Japan’s Connection to Korea (Part II): A Series of Three Essays Kim Yong-duk, Prof. Emeritus, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea
1. Buddhism Comes to Wa Japan Introduction
According to Nihongi, Buddhism was officially introduced into Wa Japan from the Korean kingdom of Paekche in A.D. 552, but had to struggle for over fifty years before being firmly established, while the Shintoist Mononobe clan and the Buddhist Soga clan fought over its introduction. This article will describe some of the more interesting historical events involving the two clans. As I have observed in a previous article on the seven-branched sword, the Mononobe clan arrived in the Yamato area early in the middle of fourth century with Yeo Ji or Nigihayal as its leader to establish the Wa court, only to fall to the later conqueror Jin Nyeh or Ojin of the great Wa.1) Soga came to join great Wa later. Therefore both the Mononobe clan and the Soga clan served both Wa courts and eventually exercised power in the Wa court.
Since I have already described in some detail how the Mononobe clan became powerful in Shinto practice, this essay will begin by outlining the clan history of the Sogas and their connection to Paekche and to great Wa Japan. The second section will examine the fifty-year struggle between the Soga and Mononobe clans, culminating in the downfall of the Sogas and the subsequent flourishing of Buddhism. The third section will describe Buddhist culture in Wa Japan until the downfall of Paekche. In the fourth section, the influence of Unified Silla’s Buddhism in Japan will be discussed.
The Soga Clan
According to the Chinese chronicles, Paekche had eight powerful aristocratic families: Sah, Yeon, Hyup, Hae, Jeong, Gook, Mok, and Baek. The Soga clan is believed to have been an offshoot of the Mok family. Its family lineage thus needs careful examination.
As was discussed already in the article on Paekche’s Tamnos, the campaign
1) Kim Yong-duk, “Japan’s Connection to Korea: A Series of Three Essays,” Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society —— Korea Branch, vol. 77 (2002)，pp. 117-142.
[page 58] by Paekche against seven Kara states along the Namgang river took place in A.D. 369. This campaign involved Paekche general Mogura Geunja, provided we interpret properly the records in Nihongi. We believe Mogura was appointed governor or feudal lord of the Imna area some time after the successful campaign, since the entry in Nihongi for the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Ojin (A.D. 420) records that Mok Manji, a descendant of Mogura Geunja, was mentioned as being very powerful in the Paekche court of young king Kunishin.
According to the same entry, Mok Manji married a native lady of Silla. The lapse of fifty years between 369 of the seven Kara state campaign and 420 of Mok Manji in Nihongi suggests that Mok Manji was perhaps a grandson of Mogura Geunji. The name Mok is thought to be a shortened version of Mogura. Mok Manji is recorded to have traveled between Paekche and Imna. In the same passage in Nihongi, it is indicated that Mok Manji came to Wa Japan in 420, during Ojin’s reign.
In the October entry of the second year of Richu’s reign in 431, Nihongi records that Soga Manji served the state with three other ministers. There are several versions how the family name Mok was changed to Soga. One version says that Mok Manji had the title Kosoga or prime minister as in Koguryo or Paekche court since one of three ministers in the same record had the title of minister of the Koguryo court. Now Soga became the name of the river near the Soga’s homestead. The same Mogura Manji is recorded in Samguk Sagi to have moved the Paekche capital with the future king Munju from Kanaguru (Seoul) to Komanaru (Kongju) in 475, after Paekche was defeated by the Koguryo army and the royal family put to death. Mogura Manji returned to Paekche at this time of crisis, probably at an advanced age. This is the last time the family name Mok or Mogura is mentioned in the history of Paekche.
Some trace the geneology of the Sogas differently. By studying such sources as the “new compilation of family register” and the “chronicle of prince Shotoku,” it has been suggested that Mogura Geunja was related in succession to Mok Manji, Soga Ishikawa, Katsuragi Sotsu, and to Soga Manji, the minister in Richu’s reign. Most probably the change of family name from Mok or Mogura to Soga took place after the family settled near the Soga river in Yamato.2) In the vicinity is a temple built for Soga Iruka, as well as cemeteries bearing Soga remains. The Sogas were financiers for the Wa court since Yuriaku’s reiga They were joined by ten or more Mok families from Paekche in the sixth century.
According to archeological studies, the Sogas initially settled near the Soga river, and later moved south to Asuka in Yamato, where they left cemeteries. The
2) KatowaKu Teiji, Quarterly Sanzenri, Aug. 1976; Kim Dal-soo, Ancient History of Japan and Korea (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1976)
[page 59] most famous tomb is that of Soga Umako, which incorporated a huge rock burial chamber with a side opening in typical Paekche style. This area is suited for dry land rice farming, in which the Sogas were skilled. The Sogas had several branch families, including the famous prince Shotoku, and occupied strategic places in the ancient capital area of Yamato.
It is interesting to observe that the names of some of the Sogas are related to such Korean kingdoms as Kara-ko or “Man of Kara,” and Koma or Koguryo. Soga Koma was succeeded by Iname, who became Tomi or grand minister. His son Umako and grandson Yemishi and grand grandson Iruka all served as grand ministers. Soga Iruka is also known as Hayashi Taro Kumtsukuri, According to an entry in the new register compilation, the Hayashi clan claimed their ancestry to be Paekche’s Mok, which supports the claim that Soga is similarly derived.3)
Proliferation of Soga branch families meant that the Sogas prospered. This was due not only to their political power, but also to the efforts they made to introduce Buddhism into Japan from Paekche. This brought in not only religion but also new technology which the Sogas were perhaps eager to take advantage of.
The Mononobe clan, on the other hand, was adamantly opposed to Buddhism, which was not only alien but also against their invested power in preserving Shintoism, which was the foundation of the Royal Family’s legitimacy as the descendants of heaven-sent gods. The Mononobe, as Muraji in the family classification of Wa Japan, were followers of the royal family, who were obviously reluctant to accept the new religion.
King Senka appointed Soga Iname to the powerful position of minister. King Kinmei, who succeeded Senka, had a mother who was the daughter of king Muryong of Paekche. Kinmei appointed 7,053 immigrant descendants to various posts around the country, while retaining Soga Iname as minister Kinmei was married to the daughter of Soga Iname. He also had five concubines. Eventually he had fifteen sons and ten daughters, of which four became kings and queens.
As recorded in Nihongi, King Kinmei militarily supported Paekche king Sung, albeit minimally. In a battle against Silla, for example, King Sung lost 30,000 men, while only 1,000 Wa Japanese took part. So Wa military support cannot be the reason why King Sung was prompted to transmit Buddhism to Japan. This introduction of Buddhism led to a clash between pre-Buddhist and anti-Buddhism groups that lasted for more than a generation.
The Clash Between the Mononobes and the Sogas
There are two views on the date of the official introduction of Buddhism from Paekche to Wa Japan. One view insists it was 538, citing the date in the chronicle
3) Lee Jin-hee, Japanese Culture and Korea (Tokyo: NHK Books, 1995).
[page 60] of Genkoji temple, when its Buddha image was sent by Paekche. This is the year when Paekche moved its capital, located at Komanari since 475, to Buyeo, due to mounting pressure from Koguryo. The other view is 552, when king Sung sent king Kinmei a gilded Buddha image, plus astronomers and scholars in Chinese classics. At any rate 552 is the date of the introduction of Buddhism as recorded in the official chronicle Nihongi. King Kinmei was pleased by the gifts, but had misgivings and called a council meeting to decide whether to accept the new religion. This was the beginning of the controversy surrounding Buddhism.
The Mononobes pointed out that Wa had hundreds of Shinto gods to whom religious services were directed throughout the year. If other divinities were to be accepted, these gods would be offended and punishments sure to follow. Caught in a predicament, Kinmei suggested that the Sogas should try the new religious practice first by themselves. The Sogas were delighted by this and brought the Buddha image to their residence at Koshi, Nara and built a temple at Asuka, Koshi. At this time, unfortunately, there was a plague that resulted in many deaths. Because of this, the Mononobe told Kinmei that all the predicted evil happenings were caused by Buddhism, and that the new religion should therefore be forbidden. So the Sogas were ordered by Kinmei to get rid of all Buddhist things. The temple and Buddha image as well as other Buddhist items were subsequently destroyed However, in the following year, a report was received by Kinmei of a bright object discovered in the sea, which turned out it was a huge camphor tree. The king had a Buddha image made out of it.
The struggle between pro- and anti-Buddhist groups continued for some time until the succession issue upon the assassination of king Yomei heated up the clash between the Mononobes and the Sogas. In 587, Soga Umako assembled his followers to strike the Mononobes at their home ground in Kawachi. At first the Sogas were not able to overpower the Mononobes. But then the fifteen-year-old Umauado, the future prince Shotoku, who vowed to build pagodas and temples, struck down the Mononobe leader with an arrow, and the battle turned to the Soga’s advantage.
Even during these controversial years, Buddhism was gradually gaining ground in Japan with the introduction from Paekche of monks, sutras, temple builders, image sculptors, and bell makers. But it was only after the victory by the Sogas that large missions of novice monks and nuns were sent over to Paekche for intense cultivation of Buddhism. Soga Umako now built the large Shitenoji temple in Osaka in 588, Interestingly, the descendants of one of the three Paekche carpenters who worked on the temple still live nearby, and are still engaged in the family trade of building temples and shrines.
Soga Umako managed to make her sister’s daughter to become queen Suiko in[page 61] 592，and his son-in-law Umayado appointed as her regent the famous prince Shotoku. The HOKOJI temple was built on this occasion. In the second year of her reign, Suiko proclaimed that the Buddhist Triptica should be promoted. This act prompted many powerful families to build temples and to support Buddhist activities. In the ninth year of Suiko’s reign (507), the famous Horyuji temple was built. After that, Buddhism flourished in Japan alongside Shintoism, ushering in the so-called era of Asuka Buddhist culture.
As for the Sogas, their power kept growing. Now Umako demanded and was given Katsuragi county as his fiefdom, where his son Emishi built a palace and was now called prince. So people began to suspect the hidden ambitions of the Sogas. Suiko was succeeded by Jomei in 628, and his consort succeeded him on the throne as Kogyoku in 642.
In the first year of Kogyoku’s reign, Umako’s grandson Iriko was assassinated in her presence by another power contender, ostensibly because the Sogas were abusing their power in disrespect toward the royal family. This ended the political power of the illustrious tradition of the Soga family. The year was 645.
Asuka Era Buddhism
For convenience, the cultural history of Wa Japan in the sixth and seventh centuries is divided by some art historians into two eras: the Asuka era (552-670) when the Horyuji burnt down, and the Hakuho era (670-710) when the capital was moved to Nara.4) In this section we will describe some important developments in Buddhism and Buddhist culture in Wa Japan during the Asuka era.
King Muryong (501-523) of Paekche was born and grew up in Wa Japan, ruled for a time as king, then returned to Paekche at the age of forty. When he returned to Paekche he would have seen the kingdom’s highly developed culture, where Buddhism flourished with magnificent temples, pagodas, paintings and officials versed in Chinese classics, astronomy, and medicine. It is no wonder king Muryong wanted to help build a better state in Wa Japan. I believe this is why he decided to send a mission of scholars, officials, and artisans to Japan.
As previously mentioned, king Sung sent a mission to Wa Japan in 552 to propagate Buddhism Two years later another mission of monks and temple builders, together with government officials, was dispatched to Wa Japan. They returned home at the completion of Hokoji or Asukatera temple.
In 513, king Muryong sent the scholar Tan Yangni, who was well versed in the five Chinese canons: the Book of Change, the Book of Records, the Book of Poetry, the Book of Spring and Autumn, and the Book of Propriety. These five classical works were the foundation of Confucianism, cultivation of which was
4) Tamura Encho, Ancient Korea and Japanese Buddhism (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1990).
[page 62] deemed essential in managing a state in Asia. Three years later, another scholar, Koh Anmo, was sent to replace Tan Yangni. These scholars were probably sent to educate young government officials. In 522，as recorded in Nihongi, Sama Taldeung was dispatched to Wa.
Since king Muryong returned to Paekche at the age of forty, during his stay in Wa he must have already married and had sons. It is not difficult to imagine that king Sung, who succeeded Muryong in 523, shared his father’s sentiments toward Wa and continued his policy of sending missions there. In 552 king Sung sent to Wa high officials, a bronze Buddha image, and Buddhist sutras. This was the first event in officially introducing Buddhism to Wa as recorded in Nihongi. Some claim this act by king Sung was promoted to seek the military support of Wa Japan,5) while others believe it was part of a policy by Paekche in continuing by proxy to rule her vassal state.6) Perhaps more persuasive is the argument that this was expedited by the Sogas who wanted to gain power by initiating and inculcating a new elite, versed in statecraft as well as new technology. In any case this marked the begining of a new era in Wa Japan. These cultural exports from Paekche to Wa continued for some time.
In 554 king Sung sent scholars in Chinese classics, experts in the I- Ching, astronomy and medicine, together with a Buddha image and sutras. The Buddha image was placed in the residence of Soga Iname in Asuka. The controversy now flared up and continued while cultural missions kept arriving from Paekche.
In 554，the newly crowned king Widok dispatched high officials, scholars, and nine monks to replace the previously sent contingent. In 577 he sent sutras, monks, nuns, chanters, Buddhist sculptors, and six temple carpenters. In 584, upon the visit by the emissary Kafuka from Wa, Paekche sent to Japan a stone image of Maitraya and a Buddhist image. The stone image of Maitraya was eventually placed in a temple built near the Soga’s residence. A Koguryo monk was put in charge and a young girl was recruited to become a novice nun. An outbreak of smallpox occurred soon afterwards and king Bitatsu died of the disease. He was succeeded by king Yomei, who resurrected the question of whether or not to accept Buddhism. As the controversy became heated, the Sogas and the Mononobes came into serious conflict. Upon the downfall of the Mononobe, the pro-Buddhist Sogas immediately set about building Hokoji temple, which later became Asuka temple. In 587 an envoy was sent to Paekche to request monks and temple builders. In 588 monks, carpenters, steeple builders, tile makers, and painters were dispatched to Wa. Now the powerful leader Yamatonoaya was appointed as the head builder of the temple, and many artisans who were the descendants of Paekche immigrants
6) Choi Jae-suk, Buddhism in Ancient Korea and Japan (Seoul: Ilyisa 1998).
[page 63] gathered to build the temple together in cooperation with artisans from Paekche.
In 593 the core stone foundation had an enclave ready to enshrine the Buddha’s sarira, whereupon the mighty Soga Umaka and other delegates attended the dedication ceremony attired in Paekche style. The temple’s five-story pagoda was completed in 593，and the gilded Buddha image was dedicated in 609. This image was made by Shiba or Sama Taldeang Kuratsukuri Tori, who was a grandson of Paekche immigrant Shiba Tatto of 522. Shiba was a Paekche family name and Kuratsukuri (“saddle maker”) a Japanese name. This was the first building in Wa Japan to incorporate a Paekche-style stone foundation and tile roof.
The Asuka temple subsequently burnt down. It was rebuilt and moved to Nara in 716, where it was renamed Genkoji temple. In 1956 the original Asuka temple site was excavated to confirm that the layout (three worship halls around a pagoda surrounded by corridors with a lecture hall outside) was in the Koguryo style, while the roof tiles were similar to Paekche’s.
In 593 SMiiko, a niece of Soga Umako, became queen, while his nephew Shotoku was apppointed as the regent prince who exercised great political power in Wa. It is believed that in 607 the famous Horyuji temple in Nara was built by this same Shotoku, who became just as avid a Buddhist as his father Yomei, the first Wa king to profess belief in Buddhism. (It is interesting to observe that Silla ceased to observe the Shaman tradition with the adoption of Buddhism in the middle of the sixth century, while Japan preserved both Shintoism and Buddhism together.) With strong support from Suiko and Shotoku, Buddhism gained momentum in Wa Japan, as evidenced by the fact that a total of 46 temples were in existence by 624. Some of these temples call for special attention.
Horyuji, one of seven temples built by Shotoku, is well known for its graceful pagodas and edifices as well as treasures such as Buddha images, Kudara Bodhisattva, and other national treasures. The mural painting of Buddha by Koguryo monk Tamjing in the worship hall is considered one of three masterpieces of art in ancient Asia. (The other two are the Silla dynasty stone Buddha in Sokkuram grotto in Kyungju, Korea, and the sculpture in China’s Tunhuang cave temple.) Shotoku allegedly also built the Shitenoji temple in Osaka, which has the typical layout of the gate, pagoda and worship hall built along a north-south axis. The temple was built near the ancient waterfront of Osaka harbor, symbolizing the cultural achievements of the time and attracting the attention of people passing through the harbor. No wonder people of Osaka still celebrate it with an annual festival.
These cultural activities involved a lot of people. It is said that 99.5 percent of Buddhist monks and nuns at the time originated from the three kingdoms on the Korean peninsula, or from immigrant communities from that region. We wonder[page 64] what sort of language these people would have spoken.
Horyuji temple in Kyoto also deserves attention since it enshrines a Maitraya Buddha image, National Treasure Number One in Japan. This temple was built by the Hata family to enshrine a Buddha image sent by Silla to prince Shotoku. It turned out the Maitraya was carved from a single Korean pine tree; similar Maitraya images in metal in the Korean National Museum were found near Kyungju. It is usually thought that the Maitraya image of Koryuji was brought from Silla. This image has one leg crossed and the right arm raised with a finger pointing towards the cheek in a meditative pose. Originally this sort of image was carved to represent Siddhartha or Buddha as a prince pondering the suffering of man in birth, age, illness, and death. Later it was associated with Maitraya the future Buddha. The belief in Maitraya was fashionable in the three kingdoms， particularly in Silla. The famed elite of militant youth corps or Hwanrang of Silla were thought to be an incarnation of Maitraya. They were usually in the vanguard of the Silla army that eventually unified the three kingdoms. This belief in Maitraya Buddhism also became fashionable in Wa, and the seven temples built by Shotoku are said to have enshrined the Maitraya images.
In the early Asuka period Paekche officially had a dominant influence on Buddhism in Wa. Silla influence increased during the later regency of Shotoku (602 to 622) as evidenced in the number of missions exchanged by Silla and Wa. However, in this period there was no official Buddhist mission from Silla to Wa. Only some Buddha images and Buddhist items were sent. In the case of Koguryo, no state Buddhist missions were sent either, but, as recorded in Nihongi, numerous monks privately came to Japan and contributed greatly to Wa culture.
Hakuho Era Buddhism in Japan
After the downfall of Paekche in A.D. 660, there was an exodus of Paekche refugees to Japan. Their contribution to Japanese culture is well documented. We are now interested in Silla’s influence on Japanese Buddhism in the Hakuho and Nara eras of the eighth century. To present the matter properly, we must understand the historical events that shaped relations between Silla and Japan at that time.
After the defeat of the united forces of Paekche and Wa Japan in 663, Tang China set up a governor at old Paekche and also at Kyushu, Japan, by dispatching a commander with 254 soldiers in 665. A second commander with 2,000 soldiers was sent to Kyushu without consultation with Silla in 669. Tang China set up a governor at Pyongyang after the defeat of Koguryo. But then Tang China insisted on appointing the Silla king as the governor of Silla. This naturally upset Silla, and led to battles between Silla and Tang both on land and at sea. Silla won most of the battles over a period of seven years, forcing the Tang Chinese to retreat first[page 65] from Kyushu, and then from the Korean peninsula by the end of 676. In 672, Tenmu became king of Japan after a coup that had clandestine Silla military support. It is no wonder that Tenmu was pro-Silla, and indeed there was a very close relationship between Silla and Japan in the years that followed.
Samguk Sagi began to refer to Wa as Japan beginning in 670, It recorded that eleven missions were sent from Silla to Japan between 668 and 679, and thirteen missions between 680 and 701. During this period Japan sent envoys to Silla twelve times. In this 33-year period, no ships from Japan were permitted by Silla to travel to China. Japanese monks thus came to Silla to learn about Buddhism and to obtain sutras and other cultural artifacts. For instance, the monk Jinyei of Genkoji temple in Nara studied the teachings of the Pobsang sect in Silla, and transmitted these to Japan, while the monk Shinjo of Taianji temple transmitted the teachings of the Whaom sect from Silla to Japan. It is not easy for both Korean and Japanese to read a sutra in Chinese mainly due to different grammar. So Silla Buddhists employed annotations by making use of a version of Chinese characters as an aid to understand texts. These annotations were eventually transmitted to Japan and inspired Japanese monks to develop the Japanese writing system known as kana.
It is interesting to observe that the layout of temples and design of roof tiles and other features were now influenced by Silla. For example, the Horyuji temple， which was rebuilt in 670 after the original structure burnt down, had the double petal lotus design roof tiles of Silla, while the original Horyuji had a single petal lotus design of Paekche.
In the early Asuka period, roof tiles and the layout of temples had the Paekche style with one pagoda, worship hall, and lecture hall aligned along the north-south axis, while Silla style had the feature of two pagodas as reflected in temple buildings of the later era. Numerous Buddhist books and commentaries written by Silla monks such as Wonnyo were brought over to Japan by Japanese scholar monks. There are still extant today hundreds of hand copied versions of these books.
Not only books but also social welfare activities of Silla monks like Wonhyo had great influence in Japan through works of monks like Kyogi. Kyogi was born in 668 to Paekche immigrant parents, and became a monk and went through ascetic discipline on a mountain. In 710 the capital was moved from Asuka to Nara and many people were mobilized to work on its construction. Hard labor and poor working conditions faced many people who suffered a lot begging for compassion and help, which was offered by Buddhist evangelist Kyogi. As a result, throngs gathered around him to follow his words and works. But these Buddhist activities were forbidden by the government since monks were supposed to confine their[page 66] work to within Buddhist institutions. Kyogi survived the persecution with the support of student monks in high positions who had been to Silla and witnessed the activities of the Silla monk Wonhyo, who practiced Buddhism among the masses rather than in a temple.7)
Kyogi was a compassionate feminist as well, since he preached and converted many women. He built bridges, reservoirs and irrigation ditches with these people, providing shelter for men and women alike. Kyogi’s activities were eventually tolerated, and he became the supreme Buddhist monk and even helped raise funds to build the great Todaiji temple in Nara in 740. It was king Shomu who heard a series of lectures and sermons on the Avatamska sutra by the monk Shinjo, with its teaching that everything in the world is interconnected as illustrated in a network of beads that reflect the rest of the world and king depends on people and people depends on king for protection and prosperity. This was a popular sect in Silla and it was brought over to Japan by the Silla monk Shinjo, who studied in Tang China and Silla before settling at Daianji temple in Nara.
King Shomu was moved and wanted to build a great temple that embodied the ideal of the Avatamska or Kegon sect that houses a great image of Viracina, the supreme Buddha. Some say that Shomu was inspired by the Buddha image of Viracina at the Chshikiji temple in Kawachi, where many immigrants settled. The temple itself was built with the financial support and labor of the common people.
When the Buddha image of Viracina was cast at the time of the construction of the Todaiji, there was in shortage of gold to gild it. Shomu wondered whether to get the gold from China or not. At this time the oracle of the god Hachiman in Usa, Kyushu was negative. Soon after, gold was found by Paekche royalty settled in the northeastern part of Japan, to the delight and relief of the Todaiji builder. So the prestige of Hachiman shrine was enhanced, and it was invited to move its head shrine to Nara. The Hachiman Shinto sect prospered greatly after that.
On the occasion of the dedication of Todaiji temple, king Shomu and royal members as well as ten thousand monks gathered with seven hundred guests from Silla, while some Silla people remained behind in Naniwa (today’s Osaka) to trade in precious goods from Silla with rich aristocrats of the Japanese court. In the treasure house of Todaiji temple today, one can see many Silla goods treasured by the royal court, including wooden utensils, lacquer ware, cutlery, textiles, pigments, musical instruments, and carpets.
The Todaiji temple had a sign board declaring it the great Kegon temple in the early days. The temple burnt down twice after that. The present structure was rebuilt in 1692. The dais and lotus screen of the great Buddha are the only items remaining from the original temple. This great Todaiji temple epitomizes Buddhism
7) Tamura Hncho, Ancient Korea and Japanese Buddhism (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1990)
[page 67] in the Nara era and reflects the great influence of Silla.
When Paekche was sacked by Koguryo in A.D. 475, much of the royal family was put to death. According to Samguk Sagi, one member, Munju, escaped and moved the capital from Kanaguru (Seoul) to Komanaru (Kongju) with the support of general Mogura Manchi. Curiously, the name Soga Manchi appears in Nihongi at about the same time, while the name Mogura Manchi in not subsequently mentioned in Samguk Sagi. Based on ample evidence, Soga Manchi is identified by many with Mogura Manchi.
With this background, the Sogas took an active role in introducing Buddhism from Paekche to Wa Japan. They were probably exposed to Buddhism in Paekche during a diplomatic visit. Perhaps the Sogas were eager to secure this cultural advance as well as new skills and technology that could be used to their political and financial advantage. Matching the enthusiasm of the Paekche kings at Buyeo, the introduction of Buddhism into Wa Japan was very successful.
Since Paekche king Muryong were born in Wa Japan, and ruled there for over twenty years as Wa king Bu until his return to Korea at the age of forty in A.D. 501, it is understandable why he was anxious to send delegations of high officials and scholars regularly to Wa. According to Nihongi, the succeeding king Sung was also eager from 552 onwards to send missions of monks and other artisans under the leadership of high officials to promulgate Buddhism in Wa Japan. These efforts by Paekche to promote Buddhism in Wa continued during the reign of king Widok, when Buddhism at Buyeo reached its peak. Buddhist culture in Wa flourished in the Asuka era. After the downfall of Paekche in 660，the kingdom of Silla in turn exerted its influence on the Hakuho era. After this period, Japan continued on its own cultural evolution.
2. King Muryong Introduction
It was a great sensation when king Muryong’s tomb was discovered on July 5，1971 at Kongju, the second capital of Paekche. We know now for certain that Muryong died at the age of sixty-two in the year A.D. 523 and was buried three years later. This was recorded on the tombstone that was unique among all the Paekche king’s tombs. The queen’s tombstone in the same burial complex stated that she died in 536. These tombstones also recorded that they were officially buried three years after their deaths in accordance with the custom of Paekche’s[page 68] royalty. These dates confirm the records in Samguk Sagi, the earliest Korean chronicle. Three thousand items were excavated from the tomb, providing valuable clues to various aspects of Paekche history, which were not well known.
In this article we will try to find the significance in these tangible and intangible clues.
There is one Chinese character “bung” (崩) on the tombstone which is of particular interest. As Soh Jin-cheol has pointed out, this character refers to the death of an emperor or a great king, which king Muryong was. In both Samguk Sagi and Nihongi, Muryong’s death is referred to as “hung” (募), which indicates the death of a king. Paekche had twenty-two //tamro// or feudal lands, each of which was ruled by a lord or a royal family member, according to Liang China’s chronicle.8)
For one, there was a tamro，ruled by Lord Hukchi Sangji, whose great grandfather according to his tombstone was dispatched to rule this feudal land in China around the middle of the fifth century. It is amazing to learn of the existence to this day of the descendants of this feudal land in Guangshi Province in southern China.9)
For that matter, Nihongi proclaims that Wa Japan was founded on a Tamuro.10)
King Muryong’s name in life is recorded as Sama. Sama means an island and the account in Nihongi11) that Sama was born on the island Kakara off the coast of Kyushu and how he got the name Sama becomes very convincing. According to Nihongi, his uncle Konji, the young brother of then reigning King Kaero, was accompanying the king’s consort when Sama was born on their way to Wa Japan in 461. Konji is said to have had five sons in Wa Japan, and now the mystery deepens as to why Konji went to Wa Japan at this time. King Muryong’s name Sama shows up in an inscription on one of the most important bronze mirrors excavated in 1834 in Japan. This bronze mirror and its historical importance have been already dealt with by Soh Jin-chol.12) It suffices to say that the mirror’s inscription indicates that king Muryong was in a position to order the governor of Osaka, Kauchi Atai，to fabricate the mirror for king Ohoto, the future king Keitai, the twenty-sixth ruler of Wa Japan.
What happened to Muryong’s corpse during the three-year mourning period
8) Soh Jin-chol, The World of King Muryong in Metal and Stone Inscriptions (Wongwang University Press, 1994).
9) Soh Jin-chol, “Travel to a Paekche Village in Gwangsi Province, China,” Baeksan Journal no. 64 (2003), p. 325.
10) Nihongi, Book one, Gods era.
11) Nihongi, entry of the 4th year of King Buretsu’s reign.
12) Soh, King Muryong.
[page 69] that preceded his burial? Nothing is recorded about it, but during the recent construction of a road, a shrine site was found as well as remains of a shrine at Kyeonchisan hill a few hundred meters from the king’s actual tomb. The practice of building a temporary shrine for a deceased king was also observed in Wa Japan, according to Nihongi. What happened to the corpse during the three years before preparation for formal burial?
We know from the inscription on one of the bricks used in the tomb that it was already under construction in the eleventh year of Muryong’s reign. The Paekche practice of three years for mourning has important implications, for instance in understanding the true identity of the author of the letter sent to Liang China by king Mu of Wa Japan. In the epistle, written to Liu Sung in 478, Mu stated that he was ready to avenge the death of his father and brother at the hands of Koguryo now that the three-year mourning period was over. It so happened that king Kaero and the crown prince were put to death along with other royal family members in 475 by the invading Koguryo army, as confirmed by both Samguk Sagi and Nihongi. No record of a king and a crown prince dying at the same time can be found at this time in Nihongi. So the only conclusion is that king Mu must have been the son of king Kaero, who was named Sama and born in A.D. 461 on an island off the shore of Kyushu.13) Nothing can be found in Samguk Sagi about the birth of Sama or other facts about him until Sama’s return to Paekche to ascend to the throne as the twenty-fifth King of Paekche. All these inferences could be made with assurance only because of the discovery of the tomb stone of king Muryong.
Curiously, there was found in the tomb a piece of wisdom tooth that turned out to be the only piece of bone in it. This tooth was determined to be a wisdom tooth of an approximately sixteen-year-old girl. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth will stay put in the gum without maturing. So it was guessed to belong to a queen of advanced age, possibly about sixty years.
This queen had one silver bracelet among golden and silver bracelets.14) with an inscription indicating that it belonged to a “grand lady,” or second consort. It was made by an artisan named Tari. Why would a grand lady instead of a queen be buried there? It is certain that she was the mother of the succeeding king Sung who must have overseen the burial of his father, the king and his own mother.
As to king Muryong’s first consort in Wa Japan, there is no record at all But his son from the first consort is guessed to be prince Saga, who is mentioned in Nihongi in the sixth year entry of Buretsu’s reign (505).
Prince Saga, alias Junta, died young, but he had a son named Hohshi, who is recorded as the ancestor of the Yamato-no-Kirni clan, according to the new register
14) Korean National Museum, Catalogue of King Muryong ‘s Relics, 2001.
[page 70] of family records. This is about all that is known of king Muryong’s family in Wa Japan. It is certain, though, that young Sama must have been well taken care of, since he had an uncle and probably in-laws of his mother. His mother probably had in-laws in Japan. Otherwise, being pregnant, she would not have been sent there. So young Sama had many relatives in high positions in Japan and had a happy childhood, which is shown in the depiction of a happy family on the famous Sudahachiman bronze mirror15) which was made for king Ohoto (later king Keitai) of Wa Japan by order of the new king Muryong in 503. Most likely it was the occasion of the enthronement of king Ohoto.
No written records exist regarding the life of king Muryong in Wa Japan until 478 when, at the age of eighteen, he sent an epistle to Liu Sung as king Mu of Wa Japan. In Nihongi king Mu is not mentioned at all as such, nor are the other four preceding Wa kings with names consisting of a single Chinese character, who sent state messages to Chinese states. Why did Nihongi not record these important historical events?
King Mu of Wa Japan returned home to ascend the Paekche throne in 502 as the kingdom’s twenty-fifth ruler, following three previous kings, two of whom were assassinated after the capital was moved to Komanaru from Kanaguru in 475, after Koguryo sacked Kanaguru and put to death all members of the royal family who fell into their hands.
King Kaero’s uncle on his mother’s side, Mo Do or king Munju, moved the capital from Kanaguru to Kongju, but was assassinated after four years on the throne. His young son king Samgeun died after reigning for three years. In Samguk Sagi there is only one line recounting that Konji (incorrectly identified as a brother of Munju), was appointed interior minister under Munju and died the next year. However, Nihongi records Konji as the brother of Kaero, and Konji’s second son as Tongsung, the twenty-fourth king of Paekche. This seems consistent with the fact that king Muryong or Sama was the nephew of Konji and was born on an island offshore from Kyushu in 461. Konji is recorded in Nihongi as having five sons in Wa by this time.
Tongsung ruled Paekche for twenty-three years, from 479 to 501. In his tenth reign year a mysterious statement was recorded in Samguk Sagi that Wei China attacked and was repulsed by Paekche. Nothing further is recorded The powerful kingdom of Koguryo was located between Wei in northern China and Paekche in southern Korea, and so there is no way that the two states could have clashed on the peninsula. The puzzle is solved by the chronicles of Liu Sung and Liang China, where it is recorded that Paekche occupied and set up two colonies, one of which was located between Liuchung and Beijing, and the other near the Yangtse river in
15) Soh, King Muryong.
[page 71] southern China, In 490，invaders of Wei China were repulsed by Paekche generals Sa Beobmyeong, Chan Suryu, Hae Ryegeon, and Mok Una, who were eventually appointed as lords in the territories of Paekche, as recorded in the chronicle of south Sai China (495).
In the chronicle of Liang China (502-554) Paekche is recorded as having twenty-two “tamno” or territories, which is convincing in light of other records in Chinese chronicles. I have described some historical facts to show that Paekche was strong and prosperous during the reign of Tongsung, before Muryong came to the throne. King Tongsung’s tomb is located most likely in Tomb Number Six at Songsangri. Next to this tomb one finds Muryong’s tomb, which was built of bricks. The wall and funeral chamber were all covered in brick. This was said to be a copy of brick tombs in Liang China, with which Paekche was on good relations diplomatically and culturally. It so happens that Tomb Number Six was better built in brick than Muryong’s, and was located in a prominent place among the tombs that included Muryong’s. During the colonial period, however,, Tomb Number Six was robbed, and the identity of the tomb’s owner thus cannot be known with any degree of certainty. At any rate the structure, location, and style make the tomb the most probable resting place of Tongsung.
After king Tongsung was assassinated in 501, king Muryong ascended to the throne and lost no time in quelling the rebellious Baek clan, who were responsible for the assassination, and restoring peace to the state.
There is one clue that links Muryong to Wa Japan. Microscopic examination of the cell structure of the wooden remains of the coffins in Muryong’s tomb show them to be those of the evergreen tree koyamaki native to hillsides of Miyazaki prefecture in Kyushu and Fukushima prefecture in Honshu, at an altitude of between six hundred to twelve hundred meters. These trees can grow to heights of thirty or forty meters, and have an average trunk diameter of sixty to eighty centimeters. They are known for having a nice cone tree crown as well as producing wood of good waterproof quality. Since the Yayoi and Kofun periods rulers’ coffins in Japan were often made from koyamaki wood.
But then a question arises: why was wood from Japan used to make a Paekche ruler’s coffin? This may be answered by the historical fact that Muryong was born and lived in Wa Japan until his return to Paekche at the age forty-three. We know he had a son and perhaps a daughter in Japan, as well as cousins and other relatives there, and he was Wa king from 478 to 501，if one accepts the evidence presented by Soh Jin-chol.16) So it must have been in respect to Wa Japanese customs that his coffin was made from koyamaki wood as the expression of the deep mourning by his family still in Wa Japan.
It is surprising to learn that many of the royal coffins in Paekche after Muryong were also made of koyamaki wood. The coffins of other members of the nobility in later Paekche were found to be made from local nutmeg wood and pine.
Muryong’s coffins were nailed together with golden studs of differing design. Ring holders of the coffins and other decorative metal pieces were very elaborate and must have demanded many hours of work by a skilled craftsman. By studying the design of nail heads and other decorative designs of coffins in old tombs of Japan, one can find some clues to the connection between Paekche and Wa.
Portraits of Envoys to Liang China, A.D. 542
Samguk Sagi records, in a few lines without any elaboration, the dispatch of envoys from Paekche to Liang China in 514 and 523- Fortunately, Liang China published a collection of portraits of envoys to Liang to commemorate the fortieth year of the reign of emperor Wu (502-548).17) This portfolio was painted by Yuan, the brother of emperor Wu. It originally contained thirty-five portraits, but the copy in the Nanjing National Museum contains only twelve portraits, including one of the envoy from Paekche. The portraits are accompanied by historical commentary providing valuable information on Paekche. The complete text on the Paekche envoy’s portrait may be summarized as follows:
“Paekche belonged to Mahan. Since later Jin, Koguryo occupied Liaotung, while Paekche ruled Jinpeng province in Liaoshi. Since Jin, it became a tributary state to China. In the era of Uihi, King Yeo Jeon (Paekche) sent envoys. In the Wonga era of Sung, King Yeo Bi sent envoys. In the Yeonming era of Sai, King Yeo Tae sent envoys. All these kings sent envoys to China and were in turn offered titles by Chinese emperors.
In the early period of Liang China, Yeo Tae was given the title General Jeongdong upon defeating Koguryo. In the Botong era, King Yung sent an envoy to report a victory over Koguryo. Its capital is called Korna. Its territories are called Tamuro, which may be compared to a Chinese prefecture. It has twenty-two Tamuro, where members of the royal family were appointed to rule. It has friendly relations with such small states as Banpa, Tak, Dara, Jeonra, Sara, Jimi, Maryeon, upper Gimun, and lower Tamura. The language and customs are similar to Koguryo’s. They walk with clasped hands. Greetings are made with feet together. They wear hats and short jackets. Their language is similar (o those of the southern countries. They share other customs with Jinhan.”
From this we note that Paekche’s neighbors included Silla (Saro), Imna (Jeonra), Kaya (Banpa) and Dasagi (Gimun). The revelation of there being twenty-two Tamuro of Paekche at the time of king Muryong or earlier is
[page 73] astounding, since neither Samguk Sagi nor Nihongi mention the existence of Paekche’s territories. Even more surprising in this connection is the recent discovery of the existence of a community of Paekche descendants in the place called Paekche Ruins, Guangsi province in southern China which is suggested to be one of the probable Tamuro. where the Blackteeth18) family of Paekche royal lineage ruled. We learned about the Blackteeth family from the epitaph of a tomb of the Blackteeth Sangji in the cemetery near Luyang, the Tang’s capital.
Five Wa Kings
There were five Wa kings who sent envoys to various states in China as recorded in Chinese chronicles, although none of these events were recorded in Nihongi. These five Wa kings were San, Jin, Sai, Kou and Mu. They sent envoys to Liu Sung in 421，425 (San), 438 (Jin), 443，451 (Sai), 462 (Kou), and 478 (Mu) respectively.
Among these five rulers, Wa king Mu merits special attention. As recorded in the Liu Sung chronicle, Mu sent an epistle to Liu Sung in 478. According to Soh Jin-chol, it could have been written only by a son finishing the three year mourning period after the sudden death of his father and brother.19) This event can be related to the invading Koguryo army putting to death the whole royal family of King Kaero and his crown prince. There is no mention in Nihongi at this time of such sudden simultaneous death of king and crown prince. So the bereft Sama was eager to take up arms against his mortal enemy Koguryo and asked for the Chinese emperor’s support in his efforts to avenge the deaths of his father the king and his brother the prince.
In the same epistle, King Mu writes about his ancestor Nyeh conquering various regions of Wa Japan.
In 501, upon the death of his predecessor king Tongsung, Muryong returned home to become the twenty-fifth king of Paekche. There have been many efforts without conclusive success to identify these five Wa kings with kings in Nihongi. There are so many embellishments and falsifications in Nihongi that one will probably never be able to make a definite identification.
According to the inscription on a bronze mirror at Sudahachiman Shrine,20) in 503 Muryong ordered the governor of Kawachi (Osaka) to produce a bronze mirror with pictures of nine people and an inscription wishing a long life to Lord Ohoto,
18) Soh, “Paekche Village,” p. 325.
19) Soh, King Muryong.
[page 74] who eventually became king Keitai, the twenty-sixth King of Japan in 507 in our view. This bronze mirror is not mentioned in Nihongi
In 505, Nihongi records that the prince Saga, a son of the Paekche king, was dispatched to serve at the Wa court. Prince Saga had a son named prince Hohshi who became the ancestor of the Yamato clan. Later records in Nihongi state that Prince Saga (alias Sunta) died young. This entry seems to suggest that Muryong already had a son named Saga in Wa before returning to Paekche. This is persuasive since, as discussed earlier, Muryong was succeeded by his other son from the second consort in Paekche.
King Muryong was successful as he began his rule in suppressing rebellion and stabilizing royal power in the country. He was also able to repel Koguryo ‘s aggressions and secure the former capital Kanaguru in the vicinity of present-day Seoul.
In 512, Nihongi records that in April, forty excellent horses from Kyushu were sent to Paekche with an envoy, while in December Paekche sent an envoy to Wa asking for the return of four territories in Imna, which was granted. According to Cheon Gwan-u,21) the correct interpretation of this record is that Muryong’s army advanced to occupy the upper regions of the Naktong River such as Dari (today’s Uisong), Sata (Chilgok) and Muro (Yecheon), as well as the lower Naktong regions of Daisa (Habin) and Komomu (Kammun).
Silla felt threatened by the advance of Paekche so close to their border, and launched a counter-attack in 514 and eventually occupied most of the smaller Kaya states along the Naktong River, escalating the tension between Paekche and Silla. This statement may also be related to records in Samguk Sagi that vagrant farmers in Silla were returned to their old country Paekche.
More importantly, Nihongi records that in 513 two generals and a scholar of the five classics, Dan Yangni, were dispatched to Wa from Paekche. There is no such record in Samguk Sagi. This is an important record indicating that Muryong was anxious about education and administration in Wa as his former feudal land According to Nihongi, Dan Yangni was replaced in 516 by another Paekche scholar, Hango Anmo. Muryong was very interested in cultural affairs in Wa, so what could have been his motivation?
Samguk Sagi records that in 512 and again in 521 Paekche envoys were sent to Liang China. These were occasions not only of diplomacy but also cultural exchange and trade. On these occasions, Paekche obtained various cultural treasures such as bronze mirrors, ceramics and perhaps the ring pommel sword as a titular general in the ofncial recognition by the Liang emperor.
As discussed in the reference, 22) copies of the bronze mirrors from Muryong’s
21) Cheon Gwan-u, Study on Kaya History (Seoul: Iljogak, 1993), p. 211
[page 75] tomb have been found in various ancient tombs in Japan, suggesting cultural links between China, Paekche, and Wa Japan. Ceramics from China also influenced Paekche ware, which in turn influenced Sueki products and others in Wa Japan.
The reigns of king Tongsung and king Muryong was the most glorious time in expanded territories and high culture in the history of Paekche. The kingdom had twenty-two tamuro and its territory extended to the north of Seoul and to the border of Silla in the east, and had tamuro in two areas of China, as well as in the Yamato and Kyushu regions of Wa Japan. It is no wonder that even today the residents of Paekche ruins in Guangshi province, China are proud of being descendants of great Paekche, while people in Nangoson village in Kyushu celebrate annually the arrival of Paekche royalty ages ago.
Paekche was eager to import culture from China and willingly exported culture to Wa Japan. In fact, Muryong ruled Wa Japan for over twenty-four years as king Mu (or Bu), as all the evidence indicates.
We have learned that the tombstones alone reveal a great deal about Muryong’s life: his birth date, his death date, and his name. Varieties of the tiles with differing designs and inscriptions used in his tomb show that perhaps tile makers came from Liang to Paekche to help build it.
Samguk Yusa records that the first Buddhist temple Daetongsa was built at Komanoru (Kongju) in 521. Excavation of the site has shown that tiles with lotus design were similar to those used for Muryong’s tomb. An actual brick kiln site was found in Puyeo, the later capital of Paekche. This indicates a great demand for tiles for many temples and palaces, and shows, in turn, the prosperity and cultural development of the kingdom. It is interesting to note that the first temple Asukatera in Japan produced tiles of similar lotus design as the Daetongsa temple.
Bronze mirrors from the tomb are known to be copies of original Chinese bronze mirrors. Similar copies are found in Nintoku tomb, Miuyeyamashita tomb, and Kannonsan tomb in Japan, which may be related to the possessors of the tombs of the Hisa family and Kens Ason or Karayatabe Muraji,23) who are believed to be Paekche descendants. Furthermore, golden crowns, golden shoes, golden earrings, bracelets, silver cups and jades may be compared to similar artifacts from old tombs in Wa Japan to confirm the ever closer relation between Paekche and Wa Japan.
Muryong was right when he declared in his state epistle to Liang China in 521, on the occasion of his sixtieth year of life and twentieth reign year, that
22) Gunma Historical Museum, Kannonsan Tomb and East Asian World, 1999.
[page 76] Paekche had once again become a strong and prosperous nation. On this occasion he was offered the highest title by Liang China: “great general Yeongdong.”
3. Further Study on the Inariyama Sword Introduction
We identified further the names in the list of Ho’s ancestors in the inscription of the Inariyama sword. Counting one generation to be about twenty-five years, we tried to check the time frame of eight generations against historical events in Paekche and Wa Japan. We additionally tried to understand the historical implications and significance of our findings that the owner of the Inariyama sword was a faithful Paekche military commander, whose ancestors moved from Kara24) in Korea to Kasabara in Wa Japan at the turn of the fifth century.
The second name Dagari used by Ho’s ancestors may be identified with the Korean word for “head.” It is now used as a pejorative, but in old Korean it was a respectable word. So we find the Dagari Sukunie to mean “Lord Head,” just like Kim Suro the founding King of Bon Kaya where Suro means a head person.
The fourth name Daga Bisi is problematic. Bisi is known to be the old name of a place called Changnyeong25) in Gyeongsang, Korea, Doga or Dagu is the ancient name of a small state in the vicinity of Bisi.26) Therefore, our guess is that Daga Bisi may refer to an area which includes both Dagu and Bisi. This is part of the land which fell under the influence of Paekche after the war of conquest over the seven Kaya states along the middle Naktong river during the middle of the fourth century.27)
Since we understand the word Hoekgeo in the inscription to mean a ruler of an occupied territory, we think those of Ho’s ancestors with the title Hoekgeo after their names to signify the ruler of the land associated with the given place name. Those ancestors without the title Hoekgeo were understood to be in no position to rule a territory. Most likely they were engaged in battles or in transitional occupation.
We recall that Mogura Manchi, a descendant of Paekche general Mogura Geunja, who took part in the seven state conquest, was in a powerful position in Bon Kaya, which was subjugated in the above war. In a similar manner, it is plausible that the military commanders among Ho’s ancestors were appointed to
24) Seo J., Dictionary of Korean Etymology (Seoul: Bogosa, 2000).
25) Cheon G., Study on Kaya History (Seoul: Iljogak, 1993), p. 90.
26) Kim Tae-sik, History of the Kaya States (Seoul: Iljogak, 1993), p. 196.
27) Cheon, p. 90.
[page 77] rule some newly occupied area by Paekche.
According to Nihongi, the names of people were sometimes associated with the place-name of their original residence.28) If we assume this was the practice of Ho’s ancestors, we are justified in associating the place-names of their residence in their names. So the Dasagi Hoekgeo is now identified with the ruler of the ancient port Dasagi in the estuary of the Seomjin river in southern Jeolla province under the rule of Paekche. Similarly, the next names Bara Gobi and Kasa Bara may be associated with place-names in the vicinity of the Inariyama tomb in Wa Japan. In Korean Kasa Bara means “New Land,” which is appropriate since we believe Ho’s ancestors moved from Dasagi to the ‘new land’ of Wa Japan.
The Location of Sagi Palace
Here we attempt to identify the location of “Sagi Palace” referred to in the sword inscription. According to Samsuk Sagi, a dyke was built in the twenty-first year of the reign of king Kaero which stretched from the east of Saseong castle to the north of Mt. Sungsan. Saseong in our view is an Idu transcription of the Paekche word “sagi”, where “gi” means a castle, or “seong” in hanja. Therefore it is plausible that “Sagi Palace” refers to Kaero’s palace at Sagi, or Saseong in Kanaguru, as Seoul was known in Paekche times.
Time Frame of the Appointments of Ho’s Ancestors
If we take the year of the fabrication of the Inariyama sword to be 475, and if we assume one generation to span a period of twenty-five years, we can construct the following timetable for Ho’s ancestors:
Oho Biko A.D. 295
Dagari Jokni A.D. 320
Lord Gori Gari A.D. 345
Lord Daga Bisi A.D. 370
Lord Dasagi A.D. 395
Bara Gobi A.D. 420
Kasa Bari A.D. 445
Lord Ho A.D. 471
According to Samguk Sagi, the Korean Chronicle, battles took place between Paekche and Silla sixteen times during the period 167 to 283, mostly in northern Gyeongsang province. Most likely Ho’s ancestors took part in these battles and
28) Nihongi, entry in the third year of Keitai’s reign; King Jinheung’s steles, inscription on King’s border tours.
[page 78]eventually settled at Gori Gari around 345.
It is recorded in Samguk Yusa that the Kaya state Gori Gari at Seongsan moved to this area from the vicinity of Sangju, although the exact date is not given. It is also known, according to the Gyeongsang geography, that the people at Bisi moved into the area from Andong.29) Could these records reflect the moving of Ho’s ancestors into Gori Gari and Daga Bisi from northern Gyeongsang province? There is a high probability of this, and the historical records reflect the migration of Ho’s ancestors. They finally moved from Dasagi in Paekche to Kasa Bari in Wa Japan, leaving behind the record of the amazing saga in the Inariyama sword.
It is generally agreed by historians that the inscription on the Inariyama tumulus sword provides an important record for understanding the history of Wa Japan. Our new interpretation of the inscription sheds light on the amazing historical connection between Wa Japan and Paekche by understanding correctly the names and titles of the ancestors of lord Ho, who moved to Wa Japan from the Kaya region under Paekche influence at the turn of the fifth century, together with the Ojin people who fled Koguryo’s assault in 496 and in turn conquered Yamato in Wa Japan.
29) Cheon, p. 90