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Who owned Korea before Japan?

The History of Korea

Korea, located in East Asia, has a rich history that dates back to the Neolithic period. The earliest known Korean kingdom was Gojoseon, which is said to have been founded in 2333 BC. However, it is difficult to determine who exactly owned Korea before Japan arrived in the late 19th century. Here, we will explore the various kingdoms and empires that ruled over Korea throughout history.


Gojoseon was the first kingdom established in Korea and is believed to have lasted from 2333 BC until 108 BC. It was said to have been founded by Dangun, the grandson of the Heavenly King Hwanin. Gojoseon covered parts of what is now China and Russia in addition to Korea. However, there is debate among historians about whether or not Gojoseon was an actual historical kingdom or a mythological one.

Three Kingdoms Period

After the collapse of Gojoseon, Korea was divided into three kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. This period lasted from around 57 BC to 668 AD. Goguryeo was founded in northern Korea and parts of Manchuria and lasted from around 37 BC to 668 AD. Baekje was founded in southwestern Korea and lasted from around 18 BC to 660 AD. Silla was founded in southeastern Korea and lasted from around 57 BC to 935 AD.

Unified Silla

After the fall of Baekje and Goguryeo, Silla managed to unify Korea under its rule in 668 AD. This period is referred to as Unified Silla and lasted until 935 AD. During this time, Silla adopted many aspects of Chinese culture and Buddhism became the dominant religion.

Goryeo Dynasty

The Goryeo Dynasty was established in 918 AD and lasted until 1392 AD. This period is known for its advancements in literature, art, and science. The Goryeo Dynasty also saw the rise of Confucianism as the dominant ideology.

Joseon Dynasty

The Joseon Dynasty was established in 1392 AD and lasted until 1897 AD. This period is known for its strict social hierarchy and Confucian values. It was during this time that Korea began to isolate itself from the rest of the world and trade with foreign countries was strictly limited.

Japanese Rule

In 1910, Japan annexed Korea and ruled over it until the end of World War II in 1945. During this time, Korea was subjected to brutal colonization and forced assimilation into Japanese culture. Many Koreans were forced to adopt Japanese names and speak Japanese.


As you can see, Korea has a long and complex history with many different kingdoms and dynasties ruling over it throughout the centuries. While it is difficult to determine who exactly owned Korea before Japan arrived, we can see that Korea has a rich cultural heritage that has been shaped by its various rulers over time.



Who originally owned Korea?

The first kingdom of Korea, called Gojoseon, existed in the northern part of the Korean peninsula and Manchuria. Later, it expanded to include the southern part of the peninsula alongside another state called Jin. The Chinese record called Guanzi first mentioned the historical Gojoseon kingdom.

What was Korea before Japan?

In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed its name to the Korean Empire (Daehan Jeguk) and attempted to implement reforms and an open-door policy. However, they were too late as Japan had already gained significant victories in their wars against the Qing dynasty and Russia, solidifying their power in Northeast Asia and ultimately leading to the annexation of Joseon.

Was Korea originally part of China?

The Korean foreign minister was compelled to promptly issue a statement saying “It is a fact recognized by the international community that Korea was not a part of China during the thousands of years of historical relations between the two.”Feb 9, 2021

Was Korea independent before Japanese occupation?

On March 1, 1919, Korean nationalists officially proclaimed Korea’s independence from Japanese government control.

Where did Koreans originate from?

Two different studies found genetic proof that Koreans originated from central Asian Mongolians. Additionally, the studies showed that Koreans are more genetically similar to the Japanese and genetically distant from the Chinese.

When did China own Korea?

In 109BC, China took over Korea and established four commanderies that were directly ruled by the Chinese. However, China’s hold on Korea was not strong and soon the peninsula was divided into different kingdoms that fought against each other.

Division of Korea

After Japan’s defeat in World War II, Korea was divided into two zones of occupation: the Soviet-backed North and the U.S.-backed South. The division of Korea eventually led to the Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953. The war ended with a ceasefire agreement, but no peace treaty was signed, leaving North and South Korea technically still at war.

Modern-day Korea

Today, North and South Korea are vastly different countries with different political systems, economies, and cultures. North Korea remains one of the world’s most isolated and repressive regimes, while South Korea has become a prosperous democracy and a leader in technology and pop culture.

The relationship between North and South Korea remains tense, with occasional military provocations from the North and ongoing efforts to promote inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation. However, there have been some positive developments in recent years, including historic summits between the leaders of North and South Korea in 2018 and 2019.

Korean Culture

Korean culture is rich and diverse, with influences from China, Japan, and other neighboring countries. Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors, including spicy kimchi (fermented cabbage), bibimbap (mixed rice bowl), and bulgogi (marinated beef). Korean pop culture has also gained popularity around the world in recent years, with Korean music, TV dramas, and movies finding fans around the globe.

Korean traditional arts include music, dance, literature, and visual arts. Traditional music includes court music, folk songs, and pansori (narrative singing). Traditional dance includes court dances, folk dances, and mask dances. Korean literature includes poetry, novels, and historical records. Korean visual arts include painting, calligraphy, and ceramics.

Korean Language

The Korean language is a unique language with its own alphabet, called Hangul. Hangul was invented in the 15th century by King Sejong the Great and is considered one of the most efficient and scientific writing systems in the world. The Korean language has several dialects, with the Seoul dialect being the standard dialect used in South Korea.

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