This article looks at how the prominent East Asian Buddhist thinker Wonhyo viewed humans and how he practiced his thoughts. While Buddhism proclaimed humanism, it is paradoxically hard to find any Buddhist texts discussing humans. Wonhyo, who left behind a vast collection of writings of more than 70 copies and 150 volumes, is no exception. In terms of methodology, the first two sections of the present article cover the background to understand Wonhyos’ view of human beings. Section 2 looks at the humanistic character of Buddhism; Section 3 looks at all of the words related to human beings in Wonhyo’s writings and summarizes their definitions as well as their use by Wonhyo; Section 4 clarifies that Wonhyo’s view that all humans were equal was formed based on the Doctrine of Ilsim, or One Mind, in the Mahāyāna-śraddhotpādaśāstra; and finally, Section 5 interprets his conduct of non-obstruction that did not hesitate to break the precepts from the perspective of edifying all living beings as a religious mission of a bodhisattva who has not left home, or gṛha-pati. Wonhyo found all human beings equal in the sense of endless death and reincarnation of One Mind but simultaneously recognized the difference between bodhisattva and all living beings and urged the former to edify the latter. He emulated Vimalakīrti and devoted himself to the edification of all living beings, which he called non-obstruction, after returning to secular life. Wonhyo’s view that all humans were equal and his altruistic bodhisattva practices are significant in that he both sought the direction Unified Silla should pursue in a Buddhist equal society. His marriage with Princess Yoseok and the appointment of his son by the royal family, which led the unification of the Three Kingdoms, implies that Wonhyo’s view of humans and conduct to edify all living beings responded to the demand of the times. Thus, the 13th-century Buddhist historian Iryeon attributed the spread of Buddhism in Silla to Wonhyo. At the same time, Wonhyo was devoted to investigating the universal mind of humans like doctrinal-study monks from the perspective of Vijñānavāda and did not focus on the human body or the natural environment. In this sense, he represented the view of humans of doctrinal Buddhism.
The current article proposes the potential of information in and utilization of dhāraṇīs, maṇḍalas, and talismanic seals during the Goryeo dynasty in order to understand the faith illiterate people could accept intuitively and to assess its signifcance in intellectual history. The examination of dhāraṇī was based on the Collection of Dhāraṇīs Written in Siddhaṃ, which has received much attention after the 2010s. The comparison of different editions revealed that even the same dhāraṇī could be expressed differently based on the thought forming the background. The estimation of when a certain faith entered Goryeo was also possible. Maṇḍala, which is a condensed illustration of the truth, is not material easily seen in the history of Korean Buddhism. The material of Goryeo is mainly Vajradhātu maṇḍalas, which, given the lack of material showing the Vajradhātu Esoteric Buddhism, contributes to a deeper and wider understanding of Esoteric Buddhism during Goryeo. Talismanic seals, which appeared as a result of the exchange with and influence of Daoism, show that the everyday faith had developed into a more intuitive and direct form and that the strict boundary between religions was vague, thus resulting in a more realistic manifestation of the Buddhist faith during Goryeo. These materials are not traditional research sources, nor were they recently discovered. However, they tell us about Buddhist faith during Goryeo from a new perspective. The rediscovery of these materials will be the first step in enriching our understanding of Buddhist faith during the Goryeo dynasty.
Research on Buddhism in the Joseon dynasty has seen many achievements during the past 100 years. Under Japanese colonial rule, the introduction of the modern academic research methodology and the collection of historical material allowed the pioneering research on various topics and formed the main theories. However, a negative image was layered onto tradition, reflecting the reality of being colonized, and the formula of suppression and decline was set in place. In the late 20th century, as the base of research broadened and a more autonomous perspective towards the tradition of Korean history was emphasized, the areas and topics of research diversified, leading to the accumulation of research achievements. From 2000 on, research that looks at Buddhism in the Joseon dynasty from a new perspective and attempts to clarify the historical reality in detail have been attempted. While the Joseon dynasty has been known as a period of elevating Confucianism and suppressing Buddhism (sungyu eokbul), this is a neologism created during the modern period, and its contents and characteristics should be understood depending on the time period. It is also necessary to reexamine the Buddhist traditions that have become academically formulized such as the theory that Buddhist monks were equal to the low-born, the theory of the doctrinal study, and the Seon-oriented perception.
The present article examines the major pursuits of the discourse of reform in modern Korean Buddhism and considers the characteristics and significance of their contribution to the establishment of the tradition and identity of Korean Buddhism. Based on Gwon Sang-ro’s “Treatise on the Reformation of Korean Buddhism” which was featured as a series in the Buddhist magazine Korean Buddhism Monthly from 1912 to 1913, Han Yong-un’s Treatise on the Restoration of Korean Buddhism, which was published by the Buddhist Bookstore in 1913, and Yi Yeongjae’s “Treatise on the Renovation of Korean Buddhism” which was published as a series in the Chosun Ilbo in 1922, the article summarizes the objectives of the argument for reform, which include the following: breaking free from tradition, religious and philosophical features, the emphasis on education and propagation for the popularization of Buddhism, and the establishment of an organized body of the Buddhist order. In the 1910s, Han Yong-un and Gwon Sang-ro were conscious of the competition with other religions as it pleaded for the reform of Buddhism. From the standpoint of social Darwinism and the theory of civilization, they regarded self-strengthening as the only way to survive in the religious competition and proclaimed to escape tradition and eliminate all superstitions elements. Influenced by the March First Movement, however, from the 1920s, the task to review the status of Buddhism from the point of view of the nation, culture, and thought was undertaken. The reverence and worship of the Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa and Wonhyo are typical examples. If breaking away from tradition was considered a means to be reborn as a civilized religion in the 1910s, the path that was chosen in the 1920s was to excavate and inherit cultural tradition and become the agent of the nation and culture. Meanwhile, the key point of Yi Yeongjae’s argument for reform was to criticize colonial Buddhism policies and argue for an independent administrative system of the Buddhist order. The establishment of a controlling agency or an organized body of the Buddhist order had been discussed in earnest starting from the mid- to late 1930s, and finally, in 1941, the Jogye Order of the Buddhism of Joseon was born. The choice to name the order Jogye Order was the outcome of efforts to declare the tradition and identity of Korean Buddhism. The discourse of reform of modern Korean Buddhism carries significance in the history of Buddhism in that it did not merely pursue modernization but attempted to excavate and recreate tradition, which led to the efforts to establish an identity as a modern religion.
The Korean archaeological excavations and the available Persian, Arabic, and Chinese historical and geographic sources from the Middle Ages speak of a longstanding commercial and cultural relationship between the two ancient civilizations of Iran (Persia) and Korea (with emphasis on the Silla kingdom), particularly from the 6th to 10th centuries. The history of trades and cross-cultural interactions between different territories along overland and maritime roads in the ancient world have always referred to gold as an essential and valuable commodity. Moreover, according to the historical evidences found in a number of Iranian sources as well as the results of the excavations in Silla’s capital city of Gyeongju, Korea has been one of the top gold-producing countries. Regarded as one of the most valuable traded commodities, gold thread was needed in Iran and Central Asia where it was utilized in the textile industry of Persian Silk Brocade. According to a number of Iranian travelers, geographers, and historians, Persians and Arabs traveled to the Korean peninsula mainly because of the abundance of gold, good weather, and the beauty of Silla. The Iranian records indicate that the trade of gold has had a significant role in the business market. Based on these records, some of the ancient commercial and cultural roads, or their branches such as the main road from Korea to Central Asia, Iran, and Anatolia, could be renamed as the Gold Roads / Golden Roads.
This paper aims to elucidate the philosophical meaning of the Neo-Confucian concept of ritual propriety (li 禮). In the Neo-Confucian view, the advent of ritual propriety occurred by the tension between the moral ideal and ontological predicaments of human beings, such as material disposition (qibing 氣稟) and human desires (renyu 人欲). Although human affairs (renshi 人事) should be conducted according to the Heavenly principle (tianli 天理), it would be extremely difficult for human beings to accomplish it. To resolve this problem, Neo-Confucians pay significant attention to ritual propriety, which serves as appropriate criteria in one’s everyday life. They define ritual propriety as the “formal code of human affairs,” which indicates the accessible instruction manual established by the sage, whereby human beings could start practicing to realize their original nature, which is the endowed Heavenly principle in their heart-and-mind. They also suggest the way to practice ritual propriety called “learning by familiarization” (xishu 習熟). Tis learning strategy requires one to accustom oneself to accordingly conducting ritual propriety since one’s childhood, like habit formation, as a groundwork for the higher level of learning. Seeking “genuine knowledge” (zhenzhi 眞知) through “apprehension of principles” (qiongli 窮理) as the next step of learning ritual propriety. In so doing, Neo-Confucians investigate the source of oughtness of human beings.
Manchus conquered Beijing and re-structured the social and political order of China in the 1640s. Meanwhile, Joseon Korea necessitated following the Qing’s new tributary rituals to appoint envoys visiting China regularly, although Joseon intellectuals refused to accept the Qing’s new order. Joseon’s mission route to Beijing was the primary battlefield for the Ming-Qing conflict. It provided opportunities for them to encounter different battlefield sites, such as Ningyuan and Shanhai Pass. In looking for the glory of the Ming Dynasty, some Joseon intellectuals were curious about the places of the Ming-Qing transition. As a result, members frequently asked the appointed interpreters for interpretation of the information. Interpreters acquired extensive experiences in China and widespread network with Chinese to collect information of the past. Joseon intellectuals relied on interpreters’ elaboration to understand the history of the Ming-Qing transition and even recorded the intelligence in their Yeonhaengrok. The record was circulated as the intellectuals’ shared memory of the Ming-Qing transition in Joseon intellectuals’ circle. Tis article attempts to address how the Joseon interpreters worked as the “cultural broker” to utilize their social network and knowledge to construct the discourse of the conflict during the Ming-Qing transition for re-shaping the memory of Joseon intellectuals on Ming Empire. The article’s argument demonstrated the Joseon interpreters as an intermediary, who operated the cultural contact zone in East Asia to produce and circulate the knowledge in China for the Joseon community to create their own memory of the past.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the number of Korean students studying abroad at Kazan Teacher’s Foreign Seminary from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century among the three archives located in Kazan, the educational content, and the relationship with the Russo-Japanese War by analyzing historical data on the beginning and development of Korean Studies in Kazan through empirical documentary data and investigating the roles of graduates in the Korean community in the Far East. The research results are as follows. First, traces of Koreans in the Kazan Region from the end of the 19th century were found in the Korean-Russian dictionary of the Archives of the Kazan Federal University, and the data of the Kazan Teacher’s Foreign Seminary in the National Archives of the Republic of Tatarstan. Second, the old documents surveyed are as follows: application for admission of Koreans, documents related to dormitory life, tuition payment and receipt, curriculum by grade, graduation exam subjects and schedule, and original Russian school diploma. In particular, we think that the diploma can be recognized as a rare document. In addition, five dictionaries, including Korean-Russian dictionaries involving Korean students, were announced in 1939 by Professor Gustaf John Ramsted of Helsinki University in foreign countries, but the substance of the author was revealed this time. Third, although the number of Korean students was about 7 in the preceding study by Russian scholars, the names of 19 people were actually identified, and the total number of students was not specified in detail, but the actual number of enrolled students was searched for. Fourth, Russia was prepared for the war with Japan and the Russian-Japanese dictionary to facilitate the activities of Russian soldiers in Korea, a battlefield of the Russo-Japanese War. In addition, evidence was found that more than 7 Korean students who studied in Kazan were Russian interpreters and 4 were sent to Russian military units. Fifth, among Korean students, the first son-in-law of Jae-hyeong Choi, who had a great influence on the Korean independence movement in Russia, traces of Jacob Andreev, the first son-in-law, who studied at a teacher’s school in 1898. A socialist activist, Andrei Abramov, participated in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, and on April 18, 1918, under the leadership of his wife, Kim Alexandra Petrovna, who founded the Korean Socialist Party, along with Lee Dong-hui. We found documents about one Ogai Vasily Vasilyevich, etc.
This research examines the realities of diaspora through novels depicting North Korean (NK) refugee women and investigates how communities extend hospitality to their gender. The characters in these novels stand their ground as proactive subjects with critical consciousness despite sexual exploitation and social oppression, and therefore they also urge a rethinking of the writer’s role in representing the subaltern’s voice. I focus on Youth Sonata by Kim Yu-kyeong and A Third Home by Yi Kyoung-ja, examining the identity choices of NK refugee women as objects of hospitality, the issues of membership in their receiving country, the role of the subject of hospitality, and boundary crossing between subject and object of hospitality. The women depicted in Youth Sonata each have a complicated past and must confront the other within themselves and accept them, becoming the object of their own self-hospitality. In A Third Home with identity conflict between her past and present, a NK refugee woman opens a third space that can accept difference. A scene of intersection in China, where the subject of hospitality becomes a foreigner and the object of hospitality becomes a foreigner with agency, demonstrates the (im)possibility of unconditional hospitality. Presenting NK women refugees’ gendered suffering as part of history and the process of accommodating the coexistence of difference in everyday life, the novel suggests that hospitality is possible.