lunes, 9 de julio de 2007

Martial Arts Training as Physical Education

Martial Arts Training as Physical Education:
East Meets West
by Alan Hochberg
I was a failure of the American system of physical education. Allthrough school, I hated "gym class". I was a skinny kid with areputation as a "nerd" who was no good at sports. It was humiliatingto be chosen last for every game, to never get the ball, to nevermake the team, to be unable to manage even one pull-up. My parentsencouraged me to give up on sports. They were happy with mygentleman's "C" grades in phys. ed., and encouraged me to concentrateon academics.
Why, then, at age 41, am I about to reach a major milestone inphysical training--by black belt in Tang Soo Do? I think the reasonslie in the differences between the Eastern and Western approaches tophysical education.
Respect vs. Humiliation
Comedy movies and TV shows often portray the American Phys. Ed.teacher using humiliation to motivate athletes. While this may workwith some students, it can backfire and discourage others, as it didme.
In contrast, I was always treated with respect in the dojang, even onmy first visit. There was no humiliation from the instructors, eventhough I had little coordination, balance, or speed, and couldn't tiemy white belt.
Instead they concentrated on the positive, which was that I had somelevel of endurance and fitness from hiking and bicycling. They madeit clear that if I was willing to work hard, they were there for me.
Collective vs. Individual Focus
American society is noted for placing the emphasis on the individual,while the group is more important in Oriental cultures. The Americansystem of physical education is built around identifying naturaltalent, and nurturing those talented individuals into "star"athletes. Certain body types, such as tall basketball players, areespecially prized. We pay lip service to "teamwork", but the "team"is already an elite group, and those who couldn't "make the team" areexcluded.
Martial arts training, by contrast, welcomes everyone who is willingto work hard. As one of my instructors said, "There is no quota forblack belts. We have enough for everyone who can earn one." Thatincludes both genders on an equal basis, and includes students of allages and body types. There are differences to be sure. A short,stocky fighter might be able to side kick someone across the room,while a tall fighter could drop an ax kick on someone's head. Butkarate is adaptable to both of them.
I think karate is so inclusive because it comes from a pragmaticdefense- and warfare- oriented tradition. When your village was underattack, you couldn't say to someone, "Sorry, you're not tall enoughto make the team. You can't fight alongside us." You needed to adaptand develop training methods for the people who were willing to betaught. Our weapons, adapted from broom handles and farm implements,reflect karate's pragmatic, inclusive tradition as well.
Another meaning of teamwork in karate is that the best students areexpected to teach the beginners, and to help them come up through theranks. I value all the lessons I have received from my fellowstudents, as well as what I have learned from my instructors.
Patience: Long-term vs. Short-term Goals
It shouldn't be surprising that an art with a 2000-year tradition ispatient and methodical in its training methods. No pressure to befully trained in two months for Opening Day, because karate has noseasons. Everyone begins as a white belt. Fundamentals are taught andre-taught for years and years. I learned never to say "I can't",only "I can't--yet." It took me months to teach my arms to move in asimple Low Block/Center Punch combination, and it took two yearsbefore the "one-two" action of the Jump Front Kick finally "clicked".My instructors waited patiently and encouraged me the whole time.
Mind/Body Integration
In Western thought, the mind and body are separate, and Americanculture divides us into "nerds" and "jocks". I definitely wasn't ajock!
In the Eastern philosophy behind martial arts, the mind and body areone. We learn mental concentration as well as how to punch.Meditation is part of our art. The tradition of great scholarshipalongside rigorous physical training goes back to the monks of theShaolin Temple and beyond.
A friend of mine in college told me that all growth is equallyimportant, whether it is mental or physical. It does you no good todevelop a fine mind, and then to have your body give out on you, sothat you can no longer use that mind for yourself, or to help thepeople around you. Karate has been a source of profound mental andphysical growth for me.
Zen and the Art of Karate
American sports are linear and quantitative in nature, reflecting aWestern way of thinking. Games start and the beginning and proceed tothe end. There is a focus on the outcome, the score, which is anumber by which the players can rank themselves.
Karate training is circular and qualitative, in the Eastern mode ofthought. Except in tournaments, nobody keeps score. When I do a form,I know myself whether I have done my best or not, and try always todo everything better, even though I don't get a number or lettergrade.
When I began training, I was a linear thinker. I thought that youstarted out as a white belt, and proceeded through the ranks, andthat black belt was the final goal, the "end" of some sort, thepurpose of training. Now I know better. Training is circular. Blackbelt is not the end, but the beginning of what my instructorcalls "the good stuff". And higher belts are not the reason to cometo class--it's the process of training itself. Each punch, each form,each one-step is the reason that I'm there.
There are similarities between karate training and other forms ofphysical education I have been exposed to. But there are alsoprofound differences. I'm sure that karate has benefits to thoseskilled in traditional American sports, since it involves rigoroustraining, discipline, and concentration.
Because our art is derived from the needs of combat, it is a well-rounded form of training, placing equal emphasis on strength, speed,endurance, balance, and co-ordination.
But karate also works for those that were abandoned by the Americansystem of physical education, such as myself. It is not basedon "star athletes". I find it ironic that I am in shape for my blackbelt test at a time when some of the "jocks" I knew in high school,no longer sports stars, are taking on a sedentary lifestyle andgaining weight.
Through karate, I have learned to do things that I would have thoughtimpossible when I started my training. Perhaps most importantly, Ihave become part of the "team" at KMAI in Hockessin. Not a "team" inthe sense of "athletic elite", but rather a community that teaches,uplifts, and cares for each other.
©1996-2003, Korean Martial Arts Institute
The content contained within this page is the property of the WorldTang Soo Do Association and the Korean Martial Arts Institute. Theimages and information contained herein may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the World Tang Soo Do AssociationHeadquarters and the Korean Martial Arts Institute.

The Legend of Bruce Lee

Este topico va dedicado al Sifu Albert Grajales y a su maestro Sifu Ted Wong, estudiante directo de Bruce Lee. Ambos fieles practicantes del Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do. Un saludo para Albert, a su familia y a su hermano Master Ralph Grajales de KMK.


(Lee Jun Fan)

Fundador de Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee (Traditional Chinese: 李小龍; Simplified Chinese: 李小龙; Pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎolóng; Cantonese Yale: Léih Síulùhng; November 27, 1940July 20, 1973) was a martial artist, philosopher, instructor, and martial arts actor widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the 20th century.

Born in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, Lee is best remembered for the presentation of Chinese martial arts to the non-Chinese world. His Hong Kong-produced and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked the first major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world. Lee became an iconic figure particularly to Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese national pride and Chinese nationalism in his movies.[1] Many see Lee as a model blueprint for acquiring a strong and efficient body, as well as developing a mastery of martial arts and hand to hand combat skills.
Early life
Bruce Lee was born at the Jackson Street Hospital in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the United States, to a Chinese theatrical family touring the country.[2] Lee's parents returned to Hong Kong with the newborn Lee when he was three months old. His father, Lee Hoi-Chuen (李海泉), was Chinese, and his Catholic mother, Grace (何愛瑜), had a half German and half Chinese father and a Chinese mother.[3][4][5][6][7][8] He was a citizen of the United States and did not hold any other citizenships.
Education and family
At age 12, Lee entered La Salle College, a secondary school. Then, he attended St Francis Xavier's College. In 1959, at the age of 18, Lee got into a fight with a feared Triad gang member's son. His father became concerned about young Bruce's safety, and as a result, he and his wife decided to send Bruce to the United States to live with an old friend of his father's. All he had was $100 in his pocket and the title of 1958 Crown Colony Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong.[2] After living in San Francisco, he moved to Seattle to work for Ruby Chow, another friend of his father's. In 1959, Lee completed his high school education in Seattle and received his diploma from Edison Technical School. He enrolled at the University of Washington as a drama major and took philosophy classes. It was at the University of Washington that he met his future wife Linda Emery, whom he would marry in 1964. He had two children with Linda, Brandon Lee (1965-1993) and Shannon Lee (1969-). Brandon, who would also become an actor like his father, died in an accident during the filming of The Crow in 1993.
Lee's Cantonese given name, Jun Fan (振藩; Mandarin Pinyin: Zhènfán), literally means "invigorate San Francisco" (三藩市).[9] At his birth, he additionally was given the English name of "Bruce" by a Dr. Mary Glover. Though Mrs. Lee had not initially planned on an English name for the child, she deemed it appropriate and would concur with Dr. Glover's addition.[10] Interestingly, the name "Bruce" was never used within his family until Bruce Lee enrolled in La Salle College (a Hong Kong high school) at the age of 12,[9] and again at another high school (St. Francis Xavier's College in Kowloon), where Lee would come to represent the boxing team in inter-school events.
Lee initially had the birth name Li Yuen Kam[1](李炫金); Mandarin Pinyin: Lǐ Xuànjīn) given to him by his mother, as at the time Lee's father was away on a Chinese opera tour. This name would later be abandoned because of a conflict with the name of Bruce Lee's grandfather, causing him to be renamed to Jun Fan upon his father's return. Also of note is that Bruce Lee was given a feminine name, Sai Fung (細鳳, literally "small phoenix"), which was used throughout his early childhood in keeping with a Chinese custom that is traditionally thought to hide the child away from evil spirits.
Lee's screen names were respectively Lee Siu Lung (in Cantonese), and Li Xiao Long (in Mandarin) (李小龍; Cantonese pengyam: Ley5 Siw2 Long4; Mandarin Pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎolóng) which literally translate to "Lee the Little Dragon" in English. These names were first used by director 袁步雲 of the 1950 Cantonese movie 細路祥 in which Lee would perform. It is possible that the name "Lee Little Dragon" was based on his childhood name of "small dragon", as in Chinese tradition the Chinese dragon and phoenix come in pairs to represent the male and female genders, respectively. The more likely explanation however is that he came to be called "Little Dragon" because according to the Chinese zodiac, Bruce Lee was born in the Year of the Dragon.
Acting career
Lee's father Lee Hoi-Chuen was a famous Cantonese Opera star. Through his father, he was introduced into films at a very young age and appeared in several short black-and-white films as a child. Lee had his first role when he was a mere baby that was carried onto the stage. By the time he was 18, he had appeared in 20 films.[2] Having acted in non-martial arts films throughout his childhood and teenage years in Hong Kong, Lee attempted to start his acting career in the United States in the 1960s. He became famous for playing Kato alongside Van Williams in the TV series The Green Hornet which lasted for only one season from 1966 to 1967. He also played Kato in two episodes of the series Batman which was also produced by the same people of The Green Hornet. This was followed by guest appearances in television series such as Ironside (1967) and Here Come the Brides (1969). In 1969 he made his first major film appearance in Marlowe where he played a henchman hired to intimidate private detective Philip Marlowe by smashing up his office with karate chops and kicks. In 1971 he appeared in four episodes of the television series Longstreet as the martial arts instructor of the title character Mike Longsteet.
Not happy with the roles that he was being offered in the U.S., Lee then returned to Hong Kong and was offered a film contract by Raymond Chow to appear in films produced by his company Golden Harvest. He played his first leading role in The Big Boss (1971) which was a huge box office success all over Asia and catapulted him to stardom. He went on to star in Fist of Fury (1972) which was an even bigger success at the box office and wrote, directed and starred in Way of the Dragon (1972). In 1964 at a demonstration in Long Beach, California, Lee met karate champion Chuck Norris. In Way of the Dragon Lee introduced Chuck Norris as his opponent in the final fight scene at the colosseum in Rome which is considered to be one of his most famous fight scenes. He was then offered the lead role in Enter the Dragon (1973) which was the first to be produced jointly by a Chinese and American studio. This was to be the film that would have shot Lee to fame in America. Tragically, Lee mysteriously died three weeks before the film was released.
Enter the Dragon went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year and cemented Lee's status as a martial arts legend. It was made for US$850,000 in 1973 ($3.74 million in 2005 currency). [11] To date, Enter the Dragon has grossed over $200 million worldwide.[12] The movie sparked a brief fad in the martial-arts epitomized in songs like Kung Fu Fighting and TV shows like Kung Fu.
Robert Clouse, the director of Enter the Dragon attempted to finish Lee's incomplete film Game of Death which Lee had intended to also write and direct. Lee had shot over 40 minutes of footage for Game of Death before shooting was stopped to allow him to work on Enter the Dragon. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a student of Bruce Lee also appeared in the film. In the film, Lee played Billy Lo who while wearing the now famous yellow track suit, took on the 7 foot 2 giant basketball player in a climactic fight scene. Unfortunately, Lee had died before he was due to resume filming for Game of Death. Robert Clouse finished the film using a Bruce Lee look-alike and archive footage of Lee from his other films and released it in 1978 with a new storyline and cast. However it only contained 15 minutes of the actual footage Lee had shot and the rest of the film had Lee's lookalike Tai Chung Kim playing Billy Lo and Yuen Biao acting as a stunt double. The unused footage Lee had filmed was recovered 22 years later and was included in the Bruce Lee documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey.
Martial arts training and development
Young Bruce's first introduction to martial arts was through his father, Lee Hoi Cheun. He learned the fundamentals of Wu style Tai Chi from his father, .[citation needed] Lee's sifu, Wing Chun master Yip Man, was also a colleague and friend of Hong Kong's Wu family Tai Chi teacher Wu Ta-ch'i.

Lee started training in
Wing Chun Gung Fu (aka Ving Tsun Kung Fu / WingTsun Kung-Fu) at the age of 14 under Hong Kong Wing Chun Sifu Yip Man. Lee was introduced to Yip Man in early 1954 by William Cheung, then a live-in student of Yip Man. Like most Chinese martial arts schools at that time, Sifu Yip Man's classes were often taught by the highest ranking students. One of the highest ranking students under Yip Man at the time was Wong Shun-Leung. Wong is thought to have had the largest influence on Bruce's training. Yip Man trained Lee privately after some students refused to train with Lee due to his ancestry.[13] Lee would leave Hong Kong before learning the entire Wing Chun curriculum, but Wing Chun formed the foundation of his own martial art expressions and later explorations of martial arts.[14]
Jun Fan Gung Fu

Main article: Jun Fan Gung Fu

Lee began teaching martial arts after his arrival in the United States in 1959. Bruce Lee taught what he called the "Tao of Chinese Gung Fu" with Wing Chun at its core.
Jun Fan Gung Fu (literally Bruce's Gung Fu), the name Lee called his martial art, is basically a slightly modified approach to Wing Chun [15]. Lee taught friends he met in Seattle, starting with Judo practitioner Jesse Glover as his first student and who later became his first assistant instructor. Before moving to California, Lee opened his first martial arts school, named the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute, in Seattle.

Lee also improvised his own kicking method, involving the directness of Wing Chun and the power of Northern Shaolin kung fu. Lee's kicks were delivered very quickly to the target, without "chambering" the leg.
Jeet Kune Do
Main article: Jeet Kune Do
Jeet Kune Do originated in 1965. The match with Wong influenced Lee's philosophy on fighting. Lee believed that the fight had lasted too long and that he had failed to live up to his potential. He took the view that traditional martial arts techniques were too rigid and formalistic to be practical in scenarios of chaotic street fighting. Lee decided to develop a system with an emphasis on "practicality, flexibility, speed, and efficiency". He started to use different methods of training such as weight training for strength, running for endurance, stretching for flexibility, and many others which he constantly adapted.
Lee emphasized what he called "the style of no style". This consisted of getting rid of a non-formalized approach which Lee claimed was not indicative of traditional styles. Because Lee felt the system he called Jun Fan Gung Fu was too restrictive, it was transformed to what he would come to describe as Jeet Kune Do or the Way of the Intercepting Fist, a term he would later regret because Jeet Kune Do implied specific parameters that styles connotate whereas the idea of the martial art was to exist outside of parameters and limitations.
Bruce Lee certified 3 instructors, Taky Kimura, James Yimm Lee (no relation to Bruce Lee) and Dan Inosanto. James Yimm Lee, a close friend of Bruce Lee, died without certifying additional students. Taky Kimura, to date, has certified one person in Jun Fan Gung Fu: his son and heir Andy Kimura. Dan Inosanto continues to teach and certify select students. Prior to his death, Lee told his then only two living instructors Inosanto and Kimura (James Yimm Lee had died in 1972) to dismantle his schools. Both Taky Kimura and Dan Inosanto were allowed to teach small classes thereafter without using the name Jeet Kune Do.
As a result of a lawsuit between the estate of Bruce Lee and the Inosanto Academy, the name "Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do" was legally trademarked, and the rights were given solely to the Lee estate. "The name is made up of two parts: 'Jun Fan' (Bruce's given Chinese name) and 'Jeet Kune Do' (the Way of the Intercepting Fist). The development of Bruce Lee's art from 1961 until the end of his life was one smooth and indivisible path. In the beginning, he referred to his teachings simply as Jun Fan Gung Fu.
Some martial arts instructors, in an effort to promote themselves or their martial arts schools, make dubious claims about learning from or teaching Bruce Lee. Yet, only 3 were certified by Lee.
1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships
At the invitation of Ed Parker, Lee appeared in the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships[16] and performed repetitions of two-finger pushups (using the thumb and the index finger) with feet at approximately a shoulder-width apart. In the same Long Beach event he also performed the "One inch punch".[17] The description of which is as follows: Lee stood upright, his right foot forward with knees bent slightly, in front of a standing, stationary partner. Lee's right arm was partly extended and his right fist approximately an inch away from the partner's chest. Without retracting his right arm, Lee then forcibly delivered the punch to his partner while largely maintaining his posture, sending the partner backwards and falling into a chair said to be placed behind the partner to prevent injury, though the force of gravity caused his partner to soon after fall onto the floor.
1967 Long Beach International Karate Championships
Bruce Lee also appeared at the 1967 Long Beach International Karate Championships[18] and performed various demonstrations, including the infamous "unstoppable punch" with USKA karate champion Vic Moore.
Physical fitness and nutrition
*Physical fitness
Bruce Lee felt that many martial artists of his day did not spend enough time on physical conditioning. Bruce included all elements of total fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility. He tried traditional bodybuilding techniques to build bulky muscles or mass. In his book The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, he wrote "Training is one of the most neglected phases of athletics. Too much time is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual for participation." "JKD, ultimately is not a matter of petty techniques but of highly developed spirituality and physique".
The weight training program that Lee used during a stay in Hong Kong in 1965 at only 24 years old placed heavy emphasis on his arms. At that time he could perform bicep curls at a weight of 35 to 40lbs for three sets of eight repetitions, along with other forms of exercises, such as squats, push-ups, reverse curls, concentration curls, French presses, and both wrist curls and reverse wrist curls. [20] The repetitions he performed were 6 to 12 reps (at the time). While this method of training targeted his fast and slow twitch muscles, it later resulted in weight gain or muscle mass, placing Bruce a little over 165 lbs. Bruce Lee was documented as having well over 2,500 books in his own personal library, and eventually concluded that "A stronger muscle, is a bigger muscle". However, Bruce forever experimented with his training routines to maximize his physical abilities. He employed many different routines and exercises, which effectively served his training and bodybuilding purposes.
Lee believed that the abdominal muscles were one of the most important muscle groups for a martial artist, since virtually every movement requires some degree of abdominal work. Perhaps more importantly, the "abs" are like a shell, protecting the ribs and vital organs.
He trained from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., including stomach, flexibility, and running, and from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. he would weight train and cycle. A typical exercise for Lee would be to run a distance of two to six miles in 15 to 45 minutes, in which he would vary speed in 3-5 minute intervals. Lee would then ride his stationary bicycle for 30-45 minutes at full speed immediately after running. Next, Lee would do some skipping rope for 800 jumps non-stop.
According to Linda Lee, soon after he moved to the United States, Bruce Lee started to take nutrition seriously and developed an interest in health foods, high-protein drinks and vitamin and mineral supplements. Bruce later realized that in order to achieve a high-performance body, one could not fuel it with a diet of junk food. With the wrong fuel, the body's performance would become sluggish or sloppy. Lee's diet included protein drinks; he always tried to consume one or two daily, but discontinued drinking them later on in his life.
Linda recalls Bruce's waist fluctuated between 26 and 28 inches. "He also drank his own juice concoctions made from vegetables and fruits, apples, celery, carrots and so on, prepared in an electric blender". He consumed large amount of green vegetables, fruits, and fresh milk everyday. Bruce always preferred to eat Chinese or other Asian food because he loved the variety that it had.
Bruce Lee Physical Feats
Bruce's phenomenal fitness meant he was capable of performing many exceptional physical feats.

Bruce Lee could perform one finger two-handed push ups.
Bruce Lee's striking speed from 3 feet away was five hundredths of a second.
Bruce could perform one-hand push ups using only 2 fingers.
Bruce would ride the equivalent of 10 miles in 45 minutes on a stationary bike, sweating profusely afterwards.
Bruce could collapse steel reinforced head protection gear.
Bruce was able to lift a 300 lb. barbell.
Bruce could floor an opponent with a punch 1 inch away.
Bruce could throw grains of rice up into the air and then catch them in mid-flight using chopsticks.
Bruce could cause a 300 lb bag to fly towards the ceiling with a sidekick.
Although Bruce Lee is best known as a martial artist and actor, Lee majored in philosophy at the University of Washington. Lee's books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are well-known both for their philosophical assertions both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. His influences include Taoism and Buddhism.
The following are some of Bruce Lee's quotes that reflect his fighting philosophy.
"If I tell you I'm good, you would probably think I'm boasting. If I tell you I'm no good, you know I'm lying."
"Fighting is not something sought after, yet it is something that seeks you."
"Be formless... shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, and it can crash. Be like water, my friend..."
"Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
"The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to 'do' the punch or attempting to use brute force to knock someone over will only work to opposite effect."
"Mere technical knowledge is only the beginning of Kung Fu. To master it, one must enter into the spirit of it."
"There are lots of guys around the world that are lazy. They have big fat guts. They talk about chi power and things they can do, but don't believe it."
"I'm not a master. I'm a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I'm still learning. So I'm a student-master. I don't believe in the word 'master.' I consider the master as such when they close the casket."
"Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there."
"Jeet Kune Do: it's just a name; don't fuss over it. There's no such thing as a style if you understand the roots of combat."
"Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result."
"I think the high state of martial art, in application, must have no absolute form. And, to tackle pattern A with pattern B may not be absolutely correct."
"True observation begins when one is devoid of set patterns."
"The other weakness is, when clans are formed, the people of a clan will hold their kind of martial art as the only truth and do not dare to reform or improve it. Thus they are confined in their own tiny little world. Their students become machines which imitate martial art forms."
"Some people are tall; some are short. Some are stout; some are slim. There are various different kinds of people. If all of them learn the same martial art form, then who does it fit?"
"Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky so I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly enough; that my friend is very hard to do."
"Using no way as way; Having no limitation as limitation."
Awards and honors
With his ancestral roots coming from Gwan'on in Seundak, Guangdong province of China (廣東順德均安, Guangdong Shunde Jun'An), a street in the village is named after him where his ancestral home is situated. The home is open for public access.
Bruce Lee was named TIME Magazine 's 100 Most Important People of the Century as one of the greatest heroes & icons, as an example of personal improvement through in part physical fitness, and among the most influential martial artists of the twentieth century.
The 1993 film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story claims to be a slightly fictionalized biographical film about Bruce Lee, few scenes are based on reality, however.
In 2001,
LMF, a Cantonese hip-hop group in Hong Kong, released a popular song called "1127" as a tribute to Bruce Lee.
In 2003, "Things Asian" wrote an article on the thirtieth anniversary of his death.[
In 2004, UFC president Dana White credited Bruce Lee as the "father of mixed martial arts".[
In September 2004, a BBC story stated that the Herzegovinian city of Mostar was to honor Lee with a statue on the Spanish Square, as a symbol of solidarity. After many years of war and religious splits, Lee's figure is to commend his work: to successfully bridge culture gaps in the world. The statue, placed in the city park, was unveiled on November 26, 2005 (One day before the unveiling of the statue in Hong Kong, below).
In 2005, Lee was remembered in Hong Kong with a bronze statue to mark his sixty-fifth birthday. The bronze statue, unveiled on November 27, 2005, honored Lee as Chinese film's bright star of the century
As of 2007, he is still considered by many martial artists and fans as the greatest martial artist of all time.
On April 10, 2007 China's national broadcaster announced it has started filming a 40-part series on martial arts icon Bruce Lee. Xinhua News Agency said China Central Television started shooting "The Legend of Bruce Lee" over the weekend in Shunde in Guangdong province in southern China. Shunde is the ancestral home of Lee, who was born in San Francisco. It said the 50 million yuan (US$6.4 million; €4.8 million) production will also be filmed in Hong Kong and the United States, where Lee studied and launched his acting career. Chen Guokun, who plays Lee, said he has mixed feelings about playing the role of the icon, Xinhua reported. "I'm nervous and also excited, but I will do my best," Chen, who's also known as Chan Kwok-kwan, was quoted as saying. Chen, best known for appearing in the action comedy "Kung Fu Hustle," says Lee has been his role model since he was a child and that he has practiced kung fu for many years. The TV series, which is due to be aired in 2008, the year Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, appears to aimed at highlighting Chinese culture in the run up to the event.
Martial arts lineage
Lineage in Wing Chun / Jeet Kune Do

Sifu in Wing Chun ----> Yip Man (葉問)
Other instructors:
Sihing Wong Shun-leung (黃惇樑)
Death by "misadventure"
On July 20, 1973, Lee was in Hong Kong, due to have dinner with former James Bond star George Lazenby, with whom he intended to make a film. According to Lee's wife Linda, Lee met producer Raymond Chow at 2 p.m. at home to discuss the making of the movie Game of Death. They worked until 4 p.m. and then drove together to the home of Lee's colleague Betty Ting Pei, a Taiwanese actress who was to have a leading role in the film. The three went over the script at her home, and then Chow left to attend a dinner meeting.
A short time later, Lee complained of a headache, and Ting Pei gave him an analgesic. At around 7:30 p.m., he went to lie down for a nap. After Lee did not turn up for dinner, Chow came to the apartment but could not wake Lee up. A doctor was summoned, who spent ten minutes attempting to revive him before sending him by ambulance to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. However, Lee was dead by the time he reached the hospital. There was no visible external injury; however, his brain had swollen considerably, from 1,400 to 1,575 grams (a 13% increase). Lee was 32 years old. On October 15, 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee was allergic to Equagesic. When the doctors announced Bruce Lee's death officially, it was coined as "Death by Misadventure."
Another theory is that he died from an allergic reaction to marijuana, which he was consuming at the time in hashish form.[31] This is controversial, but it is confirmed that the coroner did find traces of the substance during his autopsy.
However, the exact details of Lee's death are controversial. Bruce Lee's iconic status and unusual death at a young age led many people to develop many theories about his death. Such theories about his death included murder involving the triads, a curse on Lee and his family, etc. The theory of the curse carried over to Lee's son Brandon Lee, also an actor, who died 20 years after his father in a bizarre accident while filming The Crow.
Upon the death of her husband, Linda returned to her home town of Seattle and had Bruce buried at lot 276 of Lakeview Cemetery. His son Brandon was buried beside him. Pallbearers at his funeral on July 31, 1973 included Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Chuck Norris, Dan Inosanto, Taky Kimura, Peter Chin, and his brother, Robert Lee. To this day, over 30 years after his death, fresh flowers are found on his gravestone every day.


Esta primera parte se la voy a dedicar a la persona que me la envio, el Sabunim Jose Amador aka SulsaKwan. Muchas Gracias por el enlace: , Brother.




More than fifty years after the end of World War II, many Asia nations that suffered at the hands of Imperial Japan as colonies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries again feel that they have been assaulted. The current controversy concerns historical distortions found in recent official Japanese middle school textbooks that attempt to overlook or re-write the past of Japan in a more favorable light. While only a small percentage of middle schools have elected to use the textbooks, the fact that the Japanese government approved the books for use is the element that has made the issue all the more controversial. (“Poll: Public Schools,” 2001) Korea is among the nations that have taken issue on several points, and has requested that Japanese authorities correct 35 Korea related historical discrepancies detailed in a point-by-point rebuttal published by the Korean Information Service, an office of the Korean government. (KIS, 2001).

This paper addresses the subject of the first four points listed in the KIS point-by-point rebuttal, which deal with the controversial relationship between Korea and Japan in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, particularly the alleged Imna Command Post,[1] and the alleged domination of Silla and Paekche by the Wa.[2] One object of this paper is to analyze some of the fundamental historical assumptions on which the controversial Japanese claims are based. Special attention will be paid to the controversial inscription on the monument erected in honor of King Kwanggaet’o,[3] which is the lynchpin in the Japanese theory of Wa domination in the peninsula during the fourth and fifth centuries. Information from related historical records, such as the Samguk Sagi [4] and the Nihon Shoki,[5] as well as evidence from the growing body of archaeological data from both the peninsula and the archipelago, will also be considered in the overall evaluation.

The position of this paper is that during the fourth and fifth centuries, the occupants of the archipelago – be they referred to as Wa or Yamato – controlled neither the kingdoms of Silla and Paekche, nor the alleged Imna Command Post in any capacity that projected power over Silla and Paekche, and that a Paekche-Wa alliance with Paekche as the dominant member is much more probable than Wa suzerainty. In fact, a greater deal of the known archaeological evidence would suggest Korean domination on the archipelago, however that position will not be argued in this paper. Because the events occurred in ancient history, a concrete conclusion cannot be reached with any genuine confidence, but it will be argued that the vast majority of archaeological and circumstantial evidence supports the position of this paper.


Background and Context

The problem of a less than accurate official historical record in Japan has been known for some time, and the role of the Japanese government is also well known in that regard:

Today there is not much need to stress the fictitious character of the chronology of the Kojiki and Nihonshoki… But at the same time we are bound for practical reasons to follow the elaborate system of erroneous dates set forth with official approval and sanctions. All recent publications of Japanese historical chronology have unquestionably followed these officially approved tables which establish an almost insurmountable barrier of the research student in the ancient history of prehistory of Japan… Myth and legend were traditionally accepted as historical fact in the national past. (Szczesniak, 1952:1)

Some Japanese historians have begun to question and refute many nationalist conclusions in the history of Japan, however “such trends have not yet been carried over to the nation’s relationship to its colonial empire.” (Schmid, 2000: 953) In Korea’s case, primarily Korean historians have taken up the task of rectifying the record, although some Western, Japanese, and other Asian historians have become involved as well.

Pre World War II Japanese history textbooks were based on the Nihon Shoki, and said that Japanese forces from the Yamato court fought for and controlled of the southern end of ancient Korea from the Koguryŏ. (Hatada, 1979: 6; KIS, 2001). A general pre-war era historical explanation of ancient Korean-Japanese relations was that:

The power of Japan to rule in Korea began with the creation of the State of Mimana as her protectorate so that Silla could not invade it. Japan’s power in Korea began to decline with the destruction of her government-general in Mimana by Silla, and finally, when the allied armies of China and Silla, in 663, annihilated her military force in Korea, Japan was forced to abandon all her claims there. She did not regain authority in Korea until after the Russo-Japanese War. The date of the founding of Mimana is therefore essential to a determination of the period of suzerainty that Japan exercised over Korea prior to 1905. (Kuno, 1937: 193)

However, at the time, the only historical evidence of such a claim that was used in textbooks came from books eight and nine of the Nihon Shoki (Grayson, 1977: 66), which were in conflict with the Korean historical record of the time period in question, the Samguk Sagi (Kirkland, 1981: 123). The overall validity of the Nihon Shoki, specifically for events before the fifth century, has been called into question by the first English translator of the document, W.G. Aston (Grayson, 1977: 66), as well as other scholars on the basis of archaeological evidence (Hatada, 1979: 17), and for a lack of corroboration from Korean or Chinese historical records of the same period [6] (Hong, 1994: 195 & 205). Post war textbooks still taught Japanese control of ancient Korea, but those claims were then based on the inscription of the King Kwanggaet’o stele, rather than the Nihon Shoki, “Thus the basis for the view that Japan had controlled Korea moved from an unreliable ancient chronicle to the reliable stele inscription.” (Hatada, 1979: 6).

The inscription of the Kwanggaet’o monument is an extremely critical piece of evidence because when archaeological evidence is scanty or difficult to interpret, it is often interpreted in light of the written record. Conversely, when the written record is difficult to interpret or has many possible interpretations, as in the case of the Kwanggaet’o inscription, it may also be considered in light of the archaeological evidence. Because the Kwanggaet’o monument inscription was completed in 414 AD, or directly after the events in question, rather than several centuries after as the Samguk Sagi and Nihon Shoki were, it is also deemed to be more reliable and credible than other sources, and some have ventured so far as to say that “In the opinion of all who treated the veracity of the Inscription, it is to be accepted as exact and true” (Szczesniak, 1952: 4). However, this paper will consider the context in which the inscription was written, as a tribute to a king, and recognize that the authors of such historical records take certain liberties. The inscription on the Kwanggaet’o stele, as well as a brief survey of the archaeological evidence of the technological and cultural levels of the peninsula and archipelago after the fourth century, will be covered in the following sections.

It is also important to taken into consideration the fact that, in the fourth and fifth centuries, neither the occupants of the peninsula nor the archipelago had any notion of the Korean and Japanese nationalistic sentiments that are now so well defined. Therefore the actions of that time should not be interpreted in such a modern nation-state context.

One should also take careful note of the last two sentences in the above quote taken from Kuno. Considering the time at which his work was written, 1937 during the colonial rule of Korea and other Asian and Pacific nations by Japan, it was an obvious statement attempting to legitimize the colonial rule of Korea with past claims to such rule (Grayson, 1977: 67; Suh, 1988: 183). The historical textbook issue is not a new one.

Interpretations of The Kwanggaet’o Stele Inscription

King Kwanggaet’o, whose name literally means “broad expander of domain,” conquered 64 fortress domains and 1,400 villages, greatly increasing the size of the Koguryŏ kingdom. (Lee, 1984: 38) When King Kwanggaet’o died in 412 AD, his son ascended the throne, and it was King Changsu [7] who erected the now controversial monument to King Kwanggaet’o in 414, two years after his death. The monument was erected at what was then the Koguryŏ capital, Kungnae-sŏng, which is in the present day Peoples Republic of China, not far from the Yalu River. (Hatada, 1979: 1; Lee, 1984: 38)

The monument was lost for centuries, with only occasional reports of sightings from travelers, until farmers rediscovered it in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s. Foliage covering the monument was burned off in an attempt to clear it away, very likely damaging the inscription, but to what extent is unknown. The monument is a rectangular stone column, 6.2 meters high, having four sides of uneven length with an average length of about 1.5 meters. Chinese characters are carved on all four sides, with a total of 1,802, of which 260 are completely illegible due to surface damage, and many characters cannot be read with precision. (Hatada, 1979: 3)

Around the time of discovery, a tracing of the inscription was made by a Ch’ing official of Huaijen District to make a simple copy of the characters, but the technique was relatively inaccurate compared to the rubbing technique that was later employed. The Japanese were most interested in the inscription, and as early as 1884 or 1885 Sakao Kangenobu, a Japanese military intelligence officer (Japanese General Staff Office), brought an outline tracing to Japan. This military office was the first to study the inscription in Japan, (Hatada, 1979: 3) and:

One must also understand that at the time, the Japanese army was extremely interested in moving onto the continent, and though Japan was still weak and overbalanced in Korea by the Chinese, it was planning ways to move into Korea and Manchuria… (Hatada, 1979: 4)

Since the term “Wa” appeared on the inscription, and the Nihon Shoki recorded that ancient Japan had sent armies to Korea, subjugated the counties there, and controlled Korea through the “Mimana Nihon Fu,” or the Imna Command Post, the Japanese army, which was planning a continental advance, utilized the inscription as a source of historical rationalization for entering, and later annexing, Korea (Grayson, 1977: 67; Hatada, 1979: 4; Suh, 1988: 183). It was asserted that the Kwanggaet’o stele inscription corroborated the Nihon Shoki account, and thus that Korea had originally been Japanese territory. Figure 1 displays the classic Chinese passage dealing with the time period in question. It is important to note that the Chinese characters can be divided into different sections when read, and where the translator chooses to separate the characters will effect the overall meaning of the interpretation, which will become more apparent in the several translations discussed below.

Figure 1. The controversial lines 8 and 9 from the first side of the Kwanggaet’o stele inscription. (Hatada, 1979: 8)

The Official Japanese Interpretation

As noted above, the Japanese government created an “almost insurmountable barrier [for] the research student in the ancient history of prehistory of Japan” (Szczesniak, 1952: 1) with official versions of history, and “The fact that the Kwanggaet’o inscription had first been studied by the General Staff placed limits on the directions that subsequent research on the inscription could take in Japan.” (Hatada, 1979: 5) Thus, following studies with more accurate rubbings and direct access to the monument did find errors in the army’s research, but the overall “consensus that the imperial government of ancient Japan sent troops to Korea, subjugated Paekche and Shilla” (Hatada, 1979: 5) remained unchallenged.

The English translation of the Japanese interpretation of the inscription reads: “Paekche and Silla had long been subject peoples of Koguryŏ and had originally presented tribute to Koguryŏ, but in 391 the Wa [Japan] came, crossing the sea, and made subjects of Paekche, _____, [8] and Silla.” (Hatada, 1979: 9) This is the translation that has been propagated by Japan for decades, and while many modern scholars no longer accept it as the correct account as being entirely accurate, it is the version represented in the current textbook controversy.

The Chŏng In-bo Interpretation and Logic

Chŏng In-bo raised the first Korean reaction, and said that Shilla and Paekche did pay tribute to Koguryŏ, but divides the characters of the rest of the passage differently than the Japanese, thus getting a different reading. Chŏng’s reading is: “The Wa invaded, [in response to the Wa invasion] Koguryŏ crossed the sea and defeated the Wa, [in the war between Koguryŏ and Japan] Paekche conspired with Japan and [verb] Silla, Because Paekche had originally been a subject of Koguryŏ.” (Hatada, 1979: 9) The word listed as “verb” is unclear on the inscription. Chŏng’s logic is that:

According to the Japanese reading, both Paekche and Silla were subjugated by the Wa. If they had been subjects of Wa, this would have been an act of rebellion against Koguryŏ, and both Paekche and Silla would have been equally guilty. However, King Kwanggaet’o punished only Paekche, and this does not make sense. Furthermore, if Paekche was destroyed by Wa and became its subject, Paekche was the victim of aggression, and Wa was the aggressor. It is unlikely a king to leave the aggressor alone and attack the victim of the aggression. The king should have attacked the aggressor. (Hatada, 1979: 9)

While Chŏng’s logic is well thought out, the interpretation is doubtful for a few reasons. In classical Chinese subjects and object may be omitted, but in Chŏng’s reading the subjects and objects of verbs shift too much, making it unnatural as classical Chinese. Second, if Koguryŏ had crossed the sea and defeated the Wa, the stele inscription would probably, although not certainly, have been more specific about such a deed, since the inscription was a record of the king’s deeds, and similar accomplishments were more explicit. (Hatada, 1979: 9)

The Kim Sŏk-hyŏng Interpretation and Logic

An interpretation by Kim Sŏk-hyŏng, which also divides the characters differently than the Japanese or Chŏng g, is that: “In 391 the Wa came and attacked. [In response to the Wa attack] Koguryŏ crossed the sea, defeated Paekche, [verb] Silla, and made them subject peoples.” (Hatada, 1979: 10). Kim’s position was that the Wa were actually Koreans of Paekche descent that had established a colony in northern Kyūshū, which is why it was necessary for Koguryŏ to attack the Paekche in order to halt Wa aggression. His interpretation has fewer unnatural elements of classical Chinese. However, proving that Wa was a Paekche colony is difficult, and in the next passage, Koguryŏ again attacks Paekche in the year 396 AD. If Paekche had been defeated in 391, it should not need to be attacked again in 396 (Hatada, 1979: 10).

The Cho Seung-bog Interpretation and Logic

Cho understood the “sea” mentioned in the inscription as the “Yellow Sea” on the western coast of the peninsula, which would be a convenient sea route, and that it was King Kwanggaet’o who crossed the [Yellow] sea, and engaged the enemy [destroyed] in Paekche territory. Using such logic, Cho’s reading is that:

“Paekche and Silla were formerly [King Kwanggaet’o’s] subjects. Since then, they have been paying [their] tribute, but the Japanese [Wa] came in the year Sinmyo [391]. Thereby [the King] crossed over the sea and destroyed Paekche x x Silla to make them his subjects x x x.” (Hong, 1994: 199-200)

The Hatada Takashi Interpretation and Logic

In order to better understand the context of the inscription, Hatada suggests placing oneself in the place of the writer, and to keep in mind that the inscription amounted to a eulogy of a king, which would most likely entail some exaggeration or embellishment. The position of the writer was that both Silla and Paekche were subjects of Koguryŏ, and when the Wa and Paekche attacked Silla and was hostile towards Koguryŏ, the existing order was disturbed. Following that line of reasoning, Silla, being a loyal subject, requested aid from Koguryŏ when the Wa and Paekche attacked, and Koguryŏ assisted Silla, leading to a string of conflicts with Paekche. Thus, Koguryŏ punished Paekche and protected Silla. (Hatada, 1979: 10-11) However, in reality Paekche could not have been correctly characterized as a subject of Koguryŏ, since it maintained a hostile attitude before 391, and in fact killed the Koguryŏ King Kogugwŏn in battle in 371. And while Silla may have been submissive, to say that it was a subject is also not entirely correct. (Hatada, 1979: 13) Based on this logic, Hatada reads the stele inscription as:

“Paekche and Silla had long been subject peoples of Koguryŏ and from the beginning presented tribute to Koguryŏ. Then the Wa in 391 came crossing the sea to destroy the previously existing international order. Paekche ______ Silla and made it a tributary” (Hatada, 1979: 12).

The first line of Hatada’s translation reflects the position of the writer of the inscription, and may be considered to be somewhat of an exaggeration, while the second line indicates that the Wa disrupted the perceived order on the peninsula. The last ten characters explain that in these circumstances, Paekche conspired with the Wa in the attack on Silla. (Hatada, 1979: 12) Considering the close ties between Paekche and the Wa, Hatada also concludes that:

I believe that the Wa of the King Kwanggaet’o stele were the same Wa that appear in the Silla pon’gi of the Samguk Sagi. They were not the Yamato state, but a kingdom in northern Kyūshū…” (Hatada, 1979: 17).

Table 1 below summarizes the various interpretations of the King Kwanggaet’o stele inscription that are presented in this paper, and serves to further illustrate the difficulty scholars have in coming to a consensus on this issue.

The theory of Yi Chin-hŭi, a Korean scholar living in Japan, should also be addressed. Based on his research of tracings, rubbings, and photographs of the stele over time, Yi concluded that Japanese military officers had effaced the inscription in an attempt to corroborate the Nihon Shoki. However, Japanese scholars have countered that if the Japanese officers had done so, they would have made the outcome more favorable for Japan. If Yi’s theory is correct, further research on the stele itself would be meaningless, and only the earliest tracings and rubbings would be accurate. (Hatada, 1979: 7-8).

Summary of Interpretations of the Kwanggaet’o Inscription

Japanese Version

Paekche and Silla had long been subject peoples of Koguryŏ and had originally presented tribute to Koguryŏ, but in 391 the Wa [Japan] came, crossing the sea, and made subjects of Paekche, _____, and Silla. (Hatada, 1979: 9)

Chŏng In-bo

The Wa invaded, [in response to the Wa invasion] Koguryŏ crossed the sea and defeated the Wa, [in the war between Koguryŏ and Japan] Paekche conspired with Japan and [verb] Silla, Because Paekche had originally been a subject of Koguryŏ. (Hatada, 1979: 9)

Kim Sŏk-hyŏng

In 391 the Wa came and attacked. [In response to the Wa attack] Koguryŏ crossed the sea, defeated Paekche, [verb] Silla, and made them subject peoples.” (Hatada, 1979: 10).

Cho Seung-bog

Paekche and Silla were formerly [King Kwanggaet’o’s] subjects. Since then, they have been paying [their] tribute, but the Japanese came in the year Sinmyo. Thereby [the King] crossed over the sea and destroyed Paekche x x Silla to make them his subjects x x x. (Hong, 1994: 199-200)

Hatada Takashi

Paekche and Silla had long been subject peoples of Koguryŏ and from the beginning presented tribute to Koguryŏ. Then the Wa in 391 came crossing the sea to destroy the previously existing international order. Paekche ______ Silla and made it a tributary. (Hatada, 1979: 12)

An examination of the events outlined in the Samguk Sagi during the late fourth and early fifth centuries reveals that: 1) Koguryŏ advanced south and put pressure on the southern kingdoms; 2) Silla was submissive, while Paekche resisted strongly resisted; 3) Paekche invaded Silla; and 4) The Wa assisted Paekche and hostages from both Silla and Paekche resided with the Wa. Thus, the Samguk Sagi and the Kwanggaet’o inscription agree in general terms, but differ in details. (Hatada, 1979: 15) If Wa had subdued Silla and Paekche, as claimed in the Nihon Shoki, that fact should have been reflected in the Samguk Sagi and been much more evident in the political affairs of those two kingdoms, but was not.

Another area concerns hostages from Silla and Paekche. The record indicates that hostages were sent rather than taken by force, which implies alliances, rather that domination of one party by the other, which was a common practice of the time. Others have pointed out that:

It is interesting to note that Paekche’s utilization of Japanese military resources… started quite early… In any case, as Paekche called on Japan for its defense, Japan responded with active support for economic and cultural reasons on its part. (Joe and Choe, 1997: 44-45)

This is consistent with the archaeological evidence, which will be discussed in the following section, and is an interesting way to describe the Paekche-Wa relationship in that it indicates a much more reciprocal relationship than is described in the Nihon Shoki.

The nature of the stele must also be revisited. As a monument and eulogy to King Kwanggaet’o it would most likely not include information that was unflattering. For the Wa to take Silla and Paekche, described in the inscription to be subjects of Koguryŏ, would be for the king to lose those subjects, and such an implied defeat would not likely be placed in the inscription in that form, making the official Japanese version improbable.

The tentative conclusion to this point, based on the various translations and logic presented thus far, particularly those of Hatada, is that while a Paekche-Wa alliance occurred, Wa domination of Paekche and Silla did not, which also makes the existence of the Imna Command Post as a power base very improbable.

The Archeological Record

The archaeological record, while not free from dispute, is much less controversial than the written record, and nearly all agree that since the earliest of times there was a steady flow of technology, culture, and institutions from the peninsula to the archipelago. In addition, “Because of the long interval between the invention of some of these items in China and their transmission to the archipelago through Korea, natives of the peninsula are liable to have altered or refined these times to some degree.” (Farris, 1996: 4)

Immigration was very active in the Bronze and early Iron ages, and as early as 300 BC the Yayoi culture of Japan began to emerge as a result. (Kim, 1972: 35) In fact, nearly all of the iron to make the first Japanese weapons and tools came from Korea until the fifth century. (Farris, 1996: 6).

Korean and Japanese archaeologists generally agree that lamellar armor entered Japan from the peninsula, and were introduced with little or no change from the Chinese nomads of central Asia. However, the cuirass design unique to sites in southern Korea and Japan have long been a point of disagreement for Korean and Japanese scholars. Japanese archaeologists claim that the pieces found in southern Korea were imported from the Wa, while Koreans contend that that completed pieces were completed in Korea and sent to Japan (Farris, 1996: 7-8). Korean archaeologists argue two primary points:

First, until recently the distributions of cuirasses – a disproportionate percentage have appeared in Japanese tombs – favored the Japanese position. During the 1980’s, however, South Korean archaeologists began to discover many more in what would have been Kaya territory, thus bolstering South Korean claims as the source of the cuirass. Second, the earliest Japanese cuirasses of the fourth century showed strong regional variations, just at a time when Kaya pieces were uniform. According to one South Korean archaeologist, the uniformity of Kaya cuirasses suggests production by a central power, which then exported the idea to the archipelago, where various chieftains made their own versions. (Farris, 1996: 8)

In light of the established record of transmission of other technologies to the archipelago from the peninsula, and considering the relative backwardness of the occupants of the archipelago at that time, the Korean argument does tend to be more logical and realistic.

The disagreement over cuirasses is absent concerning the introduction of horse related items into Japan, and it is agreed that the gear and skills that entered Japan come from the peninsula. Many archaeologists on both sides also agree and disagree with Egami Namio’s horserider theory,[9] which says that the horseriders swept across the archipelago and consolidated power very rapidly. However, evidence from Japanese tombs suggests a more gradual spread of horse riding gear and technology over several decades, not the sudden influx claimed by Egami. In addition, there is no evidence of such an invading tribe or tribes conquering the peninsula. (Farris, 1996: 9-10)

Korean type pottery, crowns, earrings, and weapons are artifacts that are commonly found in fifth century Japanese tombs, and the stone-corridor-and-chambered tombs in northern Kyūshū are perhaps “the tombs of descendents of Koguryŏ immigrants from Korea.” (Kim, 1972: 35) While most scholars believe that the stone-corridor-and-chambered tomb is another Chinese invention, the fact that the oldest known such tombs are located in northern Kyūshū again strongly indicates southern Korea as the source for the archipelago. “Therefore it seems most reasonable to assume that the stone-corridor-and-chamber tomb was an import from Paekche, a product of that states’ intimate politic tie with Wa,” (Farris, 1996: 12) and that:

The importation of Korea-style jewelry at this time implies [that]…the techniques of inlaying and inscribing also entered Japan in the fifth century. Once again it seems apparent that peninsular master metalworkers taught the native of the island their important skills.” (Farris, 1996: 13)

The Inariyama Tumulus Sword, which dates back to the late fifth century, was discovered in 1968 and revealed to the public in 1978 when the inscription with 115 Chinese characters was discovered during a cleaning process. (Murayama and Miller, 1979: 405-406) A Japanese scholar stated that the inscription was proof of the extended influence of the Yamato court “as far as the Musashi region in the fifth century,” and this has been widely accepted in Japan, especially because Japanese people and place names appear to be inscribed in the sword. (Murayama and Miller, 1979: 412) However, “a number of impressive linguistic and orthographic indicators of Korea origin or influence have already been identified in the text of the inscription” (Murayama and Miller, 1979: 416), and some have said that the author was probably a Korean due to the overt linguistic evidence, also noting that some of the words in the inscription do “not look very Japanese.” (Murayama and Miller, 1979: 419 & 429) Because the Inariyama sword, as well as some other swords[10] discovered in Japan, utilized the Korean “Idu”[11] system of writing, Kim Sŏk-hyŏng concluded that they originated in Paekche and that the kings named in their inscriptions represent Paekche kings rather than Japanese kings. (Hong, 1994: 258)

The Takamatsuzuka tomb is located in the Asuka region in the Nara prefecture, and was opened in 1972. Most of the tombs in the area date to the sixth century, and the inner wall surfaces of the Takamatsuzuka tomb, unlike the others, was plastered in the Korean and Chinese manner, as well as paintings that clearly depicted Korean women in Korean attire. It has been suggested that fifth century Koguryŏ tombs may have been prototypes for the paintings in the Takamatsuzuka tomb, but other sources are apparent as well. (Kidder, 1972: 248-249)

There are many other examples that demonstrate the vast flow of technology and culture from the peninsula to the archipelago. The Korean influence is visible in Sobata pottery, which emerged under direct influence of Korean comb-pattern pottery. (Kim, 1972: 35) Korean specialists, including “tailors, weavers, brewers, metallurgists, ceramists, tanners, painters and medical specialists” (Lee, 1972: 30) helped cultivate primitive ancient Japan. Technology from the peninsula played the leading role in the cultivation and irrigation of aquatic rice, contributing enormously to the food production capabilities of ancient Japan, and:

The Japanese characters called Kana, half ideograph and half phonogram, now used in Japan, also were invented sometime in the fifth century through the assistance of the immigrants from Paekche, with Chinese charters as it basis. (Lee, 1972: 30)

While trade no doubt played an important role in the transmittal of technology from the peninsula to the archipelago, immigration clearly had the primary role. Both archaeological and historical evidence show a constant pattern of migration from Korea to Japan, (Farris, 1996: 16) which can also be evidenced by the strong traits of southern Tungusic language revealed in the Japanese language. (Kim, 1972: 35)

As Egami theorized, the rapid changes and advances in technology on the archipelago where too sudden and unnatural to have been an indigenous development, and it is highly improbable that “a peaceful agricultural society would have had any reason deliberately to import an alien culture, thereby transforming the basic character of its own culture.” (Kirkland, 1981: 110) As one examines the archaeological evidence, it becomes obvious that the beginning of higher culture and technology in Japan is intimately tied to increased contact with, and immigration from, the peninsula, (Edwards, 1983: 291) and that “the basic structure of ancient Japan was virtually organized by Paekche.” (Lee, 1972: 31) It also becomes clear that the Japanese contention of ruling Korea in the late fourth and early fifth centuries contradicts the archaeological record. There is very little doubt that the peninsula was far more advanced than the Wa, thus it is highly unlikely that the Wa, relatively unsophisticated technologically and institutionally, would have been about to dominate and control the more advanced states on the peninsula, particularly in “such fundamentals as iron-working techniques, weapons, horse gear, gold and silver metallurgy, and so forth.” (Farris, 1996: 14) This relates to, and reinforces, the position of this paper in that “according to archaeological findings, the Mimana Nihon Fu did not exist. We can only conclude that it was a creation of the Nihon Shoki.” (Hatada, 1979: 17)


If one is to accept the position of this paper, that while a Paekche-Wa alliance occurred, Wa domination of Paekche and Silla did not, which also makes the existence of the Imna as a power base of the Wa very improbable, and in light of the archaeological evidence that the rapid changes and advances in technology on the archipelago where too sudden and unnatural to have been an indigenous development, one must then ask: “what prompted the ancient Japanese to make such claims?” On possible answer comes from Farris, who proposes that the Yamato court may have articulated a new imperial ideology in the late seventh century as a reaction to Silla dominating the peninsula, and that that ideology influenced the depiction of relations with the peninsula in the Nihon Shoki. Thus, the threat of a common enemy, occupying Yamato territory, was used as a tool by that court to consolidate power on the archipelago. (1995: 14-15) History has reflected that such a threat is a powerful means of unifying factions that under normal circumstances might not willingly choose to cooperate. Indeed, the tragedy of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC serve to demonstrate how powerful an outside threat can be in unifying a nation, politically and otherwise. One should also recognize that “the role of the southern peninsular states in transferring culture also implied that Japanese court war relatively backward, a painful point to would-be unifiers of the archipelago” (Farris, 1996: 15).

The written sources – the Kwanggaet’o stele inscription, the Samguk Sagi, and the Nihon Shoki – all clearly indicate that the Wa sent troops to the peninsula from the late fourth century, but in what context those troops were sent, and to what result, is where the controversy begins. Concerning entries in the Nihon Shoki on the Wa domination of southern Korea:

One reasonable hypothesis is that the peninsular states wanted and received Wa military aid in the war… one must be careful with these entries because [Yamato] annalists always portray the Korean kingdoms as submitting tribute to superior Yamato monarch, but leaving aside the phraseology, one can readily see the reciprocal relationship. (Farris, 1996, 16-17)

However, the political contention between Paekche and Wa must have started sooner than the seventh century, since claims over Wa, Paekche, Silla, Imna, and other lands, were made by a Wa representative much earlier than that in Chinese court, according to the Record of Sung (Sou-sho), Volume 97. Barbarians. (Nito, 2001)[12] At any rate, the hypothesis articulated above by Farris is still applicable to the situation in that the contention that had long been present simply became more pronounced and institutionalized in the seventh century. The archaeological and peninsular written records refute claims to Wa suzerainty, but one must still ask how such claims might have arisen from the Wa in the first place. One explanation as to how a Wa presence at Imna could later have evolved into claims of ruling that region is that:

Yamato rulers managed to obtain a permit from the King of Kaya to administer a port facility (naturally with a group of Japanese residents) at the southern tip of Kaya as a direct short-cut crossing route from Japan. Nihongi makes it clear that there was a “port of passage” located in the Imna [i.e., Mimana] area with Japanese residents and that there was an official entity which Nihongi called the “Japanese Government House,” with someone at the top with the title of “Governor of Imna.” Nihongi also makes it clear, however, that there was “the King of Imna ” who ranked equally with Kings of Koguryeo, Silla and Paekche. Nihongi records further that there were frequent conflicts between the Japanese agents [in the port facility] and the Imna people. (Hong, 1994: 217)

In this context it becomes clear that while Wa representatives did not rule in Imna, they probably did exercise some political influence, which may have been encouraged by local leaders in an attempt to retain independence in the face of possible Silla aggression. “For the Japanese [Wa] the arrangement assured continued access to iron and advanced continental culture, which had been channeled through the area since ancient times.” (Batten, in Hong, 1994: 218) That such a relationship was depicted as suzerainty by the Wa, and reinforced by Yamato annalists, who were apt to distort records to enhance and inflate archipelago importance in peninsular affairs, is understandable considering that such practices were standard. (Kirkland, 1981:125)


This paper has addressed the topic of the controversial relationship between Korea and Japan in the late fourth and early fifth centuries as it pertains to the alleged Imna Command Post, and the alleged domination of Silla and Paekche by the Wa. The following points emerge as major conclusions to this investigation:

1. The archaeological record clearly indicates a long and continuous pattern of technology, culture, and institutions being transferred from the peninsula to the archipelago. In light of this, it is extremely unlikely that the comparatively simple inhabitants of the archipelago could have crossed the sea and conquered Silla and Paekche. This is especially relevant considering that Koguryŏ, which had the advantage of horses and did not have to cross the sea to engage Silla or Paekche, was unable to conquer them.

2. While the archaeological record does not present anything to indicate Wa domination of Imna, historical records make it clear that they did maintain a “port of passage” there, and that they probably did wield some sort of political influence as a result. Possible Wa claims to Chinese court could then bee seen as a failed appeal to a higher authority to settle the issue in their favor.

3. The Yamato court had motivations for wanting to present themselves as having suzerainty over Imna, Silla, and Paekche. First, the threat of a common enemy, unified Silla, occupying alleged Yamato territory was probably used as a tool by that court to consolidate power. Secondly, the role of the peninsula, particularly Paekche, in transferring culture, technology, and institutions was perhaps a painful implication of the relative backwardness of the Yamato court – something that could easily be remedied by court annalists in the official history of the archipelago up to that time, the Nihon Shoki.

4. The known written records – the Kwanggaet’o stele inscription, the Samguk Sagi, and the Nihon Shoki – all contain some embellishment of the actual record, but also contain critical elements of the truth. Upon examining the various possible interpretations of the Kwanggaet’o stele inscription, the official Japanese version is deemed to almost surely be invalid. This is especially true in light of the archaeological record, and the motivations that the inhabitants of the archipelago had for projecting such an image, both in ancient times, and in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Without the stele inscription, the primary piece of evidence, the Japanese claims are no longer tenable.

The above findings confirm close ties between Paekche and Wa. Considering the advanced cultural standing of Paekche relative to Wa, it is most probable that Paekche utilized Wa soldiers in return for continued access to Paekche assistance in technological related areas. Wa domination of Paekche is deemed as being inconsistent with the archaeological record, as well as an objective and logical understanding of the social conditions of the time – a reciprocal relationship is strongly indicated.

As stated in the introduction, absolute proof cannot be attained when dealing with such ancient histories, but in this case I believe that the evidence and logic presented can be taken proof beyond any reasonable doubt. While no amount of reasoning or evidence is apt to change the position of the current Japanese government on the textbook issue, it is hope of this author that the official position of the Japanese government will in the future represent the consensus of modern scholars in this matter.


[1] Imna Command Post, or just Imna, is Korean for what is known in Japanese as “Mimana,” which is also known and referred to as “Mimana Nihon Fu.” The Japanese allege that Imna was a Wa or Yamato dependency. (Hatada, 1979: 17; KIS, 2001)

[2] The Wa, or Japanese of the fourth and fifth centuries, are also referred to in this document at times as the “Wae” or “Wei” in different documents. Wa may refer both to the nation, as well as the inhabitants of that nation.

3] King Kwanggaet’o is also known as Kukkangsang Kwanggaet’ogyong p’yŏngan hot’ae-wang, King Hot’ae, Great King Yŏngnak, and King Hao-t'ai. He was king for 22 years, from 391 AD – 412 AD. The memorial was erected two years after his death in 414 in present day China outside the capital of Chian District, T’unghua Special Area, Chilin Province, not far from the Yalu River. (Hatada, 1979: 1)

[4] The Samguk Sagi is the “Historical Record of the Three Kingdoms,” which was compiled by the historian Kim Pu-sik in the twelfth century. (Lee, 1984: 58)

[5] The Nihon Shoki, also known as the Nihongi, is “The History of Japan,” and was compiled in 720 AD. (Joe and Choe, 1997: 94)

[6] Although no Chinese records confirm the Japanese claim, mention of the Japanese claim is made in the Record of Sung (Sou-sho), Volume 97. Barbarians. (Nito, 2001) However, the reader is cautioned that the English text is less than reliable in this source, and that the Chinese text included should be consulted instead. For example, one section of the English text refers to a Wae representative stating that that: “He was named” to be in a position of power over Wae, Silla, Paekche, etc., by the Chinese court. However, the actual Chinese characters were: 自稱 (자칭) which should be translated as: “He declared himself,” or “He called himself,” or “He named himself.” Thus, very different implications and connotations are presumed by the inaccurate English translation.

[7] King Changsu served from 413-491 AD, and was known as “the long lived.” He continued his father’s activities and brought Koguryŏ to its height. In 427 AD he transferred the Koguryŏ capital to P’yŏngyang. (Lee, 1984: 38)

[8] Some of the characters in the passage are illegible. Authors have represented those unknown characters with either underlined space or, in some cases, with X’s to represent each individual missing character.

[9] While Egami’s “Horserider theory” has both supporters and contenders, Egami has admitted that he cannot “identify positively the conquering continental people that supposedly traversed Korean and overran Japan.” (Kirkland, 1981:110)

[10] The Seven-branched sword and a seven-child mirror where alleged to have been offered to Jingo by Paekche, and the Funayama Sword which was found in a Paekche style tomb near the city of Taman. (Kim, 2001)

[11] The “Idu” system “was used for centuries to record both official and private documents. In the idu system, Chinese characters were more or less integrated into Korean syntax with special symbols used to represent Korean grammatical markers that did not exist in Chinese. A later system, known as hyangch'al, was an attempt to represent Korean sounds and meaning completely in Chinese characters.” (Jackson, 1997)

[12] The Chinese text alone is recommended. Refer to note 6 for cautions about the reliability problems with the English translation of this source.


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