Enjoy Baekje, the birthplace of Hallyu.
One of the Three Kingdoms of Korea during the Three Kingdom Period, Baekje is an ancient kingdom that fell in the year 660, once located in the southwest region of the peninsula.
*The Three Kingdom Period refers to 4 – 7 AD when Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla divided the Korean peninsula into three and fought for dominance.
Baekje was founded by King Onjo’s group of the Buyeo tribe in 18 BC around the current Seoul area. In mid-4th century, Baekje expanded north towards Hwanghae-do, and at its height, the kingdom reigned over the entire Gyeonggi-do, Chungcheong-do, and Jeolla-do area. However, the kingdom came to a fall in 660 by the coalition troops of Silla and Tang of China. Afterwards, Baekje forces fiercely attempted a restoration movement, but it ultimately came to no avail. When dividing Baekje’s 678 long history into the Kingdom’s different capitals, it can be divided into the Hanseong Period (18 BC – 475 AD), Ungjin Period (475 – 538), and Sabi Period (538 – 660).
The native people of Baekje came from a line of Hans and other races mixed in. During the Hanseong Period, the ruling class mostly comprised of the Buyeo tribe. As Baekje officially began communicating with the other two kingdoms, China and Japan after the 4th century, people of Silla, Goguryeo, Japan, and China began joining the ruling forces. Baekje moved its capital three times which formed the kingdom’s distinct culture. During the Hanseong period, Baekje’s culture strongly resembled that of Goguryeo as evident in the large stone mound tombs in Seokchon-dong, Seoul. However, as the kingdom moved its capital to Ungjin and Sabi, Baekje was influenced by China’s Nanzhao and adapted it to form a sophisticated and elegant culture. Moreover, Baekje adopted Chinese culture by utilizing its geographical advantage to the fullest extent, adapted it into their own, and passed them along to Japan and Gaya, playing a central role in forming the shared culture of ancient East Asia.