Many Korean learned Dangun grandfather is the founder of our Minjok and now it is regarded as an established theory. For example I easily found a video that show Dangun story to children.
Let’s look at the korean calendar, what is October 3rd called? It is Gaechun Day that Dangun founded Korea (called Dangun Chosun). But, as you know Dangun story is just a mythology. How Bears can be woman or son of the lord of heaven can appear on this ground. This story is written by priest Il Yeon in the Koryo. Considering Korean people were gathered while they were struggling indebtedness of appealing ethnicity. Let’s find the true of Dangun story and what ‘Minjok’ means to the people.
Korean history textbook says “Our ethnic group has maintained one group for 5,000 years. In this sentence, ‘the ethnic group’ is not clear. It is obvious that there were several groups around the Korean peninsula. In the Bronze Age, Each group made the political relations, rules, marriage custom, religious ceremonies etc. At that time, it is possible that each group didn’t retain political or cultural ties with the others. Therefore, we may say there was a cultural range around the Korean peninsula however, we may not say there was a one ethnic group. Actually, in A.D 3C, there were several countries such as Booyeo, Goguryo, Okjae, Ueproo, Three Han, Yea etc. It means, before 3C, there were more small countries around there. Old Chosun was not only country at that time.
Then when we began to think Dangun is the founder of Korean minjok? It was necessary to unite Koryo people against the Mongolian troop at the latter term of Koryo. The ruling class of Koryo needed a symbol to unite people. Since Koryo had maintained one country – one ethnic group for 500 years, Koryo people accepted the existence of Dangun easily. But we can find some faults in this theory of Dangun and Korean minjok. First, there were several groups except Dangun’s group that have each custom. And think that Dangun’s major territory is northern Korean peninsula where Booyeo-language user lived in. However, Sila and Koryo people used Han-language (Korean language).
In 1920s, Mr. Shin Chae-Ho wrote <Chosun Old-History> called 조선상고사 in Korea. He wrote the stroy of Dangun again and emphasized the Gogyryo protected themselves from Chinese attacking. Modern historians evaluated his writing that ‘Mr. Shin overcome the Japanese Colonial historical view and tried to revive and national historical view. What the important is that his history is written against Japanese imperialism. And it triggered Korean people to unite again.
In Koryo, Korean united to fight with Mongolian. In 20C, Korean united again to Japanese Imperial. What about nowadays? It’s the age of Americanization. All things including ideology, food, fashion, and some languages are absorbed in American style. Koreans are becoming American in some meanings however, we don’t try to be against Americanization. Without any caution about this situation, there is no sure that we won’t be a part of America. Think that Korean become one minjok as a result of one country fought and defeat the others.