Dae JoYoung 대조영 is a 108 episode KBS Daehae Drama about the title character and how he came to become the first king of the Balhae Dynasty out of the ashes of Goguryeo.
Amongst the drama, story lines, plot twists, love, action, adventure and intrigue, these are the HISTORICAL TRUTHS this drama proclaims to the world:
- Balhae is the successor state of Goguryeo, built by Goguyreoans on the old Goguryeoan territory.
- Balhae’s ancestors include Dangun Wanggum, Hae Buru (해부루) and King Geumwa (금와왕) of Buyeo and King Dongmyeong (aka Jumong) of Goguryeo
- All people born on the land are people of Balhae regardless of their origin.
The following are notes I took as I watched this drama. I’ve provided some pictures and links for additional study.
Episodes 1 through 37 are the final years of Goguryeo
Spring of 645 the Emperor of Tang, Li Shimin launches a great campaign against Goguryeo. His army army was over one million strong with over 700,000 fighters and large logistics force. In response, the chief commander of Goguryeo army in Liaodong, Yang Manchun 양만춘 rushed to protect the fortress and neighboring forts to Liaodong. On the Tang side, Superior Commander Li Jing and his men are deployed to capture the fortress. The impregnable wall of Liaodong Fortress had never been breached since the founding of Goguryeo. And now, the battle that will decide the outcome of the first
Goguryeo-Tang war was about to begin here at the Liaodong Fortress.
People of Goguryeo:
Yang Manchun 양만춘 장군•楊萬春 was a Commander in the Goguryeo army who was responsible for the Ansi Fortress 안시성. He is famous for having protected Ansi Fortress when it came under attack during the first Tang attack in 642 and then again in 645. His birth and death are unknown.
Dae Joong Sang 대중상 (대조영 아버지) 걸걸중상(乞乞仲象) was a Goguryeo general and the father of Dae Joyoung. (? – 698).
Yeon Gaesomun 연개소몬 (603–666) was a powerful military general and hero of Goguryeo who fought against the Tang.
연남생 Yeon Namsaeng (연남생•淵男生) (634–679) was the eldest son Yeon Gaesomun.
Bojang of Goguryeo 보장왕•寶臧王 (died 682) (r. 642–668) was the 28th and last king of Goguryeo. He was placed on the throne by the military leader Yeon Gaesomun. His reign ended when Goguryeo fell to the allied forces of Silla and the Tang Dynasty China.
Places of Goguryeo:
- 안시성 Ansi Fortress
- 고리성 Goryeo Fort
- Yingzhou 영주 (modern Liaoning Province)
- Liaodong 여동
당나라 군영 Tang:
Li Shimin 이시민•李世民 (Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty 唐太宗•당 태종) (January 28 599 – July 10 649, R: September 4 626 – July 10 649)
Xue Rengui 설인귀•薛仁貴, 614- 683 During the Tang Dynasty, he was one of the earliest of the most famous generals.
이치 (the crown price)
Luicheng (Tang territory)
- 돌궐 Turkic/Turks
- Mohe 말갈
- Khitan 거란(契丹) or 키탄
- Khitan Khan 거란의 추장이다
수신만 (several thousands)
Heukchi Sangji 흑치상지, 黑齒常之 (630–689) was a Baekje general who became a leader of the Baekje Revival Movement, and later a Tang Dynasty general.
Li Jinzhong (李盡忠) 이진충 (died September 23, 696), titled Wushang Khan (無上可汗, literally “the khan that had no superior”), was a khan of the Khitan who, along with his brother-in-law Sun Wanrong, rose against Chinese hegemony in 696 and further invaded Chinese territory then under the rule of Wu Zetian’s Zhou Dynasty. He died late in 696 and was succeeded by Sun.
Sun Wonrong 손만영 孫萬榮 (? ~ 697) 거란(契丹)의 추장이다. Khan of the Khiten people who rose up in against that Tang.
Wu Zetian (Wu Tse-t’ian) 武則天 측천무후(則天武后, (Feb17, 624 – Dec 16, 705) also know as “Empress Wu”, was a Chinese sovereign, who ruled officially under the name of her self-proclaimed “Zhou dynasty”, from 690 to 705. She was the only female emperor of China in more than 4,000 years. She had previous imperial positions, however, under both Emperor Taizong of Tang and his son Emperor Gaozong of Tang, of the Tang dynasty of China. Wu was a concubine of Emperor Taizong. After his death she married his successor and ninth son, Emperor Gaozong, officially becoming Gaozong’s furen (variously translated as “empress”, “wife”, or “first consort”) in 655, although having considerable political power prior to this. After Gaozong’s debilitating stroke in 690, Wu Zetian ruled as effective sovereign until 705. She is the only recorded woman to rule China in her own right.
Great Emperor of Taizong of Tang Li Shimin who is said to have established the reign of peace known as the Rule of Zhenguan. His ambitious campaign to conquer Goguryeo ended in wretched defeat and that failure brought painful consequences. Goguryeo’s retaliation led to Yeon Gaesomun’s conquest of China. And four years later in AD 649, Li Shimin would meet his demise. It is said abscess, nerve disorder and skin disease from the war
were the root cause of his death. Li Shimin’s last words were never to invade Goguryeo again. And so the first invasion of Tang would end in great victory for Goguryeo.
In 661 Tang launches a massive invasion against Goguryeo army and navy combined force of 35 corps. Over 700,000 soldiers were deployed for this second Goguryeo-Tang war. The strategy in the second invasion was significantly different from the first invasion by Li Shimin in that they bypass Liodong altogether and march straight to the capital city, Pyongyang. This was a testament to their determination not to repeat the mistake of the first invasion
In 662 at the Sasu River, presumed to be the modern Taedong River, Tang invaders are annihilated by Yeon GaeSomun’s Goguryeo army. Along with Ulchi Mundok’s Battle of Salsu and Yang Manchun’s Battle of Ansi, the Battle of Sansu is celebrated as one of the three great victories in Goguryeo history. The second Goguryeo-Tang war was put to an end by this sweeping victory.
In 666AD, Emperor Gaozong ordered an open attack on Goguryeo under the pretext of restoring Yeon Namseng to power. King Bonjang named Yeon Namgeon Supreme Commander and countered the Tang invasion. This was the 3rd Tang-Goguryeo war requested by Tang to launch a collaborative attack. Goguryeo’s neighboring state Shilla had already been requested to Tang to launch a collaborative attack. Serious peril was approaching Goguryeo.
In September 667, the Tang army initiated a frontal attack on Liaodong defense line and succeeded in conquering Shin Fort 신성 at the heart of Liaodong defenses. After the conquering of Shin Fort the surrounding 16forts quickly began to fall, completely bringing down the west defense line of Liaodong. In February 668, the Chief Commander of the Tang army, Li Jing, orders Xue Rengui to strike Buyeo Fort (부여성), a strategically important fort that acted as a supply base at the northern border of Goguryeo. The fall of Buyeo Fort cause some forty surrounding forts to lay down their arms. With the Liaodong defense line hopelessly breached, Goguryeo suddenly found itself backed against the wall. And at the heart of this invasion was the man with wealthy of information about Goguryeo, Yeon Namseng 연남생.
in 668 King Munmu of Silla and his army of 200,000 would finally launch an assault of Goguryeo. Silla’s army would capture Goguryeo’s second capital Han Fort and advance north sweeping through the Hwanghae region. It would ultimately reach Pyongyang and join forces with the Tang army.
In September 668, allied forced of Tang and Silla would ultimately succeed in bringing down Goguryeo, a glorious kingdom that began with King Jumong in 27bc would finally perish after 900 years with Bojang as it’s last king. Sovereignty that ruled the long era of glory and shame as the strongest of five major power in northeast Asia. The fall of Goguryeo was great grief and disappointment in Korean history. But this was not the end for Goguryeo and it’s people. Out of despair came hope and dream of revival and from the smoldering ashes of destruction, the great kingdom of Balhae “The Flourishing Land of the East” began to rise.
King Bojang was extradited to Tang along with Yeon Namgeon whose attempted suicide had failed. Tang divided Goguyreo’s territories into 9 area commands with 42 Prefectures and 100 districts and established Andong Protectorate in Pyongyang to facilitate administration. The Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms state Xue Rengui was appointed protector general of Andong Protectorate. Oppressive policies of Andong Protectorate exacerbated the misery of the people that had already been suffering from years of drought.min response, a resistance movement began to rise across fallen Goguryeo with Ansi Fort of Liaodong distinguishing itself as one of the strongest anti-Tang forces.
In 671 AD, protectorate-general of Andong, Xui Rengui tours various areas along the Western coast. This was done to create anxiety for Goguryeo and put pressure on King Munmu to expedite their goals. It was apparent that the newly revived Goguryeo was not a small threat to Tang.
In 681 AD, King Bojang was taken back to Tang for his attempt to revive Goguryeo as Tang was in a state of political confusion. As Emperer Gaozong’s illness worsened, Empress Wu Zetain began to seize power. Empress Wu Zetain entered the imperial house as Li Shimin’s concubine and won his son Gaozong’s heart becoming his empress. Then she rose to become the first and only woman in the history of China to assume the title Emperor. She killed her own daughter to maintain her position.
In 683 AD, Tang Emperor Gaozong 고동 finally died and Li Zhe ascended to the throne according to his will. But in the following year, Wu Zetian sizes complete power of Tang deposing Li Zhe and replacing him with his younger brother Li Dan. That was just the beginning of her ruthless rise. Her endless ambition produced countless purges and brutal oppression. In 689, Heichi Changzi was executed falsely accused for a crime 흑치상지. Finally in 690, Wu Zetian eliminated all of her male heirs of the Imperial House of Tang and assumed the throne herself declaring a new empire. She named her empire the Zhaou Dynasty and called herself Emperor Shenshe. At last the one and only female emperor in Chinese history was born. The northern dominion was radio idly changing at that same time. The main force behind this change was a rising new Turkic leader named Mochou(Mokchul).
Mochou revived the Turkic Empire and later had a profound influence on the founding of Balhae as well. There was also a small but active movement around Mt Baekdu and Mt. Dongmo lead by Dae Jo Young. Dae Jo Young’sforce grew quietly but quickly making the most of Tang’s decline caused by Turkic invasions and Wu Zetain’s rise to the throne.
Thirty years after the fall of Goguryeo in the year 698 Dae Jo Young finally establishes a new state centered around Mt. Dongmo. Ending an era of confusion, Balhae had finally been born. This was truly a startling event in the ancient history of China. Not only did Goguyreo reclaim their right to the continent but they were back in contention with Tang, the most powerful state at the time, to write a new history. This unbelievable feat was accomplished by Dae Jo Young.