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The state of Tamna or Tamna-guk ruled Jeju Island from ancient times until it was absorbed by the Korean Joseon Dynasty in 1404. This kingdom is also sometimes known as Tangna (탕나), Seomna (섬나), and Tammora. All of these names mean "island country".[1][2]


탐라국 (耽羅國)
StatusIndependent kingdom (?-476, 925-938)
Tributary state of Baekje (476-660)
Tributary state of Silla (662-925)
Vassal state of Goryeo (938-1105)
Local autonomy administration of Korea
Local autonomy administration of Yuan
Common languagesJeju,
Old Korean,
Middle Korean
• Establishment
• Fall
Succeeded by
Revised RomanizationTamna-guk


Legends of foundingEdit

There is no historical record of the founding or early history of Tamna. One legend tells that the three divine founders of the country—Go (고), Yang (양), and Bu (부)—emerged from three holes in the ground in the 24th century BC. These holes, known as the Samseonghyeol (삼성혈), are still preserved in Jeju City.[3][4]

According to legend, after Yang Eulna (양을나/楊乙那)[5] came to Jeju Island, a semi-mythical box washed up on the shore of the island. Yang Ul-la searched in the box and found three women, horses, cows, and agricultural seeds such as rice, corn, grain, millet, barley, and bamboo. From these beginnings, the three men established the kingdom of Tamna. He is regarded as the legendary ancestor of Yang Tang, the founder of the Jeju Yang bon-gwan.[6][7]

Historical and archaeological recordsEdit

Archaeological evidence indicates that the people of Tamna were engaging in active trade with Han Dynasty China and Yayoi Japan, South-east-Asian nations, with the Tamil Chola dynasty, as well as mainland Korea, by the 1st century AD. The first historical reference to the kingdom may come in the 3rd century AD, in the chronicle of the Chinese Three Kingdoms period called the Sanguozhi. The Sanguozhi reports a strange people living on a large island near Korea, which it calls Juho (州胡, literally "island barbarians"). These people, who had a distinctive language and culture, engaged in trade with the Mahan people of the mainland. However, the identity of Juho with Tamna has been disputed by authorities such as the North Korean scholar Lee Ch'i-rin (이지린), who claims that Juho was a small island in the Yellow Sea. Tamna is pronounced Dānluó (Wade-Giles: Tan1-luo2) in Standard Mandarin Chinese.

In 476, according to the Samguk Sagi, Tamna entered into a tributary relationship with Baekje, which controlled the southwestern Korean peninsula as Tamna gave military aide with some sort of money, and enjoyed strong ties with Japan. It was thus a natural partner for Tamna. As Baekje waned, Tamna turned to Silla instead. At some point near the end of the Three Kingdoms period, Tamna officially subjugated itself to Silla. Silla then conferred on the three princes of Tamna the titles which they would hold for the remainder of the kingdom's history: Seongju (성주, 星主), Wangja (왕자, 王子), and Donae (도내, 都內). Some sources indicate that this took place during the reign of King Munmu of Silla in the late 7th century AD.[1]

Tamna briefly reclaimed its independence after the fall of Silla in 935. However, it was subjugated by the Goryeo Dynasty in 938, and officially annexed in 1105. However, the kingdom maintained local autonomy until 1404, when Taejong of Joseon placed it under firm central control and brought the Tamna kingdom to an end. One interesting event that took place during these later years of Tamna was the Sambyeolcho Rebellion, which came to a bloody end on Jeju Island in 1274.

Alexander Vovin (2013)[8] notes that the old name for Jeju Island is tammura, which can be analyzed in Japanese as tani mura たにむら ( 'valley settlement') or tami mura たみむら ( 'people's settlement'). Thus, Vovin concludes that Japonic speakers were present on Jeju Island before being replaced by Koreanic speakers sometime before the 15th century.

Sovereigns and governors of TamnaEdit

Go (Ko) is the last name of the kings that ruled Tamna, and the first king was one of the three who emerged from the ground. His descendants became the future kings and governors of Tamna.

Kings of Tamna Hangul Hanja
King Go Eulla 고을라왕 高乙那王
King Geon 건왕 建王
King Samgye 삼계왕 三繼王
King Ilmang 일망왕 日望王
King Doje 도제왕 島濟王
King Eon-gyeong 언경왕 彦卿王
King Bomyeong 보명왕 寶明王
King Haengcheon 행천왕 幸天王
King Hwan 환왕 歡王
King Sik 식왕 湜王
King Uk 욱왕 煜王
King Hwang 황왕 惶王
King Wi 위왕 偉王
King Yeong 영왕 榮王
King Hu 후왕 厚王
King Dumyeong 두명왕 斗明王
King Seonju 선주왕 善主王
King Jinam 지남왕 知南王
King Seongbang 성방왕 聖邦王
King Munseong 문성왕 文星王
King Ik 익왕 翼王
King Jihyo 지효왕 之孝王
King Suk 숙왕 淑王
King Hyeonbang 현방왕 賢方王
King Gi 기왕 璣王
King Dam 담왕 聃王
King Ji-un 지운왕 指雲王
King Seo 서왕 瑞王
King Damyeong 다명왕 多鳴王
King Dam 담왕 談王
King Cheseam 체삼왕 體參王
King Seongjin 성진왕 聲振王
King Hong 홍왕 鴻王
King Cheoryang 처량왕 處良王
King Won 원왕 遠王
King Pyoryun 표륜왕 表倫王
King Hyeong 형왕 逈王
King Chido 치도왕 致道王
King Uk 욱왕 勖王
King Cheonwon 천원왕 天元王
King Hogong 호공왕 好恭王
King So 소왕 昭王
King Gyeongjik 경직왕 敬直王
King Min 민왕 岷王
King Jagyeon[9] 자견왕 自堅王
Governors of Tamna Hangul Hanja
Go Jagyeon 고자견 高自堅
Go Mallo 고말로 高末老
Go Yu 고유 高維
Go Jogi 고조기 髙兆基
Go Jeongik 고정익 髙挺益
Go Jeok 고적 髙適
Go Yeorim 고여림 髙汝霖
Go Jeongan 고정간 髙貞幹
Go Sun 고순 髙巡
Go Boksu 고복수 髙福壽
Go Indan 고인단 髙仁旦
Go Sujwa 고수좌 髙秀佐
Go Seok 고석 髙碩
Go Sunryang 고순량 髙順良
Go Sunwon 고순원 髙順元
Go Myeongeol 고명걸 髙明傑
Go Singeol 고신걸 髙臣傑
Go Bong-ye 고봉예 高鳳禮

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Book of Sui
  2. ^ 太平御覽, part 四夷部二·東夷二, section 百濟
  3. ^ "Jeju (Cheju) Island Travel Information: Samseonghyeol". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  4. ^ Lee, Peter H.; de Bary, William Theodore: Sources of Korean Tradition, Volume I: From Early Times Through the Sixteenth CenturyNew York: Columbia University Press(1997), ISBN 978-0-231-10567-5.
  5. ^, retrieved 17 Feb 2017
  6. ^ Il-yeon: Samguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea, translated by Tae-Hung Ha and Grafton K. Mintz. Book Two. Silk Pagoda (2006). ISBN 1-59654-348-5
  7. ^ "Jeju Special Autonomous Province". Archived from the original on 26 September 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  8. ^ Vovin, Alexander. 2013. ‘From Koguryǒ to T’amna: Slowly Riding South with the Speakers of Proto-Korean.’ Korean Linguistics, 15.2: 222-40.
  9. ^ Go Jagyeon, formerly King Jagyeon of Tamna was Governor of Tamna from 933-938

External linksEdit