Friday, June 12, 2009

Koreans invented Chinese Writing?

Or was it just Chinese Government Propaganda aimed for domestic Chinese consumption.

A couple days ago, I found out that my aunt also thought Chinese writing (漢子) was invented by Koreans. So, I did a little research and came to believe that it was simply Chinese Government Propaganda. As the video above shows, I couldn't find a professor from Seoul University that holds this view (or did any research on it).

The only view in favor of the view that Koreans actually invented Chinese writing is here:

I personally found it to be ridiculous and watched the Japanese video over and over again. Nonetheless, it's quite scary that people such as my aunt and perhaps countless other Koreans could actually come to believe that.

I think the point that makes it sound convincing for Koreans is that they believe that the Dong Yin (East Shang) dynasty was composed of ethnic Koreans as the leaders of Gojoseon supposedly came from this kingdom. Nonetheless, even if this were true, Koreans should remember that along genetic lines Koreans and Han Chinese are different (Korean haplogroup vs Chinese haplogroup). So, at most, a leader or a noble came from China (and Shandong Province to me can't be anymore Chinese).

Plus, I'm not a calligraphy expert, but that one book that purports how Hangeul is a perfected version of Hanja (漢子), but if you look at different sources on the web, it talks about how even when two symbols look nearly identical the order in which the brush is used to write the characters is different seems to point to a different system. Anyways, it seems to be the most reasonable that the Hanja/Kanji that Koreans use today come directly from Tang China and are probably more "pure" than the simplified Chinese characters mainland China uses today.


  1. so....are u saying that because this JAPANESE program is slagging off some Koreans..
    you've proven your argument to be true?

    What do you actually know about Korea?
    The Korean writing system? Haha..

    I don't mean to seem rude..but...
    what you have written is a bit ludicrous..
    I live in you?

    1. Korea is terrible, 日本は1番だ

  2. Anyways, here's the reasoning for the above and googling this... (or perhaps navering it, if it makes a difference) will show the following...

    My claim: Ancient Koreans did not invent "Chinese" Writing (Hanja) and that this is actually Chinese Propaganda.

    #1)The Japanese tv show cites a Chinese source (which then cites a Seoul National University Professor) for saying that "Koreans now claim that Hanja was created by Koreans."

    #2)No such Seoul National University Professor exists

    #3)So, basically the claims came around the time of the Goguryeo controversy and the show cites a secondary source (A Chinese source), which then cites a non-existant source...

    #4)So, there are people that live in Korea that have picked up on this reverse propaganda that was created by the Chinese government, and was picked up by some Koreans to be a truth. I'm pretty sure these Koreans live in Korea (do you?). I'm not going to take the time right now to look it up, haha, considering the brevity of your comment...

    The claim of Hanja being created by Koreans rests on two discredited theories:

    a)The book Chun-bu-gyung (천부경) is not 9,000 years old and I question it's veracity considering it was found like a couple hundred years ago (I might be off by a hundred years here)

    b)The claim that the East Yin people (of the Shang) were the forefathers of Koreans is dubious (a simple check on how related spoken Korean is with spoken Mandarin can do this for you)... And, that the idea that civilization in China came from East to West (like that from Dong Yin to the Shang) reminds you of those ideas where the Japanese used to say that they brought civilization to Korea...
    There you go.

  3. haha..good point in terms of "propoganda"..
    and to me that Japanese program was clearly
    a)flawed OR b)just venting some rage
    at Koreans...since we know how much
    the Japanese and the Koreans love each other.

    I do, in fact, live in Korea. I have been
    living here for approx. 7.5 years. I have read quite a few of your posts---I do know several
    Korean Americans here--it's hard to get to know
    Korea without living here a long period of time,
    and being really good at the language. I have been legal here the whole time, (And still am),
    so I have really learned a lot about the
    culture, the people, society, etc.

    I hope to reply more to your posts...
    (And, I don't mean to be antagonistic...but..
    it's fun to hammer things out sometimes!)

    I just stumbled upon your blog accidentally!
    I'm happy I did!

  4. I just don't understand why Koreans will claim that they invented the Hanzi but then the story goes that Koreans couldn't read Hanzi ( instead China did? ) that's why they had to invent Hangul.

    Inventing a language you don't know how to use...?

  5. Perhaps I shouldve been blunter or I shouldve woken up later... The Chinese government invented the claim to infuriate the average Chinese. But, actually if you look back into Korean history you see Koreans used classical Chinese as often as well the Chinese. i.e. The only remaining fully intact woodblock prints of the entire Chinese Buddhist canon is one printed during Goryeo.

  6. It was written in Classical Chinese... which at least the characters resemble Hanja a lot more than Hanzi or Kanji today

  7. Hi, just wanted to heads up that you seem to have a bias against Mainland Chinese people. What's up with that? Since you are very concerned with Korean Politics I am also concerned with Taiwan-strait politics. The idea is to be open and to not judge. I signed up for you DeCal because I am interested in the course on N. Korea I find it interesting and unique to think of things in a wider perspective. I would hope you can teach this class in a less biased manner towards other East Asian countries. Issues of politics and tension is strong everywhere, and your blog, though I find really interesting, has a lot of opinions that border on bias attitudes I find not to my liking. I am Chinese American and find East Asian Politics very interesting, I anticipate your class disscussion next Tuesday.

    All the best,
    Cal Student

  8. I don't see how this post shows a bias against mainland Chinese "people." You seem to think i equate mainland Chinese with the Cmunist Chinese government; however, you might be able to conclude from my other posts I am heavily critical against policies of not only those of Communist China, but of North and, particularly, South Korea as well.

    Nonetheless, I believe, if you come and which I encourage you to, you will see that I do indeed hold an open mind and oft come to change my mind when faced with new information. And, just because somebody doesn't agree with you does not mean they do not have an open mind. If you really are worried that the DeCal is run like a communist dictatorship, have no fear, I will not be responsible for either grading assignments or assigning grades. Hope to see you there ^^

  9. After reading your last reply Joseph I really do wonder about how "open" you really are. I mean look at your original post... where is the proof that this was propaganda spread by the chinese communist government? Because the newspaper is state controlled? Is that it? I thought you would be more open minded than that.