Valerio Anselmo
A research on the name Kudara
(published in 1974)
Several hypotheses on Kudara (1)

Hypotheses on Paekche (2)

Hypotheses on Kudara (2)

[page 23 of the original (cont.)]

Several hypotheses on Kudara (part one)

Now that we have exhausted at least the most probable interpretations of the name Paekche without obtaining from them a decisive answer, we will at last proceed to the analysis of the various hypotheses concerning the name Kudara itself.

Keeping by now separated the problem of the connection of the two names Kudara and Paekche, theoretically the possible hypotheses on the name Kudara can be included in the outline shown here down.

We presume beforehand that the name Kudara be contemporary to Paekche.

Kudara can be:
[page 24 of the original]

 ┌ │α) in a southern language
 │a) a name given to their │
 │    own state by the │β) in a northern language
 │    inhabitants of Paekche └
 │ ┌
 │ │α) by the Japanese (original Japanese name)
1) the name  │b) a name given to the │ ┌
    of the state │    state of Paekche │ │*) of the South (Silla etc.)
 │    by others │β) by the Koreans │**) of the North (Koguryŏ)
 │ └ │***) emigrated to Japan
 │ └
 │c) a name originally of another state, but passed to mean Paekche.
 │a) its own name
2) the name │b) a name given to them by other neighbouring peoples or by the Japanese
    of the people │c) the name of another people, but extended also to them
 ┌ │α) one of the names of the capital cities
 │a) of the territory of  │
 │    Paekche │β) name of a ford, o a ferry or of another
 │ │    remarkable place on the road to the
 │ └    capital of Paekche
 │ ┌
 │ │α) near Paekche
3) the name │b) of the territory of │
    of a place │    another Korean state │β) far from Paekche, but nearer to Japan,
 │ └    or on the road to Paekche
 │ ┌
 │ │α) inhabited by Korean emigrants
 │c) of a region of Japan │
 └ │β) not inhabited by Korean emigrants

Moreover, these names can be:

  1. historically attested;
  2. confirmed by legends (ancient or recent; written or not);
  3. not historically attested, nor confirmed by legends.
And still:
  1. phonetically acceptable;
  2. phonetically not acceptable.

All the theories that will be introduced and analyzed are part of this outline. Some points of this outline, like 1-b, 2-b, 2-c and 3-c-β are not yet fully studied and, so, they leave open the field to future investigations.

Let's now come to the point. Before expounding the various hypotheses that will be listed according to the above outline, it will be necessary to make a preliminary remark of a general nature on the name Kudara.
[page 25 of the original]
Bruno Lewin 113 connects the final -ra  of Kudara with the final syllable of the names Silla, Kara 加羅 114 , Nara 奈良, and says that -ra  means “land, territory” 115 . This -ra  was studied also by Hayashi Taisuke 林泰輔 in a research about the relation between Korean and the languages of India 116 . As a matter of fact, if not with the languages of India, -rah of the MK narah “country” and the -rak  which appears in the names of Shiragi 117,  Karak 加洛 (= Kara) and Naraku (= Nara) 118 can be connected to an altaic root which appears in Turkish as -laγ, “dwelling” 119. From the analogy between the name Kudara and the various names of small states listed in the Chinese sources concerning Korea, we can think that perhaps also the -ra of Kudara could derive from the same root, but with the drop of the final fricative.

Anyhow we will have to notice that it is perhaps more sure to put this -ra in relation with the final pronounciations -na and -ya that we find in many place-names with a frequency at least equal to that of -ra 120.
[page 26 of the original]
See, for instance, the names of Kara 加羅, corresponding to Kaya 加耶 and Imna 任那, Anna (Anra) 安羅, corresponding to Anna 安那 (in the Wei-chih 魏志), and the various names of Silla and its capital city: Sara 斯羅, Sŏna 徐那 (and Sŏnabŏl 徐那伐), Sŏya 徐耶 (and Sŏyabŏl 徐耶伐), Sŏra 徐羅 (and Sŏrabŏl 徐羅伐). The pronounciation -na can more easily be connected with a *na- of the ancient Japanese, with the meaning of “land”, and we find it also in Manchu, in Goldi 121, in Jurchin and, in particular, in the language of Koguryŏ 122, where it appears under the forms 內, 奴, 惱 123.

Hypotheses on Paekche (2)

Hypotheses on Kudara (2)

  1. See B. Lewin, Kleines Wörterbuch der Japanologie, Wiesbaden 1968, p. 228.
  2. Pak Si-in (Alt'ai..., cit., p. 304) establishes a connection between the name of Kara 加羅 and the Mongolian qara “black”, “the color of the sky in the north” (天北之色), but this interpretation seems to be totally groundless.
  3. According to the officials of the king Chijŭng 智證 of Silla, who in the year 503 asked their king to fix the name of the country, the character ra meant “to net the countries of the four cardinal points” (羅者網羅四方之義). (See Samguk sagi, kwŏn 4, Silla pon'gi 新羅本紀, Chijŭng, 4th year, 10th month). This interpretation, based on the sound of a corresponding Chinese word, appears to be a forced one and cannot be considered as a valid explanation of the meaning of the term ra in the Silla language.
  4. Quoted by Maruyama Rimpei, Jōdaigo..., cit., p. 397. In another book (Chōsen tsūshi 朝鮮通史, s.l., s.d., p. 21) Hayashi Taisuke says that the meaning of the name Kudara  is unknown.
  5. Shiragi (in the NS, Iwa, always read Shiraki) is the Japanese name of Silla. The final -gi (or -ki) is generally understood in the meaning “fortress, castle” (see also Yang Chu-dong, Koga..., cit., p. 41), but the analogy with the names of Kara (Karak) and Nara (Naraku) let us think that this final -gi must be interpreted as a Japanese transcription of the final -h (or -k) of the name of Silla, not mentioned in Korean or Chinese sources. In the NS, Iwa (K. 22, Suiko tennō, 8th year, p. 176 of the 2nd vol.) 新羅 is read Shira.
  6. For this last name is seems that it has been proved that it had also a pronounciation Naraku, where the final -ku was transcribing the final -h (or -k) of the Korean original. This is already easy to guess from the fact that, among the various names of Nara there was also 寧樂, which very probably in Japanese was pronounced with the final -ku.
  7. See Ramstedt, A Korean Grammar, cit., p. 161.
  8. Ayugai Fusanoshin 鮎貝房之進 establishes a connection between ra and ya and suggests that the two terms should have the same meaning (quoted in NS, Iwa, note 10 at p. 613 of the 1st vol.).
  9. See Ramstedt, A Korean Grammar, cit., p. 161.
  10. See Yi Ki-mun, A Genetic..., cit., p. 101.
  11. Karlgren (Grammata..., cit., 6a, 350a, 47b) reconstructs for the three characters the following pronounciations: (*lâ), (*nâr), i̯a (*zi̯å).

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© Valerio Anselmo