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Some problems related to the description of Goguryeo Buddhism in Samgukyusa

JUNG HOSUB 1

1한성대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The authors of Samgukyusa had mainly focused on Monk Bodeuk when they edited the history of Goguryeo Buddhism section. Monk Bodeuk played a critical role in introducing Buddhism to Goguryeo from China and its popularization, and subsequently contributed to development of Silla and Baekje Buddhism, while hampering the spread of Taoism. In addition, the link of Goguryeo to King Asoka was highly emphasized as well as that of Silla. Overemphasis on the Buddhism of Silla appeared to have constrained them to document Goguryeo Buddhism in Samgukyusa. Articles on the Buddhism of Goguryeo are oversimplified. Samgukyusa lacks records of many Buddhist monks including Monk Euiyeon, who transformed practices of Goguryeo Buddhism. The authors of Samgukyusa dismissed many Goguryeo monks recorded in other Korean and foreign documents. It can be interpreted that the authors did not regard them as significant figures, who were crucial to development of Haedongbulgyo(Buddhism of the East of the Sea). However, deeds of many Goguryeo Buddhists, who worked in China, Japan, Silla and Baekje, are recorded in various historical documents. It is certain that they played an active role in development of East Asian Buddhism and contributed to its spread. Migration was very common in ancient Korea. Many monks, who were engaged with salvation and missionary works across East Asia, are acknowledged. In addition, Buddhist monks, who were closely related to the Goguryeo Buddhism in various ancient documents, were not appropriately documented or fully appreciated under the frame of the movement of East Asian Buddhism. New ideologies, popular at that time, were directly introduced to Goguryeo due to its geographic location being close to China. Goguryeo had developed into a multi-ethnic country formed by heterogenous groups of people with various ethnic origins. The fact that Goguryeo had the universality as East Asian Buddhism, became the background for publishing various Goguryeo Monks’ biographies in various documents. In future, it is required to review systematically Samgukyusa exhibiting the fragments of Guguryeo Buddhism, various historical records, and material data to understand the history of Goguryeo Buddhism as well as to distinguish its place and status in East Asia.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.