to provide the mainstay of its aristocracy as well as the majority of Queens. According to Kojiki, one of Park Princes, referred to as Amenohiboko migrated to Japan, founding the Tajima Clan in the third century. During the last century of the dynasty, the Park family regained the position of the ruling house, when the Kim clan lost their mandate of heaven. King Sindeok regained the throne for the Park family in 913, continuing it for three kings until 927. Gyeongmyeong of Silla and King Gyeongae were the next two Silla monarchs from the Park clan. Gyeon Hwon, the Hubaekje leader killed him after taking Geumseong (Gyeongju) in 927 and there were no more kings from the Parks after him.

During the Unified Silla the Miryang Park Clan, along with Kimhae Kim clan became the most prominent of the Aristocracy, based on the Bone Rank System. Within the bone rank system, the two clans of Kimhae Kims and Miryang Parks were considered the most Jingol, or "True Bone". As Seong gol, or Divine bones died out through intermarriage, these two clans became the dominant noble houses on the peninsula following the conquest of rival dynasties. The bone rank system persists to this day via the common Korean saying, "bbyeodae itneun jiban" (family with bones) to refer to families of deep noble heritage.

After the fall of Silla, it continued as a major noble house of Goryeo. During the Goryeo dynasty, many of the people who passed the highest-level state examination, which was implemented to recruit ranking officials during the Goryeo Dynasty, were Parks. The first General to defeat the Mongols in world history was General Park Seo, who commanded the successful defense of the fortress of Guju in 1231 against the forces led by Mongol General Sartaq.

During Joseon dynasty, Parks continued to thrive as one of the main Yangban households. With the Gabo Reform of 1894, when the caste system was abolished, many peasants adopted the surname of Park, bloating the population of the Park family. Simultaneously with the abolition of the Gwageo national service examination, the Yangban system came to an end. During the Japanese Occupation Period, three of the ten Korean aristocrats ko:귀족원 (일본) admitted into Japanese House of Peers ko:일본 제국의회 were of the Park Clan. With the social turbulence caused by the Korean War of 1950, many former peasants carry on as original members of the Park clan today. True family members maintain their ancient genealogy passed down through the families, as well as by the convention of naming their children according to strict Confucian system.

Notable people[edit]


Name Period of reign


  • General Park Seo (Defeated the Mongol Army of Sartak at Battle of Kusong 1231)
  • Park Soon ko:박순 (고려) Military subordinate to Taejo of Joseon. Accompanied Taejo in all military campaigns from the anti-Japanese pirate campaigns in the south to Liaodong invasion of 1388. Personally delivered the message of Redeployment from Wihwado to King Ui of Goryeo in behalf of Taejo. Was appointed the high commander of Joseon Army following the founding of the dynasty. Killed during the Northeastern Rebellion of 1398 ko:조사의의 난
  • Park Joong Seon ko:박중선 (1435-1481) Passed the National Military Service Exam with the highest score in 1460 at the age of 35. Held in high esteem by the new King Sejo for his excellent riding and archery skills, frequently accompanying the king as his personal body guard on hunts. Married off his daughter to the Crown Prince in 1366, becoming an in-law of the King. In 1367, appointed a Provincial General to put down the Northeastern Rebellion, earning further accolades becoming the youngest Minister of Defense in Joseon history.
  • Park Jin (1560-1597) Served in the military intelligence following his passing of the national military service exam. Transferred to Infantry 4 years before the Japanese Invasion of 1592. Defeated by the Japanese at the Battle of Miryang (Clan home), before regaining his honor in follow on victories, including the battle of Yeongcheon and the Second Battle of Gyeongju. Was instrumental in convincing Sayaga, the highest ranking Samurai General of the invasion force to surrender. In 1597, near the end of the war, a Ming Chinese General 누승선(婁承先) accused him falsely of disobeying official order, tortured him, resulting in his death. Korean investigators confirmed broken ribs and sternum on his body.
  • Militia Leader Park KiSeo (Organized a militia to resist the Donghak rebels in Jeolla Province in 1895. Liberated several town in ChungCheong Province before dying in battle.)
  • General Park Jong Heon (Chief of Staff, Republic of Korea Air Force 2010-2012 AD)
  • Vice Marshal Park Ki So (Commander, Capital Defense Command, North Korea, 1929-2010).






Historical people[edit]

  • Park Paengnyeon(1417–1456) was a scholar-official of the early Joseon Dynasty, and is known as one of the six martyred ministers. He was born to a yangban family of the Suncheon Pak lineage, and was the son of high minister Pak Jeongrim. He joined in a plot to overthrow Sejo and restore Danjong in 1456, but the plot was uncovered through the betrayal of fellow plotter Kim Jil. Sejo admired Pak's abilities and offered to pardon him if he were to deny his involvement and acknowledge Sejo as his king. Park died in prison from torture. Revered as a model of Confucian Loyalty. Alone among the six martyred ministers to have a surviving male descendant. One of his female servant passed off his youngest son as her own, thereby ensuring the family name. All other family and relatives were executed.
  • Pak Jega - 1750-1815 Korean Scholar of Practical Learning Silhak who advocated modern commercial reformation for Joseon dynsaty after visiting China on official capacity. A strong critic of the Confucian scholars first mentality, he was banisehd to the provinced in 1805.
  • Park Gyu-su ko:박규수 - Passed the national serive exam in 1848, and as an inspector, put down the 1862 Peasant Rebellion in Jinju, reducing the tax burden and punishing the corrupt official of the city. As the Inspector General of Pyeong An Province in 1866, when USS General Sherman General Sherman Incident made its expedition into Pyeong Yang, ordered the attack on the ship when the sailors began attacking and looting the populace, resulting in the burning and sinking of the ship. Also a geographer, cartographer, and poet in the classical style. Became a notable member of the modernization movement in late Joseon until his death in 1877.
  • Park Jeong Yang ko:박정양 - The First Amabssador of Joseon to the USA in 1887, and a member of Kim Hong Jip cabinet.
  • Jan Jansz. Weltevree
  • Park Ji-won
  • Park Wan-suh

Literary Figures[edit]



Voice actors[edit]

Kings of the Park dynasty[edit]

# Name Period of reign
1 Hyeokgeose of Silla 57 BC - 4 AD
2 Namhae of Silla 4 - 24
3 Yuri of Silla 24 - 57
4 Pasa of Silla 80 - 112
5 Jima of Silla 112 - 134
6 Ilseong of Silla 134 - 154
7 Adalla of Silla 154 - 184
8 Sindeok of Silla 912 - 917
9 Gyeongmyeong of Silla 917 - 924
10 Gyeongae of Silla 924 - 927


After fall of Silla, the Park Family was divided into several clans. According to the last census in 2000 [1], there are 161 Park clans in South Korea.

Both former President of South Korea (1962 - 1979), Park Chung-Hee and new President, Park Geun-hye are of the Goryeong clan of the Parks.

Clan name (Region) Clan progenitor Percentage (%) (2000)
Miryang[1] Grand Prince Eon-chim of Milseong 77.8 (further divided into 12 families calls "Pa")
Bannam (Naju) Lord Hojang 3.6
Juksan (Andong) Grand Prince Eunnip of Juksan 1.4
Goryeong Park Eun-seong, Grand Prince of Goyang 1.0
Yeonghae (Yeongdeok) Park Je-sang 0.7
Chungju Park Sang 0.6
Myeoncheon (Dangjin) Park Sul-hui 0.1
Pyeongsan King Hyeokgeose, founder of Silla 0.01

See also[edit]


Royal house
House of Park
Founding year: 57 BC
Preceded by
Founding dynasty
Ruling House of Silla
57 BC – 57 AD
House of Seok
Preceded by
House of Seok
Ruling House of Silla
80 – 184
House of Seok
Preceded by
House of Kim
Ruling House of Silla
912 – 927