The purpose of this paper is show the systematic significance and function that the concept of history has in Ham Sŏkhŏn’s philosophy. Even though he was not the first philosopher of history in modern Korea, Ham enthusiastically presented and argued for the dynamic operation of the goal (telos) and force which he calls ‘‘Ssi-al’’—the anonymous grassroots in the context of Korean history. In particular, the notion of suffering plays an important role in his teleological thinking, not by imposing a pessimistic outlook but rather as an integral part of the historical mission assigned to the Korean people. In the second part of the paper, I discuss how Ham applies these fundamental categories to the various phases of the historical development in Korea.