In this article, after reviewing the concept of ‘Haejeok(海賊, Pirates)’ as a criterion for recording or not recording in ancient East Asia, I tried to find out why he was recorded as ‘Haejeok’ by applying the concept to the case of Neungchang(能昌). The summary is as follows.
In the case of the ancient East Asia and West, pirates were active as ‘armed robber groups’ at a time when there were many trading ships that could be targeted, in other words the international trade was active, or the state power to crack down on them was weak. Looking at the ancient Chinese ‘Haejeok’ seen in Chinese official history, it can be said that most of the historical ‘Haejeok’ appeared as an object of suppression and often showed direct opposition to state power. The state power's defining them as ‘Jeok(賊)’ has an aspect of ‘Jeok=robber’ as in the conventional interpretation, but the aspect of ‘Jeok=rebel’ was stronger than ‘Jeok=robber’.
Reviewing the historical records related to Neungchang, Haejeok, which refers to him, emphasized the meaning of the rebel rather than the robber. It was the same even in the case of the same historical records, Goryeosa(高麗史, The history of Goreyo), and the case of Baekje’s Haejeok at the same time. In the end, he was recorded as ‘Haejeok’ not because he was an armed robber group on the sea, but because a rebel to Taejo(太祖) Wang Geon(王建).