In new text, ancient Korean kingdom of Gojoseon turned from myth into history

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The founding of Korea’s ancient kingdom of Gojoseon will be officially written as part of national history in high school history textbooks. In addition, the Bronze Age on the Korean peninsula will be described to date back 1,000 years earlier than was previously thought.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announced yesterday its plan to deliver the revised history books to schools nationwide for the class of 2007.

Academic and political circles have demanded that the founding of Korea’s first kingdom, currently depicted as a myth, should be rewritten as official history to counter the claim by neighboring countries, especially China’s latest historical re-mapping.

Page 32 of the present high school textbook mentions ancient documents such as “Samguk Yusa” and “Dongguk Tonggam” that describe the foundation by Dankun. According to the new plan, however, the ministry has altered the wording in high school texts to state that Dankun actually found the kingdom. Junior high school textbooks have already carried such an explanation.

China, denying the very existence of the Korean kingdom, teaches false information to its people. Japan also describes that Korean history started from Goguryeo in its chronicles. The books being used in secondary schools explain that the Bronze Age started in the 10th century B.C. on the Korean peninsula and 15th to the 13th century B.C. in Manchuria, but the new book dates it earlier by 500 to 1,000 years.

Related Links

  • New Textbook Stirs Debate Over Kojoson (Korea Times)

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