The Sinocentric dichotomy between civilized people and barbarian people has long been the worldview of East Asians. Although this view was challenged before, the decisive challenge was posed by the changes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. What was the reason for the irreversible overthrow of traditional Sinocentrism and the adoption of what they had previously considered to be barbarianism?Qing China’s Kang Youwei (1857-1927), Japan’s Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901), and Joseon Korea’s Yu Giljun (1856-1914) all thought Western civilization to be a more advanced civilization. However, the eventual aims the three men sought were not the same. From revitalization of Confucianism (Kang Youwei), permanent separation from the tradition of Confucianism through “de-Asianization” (Fukuzawa Yukichi), to the pursuit of a modern independent state without abandonment of traditional Confucianism (Yu Giljun), these three representative intellectuals of East Asia display how the traditional mentality formed during the premodern period continued to influence the modern transformation.The variations and methods of acceptance of the Sinocentric dichotomy of civilized and barbarian played a very important role in the formation of mentalities among the three nations of East Asia. Psychological responses to the injury created by the impact of the Western civilization were not unrelated to the extant mental attitude displayed by Sinocentrism. While China failed to abandon its narcissism and maintained its faith in its origins, Japan radically abandoned Sinocentrism and assimilated itself to Western culture–creating its own narcissism vis-à-vis others. Korea appears to have switched the object of assimilation beginning at the point of the Sino-Japanese War. While traditionalism may have persisted at the underlying level, the thrust of modern Korean society could be found in this transformation.
The aim of this research paper is to examine Choe Hangi’s Jigujeonyo in order to study turn-of-the-century perceptions of world geography during the final days of Joseon Korea and to examine the circumstances under which aspects of modernity arose out of traditional Confucianism. First, his philosophical perspective of geography is analyzed with a focus on his Giron and Hwaldong unhwa. Second, the content from Jigujeonyo relevant to the earth and world geography are extracted and interpreted. Third, the level of understanding of world geography in late nineteenth century Korea is examined and the social conditions present during the process of modernizing from traditional Confucianism are analyzed. The content and methodology of Choe Hangi’s geographical studies is not as relevant today as it was back then. However, his interest in the new and different in establishing his innovative views and perceptions, his relative objectivity and openness, and his efforts in overcoming biases are certainly worth noting. All of these display an important aspect of the process of modernization from traditional Confucianism.
The so-called National Character Revision movement (Minjokseong gaejoundong) has been criticized by the majority scholars for its character being much too lenient towards Japanese rule in Korea. The movement has been rendered as an attempt which only produced useless speeches rather than activating the independence movements against Japanese imperial rule. While the most well-known figure of the movement was Choonwon Lee, Kwangsoo, Yun Chiho also received these criticisms. Scholars such as Suh Joongseok and Kim Dohoon assail Yun saying that, “Although he once had been a good citizen, he turned into Ito Chikau, a faithful member of the Japanese empire by the moment of his death.”With such a harsh evaluation in mind, the writer raises the question whether or not such stigmatization is fair against the National Character Revision movement. Is the motive of this movement so obvious, that it provides more than enough reason for turning a man such as Yun into a traitor? Are not these men mere individuals rather than components of the National Character Revision movement? These questions seem more valid when one realizes that Yun had not been so “Japan-friendly” throughout his life. The writer analyzes the course of Yun’s life utilizing the concept of “Nomadism” in order to provide an answer to this problem.
While Juche ideology, emblematic of socialism in North Korea, was first formed based on Marxist-Leninism, it was gradually infused with the traditional Korean thought of Confucianism as the North Korean regime, as well as the personal power of Kim Il Sung, stabilized on a firm footing. As a result, socialism in North Korea began to transform in its own ways. The traditional Confucianism of the five-hundred-year Joseon Dynasty, particularly the ethics of the Three Bonds and Five Relationships, impacted all aspects of Korean lives in an immeasurable ways. This tradition, however, was severely criticized by the new twentieth century intellectuals who were exposed to new Western thoughts and academic trends during the Japanese colonial period. The North Korean regime, which, after liberation, adopted Marxist-Leninism as the founding ideology of the regime, severely criticized and denied traditional Confucianism as a pre-modern and feudal ideology based on anachronistic idealism. Korean Confucianism, initially abandoned by the North Korean regime in its formative years, however, was resurrected in Juche ideology in order to justify the dictatorial regime of Kim Il Sung.In this article, I sought to closely follow the process of denial-to-resurrection of Korean Confucianism in great detail. Starting with the discourses of denial produced by reformist intellectuals of the colonial period such as Yun Chiho and Yi Gwangsu, I move on to the praise of Soviet-style socialism and concomitant erasure of traditional Confucianism by the likes of Baek Namun during the early years of the North Korean regime, and finish with the processes of resurrection of Confucianism during the 1970s and 1980s as the Juche ideology became formalized and stabilized. North Korea’s Juche ideology is a resurrection of Confucianism in a mystical way, and socialism in North Korea therefore can be seen as an ideology with a strong mutual affinity with pre-modern ideologies.
The objective of my work is to explore the history of philosophical discourses initiated by Zhang Zai’s Western Inscription within the Neo-Confucian tradition in Song China and in Joseon Korea. Particularly, it concerns the ground-breaking process of reinterpreting the inscription, through which the founders of the Neo-Confucian tradition—Cheng Hao, Cheng Yi, and Zhu Xi—rendered benevolence as egalitarian and ultimately sought to locate an equilibrium between this egalitarian ideal and the non-egalitarian settings of pre-modern China and Korea. My work also shows how the conception of liyi fenshu 理一分殊 (“the unity of principle and the difference in application”) was initially conceived, specifically, in order to counterbalance this idealistic view of benevolence with more realistic aspects of differentiations and discriminations by resorting to the concept of righteousness. In the last three chapters, I contrast this process during the formative stage of Neo-Confucianism with the brief history of the interpretations of the inscription from late Goryeo through the end of Joseon.
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the school location variable on the shaping of school organizational culture. The context for the study is secondary schools in Korea under the compulsory rotation system for teaching staff, with school organizational culture being assessed by surveying the perceptions of teachers. The results of the study identified that although the effect size of school location factor on school culture was not strong, the factor can transform the culture of school organization. Further, while some aspects of school organizational culture including the aspects of pedagogy and student welfare were strongly determined by school teachers’ characteristics, teachers’ age in particular, three aspects of school organizational culture including teaching character, collaboration and relationship with community were influenced by the school’s location. The overall findings of this study suggest that the organizational cultures of Korean secondary schools are generally formed by both school location and the school members’ characteristics, teachers’ age and/or teaching experience.