King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo

King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo
Statue of King Dongmyeong at the Tomb of King Dongmyeong in Pyeongyang
King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo
Hangul 동명성왕 or 동명왕
Hanja 東明聖王 or 東明王
Revised Romanization Dongmyeong-seongwang or Dongmyeong-wang
McCune–Reischauer Tongmyŏng-sŏngwang or Tongmyŏng-wang
Birth name
Hangul 고주몽 or 추모
Hanja 高朱蒙 or 鄒牟
Revised Romanization Go Jumong or Chumo
McCune–Reischauer Ko Chumong or Ch'umo
Monarchs of Korea
  1. Dongmyeong 37-19 BCE
  2. Yuri 19 BCE-18 CE
  3. Daemusin 18-44
  4. Minjung 44-48
  5. Mobon 48-53
  6. Taejo 53-146
  7. Chadae 146-165
  8. Sindae 165-179
  9. Gogukcheon 179-197
  10. Sansang 197-227
  11. Dongcheon 227-248
  12. Jungcheon 248-270
  13. Seocheon 270-292
  14. Bongsang 292-300
  15. Micheon 300-331
  16. Gogug-won 331-371
  17. Sosurim 371-384
  18. Gogug-yang 384-391
  19. Gwanggaeto the Great 391-413
  20. Jangsu 413-490
  21. Munja 491-519
  22. Anjang 519-531
  23. An-won 531-545
  24. Yang-won 545-559
  25. Pyeong-won 559-590
  26. Yeong-yang 590-618
  27. Yeong-nyu 618-642
  28. Bojang 642-668

King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo (58 BC – 19 BC, r. 37 BC – 19 BC) or Dongmyeongseongwang (東明聖王), which literally means "Holy King of the East". also known by his birth name Jumong, was the founding monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. In the Gwanggaeto Stele, he is called Chumo-wang (King Chumo). In the Samguk Sagi and the Samguk Yusa, he is recorded as Jumong, with the surname Go. The Samguk Sagi states that he was also known as Chumo or Sanghae (상해, 象解). The name is also transcribed in other records as Chumong (추몽, 鄒蒙), Jungmo (중모, 中牟 or 仲牟), or Domo (도모, 都牟).[1]



The founding myths of Goguryeo are related in ancient Korean texts, including the Gwanggaeto stele. The best known version is found, with slight variations, in the Samguk Sagi, Samguk Yusa, and the Dongmyeongwangpyeon (동명왕편, 東明王篇, Volume of King Dongmyeong) of the Dongguk I sangguk jip (동국이상국집, 東國李相國集, Collected Works of Minister Yi of Korea) by Yi Gyu-bo.

There have been disputes over who the father of Jumong really was. In one legend Jumong is son of Hae Mosu (해모수, 解慕漱) and Yuhwa (유화, 柳花), daughter of the river god named Habaek (하백, 河伯). Hae Mosu met Yuhwa by a river where she was bathing, but the river god disapproved of Hae Mosu, who returned to heaven. The river god chased Yuhwa away to Ubal river (우발수, 優渤水), where she met and became the concubine of King Geumwa of Dongbuyeo. Yuwha was impregnated by sunlight and gave birth to an egg.[2] Geumwa tried to destroy the egg, and tried to feed it to animals, who instead protected the egg from harm. Geumwa returned it to Yuhwa. From the egg hatched a baby boy, who was named Jumong, apparently meaning "skilled archer" in the ancient Buyeo language.

Leaving Dongbuyeo

Jumong was known for his exceptional skill at archery. Eventually, Geumwa's sons Daesoo and youngpoo became jealous of him, and Jumong left buyeo due to follow Hae-moe-soo's dream to unify old choson territoy due to Han's nations corrupt government and save the choson's people he left Dongbuyeo. According to legend, as he fled on his horse, he approached a fast-running river. Turtles and creatures of the water rose up and formed a bridge.[3] He entered the land south of the river. In 37 BC, Jumong became the first king of Goguryeo, and reunited all of the five tribes of Jolbon into one kingdom. He married So Seo-no, who was a daughter of Jolbon's chief.

The first King of Goguryeo

In 37 BC, Jumong established Goguryeo, and became its first king. During that same year, King Songyang of Biryu (송양, 松讓) surrendered to him after receiving assistance in defeating the Malgal tribe that had invaded. In 34 BC, Jolbon, Goguryeo's first capital city, was completed, along with the palace. Four years later, in 28 BC, Jumong sent General Bu Wiyeom (부위염, 扶尉厭) to conquer the Northern Okjeo.[4] [5] During that same year, Jumong's mother, Yuhwa, died in the palace of Dongbuyeo, and was given the burial ceremony of a Royal Queen even though she was a concubine (she was not a Royal Wife).

Jumong sent a messenger and numerous gifts to King Geumwa in gratitude of his generous act. In 19 BC, Jumong's first wife Lady Ye fled Dongbuyeo with their son, Yuri, and entered Goguryeo.[6] Ye became the queen, causing tension as Jumong's second wife, So Seo-no, feared for her sons' positions in the future of Goguryeo. So Seo-no left Goguryeo with her two sons and some of the people and headed further south into the Korean peninsula, into what is now South Korea. There she built Baekje. Jumong named his first son Yuri as the crown prince and successor to the throne.

Death and Succession

Jumong died in 19 BC at the age of 40.[7] Crown Prince Yuri buried his father in a pyramid tomb, and gave him the posthumous name of Chumo-seongwang.


Jumong's kingdom of Goguryeo eventually grew into a great regional power. Goguryeo stood for 705 years and was ruled by a total of 28 kings in the Go Royal Family until it was conquered by the Silla-Tang alliance in 668. Balhae and Goryeo succeeded it, and the modern descendants of Jumong still bear his family name "Go."

In popular culture

In 2006-2007, the South Korean television network MBC aired a highly popular 81-episode drama, Jumong as part of their anniversary project. The series took elements from historical records and mythology, and retold the story in a more down-to-earth manner than the myths, following how Ju Mong, the spoiled step-child of the Buyeo royal family, later embarked a journey of self-discovery, becoming a hero of Buyeo, then seceding from Buyeo after his step-brothers betrayed him, restarted the guerrilla fighters his biological father once lead, and went on a life-mission to rescue and band together the refugees of the ancient Chosen people, leading the fight against the oppression of Imperial China, finally establishing himself as the king of the new nation Goguryeo.

In 2010, KBS1 began airing 'King Geunchogo'. In this series, Jumong is portrayed as a tyrant, who could not accept him sharing his kingdom, Goguryeo, with So Seo-no and the Jolbon faction. After the arrival of the declared crown prince Yuri, So Seo-no decides to leave 'her beloved Goguryeo' with all her servants and to create a new kingdom, one 'much more powerful than Goguryeo ever was'.


  1. Yuri (King Yuri),
  1. Biryu
  2. Onjo (King Onjo)


  1. ^ Digital Korean Studies
  2. ^ Retrieved on March 6th of 2008.
  3. ^ (Kor)
  4. ^ History of Korea (Korean)
  5. ^ 《三国史记》:“六年 秋八月 神雀集宫庭 冬十月 王命乌伊扶芬奴 伐太白山东南人国 取其地为城邑。十年 秋九月 鸾集于王台 冬十一月 王命扶尉 伐北沃沮灭之 以其地为城邑”
  6. ^ 十九年 夏四月 王子類利自扶餘與其母逃歸 王喜之 立爲太子, 《Samguk Sagi》 concerning Goguryeo, volume 13.
  7. ^ 秋九月 王升遐 時年四十歲 葬龍山 號東明聖王, 《Samguksagi》 Goguryeo, volume 13.

See also

King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo
House of Go
Regnal titles
New title King of Goguryeo
37 BC – 19 BC
Succeeded by
King Yuri

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