Tongdo-sa Temple 통도사

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David A. Mason’s One-Page Introduction to KOREAN HISTORY
Dynasty / Period aprox. dates + / - capital key features


Pre-History 1000 BC ~ 300 C.E. + {manchuria} conquest, formation of identity

Shamanism dominates

Three Kingdoms 300 – 670 +++ Manchuria & Pyeongyang Introduction of Buddhism & Chinese Culture;

Goguryeo, Baekje and Shilla Hanyang, Buyeo, Gongju metalwork, sculpture, grey unglazed stoneware

founding monks: Wongwang Jajang Wonhyo Uisang

Unified Shilla 1st GA 670 – 800 ++ Shilla: Gyeongju magnificent Buddhist temples and stone artworks

end of Shilla, civil war 800 – 930 - - Seon Buddhism, Doseon-guksa, Go-un Choi Chi-won


Early Goryeo 2nd GA 940 – 1200 ++ Gaeseong flowering of State Buddhist Culture, blue-green Celadon

pottery, paintings. Unification of Buddhism by Bojo-guksa

Late Goryeo 1200 – 1390 - - Gaeseong Military rule, Mongol conquest; worldly but enslaved

wood + metal printing, Buncheong-ware pottery


....Buncheong ware. Taejo Yi, Muhak & Jeong Do-jeon

Early Joseon 3rd GA 1390 – 1592 ++ Seoul Neo-Confucian Philosophy & Culture intro; paintings

White w/blue Porcelain pottery; Social changes

Mid- Joseon 1592 – 1630 - - Seoul destructive invasions by Japanese and Manchus

Late Joseon 1630 – 1910 (1897) + Seoul closed “Hermit Kingdom”, conservative, arts but poverty,

Strict Neo-Confucianism enforced; Shil-hak, Catholics


Japanese Colonial 1910 (1885) – 1945 + - Seoul, Tokyo 1st modernization, but exploitation & oppression; Cultural

Nationalism; Resistance: Kim Ku, Yi Seung-man, Manhae etc


Division by Superpowers 1945 – 1953 - - WDC, Moscow, Beijing Division, separated governments, War

Early Modern 1953 – 1960 S: - N: + Pyeongyang N: industrial development, radical change

and Seoul S: American-supported stagnation

Middle Modern 1961 – 1987 S: +- N: - Seoul & Pyeongyang S: industrial development & dictatorship

N: stagnation & cultish dictatorship

Recent Modern 1988 – now S: ++ N: - - Seoul, Pyeongyang S: Olympics, wealth, democracy, high-tech

N: defeat, poverty, collapse, nuclear crises

1. North-Central Seoul: Gyeongbok Palace with National Folklore Museum; Jong-myo Shrine;

Changdeok Palace with Secret Garden; Inwang-san with Guksa-dang;

Pagoda (Tap-gol) Park; Insa-dong and Anguk-dong, Jogye-sa and other

Buddhist temples; Bugak-san; Seonggyung-gwan Shrine; Bukhan-san N P.

2. Seorak-san: Seorak-dong with Shinheung-sa, Ulsan-bawi, Biseon-dae & Geumgang Cave, Cable-Car

to Castle. Osaek Area with water, hot-spring, hikes. Inner Regions: temples, valleys

3. Gyeongju: Bulguk-sa & Sokkur-am; National Museum; sites of Mt. Nam-san; Yang-dong; etc etc.

Jeju Island: Halla-san NP, Mokseok-won Garden, beaches, folk culture

Jiri-san NP: Hwaeom-sa, Ssanggye-sa, Shilsang-sa temples, hiking, Cheonghak-dong, Green Tea

Gaya-san NP: Haein-sa Temple with the Tripatika Koreana, hermitages, hiking

Sogni-san NP: Beobju-sa Temple, hiking

Gyeryong-san N P west of Daejeon City: Gap-sa, Shinwon-sa, Donghak-sa, hiking, Shamanism

Taebaek-San Provincial Park: temples, peak shrines, Shamanism

Busan City: Haeundae Beach, Beomeo-sa, Tongdo-sa & other temples, Fish Market

Jeolla Provinces: Ma-i-san and other parks for temples & hiking, islands, food, culture

Seoul: Nam-san, Namdae-mun & Market & Station; Dobong-san hiking, Shinchon & Hongdae areas.

DMZ (Panmun-jeom)

Northeast-Asian Historical Timeline by Prof David A. Mason





India & Other

10th - 3rd BCE

1000 BCE ~ 200 BCE

Pre-historic Tribes

bronze-age horsemen

Gojoseon, Gija, Wiman

Zhou Kingdom(s)

Early Iron-Age

Confucius, Lao-tzu

Pre-historic Ainu / Yayoi Tribes

Buddhism starts

in India 6th Cen.

Starts to rival Hinduism

2nd - 1st BCE

200 BCE ~ 0

Tribal Confederations

contact China 108 BCE

Qin, then Western Han Empires

Pre-historic Ainu / Yayoi Tribes

Emperor Ashoka spreads Buddhism north and south

1st - 3rd CE

0 ~ 300 CE

Tribal States  Sam-han

Eastern Han

three kingdoms

Pre-historic Ainu / Yayoi Tribes

Silk Road brings Buddhism to China

4th - 7th

300 ~ 660

Three Kingdoms

Goguryeo, Baekje, Shilla

form up, fight, adopt Chinese

chaos, civil war, many kingdoms, Buddhism grows, then Sui 589-617, Tang starts 618

prehistoric bronze-age

but then culture from Korea starting in 500s

Asuka 550-650

Buddhism flourishes in India and Central Asia, SE Asia etc

Tibet stregthens

Late 7th – 9th

660 ~ 900

1st Golden Age 600-800

Unified Shilla Dynasty

and Balhae up north

Tang Dynasty

Taika, Nara, Heian

Kingdoms (Kyoto)

Buddhism starts declining in India etc as Hinduism returns

10th - 13th

900 ~ 1300

2nd Golden Age 940-1200

Goryeo Dynasty

Sòng Cháo Dynasty

Liao and Chin

Fujiwara and


Muslims conquer India, destroy Bud.

Mongols begin rise


late 1200s~ late 1300s

Goryeo declines

under Mongol rule

Yuan Dynasty


Kamakura changes to Ashikaga

Mongols conquer everything, decline

15th – 16th

1400 ~ 1600

Early Joseon

3rd Golden Age 1392-1592

Imjin War 1592-98

Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1662

Ashikaga Kingdom

civil wars

ends with Hideyoshi

Muslims (Mughal) regain control of all

Indian Region

17th – 19th

1600 ~ 1900

Late Joseon

Isolated until 1860s

Qing (Ching) Dynasty 1668-1912



European colonization of most of the World

Early 20th

1900 ~ 1950

Colonization by Japan

WW-II, Liberation

Republic of China

Japan invades, WW-II

Meiji  Empire


World Wars I & II

Rise of the USA

Late 20th

1950 ~ 2000

Republic of Korea

4th Golden Age 1988 - ?

but division from North

People’s Republic of China Maoreform

modern Japan

USA & USSR Cold War, then Global Age

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