This paper narrates the origin of the “Transmission of the Way” (dotong) in Korea and the emergence of scholarly lineages. It connects this with the particular socio-political constellation of Joseon society according to which social standing determined participation in the political world. For this reason, Korean dohak was always more political than in China. Following the death of Toegye Yi Hwang and Yulgok Yi I, the Way bifurcated, and its application to the intellectual discourse and political reality depended much on those in power. This was equally true for the selection of scholarly candidates for the honor of enshrinement in the Shrine of Confucius (Munmyo). What emerged as “orthodoxy” aroused dissent that was suppressed by the state. Toward the end of the dynasty, the scholarly atmosphere became more fluid, and personal interpretations of the Classics began to emerge.
Despite previous efforts to provide an East Asian counter-narrative to nationalistic perspectives, notions of “national lineages” continue to exert a detrimental effect on our understanding of the Buddhist traditions of East Asia. As Korean and Japanese scholars have previously shown, sources from Silla greatly impacted Fazang 法藏 (643-712) and his disciples. Thus, the history of Huayan 華嚴 in Tang China should be seen on the backdrop of overarching developments that perhaps should more accurately be termed “East Asian Huayan/Hwaeom/Kegon.” The present article attempts to demonstrate that this influence extends even to the elaboration of a core concept of Huayan thought, the fourfold dharma sphere, and ultimately also to the genesis of the very notion of a Chinese “Huayan lineage” beginning with Du Shun 杜順. As to be argued, these related developments have to be interpreted not merely with regard to a doctrinal innovation by Fazang’s disgraced disciple Huiyuan 慧苑 (673–743), but last but not least on the backdrop of the Silla monk Wonhyo’s 元曉 (617- 686) influence.
Based on the analysis of the Hwadam jip 花潭集 and its peritexts (prefaces, postfaces, chronological biography, etc.) in particular, this study focuses on the contrasting assessments of Seo Gyeongdeok 徐敬德 (1489-1546) during the Joseon period. It analyzes why and how the followers of Seo Gyeongdeok laid out multiple strategies in the compilation of his munjip to counteract the criticisms expressed by high-profile Neo-Confucian scholar-officials, such as Yi Hwang and Yi I under Seonjo’s reign. These criticisms toward Seo Gyeongdeok’s eremitism, his approach to the Changes, and his specific way of practising Confucian learning, which had been regarded as potentially unorthodox, were all addressed in different ways by the successive compilers of the munjip between the 16th and 18th centuries. This article argues that the Hwadam jip, especially the last edition in 1787, is what may have played a major role in turning Seo Gyeongdeok into Master Hwadam, one of the most respected Confucian scholars nowadays. By mixing carefully chosen biographical elements with philosophical arguments, this most complete edition printed at the Hwagok Academy by the scholars of Gaeseong can be seen as an attempt to provide a holistic understanding of “Hwadam Learning” and trace their own lineage within the orthodox “Transmission of the Way” in the process. Seo Gyeongdeok is presented as a direct disciple of Confucius, in the manner of Yan Hui and, hence, worthy of the utmost respect and recognition. Ironically, although Seo Gyeongdeok has been duly acknowledged as a forerunner of the Neo-Confucian tradition of Joseon in modern histories of Korean Confucianism, the definition of “Hwadam Learning” as a “Learning of Mind-and-Heart” in line with the “Learning of Nature and Principle” as proposed in the final edition of the Hwadam jip is not the one that prevails today.
The attitudes of Joseon scholars toward Daoist discourse are often understood as hostile and, with a few exceptions, as almost exclusively negative. The example of Toegye Yi Hwang, however, shows that a negative attitude toward Daoist texts and techniques was often accompanied by a thorough knowledge on the part of the scholar attacking them. This phenomenon cannot be fully explained by the necessity of knowing the topic to be criticized in order to better refute it. Daoist discourse contained a broad range of motifs which were appropriated or close to Confucian teaching and if studied properly, Confucian scholars could use them relatively freely without the danger of accusation of heterodox tendencies. The purpose of this study is to analyze the Daoist sources available to Toegye and his treatment of them on the public and private level. This includes the texts of Laozi and Zhuangzi, inner alchemistic treatises such as the Cantong qi, the motif of the immortals, etc. The treatment of these sources in Toegye’s works indicate that while warning against Daoist studies on a public level, he possessed a very good command of them and under certain condition allowed their use in specific areas, especially numerology, medicine, and exegesis of Song dynasty Confucian works.
This paper examines the lifespan of the kings of Goguryeo and presents the following findings: first, the kings of Goguryeo tended to be mature when crowned and have lifespans average for them, which ensured the succession of an heir capable of managing state affairs. Royal authority could thus be maintained steadily. Second, the kings reigning during state reformations ascended the throne after reaching adulthood and died late in life, when their successors were old enough to take over the state. Successful social reform was consequently possible even amidst undesirable situations. Third, the kings who reigned in the time of decline present opposite traits from the kings who undertook social reforms. The age of the king also influenced the political situation after mid-6th century. Young kings found it difficult to efficiently exercise power. In short, the lifespan and age of the kings played a crucial role in the history of Goguryeo, because the king was the center of the state during the pre-modern age.
This paper examines the transmission of Xíngshì yán in Joseon Korea and the roles of the translator in late Joseon literary culture. Through a comparative study of the Chinese vernacular short story collection, Xíngshì yán 型世言, alongside its Korean translation, we show how the translator in question went further than simply transferring the text from Chinese to Korean. Rather, the translator also acted as a text moderator and an editor, domesticating the text for its readers, mainly royal and gentry women. In the capacity as a textmoderator, the translator made a creative contribution in reconstructing the narrative style and in the use of lexical items and speech style. Simultaneously, as an editor, the translator omitted parts of the text that required an advanced contextual knowledge of Chinese language or culture to comprehend, while also adapting parts of the text that relate to story background, conversations between characters, description of story details, and characters’ psychological processes. Drawing upon Skopos theory, we argue that the act of translating Xíngshì yán was motivated by the goal of presenting the story to a new audience, that is royal and gentry women.
Dosan Ahn Chang Ho travelled extensively to China, Russia, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Canada, and three times to America for Korean independence. Ahn Chang Ho first came to America in 1902 with his wife, Hyeryon, also called Helen, and stayed until early 1907. Dosan returned to America in October 1911 and stayed until 1919. Dosan’s third and final trip to America was between 1924 and 1926. The purpose of this paper is to retrace Dosan’s final journey across the Pacific to America, and to investigate why and how he was deported from the United States to Australia in 1926. It turns out that Dosan Ahn Chang Ho was interrogated by the U.S. Immigration Service in Chicago on June 3, 1925, to investigate if he was a Bolshevist. Although Dosan’s visa extension request was approved, the Immigration Office did not trust him and decided to deport him in 1926. Based on U.S. Immigration Service documents and Sinhan minbo articles, this paper firmly concludes that the U.S. Immigration Service deported Dosan Ahn Chang Ho in 1926, and he was never allowed to be reunited with his family in America. Ralph Ahn, the youngest son of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho, never met his father, as Dosan left San Francisco on March 2, 1926, while his wife Helen was pregnant. Ahn was arrested by Japanese police in 1932 in Shanghai and died in 1938 due to harsh imprisonment and torture.
This paper analyzes the information contained in a variety of travelogues written prior to and after the Japanese annexation of Korea to provide a better understanding on how Westerners perceived the colonial rule. In order to do so quotes on specific topics such as the socio-political situation of Korea or the traveler’s perception on both Korean and Japanese people have been extracted and juxtaposed in an effort of identifying and defining predominant trends. These primary sources need to be approached taking in consideration the Zeitgeist during the period in the West. Their authors depart from a sociopolitical context during which Social Darwinism was in vogue. Besides that, while taking travelogues as a source of historical information has its limitations it also constitutes an excellent way to discuss to what extent the Japanese propaganda effort in the colony was efficient or not. It is also important to note that most of the travelers arrived into Korea via Japan, stayed at the Japanese-managed Chosun Hotel and they often had very limited interactions with Koreans. Thereby they were exposed to the Japanese discourse. This can be perceived in their comparisons between Korean and Japanese customs. However, I would like to argue how their perception on the latter was still influenced by the orientalist discourse as well.
The international relationship between Japan and Korea used to be characterised by cultural exchanges, economic trade, political contact, and military confrontations. During the ancient era, Buddhism, Chinese-influenced cuisine, Han characters, and other technology came to Japan via Korea and/or the East China Sea. The tendency of social flow began to reverse when Japan invaded Joseon (early modern Korea) in 1592 壬辰倭亂. Afterward, the social success of Japan’s modernisation under the central leadership of Emperor Meiji (1867- 1912) instigated in earnest the globalisation of Japanese religiosity. Then, what kind of faith communities came to Joseon before the Japanese annexation of Korea (1910)? How did they settle down? What was the cultural environment for new beliefs? What was their connection with the state in the political transition era of the peninsula? This paper explores the historical narratives of Jinja Shintō, Kyōha Shintō, Japanese Buddhism, and Japanese Christianity in the pre-colonial society of the Joseon dynasty. The geopolitical confusion and change of East Asia (Japan, Korea, and China) over the process of modernisation is argued as one of the key factors through which the maritime beliefs could transnationally root without the legal restriction of the local authority for Japanese residents.