Printer Friendly

The historiography of Bohai in Russia.

STILL VIRTUALLY UNKNOWN in the West, the study of the Bohai kingdom in Russia is more than 150 years old. (2) Since the middle of the nineteenth century, Russian scholars have produced a number of interesting and valuable publications on this topic. In their approach, Russian scholars combine written sources with evidence from archaeological sites inaccessible for students of Bohai in the Republic of Korea or in Japan. Concomitantly, Bohai studies in Russia are relatively free from the manifold political influences and pressures that color the research in North Korea and mainland China. Largely because most Russian scholars do not publish in English, Russian Bohai studies remain practically unknown in the Western academic world. The goal of this article is to trace the history of Bohai studies in Russia for an English-language audience, to show the specifics of the Russian approach to the topic, as well as pointing out the main differences between the study of Bohai in Russia, Korea, and China.

The state of Bohai (in Russian, Bohai; in Korean: Parhae; in Chinese: Bohai) existed in what is now the Russian Maritime Region (Primorskii krai), North Korea, and North-Eastern China from the late seventh to the early tenth centuries CE. (3) According to the Japanese annals Ruiju-kokushi, the Bohai state was founded in 698. Many developments prior to 698 informed the creation of this state. In the process of Bohai's emergence, the Korean kingdom Koguryo (Goguryeo) was destroyed in 668 by an alliance of the Chinese Tang Empire (AD 618-907), Silla (a state situated along the eastern Korean coast), and parts of the Mohe tribes, who had previously been vassals of Koguryo, but switched their allegiance to the Tang dynasty. (4)

The Mohe, however, resisted pressure from Tang China to surrender all vestiges of independence and waited for a reason to rebel. When, through other short-sighted policies, the Tang dynasty provoked the Khitan tribes to rebel in 696, the Mohe, along with the remnants of Koguryo groups, used the distraction to establish the new state of Zhen. (5) The first king of this state was Da Zuorong. He established relations with Turkic tribes and Silla and, in 713, received Tang recognition as ruler of Zhen, which is more commonly called Bohai. From this date onward, we can find Bohai mentioned in Chinese annals. (6)

Bohai made overtures to establish trade and political ties with Tang China and Japan, but never arrived at long-term peaceful relations with either empire. In 732, the Bohai navy attacked the Shandong peninsula, which started a war with China. (7) Bohai's army assisted the Khitans, who were fighting the Tang as well. In response, the Tang forces joined the Silla army (which had launched an unsuccessful offensive on its own) and built up an alliance consisting of several tribes, including the Shivei as well as the Heishui Mohe. This phalanx marched against Bohai. The pressure from two fronts finally forced Bohai to ask China for peace terms in 733.

Bohai's third ruler, Da Jinmao (737-93), was a key figure in making Bohai a powerful state. During his reign, the Tang dynasty recognized Bohai as a prestigious kingdom and Da Jinmao exerted an influence on internal Tang politics; meanwhile, he developed relations with Japan, with which he formed a strategic alliance against Silla. (8) The Bohai kingdom's relatively advanced state of development can be gleaned from Japanese and Tang annals, which refer to Bohai students who studied in China and passed the state exams for foreign students?

During this period, erudite Bohai scholars became famous for their works in Japan, whose ports were frequented by Bohai ships for trading purposes. Contacts with many tribes in Northeastern Asia were likewise intense. Bohai territory was well organized, consisting of five capitals (just as Tang China), fifteen provinces, and 62 districts.

However, after King Da Jinmao's death, Bohai experienced a succession crisis. It appears that as a result Bohai lost several provinces during this conflict, because the Mohe tribes that lived along the Bohai's state borders rebelled. The annals of the ninth century depict as the most distinguished Bohai kings Da Renxiu (818-830) and Da Yizhen (830-857), both of whom faced intrusions by independent Mohe tribes. At the end of the ninth century, the Khitans began wars against tribes that lived in their proximity. (10) Khitan chiefs had their sights set on China, where, after the Tang Empire's collapse in 906, several regional kingdoms were fighting each other. Before conquering China, however, the Khitans had to destroy Bohai on their eastern flank in order to avoid a Bohai attack. Therefore, the Khitans started a war with Bohai. For twenty years the Bohai and Khitans were enmeshed in a tough battle, but due to their effective cavalry, the Khitans eventually destroyed the Bohai, completing their victory in 926.

Many Russian scholars have examined the remnants of the Bohai population after the collapse of their state and studied the relationship between the Bohai and other ethnic groups. After the state's destruction, many Bohai went into the service of the Khitans and their state. Bohai worked in the bureaucracy and army of the Khitan Liao dynasty (907-1125), and took an active part in this state's politics. For example, in 930 the Khitans sent Bohai as ambassadors to Japan and the Khitan Emperor gave awards to Bohai officers who distinguished themselves in a war against Koryo. (11)

Despite this inclusion, many Bohai people did not want to depend on the Khitans. In the year 926 alone, the Bohai population mutinied four times against the new rulers and established the state of Din'ang. (12) In Liao documents this state is named the territory of the Ujae tribe, showing that the Khitans refused to recognize Din'ang as a state. (13) At war with Liao, Din'ang maintained friendly relations with China. The Chinese Song Empire planned with Din'ang and Jurchens a military campaign against Liao. (14) But the Khitan army destroyed Din'ang before the offensive could unfold.

The Liao dynasty's government then forced the Bohai population to relocate in the inner area of their empire, but it was unable to stop their descendants from rebelling. In 1029, as a reaction to an increase in taxation, the Bohai population of Liao's eastern capital rebelled, and the revolt was only with great difficulty suppressed. In 1114, during a war between the Jurchens and Liao Empire, descendants of those who had once populated Bohai rebelled again. Their leader was Gu Yu, who summoned some 30,000 soldiers, declared independence, and won two battles against the Khitan army. After this initial success, Liao destroyed his state.

Between 2004 and 2008, Russian and Mongolian archaeologists excavated a Khitan site in Mongolia and found several artifacts which exhibited the influence of Bohai culture on the It is possible that this site was once occupied by Khitans and Bohai who took part in the rebellion of Gu Yu. After the suppression of his rebellion, those Bohai who lived in the central part of Liao began a new rebellion in its eastern capital. Under the chief Gao Yung-chang, Bohai occupied the eastern capital of Liao and proclaimed the state of Great Bohai. This represents the last effort of a population identifying itself as Bohai to re-establish their independence. In the next year, 1116, the Jurchen army destroyed the Great Bohai state.

But even then Bohai people continued to play a great role in the Jurchen Empire of Jin (1115-1234), occupying high posts in its bureaucracy. M. V. Vorob'ev argued that Bohai had a privileged place in the Jurchen state. (16) Sergei Nikolaevich Goncharov has found evidence for a strong Bohai influence on Jurchen policy. (17) Furthermore, while some Bohai took part in a war against China on the Jurchen side, others served the Song Empire. (18)

In sum, although the Bohai lost their state in 926, they could not forget its grandeur. Thus in 929-930 and in 1115-1116 they rebelled, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to restore Bohai. Nonetheless, the Bohai played an important administrative role in the successive governments of the Khitan empire of Liao (906-1125), the Jurchen empire of Jin (1115-1234), and the Chinese Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). For more than 400 years, they were a considerable force in north-east Asian history.

The study of Bohai in Russia began in 1851, when the famous Russian missionary sinologist Nikita Iakovlevich Bichurin (archimandrite Iakinf in the Orthodox Church) included the chapter titled "Accession in the Bohai kingdom" in a history of Middle-Asian ethnic groups. (19) Bichurin's book presents a collection of materials from Chinese texts dealing with non-Han ethnic groups and states which existed in Central and North East Asia. The study of Bohai in Russia remained dormant for a long period thereafter.

It was only in the 1920s that the Bohai polity became subject of intensive study, when Zotik Nikolaevich Matveev, a professor at the Far East State University (located in Vladivostok), published a small book titled Bohai. (20) He used the available materials of Chinese and Japanese manuscripts dealing with the Bohai state for his study. For a long time this work remained the most detailed political history of Bohai. (21) It was also the first book published in the USSR (or previously in tsarist Russia) that dealt exclusively with the history of the Bohai state. (22) It remained an important guide to Bohai studies in subsequent decades. For example, Matveev's book influenced Professor A. P. Okladnikov, a leading authority on the archeology of the Russian Far East. (23) In his book, Okladnikov used materials of other Russian scholars who had translated Japanese and Chinese manuscripts. However, after Matveev's study, most Russian scholars concentrated on archeological studies, the discussion of which should be conducted in another forum.

It was not until 1962 that Ernst Vladimirovich Shavkunov defended the equivalent of the Ph.D. (called a kandidat degree in Russia) with a dissertation on Bohai, called "The State of Bohai and Cultural Sites in the Maritime Region," and not until 1968 that he published his book on this topic. (24) His dissertation was the first that dealt exclusively with the history of Bohai. Utilizing both compelling historical and archeological sources, Shavkunov's book has remained very popular among Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese historians and archeologists.

In 1969 a Soviet-Chinese armed conflict erupted at the island of Damanskii (in Chinese, Zhenbao) in the Ussuri river. It was a low point in Soviet-Chinese relations that had been strained for a long time previously. Tense relations between the USSR and the Chinese People's Republic have greatly affected research in the area. The Chinese tried to find historical evidence that would support their territorial claims in the Russian Far East and southern Siberia. In turn, Soviet scholars tried to refute these statements (needless to say, they were under constant political pressure to do so). It is not unusual for archeological material to be used by contending nationalisms, but in this particular case the intensity of the conflict and the nature of political regimes in both states made the confrontation particularly bitter and ensured that only "politically useful" findings and conclusions could be made public. Bohai studies were not left outside these politically driven polemics. For example, Soviet scholars who were studying the politics of Bohai wrote extensively about the war between the Tang Empire and Bohai, paying great attention to victories by Bohai forces; they emphasized the independence of the Bohai state, but at the same time tried to play down the results of this war, which forced Bohai to accept its inferior standing as a tributary to the Tang. Chinese scholars, for the most part, made and make their case based on the evidence of formal political structure and culture, describing Bohai as merely a Tang province. (25) Before we will discuss the differences between the various "national schools" of historiography further, let's return to Soviet research on Bohai that developed in the wake of Shavkunov's seminal work.

Bohai history was often studied by Soviet researchers in related fields, who investigated the Mohe, Bohai, and Jurchens together. The book by the prominent Soviet scholar Mikhail Vasil'evich Vorob'ev (1922-95) The Jurchens and the Jin State (tenth century-1234) includes an analysis of the Jurchen state, but the author did not only research the Mohe, Bohai, and Jurchens. (26) Vorob'ev also compared the Jurchen system of muke (one hundred houses) and mingang (one thousand house) to the social system of Manchurian mukung (one hundred houses), et cetera. In post-Soviet Russia, conducting research into the Bohai state without any political agendas is finally possible as is an open-minded dialogue with foreign scholars.

Korean scholars have an interest in Russian Bohai studies, even if they concentrate on other problems of Bohai history. (27) Generally, these are questions about the Southern and Northern states (Silla and Bohai), the problem of the origin of Da Zuorong, and the reasons for Bohai's collapse. (28) In 2005, the High College of Korean Studies of Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok established the Center of Bohai Studies, which relies on the financial support of several organizations in the Republic of Korea. (29) The aim of the center is to conduct research of Bohai using Korean materials, to stage international conferences with the participation of North-Korean scholars, and to support research on Bohai conducted in Russia by South-Korean scholars.

Another Russian center of Bohai studies is Vladivostok's Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of People of the Far East, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEBRAS), established in 1976. (30) Scholars of this institute have conducted practically all archeological excavations in the Maritime and Amur regions. Since 1992, the Institute has issued a quarterly journal, Russia and the Asia-Pacific Region. (31)

About a dozen Russian specialists are now engaged in researching issues related to Bohai in different fields of the humanities and social sciences. Leading scholars in archeology are Vladislav Innokent'evich Boldin, Evgeniia Ivanovna Gel'man, and Iurii Gennadievich Nikitin; in history Alexander L'vovich Ivliev and Nikolai Nikolaevich Kradin. Boldin is currently excavating at the Kraskinskoe site, while Gelman has permission for excavations of the Gorbatskoe and Kraskinskoe sites and Nikitin is excavating several Bohai sites (including Cherniatinskoe). (32) Ivliev is a specialist in Chinese Bohai studies and participates in archaeological expeditions, while Kradin researches the political history of Bohai. (33) Currently, Ivliev is studying Chinese influence in Bohai, while Kradin focuses on the attributes of chiefdom in the Bohai state. Finally, it should be noted that Russian scholars concentrate on the analysis of several main questions regarding Bohai history: the ethnic composition of Bohai, its social system, and the fate of the remaining Bohai population after the collapse of Bohai. We will proceed to review their approach to these problems in the following pages.

Many Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Japanese scholars of Bohai history believe that the main population of the state of Bohai was composed of remnants of the Koguryo population who mixed with Mohe tribes. Many Korean scholars consider Bohai an ancient state established by those who survived Koguryo's demise, because the Mohe tribes did not develop a social system like that of their southern neighbors and hence could not have subsequently established a state themselves. (34) The author of the famous Korean standard history "Samguk sagi," Kim Bu-sik, however, clearly did not consider Bohai to be an early Korean state, an opinion echoed by both Russian and Chinese historians. (35) Russian academic literature has translated works of the Chinese scholars who agree that the ethnic majority in Bohai consisted of Mohe people, based on Chinese and Japanese manuscripts. (36) Thus, Japanese manuscripts note that Mohe villages could be found across Bohai. Generally speaking, Russian Bohai scholars view many of the arguments made by Chinese specialists in a positive light. In the Chinese chronicle Xin Tang Shu a record claims that the Chinese emperor invested Bohai's first ruler Da Zuorong, after which the name for his state changed to "Bohai" from "Mohe." According to Chinese scholars, this passage demonstrates that the polity of Bohai was preceded by one called Mohe, with which Russian scholars often concur. (37) However, Russian scholars usually reject the opinion of Chinese historians that Bohai was a mere province, a dependency of the Tang Empire. The war between Tang and Bohai (732-3), Bohai's independent contacts with Japan, the Turkic presence, and the investiture received from Silla in 700 can all be cited as clear evidence of the political independence of the Bohai state.

Russian and Chinese scholars also use Silla and Chinese documents to disprove the theory (popular in Korea nowadays) of a southern and northern state (that is, of Silla and of Bohai). They often cite Ch'oe Ch'i-won (in Chinese reading Cui Zhi-yuan)'s "Humble Report to the Emperor for the Proscription of the Northern State to Occupy a Higher Rank":
   As we know in relation to the origin of the Bohai people, when
   Gouli [Koguryo] was not yet destroyed, they ]the Bohai people] were
   the useless tribe of Mohe, [and] many tribes were alike; its name
   was that of the small barbarian nation Sumo, and in the past ]this
   tribe], being in competition with Gouli, moved to the inner area
   [China]. (38)

Bohai co-existed on the Korean peninsula with the so-called "Later Three States" (Hu Samguk), T'aebong (Late Koguryo), Silla, and Late Paekche (Hu Paekche). Bohai was neither counted among these "Later Three States" nor regarded as a state of people with the same ethnicity, even though the majority of Bohai's population seemingly consisted of a mix of descendants of the Koguryo population and of Mohe groups; the latter had been inhabitants of the Korean peninsula since the time of the Three Kingdoms (220-80 CE).

Despite their absence in ancient annals, Chinese scholars believe that (Han) Chinese people lived in Bohai. (39) However, Russian specialists argue that these Chinese were not a part of the population of Bohai. They agree nonetheless that aside from the two main groups (Koguryo and Mohe) other ethnic groups took part in the foundation of Bohai that are not mentioned in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese manuscripts.

E. V. Shavkunov, who investigated the ethnic composition of the Bohai state intensively, insisted that the population of Bohai not only included neighboring tribes, but some ethnic groups from Central Asia as well. (40) He believed that evidence for this can be found in the archeological material from some Bohai sites in the Maritime Region (the current Russian territory along the Pacific coast). (41) According to Shavkunov, large trade settlements of Iranian-speaking Sogdians and Toharistanians as well as several other Central-Asian ethnicities existed on Bohai territory that influenced the cultures of Bohai and the Jurchens. (42) Bohai trade with Middle Asia was conducted along a route Shavkunov calls the "Sable Road." (43) Shavkunov insists that along the road traders moved sable fur, which was in high demand in China and Japan. Furthermore, he proposes that the Sable Road was connected to the Silk Road: This explains why Sogdians and other peoples from Central Asia moved to the Maritime Region. (44) Sogdian trade, in the opinion of Shavkunov, gave many benefits to Bohai and accounts for the Bohai government's acceptance of Sogdians living in their territory. According to Shavkunov, after the collapse of An Lushan's rebellion in China in 763, the number of Sogdians living in Bohai increased, because An Lushan himself was an ethnic Sogdian, while his army was composed of people from many ethnic groups. He suggests that An Lushan's followers had no choice but to flee to Bohai. (45) Therefore, he concludes, Sogdians played a great role in Bohai internal policy.

In Shavkunov's opinion, ancient Ainu-speaking and Nivh-speaking tribes as well as Turkic-speaking peoples were part of Bohai's population. (46) In his view, Mongolian-speaking Khitan and Shiwei tribes lived in Bohai's western areas, since it shared borders with the territories inhabited by these ethnic groups of which it sometimes occupied part. Among other tribes who lived in Bohai, Shavkunov mentions Turkic-speaking Uighur tribes. (47) He refers to sources that indicate that the second sovereign of Bohai, Da Wuyi, had the title of governor-general of the Nine Uighur tribes and was governor-general of Yan Jan, an area (now the northeastern part of Mongolia) in which Uighurs then resided. Therefore, Shavkunov concludes that Uighur tribes were a part of Bohai's population and surmises that many Uighurs fled to Bohai after the Uighur Khaganate was destroyed by the Yenisei Kyrgyz (840-847). (48) Considering the uneasy relations between China and Uighur Khaganate, one is led to believe that Bohai was indeed willing to accommodate some of those Uighur refugees. After the Uighurs arrived, Bohai seldom sent ambassadors to the Tang Empire, which was hostile to the Uighurs. Shavkunov suggests that the arrival of the Uighurs caused the Bohai government additional problems, for they failed to adapt quickly to Bohai society and caused social unrest. Thus, in Shavkunov's view, the monarchy contained a number of other ethnic groups in addition to what scholars traditionally recognized as the inhabitants of Bohai (Koguryo remainders and Mohe). (49)

Shavkunov is singular among Russian scholars in discussing the ethnic composition of the Bohai population. (50) The reason for this is the obvious deficiency of information about ethnic groups in Bohai besides the post-Koguryo and Mohe population. At Bohai sites, Russian archaeologists have found some artifacts of foreign origin, including a few Turkic-style arrowheads, Sogdian coins, and other isolated items, but there is no reliable evidence of a permanent presence of these groups in the Maritime Region. These isolated artifacts could merely be a sign of gifts left during occasional visits or items of trade with Central Asians in China. Bohai people also could have received these artifacts through the Tang Empire, which was very interested in Central Asia and conducted an active policy toward this area. Shavkunov's hypothesis has reached, however, great popularity in the Republic of Korea. (51)

Soviet and Russian scholars pay great attention to the Bohai social system. To some extent this is a legacy of the old Soviet official approach that required historians to put special emphasis on social and economic history. It expected that every society should be somehow placed at a suitable level in the required Marxist-Leninist "five-stage scheme" of human history. Hence, Soviet historians were obliged to look for features that proved the positioning of a particular society in this scheme, identifying it as, for example, "feudal," or "slave-holding." Thus, for example, A. P. Okladnikov insisted that Bohai society mixed feudal and slave-owning structures, while Evgeniia Ivanovna Derevianko proposed that it had a "feudal" structure. (52) Shavkunov wrote about the "early feudal system" of Bohai society, in which exploitation was limited mainly to receiving tribute from subject population. (53) Shavkunov also argued that the Bohai king was considered the exclusive holder of all lands in the realm.

Kradin wrote at some length about characteristics of Bohai society. (54) He concluded that Bohai was an "early class state," in which the leading form of exploitation was through land-rent and tribute payments by commoners. (55) He says that the early state was formed in Bohai at the time of the first king Da Jinmao, although in 698 Da Zuorong had already proclaimed the foundation of his realm. (56) At this time, Kradin notes the dynamic social development of Bohai: Originally, Bohai society included only two main groups, leaders (elders, including the king) and commoners, but from the eighth century Bohai society acquired greater differentiation and became more hierarchical, consisting of the three major groups: the royal house, the bureaucracy, and the direct producers of food and artifacts (including commoners and different categories of dependent population). (57) Subsequently, Kradin reconfirmed his earliest conclusions, and again characterized Bohai as an "early state," which developed in line as a type of "Oriental Despotism." (58)

Russian scholars note that the social organization was not uniform across Bohai. There were various causes for this. For example, southern Mohe tribes lived near Koguryo and participated on both sides in the political collisions between this ancient Korean state and China, although the Mohe were not politically dependent or under control of their neighbors. In the late fifth century Mohe conquered several districts of Koguryo. (59) At this point, China began to look towards establishing friendly relations with the Mohe. After Koguryo defeated a part of the Sumo tribes, Tudiji, a chief of several Mohe tribes, submitted to the Chinese side. (60) The Tang emperor bestowed on him honorary titles and lands. Afterwards, Tudiji distinguished himself in a war between Tang and Koguryo and received more awards. Eventually, he was conferred the royal surname of Li and his son received an investiture as a perpetual governor-general. But some of the Mohe tribes joined the Koguryo side. (61) In this way, the Mohe people experienced the state organization of Koguryo and China and borrowed what they deemed to be the more effective forms and institutions.

We have discussed above the opinions of scholars from the Republic of Korea and the arguments that Chinese and Russian scholars put forward against their theory of Bohai being a latter-day version of the state of Koguryo. Many Korean scholars claim that Da Zuorong was a former general of Koguryo, but Koguryo was destroyed in 668, while Da Zuorong died in 719. If Da Zuorong had indeed been a "general of Koguryo," he was unlikely to have lived until 719: Young men could not receive the rank of general.

Russian and Korean scholars also differ concerning Bohai's collapse. For example, Russian scholars usually mention in passing that the reason for Bohai's end was the greater power of the Khitan kingdom. In those years it lived through a period of militarized society, which is described as "military democracy" in the Soviet-Russian historiographical tradition. Such societies made formidable enemies in the pre-industrial eras. Members of such society, as a rule, express a greater level of solidarity compared to their more "civilized" neighbors and are more adapted to warfare. (62) This gives them good chances for victory over their neighbors, even when their enemies have superior economic and human resources. Other examples are the Arabs, Jurchens, Mongols, or Manchus during their conquests.

Korean scholars do not see the end of Bohai as a rather "normal" outcome for a traditional state in the area, but are looking for more specific explanations of the disaster. They suggest three possible reasons for Bohai's collapse: natural disasters (a volcanic explosion), internal problems (conflicts inside the state), and outside invasion (the power of the Khitan army combined with the lack of support from other states). (63) According to some South-Korean scholars, the Bohai defense system might have been adversely affected by a volcanic explosion of Paektusan, because this volcanic explosion may not merely have damaged the human and material resources of the Bohai state, but also weakened the morale of Bohai defenders. (64) This opinion is based on the study of volcanic ash, collected by Japanese scholars. Several scholars suggested an analogy with the collapse of Minoan civilization. (65) Recently, this theory has lost popularity in Korea and Russian scholars do not consider it a plausible reason for Bohai's collapse.

The paramount reason for the collapse of Bohai seems to be a confrontation with a superior military power. Korean scholars think that Silla supported the Khitans when they destroyed Bohai; when the Khitan Emperor gave awards to the warriors after victory, the recipients included Sillan people. (66) South Korean scholar Song Ki-Ho supposes that the Silla army, supporting the Khitans in the war with Bohai, was not large because at this junction Silla had several internal problems and did not actively participate in foreign policy. (67) Russian scholars have not investigated Silla's role in Bohai's destruction in any great detail.

As we can see, Soviet and Russian scholars intensively study and studied Bohai history in several ways. In the Soviet period, many specialists conducted research into the social system of Bohai in an attempt to place it within Marx's stages of historical development. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, they started to research other aspects of Bohai history such as the ethnic fate of the remnants of the Bohai population or the ethnic composition of the Bohai state. In combining the use of written sources with excavation of archaeological sites, Russian scholars produce interesting results, even if they do not pay much attention to Korean and Japanese materials. Although some Russian specialists are acquainted with the Korean scholarly consensus that considers Bohai a Korean state, they have not deeply studied the Korean evidence and arguments for making this case.

Whereas the Chinese believe Bohai was a Chinese province and the Koreans argue that it was a Korean state, Russian historians are less categorical. Some Russian scholars propose that they cannot determine the ethnic composition of the Bohai state with great precision, because no materials exist that can conclusively confirm the opinion of either the Chinese or the Korean side. Other Russian specialists consider Bohai part of a distinct Manchurian history. Still others argue that Bohai should neither be called a Korean state nor a Chinese province, because there is no direct link between modern Korea and China with medieval Bohai. They consider these disputes political polemics, reflecting today's realities rather than the historical evidence.



Da Zuorong, 698-719

Da Wuyi, 719-737

Da Qinmao, 737-793

Da Yuanyi, 793-794

Da Huayu, 794-795

Da Sonlin, 795-809

Da Yuanyu, 809-812

Da Yanyi, 812-817

Da Mingzhong, 817-818

Da Renxiu, 818-830

Da Yizhen, 830-857

Da Qianhuang, 857-872

Da Xuanxi, 872-894

Da Weixie, 894-c.907

Da Yinzhuan, c.907-926

(1.) This article has been prepared with support by Gerda Henkel Stiftung. My thanks to The Historian's editor, Dr. Kees Boterbloem, and his assistants, Ben Sperduto and Andrea Pittard, in readying the English version for publication.

(2.) The kingdom is also known as Balhae in English. Precious little about Bohai has been published in English, but see The Journal of Northeast Asian History 2, 2007, which is a special issue on this state, and Marvin C. Whiting, Imperial Chinese Military History, Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2002, 272, 282, 293, 304-32, 342, 396, 454, 463.

(3.) In other words, along the Pacific Coast; see, for example, A. M. Goldobin et al., eds., Istoriia stran zarubezhnoi Azii v srednie veka, Moscow: Nauka, 1970.

(4.) The Mohe are sometimes known as Maigai or Mogher in English; in the first millenium CE, they lived in Manchuria; they spoke a Tungus language.

(5.) The Khitans were a nomadic Mongolian people, who lived in Manchuria, Mongolia, and northern China in the first millenium CE.

(6.) Some of the most important ones are noted in E. V. Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai (698-926) i plemena Dal'nego Vostoka Rossii, Moscow: Nauka, 1994, 10-11.

(7.) Alexander L'vovich Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii Bohaia," Rossiiskii Dal'nii Vostok v drevnosti i srednevekov'e: otkrytiia, problemy, gipotezy, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2005, 449-75.

(8.) Zotik Nikolaevich Matveev, Bohai (Trudy Gosudarstvennogo dal'nevostochnogo universiteta) (Works of The Far Eastern State University), series 6, 8, Vladivostok: Far Eastern State University, 1929; Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii," 459.

(9.) See for example Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai, 36.

(10.) Ye Lunli, Istoriia gosudartsva kidanei, trans, and ed. V. S. Taskin, Moscow: Nauka, 1979.

(11.) Karl A. Wittfogel and Chia Cheng Feng, History of Chinese Society Liao (907-1125), Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1949; Mikhail Vasil'evich Vorob'ev, Chzhurchzheni i gosudarstvo Tszin" (10v.-1234), Moscow: Nauka, 1973; Matveev, Bohai, 28.

(12.) Wittfogel and Chia Cheng Feng, History of Chinese Society.

(13.) Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii," 472.

(14.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai.

(15.) N. N. Kradin, A. L. Ivliev, A. Ochir, S. V. Danilov, A. Enhtur, L. Erdenebold, and Yu. G. Nikitin, "Preliminary results of the investigation of Kitan ancient town Chintolgol Balgas in 2004," Nomadic Studies Bulletin 10, 2005, 72-6: 72-3.

(16.) Vorob'ev, Chzhurchzheni.

(17.) Sergei Nikolaevich Goncharov, Kitaiskaia srednevekovaia diplomatiia: Otnosheniia mezhdu imperiiami Sun i Tszin'1127-1142 gg., Moscow: Nauka, 1986.

(18.) Sergei Timofeevich Kozhanov, "Nachal'nyi period mezhdu imperiiami Sun i Tszin' (1125-1127)," Dal'nii Vostok i sosednie territorii v srednie veka. Istoriia i kul'tura vostoka Azii, Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1980, 40-1.

(19.) Reprinted as Nikita Iakovlevich Bichurin, Sobranie svedenii o narodah, obitavshih v Srednei Azii v drevnie vremena [A collection of information about peoples who inhabited Middle Asia in ancient times], Moscow-Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo AN SSSR, 1950.

(20.) Matveev, Bohai.

(21.) Tatiana Afanas'evna Vasil'eva, "Istoriia izucheniia bohaiskikh pamiatnikov Primor'ia v otechestvennoi literature," in E. V. Shavkunov, ed., Novye materialy po srednevekovoi arkheologii Dal'nego Vostoka SSSR: sbornik nauchnykh trudov, Vladivostok: DVO AN SSSR, 1989, 39-47: 41.

(22.) Alexander L'vovich Ivliev, "Perspektivi istorii Severnoi Azii i istoriia Bohaia," Twenty-First Century Korea-Russia Community Forum, Seoul: Kyongnam UP, 2006.

(23.) Alexei Pavlovich Okladnikov, Dalekoe proshloe Primor'ia, Vladivostok: Primorskoe knizhhoe izdatel'stvo, 1959.

(24.) Ernst Vladimirovich Shavkunov, Gosudarstvo Bohai i pamiatniki ego kul'tury v Primor'e, Leningrad: Nauka, 1968.

(25.) See for instance Wan Chenli, Bohai Tsziang Shi [A Short History of Bohai], Harbin: Heiluntszian Zhengming Chubangshe, 1984.

(26.) Vorob'ev, Chzhurchzheni.

(27.) Ki-Ho Song, "Parhae nambukhan-jung-il-roui jaguk jungsim haesok," Yoksa pip'yong. Kayl, 1992, 333-43; Giu-Cheol Han, "Koryoeso tongnip undong kkaji Parhaesa insik," Yoksa pip'yong. Kayl, 1992, 344-53.

(28.) Giu-Cheol Han, Parhaeui taekwankesa, Seoul: Tosochulban sinsovon, 1994; Hyong-Ou Han, Woori yoksa, P'ajusi: Kyongsowon, 2007, 147-56.

(29.) See its website, available at: koreanfac.html, accessed 26 October 2010.

(30.) See its website, available at:, accessed 26 October 2010.

(31.) Rossiia i A[ziatsko-]T[ikhookeanskii]R[aion].

(32.) V. I. Boldin, "Kraskinskoe gorodishche: Istoriia issledovaniia," in Koguryo history and culture, Seouh Koguryo Research Foundation, 2005, 223-31; V. I. Boldin and E. I. Gel'man, Otchet oh arkheologicheskikh issledovaniiakh bohaiskih pamiatnikov v Primorskom krae Rossii v 2004 g., Seoul: Koguryo Research Foundation, 2005; V. I. Boldin, E. I. Gel'man and N. V. Leshchenko, Otchet oh arkheologicheskikh issledovaniiakh na Kraskinskom goroshche Primorskogo kraia Rossii v 2005 g., Seouh Koguryo Research Foundation, 2006; E. I. Gel'man, "Predvaritel'nye itogi issledovanii gorodishcha Gorbatka v 2000-2001," Rossiia i ATR 3, 2002, 95-8; Iu. G. Nikitin, E. I. Gel'man and V. I. Boldin, "Rezul'taty issledovaniia poseleniia Cherniatino-2," in N. N. Kradin, ed., Arkheologiia i kul'turnaia antropologiia Dal'nego Vostoka i Tsentral'noi Azii, Vladivostok: DVO RAN, 2002, 213-27; Iu. G. Nikitin, "Tan, Bohai i 'vostochnye varvary' (vostochnaia periferiia Bohaia)," in Zh. V. Andreeva, ed., Rossiiskii Dal'nii Vostok v drevnosti i srednevekov'e: otkrytiia, problemy, gepotezy, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2005, 517-41.

(33.) V. L. Larin, O. V. D'iakova, A. L. Ivliev, eds, Aktual'nye problemy Dal'nevostochnoi istorii, Vladivostok: Dal'nauka, 2002; A. L. Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii," in Andreeva, ed., Rossiiskii Dal'nii Vostok, 449-75; Alexander Ivliev, "Balhae Studies in Russia," Journal of Northeast Asian History 4, 2007, 191-208; V. I. Boldin, A. L. Ivliev, V. A. Khorev and V. E. Shavkunov, in "Novyi tip bohaiskogo zhilishcha v Primor'e," in E. V. Shavkunov, ed., Materialy po srednevekovoi arkheologii i istorii Dal'nego Vostoka SSSR: Sbornik nauchnykh trudov, Vladivostok: DVO AN SSSR, 1990, 153-59; N. N. Kradin, "O formatsionnoi prirode Bohaiskogo gosudarstva," in Shavkunov, ed., Materialy po srednevekovoi arkheologii, 18-27; N. N. Kradin, "Stanovlenie i evoliutsiia srednevekovoi gosudarstvennosti," in Andreeva, ed., Rossiiskii Dal'nii Vostok, 439-48.

(34.) Han "Koryoeso," 344-53.

(35.) Samguk sagi. Istoricheskie zapiski trekh gosudarstv, vol.1, trans. M. N. Pak et al., Moscow: Nauka, 1959.

(36.) Sung Hong, "Mohe, Bohai i chzhurchzheni," in A. R. Artem'ev, ed., A. L. Ivliev, trans., Drevniaia i srednevekovaia istoriia Vostochnoi Azii: K 1300-1etiiu obrazovanii gosudarstva Bohai, Vladivostok: DVO RAN, 2001, 80-9; Yao Feng, "Politika natsional'no' avtonomii imperii Tan v otnoshenii Bohaia," in Artem'ev, ed., Drevniaia i srednevekovaia istoriia, 90-7; Wei Guozhong and Guo Sumei, "Ob etnicheskoi prinadlezhnosti osnovnogo naroda Bohaia," in Kradin, ed., Arkheologiia i kul'turnaia antropologiia, 229-34; Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii," 452.

(37.) Wei Guozhong and Guo Sumei, "Ob emicheskoi prinadlezhnosti," 229-30; Ivliev, "Ocherk istorii."

(38.) Ibid.

(39.) Sang-son Lim, Parhaesa baroilkki: Parhaesa jaengjom yongu, Seoul: Tonge, 2008, 67-71.

(40.) See E. V. Shavkunov, Kul'tura chzhurchzhenei-udige XII-XIII vv. i problema proiskhozhdeniia tungusskikh narodov Dal'nego Vostoka, Moscow: Nauka, 1990.

(41.) E. V. Shavkunov, "Sogdiisko-iranskie elementy v kul'ture bohaitsev i chzhurchzhenei," in Problemy drevnikh kul'tur Sibiri, Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1985, 146-55; E. V. Shavkunov, "Sogdiiskaia koloniia VII-X vv. v Primor'e," in Materialy po etniko-kul'turnym otnosheniiam narodov Dal'nego Vostoka v srednie veka, Vladivostok: DVO RAN, 1988, 100-5; E. V. Shavkunov, Kul'tura chzhurchzhenei-udige; E. V. Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh narodov Vostochnoi Azii," Vestnik DVO RAN 3, 1995, 115-24.

(42.) Shavkunov, "Sogdiisko-iranskie elementy," 146-55; Shavkunov, "Sogdiiskaia koloniia," 100-5; Shavkunov, Kul'tura cbzhurcbzbenei-udige; Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh"; E. V. Shavkunov, "Oh etnose i kulture Bohaia," in Artem'ev, ed., Drevniaia i srednevekovaia istoriia, 11-16.

(43.) Shavkunov, "S ob'ektivnykh pozitsii"; Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh."

(44.) Shavkunov, "S ob'ektivnykh pozitsii"; Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh."

(45.) Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh."

(46.) See Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bobai. Ainus and Nivhs are better known as the native population of the northern Japanese island Hokkaido, the Kurils, and Sakhalin Island.

(47.) Shavkunov, "Bohai v sud'bakh," 122; Shavkunov, "Ob etnose i kul'ture."

(48.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bobai, 37-8.

(49.) For more on this, the reader is advised to consult the works by the foremost Western authority on Central Asia, Denis Sinor; see, for example, Denis Sinor, ed., The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990; Dennis Sinor, Inner Asia and its Contacts with Medieval Europe, London: Variorum, 1977; Dennis Sinor, Studies in Medieval Inner Asia, Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.

(50.) For example, in the collection of articles edited by Andreeva, there are no essays dealing with this theme (see Andreeva, ed., Rossiiskii Dal'nii Vostok).

(51.) Song Ki-Ho and Jung Sook-Bae, eds., Rosia yonhaeju wa parhaesa, Seoul: Minumsa, 1996.

(52.) See Okladnikov, Dalekoe proshloe Primor'ia; A. P. Okladnikov and A. P. Derevianko, Dalekoe proshloe Primor'ia i Priamur'ia, Vladivostok: Dalnevostochnoe knizhnoe izdatelstvo, 1973; E. I. Derevianko, Plemena Priamur'ia, Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1981; E. I. Derevianko, A. P. Okladnkov, Moheskie pamiatniki Srednego Amura, Novosibirsk, Nauka, 1975.

(53.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai.

(54.) Kradin, "O formatsionnoi prirode." See for an English-language sample of his and Ivliev's work, N. N. Kradin and A. L. Ivliev, "Deported Nation: The Fate of the Bohai People of Mongolia," Antiquity 82, 2008, 438-45.

(55.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai, 46-52. This book is a collaborative effort, in which Kradin and Ivliev discussed the social structure of the state; the various authors are not clearly identified, but Kradin and Ivliev were responsible for this segment (see ibid., 21).

(56.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai, 48.

(57.) Shavkunov et al. (Kradin and Ivliev), Gosudarstvo Bohai, 52.

(58.) Kradin, "O formatsionnoi prirode"; Kradin, "Stanovlenie i evoliutsiia." This was in line with Marx's distinction of an "Asiatic mode of production"; the concept found its most eloquent expression in the work by Karl Wittfogel (see K. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 1957).

(59.) Shavkunov et al., Gosudarstvo Bohai, 27-8.

(60.) Ibid., 28.

(61.) Ibid., 28.

(62.) Vorob'ev, Chzhurchzheni.

(63.) Eun-Guk Kim, "Parhae myolmanui vonin," Parhae konguk 1300 chunyon (698-926), Seoul: Hakyonmunhvansa, 1999, 119-40.

(64.) Kim, "Parhae myo1manui vonin"; EunoGuk Kim, "Parhae myolmanui vonin: sikan-kongkanjok jopkyin," Saeropke pon parhaesa, Seouh Koguryo yongujaedan, 2005, 77-88;

(65.) "Koguryo yonguhwae kukjehaksuldaehwae jonghapt'oron," Parhae konguk 1300 chunyon (698-926), Seoul: Hakyonmunhwansa, 1999, 159-88.

(66.) Ye Lunli, Istoriia gosudarstva; Han, Parhaeui taekwankesa; Song Ki-Ho, Parhae jongchi yoksa yongu, Seouh Ilchokal, 1995.

(67.) Song, Parhae jongchi.

Alexander Kim is an Associate Professor at Primorye State Agricultural Academy (Institute of humanitarian education, Department of history and humanitarian education). Recent publications include "Historical Studies of the Jurchen in Russia," Journal of Song-Yuan Studies 40, 2010, 103-126, and "Archeological Studies of Jurchen in the USSR and Russia," Ural-Altaische Jahrbucher 23, 2009, 247-262.
COPYRIGHT 2011 Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Kim, Alexander
Publication:The Historian
Geographic Code:90ASI
Date:Jun 22, 2011
Previous Article:The Connecticut effect: the great compromise of 1787 and the history of small state impact on Electoral College outcomes.
Next Article:Bulgaria in the First World War.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |