Seoul has been known in the past by the successive names Wiryeseong (Hangul: 위례성; Hanja: 慰禮城, Baekje era), Namgyeong (남경; 南京, Goryeo era), Hanseong (한성; 漢城, Joseon era) or Hanyang (한양; 漢陽). During the period of Japanese invasion and colonization (1910-1945), Seoul was named to the JapaneseKeijō (けいじょう or 京城) or Gyeongseong (경성; 京城) (in Korean). Its current name is Seoul, and this name has been in use since at least 1882, at times concurrently with other names.
Seoul originated from the Korean word “seo'ul” meaning "capital city". An etymological hypothesis presumes that the origin of the native word “seo'ul” derives from the native name Seorabeol (Hangul: 서라벌; Hanja: 徐羅伐), which originally referred to Gyeongju, the capital of Silla, then called Geumseong (금성; 金城).