Gogukcheon of Goguryeo

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Gogukcheon of Goguryeo
Hangul 고국천왕, 국양왕
Hanja 故國川王, 國襄王
Revised Romanization Gogukcheon-wang, Gugyang-wang
McCune–Reischauer Kogukch'ŏn-wang, Kugyang-wang
Birth name
Hangul 고남무
Hanja 高男武
Revised Romanization Go Nammu
McCune–Reischauer Ko Nammu
Monarchs of Korea
  1. King Chumo 37-19 BCE
  2. King Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE
  3. King Daemusin 18-44
  4. King Minjung 44-48
  5. King Mobon 48-53
  6. King Taejodae 53-146
  7. King Chadae 146-165
  8. King Sindae 165-179
  9. King Gogukcheon 179-197
  10. King Sansang 197-227
  11. King Dongcheon 227-248
  12. King Jungcheon 248-270
  13. King Seocheon 270-292
  14. King Bongsang 292-300
  15. King Micheon 300-331
  16. King Gogug-won 331-371
  17. King Sosurim 371-384
  18. King Gogug-yang 384-391
  19. King Gwanggaeto 391-413
  20. King Jangsu 413-490
  21. King Munja 491-519
  22. King Anjang 519-531
  23. King An-won 531-545
  24. King Yang-won 545-559
  25. King Pyeong-won 559-590
  26. King Yeong-yang 590-618
  27. King Yeong-nyu 618-642
  28. King Bojang 642-668

King Gogukcheon of Goguryeo (died 197, r. 179–197) was the ninth monarch of Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Background and reign[edit]

Gogukcheon was the second son of Goguryeo's eighth king, Sindae. Though his older brother, Go Balgi (고발기), was originally the crown prince, the court officials supported Gogukcheon, who was made crown prince in 176.

In 180, Gogukcheon married Lady U, the daughter of U So of the Jena-bu, further consolidating central power. Lady U remained queen after her husband's death due to her marriage with Gogukcheon's brother and subsequent king Sansang. During his reign, the names of five 'bu', or powerful regional clans, become names of districts of the central kingdom, and rebellions by the aristocracy were suppressed.

In 182, Gogukcheon sent his son, Prince Gye-su to fight Chinese Han Dynasty invasion force of the governor of Liaodong. Though Prince Gye-Su was able to block the army, the king later directly led his armies to repel Han forces in 184. In 191, King Gogukcheon adopted a meritocratic system for selecting government officials. As a result, he discovered many talented people from all over Goguryeo, the greatest of them being Eul Pa-So, who was given the position of Prime Minister.

The ancient text Samguk Sagi says that Gogukcheon went hunting one day in 194 and encountered a starving village. He gave some of his clothes and food to one of the villagers, and felt that the starvation of his people was his responsibility. Gogukcheon worked to improve the lives of farmers and peasants in his kingdom. Jindaebup is a grain loan system enacted by Gogukcheon in 194. This system allowed people to borrow grain from March to July and pay back in October. This system was maintained by the age of Joseon dynasty as "Hwangok".

Death and Succession[edit]

Though Gogukcheon ascension signaled a change from fraternal succession to father-son succession by primogeniture (Yang, 1999, p. 15), he was succeeded by his brother Sansang. Gogukcheon's posthumous name was derived from his burial area, Gogukcheon-won (고국천원).

See also[edit]


Yang, S.C. The South and North Korean political systems: A comparative analysis. (Rev. Ed.) Seoul: Hollym. ISBN 1-56591-105-9

Gogukcheon of Goguryeo
Died: 197
Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Goguryeo
Succeeded by
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
King of Korea
Reason for succession failure:
Three Kingdoms of Korea
Succeeded by