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SKT_2_pp_34-43_Education

SKT_2_pp_34-43_Education - Introduction to Asian...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Asian Civilizations sources Of Korean Tradition WM. THEODORE. DE BARY, GENERAL EDITOR : VOLUME 11; FROM THE SIXTEENTH To THE TWENTIETH CENTURIES Sources of Japanese Tradition (1958; 2nd ed., 2001) Edited by Yong—ho Ch’oe, Peter H. Lee, and Wm. Theodore de Bary Sources of Indian Tradition ' (1958; 2nd ed., 1988) K WITH THE COLLABORATION OF Sources of Chinese Tradition : Donald Baker, IaHyun Kim Haboush, and Han-Kyo Kim (1960; issued in 2 vols, 1964; { vol. 1, 2nd ed., 1999; VOL 2’ 2nd Gd-r 2000) ' J and contributions by Martina Deuchler, John Duncan, Michael Kalton, I Fuiiya Kawashima, Yong Choon Kim, James B. Palais, (V0 ' 1’ 1997; V01' 2’ 2001) . I Mark Peterson, and Mark Setton Sources of Korean Tradition l m COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS NEW YORK Chapter 21 EDUCATION Education as practiced in Choson Korea was multifaceted and diverse. Cen- erally, while the objective of education was to produce a moral person aceording to the Neo—Confucian vision, it was practiced with different layers of formality and different foci depending on the class and gender of the students. There was formal education for male students at public schools and private academies. While women’s education was carried out informally and mostly at home, after the invention of the Korean alphabet in the fifteenth century instructional texts for women began to emerge. Family instruction, however, was not confined to women. Transmitting knowledge and a sense of honorable family tradition from one generation to the next was thought to be a major aspect of education. Among elite families, this was expressed in letters or instructional pieces that a senior member of the family wrote for a younger member, and they ranged from general exhortation to personal guidance of the children in their devel— opment and scholarship. With the prevalence of printing in the later Choson, _ impersonal instructional manuals directed to a general audience appeared. They included “how—to” books in specific areas such as etiquette and household management. The writers of these manuals were often associated with the prac- tical learning school. IH Education 35 YI I: THE NEO-CONFUCIAN CURRICULUM [From “Reading Books," Yulgok ch5ns6: 27:8a—9b] While the Nee—Confucian curriculum was adopted in public schools in the fourteenth century or even before, it was after the appearance of such seminal scholars as Yi Hwang (T’oegye, 1501—1570) and Yi I (Yulgok, 1536~1584), who played an active role in directing Confucian education by establishing private academies in the sixteenth century, that such issues as how to read and what to read received careful attention. Yi Yulgok, for example, wrote several treatises on the topic. The following is the section “Reading Books” (toksé), from his Important Methods of Eliminating Ignorance (Kyongmong yogyol). This curriculum, a refinement and confirmation of the classical education that had already been in place, remained a mainstay at private academies and public schools during the Choson dynasty. [H A scholar should always preserve his mind and not be overcome by affairs and things. When one thoroughly investigates principle and thereby understands goodness, the path of one's action becomes clear, and one is able to make progress. Thus, entering the [right] path should begin with investigating prin— ciple and investigating principle should begin with reading books. Everything, from the way in which the sages and worthies applied their minds to how one should emulate goodness and avoid evil, is present in these writings. While reading, one should maintain an upright posture respectfully facing the book, concentrating one’s purpose, pondering deeply, and seeking intensely the mean- ing and the purpose of the book. For each phrase one should attempt to find a way to put it into practice. If I were to read only with my mouth but neither to understand in my mind nor to practice what I read with my body, then I would remain untouched by the book. What would be the use of reading? First, read the Elementary Learning, noting therein the ways of serving one’s parents, respecting one’s brothers, being loyal to the ruler, and being humble to one’s elders, being reverent to one’s teachers, and being affectionate to one’s friends. Consider each of these scrupulously and diligently practice them. Then read the Great Learning and [Chu Hsi’s] Questions on the Great Leam- ing (Ta-hsiieh huo—wen), seeking therein the ways of investigating principle, rectifying the mind, cultivating the self, and governing others. Understand each of these things truly and seek to practice them. ' After this, read the Analects, mindful of striving to seek humaneness as the basis for cultivating and nurturing the self. Calmly meditate upon these things and experience them deeply. ' And then read Mencius, investigating therein the theory of discriminating between tightness and profit, thereby restraining greed and maintaining the 36 MIDDLE AND LATE caosoN principle of Heaven. Discem these things clearly, and cultivate and develop them. Then read the The Mean (Chung yung), considering therein the virtue of one’s nature and emotions, of striving for the ultimate, and of the wondrousness of the birth and growth [of the myriad things]. Considering each of these things, seek to understand them. Having done this, read the Odes, learning therein what is perverse and what is right in nature and emotion and how to encourage what is good and thwart what is evil. Thoughtfully unravel these things, taking them passionately to heart, and stand firm in your vigilance. Then read the Record of Rites, seeing in them the modulated expression of Heaven's principles and the appropriateness of ceremonies and protocols. In- vestigate these things, developing your own opinion about them. Afterward, read the Documents, discovering there the foundations of the great principles and the methods with which the Two Emperors and the Three Sage Kings governed the empire. Trace the origins of these things, grasping all the basic points. Then, read the Changes, considering there the auspicious and the inauspi- cious, life and death, advance and retreat, prosperity and decay. Observe these points and scrutinize them carefully. And then, read the Spring and Autumn Annals, observing the sage’s judg- ment as he praises and commends in his subtle phrases. Investigate these things conscientiously and understand him correctly. Read these five books and these five classics scrupulously by turns, contin- uously striving for understanding, thus making their meanings and their prin— ciples clearer daily. Then read those books written by the worthy scholars of the Sung including the Reflections on Things at Hand, the Family Ritual [of Master Chu], the Heart Classic [of Chen Te~hsiu], the Great Compendium of the Two Ch’eng Brothers’ Works, the Great Compendium of Master Chu’s Works, Classified Conversations of Master Chu, and other works on the theory of nature and principle. Read these works with care whenever possible so that the principles contained therein pervade and penetrate into the depth of your heart, leaving no gaps at any time. In your remaining hours, read history to get acquainted with the events and changes of ancient and present times so as to expand your knowledge and judgment. Do not spend even a brief moment reading heterodox works or other mixed up, wrong kinds of books. In reading, a deliberate and careful method should be followed. Ponder each work until you thoroughly penetrate into the meaning of every phrase and have no more questions or doubts. Move on to another work only after that. It is undesirable to sacrifice depth in favor of quantity, speed, or extensive coverage. [H Education 37 PAK SEMU: PRIMER FOR YOUTH The Primer for Youth (literally, “First Lessons for the Young and Unenlightened") was written by Pak Semu (1487—1564) in 1541 and first published in 1545. No copies of this first edition are extant, but Pak’s original manuscript was preserved in the home of a descendant and is now in possession of An Ch’ungfin. The earliest extant printed edition, from 1759, includes a preface by King Yongjo, dated 1742, and an epilogue of 1670 by the distinguished Neo—Confucian scholar Song Siyol. The main contents of the Primer focus on the Five Human Relations, reflecting the primacy given to these in Chu Hsi’s “Articles of the White Deer Grotto” and the Ten Diagrams of the Sages’ Teaching by Yi Hwang (T’oegye). The Primer concludes with an account of the orthodox tradition (“Succession to the Way") as transmitted through the ages in China and Korea — an account based on Chu Hsi’s preface to The Mean but including an alternative Korean transmission from the sage Kija at the founding of civilization in Korea. The Primer for Youth was widely used as an elementary text for children from the sixteenth century on. An annotated edition was published in 1797 and an illustrated edition (with translation into Korean script) in the early twentieth century. During the Chosen dynasty students at village elementary schools, from the ages of seven to fifteen, first read the Thousand Character Classic, followed by this Primer, Chu Hsi’s Outline and Details of the General Mirror (T’ung—chien kang—mu), the Elementary Learning (Hsiao hsueh), the Four Books [Great Learning, Mean, Analects, and Mencius],Three Classics [Odes, Documents, and Changes], Tang and Sung Literature [T’ang—Sung wen], the T’ang Code, Spring and Autumn Annals, Record of Rites, and Chu Hsi’s Reflections on Things at Hand [Chin—ssu lu]. Study at this stage mainly included reading, essay writing, and calligraphy. W'l'dB Royal Preface of King Yongio (1742) to Primer for Youth (Tongmong sonsup, pp. 5—40) This book, compiled by an Eastern (i.e., Korean) Confucian scholar, begins with a general discussion of the Five Human Relations and then discusses, in order, parent and child, ruler and minister, husband and wife, elder and younger, and friend and friend. Commencing from the Supreme Ultimate, it records the successive ages from Three Emperors (Sage Kings), Five Lords, the Hsia, Yin (Shang), Chou, Han, T’ang, Sung, and the present imperial dynasty [Ming]. As for our Eastern country [Korea], it records the history from Tangun through the Three Kingdoms reaching up to our own dynasty. Though eco- nomical in its use of language, the coverage is broad; though small, its content is huge. How can this not be true since the Way of Yao and Shun [which would itself suffice] consists of nothing more than filiality and brotherliness. Shun’s 38 MIDDLE AND LATE CHosoN charge to [his Minister of Education] Chi included the Five Gradations [of Relationship]. Thus that this text begins with the Five Human Relations has a broad significance indeed. Ah, only if one can be loving to one’s parents, can one be true to one’s ruler; deferential toward one’s older brother, can one be respectful to one’s seniors. From this perspective, among the Five Moral Relations those of filiality and brotherliness come first of all. Nevertheless, the Odes [No. 235] praise King Wen as “continuously bright and reverent."I Reverence is the method (practice) that encompasses beginning and end, and connects the lower with the higher learning. Thus the gist of The Great Learning is summed up in reverence, while the essential message of The Mean is sincerity. Reverence and sincerity are indeed like the two wheels of a cart and the two wings of a bird. Here I inscribe at the head of this compilation the two graphs for sincerity and reverence. Only if one is sincere (integrated) can one close the gap between oneself and what one reads in the book. Only if one is reverent can one follow the substance [of the teachings] and abide in them. How could one, in the pursuit of learning, be remiss in this [i.e., reverence and sincerity]? Toward the end of the book I was deeply touched by the passage about our dynasty’s receiving the honored name of Chas-6n, and was moved to exclaim over it. “Succeeding from reign to reign, ever luminous and harmonious are the exceeding humaneness and abundant virtue, the profound benevolence and surpassing kindness, that have been passed down from generation to genera— tion.” Should our future rulers model themselves on this virtuous example, outdoing themselves in wholehearted governance to the full extent of the Way and loving the people with all their heart, while always adhering to basic prin- ciple, then our state will approach true greatness. In so doing we need to be reminded that our Eastern rites and rightness, though stemming from the teach- ings of Kija, fell into decline after the Three Kingdoms period. It was only with the establishment of our dynasty that rites and tightness were restored to their fullness and culture brought to completeness. How regrettable indeed that the author of this book failed to mention this. You young children: Be all the more attentive to it! Preface composed in the first month 1742, and the Office of Publications ordered to disseminate this book widely. Primer for Youth Between Heaven and Earth, among all the myriad creatures, what especially marks and ennobles humankind is [its consciousness of] the Five Moral Rela— 1. Sam-ops of Chinese Traditions 1:28. Education 39 tions. Thus, Mencius said “Between parent and child there is to be affection; between ruler and minister, tightness; between husband and wife, differentia- tion; between elder and younger, precedence; between friends, trust.” Human beings who do not understand these Five Moral Relations are hardly different from birds and beasts. It is only when parents are compassionate and children filial, the ruler right (moral) and the minister loyal (true), the husband har— monious and the wife compliant, elder brother fraternal and younger brother deferential, and friends helpful in the mutual achievement of humaneness, that one can speak of them as human beings. AFFECTION BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD For parent and child affection comes with their Heaven-born nature. “Being born and cared for, loved and instructed, one carries on [what one has received] by being filial and caring; taught right ways, one is not led into wantonness.” One should gently remonstrate [with one’s parents] lest one’s kin be liable to some fault in the eyes of their neighbors and the community. If the parent does not treat his child as a child [should be treated], if the child does not treat his parent as a parent [should be treated], how can they stand up in the world? In any case, no one under Heaven is without a rightful father and mother. Even if a parent is lacking in compassion, the child cannot but be filial. In antiquity there was the Great Shun whose father was obstinate and his mother wicked; they even tried to kill him, but Shun overcame this with filial piety and bar- monized with them, gradually leading them to self—control so that they no longer indulged in great wickedness.3 Surely this was the ultimate in the Way of filiality. Among the five classes of crimes and three thousand wrongful deeds spoken of by Confucius" none is greater (more serious) than being unfilial. RIGHTNESS BETWEEN RULER AND MINISTER The distinction between ruler and minister is as the distinction between Heaven and Earth; there is that which should be looked up to and honored, and there is that which is lowly and humble. That the honorable should direct the lowly and the lowly should serve the honored is a constant of Heaven and Earth and a universal principle of past and present. Therefore the ruler, embodying pri- mary authority, is the one who promulgates orders; the minister, aceommodatv ing himself to what is primary, is the one who advises the ruler concerning 2. Tso Chuan, Yin 3; Legge 5:14. 3. Sim Ching, “Canon of Yao," Legge 3:26. 4. Shu Ching, La hsing; Legge 3:606. 4o MIDDLE AND LATE cnosoN what is good and what is wrong. When ruler and minister join together, each exerts himself to fulfill his proper way. Out of mutual respect they work together in order to achieve the acme in governance. If the ruler does not exert himself to fulfill the way of the ruler, and the minister does not studiously perform his role as minister, they cannot work together to govern the state and all under Heaven. Indeed, [for the minister] to say that one’s ruler is unable [i.e., cannot hope to fulfill the role of the humane ruler] is to rob him [of his goodness], (Mencius 2B:2). Pi Kan sacrificed his life in order to remonstrate with the tyrant Chou of the Shang dynasty over the latter’s excesses. This is the ultimate in integrity for a loyal minister. Confucius said: "The minister serves the ruler with loyalty” [i.e., fidelity to principle] [Analects 3:19]. DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE Husband and wife represent the joining of two families, the begetting of human life, and the source of all blessings. The proposal of marriage, the offering of wedding gifts, and the reception of the bride do honor to the distinction be- tween the sexes. In taking a wife, one does not take someone of the same surname; in the making of a home, males keep to the outer [quarters] and do not speak of the inner [quarters]; females keep to the inner and do not speak of the outer;5 the husband is firm in maintaining control, in order to uphold the way of male authority; the wife is gentle in correcting him, so as to maintain the principle of female compliance. In this way correctness is estab- lished in the Way of the Family [household]. Otherwise, if the husband is unable to maintain his authority and cannot control her in the proper way, if the wife dominates the husband, does not serve him properly, disregards the "three obediences" [to father, husband, eldest son],6 or is liable to the seven grounds of divorce, then the Way of the Family is irretrievably lost. Only when the husband exercises self-control in guiding his wife and the wife exercises hers in following her husband, harmony and gentleness thus filling their rela- tionship, can his parents enjoy comfort and peace. In the past "Hsi ch’fieh was out weeding his fields and his wife brought food to him; he treated her with the same respect he would a guest;7 that is how the Way of Husband and Wife should be.” Tzu Ssu said: “ ‘he Way of the Noble Person originates with bus— band and wife” (Chung yung 12:4). 5. Li chi 10:12. 6. Hi 30, “Sang fu chuan.” 7. Tso chuan, Duke He (Hsi) 3;; Leggc 5:223, 226. Education 41 PRECEDENCE BETWEEN ELDER AND YOUNGER Elder and younger represent the natural moral order in human relations, whereby the elder is senior and the younger junior [precedence in time]; this is what the Way of Elder and Younger springs from. In all clans and commu— nities there is the distinction between elder and younger, and they are not to be confused. Slowly to follow after one’s senior is to act as a younger brother should; hastily to rush ahead of one's senior is not to act as a younger brother should. “If someone is twice one’s age, treat him as you would your father; if older by ten years or more, treat him as you would your older brother; if five years or older, walk slightly behind him.”8 If the elder is considerate of the younger and the younger is respectful toward the elder, then there will be no such defect as the young being treated rudely or the elder being insulted, and the Way of the Human will be correct. How much more should older and younger brothers, sharing the same life blood (ch’i) and being the closest of kin in bone and flesh, show the utmost in fraternal love, harbor no ill will or resentment that overturns the natural moral order? In the past Ssu-ma Kuang [in Sung] treated his elder brother Po K’ung with the greatest love and consci- entiousness, respecting him as if he were his own revered father, and taking care of him [in his old age] as if he were a helpless child." This is how the Way of Elder and Younger should be: Mencius said ...
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