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Shinshi (Hangeul: 신시, Hanja: 神市) or Baedal (Hangul: 배달국, Hanja: 倍達國) is a legendary ancient Korean nation that preceded Gojoseon in Hwandangogi. Shinshi literally means "City of God(s)/Spirit(s)" (i.e. a place where people live together in a protected area) or "Market/Fair of God(s)/Spirit(s)" (i.e. a place where people come together and exchange their goods).

Description of Shinshi in Historical Records[edit]

Hwanung, with a group of 3,000 followers came down to a sacred tree on Baekdu Mountain, and Hwanung ruled the people of Earth in 360 different matters. He named the place Shinshi, meaning the City of Spirits.

Shinsi in Pseudohistorical Records[edit]

the Gyuwon Sahwa says that Shinshi (Hangul: 신시씨, Hanja: 神市氏) was a person. Shinshi was the ruler of a state preceding Gojoseon. He taught the manners, culture and civilisation. In addition, he ordered the people to engage in farming and exchange their necessities. It is said he was preceded by Chiwoo and Goshi in turn, for a period of about 11,000 years, before Dangun Wanggeom founded Gojoseon.
Shinshi was the era before Baedal-guk era and lasted about 120 years. Baedalguk era was the same as Gojoseon, which was ruled by Dangun and lasted over 1000 years.
After Dangun established Gojoseon, the 6 tribes opened the Shinshi, a kind of feast during which they saluted the sky and sang together in the forest every 10 years. They also opened Joshi (朝市), the morning market and Haeshi(海市), the market facing the sea.
Shinshi state (BC 3898 ∼ BC 2333) was established by the Hwanung Geobalhwan, and reached its zenith during the reign of Hwanung Chiwoo.[1], [2], [3].
  • Shinshi (pr. 'sheen-shee' and also spelt Shinshii) is from the Ryukyu or Okinawan language of Uchina-gudhi. It is an honorific title, simply translated it means "one who is slightly ahead." It can be found referenced in the art of Yanagi-ryu. In the Japanese language of Nihongo it means "Sensei."

Shinshi in Hwandangogi[edit]

Founding of Shinshi State[edit]

The founding of Shinshi State is described in somewhat different ways according to the records.(see #Description of Shinshi in Historical Records). Hwandan Gogi says that Shinshi state had been founded at the area of Baekdu Mountain and Amur River for giving a maximum service of benefit to the people. The capital city was called Shinshi. The legend says that Hwanin (환인,桓因) gave three presents of Cheonbuin to Hwanung (환웅,桓雄), and three thousand people had descended from heaven with Hwanwoong to the area of birch trees. Shinshi state was also known as Guri, and its borders were said to have reached the Shandong Peninsula in modern-day China. The greatest and most renowned of the Shishi state's Emperors was Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal, known better as Emperor Chiu, who was described as a brilliant military leader and strategist. It was during the time of Emperor Chiu that the empire reached its greatest extent. The Shinshi state most likely disintegrated due to internal struggles, and probably fell to neighboring nations.

Government structure[edit]

There were three imperial families in the Shinshi state: Sinsi, Gosi and Chiwoo. These three families alternately provided the emperor for the Shinshi state. The descendants of these three families were thereafter divided into nine tribes, the so-called Kuhwan (Ku means "nine" in Sino-Korean). Kuhwan refers to the nine tribes from Hwanguk, a legendary nation of Korea. The term Kuhwan is cognate with other names such as Kuryeo (구려,九黎), Kuyi (구이,九夷) and Koryeo (고려,高黎 or 高麗). Eventually, the words Kuryeo and Koryeo became the origin of the name "Korea". There were three representatives of Shinshi state, named Poongbaek, Woosa and Woonsa. The Shinshi state assigned Five Ministers: Wooga managed agriculture, Maga managed the life of people, Guga managed penalties, Jeoga managed disease, Yangga managed good and evil. These names of the Five Ministers denote animal names, and were used as designations for Ministers in both Gojoseon and Buyeo.


Shinshi state was succeeded by Gojoseon. Someone assumes that another major legacy of the Shinshi state is the Goguryo. As mentioned earlier, Shinshi was also called Guri, and the word "Goguryeo" can be broken down into Go-Guri, meaning Go(high), Guri. Thus, Goguryoe means "the Higher Guri nation." In addition, Goguryeo is also interpreted as the nation of Guri or Guryeo governed by the family of "Go" because "Go" is the family name of Goguryeo. Indeed, It is written in Samguk Sagi that Goguryeo recovered most of the lost territories previously lost.

War with Huangdi Xuanyuan[edit]

As Chiwoo became emperor, the nation of Shennong was ruled by Yoomang (楡罔), who was a descendant of Shennong.[citation needed] At that time, the nation of Shennong had started gaining in power due to demographic expansion, which lead Chiwoo to declare war upon the Shennong in order to limit their influence.[citation needed] The emperor Chiwoo built up an army lead by nine generals and 81 adjunt generals in Tangnok(涿鹿), and defeated the troops of Yoomang at Kuhon(九渾).[citation needed]

Chiwoo started ruling the land of Shennong, but soon had to repel several attacks by emperor Xuanyuan[why?]. It is said that Chiwoo and Huangdi engaged in more than 70 wars across ten years, without Chiwoo ever yielding to the enemy.[citation needed]

Fall of the empire[edit]

Like any other empire in history, the Shinshi state fell as well. The steady decay of the archaic empire began after its golden age under its 14th ruler, Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal. Not much is known about how the empire fell or what the cause was, but Korean historians have inferred that corruption and border conflicts with neighboring barbaric tribes caused the fall. Emperor Geobuldan, the 18th and final ruler of the Shinshi state, ruled for a mere 48 years while a majority of his predecessors were recorded to have ruled for at least over fifty years at the least. Historians have also inferred that the last emperor of Shinshi state was a weak puppet monarch, much like other final rulers of a dynasty. Shinshi state is thought to have followed the same cycle of rise, height and fall. The last emperor to rule over Shinshi state in its time of imperial glory was Emperor Chukdali of Baedalguk, the 16th ruler of Shinshi state.


There is a list of Shishi in Hwandan Gogi, as follows.

  1. Geobalhwan (Hangul : 거발환 Hanja/Hanzi: 居發桓) (3898 BC-3804 BC) died when he was 120 y.o.
  2. Geobulri (Hangul : 거불리 Hanja/Hanzi: 居佛理) (3804 BC-3718 BC) died when he was 102 y.o.
  3. Uyago (Hangul : 우야고 Hanja/Hanzi: 右耶古) (3718 BC-3619 BC) died when he was 135 y.o.
  4. Mosara (Hangul : 모사라 Hanja/Hanzi: 慕士羅) (3619 BC-3512 BC) died when he was 129 y.o.
  5. Taeuui (Hangul : 태우의 Hanja/Hanzi: 太虞儀) (3512 BC-3419 BC) died when he was 115 y.o.
  6. Dauibal (Hangul : 다의발 Hanja/Hanzi: 多儀發) (3419 BC-3321 BC) died when he was 110 y.o.
  7. Georyeon (Hangul : 거련 Hanja/Hanzi: 居連) (3321 BC-3240 BC) died when he was 140 y.o.
  8. Anburyeon (Hangul : 안부련 Hanja/Hanzi: 安夫連) (3240 BC-3167 BC) died when he was 94 y.o.
  9. Yangun (Hangul : 양운 Hanja/Hanzi: 養雲) (3167 BC-3071 BC) died when he was 139 y.o.
  10. Galgo (Hangul : 갈고 Hanja/Hanzi: 葛古) (3071 BC-2971 BC) died when he was 125 y.o.
  11. Geoyabal (Hangul : 거야발 Hanja/Hanzi: 居耶發) (2971 BC-2879 BC) died when he was 149 y.o.
  12. Jumusin (Hangul : 주무신 Hanja/Hanzi: 州武愼) (2879 BC-2774 BC) died when he was 123 y.o.
  13. Sawara (Hangul : 사와라 Hanja/Hanzi: 斯瓦羅) (2774 BC-2707 BC) died when he was 100 y.o.
  14. Jaoji (Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal) (Hangul : 자오지 Hanja/Hanzi: 慈烏支) - 치우 (2707 BC-2598 BC) died when he was 151 y.o.
  15. Chiaekteuk (Hangul : 치액특 Hanja/Hanzi: 蚩額特) (2598 BC-2509 BC) died when he was 118 y.o.
  16. Chukdari (Hangul : 축다리 Hanja/Hanzi: 祝多利) (2509 BC-2453 BC) died when he was 99 y.o.
  17. Hyeokdase (Hangul : 혁다세 Hanja/Hanzi: 赫多世) (2453 BC-2381 BC) died when he was 97 y.o.
  18. Geobuldan (Hangul : 거불단 Hanja/Hanzi: 居弗檀)- 단웅(檀雄) (2381 BC-2333 BC) died when he was 82 y.o.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Il-yeon: Samguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea, translated by Tae-Hung Ha and Grafton K. Mintz. Book One, page 18. Silk Pagoda (2006). ISBN 1-59654-348-5

External links[edit]