11 Facts About Jang Bogo


Jang Bogo, childhood name: Gungbok, was a Sillan who rose to prominence in the Later Silla period of Korea as a powerful maritime figure who effectively controlled the Yellow Sea, and dominated the trade between Silla, Heian Japan, and Tang China for decades.

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Jang Bogo was born as the son of a boatman and his childhood name was Gungbok.

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Meanwhile, Jang Bogo, who learned that the Silla people were suffering from pirates, eventually returned to Silla.

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Apparently, while in China Jang Bogo had become incensed at the treatment of his fellow countrymen, who in the unstable milieu of late Tang often fell victim to coastal pirates or inland bandits.

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At the time, Jang Bogo's backing by his own army allotted him immense power in politics.

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Jang Bogo was often hated by the Silla royal family members due to his prominent status and the fact that he was born a commoner, not a nobleman.

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In 839 Jang Bogo proved instrumental in the seizure of power by Silla's King Sinmu following the overthrow of King Minae.

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Kim Ujing approached Jang Bogo for help in taking the throne from the usurper who had killed Ujing's father.

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Jang Bogo is purported to have replied, “The ancients had a saying, 'To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.

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However, both the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa relate that in 841 Jang Bogo was assassinated at his Cheonghae garrison headquarters by Yeomjang, an emissary from the Silla court who had arrived concealing a knife in his garments.

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Jang Bogo was worshipped as a god after his death, especially on the small island of Jangdo.

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