Korean invented Chinese characters?

I’ve just read some comment and someone was wondering where the claim “Korea invented Chinese characters” nonsense came from.

It was the last year when blogs and forums started pick up this story. Then a few news sites picked up this issue [ for example here in Japanese] as “funny” news. Unlike in South Korea, many considered it as a rumor or a joke. But Koreans are known to claim [fill in this blank] originates from Korea, so many believed Koreans actually claimed that.

So, a guy(a writer) did a through research [in Japanese] on this. Where all this started? Is it an urban legend or not?

Here is the summary.

About the claim “Korean invented Chinese characters”

It was introduced by the article [in Chinese] from People Daily (official newspaper from CCP). According to the article,

  1. Not only Korean scholars claimed Korean invented Chinese Characters but also they suggested to register Chinese Characters to UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  2. Chinese nationals are upset hearing this and many argues against it.
  3. Korea recently tried to register Chinese herbology and Double Fifth to UNESCO World Heritage too. They claim those are Korean original heritage.
  4. Korea claims she invented letterpress printing but Chinese historians are opposing.
  5. Now they even claim Confucius was a Korean.
  6. Many are saying “Koreans are trying to prove their supremacy though stealing our culture.”

The article seems to be referring to this forum post. However, the oldest post was posted in august 2002 by Sukgeun Jung.

He has posted to multiple forums and Usenet multiple times. Here is the one of the examples “Koreans invented and developed Chinese chracters.” His e-mail address [**spam**skjung**buster*@wam.umd.edu] suggests he belongs to the University of Maryland.

In China, this forum post [in Chinese] seems to be the first to introduce the Korean claim.

Sukgeun Jung keeps on going.

Koreans indeed invented and developed Hanja (Chinese character)

But many including Thomas Chan, PPK argues he is wrong.

And the writer concludes..


There are so many points to be debunked, but personally, I think it is really sad and unfortunate mentality for someone ( a Korean or a Chinese) to require ancient/ancestor’s glory in order to have self-confidence.

Well said.

Here is “Korean created everything” uri nara manse series!!

“Korean Created China and Japan”…

Korean invented everything

Taekwondo is a ripp off, but we don’t remember that

“Korean history is 5000 years old” business

“Korean history is 10,000 years old”

Japanese toy, “Korean invention!”

Korean train is the first among Asia….

“Korea’s WiBro” or WiMAX – not so Korean

Yet another Uriginal – Soy source

A joke popular among Japanese and Chinese

Korean created Aztec and Inca civilization”


Do you think Sukgeun Jung is the only one to claim that? You won’t be dissapointed.

Here [in Korean].


▲ 박대종 대종언어 연구소장
“한자는 우리민족이 만든 언어”

박대종 소장(41. 대종언어연구소)은 문화의 토대를 이루는 ‘언어(말)’연구를 통해 우리 역사를 지키고 있다. “한자를 만든 민족은 한족(漢族)이 아니라 우리 민족(동이족)이다. 언어의 뿌리를 알면 고구려사가 한족의 중국사가 될 수 없다는 것이 드러난다”.

박 소장은 1982년 육군 사관 학교에 들어가 이듬해부터 한자를 체계적으로 연구하고 사관학교에서 중국어를 전공할만큼 언어에 남다른 애착을 가졌다. 한자에 ‘미친’ 박 소장은 전도 유망한 군인의 길을 접고 1991년 대위로 전역한 뒤 대종언어연구소(www.hanja.com)를 설립하는 등 20여년째 한자와 우리말 연구에 힘을 쏟고 있다.

박 소장은 한자의 기원인 갑골 문자, 동아시아 고대어, 그리이스ㆍ로마어 등 언어의 뿌리를 이루는 세계 고대어를 비롯해 고고학ㆍ인류학, 언어학에 관한 국제 논문과 저서를 거의 섭렵한 뒤 한자(漢字)의 뿌리가 우리민족과 연원을 같이하는 동이족(東夷族) 의 동방 문자라는 결론에 이르렀다.

현 존하는 글자 형태 가운데 가장 오래된 갑골 문자가 발견된 지역이과거 동이족의 주 활동 무대였던 중국 하남성 은허 및 산둥성 일대라는 점, 동이족의 ‘夷’가 ‘오랑캐’라는 뜻이 아니라 강한 쇠를 뜻하는 ‘철(鐵)’의 변형이라는 점(사마천의 ‘사기’에도 ‘夷’는 ‘鐵(의 변형자)’로 명기돼 있음), 그리고 중국의 한자 체계로는 해석이 불가능한 동방문자가 있다는 점 등이 주장의 논거다.

박 소장은 “중국 대륙의 역사는 장안(長安) 중심의 중국 서부 한족(漢族)과 중국 동부의 동이족 간의 대립으로 한족의 국가는 주(周)ㆍ진(秦)ㆍ한(漢)ㆍ수(隨)ㆍ당ㆍ송ㆍ명이었으며 , 동이족의 국가는 고조선ㆍ은(상)ㆍ고구려ㆍ발해ㆍ금ㆍ요ㆍ원ㆍ청으로 이어졌다”며 “고구려사와 한족의 중국사는 근본이 다르다”고 주장했다.

박 소장은 중국의 고구려사 왜곡에 따른 국내 ‘고구려 붐’과 관련, “중국의 동북공정은 고구려만의 문제가 아니고 고대사 전반의 문제”라면서“ 역사ㆍ고고학, 언어학, 민속학 등 종합적인 대책의 마련이 필요하다”고 강조했다.

박종진 기자

And those who believe it [1][2]…………….


6 thoughts on “Korean invented Chinese characters?

  1. Why do so many Japanese care so much whether the Koreans invented the Chinese characters? One Korean scholar used probable historical evidences to make a point. Besides this there is another recent discovery that the ancestors of the Koreans were called “Su-Ma” – found in some old text writeen in Chinese chareters and it desicribes some of these Su-Ma people migrated west – and some Koreans think they became the original SuMArians – backed up by an old reginal belief that the Sumerians looked more like the “chisese” So eat your heart out if this would also make you jeolous HAHAHA

    Not too long ago, on Korean TV, there was 1-hour history show: it claimed Japan went berzerk (crazy) when old Japanase style emperor tombs were rencenly discovered in Korea. These lare odd shaped (a circle joined by a triangle – like the shape of a keyhole) were supposedly unique to Japan and the Japanese scholars had boasted only Japan had such peculiar shaped emperor tombs. Some Japanese scholars even went on claiming this is a proof that Japan did own a land in Korea at one point in history. A wishful thinking. Supposedly, this was a big news in Japan.

    This program was shown on KBS and many Koreans saw it too.

    Indeed there were many of these odd shaped tombs discovered in the Southwest of S. Korea. Then the scientists did the carbon dating and the tombs in Korea were at least several hundred years older than the oldest ones found in Japan.

    As a viewer I thought that those tombs were found in the Baeg-Je area of the old 3-kindom time. We hear endlessly their Baeg-je emperor and his entourage went to Japan when Baeg-Je was defeated. We also hear endlessly that the original Japanese emperors were Koreans. I perosnaly think these defeated Baeg-Je rulers were such rulers of Japan – or at least in one area of Japan. And these tombs are proofs or… is it your custom let’s not talk about these tombs any more!

    If you are that confident, say history AS IS and admit it – do not twist it or hide it or even worse, lie about it! China had their line of Emperors from well…. the Mongolian stock. No big deal and they don’t hide this. If you are really confident.

  2. Again, Young Gun. Your comment does not seem to be worth replying.. You are just telling you don’t know a thing about Korea(n history)..

    I’ll just give you a link. It’s a Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo introducing a book written by a Korean History professor admitting the tombs in Korea were in fact Japanese tombs. The article also mention Korean Historians hide the tombs because Koreans historians were afraid of admitting Japanese were, AGAIN, right about history.

    Here is the link.

    Young Gun, ignorance is not something you should be proud of.

  3. Koreans are known to claim [fill in this blank] originates from Korea.
    lol. I agree with you.
    They are good at making jokes.
    A nation that despire to find a culture ground to stand upon. Otherwise they might just fell. So badly.
    That’s understandable.
    But, remember to steal from Japanese, because they won’t pass on the truth.
    Don’t steal from Chinese, because Koreans will never know how high is the mountain and how deep is the water in China.

  4. Well, the world just has to accept that the Koreans created this whole universe, and that the entire human race originated from Korea.

  5. The sort of “Uriginal” mentality is reflection of their inferiority complex.

    As for the keyhole shape tombs found in Korea, Korean historians backfilled the tombs because they found out the tombs were newer than the ones in Japan which could back up “Southern Korean peninsula was occupied by Japan” theory.LOL

  6. I don’t get it… are they not satisfied with their invention of kimchi? surely, they know deep down that they are just talking non-sense, but still they try… this I pity them, because they are liek the homeless, they have nothing so they must steal to give them a sense of existence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s