Backche Kingdom


Contemplative Buddhisattva
National Treasure No. 83   

Foundation of Backche kingdom

  Backche, one of three kingdoms called Backche, Koguryo and Silla
in the ancient history of Korea, was founded on the basin of the
"Han- gang (river)" in the year 18 B.C. by the "King Onjo". Backche originally started out as Mahan, one of 50 small kingdoms, and grew stronger as it conquered areas surrounding Mahan. Backche Kingdom develop- ed her brilliant culture through war and league with Koguryo and Silla for 678 years before it collapsed in A.D. 660.

Hansong Era

Backche established the foundation of the ancient nation in the King Koi in the middle of 3rd century, and set up the government organization
(6 Chwapyong and 16 pum) in the year of 27 of the King Koi. After that, the King Kunchogo expanded the territory down to the
south Chollado area and up to the north Hwang- haedo through the reinforcement of local ruling.

Ungjin Era

The King Munju moved the capital of Backche to Ungjin (Kongju) after the capital of the "Backche" Hansong was occupied by Koguryo, one of ancient three kingdoms in Korea peninsula, in 475. Thereafter, the "King Dongsong" formed league with Silla and interchanged the culture with "Namche", one of ancient Chinese nations, and Backche established a firm foundation as a strong nation in the era of the King Munyong.

Sabi Era

The King Seong of Backche moved the capital to Sabi (Puyo) for restoration of "The Backche Kingdom" and royal authority in 538, and changed the name of the country to Southern Puyo (Nampuyo). The King Seong also set up a new central government organization (16-official rank and 22-department)to reinforce the royal authority and was prepared for the war with Koguryo and Silla to expand the territory. The King Euicha, the last king of Backche, ruled the kingdom well at the beginning through the friendly relations with Koguryo and Oye (Japan), established ruling systems, but at the end of the King Euicha, Backche was conquered by the allies of Silla and Tang of China in 660 because of the hostility to Silla, the failure of diplomatic policy and internal disunion.  

Crystal - Glassy Jade  

Round Tile with Lotus Flower in Relief  


Culture of Backche

Backche regarded Confucianism as of great importance in the middle of the 3rd century, established the educational organization of Confucianism and doctoral system, and delivered "Confucianism" to Japan. "Wangin" and "Achiggi" delivered Chinese Characters and the Analects of Confucius to Japan in Hansong Era, "Danyangi" and "Koanmu" were dispatched to Japan to influence Japan's culture in King Munyong's time. A national history book was written by "Doctor Koheung", and Chinese characters and Chinese literature were used and developed in King Kunchoko's time. In the King Chimryu, Buddhism was delivered from Dongchin by "Marananta" in 384, and Buddhism spread out from Royal family to peasants.

Social System

Royal family and peasants had their own land when the nation was formed, and tax for the land was collected differently according to the harvest. Men over 15 years old were mobilized for national public work, handicrafts were made by technicians and slaves who belonged to the government. They made tiles and clay ware, and they had technics of weaving and dyeing. Especially Backche delivered the technics of industrial arts to Japan. And Backche also traded with the Tang Dynasty of China and Japan.