According to Sima Qian, Wiman was a general from the Yan state of northeastern China after the collapse of China's Qin dynasty, who submitted to Gojoseon's King Jun. Jun accepted and appointed Wiman commander of the western border region of Gojoseon, which probably corresponds to the west of the present-day Liaoning. Despite the generosity that King Jun had demonstrated, Wiman revolted and destroyed Gojoseon. In 194 BC, he established Wiman Joseon and decided to locate his capital in Wanggeom-seong (, ). Many Korean historians believe that the exact location of Wanggeom-seong was Yodong () in Liaodong China.
In this period, Wiman Joseon expanded to control a vast territory and became strong economically by controlling trade between the Han Dynasty and the peoples of Manchuria. Emperor Wu of Han thought that Wiman Joseon increasingly threatened Han China, and Wiman Joseon would ally with the Xiongnu.
Wiman's grandson, King Ugeo (,), allowed many exiles from Han dynasty of China to live in Wiman Joseon. The number of Han grew, however, and King Ugeo prevented the Jin state from communicating with the Han dynasty. As a result, in 109 BC, Wudi of China invaded Wiman Joseon near the Luan River. After failing several times to defeat Wiman Joseon's armies, Han Wudi tried to convince the princes of Wiman Joseon to kill King Ugeo. The conspiracy failed and it led to the destruction of the Gojoseon kingdom. After the war Wudi of Han dynasty sentenced two generals to death for failing to defeat Wiman Joseon.
After a year of battle, Wanggeom-seong was captured and Wiman Joseon was destroyed. Han dynasty established the Four Commanderies of Han in the captured areas, which corresponds to the current area of Liaodong peninsula and the northwestern Korean peninsula. The Commanderies eventually fell to the rising Goguryeo in 4th century AD.
Several nations were formed in its place. Among them was the Nangnang Nation. The Nangnang Nation must be differentiated from the Lelang commandery.
Monarchs of Wiman Joseon
Korea in 108 BC. Gojoseon before destroyed by Han dynasty.
Han Dynasty destroys Wiman Joseon, and establishing the Four Commanderies.
Korea in 315. Goguryeo recovered the former Gojoseon territory.
"The earliest documented event in Korean history involves China. After an unsuccessful rising against the first Han emperor Gaozu, the defeated rebels sought refuge beyond the imperial frontier and one of them Wiman, took control of Choson, a Korean state in the north of the peninsula."
"Here, Wiman was described as a "Gu Yanren "or a person from former Yan. It is confusing because there were two Yans around this period. The first was the Yan state, which was one of the seven states during the Warring States period, and the second was the vassal state of Yan of the Han dynasty."
"One of Lu Wan's generals, Wei Man (K, Wiman), defected from Yan, led his forces to Korea where he defeated Ko-Choson, ousted king Chun (who may have fled south), and established his own state with his capital at Wanggom (P'yongyang)."
"Wiman, a general from the state of Yan, one of the last states to submit to the control of the Han Dynasty in China, left for Korea where he receives a new position assisting King Jun, the ruler of Gojoseon."
"According to Samguk Yusa, the Kica Cosen period was initiated around 1120 BC by Kica, a scion of the fallen Shang Dynasty of China who fled to Ancient Cosen and the Wiman Cosen period was begun around 194 BC by Wiman, a Chinese military leader of Yen who fled to Ancient Cosen and usurped the throne."
"Retaliation by the Han then brought in refugees from Yan, the most notable of whom was a war lord, Weiman ('Wiman'in Korean), who somewhere about 200 BC led his followers into the territory held by Choson."
"In 195 BCE, the Yan king revolted and went over to the Xiongnu, a steppe nomad people.One of his lieutenants, Wiman (Chinese: Weiman), is recorded in the Shiji as having fled with 1,000 followers to Chos?n, where the ruler Chun appointed him a frontier commander."
"After a period of decline, Old Choson falls to Wiman, an exile from the Yan state in northern China. Wiman proves to be a strong ruler, but his ambitious program of expansion eventually brings him into conflict with the Han dynasty of China. The Han defeats Wiman Choson and establishes a protectorate over northern Korea in 108 b.c. Resistance to Chinese hegemony, however, is strong, and China reduces the territory under its active control to Nang-nang colony with an administrative center near modern Pyongyang."
"Sima Qian's Historical Records, written around 100 B.C.E., records that in 195 B.C.E., when the king of the Han Dynasty state of Yan (in the region of modern Beijing) rebelled, one of his lieutenants named Weiman (Wiman in Korean) fled east to Choson (Chaoxian in Chinese) with a thousand followers."
"The Han Chinese triumph was possible because the political solidarity of Wiman Joseon, which was nothing more than a loose tribal confederation, was not centralized enough to hold back external invasion. In this region, Wudi established four prefectures: Lelang, Zhenfan, Lintun, and Xientu."
Savada, Andrea Matles (1993). EARLY KOREA[Excerpted from North Korea: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress].
"As the Yen gave way in China to the Qin (221-207 B.C.) and the Han dynasties (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), Chosn declined, and refugee populations migrated eastward. Out of this milieu, emerged Wiman, a man who assumed the kingship of Chosn sometime between 194 and 180 B.C. The Kingdom of Wiman Chosn melded Chinese influence, and under the Old Chosn federated structure--apparently reinvigorated under Wiman--the state again expanded over hundreds of kilometers of territory. Its ambitions ran up against a Han invasion, however, and Wiman Chosn fell in 108 B.C."
"According to the Shijing (Book of Odes), after Yan was defeated by the Jin state in 221 BC, Weiman, a former Yan officer, invaded KoChosun and founded a principality with its capital near P'yongyang around 194 BC."
Mark E Byington, Project Director of the Early Korea Project (2009). Early Korea 2: The Samhan Period in Korean History. Korea Institute, Harvard University. p. 98. ISBN978-0979580031.
"In fact, of the entire contents of the Han Account, only three portions are believed to contain information of a historical nature. The first portion states that in the early-second century B.C. (between 194 and 180 B.C.), King Chun of Chosön was attacked by Wei Man, an exile from Yan China, and fled to the Han territory, accompanied only by a few court officials, where he called himself the King of Han."
KBS, Radio Korea International (RKI) (1995). History of Korea. Jung Moon, Seoul. p. 18. ISBN978-8986625004.
"Wiman: A government official of the Chinese Yan Empire, Wiman fled to Kojoson with a band of his followers."
"The only deduction we can make is that practical knowledge of Chinese and the Chinese script in Korea dates back to 194 B.C., when Wiman, from Yen in China, founded a primitive Korean state in the northwestern part of the peninsula."
"Subsequently, the establishment by China's Han dynasty of their four commanderies on the soil of Wiman' s Ancient Choson in 108 B.C. must have familiarized the resident Koreans with Chinese and the Chinese script."
"The Chaoxian (Korea) chapter of this Chinese history describes the origin of the first recorded Korean state, called in Korean "Wiman Choson." Wiman, the founder of the new state, had lived in the northeastern Chinese state of Yan but fled to Korea due to shifting political alliances."
"These tombs are associated with the Lelang commandery, which was established by the Han dynasty of China, successor to the Qin. Han generals conquered the armies of Wiman's grandson Ugo and established control over the northern part of the Korean peninsula."
"At this time a large number of people migrated to the Chos?n fleeing from the Liaoning region on account of the chaos and confusion in China that was produced by the fall of the Chinese Qin Dynasty and the rise of the Han Dynasty. Among these migrants was a man named Wiman who was ordered by King Chun to guard Chos?n's borders."
"The Han established 'four commanderies' (Chin. sijun, Kor. sagun) in the conquered territories of Wiman Chos?n, The commanderies were named Lelang (Kor. Nangnang), Zhenfan (Kor. Chinbon), Lintun (Kor. Imdun), and Xuantu (Kor. Hyéna'o)."
The Review of Korean Studies Vol.10. 2007. p. 222.
"This was the beginning of Wiman Joseon. Some view Wiman Joseon as a colonial dynasty of China because of the origin of Wiman, but it is accepted theory to include Wiman Joseon as part of Gojoseon."
"In the process they re-examined Chinese and Korean historical records and came up with two better authenticated alternatives to Tan'gun as founders of their kingdom, the aforesaid Kija, and Wiman (Ch. Wei Man). Both were apparently of Chinese origin and had founded Chinese-style statelets to set the peninsula on its historical path."
"According to the Wei Ji, groups of ethnic Chinese were already living in Korea when Wiman, a general from a nearby Chinese state, "adopt the mallet shaped hairdo and dress of the eastern barbarians", and fled into the peninsula with about a thousand followers."
"The elevation of Tan'gun to historical status is a direct challenge to Kija, a Shang aristocrat enfeoffed in Choson at the time of the fall of the Shang dynasty. Kija was later followed by Wiman, a general from the state of Yan who arrived around 195--194 BC to set up Wiman Choson and whose descendants later contested Han emperor Wu's invasion in 108 BC. Thus, the traditionally accepted dynastic state sequence of the Sam Choson of Kochoson, Kija Choson, and Wiman Choson has been overturned in the revised Korean ancestral state lineage."
Sino-Japanese Studies, Vol.14~Vol.15. Sino-Japanese Studies Group. 2002. p. 49.
"One of Lu Guan's generals, Wiman, escaped with one thousand of his followers to northeastern Korea and became a ruler there in about 194 B.C.E. Wiman's Choson was eventually overthrown by the Han empire in 108 B.C.E."
Ch'oe, Y?ng-ho (1980), "An Outline History of Korean Historiography", Korean Studies, 4: 1-27, doi:10.1353/ks.1980.0003
"The Shih chi, mentioned earlier, and the Han shu [History of Han], written in the first century A. D., limit the treatment of Korea in their respective biography sections to descriptions of the establishment of Wiman (Weiman in Chinese) Choson and the military campaigns waged by Emperor Wu ti of Han to subdue this ancient Korean dynasty."
"On the other hand, the "refugee" who came to Choson shortly after 200 b.c. is called by his Korean name, Wiman, rather than the Chinese form, Wei-man, because he became a part of the Korean community."
Yi, Hun-gu (1929). A History of Land Systems and Policies in Korea. University of Wisconsin--Madison. p. 1.
"His descendants governed the people until Kija, a wise Chinese philosopher came to the country. Later in 193 B.C. King Kijun was overthrown by his subject Wiman, a refugee from China, and fled to the southern part of the Korean peninsula."
"Chinese accounts relate that the state of Chosun, whose ruler was named King Chun, was overthrown by a renegade Chinese from Liaodong named Wiman."
"Horse and chariot burials from the 2nd century BCE which are earlier than the Chinese commandery of Lelang (called Nangnang in Korean), which was established in 108 BCE, have also been found in the vicinity of Pyongyang and thus would date from the time of Wiman Chosun.""
"Historical records reveal a more detailed and clearer picture of the history of the northwest region after Wiman (Ch.: Wei Man), a refugee from the Chinese state of Yan (?-222 B.C.E.), usurped the throne from King Chun of the old Choson kingdom sometime between 194 and 180 B.C.E."
"Wiman Choson fell in 108 B.C.E. to the Chinese Han dynasty (194 B.C.E.- 220 C.E.), which subsequently set up commanderies, including lelang commandery (Kor.: Nangnang, 108 B.C.E.-313 C.E.) in the former Choson territory."
"During this turbulent period refugee populations migrated eastward, and among them a leader by the name of Wiman emerged, who succeeded in driving King Chun of Old Choson from his throne (sometime between 194 and 180 B.C.)"
Vreeland, Nena (1976). Area handbook for North Korea. American University. p. 11. ASINB001IPXYN6.
"In 194 B.C. Wiman, a tribal chieftain of Chinese origin, overthrew the Han family and established the kingdom known as Wiman Choson."
"Ancient Korean history is comprised of the following states, Former Choson, Later Choson, Wiman Choson, the Four Commanderies, the Three Han states, Silla, Koguryo, Later Koguryo, Paekche, Later Paekche, and Parhae."