Are these from the real Korean textbook?

Recently, there are quite a number of posts about Korean history textbook come up in the Chinese BBSs. Most of the posts show the similar list of pictures. See the links below and the pictures taken from the BBSs in the bottom.

In 2005, South Korea successfully got Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage proclamation for its Gangneung Danoje Festival (Dano Festival) from UNESCO. The Dano Festival falls on the same day of the the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival. Many Chinese believe the Dano Festival comes from the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, therefore they accuse Korean of stealing the title of that heritage from China.  

This time someone dug out a Korean history textbook, scanned and posted on the Chinese BBSs. These historical maps, which show ancient Korean had occupied big part of the Chinese territory,  are completely different from what Chinese learn in the schools. This inevitably spurred some uproars on Chinese BBSs. They’re bashing Korean for distorting the history and trying to steal Chinese land.

What intriguing me is, one of my Korean friend told me that she had never seen such a Korean history textbook in Korean.

I am not in a position to verify the validity of the history here. I see the problem of cross-cultural communication again in these posts.

The information of these posts may be wrong, but none of the Chinese is able/willing to verify this troll. The animosity to Korean is seeded by these posts on the China side, while people in Korean have no clue of what is happening.

Can anyone tell me these are real Korean history textbook? If it is, what is the book talking about?

I hope Korean can join the conversation.

If there is a fight, let’s fight on the net. By all means, a web war is better than any real war.












77 thoughts on “Are these from the real Korean textbook?”

  1. Jacky,

    The Chinese government knows very well how to petition UNESCO.

    “Unlike natural heritage sites, which are fixed and unique, the ‘masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity’ can be shared,” said Wu. “If UNESCO approves something as an intangible cultural property of one country, other countries may still apply. For example, mukamu is a typical music of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China, but still UNESCO has approved Iraq mukamu and Azerbaijan mukamu as those nations’ intangible cultural properties.”


  2. They are Korean Hwanpa -minority and not accepted by majority people, historians and education.

    *Hwanpa-Korean nationalists who worship a faked Korean history book-‘Hwandangogi’

    And the pictures are not from Korean history textbook.

  3. Hi Sonagi,

    I am sorry that your comment was captured by the Akismet, and I was not able to recover it earlier.

    Your input is really valuable. It clarify many misunderstanding.

    Thanks again!


  4. I think that your wife has not looked the map thorough. Or, I wonder when and which school she had the Korean education. I hope that you show the map to her again and ask one more time. Korean textbooks are not a lot, so that it would be easy to verify whether these kinds of maps are really used for Korean students.

  5. Can you please provide the name of the author of this ‘textbook’? Can his book be read online?

    He must have his own rational for making united silla so big. I would like to read and give him a chance to change my mind as I had given Ahmadnejad a chance to deny the halocaust.

  6. of the books is by the former vice-chancelor of Daejeon National University, while the others are by historian Oh Jae-seong
    –by the Marmot

    The yellow-covered book, Korean History by Lim Gyu-taek, is available at Korea’s largest bookseller, but the works by Oh Jaesung are untraceable on the internet, which means they are probably out of print. –by Sonagi

  7. Thanks. Anyway I can read it online? I can read in 4 languages(English, Chinese, Malay and Spanish).

    The authors may not be so much distorting history as to have taken a literal meaning out of context.

    Ancient sources of land mass is often inaccurate. For example, if you look at the Kangnido map which is a map drawn about 600 years ago, the Arab peninsular was depicted as being nearly half the size of Africa. The Korean peninsular was also nearly half the size of Asia.

    So it is probable to assume that any accounts written in Korea from 600 years ago would claim Korea to occupy half the land mass of the rest of Asia, which would mean a very BIG Korea. And if today’s historian take the literal measurements according to those middle ages account, they will get a completely wrong picture of the size of the Korean Empire.

    You can see the kangnido map here:

  8. You are a genius in learning language. It’s taken me so much time to learn English, and I am still not able to express myself freely in English.

    Are you from Malaysia? Many ppl in South East Asia are able to master a number of languages.

    I don’t think you can find those books on-line. From the comments above, I can see those are not some popular books in Korea.

    I think the authors of those books do have the idea that Korea once occupied the heartland of China.

    The Kangnido map is an interesting map. Though it is not accurate in the sense of modern geographic, Korean territory is smaller than China’s proportionately.

  9. I think Wikipedia states Goguryeo’s history quite fairly. It also mentions the current “Northeast Project” of Chinese government which has brought many conspiracies in the recent years.

    Throughout human history, I think the leaders (or the governing bodies)have propagandisticaly used and manipulated subjects such as religion, history, and ideologies. Despite of advanced and sophisticated modern communication means, we still experience the same disconnections. Thus, we live in an inevitable hyper-reality.

    I went to school in Korea until my senior year in high-school, and I don’t know if I have fallen as a victim of a propaganda, but I think what is stated in Wikipedia for “Goguryeo” is just how I was taught in history classes.

    Hope it states a fair history for our friends in China as well.

  10. all i know is before u state any statements research your claims.. through out my research in ancient asia history. i found out sui and tang china went to war agains goguryeo or gaoguli.. many people states that goguryeo was nation under sui or tang.. but you have to think about this, goguryeo out lasted sui and han dynasty.. and just with this fact how can u say goguryeo was subjugated under ancient china’s rules?
    and at the time of tang dynasty tang went to war against dolgul or ancient turks and kithan mogol sub nomad tribes.. then do u call them chinese sub nations?
    and in korean history they record this atleast to my knowledge 80 percent truth. korean history don’t say they beat tang every time and make exaggerated claims out of context. it also states goguryeo lost to tang and goguryo was under their rule.. this statements are backed up also by chinese and korean history books.. china lee sae mins diary and sam gook sa gi{3 dynasty record}emperor lee.
    ask any ancient historians if u get chance.. do u think goguryeo was chinese dynasty? .. let’s see what they say.

  11. one more thing.. ancient war historians.. study sui tang vs goguryeo wars. i’ve learned this in my asia history class. any emperor doesn’t go to war unless it’s against another dynasty. if it was war against revolts.. emperor would send his top generals to go and take care of the matters. but if u look at sui and tang vs goguryeo’s war.. both emperor yang and lee when himself to war.???? why is that??? even in the know western history the king or the emperor never goes to war unless the matter attacks his crown and reputation.

  12. I have never seen such maps from Korean history text book, looks like above maps are came from creative minds tries to link ancient Korean to more wider civs.

    Also, Korean themselves came from NE China & Siberia, so I’m not suprise to see such a claims from Korean nationalists.

    But in my opinion, it was Chinese who provoked Koreans as China have been claiming ancient Joseon, Goguryeo, & Balhae as theirs which clearly display justifying Korean ancient roots as theirs. So who’s really bad?

    China have been claiming Japan came from China, also claimed Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, and even America & Russia far east.

    Also I think China has pick on easy pray as many Korean ancient documents were lost during Japanese occupation and ruthless Japanese domination of Korea, so Chinese know Koreans don’t much to back up the claims.

  13. Dear Jacky,

    I think you are just Chinese nationalist trying to spread wrong message to fellow Chinese to bash Korean. Frankly I really don’t care if Dano festival’s origins as long as many people can enjoy the festival. There are many festivals around world are some what sound & looks similar to other culture, just look at Bull fighting in Mexico & Spain. They both claims this bull fight festivals, so what.

    Also, if you ever read the Korean history text book then it doesn’t really says it’s Korean, it says our ancient roots, everyone knows Koreans are product of immigranst of various cultures such as mongols, NE Chinese, Central asian, Siberian tribes etc..

    So what Koreans claims some of her ancient roots as ancestors, isn’t it good thing that Koreans are trying to claim many ancient culture as their roots? Even Chinese are doing this, so I don’t see why this is becomming such a hives.

    At least Korean don’t claims everything is invented by them, all they saying is they are proud people and they certainly don’t claims Chinese lands as theirs is it?

    You Chinese people should grow up and see your self in the mirro before accusing or judging others.

  14. In response to Jacky Peng. I’m sorry but the orange territory is Korea. It is Goguriyo. Also people are under the impression that China is the mother of all Eastern Asian civilization. Sadly that is not true. Korean history dates back to 5000 years ago. Chinese history does to.

  15. I’m sorry but if you are a Korean living in America, most Korean-Americans are unaware of Korean history. Sorry about the harshness. I wouldn’t have known about Korean history without the influence and knowledge of my parents. My own lineage comes from the royal bloodlines of two different Korean kingdoms. This is true.

  16. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired!

    Extremely useful info specially the closing part 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I used to be seeking this particular info for a very long
    time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Here is my blog :: google

  17. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be actually something that I
    think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad
    for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  18. My relatives always say that I am wasting my time here at web,
    however I know I am getting knowledge everyday by
    reading thes nice articles or reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *