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Revised RomanizationAsadal

In Korean mythology and history, Asadal (Korean아사달; Hanja阿斯達) was the capital city of the kingdom of Gojoseon (Korean고조선; Hanja古朝鮮 - meaning "Older Joseon"), the first Korean kingdom and notably founded by the legendary god-king Dan'gun. It is thought that Asadal was located in Manchuria, or in the northeastern Hwanghae Province (Korean황해; Hanja黃海) in North Korea, or in the Pyongyang Province (Korean평양; Hanja平壤), not referring to the modern-day capital of North Korea - Pyongyang.[1][2]


It is often hypothesized that Asadal may be a compound noun composed of two elements, Asa- in Asadal is claimed to be cognate with a common Korean word for "morning" (Middle Korean achɔm, Modern Korean achim), while Dal is a transcription of the native Korean word sdah or ddang meaning "land". If such is the case, "Asadal" would mean "Morning Land". However, if "dal" has been used much like the Goguryeo city name suffix "-dal" used for mountains and cities founded on plateaus/mountains, then "Asadal" would mean "Morning Mountain".


The first Korean historical work that mention Asadal is the Samguk Yusa (삼국유사; 三國 - "Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms"). The Samguk Yusa also cites the lost historical records of Go-gi (고기; 古記 - "Old Analects/ Records") to the effect that Dan'gun's capital was located in Pyongyang. But recent studies show that there were more than one city named Pyongyang, situated in the north deep in Manchuria. The today Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, is actually the southern counterpart. At that time it was common for an emperor to manage two capitals and rule in two palaces. Therefore, it could be that the "true" Asadal is located in Manchuria.

See also[edit]

Other sources[edit]

  • Lee, Peter H & Wm. Theodore De Bary. Sources of Korean Tradition, page 5-6. Columbia University Press, 1997.


  1. ^ Pai, Hyung Il; Pai, Hyung 1l (2000). Constructing "Korean" Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography, and Racial Myth in Korean State-formation Theories. Harvard Univ Asia Center. ISBN 9780674002449.
  2. ^ Grayson, James H. (2012-12-06). Myths and Legends from Korea: An Annotated Compendium of Ancient and Modern Materials. Routledge. ISBN 9781136602894.

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