Transfer of Knowledge from Korea to Japan Chronology
The best ancient historiographies of Japan and Korea are the Kojiki (古事記), completed 712; the Nihon Shoki (日本書紀), completed in 720; and the Samguk Sagi (三國史記), completed in 1145. The first two are Japanese (Nara period), the last is Korean (Goryeo dynasty). It is striking that the Nihon Shoki includes a lot of information about relations with Korea, while much less is found about Korean-Japanese relations in the Samguk Sagi. Two points are on order. First, until the tenth century, the Japanese were very much concerned with Korea. Second, in the years 500-700 (Nihon Shoki chronicle stops at 697), contacts with Korean kingdoms was in the absolute majority (1,028 official missions) whereas Japanese contacts with the Tang Chinese (69 official missions) were rare. Below is a list of entries lifted from the Nihon Shoki. Like China, Korea also transferred literature, astrology, calendrical science, medicine, herbal medicine, metallurgy, divination, textiles, civil engineering, weapons, and ship building, to Japan.
|Event recorded in Nihon Shoki (日本書紀) before 697|
|100||157 "Silla prince arrives with eight extraordinary items." (Items identified as several kinds of jade, one short sword, spear, sun-mirror. Prince is thought to be Yeon-orang/Cheonilchang).|
|300||c. 324 - c.440 "Goguryeo sent iron shields and iron targets." (Interpreted as earliest known introduction of iron weaponry to Japan.)|
|400|| 414 "[Japan] sent ambassador to Silla to procure a medical teacher." (Teacher reported to have voyaged seven months later, tending to Emperor Inkyo.)|
463 "Baekje technicians invited by [Japanese] envoy."
493 "Hitaka no Kishi visits Goguryeo to procure artisans. He brings back Goguryeo tanners to the village of Nukata."
|500|| 554 "Baekje teachers of divination, calendrical science, medicine; herbal specialists as replacements; including military staff, teachers of Five Classics, Buddhist priests, and musicians." (These positions were regularly replaced).|
554 "Baekje teacher of calendar science is sent [to Japan]."
588 "Baekje sends temple building craftsmen, pagoda specialists, teachers of tiles, painters." (All necessary technical staff to construct Buddhist temples.)
|600|| c. 600 Three Buddha statues at Horyuji Temple known to be product of a Baekje builder. Records at this time indicate introduction of glass-making, lacquer ware, and chilbo techniques.|
602 "Monk Kwalluk introduces books on astronomy, calendar science, divination, and magic."
610 "Monk Damjing introduces painting materials—colors, paper, writing brushes, grinding mills." (Damjing is thought to be painter of an extinguished wall painting (fire, 1949) at Horyuji Temple in Nara.)
610 "Officials sent to Aki Province to build two Baekje ships." (Nature of this entry remains unknown, interpreted as a sign of the introduction of shipbuilding technology to Japan.)
612 "Baekje specialist builds garden south of the main palace," recorded as the "Korean lake."
|700||743-758 Records in Astronomy of Japan by Nakayama Shigeru indicate that at Todaiji Temple in Nara, the large statue was built by a "Korean immigrant." The big temple bell at 490 tons, writes Yoshida Mitsukuni, was also built under the directorship of another "Korean immigrant." (This immigrant is thought to have been from then fallen Baekje kingdom.)|