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The Yamato Kingdom:The First Unified State in the Japanese Islands Established by the Paekche People

 
 

Coming Across the Emotive Records in Kojiki and Nihongi
revelation of close kinship

Wontack Hong
Professor, Seoul University

The Emotive Records

Nihongi records numerous touching episodes that clearly indicate a close kinship between the Paekche rulers and the Yamato imperial clan. Nihongi also records the Yamato relationships with Silla and Koguryeo, but the narrations of these relations conspicuously lack intimacy.

According to Nihongi (Aston tr.: 250), Empress Jing? addressed her son Homuda, saying: “We owe it to Heaven and not to man that we have a friendly country like Corea [the correct translation being Paekche]. … and so long as we live will heartily bestow on it Our favor.” King Keun Chogo of Paekche (346-75) addresses his grandson, Prince Chim-nyu (who reigned during 384-5), saying (N1: 251): “The honorable country east of the sea with which we are now in communication has been opened to us by Heaven. Consequently the foundation of our land is confirmed for ever. Thou shouldst cultivate well its friendship, and having collected our national products, wait on it with tributes without ceasing.”1>

King Asin of Paekche (392-405) sent the crown prince Cheon-ji to Yamato in 397.2> Samguk-sagi records that, in 402, King Asin sent an envoy to Yamato and obtained large beads and, in 403, the King accorded a warm welcome to the envoy from Yamato.3> In the 16th year of Oujin’s reign, Nihongi (N1: 263) records that: “In this year King Ahwa (Asin) of Paekche died. The Emperor then sent for Prince Cheon-ji, and addressed him, saying: ‘Do thou return to thy country and succeed the Dignity.’ Accordingly he further granted him the territory of Eastern Han.” It seems that Oujin, having already become the ruler of Yamato, formally renounced any claim on Paekche territories.4>

Samguk-sagi records that the Yamato court sent an envoy to King Cheon-ji (405-20) in 409 with noctilucent beads; and the envoy was received cordially by the King.5> Nihongi (N1: 270) records that: “the King of Paekche [Cheon-ji] sent his younger sister, to wait upon [Oujin]. Now the Lady Shin-je-do came over, bringing in her train seven women.”6> Samguk-sagi records that King Cheon-ji sent an envoy in 418 to the Yamato court with 10 pils of silk.7>

Nihong (N1: 293-4) records that “Lord Chu, the grandson of the King of Paekche” was sent to the Yamato court and while staying in the house of Koroshi, tamed a falcon and accompanied Nintoku in hunting: “Tsuchigura … caught a strange bird and presented it to the Emperor … The Emperor sent for Lord Chu and, pointing to the bird, said: -‘What bird is this?’ Lord Chu answered and said:-‘Birds of this kind are numerous in Paekche. They can be tamed… The common people in Paekche call them Kuchi.’ So it was given to Lord Chu to be fed and tamed… Lord Chu accordingly fastened to its leg a soft leather strap, and attached to its tail a small bell. Then, placing it on his forearm, he presented it to the Emperor. On this day [they] went to the moor of Mozu and hunted.” Mozu is the place where Nintoku was later buried.8> Samguk-sagi records that an envoy from the Yamato court arrived in 428 accompanied by 50 followers.9>

Nihongi quotes the New Compilation of Paekche History (N1: 345-6): “King Kaero ascended the throne [in 455]. The Emperor [Y?riaku] sent Aretoku hither to ask for a lady. Paekche adorned the daughter of the Lay Moni, and sent her to the Emperor. … [But she], in despite of the Emperor’s intention to favor [i.e., wed] her, had an amour with Tate Ishikaha. The Emperor was greatly enraged … and she was burned to death. … [In 461] King Kaero sent his younger brother, Lord Kon-ji, to Great Yamato, to wait upon the Emperor and to confirm the friendship of former sovereigns [Aston should have translated the sentence into: ‘to confirm the friendship of big brother King.’]”10>

When King Sam-keun [477-9] died, Y?riaku “summoned within the Palace Prince Mata, the second son of Prince Kon-ji’s five sons, who was young in years, but intelligent. He himself stroked the Prince’s face and head and made a gracious decree, appointing him to reign over that country. He became King Tong-seong (479-501).”11>

King seong-myung sent an image of Buddha to kimmei lauding the merit of its worship

According to Nihongi, King Seong-myung (523-54) of Paekche maintained intensive communications with Kimmei (531-71) of the Yamato kingdom as if modern-day soul mates exchanging e-mails. In 545, “Paekche made an image of Buddha sixteen feet high, and drew up a written prayer, saying: ‘I [King Seong of Paekche] understand that it is extremely meritorious to make a Buddha sixteen feet high. By the merit which I have now acquired in reverentially constructing one, I pray that the Emperor [Kimmei] may obtain exceeding virtue, and that all the land of the Miyake belonging to the Emperor may receive blessings.’” In 552, “King Seong-myung of Paekche sent … an image of Shaka Buddha in gold and copper, several flags and umbrellas, and a number of volumes of Sutras. Separately he presented a memorial in which he lauded the merit of diffusing abroad religious worship, saying: ‘… This doctrine can create religious merit and retribution without measure and without bounds, and so lead to a full appreciation of the highest wisdom…’” Kimmei, “having heard to the end, leaped for joy” and inquired of his Ministers whether it ought to be worshipped. Thereby “Soga no Oho-omi, Iname no Sukune, addressed the Emperor, saying: ‘All the Western frontier lands without exception do it worship. Shall Akitsu Yamato alone refuse to do so?’”12>

Seong-myung was slain by the Silla soldiers in 554. His son Yeo-chang (King Wi-deok, 554-98) narrowly escaped from the battlefield by taking a by-road. Nohongi records that at this point the Silla generals noticed that the Paekche was extremely vulnerable and hence “wished to take measures for the destruction of the remainder. But there was one general who said: ‘This would be a mistake. The Emperor of Japan has frequently attacked our country on account of Imna: much more future mischief should we certainly invite upon ourselves if we should proceed to take steps for the destruction of the Miyake of Paekche.’ This project was therefore dropped.” 13>

Nihongi continues: “Yeo-chang … sent Prince Hye [the younger brother of Wi-deok, later the King Hye, 598-99] with a message to the Kimmei, saying: ‘King Seong-myung has been slain by brigands.’ When the Emperor heard this he was indignant, and sent an envoy [Soga no Omi] to meet him [Hye] at the port with a message of condolence. … Soga no Omi condoled with him, … saying: ‘… Oh! What a cruel grief. … Who is there possessed of feeling who does not lament his death?” Minister Soga continues: “Formerly, in the reign of the Emperor Oho-hatsuse [Y?ryaku, ca.463-79], thy country was hard pressed by Koguryeo [ca.475], and was in an extremely critical position ….

Thereupon the Emperor commanded the minister of the Shinto religion to take counsel of the Gods. Accordingly the priests, by divine inspiration, answered and said: ‘If after humble prayer to the Deity, the founder of the Land, thou goest to the assistance of the Ruler who is threatened with destruction, there will surely be tranquility to the State and peace to the people.’ Prayer was therefore offered to the Gods, aid was rendered, and the peace of the country [Paekche] was consequently assured. … Now the Gods who originally founded this country [Yamato kingdom] is the God who descended from Heaven [Paekche?] and established this State when Heaven [Paekche?] and Earth [Yamato kingdom?] became separated, and when trees and herbs had speech. I have recently been informed that your country has ceased to worship him [Homuda?]. But if you now repent your former errors, if you build a shrine to the God and perform sacrifices in honor of his divine spirit, your country will prosper.”14>

Palace at kudara and dying in the kudara palace.

According to Nihongi, Bidatsu “made his palace at Oho-wi in Kudara [located in Kahachi] in 572.” The Chinese characters for Paekche is read Kudara in both Kojiki and Nihongi. Nihongi further records that Jomei made a decree in 639, saying that “let there be a great palace and a great temple built.” So the bank of the Kudara River was chosen as the site for the palace; a pagoda of nine stories was erected on the bank of the River Kudara [in 639]; Jomei removed to the Palace of Kudara [in 641]; when Jomei died in the Palace of Kudara, he was temporarily interred north of the Palace; and this was called the great temporary tomb of Kudara.15>

Arrived vs. emigrated [naturalized]

Nihongi (N2: 123, 126) consistently uses the term “emigrated [naturalized]” for Koguryeo priests, while simply using the word “arrived” for the Paekche priests. In 595, “a priest of Koguryeo, named He-ja, emigrated to Japan [became naturalized as a Yamato citizen], and was taken as teacher by the Prince Imperial. In the same year a Paekche priest, named He-chong arrived. These two priests preached the Buddhist religion widely, and were together the mainstay of the Three Precious Things.” In 602, “a Paekche priest named Kwal-leuk arrived and presented … books of Calendar-making, Astronomy, and Geography, and also books on the art of invisibility and of magic…. Two Buddhist priests of Koguryeo named … emigrated [were naturalized] here together.”16>

Aya people chosen to study in China

In 608, the Yamato court sent seven students and one interpreter to the Sui court accompanying the returning Sui envoys. Sansom (1931: 37-38) notes that “there traveled a number of scholars chosen by the prince [Sh?toku] for study abroad. It is interesting to record their names, for they were pioneers in an important task, and some of them played an important part in Japan [in the Taika Reform, 645-50] upon their return.” Nihongi notes their names: “the student Fukuin, Yamato no Aya no Atahe, Emyo, Nara no Wosa [interpreter], Kuromaro, Takamuku no Ayabito, and Ohokuni, Imaki no Ayabito, together with the student-priests Hifumi, Imaki no Ayabito, Shoan, Minabuchi no Ayabito, Eon, Shiga no Ayabito, and Kosai, Imaki no Ayabito, in all eight persons.” Sansom (1931: 38) states that: “to judge from their names and titles they were all naturalized Koreans or Chinese, or of Korean or Chinese descent.” Sansom should have said that “they were all descendants of the Aya clan people from Pakeche.”17>

BIBLIOGRAPHY

<footnotes>

1> ?? ?????? ???? ???…????????...? ???????? ???? ? ???...???? ????… ????? ????(NI: 357-9)
?? ?????? ??? ... ?… ??????? ???? ???? ???? ????? …?? ???? ?????? ???? ???? (NI: 359)

2> ???? ???? ??? ? ? ?????? ?????? ? (S2: 45)
???? ???? ????? ??? ???????(NI: 367)

3> ???? ???? ??? ? ?? ??????? ??? ????? ?????? (S2: 46)

4> ???? ???? ??? ? ??? ????… ????? ? ???? ???????? ?????…????? ?? ??? (S2: 46)
?? ??? ?????? ? ????? ??? ????? ?? ??????????(NI: 373)

5> ???? ???? ??? ? ? ???????? ??? ?? (S2: 46)

6> ?? ???? ?????? ????????? ???? ? ???? ???? (NI: 379)

7> ???? ???? ??? ? ?? ???? ????? (S2: 46)

8> ?? ???? ?…??? …??…?????…????
...???…?????...???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??????? ?? ??????? ????? ? ?????? ?????? ? ???? ???? ???? ????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ????? ? ???? ????? (NI: 409)
?? ???? ??????? ??? ???...?????? ????? (NI: 415)

9> ???? ???? ??? ? ? ???? ?????(S2: 46)

10> ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????… ???? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???…?? ?? ????????? ?? ??? ????? (NI: 463)
?? ?? ?????? ?? ?? ??????????? ??? ????… ????? ? ??? ?????? ?? ??…???? ????? ? ???? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ??? ???? ??? (NI: 471)

11> ?? ???? ?? ??? ? ????????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ????… ? ? ???????? ???? ????? (NI: 499-501)
???? ????? ???? ?? ???…???? (S2: 60)

12> ?? ?? ?…???? … ??????? ???? ? ? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???????? ? ??? ???? ???? ? ? ???????? ???? ???? (NII: 93-95)
??? ????? ???? ?…? ????????? ???? ????? ?? ? ??????? ??? ??? ????…??????…?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ????? ?????…
?????????? ??? ? ???? ???? ??? ? (NII: 101-103)

13> ?? ??? ??????... ?…? ???????? ?? ?? ????... ?????? ??????? ????? ? ???...????…????? ?… ?????? ????? ?… ?? ???? ???? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?? ???????? ?? ?? ??? (NII: 111-3)

14> At this point Aston (N2: 77) notes that: The ‘Ts?sh? commentator here quotes the following curious statement from a work called the Sei-to-ki: ‘In the reign of the Kanmu (781-806) we and Corea [Paekche?] had writings of the same kind. The Emperor, disliking this, burnt them.’”
Kitabatake Chikahusa (????, 1293-1354) wrote a historical chronicle in 1343, and in Oujin section, he stated that those chronicles that recorded that “the people of old Japan were the same as Three Han people” were all burnt during the reign of Kanmu (781-806).
?? . . .????????????????????????????????????? ????? ????? (Tokyo: Kyuko), p. 28.
?? ??? ?????? ???? …???????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ??... ????????… ???? ???? ???? ???? ...???? ?? ??????? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?????? ???? ??????? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ???? (NII: 115-7)

15> ???? ?????? (NII: 133)
?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ????????? …????? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ??...???? ?????? (NII: 233-5)

16> ?? ?? ???????? ????? ?? ?????? ? ??? ???? ???? ??? (NII: 175)
?? ?? ??????? ? ????????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ?? ??? (NII: 179)

17> ?? ??? ????…?? ?…????? ?????? ?... ?? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ????? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ?????? ???? (NII: 189-193)

http://www.EastAsianHistory.pe.kr
http://www.WontackHong.pe.kr.
? 2005 by Wontack Hong
All rights reserved


Hidden Truth of History: About the Orgine of Japan (Recommanded Homepage: www.EastAsianHistory.pe.kr)
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The Japanese Islands Conquered by the Paekche People the foundation myth: trinity
Massive Influx of the Paekche People into the Yamato Region
Fall of the Paekche Kingdom and Creating a New History of the Yamato Kingdom
  King Kwang-gae-tos Stele yamato solideirs in the korean peninsula
  Archeological Break:Event or Process the late tomb culture
  They, Including Minister Soga, Appeared Wearing Paekche Clothes
  Coming Across the Emotive Records in Kojiki and Nihongi revelation of close kinship