Gogukcheon of Goguryeo

King Gogukcheon of Goguryeo (died 197, r. 179–197)[1] was the ninth monarch of Goguryeo, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Gogukcheon of Goguryeo
Revised RomanizationGogukcheon-wang, Gugyang-wang
McCune–ReischauerKogukch'ŏn-wang, Kugyang-wang
Birth name
Revised RomanizationGo Nammu
McCune–ReischauerKo Nammu


  • Father: King Sindae (신대왕, 新大王)
  • Consort: Queen, of the U clan (왕후 우씨, 王后 于氏); daughter of U So (우소, 于素) – No issue.

Background and reignEdit

Gogukcheon was the second son of Goguryeo's eighth king, Sindae.[2] Though his older brother, Go Balgi (고발기), was originally the crown prince, the court officials supported Gogukcheon, who was made crown prince in 176.

However, this record is an error caused by Kim Busik's erroneous quotation of 《Tongdian》, who thought that I-imo was the same person as King Gogukcheon, and the established theory in the Korean history academia is that King Gogukcheon's older brother Gobalgi[拔奇] and King Sansang's older brother Gobalgi[發岐] are the same person. And it is believed in the Korean history academia that King Gogukcheon was not the second son of King Sindae, but the first son of King Sindae.[3]

In 180, Gogukcheon married Lady U, the daughter of U So of the Jena-bu, further consolidating central power.[4] Lady U remained queen after her husband's death due to her marriage with Gogukcheon's brother and subsequent king Sansang.[4] During his reign, the names of five 'bu', or powerful regional clans, become names of districts of the central kingdom, and rebellions by the aristocracy were suppressed, notably in 191.[2]

In 184, Gogukcheon sent his younger brother, Prince Gye-su to fight Chinese Han Dynasty invasion force of the governor of Liaodong.[5] Though Prince Gye-Su was able to block the army, the king later directly led his armies to repel Han forces in 184. In 191, King Gogukcheon adopted a meritocratic system for selecting government officials.[2] As a result, he discovered many talented people from all over Goguryeo, the greatest of them being Eul Pa-So, who was given the position of Prime Minister.[2][6]

The ancient text Samguk Sagi says that Gogukcheon went hunting one day in 194 and encountered a starving village. He gave some of his clothes and food to one of the villagers, and felt that the starvation of his people was his responsibility.[7] Gogukcheon worked to improve the lives of farmers and peasants in his kingdom. Jindae law is a grain loan system enacted by Gogukcheon in 194.[2][8] This system allowed people to borrow grain from March to July and pay back in October. This system was maintained by the age of Joseon dynasty as "Hwangok", which indicates the law was highly preserved more than a thousand years.[2]

Death and successionEdit

Though Gogukcheon ascension signaled a change from fraternal succession to father-son succession by primogeniture,[9] he was succeeded by his brother Sansang. Gogukcheon's posthumous name was derived from his burial area, Gogukcheon-won (고국천원).[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Samguk Sagi". Korean History Data Base. Kim Bu-sik. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "King Gogukcheon". KBS Radio. KBS. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  3. ^ 한국사데이터베이스 삼국사기 고국천왕 원년 Refer to footnote 3 to 5.
  4. ^ a b Pae-yong Yi, 《Women in Korean History 한국 역사 속의 여성들》, Ewha Womans University Press, 2008. ISBN 8973007726, pp.122-123
  5. ^ "계수" (in Korean). Doopedia. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  6. ^ Kim Bu-sik, 《Samguk Sagi》, 〈髙句麗本紀 第四〉: 十三年, 夏四月, 聚衆攻王都. 王徴幾校勘 013内兵馬平之, 遂下令日校勘 014, “近者官以寵授, 位非徳進, 毒流百姓, 動我王家. 此寡人不明所致也. 今汝四部, 各舉賢良在下者.” 於是, 四部共舉東部晏留. 王徴之, 委以國政, 晏留言於王曰, “微臣庸愚, 固不足以叅大政. 西鴨渌谷左勿村乙巴素者, 琉璃王大臣乙素之孫也, 性質剛毅, 智慮淵深, 不見用於丗校勘 015, 力田自給. 大王若欲理國, 非此人則不可.” 王遣使, 以卑辭重禮聘之, 拜中畏大夫, 加爵爲于台, 謂曰, “孤叨承先業, 處臣民之上, 德薄材短, 未濟於理. 先生藏用晦明, 窮處草澤者久矣. 今不我棄, 幡然而來, 非獨孤之喜幸, 社㮨校勘 016生民之福也. 請安承教, 公其盡心.” 巴素意雖許國, 謂所受職不足以濟事, 乃對曰, “臣之駑蹇, 不敢當嚴命. 願大王選賢良, 授髙官以成大業.” 王知其意, 乃除爲國相, 令知政事. 於是, 朝臣國戚, 謂素以新閒舊, 疾之. 王有教曰, “無貴賤, 苟不從國相者, 族之.” 素退而告人曰, “不逢時則隱, 逢時則仕, 士之常也. 今上待我以厚意, 其可復念舊隠乎.” 乃以至誠奉國, 明政教, 慎賞罰, 人民以安, 内外無事.
  7. ^ Jeon ho-tae, 〈Koguryo, the origin of Korean power & pride〉, Dongbuka History Foundation, 2007. ISBN 8991448836 p.13
  8. ^ Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2015). World Clothing and Fashion: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Social Influence. Routledge. ISBN 978-1317451662. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  9. ^ Yang, S. C. (1999). The South and North Korean political systems: A comparative analysis. Seoul: Hollym. p. 15. ISBN 1-56591-105-9.
  10. ^ Kim Bu-sik, 《Samguk Sagi》, 〈髙句麗本紀 第四〉: 夏五月, 王薨. 葬于故國川原, 號爲故國川王.
Gogukcheon of Goguryeo
 Died: 197
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Goguryeo
Succeeded by