A Criticism of John Whitney Hall's Study on Ancient Korea-Japan Relations

A Criticism of John Whitney Hall's Study on Ancient Korea-Japan Relations


  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: The history of Ancient Korea-Japan relations, John Whitney Hall, Japanese historians on ancient history, the distortion of ancient history,Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Jae-sok Choi



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From 1985 to 2003 the writer examined the opinions of Japanese historians on ancient history of Japan. As a result he found that nearly all - about thirty - of the Japanese scholars on the history of ancient Japan insisted that the early part of the Samguk sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) was a fabrication, or on that premise they contended that ancient Korea was Japan's colony. The truth was the other way round. Then the writer grew curious to know what opinions Western historians had on ancient Korea-Japan relations. His first object of interest was John Whitney Hall, an American scholar. After getting his PhD from Harvard, he was a professor at University of Michigan and the head of The Center for Japanese Studies of that university until 1961; he was professor at the History Department of Yale University at the time of writing his Japan: From Prehistory to Modern Times (New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1970). So he may well be said to be one of the most appropriate candidates for criticism. The first six chapters of the book - the part in which Hall deals with ancient history of Japan - have been examined from nine angles including the tumuli existing in Japan.

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