This article articulates the Koguryian characteristics of astronomy shown in Koguryo mural tombs, which were painted from the fourth to the seventh century. As of 2008, a total of 107 mural tombs have been discovered. Of these, I confirmed that twenty-five tombs had constellation paintings. Analyzing these constellation tombs, four guardian deities as mystical animals (Blue Dragon, White Tiger, Vermilion Phoenix, and Black Warrior) were guardians of this world. I discovered that Koguryo people developed Sasook-do, a unique constellation system of four directions that is in charge of guarding the cosmos. It consisted of the Big Dipper on the north ceiling, the Southern Dipper, the Eastern Double Three Stars, and the Western Double Three Stars. Each corresponds with the Great Bear, the Archer, the Scorpion, and Orion, respectively. The Three Polar stars are placed in the center and are enlarged according to Osook-do, a five constellation system for directions. The Southern Dipper was a very important constellation rarely seen among Chinese mural tombs during this period.
This article questions notions of continuation and, in particular, change as reflected in burial traditions of the late Goryeo and early Joseon kingdoms. People of Goryeo largely buried their dead in the ways of their ancestors, but the introduction to Korea of Zhu Xi’s the Family Rituals in the late thirteenth century marked the beginnings of a new means of interment. Zhu Xi’s writings were to have a paramount influence on burial procedures as they were increasingly adhered to over the course of the Joseon period. In detailing how funerals should be carried out and in outlining how people should be buried, Zhu Xi mapped out ‘proper’ Confucian ways of dealing with death. In focusing on archaeological material, this article discusses how the increasing influence of Zhu Xi’s writings on rituals is reflected in ways of burial over the course of the late Goryeo and early Joseon periods. It will be demonstrated that the Confucianization of burial practices is seen first and foremost in the ways in which graves were made, followed by how objects were placed inside the burial pit and, finally, in the types of burial goods used.
This article attempts a comparative study of efforts by three countries to construct their respective national narratives (sequences of historical events) and support them with archaeological evidence. Korea, Greece and Cyprus, the last two included within the cultural sphere of Hellenism, are geographically distant and seem unrelated, since their historical destinies never touched before the mid-twentieth century. However, parallel circumstances in which the nation-building processes took place, similar aspirations, and interesting differences make their comparison illuminating. It is argued that all national narratives reflect modern preoccupations rather than historical realities. They are ruled by a more or less common set of parameters and the archaeological record can support these parameters in specific ways. Finally, the ways in which other countries have used archaeology and different narratives to manipulate in their turn the national identities of Greece, Korea and Cyprus are also studied.
This paper examines Yi Hwang’s and Emerson’s ideas of nature and morality in their poems and essays, points of intersection in their respective ideas and their similar attitudes towards nature, how they combined nature with human morality, the basis of their reasoning, and finally, the social implications of their thought. Emerson, in the newly rising America of the 19th century, claimed that every individual could become a subject of universal morality by realizing the holistic harmony of nature in himself. This was to become the basis of early American constitutionalism, which tended to function as an external regulator of moral behavior. Yi Hwang insisted that we could become moral subjects by internalizing the fundamental harmony of nature, as he was critical of the corruption of the 16th century Joseon government officials. Both scholars believed that the harmony and order found in nature was the root of human society; and that we could take part in the harmony and order as members of the universe. Both of these authors have insight about how the individual gains his own reason for being, how he endows himself with the meaning of life. It is the only way to comprehend the meaning of life in a world that appears meaningless.
Korean women’s literature played a central role in modern Korean literature of the 1990s. A large number of women writers and their noteworthy literary works emerged and prevailed in the field of modern Korean literature during that era. In the meantime, Korean feminist literary criticism addressed a variety of issues and questions regarding the value and limitations of Korean women’s writing. Responding to this topic, this paper initially analyzes the characteristics and importance of feminine writing in Korean women’s novels of the 1990s. In examining them, I will seek to explore the potential of feminine writing in the context of feminist literary discourse and women’s writing practice. This work focuses mainly on the two types of Korean women’s writing: autobiographical and confessional. Furthermore, this work goes on to investigate the broader literary implications and social meanings of women’s writing. Lastly, I will point out the limitations of ‘feminine’ writing in Korean women’s novels of the 1990s. In terms of feminist aesthetics, Korean women’s autobiographical and confessional writings have striven to involve a wide range of literary discourses and feminist criticisms. With this persistent process, Korean women’s writing becomes capable of acquiring the power and possibility to uncover the rou-tinized problems in relation to women’s oppression and subordination in a male-centered society. Feminist literary poetics, within/through women’s differences, should be grounded in/upon diverse women’s lived experiences and then seek to explore not only an aesthetic but also a social value of their lived experience/reality and the feminine content. Through it, ‘feminine’ writing of women’s literature will be able to thrive within modern Korean literature.
This paper critically reviews the issue of the overheated English-learning boom in Korea, and investigates how such a boom affects public education in Korea and the learning of Korean children. This issue is analyzed with two theoretical frameworks: linguistic imperialism (Phillipson 1992) and social capital theory (Bourdieu 1991). As a case analysis, this paper focuses on the cases of both ‘the newly arrived’ Korean children at an English-immersion program and ‘the residing’ Korean children as linguistic minorities in the U.S. These two groups of Korean children gather around weekend Korean schools founded by Korean community churches, and both groups learn their heritage language and revive their heritage identities. It is found that the weekend Korean schools work as language shelters and ethnic strongholds where the Korean children’s ethnic culture, language, and identity are respected, revived, and maintained. By investigating the issue, this paper highlights the unequal relationship between languages and the impact of linguistic imperialism on the learning and lives of both domestic Korean children and Korean linguistic minority children in the U.S.