Mohe people

The Mohe, Malgal, or Mogher, maybe a mispronunciation of the word Mojie,[1] were a Tungusic people who lived primarily in modern Northeast Asia. The two most powerful Mohe groups were known as the Heishui Mohe, located along the Amur River, and the Sumo Mohe, named after the Songhua River.[2]

The Mohe constituted a major part of the population in the kingdom of Balhae, which lasted from the late 7th century to early 10th century. After the fall of Balhae, few historical traces of the Mohe can be found, though they are considered to be the primary ethnic group from whom the Jurchen people descended. The Heishui Mohe in particular are considered to be the direct ancestors of the Jurchens, from whom the 17th century Manchu people originated.[3] The Mohe practiced a sedentary agrarian lifestyle and were predominantly farmers who grew soybean, wheat, millet, and rice, supplemented by pig raising and hunting for meat.[4][5] The Mohe were also known to have worn pig and dog skin coats.[6]

Mohe people
Chinese name
Korean name
Japanese name


Eastern Hu
Lineage of the Mohe people

The Chinese exonym Mohe 靺鞨 is a graphic pejorative written with mo 靺 "socks; stockings" and he 鞨 "shoes". Mo (靺) (Middle Chinese: /muɑt̚/) is an adjective, a customary expression meaning "barbarian" or Xiongnu. In the Dynasties before the Five dynasties recorded as "靺羯", such as Honglujing Stele. He 鞨 is gal (Middle Chinese gat or /ɦɑt̚/), meaning "stone" by Mohe/Malgal, Jie/Gal language. The Jie ruler Shi Le (石勒) takes the surname shi 石 "stone" from gal. According to the History of Jin (Jin Shi), Shi Tu Men (石土門) is the prince of the Jurchen people, whose surname shi hints to a connection with the Mohe and Jie.

The ethnonym of the Mohe bears a notable resemblance to that of the later historically attested *Motgit in Middle Chinese. (Chinese: 勿吉; pinyin: mò jí; Jyutping: mat6 gat1; Korean: 물길 [Mulgil]; Japanese: もつきつ [Motsukitsu]).

The name of the Mohe also appears as "Maka" in "Shin-Maka" (Japanese 新靺鞨, しんまか) or "New Mohe," which is the name of a dance and the musical piece that accompanies it; the dance and song were introduced to the Japanese court during the Nara Period or around the beginning of the Heian Period from the Balhae kingdom. In modern Japanese historical texts, the name of the Mohe is annotated with the "kana" reading Makkatsu (まっかつ), which is probably a transliteration based on the standard Sino-Japanese readings of the Chinese characters used to transcribe the ethnonym of the Mohe.


According to some records, there were seven/eight Mohe tribes :

Moji/Merjie/Wuji/Matgat (勿吉) Mohe/Mogher/Malgal/Muthot (靺鞨) Modern location
Sumo tribe
粟末部 (Sùmò Bù)
속말부 (Songmalbu)
Sumo tribe
粟末部 (Sùmò Bù)
속말부 (Songmalbu)
near Songhua River
Baishan tribe
白山部 (Báishān Bù)
백산부 (Baeksanbu)
Baishan tribe
白山部 (Báishān Bù)
백산부 (Baeksanbu)
near Paektu Mountain
Yulou tribe
虞婁 (Yúlóu)
우루 (Uru)
Yulou tribe
虞婁 (Yúlóu)
우루 (Uru)
on the Suifun River Basin
Boduo tribe
伯咄部 (Bóduō Bù)
백돌부 (Baekdolbu)
Boduo tribe
伯咄部 (Bóduō Bù)
백돌부 (Baekdolbu)
Funie tribe
拂涅部 (Fúniè Bù)
불열 (Buryeol)
Funie tribe
拂涅部 (Fúniè Bù)
불열 (Buryeol)
near the Mudan River on the Khanka Basin dwelled in Jixi and Mudanjiang
Anchegu tribe
安车骨部 (Ānchēgǔ Bù)
안차골부 (Anchagolbu)
Tieli tribe
鐵利 (Tiělì)
철리 (Cheolli)
near the Songhwa River dwelled in Harbin
Haoshi tribe
号室部/號室部 (Hàoshì Bù)
호실부 (Hosilbu)
Yuexi tribe
越喜 (Yuèxǐ)
월희 (Wolhui)
dwelled in Dalnerechensk
Heishui tribe
黑水部 (Hēishuǐ Bù)
흑수부 (Heuksubu)
Heishui tribe
黑水部 (Hēishuǐ Bù)
흑수부 (Heuksubu)
low banks of Amur River dwelled in Hegang, Jiamusi, Shuangyashan, Khavarovsk, Birobidzhan, Yichun

Notable personalities

Prefecture Mohe chieftains

■ Sumo Mohe

■ Baishan Mohe

■ Heisui Mohe

  • A Tou (阿頭 pinyin: Ā Tóu, Manchu: Uju (head, chief), Hangul:아두)
  • Tou Fu (陁弗 pinyin: Toú fú, Hangul: 타불)
  • Su Wugai (蘇勿蓋 pinyin: Sū Wùgài, Manchu: Sotki (crusian), Hangul: 소홀개)
  • Gao Zhimen (高之門 pinyin: Gāo Zīemén, Manchu: Hocihon mangga (handsome and strong), Hangul: 고지문)
  • Wusukemung (烏素可蒙 pinyin: Wū sù kě méng, Manchu: Osohon mangga (small but strong), Hangul: 오소고몽)
  • Nisuliji (倪屬利稽 pinyin:Ní shǔ lì jī, Manchu: Nisurigi (finger ring for archery), Hangul: 아속리계)

■ Funie Mohe

■ Yuexi Mohe

  • Wushikemeng (烏施可蒙 pinyin: Wū shī kě méng, Manchu: Osohon mangga (small but strong), Hangul: 오시가몽)

See also



  1. ^ "唐与渤海、靺羯关系史上的两次出使".
  2. ^ Crossley 1997, p. 18.
  3. ^ Huang, P.: "New Light on the origins of the Manchu," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 50, no.1 (1990): 239-82. Retrieved from JSTOR database July 18, 2006.
  4. ^ Gorelova 2002, p. 14.
  5. ^ Aisin Gioro & Jin, p. 18.
  6. ^ Gorelova 2002, pp. 13-4.


See also


Balhae (698–926) was a multi-ethnic kingdom in Manchuria, Korean peninsula and Russian Far East.. Balhae was established by refugees from the fallen Korean kingdom of Goguryeo and Tungusic Mohe tribes in 698, when the first king, Dae Joyeong, defeated Tang China (Wuzhou) at Tianmenling.Balhae's original capital was at Dongmo Mountain in modern Dunhua, Jilin, China. In 742 it was moved to the Central Capital in Helong, Jilin. It was moved to the Northern Capital in Ning'an, Heilongjiang in 755, to the Eastern Capital in Hunchun, Jilin in 785, and back to the Northern Capital in 794. Along with Goguryeo refugees and Mohe tribes, Balhae had a diverse population, including other minorities such as Khitan and Evenk peoples. Balhae had a high level of craftsmanship and engaged in trade with neighboring countries such as Göktürk, Japan, Silla and Tang.In 926, the Khitan Liao dynasty conquered Balhae and established the autonomous kingdom of Dongdan ruled by the Liao crown prince Yelü Bei, which was soon absorbed into the Liao. Meanwhile, a series of nobilities and elites led by key figures such as crown prince Dae Gwang-hyeon, were absorbed into Goryeo.

According to a Chinese source, the kingdom had 100,000 households and a population of about 500,000. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Balhae culture was an amalgamation of Chinese, Korean, and indigenous cultures.

Balhae controversies

The Balhae controversies is a dispute between Korea and China over the history of the Balhae kingdom. Due to its origins as the successor state of Goguryeo, Korean scholars consider Balhae as part of the North–South States Period of Korean history, while Chinese scholars argue Balhae is a part of Chinese history. (See Northeast Project of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Dae Jung-sang

Dae Jung-sang (?-698?), also known as Geolgeol Jungsang or Qiqi Zhongxiang, was the contribute of Balhae, and the father of Dae Jo-yeong, who was the founder of Balhae. Though much of the credit for the founding of Balhae went to his son, many historians still give credit to Dae Jung-sang as the main supporter and leader in the founding of Balhae.

Go of Balhae

Dae Joyeong (대조영; 大祚榮; [tae.dʑo.jʌŋ] or [tae] [tɕo.jʌŋ]; died 719), also known as King Go (고왕; 高王; [ko.waŋ]), established the state of Balhae, reigning from 699 to 719.


Goguryeo (고구려; 高句麗; [ko.ɡu.ɾjʌ], 37 BCE–668 CE), also called Goryeo (고려; 高麗; [ko.ɾjʌ]), was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula and the southern and central parts of Manchuria. At its peak of power, Goguryeo controlled most of the Korean peninsula, large parts of Manchuria and parts of the Russian Far East and eastern Mongolia.Along with Baekje and Silla, Goguryeo was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It was an active participant in the power struggle for control of the Korean peninsula and was also associated with the foreign affairs of neighboring polities in China and Japan.

The Samguk sagi, a 12th-century text from Goryeo, indicates that Goguryeo was founded in 37 BCE by Jumong (Hangul: 주몽; Hanja: 朱蒙), a prince from Buyeo, who was enthroned as Dongmyeong.

Goguryeo was one of the great powers in East Asia, until its defeat by a Silla–Tang alliance in 668 after prolonged exhaustion and internal strife caused by the death of Yeon Gaesomun. After its fall, its territory was divided among the states of Later Silla and Balhae.

The name Goryeo (alternately spelled Koryŏ), a shortened form of Goguryeo (Koguryŏ), was adopted as the official name in the 5th century, and is the origin of the English name "Korea".

Goguryeo controversies

The Goguryeo controversies are disputes between China and both Koreas (North and South Korea) on the history of Goguryeo, an ancient kingdom (37 BC – 668 AD) located in present-day Northeast China and two thirds of the Korean Peninsula. At the heart of the Goguryeo controversy is whether Goguryeo is a part of Chinese history exclusively, Korean history exclusively, separate from both, or shared by all. During the 1980s, Chinese scholarship was liberated from the strictures of the Maoist era, and social scientists began studying the history of Goguryeo, challenging the conventional view that Goguryeo was exclusively part of Korean history. Goguryeo, which is the origin of the English name "Korea", is seen as foundational in Korean identity; and the territory of China is held as sacrosanct.

Graphic pejoratives in written Chinese

Some historical Chinese characters for non-Chinese peoples were graphically pejorative ethnic slurs, where the racial insult derived not from the Chinese word but from the character used to write it. For instance, written Chinese first transcribed the name Yáo "the Yao people (in southwest China and Vietnam)" with the character for yáo 猺 "jackal", but 20th-century language reforms replaced this graphic pejorative with yáo 瑤 "precious jade".

In alphabetically written languages like English, orthography does not change ethnic slurs — but in logographically written languages like Chinese, it makes a difference whether one writes Yáo as 猺 "jackal" or 瑤 "jade". Over 80% of Chinese characters are phono-semantic compounds, consisting of a radical or determinative giving the logographic character a semantic meaning and a "rebus" or phonetic component guiding the pronunciation. Thus, most such slurs in written Chinese derived from the semantic component of a character. In the Yáo example above, the phonetic component of the characters (䍃) is the same, and they are homophones, but the pejorative character "猺" has the dog radical, suggesting an association with dogs (leading to the meaning "jackal"), whereas the revised character "瑤" has the jade radical, suggesting the association with the precious gem.

Heishui Mohe

The Heishui Mohe (Chinese: 黑水靺鞨; pinyin: Hēishuǐ Mòhé; Manchu: Sahaliyan i Aiman or 薩哈廉部),, also known as the Heuksu Malgal,, rendered in English as Blackriver Mohe or Blackwater Mohe, were a tribe of Mohe people in Outer Manchuria along the Amur River (Chinese: 黑水; pinyin: Hēi Shuǐ; literally: 'Blackwater" or "Black River') in what is now Russia's Khabarovsk Krai, Amur Oblast, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Heilongjiang in China.

Hokkaido characters

The Hokkaido characters (北海道異体文字, hokkaidō itai moji), also known as Aino characters (アイノモジ, aino moji) or Ainu characters (アイヌ文字, ainu moji), are a set of characters discovered around 1886 on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. At the time of their discovery, they were believed to be a genuine script, but this view is not generally supported today.

Hua–Yi distinction

The distinction between Huá and Yí (Chinese: 華夷之辨; pinyin: Huá Yí zhī biàn), also known as Sino–barbarian dichotomy, is an ancient Chinese concept that differentiated a culturally defined "China" (called Huá, Huaxia 華夏; Huáxià, or Xià 夏) from cultural or ethnic outsiders (Yí, conventionally "barbarians"). Although Yí is often translated as "barbarian", other translations of this term in English include "foreigners", "ordinary others" "wild tribes", and "uncivilized tribes". The Hua–Yi distinction asserted Chinese superiority, but implied that outsiders could become Hua by adopting Chinese values and customs.

Korean nationalist historiography

Korean nationalist historiography is a way of writing Korean history that centers on the Korean minjok, an ethnically or racially defined Korean nation. This kind of historiography emerged in the early twentieth century among Korean intellectuals who wanted to foster national consciousness to achieve Korean independence from Japanese domination. Its first proponent was journalist and independence activist Shin Chaeho (1880-1936). In his polemical New Reading of History (Doksa Sillon), which was published in 1908 three years after Korea became a Japanese protectorate, Shin proclaimed that Korean history was the history of the Korean minjok, a distinct race descended from the god Dangun that had once controlled not only the Korean peninsula but also large parts of Manchuria. Nationalist historians made expansive claims to the territory of these ancient "Korean" kingdoms, by which the present state of the minjok was to be judged.

Shin and other Korean intellectuals like Park Eun-sik (1859–1925) and Choe Nam-seon (1890–1957) continued to develop these themes in the 1910s and 1920s. They rejected two prior ways of representing the past: the Confucian historiography of Joseon Korea's scholar-bureaucrats, which they blamed for perpetuating a servile worldview centered around China, and Japanese colonial historiography, which portrayed Korea as historically dependent and culturally backward.

The work of these prewar nationalist historians has shaped postwar historiography in both North and South Korea. Despite ideological differences between the two regimes, the dominant historiography in both countries since the 1960s has continued to reflect nationalist themes, and this common historical outlook is the basis for talks about Korean unification. In the process of trying to reject Japanese colonial scholarship, Korean nationalist historians have adopted many of its premises. Shin Chaeho's irredentist claims over Manchuria, however, have not made it into the mainstream.

Korean–Jurchen border conflicts

The Korean-Jurchen conflicts were a series conflicts from the 10th century to the 17th century between the Korean states of Goryeo and Joseon and the Jurchen people.


Macro-Tungusic (also Northeast-Asiatic) is a proposed language family in East Asia and Siberia.

Macro-Tungusic includes the Tungusic languages, the Korean language and the Japanese language. Several linguists, especially James Marshall Unger (1990), Alexander Vovin (2001) and Lars Johanson (2010), have shown strong similarities between Tungusic, Korean and Japanese and believe that they have a common genetic origin. The proposed urheimat is located in what is today Manchuria, along the Amur river.The relation between Korean and Japanese is somewhat accepted. Relations to the Tungusic languages are supported and considered plausible by several linguists. Mostly all supporters of this theory are against a relation with the Altaic languages (Turkic and Mongolic) and dismiss the controversial similarities as language contact.

Manchu cuisine

Manchu cuisine or Manchurian cuisine is the cuisine of Manchuria, the historical name for a region which now covers mostly Northeast China and some parts of Russia. It uses the traditional Manchu staple foods of millet, broomcorn millet, soybean, peas, corn and broomcorn. It relies heavily on preserved foods (often pickling) due to the harsh winters and scorching summers in Northeast China. Manchu cuisine is also known for grilling, wild meat, strong flavours and the wide use of soy sauce. Manchu cuisine is more wheat based than Han Chinese cuisines.

Military history of Goguryeo

The military history of Goguryeo involves wars with other Korean kingdoms, Chinese dynasties, nomadic states and tribes, and Wa Japan. Goguryeo was a highly militaristic state; it was a powerful empire and one of the great powers in East Asia, until it was defeated by a Silla–Tang alliance in 668 after prolonged exhaustion and internal strife caused by the death of Yeon Gaesomun.


Mohe may refer to:

Mohe people, a Tungusic people of ancient Manchuria

Heishui Mohe, a Mohe tribe

Mohe, Heilongjiang, a city in China

Ministry of Higher Education

Munjamyeong of Goguryeo

Munja of Goguryeo or Munjamyeong of Goguryeo (died 519, r. 491–519) was the 21st monarch of Goguryeo, the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. He was the grandson of Taewang Jangsu (413–491). Though Munja's father Gochudaega Joda (hanja: 古鄒大加助多) had been named Crown Prince by Taewang Jangsu, Joda died before assuming the throne. He is considered as a ruler of Goguryeo at its zenith from Gwanggaeto the Great.

In 472, Goguryeo had relocated its capital from the area around modern Ji'an along the upper Yalu River to Pyongyang (the modern capital of North Korea). This move came in the context of heightened rivalries with the other two of the Three Kingdoms, the then-allied Silla and Baekje.Maintaining the success of long-distance diplomacy of Jangsu, Munja nurtured close relations with Chinese dynasties, notably Northern Wei, Southern Qi and Liang. Though North Wei went through several wars with its northern neighbour, Rourans and Song, it finally disrupted further attacks of Song, resulting the shift into Liang dynasty. Because of power shift, Goguryeo initiated diplomatic ties with Liang also: the Book of Qi says the title was bestowed upon the king of Goguryeo, which means bilateral relationship was fulfilled within the two. Simultaneously, Munja continued to stabilize the occupation of Liaodong peninsular based on friendly relationship with North Wei.In terms of inter-Korean relationship, the 12th century Korean history the Samguk Sagi relates that the remnants of the Buyeo kingdom submitted to Goguryeo in 494 after their defeat by the nomadic Mohe people. After occupying Dongbuyeo (Eastern Buyeo) in Gwanggaeto’s reign, Goguryeo finally completed subjugating whole Buyeo (current Harbin) area. In the mean time, the alliance of Baekje and Silla strengthened its ties by serving each other in terms of battlefields with Goguryeo. Baekje with its continuous efforts underKing Muryeong tried to attack its northern boundary with Goguryeo, notably in 505, mobilizing more than 3,000 soldiers. Korean records also mentions the provocative actions of Baekje several times, which called upon the counterattack of Munjamyeong in 506 but it failed without distinct fruits because of harsh famines.Buddhism in Goguryeo gained its continuous momentum after its acceptance into the kingdom during the reign of Sosurim. As his grandfathers did, Munja also boosted the expansion and distribution of Buddhism, especially via Liang and Wei. Under his reign, it is said nine monks were firstly sent to Northern Wei with a view to investigating Buddhist books and others. In 7th year (498), he constructed the Buddhist temple Geumgangsa.Munjamyeong was succeeded by his eldest son Anjang of Goguryeo.

Protectorate General to Pacify the East

The Protectorate-General to Pacify the East (simplified Chinese: 安东都护府; traditional Chinese: 安東都護府; pinyin: Āndōng Dūhùfǔ) was a protectorate established by the Tang dynasty in the northeast after defeating the kingdom of Goguryeo. In the place of Baekje and Goguryeo, the Tang created the Protectorate General to Pacify the East, Ungjin Commandery and Gyerim Territory Area Command.

Timeline of the Tang dynasty

This is a timeline of the Tang dynasty, which covers a period of roughly 289 years, from 618, when the dynasty was founded, to 907, when the last Tang emperor was deposed by the warlord Zhu Wen, who established the Later Liang dynasty, inaugurating the period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. Information on areas and events relevant to the Tang dynasty such as the Wu interregnum, when Wu Zetian established her own Zhou dynasty, and other realms such as the Sui dynasty, Tibetan Empire, Three Kingdoms of Korea, Nanzhao, Japan and steppe nomads are also included where necessary.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinMòhé Mòjié
Wade–GilesMo-ho Mo-ja
Middle Chinese
Middle Chinese/muɑt̚ kɑt̚/
Revised RomanizationMalgal
Revised HepburnMakkatsu
Historical Non-Chinese peoples in China

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