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Thailand: History

Here, this is a Thai History page.

The first unified kingdom of Thais is Sukhothai started in 13th century. However, before the era, times changed in the flow of a long thousand years: the history of the prehistoric age, Haripunchai kingdom, Lannathai kingdom, the Khmer culture in Northeast Thailand and so on.

Let's study with me. I'm going to inquire the history more.

 Kingdom of Thailand

Thailand is a kingdom.
The present king is Rama 9.
(King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) the Great)
(The left photo is from the factory in Ayuttaya that Queen Sirikit manages.)

It appears that the country was being unified around Sukhothai period in 13 century under kings.
Even while another countries around Thailand got colonized by England or France, Thailand kept itself independent.

Related Links
- History of Thailand (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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 Buddhist Calendar

In Thailand, they use the Buddhist calendar, not the Gregorian calendar used in western countries.
(Japan had been used the traditional lunisolar calendar up to 1872, but has changed to the Gregorian calendar since then.)

- Buddhist Calendar (BE) : Gregorian Calendar (AD) + 543 years
- Gregorian Calendar (AD) : Buddhist Calendar (BE) - 543 years
The year 2014 in the Western Calendar is 2557 in the Buddhist Calendar. (2014 + 543 = 2557)
When you see a year in the Busshist Calendar in Thailand, minus 543 from it.

By the way, our wedding ceremony was held in Thailand and I found the year showing on the wall by the Buddhist calendar. I was wondering what it was then. :-D )

Related Links
- Buddhist calendar (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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 Thai Dynasty, History, and Japan

Here, let's check the major Thai Dynasty and the chronological table with the history of Japan.

Major Dynasty of Thailand

Japanese History

  • From the Stone Age
From the Stone Age, people live here and there throughout the country. Then, the unit of society is getting developed.

A lot of ancient relics in the Iron Age or the Bronze Age were discovered in North-East of Thailand such as Korat (Nakhon Ratchasima) and Udon Thani.

  • The unit of society is getting developed
Still no unified kingdom of Thais. However, in the north of present Thailand, a kingdom by Mon was established.

  • Haripunchai kingdom (around 661-11th century)
Hariphunchai was a Mon kingdom. Queen Chamadevi (Chama Thewi), a princess of Lopburi was invited to become the first ruler of Haripunchai. The capital was present Lamphun.
In 1281, King Mengrai of Lannathai seized the city and made it a part of his kingdom.

Wat Phra That Haripunchai in Lamphun.
It was built in 1108 (or 1157) during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of the Queen Chamadevi (Chama Thewi).
< Wat Phra That Haripunchai >

  • 538: Buddhism is imported from Kudara (China).
  • 645: The Taika Reforms

  • Nara period
    710- (Genmei Tenno)
  • Heian period
    794- (Kanmu Tenno)
  • Lannathai kingdom (1296 - )
Lannathai kingdom was founded by King Meng Rai of Chiang Rai in 1296.
Lanna Thai influence reached as far as Burma (Myanmar), Laos and China.

The Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen, where the borders of the three countries cross on the Mekong River; Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
The Golden Triangle. The borders of three countries cross on the Mekong River. >

  • 1296(1839) The capital moved to Chiangmai.
  • Controlled by Burma (Myanmar) from 1558.
    (Chiang Rai became a territory of Thailand in 1786 and was proclaimed a provinces in Thailand in 1910j

  • Phimai
The Khmer culture flourished in Isan of Northeast  Thailand around 11th to 12th century in the era of the Khmer empire.
iPhimai Historical Parkj

Prasat Phimai, Mahayana Buddhist Sanctuary.
Phimai is a large rectangular ancient city surrounded on all sides by moats and boundary walls.
< Prasat Phimai, Mahayana Buddhist Sanctuary >

  • Kamakura period
    (Shogun: Minamoto no Yoritomo)

  • Sukhothai (around 1240-1438)
    (around 1783 B.E.-1981 B.E.)
Sukhothai is the first unified kingdom of Thais. The  kingdom had flourished for about 200 years until it became a vassal state of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1378.
King Ramkhamhaeng developed the Sukhothai kingdom ever more prosperous and invented the Thai alphabet.

Wat Chanasongkham in Sukhothai Historical Park
< Wat Chanasongkham in Sukhothai Historical Park >

The old Thai letters around the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng.
< The old Thai letters
around the bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng >

  • 1378(1921): Became a vassal state of the Ayutthaya kingdom.

  • Muromachi period
    1338- (Shogun: Ashikaga Takauji)

  • 1397: Yoshimitsu builds Kinkaku-ji temple in Kitayama.
  • Ayutthaya (1351-1767)
    (1893 B.E.- 2310 B.E.)
Since the king U-Thong established the kingdom, Ayutthaya flourished for about four hundred years. However, it suffered catastrophic damage by the attack of Burma (Myanmar) in 1767 and the kingdom came to an end.
(After this, the history moved to the era of Thonburi, then the current Chakri Dynasty.)

< Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya Historical Park.
The old buildings were destroyed and Buddha statues have no head  because of a lot of fights with Burma during the Ayutthaya period.
< A lot of fights destroyed buildings and Buddha statues >
In seventeenth century, vermilion-seal certificate trade was very active between Thailand and Japan, and it's said that a lot of Japanese people, eight hundred to three thousand, lived in Ayutthaya including Nagamasa Yamada who is famous in Japanese history.

  • 1360(1903): Theravada Buddhism is declared as the official religion of Ayutthaya.
  • 1511(2054): Ayutthaya receives a diplomatic mission from the Portuguese.
  • 1516(2059): Treaty of trade between Ayutthaya Portuguese.
  • 1569(2112): Defeated by Burma.
  • 1592(2135): Treaty of trade between Ayutthaya Dutch.

Red seal ship, Suetsuguya-maru
< Red seal ship, Suetsuguya-maru >

  • 1767(2310): Defeated by Burma the second time.

  • 1467: Onin civil war breaks out.

  • 1560: Battle of Okehazama happens.
     (Oda Nobunaga)
  • 1582: The incident at Honnoh-ji occurs.
     (Akechi Mitsuhide)

  • Azuchi-Momoyama period
  • 1590: Toyotomi Hideyoshi unifies the nation.
  • 1600: The Sekigahara battle occurs

  • Edo period
  • 1702: The raid of Kira's mansion by the 47 Ako ronin

  • 1776: Hiraga Gennai develops the first electrostatic generator called Elekiter in Japan.

  • Thonburi (1767-1782)
    (2310 B.E. - 2325 B.E.)

  • 1767(2310): Defeats Burma and re-establishes a Siamese state with its capital at Thonburi.

  • 1783: Tenmei Famine caused by cold weather lasts for six years.
  • Rattanakosin (Chakri)
    (1782 - Present) (2325 B.E. - Present)
  • 1782(2325): Rama I the Great is crowned on April 6 and moves the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok.
  • 1826(2369): The Burney Treaty: the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the United Kingdom in Thailand.
  • 1833(2376): Similar treaty to the Burney Treaty, with the United States.

  • 1872(2415): English school starts.
  • 1887(2430): The Declaration of Amity and Commerce between Japan and Siam(Thailand)
     (Established formal diplomatic relations between Japan and Siam(Thailand))
  • 1887(2430): the Military Academy starts.

  • 1906(2449): The Naval Academy starts.

  • 1932(2475): The Government of Thailand is Transformed from the absolute to the constitutional monarchy.

  • 1939(2482): Siam changes its name to Thailand ("Land of the Free").

  • 1945(2488): The status of slave is abolished.

  • 1823: Siebold arrives in Nagasaki to serve as resident physician on Dejima.

  • 1853: Governor General of America, Perry visits the Uraga shore by ship.
  • 1854: U.S.-Japan Peace Treaty
  • 1860: Ii Naosuke is assassinated out side Sakurada-mon.
  • 1863: Shinsengumi organized; official Protector of Kyoto.
  • 1867: Taisei-Hokan; The Tokugawa Shogunate restores the reins of the government to the Emperor.

  • Meiji period
  • 1889: The Constitution of Great Empire of Japan
  • 1894: The First Sino-Japanese War (between China and Japan)
  • 1904: The Russo-Japanese War (between Russia and Japan)

  • Taisho period
  • 1914: World War I
  • 1923: The Great Kanto Earthquake

  • Showa period
  • 1937: The Second Sino-Japanese War (between China and Japan)
  • 1940: The triple military alliance concluded by Japan, Germany, and Italy.
  • 1941: World War II

Related Links
- History of Thailand (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
- History of Japan (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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 Chakri Dynasty

  • The present dynasty is Chakri.

    It's also called "Rattanakosin" because the new capital, Bangkok, is located on the island of Rattanakosin.

  • Chakri Dynasty: The successive Kings

On the top step: Rama I.
From the second and left: Rama II, Rama III, Rama IV,
From the first step and left: Rama V, Rama VI, Rama VII, Rama VIII)
On the top step: Rama I.
From the second and left: Rama II, Rama III, Rama IV,
From the first step and left: Rama V, Rama VI, Rama VII, Rama VIII


  • Rama I (1782 - 1809) (2325 - 2352 B.E.)
  • Rama II (1809 - 1824) (2352 - 2367 B.E.)
  • Rama III (1824 - 1851) (2367 - 2394 B.E.)

  • Rama IV (1851 - 1868) (2394 - 2411 B.E.)

    Around this period, Siam(Thailand) started diplomatic relations with western countries.
    The king in the movie "Anna and the King"(1999) is Rama IV.

  • Rama V (1868 - 1910) (2411 B.E. - 2453)

    He made two visits to Europe, one in 1897 and another in 1907. Bonds of friendship between various European royal families were formed.
    Rama V is one the three great kings in Thailand who modernized the country, abolished the status system and kept the country independent in the period of colonial expansionism by European countries.

    He is known as "Chulalongkorn the Great".

  • Rama VI (1910 - 1925) (2453 - 2468 B.E.)
  • Rama VII (1925 - 1935) (2468 - 2478 B.E.)
  • Rama VIII (1935 - 1946) (2478 - 2489 B.E.)

  • Rama IX (1946 - Present) (2489B.E. - Present)

    (King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) the Great)
    The present King and highly worshipped in Thailand.

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