Search This Blog

Thursday, 26 November 2015



According to Korean legend, Dangun, the "grandson of heaven", established Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom on October 3, 2333 BC.

Korea emerged as a singular political entity in the tenth centuries after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The Goryeo Korean dynasty was established in 918 by King Taejo. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean Peninsula until the dynasty was removed by the founder of the Joseon in 1392.

Goryeo's name was an homage to the earlier Goguryeo or Koguryo (37 BC – AD 668), the northernmost of the Samguk (the Three Kingdoms of Korea), which was officially known by the shortened form Goryeo after the 5th-century reign of King Jangsu. From Goryeo came the modern exonym "Korea."

The Koreans built a printing machine in 1232, which used metal letters. This was long before Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press in Europe.

Hangul, the Korean alphabet for the written language was devised by Sejong the Great in 1443. Hangul has 19 consonants and 21 vowels and was said to be a scientific language patterned on the vocal organs. Hangul replaced the Hanja, or Chinese characters, which were used before and are still occasionally used.

In 1905 Japan began to treat Korea as a protectorate. Five years later, on August 22, 1910 it annexed the peninsular with the signing of the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty, beginning a period of Japanese rule of Korea that lasted until the end of World War II.

Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty of 1910 signed and sealed by en:Sunjong 

After Japan lost World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel, with the North under Soviet occupation and the south under U.S. occupation.

The Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading in 1948 to Korea's division into two separate countries, North Korea and South Korea.

In 1950 North Korea, seeking unification of the Korean peninsular, launched a large scale invasion of South Korea. US President Harry Truman ordered troops to assist South Korea and after three years fighting the Korean War ended in stalemate with no land lost or gained.

Now there are two countries: North Korea (also called the DPRK or Democratic People's Republic of Korea) and South Korea (also called the Republic of Korea).

In the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships North and South Korea participated as a unified team under the name "Korea" to beat the "unbeatable" Chinese team.


In the days before Confucius, the Koreans used to worship a god called Hananim. When the Protestant missionaries arrived in the 1840s, they decided to tell the Koreans the gospel using the word "Hananim" for "Yahweh". The Koreans were impressed as one of their Tan'gun traditions stated that Hananim had a son who desired to live among men. The Koreans became more interested and could relate to this "Yahweh".

                                                                      Korean Bible

At the beginning of the First World War there were under 200,000 in the whole of Korea. The numbers increased dramatically helped by the efforts of American missionaries to around 15 million by the end of the century. This was  in spite of the partitioning of Korea after the war in 1953 whereby the communist North Korea has become arguably the most atheistic country in the world. In South Korea, Christianity has now been flourishing for decades.


South Korea has over 48 million people, and North Korea has more than 23 million.

In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk, (literally. "country of the Han").

In North Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Chos┼Ćn, (literally "[land of the] Morning Calm").

In 1953 North and South Korea created a demilitarized zone between their two countries to discourage fighting. Today the 150 mile long strip of land is home to 1,600 rare plants and houses some of the most endangered animals in the world.

The Korean language has seven  speech levels, each with different verb endings and vocabulary reflecting formality/politeness.The highest, used for talking to royalty, is archaic but still used in historical dramas.The hagache level is now rarer, mostly used in novels. Middle management/bureaucrats sometimes use haoche.

The Korean version of "LOL" is "KKK."

Korea is famous for its traditional food kimchi (see below), which is spicy pickled Chinese cabbage.

Traditionally, Koreans eat seaweed soup on their birthdays. People believe the soup is also good for pregnant women.

Virtually all Koreans don't produce body odor due to large scale dominance of the gene ABCC11. As a consequence, deodorant is a rare commodity.

No comments:

Post a Comment