One Religion, Two Countries: Classical and Neo-Confucianism in Korea & Japan with Dr. John Goulde

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The 10th to the 17th century forms of
Confucianism, it developed very sophisticated. It would be equivalent, actually the
closest analogy I have would be The Confucianism after the 11th century was very much like early renaissance scholasticism. If you compare how Christianity thought
about itself prior to the 11th century, and how it thought about itself after the 12th century, the differences are that great. That is that Christians in Europe
actually adopted Aristotelian logic, and developed basic philosophical
understanding of religion. So the Confucians did the same thing. They developed systems of logic; arguments and debates that would in fact allow them to explain everything. Human nature, human emotions, the relationship between the universal
calendar process and what people do. Human behavior, keen observation of family relations, very important, interested in that and so forth. So, thats really the difference and Neo-Confucianism is a pretty sophisticated system. Everything from how things change in time, through the analysis of yin-yang and the
five phases of change and so forth to how our physical endowments
generate our emotional reactions. So again tying in diet, tying in environment
into the body so that we can predict how people react to different situations, because we understand the
laws of change, and so forth. Alright, move on, after the 17th and 19th century there is one final movement within Confucianism. And this is a movement often referred to as practical learning. Korea also developed its own practical learning school, this is the equivalent, actually, of modern day science. Where people who are Confucians not only understand that the world is relevant but now they began to practice what
we would call observational testing or evidentiary testing. And, in Korea, Japan as well as in China, Neo-Confucians began to put a much more stronger emphasis upon functionalism That is irrespectable what we believe or think, What is the effect of what we do? And so they would look at results first and say now, How can I get to those results? They applied it to things like, not just
philosophy, but they applied it to agriculture they applied it to food production they applied it to manufacturing and in time in the 17th and 19th century Neo-Confucians turned away from
all kinds of meta-phsyical speculation and in fact began to look at functional value of things rather than intentional value of things. It wasn’t just enough to understand how the humans react to things But now it was important for humans to
react so that there is a net effect in society. A lot of the practical Neo-Confucians in fact turn their view towards local things. Utilitarianism was the rule. That is Neo-Confucianism became very this. One of the aspects of why Neo-Confucians became utilitarian and very practical was the influence of western thought. In the 15th century 16th century, a group of Italian and Portuguese missionaries showed up in China. They were the Jesuits and they brought with them classical learning, and mathematics, and cartography and all kinds of, even
mathematical sciences and so forth. They showed up and began to publish in Chinese critiques of philosophy. So a man by the name of
Montclair Richie, actually critiqued the epicureans, and he wrote
this in classical Chinese, Why epicureanism is bad? And so on and so forth. So the Chinese were exposed to a lot of western based, I’d say post renaissance speculation. One of the most important things that the
western missionaries taught the Chinese was the idea is that you cannot theorize about a thing until you know what the thing is. So if you have a problem, look at the
problem first before trying to come up with a theory about what the problem means. Alright, and practical learning was most effective when it came to food production. That is you have traditional ways of creating food, lets throw all that out and begin to say lets look at the soil first. What is in the soil that is needed? Then lets look at the crop, the seeds and so forth. In other words, observation should lead to results. There is a strong emphasis upon the investigation of things and themselves apart from their ideological, sociological view. Many Neo-Confucianism also thought that the Neo-Confucian interpretation of text didn’t have strong evidence. So what they did was, they
skipped back to the Han dynasty and developed a way of interpreting Confucian text
without thousands of years of commentary. They just threw it all out. Very much like the Protestant Reformation, Where Protestants decided to
discard Roman Catholic history in order to go back to the original text, So Confucians also did the same thing. They jumped back into the earliest interpretations of classical text without any kind of speculation. Some Neo-Confucians actually
became logical positivists, that nothing is true unless you can prove it. If you can’t prove it then it can’t be true. Alright. We don’t expect that of Confucianist but actually they became very distrustful of meta-physics, and they said, we dont care what theory you hold to show me what the results are. Alright. So if you can talk about
Confucianism and all of it virtues but if it doesn’t show an effect in society, then why trust it. So in some ways very much like modern day scientist. They began to also because of the influence of western cultures in China in the 17th to 19th century, some Confucians actually began to
question the value of Confucianism. They became much more entranced with western ideas, western sciences, Islamic ideas, other ideas that
they have never seen before. And they were very much interested in economics and law, and political theory and so forth. And they thought Confucianism actually was probably dead, so get rid of it. So that’s just the thing and we’ll do with that. All of this type of Confucianism also came to Korea and Japan in the 17th century. And they’re developed actually within Korea, Choson Korea, as well as in Japan, schools. Various schools that had in fact emphasized one aspect of either Neo-Confucian meta-physics versus something else, or Neo-confucian pragmatism versus something else. And unfortunately, a lot of those
debates that went on in Korea also became heavy politicized. So the result was there is a lot of factualism
that characterizes the Choson Period, but it is in service of a Confucian
understanding of society. Let’s now look at Korea We’re going to look at Confucianism of various types and what it means within Korea Real quickly, when Classical Confucianism reached Korea primarily through the introduction of books, and in some instances Koreans going to China to study. They basically adopted Han dynasty Confucianism. That is that the idea the society should be ordered according to the principles of Confucius. Prior to the third century a new organization of the
states on the Korean Peninsula, Koreans were organized according to principles that seems strange but there is evidence for it. The person who caught the
most number of animals had power. It was called, the Chinese referred to it as “the hunt”. In the Goguryeo Chronicles, it describes how earlier Goguryeo Kings appointed their ministers after a December hunt. Those people who got the most animals became the highest offices. So, again very old tradition. Later, Paekche develops this and
Silla and so on and so forth, but Confucianism is introduced as a way of in fact helping the three kingdoms on the Korean peninsula organize themselves. One of the aspects about Confucianism that Koreans like very much and the Kings who supported it was that Confucianism wasn’t about clans, or clan affiliation or territory. Confucianism was about society. And the need for a political system that everyone would adhere to. And the various kings in the various kingdoms of Korea, pushed Confucianism as a way of making sure that people conform to kingly rule. Now of course there was lots of people who didnt want to conform to kingly rule. They wanted to be independent, but usually they didn’t get far. And over generations and generations all the kings on the Korean Peninsula eventually forced Their competitors to go to school, and they went to Confucian school, so eventually generation after generation learns that it is right to respect the king, it is right to serve in the military, it is right to pay your taxes. And by that time, usually, in mid-kingdom period much of the clan organization of
Korea really becomes subjected to political organization. So political organization trumps that of the clan. State organizations in Korea, again, that in fact monarchy replaces clan rule. And that laws are in fact the product of the king. Later on, they are the product of bureaucrats. But the whole notion, that what keeps
people together is a sense of law. This is actually, and I keep trying to emphasize this with people who don’t think Korea actually is a civil society. The idea of civil society is very early implanted in Korea. Why would clans living in all, you know separated by valleys and mountains, in fact ever cooperate? That they had to develop a sense of civil society, Civil law means something. Without it you lose contact, you lose social bonding, and so forth, food and so on. So very early on this notion again that civil law, or civil rule, or
civil society is in fact a reality. Now many people say that
Korea doesn’t have that sense. Well I dont know, everything I know of Korea is that certainly the various kingdoms tried to instill that. It may not always have been successful, people did break off and live
off in the mountains by themselves, but by in large, most Koreans in
fact have a strong sense of civil union. Alright, in addition to that Korea imported from China all kinds of iterature. One of the great stories actually that is told to me by a Chinese historian was We were talking about Korea and China and so forth and he said, Why did Koreans always steal our books? And he, because there are references in Chinese literature to Koreans
coming in and buying up books. And, in the six dynasties period, 3rd century and the 5th century We actually have correspondence between the southern Liang dynasty emperor and the king of Goguryeo and the Liang emperor in the south part of China says, we are sending you the following and so forth, Could you send us copies of the classics? We don’t have copies. So, they would actually import books back from Korea and back into China. And the Koreans did this all the
time, they brought in literature. They either did it directly by going through
China, buying up books and bringing them back, or sending students from Korea to China for five, ten years, where they studied and then brought back the books. And every time Korea went to
congratulate the emperor on his birthday, they would always have somebody there buying books. So, everything was brought into the three kingdoms and the ruling elite which now subservient to monarchy did in fact promote at least among their own class this idea of literary education. And schools, and academies were created, where people would learn to read
classical literature and so forth. So in the early period of the three kingdoms period, Korea really adopts what i would call classical learning. It’s not really Confucian but it’s
a sense of classical learning. In the same way that, one time we expected everybody to be able to read and write Greek and Latin. We don’t expect that anymore, but but when I grew up my brothers, sisters, my whole
family were expected to complete our classical education before we got into high school. So you had to be able to read greek and latin and in my case hebrew, and so forth, but this was expected. Same thing in Korea, Koreans really adopted so
much Chinese literature, and so on and so forth, and of course Koreans did not
write in their own language when they wrote anything at all
they wrote it in classical Chinese. Again, that doesn’t mean they were being less Korean, only that they were using what was available. Early Korea also developed the civil service exam, their foreign relations with China, always used China as a way of protecting them against intruders. So that when Silla wanted to conquer two other kingdoms it got the Tang army to come in several times. When the Khitan invaded Korea in the 11th century they got the Chinese to come in and protect them. when the Jurched Proto-Mongols came in they got China to protect them. When the Japanese later in the
17th century, come into Korea they get the Chinese to come in and protect them. So, Korea had a strong relationship with China that in fact allowed their security to be in fact being taken care of that. Question: Can you please explain
a little more about the exams? Civil service examination
began as early as the 4th century continued on all the way down to the 20th century What the civil service examination is, is that members of a certain class,
if your in the elite land owning class would either through private schooling
or pubicly sponsored schooling learned classical texts, learned classical history, learned to write poetry, learn to write prose, so forth. This would qualify them to take an
exam to get into a national academy Then depending on which period,
they would either spend five or they could spend up to nine years. in this nationally sponsored acedemy going through every classical text that is associated with Confucius. At the end of which they took an exam and, the exam was just basically a set of questions that the examiner would ask, you know, What does King Chang of later Han dynasty’s actions in a certain battle mean? Or, government. You know, so they had to know all of these things, and then they would write essays. Not only they had to write essays, but they had to write essays in whats are called, rhyme couplets, and its called parallel prose. So, they had to analyze the question in ways that every five characters rhymed with the next five characters. Very elaborate form of civil service. If they passed that exam then they took, then they would go on to other studies and then pass more exams. Eventually, they would take whats called the Teko, or the highest exam. Upon which, if they successfully passed it, then they could be appointed to office. Its very much, anyone of you
have taken the civil service exam? Here in the United States? Take the Civil Service exam you get
a ranking within U.S. government You know GS-12, GS-9, 8, etc. and so forth, and you become a bureacrat. And the civil service exam they’re primarily at least from the
beginning until about the 10th century, examine people’s writing skills
and their knowledge skills. After the 11th century, the civil service exam tested their philosophical skills. So what does Zhu Xi mean when
he says this about the classic? And in Korea and Japan Zhu Xi Neo-Confucianism
became the orthodox curriculum. So you had to know everything that the Song dynasty Neo-Confucian
philosopher said about anything. Now, the emphasis was on content rather than writing. In the early years the emphasis was on
how well you could compose a document. Good story, when the Mongols took over China, Mongols, didn’t like the Chinese. Chinese didn’t like the Mongols. But the Mongols actually
wanted to put down the Chinese. So, one day Actually in early Neo-Confucian,
late Koryo, early Choson dynasty, a man by the name of Yi saek was living in China. And, Kublai Khan, emperor of China called Yi saek to his palace and decided to in fact He asked Yi saek What was the meaning of such and such from the text? And Isak, went into a long discourse
about the whole meaning of the text, where it came from, what does it
mean and so on and so forth. And Kublai then made a pronouncement
that he thought that the Koreans understood the meaning of words but the Chinese, could only draw the character. And this is a typical Mongol putting down the Chinese So, Kublai and actually his successors tended to promote Koreans in China and give them high offices. Because they werent Chinese they were beholden to the Mongols, and then of course they intermarried with the Korean royal family and the last seven kings of the Goryeo period didn’t even have Korean names. They were all Mongol, they lived
in China in Mongol China. So, but the whole idea was that the early Confucianism in Korea
was basically bureacratic and later Confucianism is highly philosophical So you have to be able to argue something. Also they changed the nature of the exams. In the first set of exams in the early period, How well did you write? That was the question. And the next thing, what did you write? and what was your reinterpretation of a meaning rather than how well you can write about it. There were exams that looked at military logistics, weaponry, medicine, tax policy, manufacturing but theses were considered low level exams and highest exam were the ones that
dealt with literature and Confucianism. Actually, there were a whole
set of military exams in Korea that you could get ranked by taking these exams. And up until the 12th century most of the highest office holders
were actually military families that had made their way into the bureacracy as military. And they for a while, they
actually took over civil functions during the Chae regime. And thats when they became known as yangban, which means the milittary usurp the right of civil officials and they
governed both sides of the aisle. Later on, the military were overthrown and the bureacrats took both sides of the aisle. Question: When we say high level
exams and low level exams, I know that some of them a commoner can not take. So, whats the differentiation between
ones that the nobility can take and the ones that actually commoners
can take and get some kind of job? The people of low rank first of all, no one can take an exam unless their schooled Normally commoners couldn’t take the exams they would not be schooled. Until the development of national academies basically you had to educate yourself in a private school. And, land-owning gentry would develop
their own schools for their children. And they would then invite teachers in
to teach them how to read and write, but the distinguish between what type of
low level exam versus high level exam is really what level of office you can be
appointed to after taking an exam. So if you are a country magistrate whose only responsibility is to collect taxes then thats a low level position. You’re not in the capital, you’re not near the
king, and you’re not in the central government. You’re out in the country and your just keeping. Or if you are part of population, department of public works, where you have to keep a census of a local village. That would be a low level exam. And the idea was that you took a simple exam on mathematics
and statistics, and so forth, you pass that and then you were
assigned to the countryside and that would give you the position. But you could not rise up in rank, from provincial to capital, and within the capital from lowest
level to the prime ministership. Unless you had taken certain exams. Commoners could not get into the city? No. Even in the military? Commoners can enter into the military, yes, they can. That was true, all they way up
until about the 15th century. Then the Confucian bureaucrats decided
they wanted to be military, so they took over military functions, they didn’t
know how to do it, but they took over it. But throughout the Koryo period, late Silla period you could join the military, and keep signing up for it, you know after tours of duty. And in time if you did well, you could actually get a rank within the military, and in fact your children then would get automatic ranks thereafter. So, the mobility within the three kingdoms and Koryo period was often times through military path. And, why spend all your time reading books when you can in fact be in charge of a local fortress or a coastal fortress and make a record for yourself and in Korea as in both civil and military offices, once you got appointed to any office within the government, either provincial or central, you were then given a land stipend. Which means your family could be moved to this land, and they could live off whatever
farming they could do on the land. So your life was really guaranteed, it was an emolument, that unless you did something really bad you’d never lose that land. And it was a way to rise up in rank. Question: Was this only for some children
or people who came from primary wives? What about those who came
from secondary or tertiary? The whole question of where people
came from and who is their mothers, primary, secondary, didn’t really
become an issue until the 14th century. Prior to that, I mean, you have
wonderful stories of thieves, you know who get appointed to
offices in the provincial government. If you were really smart and you knew how to wheel and deal yourself, you could get into government. Not very high but the examination of people’s
background before they took an exam, really something quite like it. Alright, and then of course also, in the early period Confucianism was not exclusive that is that in early Korea Confucians scholars studied Buddhist texts. Buddhist monks studied Confucius texts. Buddhist and Confucianists studied Daoist texts. So there was a kind of blending of these three traditions within China, very common. And part of the great stories I like to tell about is that, before the development of public
education in the early Choson, Korean Confucians who were trying
to get ready to take the exams didn’t have any school to go to. They didn’t have a private school on their family land. Then there were no public schools that they could go to. But the one place that Confucian
scholars, would be bureaucrats, would in fact learn, was they went to a buddhist temple. And Buddhist monks often instructed
Confucian bureaucrats in the classics. So, Kim Si-seup, early Choson, Confucian, when he tells us that he learned the analects of Confucius from a monk, and the monk taught him what the
classical learning was, so on and so forth. So all throughout, up until the Choson period basically the three traditions were all mixed. And the view that Koreans had was that, if China created it, it must be good so we can’t exclude anything. So they studied Daoism, they studied Confucianism, the studied Buddhism. And in fact, it’s really hard until
the beginning of Joseon dynasty to really say what Koreans are. They engage in Buddhist ritual, they read the classics of Confucius They compete for exams, jobs and emoluments primarily through the Confucian system They pay their taxes. Occasionally, they invite Shamans in to carry out
exorcisms, and so on and so forth. And the three traditions traditional religious things, really are mixed. Everyone’s engaged in everybody else’s practices. That will change in the Choson period. Where the others will thing. So this is the early period. Okay, now we’re in Japan. Same thing occurred in Japan. As early as the 4th century of the common era Confucianism, classical Confucianism
also entered into Japan But it came to Japan by a Korea. In the Kojiki, the oldest Japanese historical document, we actually have descriptions of how ambassadors and envoys from the Korean peninsula arrived in Japan and brought with them what they called, hitobishi. Literally “masters of the brush.” Hitobishi. Somebody would think. Japanese apparently couldn’t read or write, But suddenly along comes a person who
teaches them how to master these things. The reception of these envoys from the Korean peninsula they didnt know what to do with this hitobishi. So, they said the hitobishi the man’s who expert in writing. Is to be assigned to the emperor’s harem, his women’s quarters. And so, the Kojiki reports that after that time imperial women in Japan learned to read and write, because they had been
instructed in reading and writing. Anyone know that the first literature
in Japan is composed by whom? Women. Up until the 11th century almost all the major works of Japanese literature are composed by women. Women write in classical Chinese, they
write poetry and so on and so forth. Even to the point that when men tried to write, most of the time men are not
concerned with reading or writing, but when men tried to write the only way they could get people to read their poetry, is to adopt a woman’s pseudonym. So they called themselves Lady “something” rather. And then people would buy their book So the notion is that women
know how to read and write. So the same thing, Confucianism is introduced In 520, we have actually, in the Kojiki a letter from the King of Paekche to Emperor Kineku, I think in which the, envoy from Paekche says to the King. In addition to what I’ve sent you, I am
also sending you Buddhist monks. And they will teach you a kind of wish granting doctrine. And, please listen to them because the subtleties of their techings is even greater then that of Confucius. So by the 5th century the Japanese
already know who Confucius is, so that when the envoy says I’m
sending a buddhist monk to teach you, they know that this is like Confucianism. Also, in the same year, 591 The heir apparent to the Paekche
throne arrives in Japan, and he is held hostage there or
stays there until his father dies He brings with him a yin-yang master, literally masters
of the teachings of yin and yang. Daoist metaphysics and so forth. A year later, the Japanese published their first calendar. The calendar of course is a calendar
that tells you where the stars are on every day of the year. When the 24th turning points of the solar year occur, and, what rituals should be carried out on those 24 turning points. Again it was the Tang dynasty invention, Koreans had a calendar, Japanese
got a calendar and so forth. Its very clear that when Prince Shotoku, the nephew of the empress, What’s her name? Suiko, Empress Suiko. That when Prince Shotoku comes to take, Suiko is in fact a minority and Prince Shotoku becomes the regent. That Prince Shotoku who writes the first constitution of Japan in fact starts off with the phrase “Harmony is to be valued.” Let everyone in Japan learn the teachings of the three sages. Laozi, Confucius and Buddha. And, the 17 article constitution promulgated by Prince Shotoku in fact, emphasized the need for Japanese to learn the traditions of China. The second article of that constitution says warfare amongst the Uji, among
the various clans is to be avoided. It can, Japanese society is one in which there was constant warfare among clans that controlled different areas of Japan. The first clan names that appear in Japanese history are actually the names of areas. So the Izumi clan, is actually
clan area where rice is grown in the northwest side of the island of Honshu. And so the Izumi clan Is actually refers to a region, so the Izumis, that are that. Later Izumi becomes the goddess of grain, who is worshipped in that area. So, the clan relations you know in regard to
territory and their adherence and so forth, That has to be replaced so that the imperial office can in fact can hold its way. It’s largely through Confucian learning that the Japanese learned to give
their adherence to the emperor. It takes quite a while, actually until about the 11th century where the Japanese will adopt no longer make reference to their own clan history, but now begin to make
reference to Chinese history. So Confucianism serves as a kind
of counter point in native tradition. State organization rule of law again, replaces the clan loyalties of the Japanese And then of course like Korea Japanese also adopt, Chinese literature, history and the writing system. Japanese usually composed in classical
Chinese up until the 10th century. Thereafter they were composed in Japanese. The mandate of heaven, again the Chinese. The Japanese didn’t like the idea that the Emperor of China would in fact protect them. So the Japanese reinterpreted the Confucian documents to say that with the fall of the Tang dynasty you know Tang emperors, die and so forth, that the mandate moved from China to Japan. And thereafter the rulers of Japan were called emperor. So, the really didn’t send tribute
to China or anything like that. They expected the Chinese to send tribute to Japan. It was a nice thing that was created
in the middle of the Heian period, that the Japanese were doing. But again, they used that justification for Japanese power within the area. And, of course they also tried to teach the Japanese. These early teachers taught to the Japanese, that they should be virtuous, they should take care of their family. One of the very important ideas that blended with Japanese native sensibility was the notion of graciousness. In Japanese it is called “aware.” “Aware” means that to act in a way that is fitting to the circumstances in which what I find myself. So you’re crying, then I comfort you. You’re hungry, I feed you. Being aware of what the
circumstances are is very important. So in early Heian period literature, Primarily, over and over again is
that the culture person is one who has “aware”, and they have sensitivity. The sensitivity is very similar to what
Mencius says in the Confucian classics, that what you do in terms of behavior is dictated by the circumstances you find yourself in. So there is no universal behavioral model, only the circumstances will tell you how to behave. So you have to be aware of them. How do you get aware of them?
You study, study, study, and you become very refined,
very sensitive to social relations. Again, these seem to be the effect. One of the things that did not appear
in Japan was the bureaucracy. Up until the 16th century, the Japanese did not have a Confucian Bureaucracy. There were none. The people who ruled Japan all this time who studied the Confucian classics were in fact members of powerful clans. Who inter-married their daughters
into the imperial family, and thus were appointed to office. So there was no examination system,
no public schooling system, none of the things we would expect of a
Chinese informed Japan are there. The text are there and the Japanese
do have a sense of it and you can find Confucianism
in government documents, But there seems to in fact have
not been any great influence of Confucianism on the Japanese populace. Instead the Japanese became Buddhist. And Japan is the only north-asian country that almost exclusively became totally Buddhist. Everyone all across all sectors in fact
became part of the Buddhist establishment. Even after the Tokugawa bring in the samurai
and the samurai studied Neo-Confucianism, the Japanese are still Buddhist,
because Buddhism is really strong today. Even today the functions of Buddhism are still
pretty much what they were in the 12th century. When people die their statistical data has to be registered
in the Buddhist temple. The government then goes to those
Buddhist temples to get the statistical data. So if you live in a O-machi district
within any city in Japan today, and you die, somebody who represents you must
go to the local temple to register your death. Its also a way that the government keeps
records of what people are doing throughout. But again it’s not a Confucian temple, it’s not a
Confucian department. Its a Buddhist one. So, Confucianism really it’s a general affect. It doesn’t really affect most people
even below the level of the ruling elite. When we move to the 16th century, that is the establishment of the shogunate. The first shogunate in Japan, in which military leaders co-opted the power of the emperor,
occurs as early as the 11th century. And from the 11th to the 16th century shoguns battled for control of Japan. Meanwhile the emperor, himself in Japan is starved out to death or killed,
you know, really strange. The emperor lives in his palace in Kyoto, but he has to send his daughter to the samurai shogun to ask for money,
to ask for food and so forth. And anytime the emperor
doesn’t agree with the shogun the shogun can starved him out, by cutting
off food supplies to the city Kyoto. And this happens over, and
over, and over again. So, from the 11th century on
the shoguns are in charge and that continues all the way down to the 19th century. One of the things that the shogun did, was they fostered, or a least they tried
to foster a sense that Japan was really equivalent to China. So the shoguns would send
scholars from Japan to China, get the exams, study the text, bring them back. And all throughout the late
Kamakura period, 13th and 14th century, the people who were sent to study
in China and bring back the latest knowledge and so forth, were Buddhist monks. They were often referred to as the gozan. Literally, the five recognized schools
of mountain Buddhism in Japan whose members were sent into China
to study and bring back text. So Neo-Confucianism was first
studied in Japanese monasteries. Later on, when the Edo period is created, and Tokugawa Ieyasu becomes shogun of Japan. He decides to, in fact, turn samurai,
his samurai compatriots into bureaucrats. And the first thing he does is he
recruits Confucianist scholars, to in fact come up with a code outlining the social classes of Japan. So there is the lower classes, the serving classes, and then there are the konin. Where the Koreans called kongin,
they were technicians and artisans, and then there were farmers. Then there are the city-dwellers called the chunin. These are middle class, and then above them
are the samurai, and then the imperial family. The shogun’s family. So in the Edo period, which begins in 1600, Neo-Confucianism is deliberately
introduced by the shogunate. And, the samurai class are forced by the Edo shogun to give up their
military skills and become bureaucrats. Even to the point that in 1620, Tokugawa Ieyasu, outlaws the use
of swords, knives, and so forth, So the samurai don’t have any weapons anymore. Instead they are turned into bureaucrats. Then 1640 ends thereafter a series of proclamations by the shogun of the Edo period. He restricts the movement of the samurai, so that they stay in the capital or they
stay in wherever their position is. Their family can live anywhere they
want in Japan, but they cannot visit them. So, the samurai are slowly, slowly turning into a hereditary bureacratic class. And what they do, they don’t really have any
power, they’re not like Chinese bureaucrats. What they do is they study Confucianism. So they study all the Neo-Confucian texts and the debates and so on, and so forth. But they’re not actually allowed to actually rule. So many of the samurai end up being scholars, studying Confucianism, that maintains their rank. And then of course among samurai, Confucian moralities absolutely are maintained. Because, being part of the samurai
class means you are land-owning. If you fall out of that class then you lose your land. You have to go live in the city,
or live on the outskirts of the city. So samurai had to conform, in order to maintain their use of land, they had to maintain their class. They were told that the way they maintained
their class was to study Confucianism. And so codes for samurai ethics, constantly being promulgated. By the 18th century the samurai in Japan did begin to promulgate Confucianism among the lower classes. But not very successfully, because
Buddhism was still in effect. So the expectation of middle class, farming class, worker class, and warrior class, was that they would conform to the samurai ethics. But in Japanese law only the
samurai were responsible for failures in ethics. So a samurai could be punished if they were not filial. A samurai could be punished if
they did not understand the classical text. Neo-Confucian texts and so forth. Lower classes like the chunin class the technical class, the artisan class, they were never punished. But they didn’t any land anyway. So the lower classes really weren’t
that much affected by Confucianism. So the samurai class in Japan does it a lot of these samurai did in fact become great scholars. Abarai Ken, Souzeki, and then later, people like Nobunaga Matsuo Did in fact do some tremendous work. They became what we would call today anthropologists. They studied local history, the studies legends, they wrote up encyclopedias and so forth. But that’s all they had to do, they
didn’t have to run the government. All they had to do was maintain their class. And so by the 17th and 18th century the Japanese became, the Japanese samurai class as Confucians would in fact study Japanese myths. The discovery of ancient Japanese dialects, the discovery of early Nara period poetry, this was done by the Neo-Confucians They studied everything and without reference to China. It was their job to study, and they were
commissioned to write histories and so on and so forth. Some of the classical learning in the 18th century is a bit strange. Kitabatake Chikafusa was a
Confucian scholar in Japan, who after he had read a Chinese translation of a Latin work called “The History of the World”, decided to rewrite the history of Japan. So, instead of talking about Adam, you
know, and the descendants of Adam, he talked about Amaterasu, the
sun goddess and her descendants. So he re-wrote the history of the world in which, all of the world’s populations come from Japan. And it was great, it was a great story. He pushed Japanese history back 250,000 years. And, in fact he enunciates all the reigns of all the emperors that ever existed prior to any recorded history. He actually talks about how the
mother language of the world is Japanese. And then when people forgot to speak Japanese well they ended up speaking sanscrit. Or they ended up speaking Chinese, or they ended up speaking Korean,
and so on and so forth. So, a lot of scholarship done didn’t really have a lot of effect on the ordinary population, but it is part of tradition. The samurai classes again were
also from the 17th century on not allowed to interact with lower classes. Why? The lower classes according to official Edo period documents were “mean”, m-e-a-n. Meaning that they had low class interest. And, if samurai became involved with them they might lose their sense of morality. Also, and this is clear in the
Tokugawa shogunate rescript is that, if samurai associated with lower classes, samurai would gain a love of money. And one thing you don’t want is
Confucians becoming worried about money. So, samurai were kept poor
deliberately by the government, and the could not associate with the lower classes. Meanwhile, in the cities of Edo, Nagoya, Kyoto, the middle class, the chunin class,
is making money hand over fist. Eventually this chunin class will become the antecedents of the modern industrialist. They’re in producing things, they’re
engaged in overseas trade. They’re making huge amounts of money. And some of them buy, samurai status. So not only do they have all of the money, the urban classes have all the money,
but now they also have the status. By the time we get to the 19th century the samurai class is gone. There are a few samurai families throughout but most samurai either become middle class, or they deliberately did something so
they ended up in the industrial elite. So by the 20th century the industrial elite is in charge. Neo-Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, Buddhism, are still there are as religious options. And the samurai are expected,
as Neo-Confucians, to study all of them. So samurai, write histories of Shintoism,
write histories of Buddhism, write histories of Daoism and so forth. By in large that effect then
of Neo-Confucianism in Japan from the 17th century on is primarily academic. It doesn’t really have wide
spread effects within society itself. But it’s a mechanism whereby the shogun can maintain his power. By keeping these Neo-Confucian
scholars so occupied with their studies that they don’t affect government. Question: Then who’s a part of the shoguante? The shogun government primarily
samurai who were given temporary offices, because the
shoguns never paid the bureaucrats. They gave them land, and as long as the bureaucrats
didn’t interfere with the government. So what the shogunal government did, was they employed, for salary these
middle class urban-dwellers to do things. Question:** He didn’t He disbanded the military. There are no military expeditions by
the Japanese until the 19th century. He literally disbanded the military. No, the shoguns closed the borders. of Japan, fom the 16th century on. No one was allowed to come into Japan, that obviously there were military guarding the border areas. But they were low class provincial elite that were paid to stay there and keep foreigners out. So you know, when the Dutch for example are out exploring East Asia, one of their boats crashes next to Kyushu, and they don’t know what to do with this Dutch guy. Korea had the same problem, lots of Dutch showed up in the islands and so forth. So they didn’t know what to do with him. They couldn’t kill him, because they were
afraid of the guns and so on and so forth, but you know basically they tried to get
them to marry, intermarry with the Japanese so that they would eventually be
subservient to the shogun. The Edo period is very strange because it’s complete demilitarization of the country. I mean the Edo shoguns fought for 50 years
among themselves just to get the power, but once they got into power, they
stripped the country of its military They stayed in power because basically divine neglect. The people who had money they allowed
to make as much money as possible. They’re gone. The nobility are gone. All those powerful clans are gone. There is only the samurai and the middle class. And then of course the middle class can’t leave the country. So all the money, all the food, all the technology that is produced by
the middle class stays in the country. Some of them did actually leave
the country, they became pirates. in South China and things like that, but that’s about it. The point here is of course is that
Neo-Confucianism really doesn’t have an effect much on the Japanese at all. And I emphasize that because I want just the opposite case for the case of Choson. In Choson Korea, the Neo-Confucians really do change the society. Neo-Confucianism, in the Choson
period of course is revolutionary. The history of Neo-Confucianism is
of course is beginning the 11th century. After the Mongols invade Korea and become basically the rulers,
post-factum rulers of Korea. Take the Korean kings and their sons
hostage and raise them in China. The Mongols who don’t like the
Chinese at all encouraged Koreans to come to China. Take the exams become a part of
the bureaucracy of China. The more that the Mongols can do this, the more they can put Chinese in their place. So the Mongols employed a lot
of Koreans in their bureaucracy. The Mongols also established, especially after Korean Kings married into Mongol
princesses, the buying of books. So that Koreans would in fact go to the city of Beijing, Dadu. And they would buy books and then bring them back. And again in the politics of the day Kublai Kan constantly was encouraging the Koreans to pass exams, to study hard. There were academies for the study of Chinese classics in Beijing, setup by the Mongols. These were reserved schools just for Koreans. So that the Koreans would have an
edge in taking the civil service exams. It was because of that, that in the year 1200, the Mongols lift the restriction on the publication of Neo-Confucian texts by Zhu Xi, and actually issued national
copies of Zhu Xi’s commentary. Koreans get them. The first man to get a copy of the
Neo-Confucian text was a man call An Hyang. He was in an embassy to China, he brought those texts, started teaching them in his private school. He was very interested, especially
in Zhu Xi’s understanding of ritual. So, whats called the Chujahakre, Zhu Xi’s family ritual book was brought in, and the Koreans had never seen this before. So in their private academies and private schools they taught this notion of ritualism. The people who of course adopted
Neo-Confucianism into China are what I would call, provincial upstarts. The earliest people, I think Professor Peterson
talked about Chong Mongju, yesterday. Early merit subject of the Choseon Dynasty. His family was not very lustrous. Chong Dojon, who I will take about
later this afternoon, not very lustrous. They were people, bureaucrats,
coming from provincial areas. They are not part of the central government, they’re waiting for the central government to retire. as it were so that they could compete
for the positions and so forth. So a lot of provincial wannabes, came out and they’re the
ones who became interested in this, Why? Because the people in the capital weren’t interested in this new Neo-Confucianism. For them things were fine. As long as they had their land and so-forth. So there developed a kind of
new elite out in the provinces who became very interested. They used their Neo-Confucianism
and the study of Neo-Confucian text primarily as a way of upsetting their superiors. I.e. the old guys in the capital of Kaesong. And they eventually did rise to power towards the end of the Koryo period with the help of Mongols, and they reformed education in Korea to in fact create Neo-Confucian education. So a man by the name of Yi saek and his compatriot was Chong Mongju, another figure in that area was Chong Dojon. These were people from very
poor backgrounds in the country who get into a position where
they can reform education. So Chong Mongju, Chong Dojon, and Yi saek are all appointed dean of the Confucian Academy. And what they do in that academy is to
introduce the Neo-Confucian curriculum. They become a very closed society. So this new elite very quickly identified with each other,
they are all taught by each other. I don’t know if Professor Peterson told you about
the struggles in the new Choson period. When the 5th son, the 4th son, the 3rd son,
the 2nd son were all fighting each other to get the succession of the throne. The one thing that they could not touch though was these Confucian elites, because these sons actually
had been educated by them. So Yi saek was never touched. I mean, Chong Mongju was killed,
but Yi saek was never touched. He had been the patriarch of the academy. So he might be exiled, he was actually
exiled for 13 years and then died there, but they never could touch him. So, this new elite, a provincial elite comes to power and in fact promulgates new Confucianism. One aspect of the new Confucianism of this elite is that the people weren’t terribly
dedicated to the idea of public service. People like An Hyang, and Kyojae and others actually thought it was okay to be a Confucian
scholar without serving in government. And they preferred to live in the country, they preferred to live in the provinces rather than go to the city and capital. And so, there actually developed a group of Confucians who thought that Confucians are
the moral treasure of the country. Don’t employ them. Let them preserve the truth but don’t employ them. And again, a kind of erimeticism,
the sense of hermit lifestyle. And many people, Chong Mongju later and even
Yi saek had this idea later on in their life, that the best Confucian was the unemployed Confucian. That Confucians really are repositories for truth. They teach children, they hand down the truth, they preserve purity, they don’t get involved in politics. Not all Confucians thought this, but some did. Then of course The new elite then of course seeks very quickly to displace the older elite, land-owning elite that had been patronized by the Mongols. And eventually they become connected, all these group people in the city of Kaesong become connected to a young man by the name of Yi Songgye. Yi Songgye was a warrior, came from a
military family located in Northern Korea. He had been appointed to do
various provincial posts and so forth. He too, actually Yi Songgye did get lessons from Chong Mongju, Yi Saek and others about this. When he is called by the last “Korean Wang,” the last king of the, that’s right, the third last king of the Koryo period. And he is called and told by the king to go north to investigate what the Ming dynasty
Chinese are doing on the border and to dismantle any fortresses if they have. Chong Dojon, Yi saek and Chong Mongju
advise Yi Songgye not to do this. Their argument is that these are
the legitimate power of China. The Mongols are still in China by
the Ming are taking over territory. So therefore, it would be wrong for a
warrior of Korea, or a military of Korea to in fact insult the Chinese. So what do they tell him?
Turn around, get rid of the king. And they actually instigate Yi Songgye’s coup d’etat. They forced him to in fact displace the king. They are the ones who also appoint his
successors, two successors after him, and they maintain the Koryeo kingship by the scholars themselves, pick
their own candidates to be king. But their puppet kings obviously. The scholars are already in power. By 1392 of course, Yi Songgye has enough support that in fact he declared the end of the Koryo period and he establishes the new Choson period. But, Yi Songgye is of course beholden
to his Neo-Confucian scholar friends. They are the rough and ready new elite. They immense, they get
really immense amount of power, and Yi Song-gye himself is a little bit taken back, he doesn’t know how to run a government. So he turns the government over to Neo-Confucians, they run the government. From then on they increase their power
all they way down to the 18th century. Periodically the Choson kings will try to keep the bureaucrats in line, but they’re not really successful. So by in large Neo-Confucians rise
to power very really quickly. One of the first things that the
Neo-Confucians in Korea do is they disestablish Buddhism That is, these new rough and
ready Neo-Confucian scholars don’t like royal patronage of Buddhism. So, a series of proclamations are made. One young scholar at the Sunggyungwan
actually writes a letter to the king, and he says, makes this claim, long ago Confucius taught the correct way. He passed that way on to his disciple, Mencius. But after the death of Mencius the way was lost. And for a thousand years Buddhist
and Daoist confused the population. Until our own time, when Chong Dojon,
another Confucius scholar, picked up the way and has revived it. This is a student at the Sungyungwan
writing to the king, telling him that the true inheritors of the Confucian way are not in China, they’re in Korea, that Chong Dojon becomes a merit subject,
later becomes prime minister and then actually given charge of the government, that in fact he represents ultra orthodoxy. Chong Dojun’s appointees to
the first court under King Taejo the first king of the Choson
dynasty, are all his classmates. So they all get appointed. And in fact, within the space of 40 years, 4,000 Buddhist temples are changed
over into Confucian academies, literally, 400,000 landed slaves that
are connected with Buddhist temples are turned over to the government, or those slaves are put into the
military, or they’re sent back into farming. Women in the new city of Seoul are by law no longer allowed
to visit Buddhist monasteries. And Buddhist monks by 1450, can’t even come to cities
unless they have a special passport They have to have a token
issued by the central government. So, very quickly, this disestablishment of Buddhists. The argument that the Neo-Confucian’s
in the early Choson dynasty give for this persecution or disestablishment of Buddhism are the same arguments that were
pounded in the Tang dynasty. That is that Buddhism and Daoism
do not add to the welfare of society. Therefore, the king should withdraw his patronage, the government should stop paying
for these two establishment. And the functions of those establishments,
it should be taken over by Confucians. By 1450, there are only 200 temples
left in the whole of the peninsula, and those are protected temples. They are under the direct control of the royal family. All other temples or either burned to the ground, or they are converted into a Confucian school or they’re given away as manor
houses for the new elite. So, again, Buddhism very quickly,
almost disappears and so forth. Buddhism continues to be of
interest to the Choson kings, but by in large by the time we get to the middle period, even that begins to wane. Throughout the Choson period
the Neo-Confucians of Korea also become very, very rigid in regards
to what they mean by Neo-Confucianism. And they consider that the Zhu Xi school,
Zhu Xi was a Song Dynasty philosopher, his interpretations are in fact the best. Now that wasn’t something they invented actually the Mongols had said the same thing. That they like Zhu Xi because Zhu Xi’s school, which had developed in Jinan, in China, was actually, kind of upsetting to the establishment. And the Mongols didn’t like the establishment, so they promoted Zhu Xi’s Confucian. Koreans adopted from the Mongols the idea
that Zhu Xi is the only orthodox teaching. And so they developed orthodox,
Zhu Xi Neo-Confuciansm All school curriculums were
changed so that everybody had to study, before you studied the classics, you studied the commentaries written by Zhu Xi. So by studying the commentaries
by Zhu Xi, then you read the classics. So you have an orthodox understanding of it. The civil service exam was also changed by 1500 so that in fact the only subjects
you could be examined on even if you have to be examined on military
and medical and other things, but if you were to take the civil service exams that lead to the degree of “chinsa”, advanced scholar you had to do it on Zhu Xi. So all the exam questions were
about Zhu Xi’s commentaries and everything had to be orthodox. This eventually lead to the
development of an unorthodoxy. And people did not rise and fall in
the government unless they had thorough knowledge of the Zhu Xi
interpretation of Neo-Confucianism. Yi Songgye supporters among this new elite become merit subjects, and their merit subjects even though they may not hold
off this after four or five generations, nevertheless they become very powerful clans. So that the Chong family,
various Yi families and so forth that are a part of the supporters of Yi Songgye even today still are very important. They don’t hold office, they’re
not in the government and so on, but nevertheless they are respected elite clans, they go all the way back to the Choson period. They also take over the national academy. What develops between the 16th and
the 19th century, is that certain regions of scholars, scholars in certain regions of Korea begin to compete for control over education. And some, just they stay away
from the whole thing and others try to get into the core and so forth. Eventually then, again, conflict among different interpreters of the classics does appear. Phase two of the Confucianization of Koryo course is that the Koreans give up the use of Mongol law and adopt the Ming code. In 1368, the Ming dynasty rose and
successfully got rid of the Mongols, Koreans finally switched their
alliance from the Mongols to the Ming. Thereafter, Koreans had to keep
convincing the Ming that they were loyal, but the first way to show that
was they adopted the Ming law code, and the Ming law code is in
existence, we can actually read it. Early Neo-Confucians took that
Ming code and adapted it to Korea. Basically it’s 90% of the early Choson
code is exactly the same as the Ming code. Again, as a way of showing
that Korea was a loyal member, vassal, to the Chinese state. Phase three, sought to in fact limit the number of Koreans who could become monks, by eliminating both monk exams as well as permission. By 1600, for example, a family had to apply to the local magistrate if they wanted
their son to become a Buddhist monk. It was up to the magistrate to allow
or not allow them that to happen After the 17th century nobody became
monks, there were very few monks and so forth. If anything it’s members of the royal family, distant members of the royal family would
become monks and continue the tradition So Buddhist and Daoists are pretty much restricted. Many of the Buddhist take refuge
in mountain areas, where of course they lose all contact with their own traditions and become temple guardians. They basically take care of the temple buildings. But they don’t know anything about Buddhism,
and they don’t know anything about Daoism and they really are not well. And the result of course is that
Buddhism is pretty much debunked. Buddhists lands, again, and holdings as well as metal, all precious metals that are held by Buddhist now go into the central government. And the government redistributes
lands to reward the new elite takes lands away from the old
elite, and then redistributes that. The system of slavery, of course which Buddhism used in order the build up its wealth,
now is transferred to Confucians. So Confucians now are in charge of the slaves. Confucians have the land, the territory with land and slaves and tenant farmers and so on and so forth. So that continues, and then Then of course there develops throughout
the Choson period various lineages. Again these are scholar lineages in which teachers of certain regions have a following, and they compete within the central
government to become powerful and so forth. Within those lineages there developed a lot of diversity about how to interpret Zhu Xi. Some people, although it was not legal, did in fact critique Zhu Xi, but would not publish their critique
until after they were dead, so their descendants published it. There are quite a few
Wang Yangming scholars in Korea but we don’t see their records until much later. So Zhu Xi, Neo-Confucian orthodoxy is there. There are also and will be talking
about that this afternoon they developed very sophisticated
techniques about understanding the relationship between principle, the
principle of the universe, and emotion. So the so-called I-ki debates
between Yi Toegye and others, is a long extended series of debates, in which elements of Zhu Xi
Neo-Confucianism are sort of analyzed, almost in-depth, that itself gets into issues. Community compacts are also important, community compacts are
literally provincial law contracts that scholars write up to govern a village. As early as the Song dynasty in China,
Song dynasty scholars did create compacts. So a scholar in a small village would write up basically a basic law for the village. Everyone in the village would
then come, sign onto that, they would also agree to save
up money for the village itself. In Korea, Korea is the only place that I know
where the compacts were really widespread. Korean Neo-Confucians, especially
people living out in the rural areas created community compacts, a lot of them. The Confucian scholar became
technically the head of the village. And everyone agreed to teach children in such a way they all agreed that if children
need money to take the exams, that the community will finance this. Everyone agreed to pay as much money to the community compacts so that they could keep a shrine there. When the offerings to Confucius
and the sages were held everyone would contribute. So basically its a basic law govern villages and Koreans actually did a lot of these. I think Yi Yolguk wrote 17 different community compacts for various peoples in Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do, and those villages followed that basic law written for them by Confucian scholars all
the way down to the 20th century. The other downside of the new Confucian orthodoxy, obviously we’ve heard a lot about this, was the Neo-Confucians in Choson
dynasty restricted the movement of women. Unlike the Koryo period and early periods where women you know were free to move around. In the Choson dynasty they followed Zhu Xi’s kare, the home rituals, in which women became cloistered. So they had to stay in their houses until the sun set. After the sun set then women could leave the house as long as they were covered, and meet other women. So at nighttime women were walking
around the cities and the towns, but during the day they had to
stay inside their houses and so forth. So there was clearly an androcentric
form of society, not very good for women. Question: Were slaves part of the
indigenous population? Or women? Slaves? You could lose status in Choson society
if you didn’t do what the king wants, if you sided with the wrong enemy, if you didn’t perform well in a battle, and if you didn’t pay your taxes. The king had the power to turn
any village into a slave village. And then once they are slaves,
then the king had the power to assign slaves to different parcels of land. Now when I’m talking about slaves,
I’m really talking about landed workers. You can’t kill a slave with impunity. I mean you could be punished. But it means that they are landed,
they’re tied to pieces of land, and as somebody changes office
they get control over the use of the land and along with that go the land-workers. It’s not like our, North American
notions of slavery that slaves are property. Yeah, they’re really landed farmers. Question: These are like
government owned slaves? Yeah, they’re all government owned slaves. And when you get a new job you are assigned
a certain number of these along with the land. But the point is that you have
to get these workers to produce that which will support your family, because your not given a
salary, your given land instead. Question: So what practice did
the indigenous tribe have? Which indigenous? You know like in Taiwan. Koreans themselves are immigrants. Koreans are immigrants from Central Asia. They landed in the peninsula
probably around 1000 B.C. So there are no original inhabitants. Unlike the Ainu in Japan, where they Ainu may in fact have been
Siberian migrants into the northern islands. Korea’s people are basically
people who immigrated there anyway. There are some Chinese and
Japanese bloodlines but thats much later. No one’s indigenous in this population. Is that correct? Am I right? Okay, so again one of the other sides again on the right side of this is always the bad side. One of the issues that confronts
Neo-Confucianism within Korea is of course the marriage of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, with elite landed interests. That is the develoment of clans and families, were all Neo-Confucian but they’re also hungry for power and what happens is factualism begins to characterize and bring Choson dynasty government almost to a standstill. Meaning, those who are trained in the
adherence and loyalty to a regional teacher carry that loyalty into the central government, try to promote other members of that lineage, to the detriment of anybody who was holding the office. And, the switches between Namin, and the Old Party, the Southern Party, the Short Older
Party, the Younger Older Party. There were all these lineages
competing within the cental governent each of which officiially was dedicated to the common good. That of course also meant in order to achieve the common good you have to get rid
of that other lineage. And a whole series of literati purges, and a man by the name of Han Jongman, actually he tells us this in his diary. He says, that when my brother
was appointed to the ministry of rites, I didn’t agree with him. So I went around to the Ministry of
Personnel and the Centre General spreading rumors to get my brother out of office. He responded, along with my father to try to kill me. So, here is an example, and we
have the recorded in his biography. That he attempted to get rid of his brother out of government but then his
father and brother actually tried to kill him, and he escaped and ran off to Jejudo,
wherever he went, so on and so forth So there’s a lot of factualism
that appears within Korean politics. But they are all Neo-Confucians
they all adhere to the same. What happens is they marry the interest
of the land-owning class with an ideology. So that the factualism which otherwise
might be ideological, or might be regional now in fact carries with it a kind
of life and death intentionality So you know we got to get those Nanmen out of government and that’s our duty. And we’ll do as any means possible
to get that faction out of government They considered it their moral duty to promote the interests of their particular faction. Not a good thing, alright, and eventually that causes a sort of a downfall of Confucian Neo-Confucianism. One of the other aspects of
Neo-Confucianism in the Choson of course is the spreading of Neo-Confucian
values into other classes. Very important. By the 16th century Neo-Confucians are not only themselves adhering to an orthodox interpretation of the classics, and they have control over
all the organs of government, but now they especially in their
appointments at the local level begin to enforce Confucian
morality onto the lower classes. So the artisan class, farmer class,
warrior class, military class they must now conform to the directions
of the local Confucian bureaucrat. Now this Confucian bureaucrat whose in the
local villages is also responsible for teaching. So local villages will set up schools to teach children how to read, and write, and so forth, and the local Confucian master basically makes sure that the morality of the village conforms to what he expects it to be. So, the influence of Neo-Confucianism at
almost all classes except the slave class, pretty much permeates within 100 years
after the founding of the dynasty. Different from Japan, certainly different from China. In China, Neo-Confucianism was just one
of many different ideas, and the Chinese never became ultra orthodox in regard
to it, but in Korea they did. It wasn’t the study of classical literature but it
was the study of things like farming manuals and basic mathematics was taught, how to keep books. They also taught children how to memorize
basic things like the thousand character classic, where these are little poems in which, be good to mommy, be good
to daddy, god will reward you, heaven will take care of you, that type of thing. These were, the thousand
character classics is a morality book, that children learned and memorized by heart even if they didn’t understand how
to write it, but they memorized it. Question: Did they learn how to write? Yes, some did. It’s slow to begin with but I think by the middle of the 19th century well over 40% of the whole
population of Korea can read and write. In some form, it’s not necessarily classical
Chinese but it might be Hango, and so forth. I think by the beginnings of the
20th century it’s closer to 60%, by the end of the Korean War it’s 80%, and now it’s about 100% literacy. But again, the later period is,
Neo-Confucianism gets displaced, western science comes in, modern
education techniques comes in.

 

One Response

  1. chan ma

    October 5, 2018 7:45 am

    55:24 イ・ソンゲ、チョン・ドジョン、反乱の経緯、明との国際関係、儒者

    Reply

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