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Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 衛滿
Simplified Chinese 卫满
Korean name
Hangul 위만
Hanja 衛滿

Wiman or Wei Man was a refugee from the Han Dynasty state of Yan who established a kingdom in north-western Korea in the 2nd century BC. He was the first ruler in the history of Korea to have been recorded in documents from the same time period.

Biography[edit | edit source]

After the founding of the Han Dynasty in China, there was a time of political insurrection, with populations seeking refuge eastwards. Wiman was said to have been one of these refugees, reported to have led over a thousand followers (dressed in Joseon style and he himself wearing his hair in a different topknot)[1] to Gojoseon. He was initially ordered to fortify Gojoseon's northwestern border by King Jun of Gojoseon, however by solidifying power over the Yan refugees, Wiman ursurped the throne and claimed kingship (194~180 BC). King Jun is said to have sought refugee in Jin state and called himself the "King of Han." Wiman's capital of Gojoseon was Wanggeom-seong, generally identified as Pyongyang.[2] Since the Han Dynasty was not completely stabilized yet, the Governor of Liaodong appointed Wiman as an outer subject, provided that he did not prevent natives going up to the empire. The appointment is dated at 191 or 192 BCE.[3] Having superior military strength, Wiman Joseon was able to subjugate the State of Jinbeon (진번, 眞番) and Imdun (임둔, 臨屯), vastly extending its borders. His kingdom was eventually conquered by Emperor Wu of Han in 108 BC during the reign of his grandson King Ugeo.

Family[edit | edit source]

  • Son and successor, name not recorded
  • Ugeo (右渠), grandson and last king of Gojoseon
  • Wi Jang (衛長), great-grandson

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Lee, Ki-baik: Walled-Town States and Confederated Kingdoms. The New History of Korea, page 16-17. Harvard University Press, 1984
  2. Concerning controversy over the location of Lelang Commandery, there is a minority view that Wiman's domain was located in Liaoning instead of north-western Korea. However, it is generally accepted that the river referred to as "Majasu" (마자수, 馬訾水) refers to the Yalu River and "Paesu" (패수, 浿水) refers to the Yalu River or Ch'ongch'on River or Daling River, and that Wiman's territory was bordered on the north by the Han Dynasty. P'yŏngyang is the most likely site for the capital Wanggeom-seong but lacks archaeological evidence. For more information, see (Tani:1987).
  3. (Ibaragi:1984)

References[edit | edit source]

  • Mikami Tsugio 三上次男: Kodai no seihoku Chōsen to Ei-shi Chōsen koku no seiji, shakaiteki seikaku 古代の西北朝鮮と衛氏朝鮮国の政治・社会的性格, Kodai Tōhoku Ajiashi Kenkyū 古代東北アジア史研究, pp. 3–22, 1966.
  • Ibaragi Kazuo 荊木計男: Ei Man Chōsen ō Sakuhō ni tsuite 衛満朝鮮冊封について, Chōsen Gakuhō 朝鮮学報 (Journal of the Academic Association of Koreanology in Japan) Vol. 113, pp. 1–25, 1984.
  • Tani Toyonobu 谷豊信: Rakurō-gun no ichi 楽浪郡の位置, Chōsen shi kenkyūkai ronbunshū 朝鮮史研究会論文集 (Bulletin of Society for Study in Korean History), No 24, pp. 23–45, 1987.

See also[edit | edit source]

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