Korean History: The Baekje Kingdom 18 BC

I came across a short, 3-minute video on this powerful Korean kingdom in one of my Asia Studies courses. A short synopsis is below.

The Baekje, founded in 18 BC, did not unify all the people of the peninsula, but it was the “dominant kingdom of three kingdom period” (King Onjo, youtube). The kingdoms effective diplomatic skills and geopolitical location made it the center of North East Asia’s economy and trade. It was a preeminent maritime traffic route that gave it access to Manchura and Japan, introducing written characters and Buddhism to the latter. The video also makes mention of Baekje’s refined artistic field, surviving examples include sculptures of dancers and musicians. The fall of Baekje in 660 AD is concluded as “one of the saddest incidents in history” in the documentary. It’s role in shaping the regions converging interests cannot be discounted, and its fall set the stage for the expansion of China into Manchuria. Baekje suffered from many of the same plights as other fragmented peoples like aristocratic entrenchment in each of the three kingdoms as well as environmental barriers. Making note of these similarities is particularly important for research into area studies.

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