Korea is located on the Korean Peninsula in North-East Asia. To the northwest, the Amnok River (Yalu River) separates Korea from China and to the northeast, the Duman River (Tumen River) separates Korea from China and Russia. The Yellow Sea is to the west, the East China Sea is to the south, and the Sea of Japan (East Sea) is to the east of Korea. Notable islands include Jeju-do, Ulleung-do, and Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo in Korean).According to Samguk Yusa, the history of Korea began with the founding of Gojoseon in 2333 BC by the legendary Dangun. Limited linguistic evidence suggests probable Altaic origins of these people, whose northern Mongolian steppe culture absorbed migration and trade with the peoples of Manchuria and China. The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("Hanja" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Baekje later passed on a modified version of these cultural advances to Japan.
In ancient Chinese texts, Korea is referred to as "Rivers and Mountains Embroidered on Silk"and "Eastern Nation of Decorum". During the 7th and 8th centuries, the silk road connected Korea to Arabia. In 845, Arab traders wrote, "Beyond China is a land where gold abounds and which is named Silla. The Muslims who have gone there have been charmed by the country and tend to settle there and abandon all idea of leaving."Korean festivities often showcase vibrant colors, which have been attributed to Mongolian influences: bright red, yellow, and green often mark traditional Korean motifs.These bright colors are sometimes seen in the traditional dress known as hanbok.One peculiarity of Korean culture is its age reckoning system. Individuals are regarded as one year old when they are born, and their age increments on New Year's Day rather than on the anniversary of their birthday. Thus, one born on December the 31st would be aged two on the day after they were born. Accordingly, a Korean person's stated age will be one or two years more than their age expressed in the Western tradition.