Silla's Hwarang System

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Ancient Korea was separated into three main kingdoms. In the order of the biggest and to the smallest kingdom, it was Guogurye, Baekjie, and Silla. Silla was the weakest and the smallest of the three, but Silla was the one that unified the whole Korea into one, and the one that lead to the fall of Guogurye and Baekjie. This was what made me interested. Who thought that the weakest kingdom could unify the kingdoms? And the reason behind the success of Silla was the Hwarang System. This leads to my research question: How did the start of the Hwarang system lead to Silla unifying the three kingdoms? And in this research project, I want to understand the influence of Hwarang.

Silla was small in both size and population, and also weak. Silla depended on the Tang Dynasty and their allies. Silla was made in 57 BC by Pak (also Bak or Park) Hyeokgeose, however the start of the Silla Kingdom was from a state called Saro-guk, when Korea was separated into twelve small states. According to the legends written inside the Samguk Yusa and the Samguk Sagi, it is told that Pak Hyeokgeose was born from an egg, and when the egg cracked open,
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“Wonhwa” started with two female leaders with both beauty and brain. They names were called Nammo and Junjeong. However, the Wonhwa system fell when Junjeong murdered Nammo due to jealousy. And so, the Wonhwa system changed into the Hwarang system, which was basically the same except the gender. The Hwarang system was made with groups of young boys, with beauty and brain. The Hwarang system’s main role was to teach young boys almost all the aspects: ethics, loyalty, fighting skills, religious beliefs, music, arts, and culture. Especially their teachings on religious beliefs are strong, according to the Samguk Sagi, it writes, “pray[ed] that the Buddha [would] be incarnated as a hwarang so that he might attend him as chief servant.” (Kim, p.

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