Talk:Names of Korea

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Does anyone know enough about the names of regions using the word Jing in chinese [like how the word zhou used to refer to regions, and now is used to refer to prefectures]? Beijing which now refers to the modern chinese capital used to refer to northern territory, whilst dongjing refering to modern tokyo used to refer to a region roughly where korea is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Korea did not "become independent" from China: Korea had been a tributary state of China, but this is different from the western conception of a colony: Japan was a tributary state of China until the 17th century, but we don't talk about Japan becoming independent. --Sewing 16:41, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Korea did gain the full independence as a result of the Sino-Japanese War.

Quote from the Treaty of Shimonoseki:

Article 1
China recognises definitively the full and complete independence and autonomy of Korea, and, in consequence, the payment of tribute and the performance of ceremonies and formalities by Korea to China, in derogation of such independence and autonomy, shall wholly cease for the future.

Since the traditional order of East Asia was different from international law of European origin, Korea was not a dependency of China in the sense of international law. But once China accepted the Western order, she attempted to interpret traditional "tributary" as dependency. Then the Qing Dynasty dispatched Yuan Shikai to Seoul and interfered in the internal affairs of Korea. The Sino-Japanese War finally ended such a relationship. --Nanshu


First of all, the term is not "tributary," but "suzerain" (종주국). It is different from a tributary state, which only offers monetary contributions. In a suzerainity the kingdom is still obliged to the empire it serves: the king is still, ad jura, the vassal of the Emperor. He must, under request, provide not only monetary tributes (which seems to be the reason why so many Westerners seem to think of it as a tributary state) but also troops and sometimes labor if asked. There is mention of Korean troops helping the Chinese empire repell Russian incursions in Harbin, etc. even before the Sino-Japanese War.

De facto, however, the king is semi-independent-- which was true of the relationship between Imperial China and Korea. Excepting the period of the Mongol Invasions, Koreans were generally allowed to keep their own language and culture, as well as have their own monarchy and appoint their own governors. The citizens of Korea paid no direct taxes to the Chinese Empire, since the people of Korea were not in theory direct subjects of the Chinese Emperor. However, since the Wang (or King) of Korea was a vassal of the Emperor, the state had to pay a tribute each year, in addition to the other amenities mentioned above.

If you find this confusing, just consider the Holy Roman Empire: the various principalities of the Holy Roman Empire not only elected their own princes, but often times had their own currencies, imposed taxes on goods from other principalities, and more often then not fought against each other. Sometimes the princes would even fight against the Holy Roman Emperor himself, usually through regional alliances sometimes even involving the very Count Palatines (i.e. those nobles who elected the next Holy Roman Emperor) in the frey.

It should also be noted that there was none of this so-called "Chinese intervention." If any, the meddling happened from the Japanese side, which forced Korea at gunpoint to accept its obscene treaties. The Chinese envoy was actually asked on behalf of the Joseon King, who asked for military intervention from the Chinese Emperor, in order to curb the Japanese military ambitions on the Korean Peninsula.

Since the Chinese Emperor was an overlord of the Wang 왕, it was his duty to provide help. Imperial Japan would later use this as "proof" of Chinese meddling in politics and made it another excuse to consolidate their ambitions in Korea.

The Chinese Empire initally did help, but China itself was decaying to the point of no return so there was nothing it could really do.

The reason Japan forced China to declare Korea as 'indepent' was because they wanted to end China's jurisdictional claims over the Peninsula. This is why they forced Korea to declare itself an "Empire." See: Korean Empire. By doing so the Japanese were setting the legal grounds to which Imperial Japan could formally annex Korea themselves.

i suggest you to consider before making such inflammatory statements, especially regarding the Imperial Japanese era, which seems to be a very touchy and easily abused subject.--Mikhail

Wow, that was a quite enlightning rant Mikhail! It would make a good essay. However, the Names of Korea talk page might'nt have been the ideal place to post it... --Himasaram 05:59, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

External website content[edit]

Nanshu: I found an article on the Web whose wording is almost identical to this article: Did you write that article, or did that Web site use this article? I am concerned because that Web site (main page: is definitely POV. --Sewing 17:57, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I wonder where to respond to you.
That's one of my websites. I think the stuffs moved here is NPOV. --Nanshu 03:06, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Well, you are welcome to your own opinions, and I agree that some of the stuff you mention on that Web site is "tondemo," to use the Japanese word. Nevertheless, some of your comments on that site bothered me; but that's your personal business. Anyhow, I see that you did not copy over the POV material, so I guess we'll just have to leave it at that. --Sewing 16:33, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Considering that various contributors (including myself) have added the Chinese and Japanese names for Korea, I think this article should be moved to the title "Names of Korea" or "Names for Korea" (the latter would be slightly easier to edit links to). --Sewing 23:30, 15 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Moved from Village Pump[edit]

Plagiarism or POV?[edit]

Just by chance, I found a Web page ( ) that is remarkably similar in wording to the Wikipedia page Korean names for Korea, which was created and has been mostly edited by Nanshu. I am concerned because the non-Wiki Web site (main page: ) is definitely POV (pro-Japan, anti-Korea), and either the creator of that Web site plagiarized Wikipedia, or Nanshu is the creator of that Web site.

Nanshu is intelligent and knowledgeable about northeast Asian history, but he consistently makes subtly anti-Korean edits to Korea-related pages, which he claims are in the name of NPOVing. Some of the edits he makes are accurate, but not everything he has changed falls into that category. Not every edit he makes is an attempt at NPOVing--sometimes he simply changes the POV. In other words, changing "X" to "Y" is not the solution; "some people say X and some people say Y" would be much better.

Can someone look at the Wiki and non-Wiki page, and let me know what they think? --Sewing 22:41, 11 Oct 2003 (UTC)

That nonWiki site is obviously anti-Korean. Just look at its title: "Korea, the Preposterous World". But that's none of our business. Outside of Wikipedia, it's a wild world!
  • Did he plagiarize Korean names for Korea? The author did paraphrase a lot, so not entirely.
  • Is Nanshu the alter ego of that webmaster? I cannot tell, and we probably will never know. In any case, but so long as a person doesn't bring his POV into the door of Wikipedia and writes good stuff, we treat them as good contributors. (Note that it's probably very hard for most inherently POV people to lose their POV just to enter WP, but that's not the point.)
I haven't been following Nanshu's work that closely, could you point out some examples of his anti-Korean words?
If you encounter a POV passage (his or anobody else's), NPOV it and point it out the Talk page of the article. If discussion does not go well and it becomes an edit war, add it to Wikipedia:Current disputes over articles.
--Menchi 02:45, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Note regarding the Village Pump material: The discussion is related to the main discussion further up this page. --Sewing 22:38, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Just a note on the Corea/Korea thing: It should probably be noted that the c spelling is simply Romance-based (French/Spanish/Italian) and the k is more Germanic. Corea and Korea are not two different names, just two different spellings of the same name. Based on OED citations for the adjective Korean, the spelling was with a c until the mid-1800s and with a k thereafter. —Tkinias 02:40, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Which of the many Oxford dictionaries did you use for that? Kokiri 2 July 2005 11:19 (UTC)
I found this in the OED 1989 (second edition). Kokiri 23:04, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

For the record:

1614 Corean Noble-man
1727 The Coreans
ibid. the Corean sea
1813 Languages... Corean
1822 A Corean Fisherman
1885 in Korean territory
1899 of the Korean syllables
1921 the vocabularies of Corean
1966 The Korean people
ibid. Korea proves
ibid. The Koreans
1967 Agglutinative structure, like Korean
1972 tests in English, Korean

Also, a book I read recently: Hamilton, A. (1904) Korea, London, Heinemann. It uses the spelling with a K... Kokiri 09:45, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

There are many instances wherein Imperial Japan made alterations in the Korean name of things, perhaps the most famous of them being the change in name of Elementary Schools from "Normal Schools" 보통학교 to the more patronizing "국민학교," a shortening of the term derived from 황국신민학교(皇國臣民學校) meaning "School for the Subjects of his majesty the Japanese Emperor."

The issue has emerged as part of a larger debate regarding the Forced Name-Change Controversy 창씨계명(創氏係名), where usage of the Korean language was banned during the occupation and Imperial Japan forced Koreans to speak only Japanese and then change their names so they were more "Japanese-sounding."

Some older Western maps still bear Korean geographical regions using the Imperial Japanese alterations, such as "Daikyo"--> "Daejon", or "Hanyang"--> instead of "Seoul". The problem is that these terms were used as a means of suppressing the memory of the Korean language. The reason why there is such a dispute over C/Korea is precisely because of that. None of the older documents seem to mention "KOREA" but rather "COREA," including a 1794 British map of China.

In fact, "Corea" was the named used by Joseon during the 1908 London Olympics, where the Corean delegation appeared long before their Imperial counterparts. The argument is that after the annexation of Korea in 1910, Japan requested the League of Nations to call its newly acquired territory "Korea" instead of "Corea."

Since then the name has stuck in international usage, and the current South Korean government has maintained its usage out of fear of causing confusion.

Mikhailkoh 4:25 38 March 2006

The claim about the 1908 Olympics is simply false. Korea didn't take part in the games at all: see 1908_Summer_Olympics#Participating_nations. --Reuben 19:12, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Has 國民 really ever meant anything beyond "people('s); nation(al); state"? Germany also has Volksſchulen, which 國民學校 might even be a calque of – I don't know how common German-derived calques were in the Japanese language of the 1900s.
As for the alleged Japanese request to drop "Corea", perhaps they simply wanted to avoid confusion by settling on one spelling, probably foreseeing the age of internet search engines. Personally, I wouldn't mind if Koreans chose to call their country "Corea" or "Aaacorea". Wikipeditor 23:06, 16 December 2006 (UTC)'s edits[edit]

it seemed to me to be a bit too much, mostly japanese pov, detail for this article. parts may be relevant, accurate & appropriate for the article, but given the article length & scope, already somewhat speculative, we should draw the line somewhere for technically detailed conjectures. Appleby 01:15, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Korea VS Corea[edit]

Please see the link [1].

  • Corea Post before 1884
  • Korea Post after 1891

How could Japan change the spelling, though 1891 was before the treaty of Shimonoseki? In that time, Joseon gorvernment was under control of Qing Dynasty in some way.--Mochi 19:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

The link vanished... Well, please check this site.

In the stamps of 1884, you can find Corea, while in stamps of 1885 and later, you can find Korea. This is the evidense of "However, Korean government used "Korea" before the occupation.".--Mochi 17:51, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Please show me the source that Japanese government used "Corea" in the time of ocupation.--Mochi 02:54, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

los angeles times article on this issue here:
  • "English books and maps published through the 19th century generally spelled the country's name as Corea, as did the British government in laying the cornerstone of its embassy in Seoul in 1890 with the name "Corea." But sometime in the early 20th century, "Korea" began to be seen more frequently than "Corea" - a change that coincided with Japan's consolidation of its grip over the peninsula."
  • "1912 memoir by a Japanese colonial official that complained of the Koreans' tendency "to maintain they are an independent country by insisting on using a 'C' to write their country's name."
also see:
  • when korea was a japanese protectorate, just before annexation, official postmark stamp in 1909:[2] and in 1913 [3]
  • korean consul seal during early japanese colonial government [4] Appleby 04:39, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for some good sources. The official languages of Universal Postal Union are English and French. So it is not natural to use both "Korea"(English standard?) and "Corea"(French). I don't know which was common at the time.
The LA times article contains the sentense:
"But the closest thing he has found to a smoking gun is a 1912 memoir by a Japanese colonial official that complained of the Koreans' tendency "to maintain they are an independent country by insisting on using a 'C' to write their country's name.".
This means the historian majoring in this problem does not have the evidense that Japanese government forced to change the spelling. So describing "There are no evidenses discovered." is right, isn't it?
Plus describing that Korean government used "Korea" in 19th century is necessary. Why do you delete?--Mochi 08:53, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

that 1912 memoir certainly is evidence that japanese officials intentionally used korea instead of corea to show colonial superiority. it is not a "smoking gun" of an official policy, but it, plus the timing and fact of the changes, are evidences that that likely was the collective intent. also, the postal stamp says "custom house ... corea" so it's in english, not french. Appleby 09:05, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

It is strange that "Japanese officials intentionally used korea instead of corea to show colonial superiority", while the post office used "Corea" in the same year. The timing and fact are not considered to be evidence. As I wrote before, Korean government changed the spelling of stamps by itself. Japanese government may have adopted groval(or English) standard, Korea. Plus I would like to read the official's record. Do you know who is this?--Mochi 09:21, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
Dear Appleby
I think what you're doing is inconsequent. You kept deleting the sentence "although Korean audience were not informed that they were from Japan" from Korean-Japanese disputes, quoting "Wikipedia articles include material on the basis of verifiability, not truth." You also kept saying I was quoting no reliable source, even though I also quoted Chosun Ilbo and TV Asahi. This time you keep adding POV to this page, saying it is "properly cited info", as if it is proved that it is true that Japan changed Corea into Korea. You also said "DO NOT DELETE citation to l.a. times article", although you kept deleting my line. Your quote is one-sided. I don't know the "truth" this time, but if you keep Wikipedia Policy, why do you keep adding only this kind of information? I think it is inconsequent.
If your link is "properly cited info", what about this information?
그러나 'Corea'의 C가 언제, 왜 K로 바꿨는지는 아직 명확히 밝혀지지 않고 있다.
김태식 홍익대 교수는 "일본이 대한제국의 외교권을 박탈하면서 자신들의 국명인 Japan 보다 대한제국이 앞서는 것을 막기 위해 영문 표기를 Korea로 바꾸게 했다는 설명이 널리 알려져 있지만 아직 확실한 증거는 찾지 못하고 있다"고 말했다.
박한용 민족문제연구소 연구원도 "해방직후 최남선 선생이 쓴 '조선상식문답'이란 책에 보면 Corea의 유래에 대한 설명이 자세히 나오나 C가 K로 바뀐 이유는 찾아볼 수 없다"면서 "일본이 국명을 Korea로 바꾸게 했다는 주장을 뒷받침할 만한 증거는 아직 없다"고 말했다.
또한 김 교수와 박 연구원에 따르면, 세간의 통설과는 달리 19세기부터 Corea와 Korea가 혼재되어 사용돼 왔다.
김 교수는 "19세기말 외국문서 상에 Korea라고 표기된 경우가 있다"고 말했다. 박 연구원은 "일제시기에 독립운동단체들 중에 대한제국을 Korea로 표기한 단체가 있었다"는 점을 지적했다. 요컨대 Korea라는 표기를 일제잔재로 정의 내리기란 아직 시기상조라는 게 전문가들의 지적이다.
cited from this page
Are you going to say "this is no reliable information" again? Then what about your link? Why do you say your link is reliable?
You just believe what you want to believe. Your deed has no consistency. How can you say my deed is vandalism? What about yours? Your description and link are one-sided and against Wikipedia Policy. Unsuitable for Wikipedia.--Michael Friedrich 14:07, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

L.A times article says,

" Chung Yong Wook, a historian at Seoul National University, believes the Japanese - who controlled the peninsula four years before officially colonizing it in 1910 - changed the name by the time of the 1908 Olympics in London so that Japan would come ahead in the ordering of athletes.".

But Japan participated in 1912 Olympic games for the first time[5]. Is the sorces of Chung Yong Wook reliable? He makes this simple mistake. So I wonder whether he investigated facts.--Mochi 03:22, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Isn't it a joke ?[edit]

Alphabetical order do not relate to the power of countries. I cannot understand why Korean people mind so much about the order. Is Afghanistan the greatest country in the world for Korean people? The power of country depends on economy, military, culture, technology, etc., not alphabetical order, for people all over the world except Korea. If this is a joke, I can understand. If Korean people believe this a truth, I feel sorry for Korean people.--Mochi 19:05, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

This abnormal insistence seems to be driven by an ego trip by a minority of Koreans. I don't think most Koreans care what the ordering is. So I'm wondering why this stuff is even mentioned here. Also, the citation provided by Appleby, claiming to be published on L.A. Times is questionable. Please provide the published date so that everyone can verify that it was actually printed on L.A. Times. Otherwise, we should delete the said citation. Thanks.--Endroit 20:22, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for a comment. I think this was a joke as first (no source), but many Koreans seem to believe this as a historical fact[6].
However there has been no evidences are found. LA times says "Most evidence supporting the claim is circumstantial." "I am sure, though, if the Japanese archives were opened you would find much more evidence to support the claim that the name was changed,", this means no evidence are not found. The current version is from Korean POV. If this is a fact, I demand the evidence.--Mochi 17:03, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

please refer to evidence and circumstantial evidence. "A popular misconception is that circumstantial evidence is less valid or less important than direct evidence. This is only partly true: direct evidence is generally considered more powerful, but successful criminal prosecutions often rely largely on circumstantial evidence, and civil charges are frequently based on circumstantial or indirect evidence. In practice, circumstantial evidence often has an advantage over direct evidence in that it is more difficult to suppress or fabricate." Appleby 17:22, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

We are discusting about history, so we should read history section;
"Circumstantial evidence is not considered to be proof that something happened but it is often useful as a guide for further investigation.".
We are talking about whether Japanese government changed the spelling or not. If we follow circumstantial evidence, your source is not considered to be proof but it may help to find a evidence. Still, there are no evidences.--Mochi 17:41, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

please refer to the wikipedia links above or english dictionaries. circumstantial evidence is evidence, in fact the most common kind that decides lawsuits, indictments, & everyday life decisions. the sentence just before your wording that there is no evidence states that there is circumstantial evidence. please, repeatedly reverting without knowing the meaning of words you use can only be considered vandalism. thanks. Appleby 18:04, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Didn't you read??
그러나 'Corea'의 C가 언제, 왜 K로 바꿨는지는 아직 명확히 밝혀지지 않고 있다.
김태식 홍익대 교수는 "일본이 대한제국의 외교권을 박탈하면서 자신들의 국명인 Japan 보다 대한제국이 앞서는 것을 막기 위해 영문 표기를 Korea로 바꾸게 했다는 설명이 널리 알려져 있지만 아직 확실한 증거는 찾지 못하고 있다"고 말했다.
박한용 민족문제연구소 연구원도 "해방직후 최남선 선생이 쓴 '조선상식문답'이란 책에 보면 Corea의 유래에 대한 설명이 자세히 나오나 C가 K로 바뀐 이유는 찾아볼 수 없다"면서 "일본이 국명을 Korea로 바꾸게 했다는 주장을 뒷받침할 만한 증거는 아직 없다"고 말했다.
또한 김 교수와 박 연구원에 따르면, 세간의 통설과는 달리 19세기부터 Corea와 Korea가 혼재되어 사용돼 왔다.
김 교수는 "19세기말 외국문서 상에 Korea라고 표기된 경우가 있다"고 말했다. 박 연구원은 "일제시기에 독립운동단체들 중에 대한제국을 Korea로 표기한 단체가 있었다"는 점을 지적했다. 요컨대 Korea라는 표기를 일제잔재로 정의 내리기란 아직 시기상조라는 게 전문가들의 지적이다.
cited from this page
Your words sounds as if it is proved that Japan changed the spelling. It may be true but may not be true. But it is true that no "real evidence" such as documents saying Japan forced other countries has been found. It is your words that can only be considered vandalism. Thanks. Michael Friedrich 13:22, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Kareisky, Jainichi, and "Korians."[edit]

i have added some current-event stuff about Kareisky, Jainichi and the more recent 코리아 Koria trends.

By the way, my transliteration of 코리아 into "Koria" instead of "Korea" is intentional, in order to avoid the possible ambiguity between the more generic name.

Feel free to challenge me on the romanization of this :D.


mikhail, do you have a source for 코리아어? i can barely find anything from my searches. is it official/established enough to belong in an encyclopedia? thanks. Appleby 16:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Re: 코리아어,[edit]


The argument is based on the book "한국말 공동체의 연구 - 거시 사회언어학 이론", (i guess it could loosely be translated as "Research into the Korean-speaking communities - Examples of Socio-linguistic Theories," authored by 장태진 and written in 2004.

There is brief mention of the relatively new term: "코리아말"

Like i said, it's not an official term and it seems to be used only as an über-neutral in situations that could be potentially ambigious or unintentionally biased (as, for example a 조선인 and a 한국인 talking together).

And, like i said, proponents of Unification sometimes use the term "코리아" when referring to both North and South Korea, since the nations have been unable to decide on an eventual common-name.

Hope that answers your questions.

Redirect from article "Land of the Morning Calm"[edit]

I created the article "Land of the Morning Calm" and it seems to now redirect here. I don't think it should do that as it's difficult to even find "Land of the Morning Calm" in all this text. Instead, I think the "Land of the Morning Calm" article should be restored with a "See also Names of Korea" link. Thank you.--Sir Edgar 00:54, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

i don't know if a nickname is itself significant enough for a separate encyclopedia article. perhaps you'd like to gather & organize the subtopic more clearly & prominently here? just a suggestion. Appleby 05:37, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Restore the article and maybe I will.--Sir Edgar 00:22, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

"Land of the Morning Calm" is, according to A. Henry Savage-Landor, the meaning of cho-sen, which he contended was the name the native people used for their land/country. His 1895 description of how Corea came to named is as follows:

From: Corea; or Cho-sen The name Corea, or Korea, you may as well forget or discard as useless, for to the Corean mind the word would not convey any definite idea. Not even would he look upon it as the name of his country. The real native name now used is Cho-sen, though occasionally in the vernacular the kingdom goes by the name of Gori, or the antiquated Korai. There is no doubt that the origin of the word Corea is Korai,


which is an abbreviation of Ko-Korai, a small kingdom in the mountainous region of the Ever White Moun tains, and bordering upon the kingdom of Fuyu, a little further north, whence the brave and warlike people probably descended, who conquered old Cho sen. The authorities on Corean history, basing their arguments on Chinese writings, claim that the present people of Cho-sen are the true descendants of the Fuyu race, and that the kingdom of Ko-Korai lay between Fuyu on the northern side and Cho-sen on the southern, from the former of which a few families migrated towards the south, and founded a small king dom west of the river Yalu, electing as their king a man called Ko-Korai, after whom, in all probability, the new nation took its name. Then as their numbers increased, and their adventurous spirit grew, they began to extend their territory, north, south, and west, and in this latter direction easily succeeded in conquering the small kingdom of Wuju and extending their frontier as far south as the river Tatung, which lies approximately on parallel 38° 30".

During the time of the " Three Realms " in China, between the years 220 and 277 A.D., the Ko-Korai people, profiting by the weakness of their neighbours, and therefore not much troubled with guerrillas on the northern frontier, continued to migrate south, conquer ing new ground, and so being enabled finally to estab lish their capital at Ping-yan on the Tatong River. After a comparatively peaceful time with their northern neighbours for over 300 years, however, towards the end of the sixth century, China began a most micidial war against the king of Ko-Korai, or Korai, as it


was then called, the " Ko" having been dropped. It seems that even in those remote days the Chinese had no luck in the land of Cho-sen, and though army after army, and hundreds of thousands of men were sent against them, the brave Korai people held their own, and far from being defeated and conquered, actually drove the enemy out of the country, killing thou sands mercilessly in their retreat, and becoming . masters of the Corean Peninsula as far south as the River Han.

To the south of Korai were the states of Shinra and Hiaksai, and between these and Korai, there was for a couple of centuries almost perpetual war, the only intervals being when the latter kingdom was suffering at the hands of the formidable Chinese invaders. But as I merely give this rough and very imperfect sketch of Corean history, to explain how the word Korai originated and was then applied to the whole of the peninsula, I must now proceed to explain in bold touches how the other states became united to Korai.

After its annexation to China, the Korai state remained crippled by the terrible blow it had received, for the Ko-Korai line of kings had been utterly ex pelled after having reigned for over seven centuries, but at last it picked up a little strength again through fresh migrations from the north-west, and in the second decade of the tenth century a Buddhist monk called Kung-wo raised a rebellion and proclaimed himself king, establishing his court at Kaichow.

One of Kung-wo's officers, however, Wang by name, who was believed to be a descendant of the Korai


family, did away with the royal monk and sat himself on the throne, which he claimed as that of his ancestors. Coming of a vigorous stock, and taking advantage of the fact that China was weak with internal wars, Wang succeeded in uniting Shinra to the old Korai, thus con verting the whole peninsula into a single and united realm, of which, as we have already seen in the first chapter, he made the walled city of Sunto the capital. Wang died 945 A.U., and was succeeded by his son Wu, who wisely entered into friendly relations with China, and paid his tribute to the Emperor of Heaven as if he ruled a tributary state. In consequence of this policy it was that Corea enjoyed peace with her terrible Celestial rival for the best part of two centuries.

Cho-sen, then, is now the only name by which the country is called by the natives themselves, for the name of Korai has been entirely abandoned by the modern Coreans. The meaning of the word is very poetic, viz., " The Land of the Morning Calm," and is one well adapted to the present Coreans, since, indeed, they seem to have entirely lost the vigour and strength of their predecessors, the Koraians. I believe Marco Polo was the first to mention a country which he called Coria ; after whom came the Franciscan missionaries. Little, however, was known of the country until the Portuguese brought back to Europe strange accounts of this curious kingdom and its quaint and warlike people. According to the story, it was a certain Chinese wise man who, when in a poetic mood, baptized Corea with the name of Cho-sen. But the student of Corean history knows that the name had already been bestowed on the northern part of the peninsula and on


a certain portion of Manchuria, and that it was in the year 1392, when Korai was united to Shinra and the State of Hiaksai became merged in it, that Cho-sen became the official designation of united Corea. The word " Corea" evidently is nothing but a corruption of the dead and buried word " Korai." Bkobres 22:37, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Korean War[edit]

Perhaps how "Korean War" is called by the 2 Koreans, various groups of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese should be mentioned? See also zh:朝鮮戰爭. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 17:02, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

The meaning of 민국 (minguk)[edit]

The article includes this passage explaining the meaning of "大韓民國" (대한민국: the official name of South Korea):

民國 = 民 ‘people’ + 國 state/nation’ = ‘republic’ in East Asian languages.

I'd like to clarify that the term in fact is an abbreviation of 民主國家 (민주국가) -- lit. "democratic state" or simply "republic" (in one of its senses) -- hence the translation "Republic of Korea". All according to YBM Si-sa's "대한민국 나라말 사전".

The article needs a serious overhaul anyways; I might give it a go this weekend. --Himasaram 06:10, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Please do so. Does anybody know whether the term has been coined in Japan and then adopted by China and Korea, or coined in China and adopted by Japan and Korea? Wikipeditor

Looked up the word in 広辞苑 (kojien) but its use in the Japanese language seems to be limited to the Republic of Korea plus the Republic of China (中華民國). Just an observation. --Himasaram 02:33, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
When commodore Perry opened up Japan to the world, Japanese thinkers and scientist started soaking up all the knowledge they could get from abroad. This included such studies as philosophy, sociology and politology. However, no real terms existed in the Japanese language or in the Chinese for even the most basic (Western) philosophical and politological notions, so they pretty much invented them from scratch. Later, when Chinese thinkers and scientist were introducing such Western notions into their language, they loaned the Japanese compound words. So basicaly, words denoting modern day concepts like "nation", "democracy", "philosophy" and the like were "invented" by the Japanese and transfered to China. Talk about historical irony. TomorrowTime 02:19, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

External website (2)[edit]

I just removed a link to [7]. There is only one commercial ad on it, but the content looks too similar to kushibo's "work in progress", although it is longer than that and has more images, and comes to a more extreme conclusion. I'm not sure whether the similarities are coincidental and which page is older, but if one used the other it should say so. I haven't read it – is there any well-referenced statement that's not already in Kushibo's post? There also is some weird JS in the site that prevents the use of PgUp/PgDn, which by itself wouldn't be reason enough to remove it. Wikipeditor 18:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe that [8]goes much deeper into the fine details of how C and K were used in the word Korea. Read it, it is very fascinating to see the Korean history through the actual evidence and not through the circumstantial evidence. I tried PgUp/PgDn on my computer and it works fine. Try again or fix yours. Chris


Can we change the misleading "Subjects of former Goryeo" to "Koreans"? After all, it wasn't like subjects of Goryeo left it and moved to Central Asia. Wikipeditor 18:12, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Why did Gojong choose "Han" as the new official name of Korea -- the Reason Why:[edit]

『In 1897, the nation was renamed to Daehan Jeguk (대한제국, 大韓帝國, literally, "Great Han Empire", known in English as Korean Empire), in reference to the Samhan.[citation needed]』 from the present version of the article.

The story is VERY VERY well-known in South Korea.

The other reason why Korea chose "Han" as the new name of the nation was the So-Junghwa Sasang (小中華思想: "Little Sinocentrism"). According to Zhonghua Sixiang (中華思想: "Sinocentrism"), the suzerain(=an Empire not a Kingdom)'s name must be named as ONE letter. Chinese dynasty of the age Qing has also one-letter name. At that time, Koreans didn't break from yet, so chose the letter Han (). (I didn't find good references of this story yet. A similar story is written in ko:대한제국.) ― 韓斌/Yes0song (談笑 筆跡 다지모) 15:04, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Added the Mongolian section. Radchenk (talk) 11:39, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Koreans in Russia[edit]

this is moved from the Notes section of the main article because it seems meant for the discussion page:

"Subjects of former Goryeo who moved to Russian and Central Asia call themselves Goryeoin (고려인; 高麗人; literally "person or people of Goryeo"), or корейцы in Russian." - this is a common mistake found in some English websites!
Koreans who live in Russia and former USSR are not "Subjects of former Goryeo”, they started to migrate to the territory of former Russian Empire only since the second part of 19th century. But Goryo was overtaken by Joseon dynasty in 1392!

The Russian words кореец/koreets - singular or корейцы/koreytsi – plural, are not the forms of Korean word Goryeoin but originates from the western name of Korea (Корея/Koreya in Russian) so in Russian, кореец/koreets means a person from Korea or of Korean origin but not a person from medieval Goryo! (talk) 00:14, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


it appears that Haedong ("east of the sea" or similar) is also used as a historical or archaizing name for Korea. As in, e.g., Haedong Goseungjeon. Any reason this isn't listed? dab (𒁳) 14:06, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

I was going to say the same. Perhaps whoever compiled the list preferred its replacement Daedong. Wikipeditor (talk) 03:15, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Tone of in 朝鮮 “Korea”[edit]

Quoting A-cai at the English Wiktionary talk page for 朝鮮語 “Korean language” about Wikipedia's “Names of Korea” article which asserts that the Mandarin pronunciation of 朝鮮 “Korean” is “xiǎn with a falling-rising contour tone”:

I noticed that the article does not cite its source. I'd be curious as to where the information comes from. In any case, I just did a quick check of a couple of dictionaries. It is Cháoxiān in all three of the following dictionaries:

  • "朝鮮". Guoyu Cidian On-line Mandarin Dictionary (國語辭典) (in Mandarin). Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  • Wu, Jingrong (ed.) (1985). The Pinyin CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY (in Mandarin/English). Beijing, Hong Kong: The Commercial Press. ISBN 0471867969. 
  • Dictionary of Modern Chinese (現代漢語詞典) (in Mandarin). Hong Kong: The Commercial Press. 1994. ISBN 9620701348. 


I am curious where the IP who inserted the wrong statement in “Names of Korea” and whoever contributed this entry to an online dictionary got their information from. Perhaps a misprint in some widely-used dictionary? Wikipeditor (talk) 03:15, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, my Xinhua Hanyu Cidian doesn't have 朝鲜,bu it does have an entry for 朝鲜族, with the pronounciation xiǎn. Wenlin ( also gives xiǎn. I'll check with the major dictionaries when I get to the university. Perhaps there's a difference in pronounciation between Taiwan|Hongkong and the mainland? (talk) 17:29, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm a Chinese. As far as I know, the word 鮮 in Chosun is originally xiān, but now it's xiǎn. --虞海 (Yú Hǎi) (talk) 08:35, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Chinese here too. I only heard of 鲜 in 朝鲜 pronounced as xiǎn. However, when expressing the meaning of "rare" wikt:鲜 is also pronounced as xiǎn. Could be wrong, though... --Kakurady (talk) 00:43, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Editing of Sobriquets for Korea[edit]

After several attempts by quasi anonymous editors to delete portions of this section I feel compelled to comment (after undoing). Could any future changes to this section please be accompanied by a justifcation here? Otherwise I feel compelled to undo them.


= Chosun = Djoson = Choseon = Joseon Böri (talk) 14:05, 28 November 2009 (UTC)