074807engo.pdf - A window open on the world TREASURES OF...

This preview shows page 1 out of 52 pages.

Unformatted text preview: A window open on the world TREASURES OF WORLD Match of miniatures ART (^ Republic These stoneware figurines of a man (8.2 cms high) and a woman (5.3 cms) were fashioned in the 5th or 6th century A.D., during the period of the Silla dynasty in Korea. Silla potters displayed acute powers of observation and sometimes a puckish sense of humour when creating such clay figurines and sculpted ceramic vessels. As well as depicting the human form, they also portrayed animals such as rabbits, dogs, cows, pigs, tigers, tortoises and snakes. of Korea Photo © Kim Tae-byok, Seoul page ~4 DECEMBER 1978 31st YEAR PUBLISHED IN 19 LANGUAGES English Italian Turkish French Hindi Urdu Spanish Tamil Catalan Russian Hebrew Malaysian German Persian Korean Arabic Dutch Japanese Portuguese SPIRITUAL LANDSCAPE OF TRADITIONAL KOREA by Chang Byung-kil 11 200 years before Gutenberg THE MASTER PRINTERS OF KORYO by Ch'on Hye-bong Ï3 THE KOREAN ALPHABETA GRAPHIC PORTRAIT OF THE HUMAN VOICE by Lee Kl-mun 14 ORIENTAL OCTET 16 The wall paintings of Koguryo : A FRESCO OF DAILY LIFE Published monthly by UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific 19 and Cultural Organization Sales and Distribution Offices by Ch'oe Sun-u Unesco, Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris Subscription rates 22 1 year : 35 French Francs by Kim Won-yong Binder for a year's Issues: 24 FF 31 year). For list of distributors see inside back cover. Individual articles and photographs not copyrighted may be reprinted providing the credit line reads "Reprinted from the UNESCO COURIER", plus date of issue, and three voucher copies are sent to the editor. Signed articles reprinted must bear author's name. Non-copyright photos will be supplied on request. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by an international reply coupon covering post¬ THE UNICORN, THE PHOENIX AND THE FLYING HORSE Recent discoveries from three ancient royal tombs 2 years: 58 FF The UNESCO COURIER is published monthly, except in August and September when it is bi-monthly (11 issues a KOREAN PAINTINGAN ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION TO ORIENTAL ART IMMORTAL CLAY The traditional pottery of Korea by Chong Yang-mo 32 THE STONES OF SOKKURAM A cornucopia of Buddhist sculpture in a 1200-year-old temple-grotto age. Signed articles express the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of UNESCO or those by Hwang Su-young of the editors of the UNESCO COURIER. Photo captions and headlines are written by the Unesco Courier staff. The Unesco Courier is produced in microform (microfilm and/or microfiche) by: (1) University Microfilms (Xerox). Ann Arbor, Michigan 48100. U.S.A.; (2) N.C.R. Micro- 35 A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO SCIENCE by Jeon Sang-woon card Edition, Indian Head, Inc., 111 West 40th Street. New York. U.S.A.; (3) Bell and Howell Co., Old Mans¬ 38 field Road, Wooster, Ohio 44691. U.S.A. SIX GOOD TURNS FROM THE TURTLE by Zo Za-Yong The Unesco Courier is indexed monthly in the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, published by H.W. Wilson Co., New York, and in Current Contents - Education, 40 Philadelphia, U.S.A. PAINTINGS MAGIC AND MUNDANE Folk art with a wealth of significance for everyday life Editorial Office by Zo Za-Yong Unesco, Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris - France Editor-in-chief 44 Assistant Editor-in-chief Olga Rodel AN AUREOLE OF LEGEND ON A GOLDEN CROWN by Li Ogg 50 UNESCO'S GENERAL CONFERENCE ~2 TREASURES OF WORLD ART Managing Editor : Gillian Whitcomb Editors: English Edition: Howard Brabyn (Paris) French Edition: Spanish Edition Francisco Fernandez-Santos (Paris) Victor Goliachkov (Paris) Russian Edition German Edition: Werner Merkli (Berne) Arabic Edition: Abdel Moneim El Sawi (Cairo) Japanese. Edition: Kazuo Akao (Tokyo) Italian Edition: Maria Remiddi (Rome) Hindi Edition: H.L. Sharma (Delhi) Tamil Edition: M. Mohammed Mustafa (Madras) Hebrew Edition: Alexander Broîdo (Tel Aviv) Persian Edition: Fereydoun Ardalan (Teheran) Dutch Edition: Paul Morren (Antwerp) REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Match of miniatures Cover To its own people Korea is best known as Chosun, often translated as "land of the morning calm". The Western name, Korea, Is English Edition: Roy Malkin derived from the Koryo dynasty which ruled the country from 918 to 1392 (Koryo may be translated as "high and beautiful"). Although the course of Korean history has been strongly influenced by the country's location between Its two mighty neighbours, China and Japan, Korean culture has retained a distinctive quality of its own and numbers many unique accomplishments in the arts, science and technology. This issue of the French Edition: Djamel Benstaali Unesco Courier examines some of the more Portuguese Edition: Benedicto Silva (Rio de Janeiro) Turkish Edition: Urdu Edition: Hakim Mohammed Said (Karachi) Catalan Edition: Cristian Rahola (Barcelona) Malaysian Edition: Azizah Hamzah (Kuala Lumpur) Korean Edition: Mefra Arkin (Istambul) Lim Moun-young (Seoul) Assistant Editors: Spanish Edition: Jorge Enrique Adoum Important facets of the ancient Korean Research: Christiane Boucher cultural tradition, thus contributing to Illustrations: Ariane Bailey Unesco's activities in recording, interpreting and preserving the cultures of Asia. Cover Layout and Design: Robert Jacquemin shows portrait of Yi Chae, a scholar-official All correspondence should be addressed of the Yi dynasty, by an unknown 18th- to the Editor-in-Chief in Paris. century painter. Spiritual landscape of traditional Korea by Chang Byung-kil THOUSANDS of years ago, according who to ancient legend which archaeolo¬ gical research and linguistic studies seem to confirm, tribes inhabiting the Altai Mountains started migrating eastwards highest peak in Korea, presumably Mt. Paektu, in 2333 B.C. Until recent times across Siberia them, believed and to Manchuria. be Some of Tungu of origin, travelled as far as the Korean peninsula. They liked what they saw and from the third millennium B.C. they moved into the descended from heaven onto the of loyalty, filial piety, righteousness, and from this year. faith, and the Buddhist teaching of com¬ Although Taoism failed to proliferate as an independent cult, it nevertheless conti¬ heaven. populace. The tribal communities gradually develo¬ things around him behaved. He wondered if those things too had spirits as he did. His attempt to understand and come to ped into kingdoms. By the first century B.C., there were three such kingdoms in Korea, namely Koguryo, Paekche and Silla. . him. Thus when the hunter had to kill an animal for food, he performed a rite invo¬ king the approval of the totem spirit of the victim he was going to hunt. And when the farmers wished for a good harvest, they held ceremonies which were intended to propitiate the local gods of field and forest. the spirit world who could avert or cure' sickness and bad luck, and assure a propi¬ tious passage from this world to the next when the time came. Such a priestlike indi¬ vidual, known as a shaman, would be cal¬ led upon to perform the requisite rituals. gyo, is comparable to those of other Altaic peoples. Taejong-gyo is about 4,000 years old, creator, teacher, and temporal king, whose name is Hanul. This god took human form in the person of Tan'gun, the father, teacher, and king of the Korean people, history of Korean religions include an important contribution to A Handbook of Korea, Seoul, 1978. characters, su (longevity) and pok (bles¬ used to decorate so many everyday articles of the Heavenly Emperor", were strongly one ask an elderly Korean what constitute established among nobles and commoners the alike by the time of the Three Kingdoms period, but with the introduction of foreign religions, purity in the practice of Taejong- ultimate blessings, he would most unhesitatingly answer, "Longevity, happi¬ ness, health, wealth, and the begetting of children". gyo gradually declined. By the fifteenth century, this cult as such had practically the fourth century A.D., the peninsula was disappeared. drawing toward the middle of the Three It was during the Three Kingdoms era! 57 B.C. 668 A.D.) that more sophisticated religions began to flow into Korea from China. When Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism came to Korea, one after ano¬ At the time Buddhism entered Korea in Kingdoms period, and was about to be uni¬ fied as a single nation under the southern¬ most kingdom, Silla. For geographical rea¬ sons primarily. Silla was the last of the three to be penetrated by the foreign reli¬ was no sense of conflict between them or gion. Koguryo, the northern kingdom, was visited by a Chinese monk named Sundo in of the year 372 A.D., and a dozen years later, ther, they were readily accepted and there opposition to rites relating to local It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date when Taoism, as philosophy and religion, came to influence Korea. Mural paintings neighbouring Paekche played host to an Indian missionary, Marnananta, who had come by way of China. Silla did not begin to receive Buddhist Kangso, influence until about half a century later, Pyongan Province, show Taoist influence. Records indicate that the teachings of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu were brought to Korea in the seventh century A.D., and and it was only in 528 A.D. that it became legal to preach Buddhism openly there, in Koguryo tumuli near that there was some active effort to study them. Even Buddhist temples were conver¬ began to weaken. Seoul National University. His writings on the Taoist such as spoons and pillow cases. Should ted to Taoist temples as Koguryo's power CHANG BYUNG-KIL is professor of religion at of The tribal rituals, conducted by the chief¬ found and embodies the concept of a triune god: trace tains, who were regarded as "messengers The myth of national foundation embo¬ Taejong- apparent sings, or bliss, or happiness), which are nature-spirits. died in Korea's oldest religion, most tiating heaven. For personal as opposed to social needs, the individual required an intermediary with The influence among the Koreans is the search for blessings and longevity, the strongest of Taoist features. One may observe the indelible Taoist mark in the two Chinese ved into a nature-belief that powerful spi¬ mate and inanimate objects surrounding nued to permeate all strata of the Korean Religious rituals common to these tribal states included a service directed at propi¬ terms with his environment eventually evol¬ rits resided in the natural forces and ani¬ passion. Tan'gun became the great teacher and law-giver of the tribes he found living in the Korean Peninsula, reigning over them for ninety-three years until he reascended to dominant ethnic group. was much bewildered by the way in which ethics along with the Confucian doctrine Korean calendars and dates were reckoned peninsula and settled there to become the The primitive Korean, a hunter-fisher, ned in patience, simplicity, contentment, and harmony all part and parcel of Taoist after the miraculous martyrdom of the saintly Yi Cha-don. Meanwhile, the new religion must have , spread like wildfire in the two northern kingdoms, apparently under royal patro¬ nage. Many temples and monasteries were In Paekche too, there was a trend toward constructed, and hordes of believers con¬ believing in Taoist spirit beings. But the strongest imprint of Taoist influence can be discerned in the guiding principles of the Hwarang elite corps of Silla, who were trai verted. So rapidly and deeply rooted did Buddhism become in Paekche and Koguryo, in fact, that by the sixth century priests, scriptures, and religious artisans CONTINUED PAGE 9 These two granite bodhisattvas ("future Buddhas") discovered near Kyongju, capital of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla, were carved some 1300 years ago. The serenity of Buddhism is inscribed In their kindly, smiling faces. Colour page Maitreya in meditation According to Buddhist teaching which spread from India to Tibet, China, Korea and Japan, bodhisattvas are individuals destined to attain the Enlightenment of the Buddha in this or another life. In Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Buddhism they postpone their own final entrance into Nirvana in order to alleviate the sufferings of others, whom they help by perfecting in themselves the six virtues of generosity, morality, patience, vigour, concentration (in meditation), and wisdom. Highly revered throughout the Buddhist world, the bodhisattva Maitreya is here depicted in a gilt bronze sculpture dating from around 600 A.D., the period of the Three Kingdoms In Korea. Features Deep in meditation, a sage (above) gazes at flowing water In a work by Kang Huí¬ an (1419-1465). Calligraphier, poet and functionary as well as a painter, Kang Hui-an such as the square jaw and bulging cheeks suggest that it may have been made in the south of the Korean peninsula. The artist has succeeded in conveying an impression of spontaneity and grace in a figure which is deep in meditation. visited China where he was influenced by the Ming tradition of Confucian art. The god of longevity, Susong Noln (right) was one of the Taoist figures often depicted by Korean artists. In this ink painting by the court artist Kim Myong-guk (1623-1650), the god's alert and vigorous features are delineated in a style characteristic of 17th- century literati painting. Photo © Yi, Paris, National Museum of Korea, Seoul n *y and artifacts were being sent to Japan, for¬ ming the basis of the early Buddhist culture there. Much of the prestige attached to the new cult in Korea, and its eventual adop¬ tion as the state religion in all of the Three Kingdoms may be traced to the Koreans' high respect for Chinese learning. By the time Silla unified the peninsula under one government in 670 A.D. Bud¬ dhism had been established there too as the State religion, though governmental systems were already being run along Con¬ dynasty which took power in 936 A.D. was renaissance. In the fifteenth and sixteenth even more enthusiastic in its support of the imported doctrine. centuries, under rulers who were generally enlightened or themselves scholars, there Out of many famous monks and theolo¬ was indeed considerable progress in social gians of the Silla era, possibly the most influential was Wonhyo, though he was the only clerical leader of that day who did not study in China. Wonhyo tried to unify the various sectarian rivalries among Bud¬ dhists, and sought to make the religion reform, modernization, and justice. It was an era of inventions, culminating in the popular and applicable to the daily lives of philosophers starting in the seventeenth century called the Sirhak or Practical Lear¬ the people. He wrote many books, and development of an exact phonetic system for transcribing the Korean language, cal¬ led Han'gul (see article page 13). Confucianism produced a new crop of fucian lines, with no conflict between the legend ascribes to him a brief love affair ning School, whose concern was less aca¬ two. with a of their demic than utilitarian. Perhaps under the union being supposedly the scholar who influence of Western ideas filtering into Korea indirectly via the Jesuit missionaries Royal patronage during this brief Golden Age of Unified Silla produced a magnifi¬ cent flowering of Buddhist arts and temple architecture; and the rapid fragmentation of the kingdom after less than 200 years did royal princess the son invented the system of writing Korean in Chinese ideographs called idu. then active in China, there arose a new priests interest among the literati in such matters became politicians and courtiers, some of as national productivity and defence, agri¬ Buddhist them corrupt or worldly in their interests. culture, trade, and welfare of the general church either, since the succeeding Koryo When in the thirteenth century the Mon¬ gols invaded Korea, conquering and rava¬ ging the entire nation except for the Han River estuary island of Kanghwa where the king and the court took refuge, the Bud¬ populace. not harm the position of the During the Koryo dynasty, dhists took their share in the blame for the national disaster. From this era may be dated a definite and rapid decline in Korean Buddhism. Catholic missionary Matteo Ricci's works in the government. Vast Tripitaka, a sacred Buddhist scripture. The 81,240 blocks of the "Tripitaka Koreana" are one of the most outstanding monuments of Korean cultural history. Founded in the year 802 by two monks, Sunung and Ijong, the temple was built by King Aeja of the Silla dynasty. The when copies of religion. exchange gifts with the Chinese emperor. In Korea, the missionaries, especially the late-arriving Protestants, came as bearers of modern knowledge in every field, filling a vacuum which the isolated, indrawn Korean nation desperately needed filled if it were to attain that modernization which cian influence. In Koguryo, for example, there was a central Confucian university functioning by the fourth century A.D., arguing a long and deeply-rooted tradition already in existence: while the province had ced education abroad of many of Korea's young potential leaders, and stood shoul¬ scattered private Confucian academies cal¬ der to shoulder with patriotic resistance might assure its continued independence. The missionaries arranged for the advan¬ to Japan's encroachments upon Korean sovereignty. seems to have established similar institu¬ The Tonghak movement, which arose in tions at about the same time: as usual, the the mid-nineteenth century in response to many complex social factors, was in a later in importing the foreign influence. But when in the seventh century A.D., Silla conquered and absorbed the others, her interest in Confucianism and other aspects of Chinese culture rapidly increased. Dele¬ observe the workings of Confucian institu¬ tions at first hand, and to bring back volu¬ minous writings on the subject. Though Buddhism was the state religion of Unified Silla, Confucianism formed the philosophi¬ cal and structural backbone of the State. nese themselves adherents selves, as and regarded more referred virtuous to the called against Catholicism, "Western Learning," Tonghak means "Eastern Lear¬ ning." It was also inspired by the political decadence of the period, and the plight of country people ground under the heels of city aristocrats or idle rural gentry. In these respects it was a reform movement, and also included anti-foreign elements, in reali¬ zation that Korea was threatened by out¬ side domination as well as inner decay. taught in Buddhism, and Taoist cultivation "the the with whereas reaction them¬ as Buddhism and ruled his people from Haein-sa, In whose grandiose setting punctiliousness a was Korean than Korea sense which The founder of the Tonghak movement Choe Che-u aimed at a religious system, in his own words, "fusing into one the ethics of Confucianism, the awakening to nature In Korea, Confucianism was accepted so eagerly and in so strict a form that the Chi¬ country of eastern decorum," referring to which the Koreans observed all phases of the doctri¬ of energy." Syncretism of this kind continued to be a feature of almost all later religions, most of which are Confucian in ethics, follow nal ritual. Buddhist-type The overthrow of the Koryo dynasty in 1392 marked the beginning of a Confucian methods in religious practice. worship begun over a thousand years ago. Photo © Korean Overseas Information Service, Seoul century, Chinese were brought back from Peking by monarch Is said to have been converted to monks still carry on the tradition of mission activity the annual tributary mission sent there to gations of scholars were sent to China to repository of the set of thirteenth century woodblocks used for printing the of Christian seized and Confucianism became the State southernmost kingdom of Silla was a little temple of Haein-sa is famed as the The tide began to turn toward Korea as early as the wealth and land holdings of temples were The neighbouring kingdom of ...
View Full Document

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture