National classic “Palhaego” is a book compiled by a realist scholar Ryu Tuk Gong (1748―?) in 1784.
Aiming to rectify the history of Palhae distorted by feudal historians and great-power chauvinists, Ryu Tuk Gong collected and sorted out a large number of books at home and abroad into “Palhaego” in one volume and in one book.
“Palhaego” is divided into several parts ― Kungo about the successive kings, Singo about central government officials, Jirigo about the territory, capital and local areas, Jikkwango about government offices and posts, Uijanggo about costumes of each rank, Mulsango about specialties, Kuksogo about letters sent to Japan, etc.
The book gives many-sided information about the foreign activities, territory, government post system, etc. What is particularly striking among them is it demonstrates that Palhae was a full-fledged sovereign state that succeeded to Koguryo.
The author wrote in the preface, “Where on earth is Tae from? He is surely from Koguryo. …The territory of Palhae right belongs to that of Koguryo.” He highlighted by means of the six letters sent by the kings of Palhae to Japanese kings that Palhae had been founded by the people of ruined Koguryo.
The book contains fairly detailed records indicative of the fact that Palhae was a sovereign state that exercised its sovereignty with dignity.
In addition, it repudiates the former view that Palhae had 60 provinces but proves that it had 62 provinces, and that the territory of Koryohuguk (a state founded by people of ruined Koguryo) belonged to that of Palhae.
In conclusion, “Palhaego” is a very important book that collected and catalogued all materials related to Palhae to rectify the history of Palhae for the first time in the middle ages of our country.
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