In 1231, Mongol forces invaded the Korean Peninsula, beginning almost three decades of warfare against the Koryŏ Kingdom. In 1258, the Koryŏ court finally surrendered and the kingdom became a part of the Mongol Empire. King Kwong Wong, an independent scholar who specializes in the relationship between the Mongol-Yuan and Koryŏ, joins us to give a brief look into this fascinating period in Korean history. He will talk about why Koryŏ surrendered to the Mongol-Yuan, how the Mongols integrated Koryŏ into their empire, what that relationship came to look like, and how Koryŏ dealt with the fall of the Mongols in the second half of the fourteenth century.
King Kwong Wong
King Kwong Wong is an independent scholar who received his Master's Degree in Chinese History from the University of Southern California. He is now working as a part-time lecturer at the Hong Kong University's School of Professional and Continuing Education. His research focuses on Koryŏ Korea during the Mongol-Yuan period, and he recently published a paper titled "All Are the Ruler’s Domain, but All Are Different: Mongol-Yuan Rule and Koryŏ Sovereignty in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries", which explores how Koryŏ literati viewed the idea of sovereignty and their state's relationship with the Mongol-Yuan.
Yiming Ha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His current research is on military mobilization and state-building in China between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on how military institutions changed over time, how the state responded to these changes, the disconnect between the center and localities, and the broader implications that the military had on the state. His project highlights in particular the role of the Mongol Yuan in introducing an alternative form of military mobilization that radically transformed the Chinese state. He is also interested in military history, nomadic history, comparative Eurasian state-building, and the history of maritime interactions in early modern East Asia. He received his BA from UCLA and his MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Episode No. 3
Release date: November 27, 2021
Recording location: Hong Kong, China/Los Angeles, CA
Bibliography courtesy of King Kwong
Cover Image: Koryŏ noblemen hunting (see full image credits below)
Kanghwa Island, where the Koryŏ court fled to in order to escape from the Mongols (Image Source)
Painting of Koryŏ noblemen hunting (also titled Crossing the River on Horseback) by Yi Je-hyeon (李齊賢, 1287-1367), currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced here with permission (Image Source)
Painting on the Grand Hunting in the Heavenly Mountain by King Kongmin, currently held in the National Museum of Korea and reproduced here with permission (Image Source)
Empress Chabi (1225-1281) wearing a gugu hat. The hat is also known as a boghtagh (Image Source).
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