Wiman of Gojoseon

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Wiman
King of Wiman Joseon
Reign 194 BC – Unknown
House Wi
Wiman of Gojoseon
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 衛滿
Simplified Chinese 卫满
Korean name
Hangul 위만
Hanja 衛滿

Wi Man (in Korean) or Wei Man (in Chinese) was a military leader from the Han dynasty state of Yan who established a kingdom in north-western Korea in the 2nd century BC.[note 1] Recorded in the Shiji and the Book of Han, Wiman was the first ruler in the history of Korea to have been recorded in documents from the same time period.

Biography[edit]

Gojoseon at its decline in 108 BC

After Emperor Gaozu of China's Han dynasty suppressed the rebellion of Zang Tu, ruler of the northern state of Yan, he appointed general Lu Wan to be the new king of Yan. In 196 BC, Emperor Gaozu suspected Lu Wan of plotting a rebellion and ordered an attack against Yan. Lu Wan fled to the Xiongnu, while his general Wiman (Wei Man) led about a thousand followers east to Gojoseon.[1] He was initially ordered to fortify Gojoseon's northwestern border by King Jun of Gojoseon, however by solidifying power over the Yan refugees, Wiman usurped the throne and claimed kingship (194~180 BC). King Jun is said to have sought refugee in Jin state and called himself the "King of Han."

Wiman's capital of Gojoseon was Wanggeom-seong, generally identified as Pyongyang.[2] Since the Han Dynasty was not completely stabilized yet, the Governor of Liaodong appointed Wiman as an outer subject, provided that he did not prevent natives going up to the empire. The appointment is dated at 191 or 192 BCE.[3] Having superior military strength, Wiman Joseon was able to subjugate the State of Jinbeon (진번, 眞番) and Imdun (임둔, 臨屯), vastly extending its borders. His kingdom was eventually conquered by Emperor Wu of Han in 108 BC during the reign of his grandson King Ugeo.

Family[edit]

  • Son and successor: name not recorded, second king of Wiman Joseon
    • Grandson:Ugeo (右渠), last king of Wiman Joseon

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Ki-baik: Walled-Town States and Confederated Kingdoms. The New History of Korea, page 16-17. Harvard University Press, 1984
  2. ^ Concerning controversy over the location of Lelang Commandery, there is a minority view that Wiman's domain was located in Liaoning instead of north-western Korea. However, it is generally accepted that the river referred to as "Majasu" (마자수, 馬訾水) refers to the Yalu River and "Paesu" (패수, 浿水) refers to the Yalu River or Ch'ongch'on River or Daling River, and that Wiman's territory was bordered on the north by the Han Dynasty. P'yŏngyang is the most likely site for the capital Wanggeom-seong but lacks archaeological evidence. For more information, see (Tani:1987).
  3. ^ (Ibaragi:1984)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^
    "The term was used again by a refugee from the Han dynasty named Wiman, who about 200 B.C.E. set up a kingdom in Korea called Wiman Choson."
    "The earliest documented event in Korean history involves China. After an unsuccessful rising against the first Han emperor Gaozu, the defeated rebels sought refuge beyond the imperial frontier and one of them Wiman, took control of Choson, a Korean state in the north of the peninsula."
    "For instance, Wiman, a refugee from the Yan dynasty, which then existed around present-day Beijing, led his band of more than 1,000 followers into exile in Old Chosŏn in the early second century bc."
    "Wiman Chosŏn In the fourth century bc Old Chosŏn was bordered on the west, far beyond the Liao River, by the northern Chinese dynasty of Yan."
    "Immediately after destroying Wiman Chosŏn, the Han empire established administrative units to rule large territories in the northern Korean peninsula and southern Manchuria."
    "Here, Wiman was described as a "Gu Yanren 故燕人"or a person from former Yan. It is confusing because there were two Yans around this period. The first was the Yan state, which was one of the seven states during the Warring States period, and the second was the vassal state of Yan of the Han dynasty."
    "One of his ex-subordinates in Yan, named Wiman, together with some 1000 followers, sought refuge elsewhere among the old Qin fortifications in what is now Korea."
    "Wiman is probably most accurately understood to have simply been a man from Yan."
    "One of Lu Wan's generals, Wei Man (K, Wiman), defected from Yan, led his forces to Korea where he defeated Ko-Choson, ousted king Chun (who may have fled south), and established his own state with his capital at Wanggom (P'yongyang)."
    "195 BCE: Wiman flees the state of Yan and arrives in Joseon where he is made responsible for the defense of the Western border."
    "Wei Man (K. Wi Man), a man from the state of Yan who made himself king of Chaoxian (Choson) when Qin conquered Yan, by leading refugees from Yan and Qi into Northern Korea."
    • SHIM, JAE-HOON (2008). Journal of Asian History Vol. 40. O. Harrassowitz. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-4051-5303-4. 
    "Choson underwent another period of turmoil the usurpation by Wiman, a refugee from Yan, circa 194 B.C."
    "Wiman, a general from the state of Yan, one of the last states to submit to the control of the Han Dynasty in China, left for Korea where he receives a new position assisting King Jun, the ruler of Gojoseon."
    "Wiman, the king of Choson (Ch'ao-hsien), came originally from the state of Yen."
    "According to Samguk Yusa, the Kica Cosen period was initiated around 1120 BC by Kica, a scion of the fallen Shang Dynasty of China who fled to Ancient Cosen and the Wiman Cosen period was begun around 194 BC by Wiman, a Chinese military leader of Yen who fled to Ancient Cosen and usurped the throne."
    "`The Account of Zhao- xian` relates the circumstances of a certain Wiman, a lieutenant of the state of Yan, who later became the king of Choson."
    "This interpretation of Wiman as the Leader of a Yan refugee group who became a Choson ruler is generally accepted as the starting point of Korean state formation in historical times."
    "Weiman (Korean Wiman) of the northeastern Chinese state of Yan took over the northern part of the peninsula circa the third century CE."
    • Tudisco, A.J (1967). Asia Emerges. Diablo Press. p. 366. ASIN B0006BT5YK. 
    "In 193 BC, a rebellion against the Kija Dynasty was led by Wiman, a Manchurian who had deserted the Chinese army and was serving Kija as a border guard."
    "Retaliation by the Han then brought in refugees from Yan, the most notable of whom was a war lord, Weiman ('Wiman'in Korean), who somewhere about 200 BC led his followers into the territory held by Choson."
    "In 195 BCE, the Yan king revolted and went over to the Xiongnu, a steppe nomad people.One of his lieutenants, Wiman (Chinese: Weiman), is recorded in the Shiji as having fled with 1,000 followers to Chosŏn, where the ruler Chun appointed him a frontier commander."
    "In 194 BC Old Chosön became Wiman Chosön when it was overthrown by the leader of a group of Chinese refugees, Wiman."
    "In 108 B.c., the Han emperor Wu Ti destroyed Wiman and established four Han provinces."
    "After a period of decline, Old Choson falls to Wiman, an exile from the Yan state in northern China. Wiman proves to be a strong ruler, but his ambitious program of expansion eventually brings him into conflict with the Han dynasty of China. The Han defeats Wiman Choson and establishes a protectorate over northern Korea in 108 b.c. Resistance to Chinese hegemony, however, is strong, and China reduces the territory under its active control to Nang-nang colony with an administrative center near modern Pyongyang."
    "Sima Qian's Historical Records, written around 100 B.C.E., records that in 195 B.C.E., when the king of the Han Dynasty state of Yan (in the region of modern Beijing) rebelled, one of his lieutenants named Weiman (Wiman in Korean) fled east to Choson (Chaoxian in Chinese) with a thousand followers."
    "The Han Chinese triumph was possible because the political solidarity of Wiman Joseon, which was nothing more than a loose tribal confederation, was not centralized enough to hold back external invasion. In this region, Wudi established four prefectures: Lelang, Zhenfan, Lintun, and Xientu."
    • Savada, Andrea Matles (1993). EARLY KOREA[Excerpted from North Korea: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress]. 
    "As the Yen gave way in China to the Qin (221-207 B.C.) and the Han dynasties (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), Chosn declined, and refugee populations migrated eastward. Out of this milieu, emerged Wiman, a man who assumed the kingship of Chosn sometime between 194 and 180 B.C. The Kingdom of Wiman Chosn melded Chinese influence, and under the Old Chosn federated structure--apparently reinvigorated under Wiman--the state again expanded over hundreds of kilometers of territory. Its ambitions ran up against a Han invasion, however, and Wiman Chosn fell in 108 B.C."
    "According to the Shijing (Book of Odes), after Yan was defeated by the Jin state in 221 BC, Weiman, a former Yan officer, invaded KoChosun and founded a principality with its capital near P'yongyang around 194 BC."
    • Mark E Byington, Project Director of the Early Korea Project (2009). Early Korea 2: The Samhan Period in Korean History. Korea Institute, Harvard University. p. 98. ISBN 978-0979580031. 
    "In fact, of the entire contents of the Han Account, only three portions are believed to contain information of a historical nature. The first portion states that in the early-second century B.C. (between 194 and 180 B.C.), King Chun of Chosön was attacked by Wei Man, an exile from Yan China, and fled to the Han territory, accompanied only by a few court officials, where he called himself the King of Han."
    • KBS, Radio Korea International (RKI) (1995). History of Korea. Jung Moon, Seoul. p. 18. ISBN 978-8986625004. 
    "Wiman: A government official of the Chinese Yan Empire, Wiman fled to Kojoson with a band of his followers."
    "The only deduction we can make is that practical knowledge of Chinese and the Chinese script in Korea dates back to 194 B.C., when Wiman, from Yen in China, founded a primitive Korean state in the northwestern part of the peninsula."
    "Subsequently, the establishment by China's Han dynasty of their four commanderies on the soil of Wiman' s Ancient Choson in 108 B.C. must have familiarized the resident Koreans with Chinese and the Chinese script."
    "The Chaoxian (Korea) chapter of this Chinese history describes the origin of the first recorded Korean state, called in Korean "Wiman Choson." Wiman, the founder of the new state, had lived in the northeastern Chinese state of Yan but fled to Korea due to shifting political alliances."
    "These tombs are associated with the Lelang commandery, which was established by the Han dynasty of China, successor to the Qin. Han generals conquered the armies of Wiman's grandson Ugo and established control over the northern part of the Korean peninsula."
    "At this time a large number of people migrated to the Chosŏn fleeing from the Liaoning region on account of the chaos and confusion in China that was produced by the fall of the Chinese Qin Dynasty and the rise of the Han Dynasty. Among these migrants was a man named Wiman who was ordered by King Chun to guard Chosŏn's borders."
    "The Han established 'four commanderies' (Chin. sijun, Kor. sagun) in the conquered territories of Wiman Chosŏn, The commanderies were named Lelang (Kor. Nangnang), Zhenfan (Kor. Chinbon), Lintun (Kor. Imdun), and Xuantu (Kor. Hyéna'o)."
    • The Review of Korean Studies Vol.10. 2007. p. 222. 
    "This was the beginning of Wiman Joseon. Some view Wiman Joseon as a colonial dynasty of China because of the origin of Wiman, but it is accepted theory to include Wiman Joseon as part of Gojoseon."
    "Wiman (衛滿), a leader of Yan, chased King Jun (準王) of Gojoseon out of the throne in 194 BC. This is the so-called Wissi Joseon (衛氏朝鮮), the first state of ancient Korea historically verifiable."
    "108 BC: Han armies invade Wiman Choson; Chinese commanderies are set up across the north of the peninsula"
    "In the process they re-examined Chinese and Korean historical records and came up with two better authenticated alternatives to Tan'gun as founders of their kingdom, the aforesaid Kija, and Wiman (Ch. Wei Man). Both were apparently of Chinese origin and had founded Chinese-style statelets to set the peninsula on its historical path."
    "According to the Wei Ji, groups of ethnic Chinese were already living in Korea when Wiman, a general from a nearby Chinese state, "adopt the mallet shaped hairdo and dress of the eastern barbarians", and fled into the peninsula with about a thousand followers."
    "The elevation of Tan'gun to historical status is a direct challenge to Kija, a Shang aristocrat enfeoffed in Choson at the time of the fall of the Shang dynasty. Kija was later followed by Wiman, a general from the state of Yan who arrived around 195—194 BC to set up Wiman Choson and whose descendants later contested Han emperor Wu's invasion in 108 BC. Thus, the traditionally accepted dynastic state sequence of the Sam Choson of Kochoson, Kija Choson, and Wiman Choson has been overturned in the revised Korean ancestral state lineage."
    • Sino-Japanese Studies, Vol.14~Vol.15. Sino-Japanese Studies Group. 2002. p. 49. 
    "One of Lu Guan's generals, Wiman, escaped with one thousand of his followers to northeastern Korea and became a ruler there in about 194 B.C.E. Wiman's Choson was eventually overthrown by the Han empire in 108 B.C.E."
    • Ch'oe, Yŏng-ho (1980), "An Outline History of Korean Historiography", Korean Studies, 4: 2 
    "The Shih chi, mentioned earlier, and the Han shu [History of Han], written in the first century A. D., limit the treatment of Korea in their respective biography sections to descriptions of the establishment of Wiman (Weiman in Chinese) Choson and the military campaigns waged by Emperor Wu ti of Han to subdue this ancient Korean dynasty."
    "Historical knowledge becomes firmer from the second century BC, when the dominant political force in the region was of Chinese origin. This brings us to Wiman Chosŏn."
    "Among these refugees was one called Wiman, or Wei-man in Chinese, a general of the state of Yan, who managed to flee with around 1000 of his soldiers."
    "The Chinese emplaced three commanderies in Wiman Chosŏn territory, the chief of which was called Lo-lang (Nangnang in Korean)."
    "Around 190 B.C., a man called Wiman (Wei Man in Chinese), who was either of Chinese background or a Korean in Chinese employ, usurped the throne of Choson."
    "On the other hand, the “refugee” who came to Choson shortly after 200 b.c. is called by his Korean name, Wiman, rather than the Chinese form, Wei-man, because he became a part of the Korean community."
    • Yi, Hun-gu (1929). A History of Land Systems and Policies in Korea. University of Wisconsin--Madison. p. 1. 
    "His descendants governed the people until Kija, a wise Chinese philosopher came to the country. Later in 193 B.C. King Kijun was overthrown by his subject Wiman, a refugee from China, and fled to the southern part of the Korean peninsula."
    "One of these refugees, Wiman, led a revolt in 190 BC, usurping the throne and establishing a state called Wiman Choson."
    "Chinese accounts relate that the state of Chosun, whose ruler was named King Chun, was overthrown by a renegade Chinese from Liaodong named Wiman."
    "Horse and chariot burials from the 2nd century BCE which are earlier than the Chinese commandery of Lelang (called Nangnang in Korean), which was established in 108 BCE, have also been found in the vicinity of Pyongyang and thus would date from the time of Wiman Chosun.""
    "Historical records reveal a more detailed and clearer picture of the history of the northwest region after Wiman (Ch.: Wei Man), a refugee from the Chinese state of Yan (?–222 B.C.E.), usurped the throne from King Chun of the old Choson kingdom sometime between 194 and 180 B.C.E."
    "Wiman Choson fell in 108 B.C.E. to the Chinese Han dynasty (194 B.C.E.– 220 C.E.), which subsequently set up commanderies, including lelang commandery (Kor.: Nangnang, 108 B.C.E.–313 C.E.) in the former Choson territory."
    • Eckert, Carter J. (1991). Korea Old and New: A History. Ilchokak Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 978-0962771309. 
    "During this turbulent period refugee populations migrated eastward, and among them a leader by the name of Wiman emerged, who succeeded in driving King Chun of Old Choson from his throne (sometime between 194 and 180 B.C.)"
    • Vreeland, Nena (1976). Area handbook for North Korea. American University. p. 11. ASIN B001IPXYN6. 
    "In 194 B.C. Wiman, a tribal chieftain of Chinese origin, overthrew the Han family and established the kingdom known as Wiman Choson."
    "We know that this state, at whatever period it actually originated, was conquered in 195 BC by a figure called Wiman who established a new dynasty while continuing the use of the name of the state."
    "Ancient Korean history is comprised of the following states, Former Choson, Later Choson, Wiman Choson, the Four Commanderies, the Three Han states, Silla, Koguryo, Later Koguryo, Paekche, Later Paekche, and Parhae."

Sources[edit]

  • Mikami Tsugio 三上次男: Kodai no seihoku Chōsen to Ei-shi Chōsen koku no seiji, shakaiteki seikaku 古代の西北朝鮮と衛氏朝鮮国の政治・社会的性格, Kodai Tōhoku Ajiashi Kenkyū 古代東北アジア史研究, pp. 3-22, 1966.
  • Ibaragi Kazuo 荊木計男: Ei Man Chōsen ō Sakuhō ni tsuite 衛満朝鮮冊封について, Chōsen Gakuhō 朝鮮学報 (Journal of the Academic Association of Koreanology in Japan) Vol. 113, pp.1-25, 1984.
  • Tani Toyonobu 谷豊信: Rakurō-gun no ichi 楽浪郡の位置, Chōsen shi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 朝鮮史研究会論文集 (Bulletin of Society for Study in Korean History), No 24, pp. 23-45, 1987.
Wiman of Gojoseon
House of Wi
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jun of Gojoseon
King of Gojseon
194 BC – c. 161 BC
Unknown
Next known title holder:
Ugeo