Valerio Anselmo
A research on the name Kudara
(published in 1974)
Several hypotheses on Kudara (5)

Hypotheses on Kudara (4)

Hypotheses on Kudara (6)

Several hypotheses on Kudara (part five)

[page 36 of the original (cont.)]
From the 475 to the 538 Paekche had another capital city, Ungjin 熊津, known also with the name Ungch’ŏn 熊川. Among the names of Paekche there is one, clearly linked to that of Ungjin, which is mentioned in the Chewang un'gi 帝王韻記 by Yi Sŭng-hyu 李承休, a work of the time of Koryŏ 高麗, and this is Ŭngjun 鷹隼 172.
[page 37 of the original]
In the Chinese sources the name of the capital of Paekche is mentioned as 固麻 173 or 居拔 174. In the Japanese sources 熊川 is read kumanare or kumanari 175 and this pronounciation appears also written with the characters 久麻那利 read kumanari or komunari (this last one mentioned however as a place-name of Imna or Kara) 176, or with the characters 久麻怒利城, read kumanuri-no-sashi 177, this latter certainly identifiable with Ungch’ŏn, present-day Kongju 公州. In the 15th century we find the Korean pronounciation komanɑrɑ which transcribes 熊津 178. Basing ourselves on this pronounciation we can reconstruct also for 熊川 a *komanai(h) for the 15th century, instead of kom-nai(h).
[page 38 of the original]
Since nai(h), as we have seen 179, seems to go back to nari, it will possible to reconstruct for Ungch’ŏn a *kumanari (from which would have derived the above mentioned *komanai), a form in which was taken into consideration the vocalic rotation 180. Since from the dialects still today comes out a pronounciation nari for “ferry”, it is possible to think that both Ungjin and Ungch’ŏn at that time were pronounced in the same way. Kim Sŏk-hyŏng 181 says that the first character kong of the name Kongju, which later substituted the name Ungjin, transcribed the pronounciation kom of “bear” 182. From all these evidences we can get the conclusion that the capital Ungjin (or Ungch’ŏn) at that time was actually called *kumanʌrʌ (keeping in mind the vocalic rotation), or better *kumanʌrɨ (if we keep in mind also the Japanese forms), and that the name 熊津 or 熊川 was nothing else than the translation in Chinese of the Korean pronounciation. Kim Sŏk-hyŏng 183 bases himself on the pronounciation kom of the name “bear” (meaning of the first character of the name Ungjin) to say that, with the name Koma, the Japanese were pointing to Paekche and not Koguryŏ, but in doing this he makes the mistake to forget the vocalic rotation which brings the pronounciation kom of the word “bear” back to *kum. In the language of Koguryŏ we find the word “bear” transcribed with the character 184. Both the character , used for a place-name of Koguryŏ, and , used for a place-name of the Silla territory formerly belonging to Paekche, are transcribed by Karlgren 185 as kung (*kung) and this lets us reconstruct for the name "bear" a pronounciation kung or kum for both the languages (Koguryŏ and Silla) 186. For the language of Paekche, bearing in mind the Chinese and Japanese pronounciations, it seems on the contrary preferable a reconstructed pronounciation *kuma, the exact correspondent of the ancient Japanese kuma.
[page 39 of the original]
About Ungjin, still called today komnaru, there is a legend speaking about a bear.

But, which was the connection between the pronounciation kuma and the word it transcribed? Must we believe that the name of that place was really “the ferry of the bear” or “the river of the bear” as the characters 熊津 and 熊川 and the legends seem to let us understand? Nicholas Poppe 187 makes us notice that in the most part of the Altaic dialects the meaning of the word indicating the bear is linked to that of “old man”, “father”. We could hence get the conclusion that the name kuma originally meant “ancestors, forefathers” and that is was connected with the cult of the bear that perhaps these populations practised in the past.

Coming back now to the etymology of the name we are studying, at this point we will have to admit that also this ancient name of Ungjin is very near to that of Kudara; nevertheless the change from Kumanʌrʌ (or Kumanʌrɨ) to Kudara does not seem phonetically admittable 188.

It remains to be examined the other name, 居拔. The name Kŏbal 居拔, which appears in the Pei-shih together with that of Koma, seems to come from a root completely different. The ancient Chinese, middle Korean and Japanese pronounciations of the first character of the two names are: kuo, ko, ko; ki̭wo, , ko or kyo. The first character, we said, represented a local sound very similar to ku of the language of Paekche; the second on the contrary would have represented a local sound similar to kjo or kjə. The character appears also as final part of the name of the king of Paekche, as it is reported by the Chiu T'ang-shu 舊唐書 189, that is 所居. As we will see later, the first part of the name, , probably connects with the meaning "bright, luminous", while the second part, , according to Yang Chu-dong 190 should be connected with the meaning of “new” or of “beginning” (kɑs).
[page 40 of the original]
The pronounciation of this chiaracter seems rather to be in relation with the or seen before. The second part of the name Kŏbal, represented by the character , gives us a univocal interpretation because the above mentioned character is without any doubt to be connected with of Sŏbŏl 徐伐 (name of the capital of Silla), with 夫里 of Soburi 所夫里 (name of the last capital of Paekche), with of Səβɨl (the name that the present-day capital Seoul had in the 15th century), all these with the probable meaning of “village, town, fortress”. An attempt of interpretation of Kŏbal should give, as a consequence, the meaning “the new town” or “the town of the king” 191. Also Kŏbal (or *kjobwal) is not far from the name Kudara; anyhow, this name, in comparison with the other names considered until now, does not seem to be the most probable candidate for a reconstruction of the above-mentioned name.

The town which was the capital of Paekche from 538 to 660, the present-day Puyŏ 夫餘, had the names Sabi 泗沘 and Soburi 所夫里. The name was changed to Puyŏ by the king Kyŏngdŏk 景德 in the year 757. In the Yi period (1392-1910) this town received the name Saja 泗泚, for a clear error due to the exchange of the last character with . The reconstruction given by Karlgren of the ancient Chinese pronounciations of the examined characters is: 518g si- (*si̭əd ), is not there, but from other similar forms listed under 566 we get pji (*pi̭ər ); 91a şiwo: (*şi̭o ), 101a pi̭u (*piwo ), 978a lji: (*li̭əg ). The names Sabi and Soburi are directly linked to the name Sŏbŏl of the capital of Silla. The reconstructed ancient Chinese pronounciation of this name is: 82p ziwo: (*dzi̭o), 307a b’i̭wɒt (*b’i̭wăt). The first character of these names (泗ㆍ所ㆍ徐) has, according to Yang Chu-dong 192, the meaning “east”, “new” 193 or, better, “dim light connected to the coming of the new day”, and in a sense is also connected with the first character of the name Kŏbal, which perhaps had, as we have seen, the meaning of “new” or “beginning”. The MK pronounciation of this name (“east”, “dim light”, etc.) was sɑj. Always according to Yang Chu-dong the second part of these names (夫里ㆍ伐 to which we add the character of Kŏbal considered before) would have the meaning of “clear, bright” (pɑlk) 194. The names Sabi, Soburi and Sŏbŏl would then have the meaning “brightness of the morning”, or simply “brightness”.
[page 41 of the original]
These names could be put in relation with the name Tongmyŏng 東明 of the ancestor of the Koguryŏ, a name that would have been pronounced sɑjbɑlk and which would have had the same meaning of “bright, luminous”. That the pronounciation transcribed by the first character of the three names be connected with the word “brightness of the morning”, “luminosity”, seems to be confirmed also by the fact that the same character appears also in the name of the king of Paekche quoted by the Liang-shu 195 and the Chiu T'ang-shu 196. In this case, too, the title of the king seems to be “the luminous”, even if it is essentially derived from a name (sɑj ) different from the preceding ones (Wolaγa, pɑlk). The pronounciation transcribed by the second part of the three names (pi, puri, pŏl < *pɨl ) 197 is, on the contrary, related by Yi Ki-mun 198 and Yi Sung-nyŏng 199 to the meaning of “fortress” and, through a process of transformation of the initial occlusive (p > x > h ), to the pronounciation hol of , used in the language of Koguryŏ with the same meaning 200. Now, to this point, all things considered, it comes that also the names of Sabi and Soburi 201 in the final analysis refer back to the original meaning of the word Paekche, which can be both “the luminous fortress” or “the king's fortress”.

The result we have reached, although interesting, however does not help us at all in the research we are conducting.

Hypotheses on Kudara (4)

Hypotheses on Kudara (6)

  1. Quoted by Kim Kyu-sŭng 金奎承, Ilbonsasang-e nat'anan Kumasogug-e taehayŏ 日本史上에 나타난 應襲國에 對하여, in «Paeksan hakpo», 3, Seoul 1967, p. 632. In this article, starting from the name Ŭngjun, Kim Kyu-sŭng arrives to the conclusion that the Kumaso which appear in the Japanese history were a branch of the Paekche.
  2. Cf. Chou-shu, Pai-chi-ch'uan, p. 11132 of the Po-na ed.: 固麻城. Cf. also Liang-shu, Pai-chi-ch'uan, p. 8276a of the Po-na ed.: 百濟王號所治城曰固麻. Karlgren for these two characters reconstructs the pronounciations: 49f kuo (*ko) and 17a ma (*ma). After having said that the capital of Paekche was Koma, a little further the Chou-shu (p. 11133 of the cit. ed.) gives us this passage: 更有五方... 北方曰熊津城, from which it seems that the capital Koma and Ungjin were two different places. Yi Pyŏng-do (Han'guk-sa, cit., I, p. 430) explains that this mistake is due to the fact that the compiler of the Chou-shu identified Koma with Sabi, the capital of Paekche at the moment when he was writing, and then mentioned separately Ungjin.
  3. Cf. Pei-shih 北史, Pai-chi-ch'uan, p. 14146 of the Po-na ed.: 其都曰居拔城亦曰固麻城. Karlgren for these two characters reconstructs the pronounciations: 49c' ki̯wo (*ki̯o) and 276h b’wăt (*b'wat).
  4. Cf. NS, Iwa, K. 17, Keitai tennō 繼體天皇, 4th month of the 23rd year: 熊川 (クマナリ). Maruyama Rimpei (Jōdaigo..., cit., p. 409) for this reference gives the reading kumanare. This name is mentioned also by W. G. Aston in the translation of the Nihongi, London 1896, repr. 1956, p. 19 of the 2nd vol. (Kumanare).
  5. The reading kumanari for 久麻那利 is quoted by Maruyama Rimpei (Jōdaigo..., cit., p. 409), while both the NS, Iwa (K. 14, Yūryaku tennō, 3rd month of the 21st year, p. 496 of the 1st vol.), and the Kokushi taikei ed. (p. 388, I-1) give the reading komunari. The Nihon shoki says that the Emperor (of Japan) having heard that Paekche was conquered by Koryŏ (= Koguryŏ) gave Kumanari to the king Monsu 汶洲 (Korean: Munju 文周) (cf. NS, Iwa, Yūryaku tennō, 3rd month of the 21st year, p.496 of the 1st vol.). This information, united to the one that Kumanari would have been in the territory of Imna, leads Aston to say (Nihongi, cit., I, p. 368, in the note) that probably Kumanari was in the territory of Imna under Japanese control and that was handed over to Paekche in this occasion.
  6. The reading Kumanuri-no-sashi appears in the Kokushi taikei edition of the Nihon shoki (K. 26, Saimei tennō, 9th month of the 6th year, p. 274, I-2), while in the NS, Iwa, (p. 345 of the II vol.) the expression is read kumanori-no-sashi.
  7. Cf. Yongbiŏch’ŏn’ga 龍飛御天歌, III, 15.
  8. See note 87.
  9. For the theoy of the vocalic rotation, cf. Yi Ki-mun, Kyerim yusa-ŭi chaegŏmt’o 鷄林類事의 再檢討, in «Tong-A munhwa», 8, Seoul 1968, p. 244; Yi Ki-mun, Chosŏn..., p. 72; Kim Wan-jin, Kugŏ moŭmch’egye-ŭi sin’goch’al 國語 母音體系의 新考察, in «Chindan hakpo» 震檀學報, 24, Seoul 1963, p. 63-95; Kim Wan-jin, Wŏnsi kugŏ moŭmnon-e kwan’gyetoen susam-ŭi kwaje 原始 國語 母音論에 關係된 數三의 課題, in «Chindan hakpo», 28, Seoul 1965, p. 75-93; Anselmo, Armonia..., cit.
  10. Cf. Kim Sŏk-hyŏng, Kodai Chō-nichi ..., cit., p. 276.
  11. In the year 757 (16th year of the king Kyŏngdŏk 景德 of Silla) all the names of the kun and of the hyŏn were transformed into Chinese names.
  12. Cf. Kim Sŏk-hyŏng, Kodai Chō-nichi ..., cit., p. 277.
  13. Cf. Samguk sagi, kwŏn 37, chiri 地理, 4, p. 578 of the cit. ed.: 功木達一云熊閃山.
  14. Cf. Karlgren, Grammata..., cit., 1172d and 1173a.
  15. Yi Ki-mun, on the contrary, reconstructs for the pronounciation koŋ (? *kum) (cf. Yi Ki-mun, Koguryŏ-ŭi..., cit., p. 133).
  16. N. Poppe, On Some Mongolian Names of Wild Beasts, in «Central Asiatic Journal», IX, 3, 1964, p. 170-171. Cf. also Clauson, An Etymological Dictionary..., cit., p. 5: apa "bear" is probably used in a metaphorical sense for apa "ancestor".
  17. During the period when the capital city is Ungjin, it appears, seemingly as a name of the state the word Puyŏ 扶餘 read «Kudara» in the Nihon shoki (cf. NS, Iwa, K. 16, Keitai tennō, 3rd month of the 23rd year, p. 38 of the 2nd vol.). From this passage, where it is mentioned the concession to Puyŏ (= Paekche) to use the harbour of Tasa 多沙 of Kara to send the tributes to Japan, we can perhaps argue that Puyŏ was at that time the name of the state (kukho 國號), since when the capital was transferred to Sabi the kukho became Nam-Puyŏ 南扶餘 (cf. NS, Iwa, p. 548 of the 2nd vol., note 24).
  18. Cf. Chiu T'ang-shu, Pai-chi-ch'uan, p. 15776 of the Po-na ed.: 其王所居. The Chiu T'ang-shu is the old history of the T'ang dinasty. It was officially compiled from 940 to 945 by Liu Hsü 劉昫 (887-946).
  19. Cf. Yang Chu-dong, Koga yŏn’gu, cit., p. 85.
  20. Kŏbal could indeed be analized also in another way. If the first character is taken for its semantic value ( “to reside”) and the second one as a transcription of the word “town”, the expression 居拔 comes to get the meaning of “town where we reside”.
  21. Cf. Yang Chu-dong, Koga yŏn’gu, cit., p. 389.
  22. Cf. also Pak Si-in, Alt'ai..., cit., p. 32: 徐 = 新 ·.
  23. This could also be confirmed by a Paekche place-name reported in the kwŏn 36 of the Samguk sagi: 淸音縣本百濟伐音支縣今新豊縣, where transcribes the meaning of “clear, limpid” (). The meaning of “clear” is still strengthen by the first character of the last name, , which transcribes the MK saj “new”, directly connected to sɑj “east, clear”.
  24. See note 173.
  25. See note 189.
  26. The term *pɨl can perhaps be linked with the Japanese mura “village”. Kanazawa Sh. (The Common Origin of the Japanese and Korean Languages, Sanseidō, Tōkyō 1910, p. 14) connects it with the Japanese hure “village”, while comparing the Korean maeur (maŭl) with the Japanese mura (ibid., p. 8), and in this opinion is followed by Ohno Susumu (The Origin of Japanese Language, cit., p. 90). Maŭl, however, cannot be connected with mura because it derives from the MK mazɑl (or mɑzɑl, or mazɨl), which comes from a form *masɨl, appearing as masil (or mosil, masŭl, mosŭl, etc.) in the dialects (cf. Ch’oe Hak-kŭn 崔鶴根, Kugŏ pangŏn yŏn’gu 國語方言硏究, Seoul 1968, p. 311; cf. also Ogura Shimpei, Chōsengo hōgen-no kenkyū, cit., p. 27-28 of the 1st vol.).
  27. Cf. Yi Ki-mun, Kugŏsa..., cit., p. 68.
  28. Cf. Yi Sung-nyŏng, Han’guk pangŏnsa 韓國方言史, in «Han'guk munhwasa taegye», V, p. 331-338.
  29. It is perhaps a bit risky to connect *pɨl with hol for two reasons: for the difference of the vowel, which in the mentioned characters is never o, and because, while it is logical to suppose a development *[p] > [ɸ] > zero from one side and *[q] > [x] > zero from the other side, a development *[p] > [x] does not seem possible.
  30. Yang Chu-dong (Koga yŏn’gu, cit., p. 697) links the name of Soburi to the following one of Puyŏ, supposing that from Soburi by contraction (soburi > spul > pu) came the first part pu- of the name Puyŏ. We should, on the contrary, think that the name Puyŏ be in direct relation with the family name of the king of Paekche.

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© Valerio Anselmo