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Northeast Project of China Brings New Perspective on History

Northeast Project of China Brings New Perspective on History

Posted July. 31, 2007 03:02,   


The Northeast Historical Project of China has not just made us aware of the fact that China is attempting to distort our history, but it has also helped us to explore the ancient history of Northeast Asia from a new perspective. It has caused local historians to expand the horizon of historical study into Central Asia, including Manchuria and Mongolia, breaking the limits of the conventional study of history which focused on verifying historical facts only on the Korean Peninsula depending on the documents. It also helped embrace archaeology and mythology. Novelist Lee Byeon-ju wrote in his work, “Things become history by sunshine, and things become mythology by moonlight.” Backlash against the Northeast Project has brought bright sunshine to areas on which only the moon had shone. The following is four new historic recognitions that reflect the perspective.

Huang He Civilization Not One of the Best -

“The Atlas of Chinese History” recently published by Sagyejeol Publishing Co. points out that it is erroneous to call the Huang He (Yellow River) civilization or Chinese civilization one of the world’s four civilizations. That’s because, along with the civilization developed near the Yellow River, several civilizations, including Sillak and Hongsan near the Liaohe River and Hamodo near the Yangtze River, which had different origins and ancestries, were developed simultaneously. Based on this understanding, the book suggests calling the Huang He civilization the “East Asia civilization.” This argument is supported by relics from Hongsan culture in the Neolithic Period. The relics show typical aspects of Northeast civilization and are found in Mongolia, Manchuria, and the Korean Peninsula. For this reason, Chinese historians insist that Liaohe culture is the origin of the Chinese civilization and that it is the world’s best whereas local academia has started to deal with Gojoseon, which has been considered a mythology until now, as a real entity.

New Understanding about Barbarians-

Under the influence of the Chinese-oriented historic viewpoint, Mongolia, Manchuria, and Japan, which have all been despised as barbarian states since the Joseon dynasty, gradually became viewed as an expanded community of a civilization called “Dongi.” The new understanding occurred naturally while China transformed different ethnic groups from the Chinese such as Dongi, Seoyung, Bukjeok, and Naman as those who played leading roles in developing Chinese civilization.

The theory of Liaohe civilization divides the origin of ethnic Chinese into three: the Hwa tribe in central China; the Ha tribe in the southeast coast; and the Great Chinese tribe in the northeastern areas. Dongi became the descendants of the Great Chinese in the course of establishing the theory. In response, local historians suggest that the Dongi tribe shared the same ancestors as those in Gojoseon.

Disintegration of Chinese History -

The new perspective on the Dongi tribe has lead to the disintegration of Chinese history. When the Liaohe dynasty founded by the Khitan tribe, which shared their ancestors with Dongi, the Jin, and Qing dynasties established by the Jurchens tribe and the Yuan by ethnic Mongols, are included in the history of China, the history of Goguryeo and Balhae cannot hold independently. Descendants of Dongi share the same language, mythology, and culture. Shin Yong-ha, a chair professor at the Ewha Academy of Sciences, argues that those same characteristics bring “the civilization of Gojoseon” which includes Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, and Estonia as well as several tribes in China.

Rediscovery of Buyeo as a “Missing Clue”-

With the Northeast Historical Project of China aimed at completely rewriting ancient history, the dispute on the history between Korea and China is gradually shifting away from the history of Goguryeo to that of Buyeo. Professor Shin raised the possibility that some from the Buyeo tribe moved to the Balkan Peninsula to the west and some to Japan to the east. Lee Do-hak, a professor at the Korean National University of Cultural Heritage, suggests that the king who established Goguryeo is the one who founded Buyeo. He argued so given the similarities in the mythologies of the two dynasties. Kim Un-hoi, a professor at Dongyang University, presents a similar theory with the explanation of how Buyeo was established.