Confucian Korea

Confucian Korea - Kimberly Zhang "Confucian...

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Kimberly Zhang “Confucian Korea” Reading Yi Dynasty (1392-1910) 1. Appeal of Confucianism to Ming dynasty China and Yi dynasty Korea a. Yi Songgye friendly with Ming China, against Buddhism b. Renewed interest in Confucianism i. Concerned with recovery of cultural heritage blighted during Mongol occupation, appealed to Korean scholars 2. Royal publications in 15 th -16 centuries a. Royal order in 1403 for several thousand moveable copper types stimulated book production i. First fourteen court-sponsored typecasting initiatives b. Interested in printing Confucian literature c. Began composition of official history of preceding dynasty, completed in 1451 d. Most enterprising of all Confucian scholarship in early Yi period was the Comprehensive Mirror for the Eastern Kingdom , first overall history of Korea i. Patterned against Chinese model 3. Education a. Spread of private primary school (sodang) b. Apex still at national university i. Candidates for highest Korean qualifications c. Exam ladder scaled by offspring of landowners 4. Necessity for kings to actively promote land reclamation a. Created many ‘meritorious subjects’ (yangban), rewarded with land and slaves i. Wealth was invested in land so creation of subjects weakened financial position of throne 1. Reclamation implemented to balance budget 2. Threefold increase in area under cultivation a. Cut trees, created steppes for rice 5. Sejong (1418-1450) a. Installed shrine within palace, checked introduction of further anti-Buddhist measures
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i. Devotion gave Buddhist clergy respite for half a century but was not sufficient
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2009 for the course 220 242 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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Confucian Korea - Kimberly Zhang "Confucian...

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