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Who owned Korea before Japan?


Korea is a country located in East Asia, known for its rich culture and history. In this article, we will explore the ownership of Korea before Japan. This topic has been a subject of controversy and dispute between the two countries. It is essential to understand the background, history, and facts surrounding this topic to gain a better understanding of the issue.

The Three Kingdoms Period

Before Japan’s involvement in Korea, there was a period known as the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BC- 668 AD). The three kingdoms were Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. These kingdoms existed independently of each other and had their own unique cultures, traditions, and languages. The Three Kingdoms Period was a time of growth and development in Korea.

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The Goryeo Dynasty

After the Three Kingdoms Period came the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). This dynasty was founded by King Taejo and is known for its cultural achievements, including literature, art, and architecture. During this time, Korea established its own distinct identity as a nation.

The Joseon Dynasty

The Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) succeeded the Goryeo Dynasty. This dynasty is known for its rigid social hierarchy, Confucianism influence, and isolationist policies. The Joseon Dynasty was a time of political stability but also marked the beginning of Korea’s decline.

Japan’s Invasion of Korea

In 1910, Japan annexed Korea after a series of conflicts and negotiations. This event marked the beginning of Japan’s colonial rule over Korea. During this period, Japan enforced strict policies that aimed to assimilate Koreans into Japanese culture.

Resistance Movements Against Japan

Despite Japan’s efforts to control Korea, resistance movements emerged throughout the colonial period. These movements were led by individuals who sought to restore Korea’s independence and sovereignty. One of the most well-known movements was the March 1st Movement in 1919.

World War II and Korea

During World War II, Japan’s control over Korea intensified. Korean men were forced to serve in the Japanese army, and Korean women were forced into sexual slavery. The end of World War II in 1945 marked the end of Japan’s colonial rule over Korea.

The Division of Korea

After Japan’s defeat, Korea was divided into two separate countries: North Korea and South Korea. The division was a result of negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The two countries have been politically and economically isolated from each other since then.

Korea’s Economic Growth

South Korea experienced significant economic growth after the Korean War (1950-1953). The country embraced capitalism and became one of the world’s leading economies. Meanwhile, North Korea remained isolated and experienced economic decline.

Japan-Korea Relations Today

Today, Japan and South Korea are both democratic countries with strong economies. However, tensions between the two countries remain due to unresolved issues from Japan’s colonial rule over Korea. These issues include compensation for comfort women and forced labor during World War II.


In conclusion, before Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, Korea had a rich history of independent kingdoms and dynasties. Japan’s colonial rule over Korea lasted for 35 years and had long-lasting effects on the country. Today, Japan and South Korea share a complex relationship that is influenced by their shared history. It is essential to understand this history to gain a better understanding of contemporary issues between the two countries.

Who originally owned Korea?

Gojoseon was the initial ruling state of Korea situated in the northern parts of the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria, later on, merged with the state of Jin in the southern portions of the peninsula. Its presence was recorded in a Chinese document known as Guanzi.

What was Korea before Japan?

During the period of Japanese rule over Korea, the Korean Empire was succeeded by a provisional government in 1919, which was later replaced by the People’s Republic of Korea in 1945. The country was then subjected to Soviet and US military administrations.

Where did Korean originate from?

The Korean people’s history dates back 700,000 years ago when they began inhabiting Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula.

Was Korea originally part of China?

The foreign minister of Korea felt the need to quickly declare that throughout the thousands of years of historical relations between Korea and China, it is widely recognized by the international community that Korea was never a part of China. This statement was made on February 9th, 2021.

Which country is older Japan or Korea?

Around 195 BC, Gojoseon became the first state to organize in Korea, while Japan became a unitary state with the development of their first constitution in 604 AD.

When did Korea split from China?

Since 1945, the Korean Peninsula has been split into two regions along the 38th parallel north. From 1953 to today, it has been divided along the Military Demarcation Line.

Reconciliation Efforts

Despite the ongoing tensions between Japan and South Korea, there have been efforts to reconcile and address the issues stemming from Japan’s colonial rule. In 2015, the two countries reached an agreement over compensation for comfort women, but the deal was met with criticism and protests in South Korea. In 2018, a joint statement was issued by the leaders of Japan and South Korea to improve relations and work towards resolving historical issues.

Impact on Identity and Culture

Japan’s colonial rule over Korea had a significant impact on the country’s identity and culture. Korean language and culture were suppressed, and Japanese culture was imposed. However, resistance movements emerged during this period, leading to a resurgence of Korean culture and identity. Today, Korean culture is celebrated worldwide, and its music, entertainment, food, and fashion have a significant influence on global trends.

Korean Diaspora

Due to Japan’s colonial rule over Korea and subsequent division of the country, many Koreans were forced to leave their homeland. Today, there is a significant Korean diaspora living in Japan and other countries around the world. The Korean diaspora has contributed to the spread of Korean culture and identity globally.

The Importance of Remembering History

The history of Japan’s colonial rule over Korea remains a contentious issue between the two countries. It is essential to remember this history to understand contemporary issues between Japan and South Korea. Remembering history is crucial for reconciliation efforts and preventing similar atrocities from occurring in the future. It also honours those who fought for independence and sovereignty during Japan’s colonial rule.

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