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The Claim as Chinese of Koguryo Refugees’ Descendants and the Society of Tang Dynasty

Sujin Kim 1

1국민대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

While the first generation of Koguryo refugees had clearly defined their identities as Koguryo in epitaphs, next generations changed their origins, identities, and surnames. Koguryo’s descendants changed their surnames into common chinese surnames. They claimed that their ancients had been from China and they had come back to Tang from Koguryo in the aftermath of Chinese chaotic state. By modifying their pedigree, Koguryo’s descendants tried to erase their identities and become a Chinese. The author suggests this phenomenon resulted from Tang’s migration policy rather than the identity crisis of Koguryo refugees. Since the first generation of Koguryo refugees were privileged the exemption from taxation for 10 years, they did not need to erase their Koguryo identity. In addition, it was common to change their surname to the renowned clan’s one even for the Chinese as well as other ethnic groups. There was no sanction or penalty to fabricate their origin and identity. Koguryo’s descendants pretended to be a Chinese due to practical reasons reflecting the society of Tang Dynasty.

Citation status

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