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Title: Asadal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gojoseon, Pyongyang, Korea
Collection: Capitals of Former Nations, Gojoseon
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hangul 아사달
Hanja 阿斯達
Revised Romanization Asadal
McCune–Reischauer Asadal

In Korean mythology and history, Asadal was the capital city of Gojoseon. It is thought that Asadal was located in Manchuria, Hwanghae, or Pyongyang. The first Korean historical work to mention it is the Samguk Yusa, which cites the Chinese Book of Wei. The Samguk Yusa also cites the Go Gi to the effect that Dangun's capital was located in Pyongyang. But recent studies show that there were more than one city named Pyongyang, situated in the north deep in Manchuria. The Pyongyang that is North Korea's capital today is actually the Southern counterpart, as it was common at the time for an emperor to manage two capitals and rule in two palaces. Therefore, it is thought that the true Asadal is located in Manchuria, now renamed with a Chinese name.

Word for word, Asadal can be broken up as asa and dal. Asa is a hypothetical Altaic root for "morning," and the Japanese language still uses an identical form to mean "morning." It may be cognate with a common Korean word for "morning" (Middle Korean achɔm; Modern Korean achim). Dal may be the result of reading Chinese characters in the Korean way, and the original Chinese pronunciation at the time Asadal was recorded in ancient historical texts could have been "Da," a transcription of the Korean word sdah or ddang meaning "land." If such is the case, "Asadal" would mean "Morning Land." However, if "dal" is used much like the Goguryeo city name suffix "-dal" used for mountains and cities founded on plateaus/mountains, then "Asadal" means "Morning Mountain."

Other sources

  • Lee, Peter H & Wm. Theodore De Bary. Sources of Korean Tradition, page 5-6. Columbia University Press, 1997.


External links

  • Naver Encyclopedia (Korean)
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