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The "Horseriders" in Korea: A Critical Evaluation of a Historical Theory

J. Russell Kirkland
Korean Studies
Vol. 5 (1981), pp. 109-128
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23718816
Page Count: 20
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The "Horseriders" in Korea: A Critical Evaluation of a Historical Theory
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Abstract

A controversial theory that is current among both Asian and Western scholars holds that the earliest Japanese state was founded by invaders from the Asian mainland around the fourth century A.D. Advocates of this theory believe that the invaders represented a race of horseriding warriors from the borders of the great Eurasian steppe that stretches eastward to Manchuria. Culturally, those "horseriders" are held to have achieved what no other steppe people ever accomplished, by sweeping southeastward through the Korean peninsula and into the Japanese archipelago, conquering as they went. This article will examine several versions of the horserider theory with particular attention to the claims made for the horseriders in relation to Korea.

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