Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > Asian History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Asian History Asian History Forum - China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific Region


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 14th, 2017, 06:35 AM   #1

RomaVictrix's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Virginia, USA
Posts: 110
Why did Yamato Japan aid Korea's Baekje against Silla and Tang-dynasty China?


[I originally posted this thread at the TWC forums.]

I honestly don't understand what the Japanese (Empress Saimei and her successor Emperor Tenji) had to gain in helping Buyeo Pung in his attempt to restore the Korean Baekje Kingdom after its fall to the joint forces of Korean Silla and Tang China in 660.

I understand the fact that the Baekje and Japanese royal houses allegedly shared a bloodline. Yet that's hardly a reason to send such a massive naval fleet. They should have known full well that Buyeo Pung's claim to the throne was tenuous and built on sand, considering how he was holed up in his last stronghold at Churyu. Empress Saimei's response to the fall of Baekje in 660 has the curiously ambiguous statement that Baekje now placed itself in protective Japanese hands with their call for aid. Did the empress have designs to acquire Baekje for herself? Or at the least establish a formidable Japanese presence on the Korean Peninsula?

On August 27th, 663 AD, the Japanese navy met the Tang Chinese navy at the Battle of Baekgong, along the Geum River of today's Jeollabuk-do province, while Silla forces fought Baekje's troops on the nearby banks of the river. The Tang fleet crushed the Japanese, who counted few survivors from this fiasco. After the battle and subsequent fall of Baekje's ally Goguryeo to both Silla and Tang in 668, many Baekje artisans and aristocrats fled to Japan. They were instrumental in building a large series of Korean-style castles in Japan for Emperor Tenji as a defensive ring against any possible attack by Silla or Tang (which shared friendly diplomatic relations with Japan shortly after, along with Buddhist missionaries). The ruins of some of these castles can still be seen today.

Did the Japanese show an interest in defending Baekje due to the desired expertise and abilities of some of its nobility? In essence, what exactly did Japan have to gain from all of this?

We certainly know what China wanted, seeing how the longtime allies Tang and Silla turned on each other due to the Tang emperor's insistence that even Silla be placed under the authority of Tang rule (i.e. The Protectorate General to Pacify the East). With the truce of 676, however, the Tang Empire was able only to hold on to territories north of the Taedong River. It was their comfort zone anyway, considering how it more or less matched the boundaries of the Lelang Commandery that the Chinese Han Dynasty had established in 108 BC with Emperor Wu's conquest of Wiman Joseon.

For those of you who have no idea where any of these kingdoms were located, here's a basic map:

Click the image to open in full size.
RomaVictrix is offline  
Remove Ads
Old February 14th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #2
Lecturer
 
Joined: Sep 2016
From: 天下
Posts: 406

Baekje and Yamato Japan were closely connected to each other. It's important to note that Baekje send off members of Royal clan to Japan, two of which became later kings of Baekje, and both sides enjoyed an alliance. What's interesting is that among Baekje officials were people of Wa, of which the highest ranked recorded official was Mononobe no Makamu no Muraji (物部莫哥武連) who was the governor of Eastern Province of Baekje (東方領). Another important fact is that among Koreans and Chinese, there also lived people of Wa. Many of the recorded Wa officials in Baekje are from influential clans of Japan like Ki 紀氏, Shinano 科野(斯那奴,斯柰奴)氏, Kose 許勢氏, or aforementioned Mononobe 物部氏. Members of those clans would most certainly pressure the court to support Baekje. Likewise there were migrants in Japan from Baekje, and a number of clans originated in the peninsula.

Baekje was also an important trade partner of Japan, so there were economic reasons to keep Baekje independent of Tang rule.

Last edited by Vaderfan; February 14th, 2017 at 02:50 PM.
Vaderfan is offline  
Old February 14th, 2017, 03:41 PM   #3

RomaVictrix's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Virginia, USA
Posts: 110

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaderfan View Post
Baekje and Yamato Japan were closely connected to each other. It's important to note that Baekje send off members of Royal clan to Japan, two of which became later kings of Baekje, and both sides enjoyed an alliance. What's interesting is that among Baekje officials were people of Wa, of which the highest ranked recorded official was Mononobe no Makamu no Muraji (物部莫哥武連) who was the governor of Eastern Province of Baekje (東方領). Another important fact is that among Koreans and Chinese, there also lived people of Wa. Many of the recorded Wa officials in Baekje are from influential clans of Japan like Ki 紀氏, Shinano 科野(斯那奴,斯柰奴)氏, Kose 許勢氏, or aforementioned Mononobe 物部氏. Members of those clans would most certainly pressure the court to support Baekje. Likewise there were migrants in Japan from Baekje, and a number of clans originated in the peninsula.
Thank you very much for this information about clans and lineage! These names were never brought up in the original thread in TWC.

Also, I agree about the economic incentive, otherwise the Japanese wouldn't have bothered to send such a large fleet to secure their financial interests in former Baekje under Tang-Silla rule.
RomaVictrix is offline  
Old February 14th, 2017, 10:06 PM   #4

norenxaq's Avatar
Archivist
 
Joined: Jun 2013
From: ca
Posts: 136

the genealogical connection is more than alleged
norenxaq is offline  
Old February 14th, 2017, 10:40 PM   #5

f0ma's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2012
From: 咸亨酒店
Posts: 1,045
Blog Entries: 9

Quote:
I know it's been three years, but do you care to answer that
It's been three years since we discussed it last (the TWC thread was a fine one indeed), but nearly five since I last worked on this period. I have an old paper I wrote on it, but it's on an external hard drive that's seen better days and refuses to boot up, so I can't refresh my memory that much.

My earlier views on the subject, well documented here and on TWC, are still the same; Yamato intervention in 663 was predicated upon fears of a Tang invasion, but that these fears arose after the Tang attacks on Kogoryo and were not the impetus behind the original Taika Reforms.

In regards to your question, my original reply was aimed at the immediate post-Baekgang period (concerning 'returning Tang embassies'). Enichi had already travelled to China before the Taika Reforms, and the first kentoshi mission was in 630, so Japan was already making overtures of their own before (Gao Bianren's 632 mission being the first Tang one).
f0ma is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > Asian History

Tags
aid, baekje, china, empress, honestly, japan, japanese, korea, silla, tangdynasty, understand, yamato



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
KBS Documentary: China and Japan were colony of Baekje bananasinpajamas Asian History 150 September 1st, 2015 10:41 PM
What if: China/North Korea/Pakistan vs Japan/South Korea/India Mrbsct Speculative History 21 May 5th, 2015 08:16 PM
Development in China, Korea and Japan Darth Raidius Asian History 36 January 19th, 2015 07:32 AM
Hygiene in Korea, Japan and China. Godric Asian History 8 October 18th, 2012 09:56 AM
Gao Bianren and the Tang-Yamato split f0ma Asian History 0 October 4th, 2012 06:44 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.