Author argues Koreans ruled in ancient JapanA Korean businessman has challenged Japanese historians in his new book, “The Historic Long, Deep Korean Roots in Japan,” which asserts that ancient Japan’s ruling elite were actually Koreans.
Mr. Park, a trade firm executive in his late 70s, said the idea for the book came to him in the early 1980s when he found himself in a conversation with some professors from the University of Helsinki.
“They made me want to study further about the ancient history of Korea and Japan,” he said. “They said ancient Mongolians settled the Korean Peninsula and some moved west to become the first Finnish people.”
During his 20 years of research, he read 3,000 Japanese books and made frequent visits to Japan to confer with scholars there.
In his book, he challenges Japanese assertions that the country was ruled by pure Japanese from the beginning and that ethnic Koreans contributed almost nothing to its development.
Mr. Park argues that “Nippon,” the Japanese name for Japan, was originally the name of a monk in the ancient Korean kingdom of Goguryeo in the late 7th century. He says “Wae” or “Yamato” ― names for Japan before the mid-7th century ― were variations of the word “Gaya,” also a Korean kingdom at that time.
He also says that one of the gods appearing in the founding myth of Japan is actually a Korean god, which still is being honored in shrines in Nara, Japan.
The book is written in English and was published in June by Vantage Press Inc. in New York.
“I thought it would be much better to publish the book in English because I wanted to correctly deliver the ancient history of Korea and Japan around the world,” said Mr. Park. He plans to publish the book in other English-speaking nations.
by Lee Jung-min