Park (Korean surname)
Park or Bak (박) is the third most frequent Korean name, traditionally traced back to King Hyeokgeose Park (박혁거세) and theoretically inclusive of all of his descendants. The name "Park" or Bak is usually assumed to come from the Korean noun Bak (박), which means "gourd".
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All the Park clans in Korea trace their ancestry back to the first king of Silla, Hyeokgeose. According to a legend, the leaders of the six clans of the Jinhan confederacy were gathering on a hilltop to choose a king, when they looked down and saw lightning strike at the foot of the Yangsan mountain and a white horse bow at the same place. When they went there to check, they found a red egg, which hatched a baby boy. They bathed the boy in the nearby stream, and he was emitting bright light, and the sun and the moon rose at the same time, indicating the divine birth of the child. Thus the child was named Hyeokgeose, meaning "ruling with a bright light", and his clan name became Bak, or "gourd" after the round shape of the egg he hatched from. At age 13 he was given the title geoseogan (거서간), the equivalent of "king" at the time. The birth legends of early Korean kings were necessary to validate the "divine" nature of their rule.
As with other Korean surnames, different lineages, known as bon-gwan or clans, are inherited from a father by his children. These designate the region of Korea, or paternal ancestor, from which they claim to originate. Out of the kings of Silla, ten had the Park surname. During the rule of King Pasa (80–112), the Park clans became divided and during the reign of King Gyeongmyeong (917–924) they became even more fractured, creating several lineages. This is when the nine Park clans named after the nine sons of Gyeongmyeong came into existence.
70–80% of the current bearers of the surname belong to the Miryang Bak clan. In 2015, there were 314 Bak clans in South Korea, with about 4.19 million people altogether.
The clans which produced the most number of notable people in Korean history are collectively called the "8 Parks", these are: the Miryang Park clan (밀양박씨), the Bannam Park clan (반남박씨), the Goryeong Park clan (고령박씨), the Hamyang Park clan (함양박씨), the Juksan Park clan (죽산박씨), the Suncheon Park clan (순천박씨), the Muan Park clan (무안박씨) and the Chungju Park clan (충주박씨).
|Clan name (Region)||Clan progenitor||Percentage (%)|
|Miryang||Grand Prince Eon-chim of Milseong||77.8*|
|Bannam (Naju)||Lord Hojang||3.6|
|Juksan (Andong)||Grand Prince Eunnip of Juksan||1.4|
|Goryeong||Park Eun-seong, Grand Prince of Goyang||1.0|
|Yeonghae (Yeongdeok)||Park Je-sang||0.7|
|Myeoncheon (Dangjin)||Park Sul-hui||0.1|
|Pyeongsan||King Hyeokgeose, founder of Silla||0.01|
* Further divided into 12 families called "Pa(파)".
Marriage within a clanEdit
Traditionally, a man and a woman in the same clan could not marry, so the combination of the bon-gwan and the family name of a husband had to differ from those of his wife. Until 1997, this was also the law, but this was ruled unconstitutional – and now DNA tests have superseded bon-gwan as an indication of one's lineage.
Position in societyEdit
|House of Park|
|Final ruler||King Gyeongae|
|Titles||King of Silla|
|Dissolution||Fall of Silla in 935|
King Hyeokgeose was said to have founded the Korean kingdom of Silla at the age of thirteen in 57 BC. Bak was one of three houses of the Korean kingdom of Silla. Among the houses of Bak, Gim, and Seok, princes rotated on the throne of Silla. Sometime in the fourth century, the Kingship remained in the Gim clan, but the Gim clan has been recorded as having paid tribute to the founding father, Bak Hyeokgeose as their ancestral shrine. For instance, the 4th king Talhae of Silla, the 9th king Beolhyu of Silla, the 10th king Naehae of Silla, the 11th king Jobun of Silla, the 12th king Cheomhae of Silla, the 14th King Yurye of Silla and the 15th king Girim of Silla were descendants of the Seok clan, but according to the Samguk sagi Silla bongi, they paid tribute to the Bak Hyeokgeose as their ancestral shrine. In addition, the 13th king Michu of Silla, the 16th king Heulhae of Silla, the 17th king Naemul of Silla, the 18th king Silseong of Silla, the 19th king Nulji of Silla, the 20th king Jabi of Silla, the 21th king Soji of Silla, the 22th king Jijeung of Silla, the 40th king Aejang of Silla, the 41st king Heondeok of Silla and the 42nd king Heungdeok of Silla are all descendants of Gim Al-ji, but according to the Samguk sagi Silla bongi, all of them paid tribute to the Bak Hyeokgeose as their ancestral shrine. This can be seen as the lineage of Seoak Tal-hae and Gim Al-ji perceiving themselves as a member of Bak's royal family. In other words, all three lineages of Bak, Seok, and Gim served Bak Hyeokgeose together as their founding father. Even when Gim monopolized the throne for more than 500 years, the worship of the founder Bak Hyuk-geose continued, and this sanctity of the founder Bak Hyeokgeose may have been the foundation for the Bak dynasty to be briefly revived in later generations. During the last century of the dynasty, the Bak family regained the position of the ruling house in 728 years. However, the reign of the Bak clan lasted only 15 years. The Bak dynasty was cut off again when Gyeongae of Silla was forced to commit suicide by Gyeon Hwon of the Hubaekje Kingdom. Although Gim Bu became king again, he soon surrendered to the royal family of Goryeo, and Silla finally collpased after 992 years.
During the Unified Silla the Miryang Bak Clan, along with Gimhae Gim clan became the most prominent of the Aristocracy, based on the Bone Rank System. Within the bone rank system, the two clans of Gimhae Gims and Miryang Baks were considered the most Jingol, or "True Bone". As Seong gol, or Divine bones died out through intermarriage, these two clans became the dominant noble houses on the peninsula following the conquest of rival dynasties. The bone rank system persists to this day via the common Korean saying, "bbyeodae itneun jiban" (family with bones) to refer to families of deep noble heritage.
After the fall of Silla, it continued as a major noble house of Goryeo. During the Goryeo dynasty, many of the people who passed the highest-level state examination, which was implemented to recruit ranking officials during the Goryeo Dynasty, were Parks. The first General to defeat the Mongols in world history was General Park Seo, who commanded the successful defense of the fortress of Guju in 1231 against the forces led by Mongol General Sartaq.
During Joseon dynasty, Parks continued to thrive as one of the main Yangban households. With the Gabo Reform of 1894, when the caste system was abolished, many peasants adopted the surname of Park, bloating the population of the Park family. Simultaneously with the abolition of the Gwageo national service examination, the Yangban system came to an end. During the Japanese Occupation Period, three of the ten Korean aristocrats admitted into Japanese House of Peers were of the Park Clan. With the social turbulence caused by the Korean War of 1950, many former peasants carry on as original members of the Park clan today. True family members maintain their ancient genealogy passed down through the families, as well as by the convention of naming their children according to strict Confucian system.
According to Kojiki (古事記), Nihonshoki (日本書紀) and Harimanokunifudoki (播磨国風土記), one of Bak Princes, recorded in various names such as Amenohiboko (天日槍), Amenohihoko (天之日矛), Hiboko (日桙), Amenohibokonomikoto (天日槍命), Amenohibokonomikoto (天日桙命) and Amanohiboko (海檜槍) migrated to Japan, founding the Itoi (糸井) clan, Miyake (三宅) clan, Tachibanamori (橘守) clan and Tajima (但馬) clan in 27 BC. 
Kings of Silla in order of their reign:
- King Hyeokgeose of Silla (57 BC – 4 AD)
- King Namhae of Silla (4–24)
- King Yuri of Silla (24–57)
- King Pasa of Silla (80–112)
- King Jima of Silla (112–134)
- King Ilseong of Silla (134–154)
- King Adalla of Silla (154–184)
- King Sindeok of Silla (912–917)
- King Gyeongmyeong of Silla (917–924)
- King Gyeongae of Silla (924–927)
- General Park Seo (Defeated the Mongol Army of Sartak at Battle of Kusong 1231)
- Park Soon ko:박순 (고려) (?-1402). Military subordinate to Taejo of Joseon. Accompanied Taejo in all military campaigns from the anti-Japanese pirate campaigns in the south to Liaodong invasion of 1388. Personally delivered the message of Redeployment from Wihwado to King Ui of Goryeo in behalf of Taejo. Was appointed the high commander of Joseon Army following the founding of the dynasty. Killed during the Northeastern Rebellion of 1398 ko:조사의의 난
- Pak Paeng-nyeon (1417–1456) was a scholar-official of the early Joseon Dynasty, and is known as one of the six martyred ministers. He was born to a yangban family of the Suncheon Pak lineage, and was the son of high minister Pak Jeongrim. He joined in a plot to overthrow Sejo and restore Danjong in 1456, but the plot was uncovered through the betrayal of fellow plotter Kim Jil. Sejo admired Pak's abilities and offered to pardon him if he were to deny his involvement and acknowledge Sejo as his king. Park died in prison from torture. Revered as a model of Confucian Loyalty. Alone among the six martyred ministers to have a surviving male descendant. One of his female servant passed off his youngest son as her own, thereby ensuring the family name. All other family and relatives were executed.
- Park Joong Seon ko:박중선 (1435–1481) Passed the National Military Service Exam with the highest score in 1460 at the age of 35. Held in high esteem by the new King Sejo for his excellent riding and archery skills, frequently accompanying the king as his personal body guard on hunts. Married off his daughter to the Crown Prince in 1366, becoming an in-law of the King. In 1367, appointed a Provincial General to put down the Northeastern Rebellion, earning further accolades becoming the youngest Minister of Defense in Joseon history.
- Park Jin (1560–1597) Served in the military intelligence following his passing of the national military service exam. Transferred to Infantry 4 years before the Japanese Invasion of 1592. Defeated by the Japanese at the Battle of Miryang (Clan home), before regaining his honor in follow on victories, including the battle of Yeongcheon and the Second Battle of Gyeongju. Was instrumental in convincing Sayaga, the highest ranking Samurai General of the invasion force to surrender. In 1597, near the end of the war, a Ming Chinese General 누승선(婁承先) accused him falsely of disobeying official order, tortured him, resulting in his death. Korean investigators confirmed broken ribs and sternum on his body.
- Park Yeon (박연) (1595– after 1666). Jan Janse de Weltevree, after his 1627 shipwreck, was drowned to Jeju Island and was not allowed to leave Korea. Thus he adopted a Korean name.
- Pak Jega (1750–1815) was a Korean Scholar of Practical Learning Silhak who advocated modern commercial reformation for Joseon dynasty after visiting China on official capacity. A strong critic of the Confucian scholars first mentality, he was banished to the provinces in 1805.
- Park Gyu-su 박규수 (1807–1877). He passed the national service exam in 1848, and as an inspector, put down the 1862 Peasant Rebellion in Jinju, reducing the tax burden and punishing the corrupt official of the city. As the Inspector General of Pyeong An Province in 1866, when USS General Sherman General Sherman Incident made its expedition into Pyeong Yang, ordered the attack on the ship when the sailors began attacking and looting the populace, resulting in the burning and sinking of the ship. Also a geographer, cartographer, and poet in the classical style. Became a notable member of the modernization movement in late Joseon until his death in 1877.
- Park Jeong Yang ko:박정양 (1842–1905) was the First Ambassador of Joseon to the United States in 1887, and a member of Kim Hong Jip cabinet.
- Militia Leader Park KiSeo (Organized a militia to resist the Donghak rebels in Jeolla Province in 1895. Liberated several town in ChungCheong Province before dying in battle.)
- General Park Jong Heon (Chief of Staff, Republic of Korea Air Force 2010–2012 AD)
- Park Bo-gum
- Park Geun-hyung
- Park In-hwan
- Park Hae-il
- Park Hae-jin
- Randall Park, American actor born to Korean emigrants
- Park Yong-ha
- Park Yu-hwan- an actor, younger brother of Park Yoochun
- Park Seo-joon
- Park Shin-yang
- Park Sang Min
- Park Hyung-sik
- Park Jimin
- Park Won-sook
- Park Min-young
- Park Han-byul
- Park Hee-jung
- Park Hwan-hee
- Park Eun-hye
- Park Si-yeon
- Grace Park
- Hettienne Park
- Soo Ae
- Park Shin-hye
- Linda Park
- Park Bo-young
- Park Eun-bin
- Park Jeong-ah
- Park Sol-mi
- Park Yoo-chun
- Park Yoo-hwan
- Dong Keun Park – Grandmaster of Taekwondo
- Bak Inbi (born 1988) – South Korean golfer
- Jane Park – American golfer of Korean descent
- Park Ji-Sung – South Korean footballer
- Park Joo-Young – South Korean footballer
- Park Chan-Ho – South Korean baseball player
- Park Jong-il (born 1972) – South Korean ski mountaineer
- Pak Se-Ri (born 1977) – South Korean golfer
- Park Tae-Hwan – South Korean swimmer
- Park Joo Bong – South Korean badminton player
- Piao Cheng (born 1989), Korean-Chinese football player
- Park Sang-young – South Korean épée fencer
- Park Sung-hyun – South Korean golfer
- Park Seung-hi – South Korean short track speed skater.
- Annabel Park, American documentary filmmaker and activist
- Park Chan-Wook, South Korean director
- Park Nam-ok, first Korean woman director
- Park Chong-hwa, Korean novelist
- Park Hyoung-su, Korean novelist
- Park In-hwan, Korean author
- Park Jaesam, Korean poet
- Park Nam-su, Korean poet
- Park Taesun, Korean novelist
- Park Tae Won, Korean novelist
- Park Wan-suh, Korean novelist
- Park Yeonghan, Korean author
- Park Yong-rae, Korean author
- Park Ynhui, Korean poet and writer
- Park Chung-Hee, The President of South Korea 1961–1979
- Park Geun-Hye, The President of South Korea 2013–2017, daughter of Park Chung-Hee
- Pak Song-chol
- Park Won-soon
- Park Ji-won, born 1942.
- Park Bom, former member of South Korean girl group 2NE1
- Park Boram, South Korean singer
- Park Chanyeol member of South Korean-Chinese boy band Exo
- Park Chaewon (stage name Gowon), member of South Korean girl group Loona
- Roseanne Park Chaeyoung (stage name: Rosé) – member of South Korean girl group Blackpink
- Park Choong Jae (stage name Jun Jin), member of South Korean boy group Shinhwa
- Park Choa, former member of South Korean girl group AOA
- Park Chorong, member of South Korean girl group Apink
- Park Eun Hye (stage name Ivy), South Korean singer
- Park Eunji, former member of South Korean girl group Nine Muses
- Park Gyuri, former member of South Korean girl group Kara
- Park Hye-kyeong (stage name Soyul), former member of South Korean girl group Crayon Pop
- Park Hyo-jin (stage name Narsha), member of South Korean girl group Brown Eyed Girls
- Park Hyomin, member of South Korean girl group T-ara
- Park Hyoshin, South Korean singer
- Park Hyung-sik, actor, singer and member of South Korean boy group ZE:A
- Park Jae-bum (stage name Jay Park), Korean American singer, rapper, and dancer; former member of South Korean boy group 2PM
- Park Jae-hyung (stage name Jae), Korean-American singer and lead guitarist of South Korean rock band Day6
- Park Jae-sang (stage name Psy), South Korean rapper
- Park Ji-hoon, member of South Korean boy goup Wanna One
- Park Ji-min, member of South Korean singing duo 15&, also known as Jamie Park
- Park Jimin, member of South Korean boy group BTS
- Park Jin-woo (stage name Jinjin), leader of South Korean boy group Astro
- Park Jin-young, member of South Korean boy group GOT7 and its subgroup JJ Project
- Park Jin-young, South Korean singer-songwriter; founder and CEO of JYP Entertainment
- Park Jihyo, member and leader of South Korean girl group Twice
- Park Ji-sung, member of South Korean boy band NCT
- Park Jiwon, member of South Korean girl group Fromis 9
- Park Jiyeon, member of South Korean girl group T-ara
- Park Jiyeon (stage name Gummy), South Korean singer
- Park Jiyoon, South Korean singer
- Park Jiyoung (stage name Kahi), former member of South Korean girl group After School
- Park Joon-hyung, member of South Korean boy group g.o.d
- Park Jung-ah, former member of South Korean girl group Jewelry
- Park Jung-hwa, member of South Korean girl group EXID
- Lena Park (Park Junghyun), Korean-American singer
- Park Jung Min, member of South Korean boy group SS501
- Park Jungsoo (stage name Leeteuk), member of South Korean boy group Super Junior
- Park Kyung, member of South Korean hip-hop boy group Block B
- Park Kyungri, member of South Korean girl group Nine Muses
- Park Minha, former member of South Korean girl group Nine Muses
- Park Min-hyuk(stage name Rocky), member of South Korean boy group Astro
- Park Mi-yeon (stage name Serri), member of South Korean girl group Dal Shabet
- Park Myeong-Su, South Korean singer and comedian
- Park Myung-eun (stage name JIN), member of South Korean girl group Lovelyz
- Park Narae, former member of South Korean girl group Spica
- Sandara Park, former member of South Korean girl group 2NE1
- Park Sang Hyun (stage name Thunder), singer, rapper, former member of South Korean boy band MBLAQ
- Park Seoham (previously Park Seungjun), member of South Korean boy band KNK
- Park Shion
- Park Sihyun, former member of South Korean girl group Spica
- Park Siyeon (stage name Xiyeon), member of South Korean girl group Pristin
- Park Sojin, member of South Korean girl group Girl's Day
- Park Sooyoung (stage name: Lizzy), former member of South Korean girl group After School
- Park Sooyoung (stage name Joy), member of South Korean girl group Red Velvet
- Park Soyeon, member of South Korean girl group T-ara
- Park Subin, member of South Korean girl group Dal Shabet
- Park Sungjin, South Korean singer, rhythm guitarist and leader of South Korean rock band Day6
- Park Sungwon, member of South Korean boy group 1THE9
- Park Sun-young (stage name Luna), member of Chinese-South Korean girl group f(x)
- Teddy Park, member of South Korean hip-hop group 1TYM
- Park Woojin, former member of South Korean boy group Wanna One
- Park Ye-eun, former member of South Korean girl group Wonder Girls
- Park Yoochun, former member of South Korean boy group DBSK, member of South Korean boy group JYJ
- Park Jeong-hwan – South Korean professional Go player
- Piao Wenyao (born 1988), Chinese professional Go player
- Park Kun-bae
- Park Young-sook – Futurist, Founder of the Korea Foster Care Association
- Suji Park (born 1985), Korean-New Zealand ceramic sculptor and artist
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