10 Facts About Hwarang


Hwarang, known as Hwarang Corps, and Flowering Knights, were an elite warrior group of male youth in Silla, an ancient kingdom of the Korean Peninsula that lasted until the 10th century.

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Hwarang were referred to as Hyangdo, the word hwarang and its colloquial derivatives being used for everything from playboy to shaman or husband of a female shaman.

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The Hwarang would seek the teachings of these Buddhist monks because they knew that the martial arts practiced by these Buddhist monks were a source through which they could strengthen themselves for greater success in the future and for the benefit of the Silla Kingdom.

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The establishment of Hwarang took place in the context of tightening central state control, a complement to the golpum system and a symbol of harmony and compromise between the king and the aristocracy.

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Hwarang groups were usually led by a youth of aristocratic standing, and the state appointed a high-ranking official to oversee the organization.

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The biographies section of the Samguk Sagi describes young Hwarang who distinguished themselves in the struggles against the Gaya confederacy and later Baekje and Goguryeo.

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Hwarang were greatly influenced by Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist ideals.

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Historians dispute the Gukseon as Hwarang leaders appointed by the king or the Hwarang groups elect their members to lead their groups.

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Samguk Yusa records that Hwarang members learned the Five Cardinal Confucian Virtues, the Six Arts, the Three Scholarly Occupations, and the Six Ways of Government Service.

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Today, Hwarang is often used in the names of various schools, organizations and companies.

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