Disclaimer

This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

ArtSonje Center, Seoul Jongno-gu: Handicapped Artists can make the arts become possible.

'
Art Sonje Center (Revised Romanization: Art Seonjae Center), located at 87 Yulgok Avenue 3rd Street/Yulgok-ro 3-gil (previous address: 43 Gamgodang Street/Gamgodang-gil) Sogyeok-dong 144-2 beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu is an art complex which was built in 1998. It has a short history but is famous for exhibiting high-quality artwork. As an art complex, in addition to regular art exhibitions, movies, dance & music performances and plays are also shown here. 

The museum aims to provide current and experimental contemporary art to the art world and public with its international exhibitions and educational programs. The museum is located in Sogyeok-dong which is a unique area because of its between ancient cultural museums and the contemporary art movement. The building which was designed by Kim Jong-sung, is made of marble. It’s geometric shape consists of 4 annexed multiplex buildings that include exhibition halls, restaurant, café, artshop and a small theater.

On the B1 floor there is a small theater with a capacity for 250 people. Exquisite lightning and audiovisual system equipment are used for showing movies, performances and symposiums. Equipped also with simultaneous interpretation facilities, the theater is a great place for performances. At the art hall, many reviews on movies of the dramatic lives of artists are shown. Other events range from international concerts to project exhibitions of German filmmakers. 

If you want to relax, head to the traditional Korean house hall, Hanokgwan on the 1st floor. It boasts the unique architecture of modernized traditional Korean style. It is surrounded by bamboo, making it just the place for visitors to rest. It is also used as an exhibition space from time to time. Near Art Sonje Center are Gyeongbokgung Palace and Insadong.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Everland, Yongin, Gyeonggi Province: The Largest Outdoor Theme Park in Korea


Everland Resort is a theme park, located at 199 Everland Road/Everland-ro, Jeondae-ri 310-beonji, Pogok-eup, Yongin Cheoin-gu, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea. It is South Korea's largest theme park. With 6.6 million visitors, Everland ranked thirteenth in the world for amusement park attendance in 2011. Along with its main attractions, Everland also includes a zoo and a water park known as Caribbean Bay. Everland is operated by Samsung Everland, which is a subsidiary of the Samsung Group.

The name of the park is of note, as the name "Everland" is English. In Korean, the name is approximated as "에버랜드" – in other words, there is no authentic Korean name for the park. This park was formerly called "Yongin Jayeon Nongwon/용인자연농원/龍仁自然農園" which roughly means "Yongin Natural Farm".

The park is home to over 40 heart-pounding rides and attractions. In addition to ‘Safari World’ featuring white tigers, tigers, lions and bears, ‘Herbivore Safari’ opened in April 2010, letting visitors get up close and personal with the safari’s giraffes, elephants, and ostriches. Everland is also known for its gorgeous flower arrangements and beautiful gardens, which have been year-round fixtures since the Rose Festival in 1985. Other great spots for family fun are the Snow Sled (the first and the longest of its kind in Korea), Caribbean Bay (an outstanding water park) and Everland Speedway (a racing track). Full of exciting attractions and entertainment, Everland is one of the most popular places in Korea for families, friends, and couples.

When Kyotaro brings Senri and Kana to Everland, maybe both of them are... urmm.... Oh well.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Admin's Rants and Shits, Part II: Differences between KanColle and Strike Witches

We're going to World War II zone where we will discover two animes: KanColle and Strike Witches with the impacts on Korean audiences. Frankly speaking, both stories are occurred during the World War II (1939~1945).

The differences between these animes:
  • Strike Witches represent Multinational Witches that resembled to the aces during the warring period.
  • Strike Witches are not represent Japan only but the other nations which involved in WWII (i.e Germany, France, Finland, Soviet Russia, USA, Spain, United Kingdom and its dependencies)
  • KanColle represent the Imperial Japanese Navy Ships which are going for moe-anthropomorphization process.
  • KanColle may upset the relations in East Asia (i.e China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, Republic of Korea and DPRK) regarding to Imperialist Japanese Atrocities. 

These pictures in this blog will show you the proof that Strike Witches have the relationship to South Korea (ROK), respective to the Countries.

Republic of Korea - Malaysia: Raisa Pöttgen is a German/Karlslander within her blood however, her birth date is resembled to the day where the Malaysian Federation was formed in September 16th 1963. Malaysia provided financial support for Korean Muslims to build the first mosque in Seoul (1976).

Republic of Korea - Canada: Lynette is originated from Canada under the Commonwealth Realm of Britannia. During Korean War (1950~1953), Canada provided combat support to ROK to fight against communist DPRK. 

Republic of Korea - Poland: Minna is a Karlsander within her blood. Actually, she was originated from Poznań, Województwo Wielkopolskie/Greater Poland Voivodeship (Posen, Woiwodschaft Großpolen),  Poland based on real-life ace, Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke. The bilateral relationship was forged during the Collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc (1989). Poland provided medical support for Communist DPRK during Korean War.

Republic of Korea - France: France invaded Joseon during Byeongin Invasion of 1866 because of Persecution of Catholics from French Missionaries that resulting the death of First Korean Native Catholic Priest, Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon. This country looted the Uigwe, the royal protocols of Joseon Dynasty. France provided combat support to ROK to fight against communist DPRK during Korean War. The Uigwe was brought back from France to Korea during G20 Summit in Seoul. 

Republic of Korea - Finland: Eila is based on Eino Ilmari Juutilainen, originating from Lieksa, Northern Karelia Province, Finland. Eila's life is empowered by Kyobo Life.

Republic of Korea - Italy: Francesca is originated from Rome, based on her real-life ace, Franco Lucchini. Italy provided medical support for ROK forces during Korean War. Ajou Communications which sells Jaguar Cars and Land Rover SUVs and Daum Communications are located at the Ilshin Buliding, Hannam-dong, Seoul Yongsan-gu.

Republic of Korea - Germany: Edytha is originated from Gera, Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen), Germany while Waltrud is originated from Domnau (Domnowo), Kaliningrad/Königsberg Oblast, Russia - based on Edmund Roßmann and Walter Krupinski respectively. ROK sent the first diplomat to Germany which was Vice Admiral Sohn Won-yil, First Chief of Naval Operations of the Republic of Korea Navy. Seriously, they can't get laid in Germany.

Republic of Korea - Austria: Waltraud is originated from Gmünd, Lower Austria (Niederösterreich), based on her ace, Walter Nowotny. This embassy is located inside Kyobo Life Insurance Building at Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul Jongno-gu along with Finnish Embassy. Mozart can claim his life insurance via Kyobo Life too.

Republic of Korea - Kingdom of Belgium: Isabelle is originated from London, United Kingdom. However, she's coming from Belgian Nobility and her real-life ace is Yvan Georges Arsène Félicien du Monceau de Bergendal. Belgium provided combat support for ROK during Korean War. The Embassy of Belgium relocated to the present location in Hannam-dong, Seoul Yongsan-gu after the old building in Namhyeon-dong, Seoul Gwanak-gu was transformed into Seoul Museum of Art South Seoul Annex (SeMA NamSeoul). 

Republic of Korea - Hungary: Laura Tóth is originated from Újfehértó, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County and based on her real-life ace Lajos Tóth. Same as Poland, the bilateral relationship was forged during the Collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc (1988~1989). Hungary provided medical support for Communist DPRK during Korean War.

Republic of Korea - Spain: Angela is originated from Orduña, Biscay, Basque County (País Vasco), based on her real-life ace, Angel Saras Larrazabal. Spain provided miscellaneous support for ROK during Korean War. 

Republic of Korea - Romania: Alexandra is originated from Colonești, Olt County, based on her real-life ace Alexandru Şerbănescu. The bilateral relationship was forged during the Collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc (1989). Romania provided medical support for Communist DPRK during Korean War.

Republic of Korea - United Kingdom: The Embassy of the United Kingdom is strategically located in the vicinity of Seoul Anglican Church and Deoksu Palace grounds (Deoksugung), Jeongdong, Seoul Jung-gu. UK, together with US helped not-yet-prepared ROK forces during Korean War.

Republic of Korea - United States of America: Charlotte is originated from Myra, West Virginia, based on her real-time ace Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager. As the main ally of the Republic of Korea, US provides military support after Korean War. However, the Koreans are not pleased with the presence of US Army Personnel in this country because of immoral activities (e.g: rape, hit-and-run, homicides etc. etc. etc.).

Republic of Korea - Czech Republic: Ottilie Kittel is originated from Krasov-Bruntál (Kronsdorf-Freudenthal), Moravian-Silesian Region, Czech Republic, based on her real-life ace, Otto Kittel. Ironically, she is a Karlslander within her blood. Czech Republic provides medical support for Communist DPRK during Korean War under the name Czechoslovakia. Both nations forged bilateral relations since the Collapse of Communist Eastern Bloc, Velvet Revolution and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Republic of Korea - Japan: Tomoko is originated from Ayagawa-cho, Ayauta District, Kagawa Prefecture, based on her real-life ace, Anabuki Satoshi. One of the most crucial topics on this bilateral relations such as Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasion during Imjin Wars (1592~1598), Annexation of Korean Empire (1910), 35 years of Imperial Japanese Atrocities and Dokdo-Liancourt Rocks Dispute. Despite those, these two nations forged bilateral relations since the Three-Kingdoms Period when Baekje forged the relations with Yamato. In 2010s, the activists erected a statue which is commemorated to Korean forced sex slaves during Japanese Colonization Period opposite to the Embassy in 22 Yulgok Avenue 2nd Street/Yulgok-ro 2-gil, Junghak-dong 18-11 beonji (please notice the seated statue, behind Tomoko), Seoul Jongno-gu and demanded apology from Japan itself. That's why Abe Shinzo and Park Geun-hye are not understanding each other due to sensitive issues.

Republic of Korea - Russia: Aleksandra Ivanovna Pokryshkin (Александра Ивановна Покрышкин) is originated from Novosibirsk, Siberian Federal District - based on her real-life ace, Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin (Александр Иванович Покрышкин). The bilateral relations forged during final years of Joseon Dynasty period where Korean Empire under Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu forged the relations with Russian Empire under Nicholas the Second. Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu sought refuge to Russian Legation Complex (Agwan Pacheon) after the assassination of Empress Myeongseong of Yeoheung Min Clan. During Korean War, the relations between two nations were broken after Russia, under Soviet Union helped Communist DPRK to recapture the fallen key cities in DPRK from ROK forces (1951). After the collapse of Soviet Union, Russia resumed bilateral relations with ROK until now.

Admin's Rants and Shits, Part I: Why I can't include the girls from KanColle to Korean Tour?

Welcome to Admin's rants and shits where the problems are shown into the blog. I, as the blogger for any moe-oriented Korean stuffs have the rights to tell the visible problems that occurred recently.

Kan-Colle or Kantai Collection (Eng: Collections of Battleships) is became viral in this season, where each of the characters are moe anthropomorphisms of World War II naval warships which are depicted as cute girls, known as "Fleet girls" (艦娘 kanmusu). These personified warships are based on real-life vessels which are explained in detail within the game; the physical characteristics, appearances and personalities of each of the girls correlate in some way to the real-life vessel (for example, ships with a larger displacement tonnage are often depicted with larger breasts, with the notable exception of a few aircraft carriers).

Seriously I want to say those fleet girls are based on Imperial Japanese navy Ships during World War II. I think this is hurtful for Korean Veterans who fought against Japanese Colonization since Emperor Sunjong-Yunghui was overthrown during the final reigning years of Emperor Meiji (1910). As a Malaysian, the Malaysians are sharing the same fate where Malaysia was invaded by the Japanese Colonists in 1941.

An editorial within the South Korean Hankook Ilbo, Kim Beom-soo/김범수 on 4 November 2013 accuses that the strong popularity of the game is due to a conservative political shift amongst young people in Japan following long-term economic recession and political instability, and that the game majestifies the wartime Imperial Japanese Navy.

With this extract, I WILL NOT include the Kanmusu of Kan-colle for my Korean Tour in order to preserve the Koreans' Sensitivity of Imperial Japanese Atrocities during colonization days.

Kamsa-hamnida.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part X: Byeongsan Seowon, Andong, Northern Gyeongsang


The Byeongsan Seowon (BSSW; Hanja: 屛山書院) is a seowon located at 35-2 Byeongsan-ri, Pungcheon-myeon in the city of Andong, Northern Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. Seowon is a type of local academy during the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). It is one of beautiful traditional buildings in Korea.  The name of Byeongsan Seowon was from the fact a mountain across Nakdong/Rakdong River from Seowon looks like Byeongpung (a traditional partition).

BSSW is included in 5 Seowon in Joseon Dynasty, with Dodong Seowon (Dalseong County, Daegu Metropole), Dosan Seowon (Andong, Northern Gyeongsang), Sosu Seowon (Yeongju, Northern Gyeongsang), and Oksan Seowon (Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang). In accordance with the principle of “a school at front, a tomb at back”, the front area of Seowon was built for a school and the back area where was the highest location was used for a shrine.

It was first established as Jondeoksa (尊德祠) by local Confucian scholars especially Jeong Gyeong-se (鄭經世) in 1613, the fifth year of King Gwanghae's reign, to commemorate the scholarly achievement and virtue of the notable Confucian scholar and politician Seo-ae Ryu Seong-ryong (Great-grandfather of Korean Singer/actor, Ryu Si-won). The predecessor of the seowon was Pungak Seodang (淵岳書堂) which was an educational institution located in Pungsan to teach the Poongsan Ryu clan during the Goryeo period. Ryu Seong-ryong moved the seodang to the current place in 1572. It inherited the traditions of early Seowon, such as Sosu Seowon and Dosan Seowon very well and showed the soundness of Confucian studies before the studies were gone for theories and formalities as the model Seowon.

The mortuary tablet of Sir Seo-ae Ryu Seong-ryong is enshrined at this school. Around the time of 1863, Confucian schools enjoyed many freedoms under the Joseon rule, students and scholars of the school were exempt from taxation and other expenses. Byeongsan Seowon was one of 47 places in all of Korea and 2 in Andong not destroyed during the rule of Heungseon Daewongun [Politician of Joseon Imperial family, Born: 1820 - Died: 1898] in 1868. 

The Nakdong/Rakdong River is situated just in front of the Confucian Academy. Cross the river and the Mount Byeongsan can be found. By forming a folding screen like shape around the academy, the mountains both protect and add a serene beauty to the area.

Particularly, understanding of the location and relationships among the buildings shows the flexibility of ancestors. Traditional geomantic principles and Confucian ideologies which endeavors for the Utopia of respects were well-compromised.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part IX: Okcheon Hyanggyo, Okcheon, Northern Chungcheong


Hyanggyo is an educational institute formed by the state to pay a tribute to great Confucian scholars and to teach their disciplines to local students. Okcheon Hyanggyo (Hanja: 沃川鄕校) was established in 1397, the 7th year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye's reign, and was rebuilt after it was burnt down during the Japanese Imjin Invasion of Korea in 1592. It is located at 8-5 Hyangsu 8th Street/Hyangsu 8-gil, Gyodong-ri 320-beonji, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon County, Northern Chungcheong Province - beside to the birthplace of Yook Young-soo, the mother of Current President of Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye

Having been restored in 1961, the current form of the building was completed after two times of maintenance made in 1966 and 1974. Only Daeseongjeon, Myeongnyundang, Dongjae, Seojae, Naesammun, Oesammun, and Gojiksa remained until now. Daeseongjeon shrine is put up with portraits of scholars of both China and Korea including Confucius. It became the source of enlightenment as a hall where students gathered to study. 

Although it had been operated upon the assistance from the state in the era of Joseon Dynasty, its educational function disappeared after the Gabo Reforms of 1894, and only the ritual function remained. It currently retains many books such as 'Yuan/유안', 'Cheonggeumnok/청금록', 'Seonan/선안' and 'Gyoan/교안' which are important for research on local history of Okcheon County.

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part VIII: Yerim Seowon, Miryang, Southern Gyeongsang


Yerim Seowon or Ryerim Seowon in North Korean Dialect (Hangul/Hanja: 예림서원 or 례림서원/禮林書院) is a former seowon in Miryang City, Southern Gyeongsang Province. It is located in the commune of Bubuk-myeon on the slopes of Mount Jongnam, in the valley of the Miryang River (Specific Location: 128 Yerim Seowon Road/YerimSeowonno, Husapo-ri 179-beonji, Bubuk-myeon, Miryang City, Southern Gyeongsang Province).

The Yerim Seowon was built in 1567 by Yi Do-woo to enshrine Jeompiljae Kim Jong-jik, a Confucian scholar and politician who was native to Miryang. At that time it bore the name "Deokseong Seowon." Jeompiljae Kim Jong-jik who sided with Sarim Faction was victimized by Hungu Faction and was subjected to death penalty by beheading during Moo-oh Literati Purge (1498) after he died due to lament for the righteous emperor which he innuendo King Sejo's usurpation party rivalry.

It is destroyed during Hideyoshi's Imjin Invasion of Korea in the 1590s, it was rebuilt in 1606. In 1669, it received a royal warrant. The seowon, like most of those across Korea, was closed by order of the regent Heungseon Daewon-gun in 1871. However, beginning in 1874 local scholars once again began to gather there, although it no longer served as a school. It continues in use as a shrine today, and was designated as the 79th provincial tangible cultural treasure of Southern Gyeongsang in February 16th 1974.

As religious masters of Sarim Yongnam Faction, he turned out many excellent pupils such as Kim Gwang-pil, Jeong Yo-chang and Kim Il-son who dominated the period and the descendants of them are paying tribute of his learning and virtue even today.

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part IV: Jogyesa, Seoul Jongno-gu (Chief Sect of Jogye Order)


Jogyesa (Hanja: 曹溪寺) is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, becoming so in 1936. The temple thus plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism (Zen Buddhism in Japanese culture) in South Korea. It is located at 55 Post Office Road/Ujeongguk-ro, Gyeonji-dong 45-beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu. Natural Monument no. 9, an ancient white pine tree, is located within the temple grounds.

The temple was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty - three years after the establishment of this dynasty by King Taejo Yi Seong-gye; the modern temple was founded in 1910 and initially called "Hwanggaksa." The name was changed to "Taegosa" during the period of Japanese Colonization, and then to the present name in 1954.

Jogyesa came to the attention of the international news media in December 1998 due to several monks occupying the temple in a power struggle between factions of the Jogye Order. In the end, riot police were called in to take control of the temple and oust the protestors after they had occupied the building for more than 40 days.

The first thing you will notice at the temple are the lovely trees. These locust trees and baeksong trees in front of the Daeungjeon, the main temple building, are about 500 years old. One locust tree is about 26-meter high, and in the summer, provides a large amount of shade to enhance the mood of the temple. The baeksong tree is designated as a Natural Monument. The Daeungjeon building is a stately building built in 1938. The Dancheong is particularly beautiful with all the different colors painted on it, and inside the building is the statue of Seokgamoni. In front of the Daeungjeon building, you can also see a seven-storey stone pagoda containing Jinsinsari. 

Jogyesa does not give off the solemn and traditional air of the other temples located deep in the mountains, or offer the seasonal scenery of the mountains and the sea. But because it is located in the middle of the city, the transportation is convenient, and is well connected to the surrounding areas. It is good for tourists on a tight schedule. Along the street around Jogyesa are many Buddhist specialty shops, selling such things as prayer beads, Buddhist writings, incense, as well as souvenirs such as dolls and key chains. If you are interested in Buddhism, these stores may be worth looking around.

Monday, 18 November 2013

HanGung-mal, i-ssibal saekki-ya! Mal hae?, Part I: Gyeongsang Dialect

HanGung-mal, i-ssibal saekki-ya! Mal hae? (한국말, 이 씨발새끼야! 말 해?) is Korean romanization for 'Korean, motherfucker! Do you speak it?' It is cue to the film entitled 'Pulp Fiction' with its famous tagline, 'English, Motherfucker! Do you speak it?'

In this column we will reveal the Regional Accents or Dialects throughout Korean Peninsula. On the first post, we will present about Gyeongsang Dialect. The Gyeongsang dialects (also spelled Kyŏngsang; Korean: 경상방언/Gyeongsang Bang-eon or 경상 사투리/Gyeongsang Saturi), or Southeastern Korean (동남방언/Dongnam Bang-eon), are dialects of the Korean language of the Yeongnam region, which includes Northern and Southern Gyeongsang provinces. There are approximately ten million speakers. Unlike standard Korean, some Gyeongsang dialects are tonal.

Gyeongsang dialects vary. A native speaker can distinguish the dialect of Daegu from that of Busan despite the two cities being less than 100 kilometers apart. Dialectal forms are relatively similar along the midstream of Nakdong/Rakdong River but are different near Busan, Jinju, and Pohang as well as along the eastern slopes of Mount Jiri.

Most Gyeongsang dialects have six vowels, a (ㅏ), e (ㅔ), eo (ㅓ), o (ㅗ), u (ㅜ), i (ㅣ). In most areas, the vowels ㅐ(ae) and ㅔ (e) are conflated, as are ㅡ(eu) and ㅓ(eo). W and y are generally dropped after a consonant, especially in South Gyeongsang dialects. For example, soegogi (쇠고기) 'beef' is pronounced sogogi, and gwaja (과자) 'sweets' is pronounced gaja.

Vowel harmony differs from the standard language. For instance, oneul (오늘), meaning "today," is pronounced onal (NOT anal, okay?). The main difference is that e is considered a central vowel. Vowels are fronted when the following syllable has a y or i, unless a coronal consonant intervenes. For example, eomi 'mother' is emi, and gogi 'meat' is gegi.

Gyeongsang dialects lack the tense consonant ss (ㅆ/Ssang-siot). Thus, the speakers pronounce ssal (쌀), meaning rice into sal (살). Palatalization is widespread: gy and ky are pronounced j and ch (i.e: Kimchi/김치 into Jimchi/짐치), while h is pronounced s (i.e: 힘 which means power, into 심). Many words have tense consonants where the standard is tenuis. Middle Korean z and β are preserved as s and b.

This is an example of Gyeongsang Dialect. Any differences with Standard Seoul Dialect?
Dialects are classified as Northern Gyeongsang or Southern Gyeongsang based on pitch accent. Northern Gyeongsang has high tone, low tone (short vowel), and low tone (long vowel), whereas Southern Gyeongsang has high, mid, and low tone. For example, Southern Gyeongsang distinguishes sóni 'guest', sōni 'hand', and sòni 'grandchild'. Pitch accent plays a grammatical role as well, for example distinguishing causative and passive as in jép-pida 'make s.o. catch' and jepída 'be caught'.

In Northern Gyeongsang, any syllable may have pitch accent in the form of a high tone, as may the two initial syllables. For example, in trisyllabic words, there are four possible tone patterns:
  • 메누리[menuri] ('daughter-in-law')
  • 어무이[eomui] ('mother')
  • 원어민[won-eomin] ('native speaker')
  • 오래비[oraebi] ('elder brother')

The Gyeongsang dialect maintains a trace of Middle Korean: the grammar of the dialect distinguishes between a yes-no question and a wh-question, while Standard Modern Korean does not. With an informal speech level, for example, yes-no questions end with "-a (아)" and wh-questions end with "-o (오)" in the Gyeongsang dialect, whereas in standard speech both types of questions end in either "-i (이)" or "-eo (어)" without a difference between the types of questions. For example:
  • "밥 묵읏나?" (Bap mugeutna?) as opposed to "밥 먹었니?" (Bap meogeotni?) or "밥 먹었어?" (Bap meogeosseo?) in standard Seoul Dialect — "Did you eat?"
  • "머 하노?" (Meo hano?) as opposed to "뭐 하니?" (Mwo hani?) or "뭐 해?" (Mwo hae?) in standard Seoul Dialect — "What are you doing?"

Notice that the first question can be answered with a yes or no, while the latter question is to be answered otherwise.
This phenomenon can also be observed in tag questions, which are answered with a yes or no.
  • "Eopje, geujya?" (업제 그쟈?) as opposed to "Eopji, geureotchi?" in Standard Seoul Dialect (없지, 그렇지?) — "It isn't there, is it?"

From the Park Chung-hee to the Kim Young-sam governments (1961–1997) and Roh Moo-hyun to the Park Geun-hye governments (2003 until now), the Gyeongsang dialect had greater prominence in the Korean media than other dialects as all of the presidents (except for Syngman Rhee [Pyongan Province, DPRK], Yoon Bo-seon [Chungcheong Province], Choi Kyu-hah [Gangwon Province] and Kim Dae-jung [Jeolla Province]) were natives of Gyeongsang province. That is why some South Korean politicians or high-rank officials have not tried to convert to the Seoul accent, which is considered standard in South Korea. Also, South Korea's lingual policies have not been so rigid to enforce the standard accent as in the UK in the past.

However, former president Kim Young-sam was criticised (when he was in office) for failing to pronounce precisely when giving a public speech. He once mistakenly pronounced '경제 (Gyeongje: meaning 'economy')' as '갱제 (Gaengje: a Gyeongsang pronunciation for '경제')' and '외무부 장관 (oemubu-janggwan: meaning 'foreign minister')' as '애무부 장관 (aemubu-janggwan: meaning 'love affairs minister')'. In addition, there was a rumour concerning one of his public speeches that audiences were surprised to hear that he would make Jeju a world-class 'rapist (관광 tourism -> 강간 rape)' city by building up an 'adultery (관통하는 passing by -> 간통하는 committing adultery)' motorway.

I think President Kim Young-sam a.k.a Kousuke Kanemura made the Korean Media Conference in the Cheongwadae a.k.a Blue House turned sour because of fucked up public speech. Sheesh.

I knew it! President Kim Young-sam has ruined his formal speech! Yikes!

Daejeon National Cemetery, Daejeon Yuseong-gu: Secondary National Cemetery in ROK


When the burial capacity in Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-dong, Seoul Dongjak-gu has reached to its limits, the former president Park Chung-hee ordered the defense ministry to put the ideas for another national cemetery and finally designated this site for the construction of Daejeon National Cemetery (Hanja: 國立大田顯忠院)  in the current location at 251 Memorial Parkway/Hyeonchungwonno, Gapdong san 23-1 beonji, Daejeon Yuseong-gu on April 14th 1976. 

After the decision for this site, the Minister of National Defense organized the Committee of the Second National Cemetery Establishment Preparations on May 11th 1976. They started to construct in earnest on April 1st 1979 and completed the total size of approximately 3,300,000 sq m of Daejeon National Cemetery on November 13th 1985. During the construction, the first burial was done on August 27th 1982.

Daejeon National Cemetery has enshrined patriotic martyrs and the souls of all the fallen heroes and the South Korean civilians who died gloriously for Korea and the Koreans so that they has been worshiped for their distinguished achievements in their lifetimes. The authorities in charge of Daejeon National Cemetery has been changed to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs in the wake of the enforcement of ‘Act on Establishment and Management of the National Cemetery’.

Daejeon National Cemetery is flanked by Munpil Peak as Mount Jojong (the royal ancestor mountain), Ongnyeo Peak (옥려봉) as Jusan (the guardian mountain) and mount Gyeryong as Taejosan (the first king mountain). According to Taekriji (which is a geography book written in 1751), Mount Gyeryong, called Taejosan (the first king mountain), is one of the 4 breathtaking sceneries in Korea along with Mount Samgak (Seoul Gangbuk-gu), Mount Odae (Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province) and Mount Kuwol (Anak County, Southern Hwanghae Province, DPRK). 

Munpil Peak is similar to the point of a pen and the peak of the mountain looks like flames. It seems that the flames light up the sanctuary. Ongnyeo Peak that rises up and down from Munpil Peak has a shape that Ongnyeo (beautiful woman) faces a gold plat. Therefore according topography of Daejeon National Cemetery is the best ideal propitious site for graves, because of the right and left ridgelines which are a peak in Munpil Peak and Ongnyeo Peak that take over spirits of Mount Gyeryong and set around like a folding screen consist of the Blue Dragon on the left and the White Tiger on the right.

First Class North Korean Defector, Hwang Jang-yop was interred there after he died of a heart attack at his home in Seoul Gangnam-gu. He was 87 years old.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part VII: Jagye Seowon, Cheongdo County, Northern Gyeongsang Province


Jagye Seowon (Hanja: 紫溪書院) in 13 Jagye Seowon Street/JagyeSeowon-gil, Seowon-ri 111-beonji, Iseo-myeon, Cheongdo County, Northern Gyeongsang Province was erected to honor the learning and virtues of Kim Il-son (1464~1498), a civil officer and scholar in the early Joseon Dynasty. The institution was first established in 1518, and was named Ungye Seowon. In 1578, it was renovated and was burnt down later during the Japanese Imjin Invasion. Once again, the academy was rebuilt in 1615. The institution was named "Jagye" by the king, who sent a board with the name written on it.

The name of Jagye originated from the tale that in the stream of Kim Il-son's home town, red water flowed for three days after he was killed in the calamity of scholars called Muo Sahwa/Literati Purge in Moo-oh Year (1498). "Jagye" means "red valley".

In the grounds of the Seowon, twelve buildings are laid out neatly with Boindang, the auditorium hall at the center. Three of the twelve buildings are designated as cultural assets: Yeongguiru, Dongjae and Seojae. Yeonggwiru is the building where various events of the academy were held and its Confucian students relaxed and enjoyed the poetic and refined pastimes. Dongjae and Seojae are the buildings that were used as dormitories. In particular, the architectural style of Dongjae, Ungye training building is rarely found in any other place than in Cheongdo, and thus holds great value.

There is a 500-year-old ginkgo tree of Kim Il-son's own planting. This academy houses various old collections of works including Yeollyeosil Gisul/연려실기술 (Writings by Yeollyeosil/연려실). A kind of string instrument, the Chilhyeongeum/칠현금 is handed down as a representative relic. Memorial services are conducted in February and August of each year.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part VI: Muyang Seowon, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu


Muyang Seowon (Hanja: as seen on the picture) is located at 26 Sanwol Avenue 21st Street/Sanwollo 21beon-gil, Wolgye-dong 535-1 beonji, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu. The name for Muyang Seowon originates from the word Mujinjiyang, which means 'the sunshine of Mujin'. Mujin is the original name of Gwangju. The word Muyang was formed by the combination of Mu from Mujin and Yang, the Chinese word for ‘sunshine’. The name shows the Confucian scholars' desire to make the function of the Confucian School more meaningful. 

Originally, the Confucian School was the place where young students were trained and performed the ancestral rites for the famous scholarly masters. Even if it was not an educational institute such as a village school or Confucian school, its function extended not only to education but to much more as well. Muyang Academy functioned as a shrine for ancestral rites and education. Muyang Seowon was built by the Tamjin Choi Clan, a family favored by national Confucian scholars in 1927. 

There are five portrait scrolls of Janggyeonggong Choi Sa-jeong, a famous subject of the Goryeo dynasty, and his descendents Sonam Choi Yun-deok, Geumnam Choi Bu, Munjeolgong Yu Hui-cheon and Chungnyeolgong Na Deok-hyeon. Janggyeonggong Choi Sa-jeon was a Royal physician during the reign of King Injong of Goryeo Dynasty. He was a very faithful government official, so much so that he was buried in King Injong’s own tomb. Sonam Choi Yun-deok was banished to Gwangsan because he refused to take a government position when the Joseon dynasty was established. He taught that the true example for a scholar to set for his descendants was to not enter government service, not build shrines in their houses and not have much land. Geumnam Choi Bu, who lived during the reign of King Seongjong, edited the historical chronicles from the beginning of the Silla period to the end of the Goryeo dynasty and was famous for a certain document he entitled Pyohaerok. 

Pyohaerok was written after Geumnam had travelled across the domains of the Ming dynasty and had returned back home after passing through Jeju to attend to his father's funeral. Munjeolgong Yu Hui-cheon is the son of Choi Bu's daughter, who wrote Diary of Yu Hui-cheon (miam ilgi). Chungnyeolgong Na Deokheon was a grandson of Geumnam and did many great things for the country while Lee Gwal was causing riots. 

Muyang Seowon enshrines five scholars. Immediately upon entering the hall are two antique buildings placed face to face. There is an auditorium with a traditional Korean tiled roof in the shape of a Chinese character “八” (meaning eight) which has five rooms at the front and two rooms on the side. The shrine has a gambrel pattern and three rooms at the front and two rooms on the side. There are two gates into the Itack hall, one on the left side called the Habi gate and one on the right side called Habin gate. The main entrance is the Habin gate. After passing through the Habin gate, there are rooms for learning and sleeping on the right side and a library on the left side. 

Muyangsa temple is built on high ground and surrounded by a fence. The Samoh gate, also called the Naesam gate was made to pr entry into the shrine without permission. We can see rare sculptured faces of ghouls on the right side and the side of Samoh gate on the left. For this reason, visitors are very careful when they enter or exit by that way. 

There are many convenient facilities such as a broad square, a parking lot and a pavilion in addition to the Confucian School. Massive trees rise around the Confucian School, boasting its power like Confucian scholars keeping their great thoughts. These days, the place is loved as rest area for visitors. Muyang Seowon was designated as Gwangju Metropole Cultural Properties No. 3 in 1987. Muyang Seowon holds a religious service on the sixth day of the ninth lunar month every year. People who want to learn about Confucian School and a sacrificial rite need to choose the right day to visit. 

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part V: Daegu Hyanggyo, Daegu Jung-gu


The Daegu Hyanggyo (Hanja: 大邱鄕校) which is located at 112 Myeongnyun Avenue/Myeongnyunno, Namsan-dong, Daegu Jung-gu was founded in 1398 during the reign of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye, Founder of Joseon Dynasty. During the Japanese Imjin Invasion in 1592 it was completely burned down. In 1599 the Daegu Hyanggyo was rebuilt near Dalseong Park but was relocated to the original 1398 site of Dalseong Park in 1605 and then back to the Gyodong area again. 1932 saw the hyanggyo again relocated to its present location in Namsan-dong, just south of downtown Daegu. In 1973 Hyanggyo at Daegu underwent a full restoration.

In the traditional layout of a hyanggyo, the Main Hall (Daeseong-jeon) is located in front of the study hall (Myeongnyundang), and this was the original layout when it was first built. The present layout, however, shows a new arrangement in which the Daeseong-jeon is in the center at the north, facing a wide courtyard, and the Myeongnyun-dang is placed to the right of it. On the left (west) is the enclosure which contains the memorial tablet for Confucius and famous Confucian scholars of Daegu.

Daeseongjeon is a majestic building, 3 kans in width and 3 kans deep beneath a gabled roof. The Daeseongjeon is the shrine for Confucius and other famous anscestors, where a ritual called Seokjeon is performed in honor of Confucius every year in the 2nd and 8th lunar month. Of particular note is that this Daeseongjeon has its eaves bracketed in a multi-cluster style, despite it being an uncommon architectural style for Daeseongjeon built at other hyanggyos, in those days. Daeseongjeon is designated as Daegu Metropole Local Cultural Material #1.

Daegu Hyanggyo is down a street in between Myeongdeok (Station 129) and Banwoldang Station (Station 130/230) on DTRO Lines 1 and 2 respectively. If you get out of either station and walk in the direction of the other one, you'll eventually come across Nammun Market and an intersection running east-west. If you head east down this road, about 5 minutes past English Plus, you'll eventually see it on your right side.

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part IV: Wolbong Seowon, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu


Gi Daeseung (pen name Gobong) was praised by Yi Hwang (pen name Toegye) who said "You are better than me." People often remember Toegye Yi Hwang a great Neo-Confucian scholar of the Joseon dynasty, but do not often remember Gi Daeseung. While Yi Hwang was in Gyeongsang Province, Gobong was in Jeolla Province. 

The birthplace of Gobong is Dujeong-dong, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju Metropole. Gobong Gi Daeseung read books diligently and passed the state examination to become a Third Copyist of the Office of Diplomatic Correspondence. Here he met Toegye Yi Hwang. At their first meeting Gobong asked Toegye about 'the conduct of a right scholar.' Toegye answered "a scholar has only to do what is pure and right." Gobong unsparingly criticized the contradictions that had existed within the core of Joseon society since its inception. His unwaveringly critical consciousness and straightforward nature made him a loner, and after a long time he decided to leave his government post at the age of 44. He decided to rusticate after giving up his service. 

King Seonjo tried earnestly to him from doing it. However Sir Gi Daeseung expostulated to King Seonjo the importance of good government for the people and then left Seoul (formerly called Hanyang) after packing his bags. But he had hardly reached Cheonan when a swelling broke out on his cheek. He bore the illness until he arrived in Taein. After hearing the news of his illness, King Seonjo sent medicine for him, but he passed away before it arrived. King Seonjo sent the money for the funeral expenses and enshrined his body in a large village of Imgok-dong. 

To King Seonjo, he had been a tenacious and obstinate subject for his whole life, but Sunjo could not forget such a one who took righteousness and morality as his position his whole life. Sunjo considered all the lessons of Gi Daeseung carefully and made a book, which is called Nonsarok. This book contains logical theory about politics, economics, society and culture, and the truth of Sung Confucianism, whose purpose was to straighten society. He stressed the access to the King for offering advice or opinion. For sure, many scholars uttered it before his time, but that was all. However, he presented the way of positive speaking, that is, when a scholar give honest advice to the gentry or intellectuals, if the Royal court intercepts it, the scholar should risk his life to open the way. 

Wolbong Seowon a.k.a Bingwoldang (Hanja: 月峯書院 a.k.a 氷月堂) was built in memorial of this marvelous person, Gobong Gi Daeseung. It is located at 133 Gwanggok Drive/Gwanggok-gil, Gwangsan-dong 432-beonji, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu, and is for the religious service of a great scholar Gi Daeseung. 

After the demise of Gi Daeseung, his eldest son, Gi Hyojeong, built the Confucian School to pay high tribute to his deceased father's charitable deeds at Wolbong village, Sanwol-dong, Gwangsan-gu. The name has been called Wolbong Seowon after the name of the village. After that, Jeongjo dedicated an engraved board entitled 'Bingwoldang', meaning 'Bingwolseolwol', which symbolizes Gi Daeseung. However, it was torn down in 1868 when a decree went out by Daewongun to destroy all Confucian School. 

Local inhabitants restored Bingwoldang to its former state and moved it to Gwangsan-dong in 1938. The current complex consists of a library and a shrine. Dongseoje was completed to remember him and was named the Wolbong Academy (Bingwoldang). Bingwaldang and a block-book entitled A Collection of Gobong´s Works are Cultural Assets of Gwangju City. Sitting and looking around the floor of the Wolbong Academy (Bingwoldang), we can vividly feel the popularity of a great scholar Gi Daeseung’s philiosophy. We can also feel the anxiety and despair he felt in that oppressive age. He was so lonely. But what he will be remembered for is his care for the people and the realization of a just and rich society for them. We can feel as if he were together with us right here and now. 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part III: Bupyeong Hyanggyo, Incheon Gyeyang-gu


Bupyeong Hyanggyo (Hanja: 富平鄕校) is located at approximately 200m north from the current Gyeongin National University of Education Incheon-Gyeyang Main Campus (Specific Location: 11 Gyesan Avenue 41st Street/Gyesanno 41beon-gil, Gyesan-dong 982-1 beonji, Incheon Gyeyang-gu). 

Under the King’s Decree in 1127 (5th year of King Injong of Goryeo), Suju Hyanggyo was established at Oryu-dong san 4-beonji, Gyeyang-gu. At that time, 56 Hyanggyo across the nation are believed to have been built under the same order. Annam Hyanggyo seems to have also transferred to the south of Mt. Annam (Currently near the Hanwoori Apt. in Gyesan 2-dong) as Annam Dohobu (latter name of Bupyeong) moved to Gyesan-dong (Onsu-gol) in 1165 (19th year of King Uijong). It was renamed into Bupyeong Hyanggyo as the district was renamed as Bupyeong-dohobu (Bupyeong Protectorate) in 1310 (2nd year of King Chungseon of Goryeo). 

The building of Munmyo was completely burnt down during Byeongja Chinese-Qing Invasion in the reigning years of King Injo (1636) but was rebuilt in its current site in 1688 (14th year of King Sukjong of Joseon Dynasty). 

Bupyeong Hyanggyo is built in the form of [Jeondang-Humyo] that is the traditional Hyanggyo in Korea having an educational facility such as Myeongnyundang, Jaesil, etc. at the front and the facility such as Daeseongjeon and Dong/Seomu Munmyo at the rear side. Daeseongjeon and Dong/Seomu, and Dong/Seojae were built in the form of gambrel roof but Myeongnyundang was built in the form of Hipped and Gable Roof. 

Seokjeondaeje ceremony that honors the five Saints of China and 18 Sages of Korea is held on the first days of February and October of every lunar calendar.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part II: What are the differences between Hyanggyo and Seowon?

Daegu Hyanggyo at Namsan 1-dong, Daegu Jung-gu
There are two types of Confucian Institutions in Korea which are Hyanggyo (향교/鄕校) and Seowon (서원/書院). The Hyanggyo were government-run provincial schools established separately during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and Joseon Dynasty (July 1392 - August 1910), but did not meet with widespread success in either dynasty. They were officially closed near the end of the Joseon Dynasty, in 1894, but many were reopened as public elementary schools in 1900.

In the Joseon Dynasty, hyanggyo were established in every bu, mok, daedohobu, dohobu, gun, and hyeon (the last corresponding roughly to the size of modern-day cities and counties). They served primarily the children of the yangban, or ruling elite upper-class. Education was oriented toward the gwageo, or national civil service examinations. Although such education was in high demand, the hyanggyo were ultimately unable to compete with the privately run seowon and seodang.

Wolbong Seowon at Gwangsan-dong, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu
The Seowon were the most common educational institution of Korea during the mid- to late Joseon Dynasty. They were private institutions, and combined the functions of a Confucian shrine and a preparatory school. In educational terms, the seowon were primarily occupied with preparing students for the national civil service examinations. In most cases, seowon served only pupils of the aristocratic yangban class.

Seowon first appear in the early Joseon Dynasty. Although the exact year of their introduction is not known for certain, in 1418 King Sejong issued rewards to two scholars for their work in setting up seowon in Gimje and Gwangju. The first seowon to receive a royal charter was the Sosu Seowon in Punggi-eup, Yeongju City, Northern Gyeongsang, presided over by Toegye Yi Hwang, which was given a hanging board by King Myeongjong in 1550.

Many seowon were established by leading literati, or by local groups of yangban families. For instance, Joo Se-bong established the Sosu Seowon, which continued in operation long after his death. Some of them were built by Sarim scholars who retired to villages in the wake of literati purges of 16th century and served as their political bases.

Most seowon were closed by an edict of the regent Heungseon Daewongun in the turbulent final years of the 19th century. He banned the unauthorized construction of seowon in 1864, and removed their tax exemption in 1868; finally, in 1871, he ordered all but a handful closed. The provincial yangban were outraged by these measures, and this is among the reasons that Daewongun was driven from power in 1873; however, the seowon remained closed.

Confucian Confusions in Korea, Part I: Introduction to Korean Confucianism

Sungkyunkwan University, the oldest Confucian Institution in Korea since 1398.
Korean Confucianism is the form of Confucianism that emerged and developed in Korea. One of the most substantial influences in Korean intellectual history was the introduction of Confucian thought as part of the cultural influence from China. Today the legacy of Confucianism remains a fundamental part of Korean society, shaping the moral system, the way of life, social relations between old and young, high culture, and is the basis for much of the legal system. Confucianism in Korea is sometimes considered a pragmatic way of holding a nation together without the civil wars and internal dissent that were inherited from the Goryeo dynasty, and before.

Confucius (孔夫子 Kǒng Fūzǐ, lit. "Master Kong") is generally thought to have been born in 551 BCE and raised by his mother following the death of his father when Confucius was three years old. The Latinized name "Confucius" by which most Westerners recognize him is derived from "Kong Fuzi", probably first coined by 16th-century Jesuit missionaries to China. The Analects, or Lunyu (論語; lit."Selected Sayings"), a collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher and his contemporaries, is believed to have been written by Confucius' followers during the Warring States period (475 BC - 221 BC), achieving its final form during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Confucius was born into the class of shi (士), between the aristocracy and the common people. His public life included marriage at the age of 19 that produced a son and a variety of occupations as a farm worker, clerk and book-keeper. In his private life he studied and reflected on righteousness, proper conduct and the nature of government such that by the age of 50 he had established a reputation. This regard, however was insufficient for his success in advocating for a strong central government and the use of diplomacy over warfare as the ideal for international relationships. He is said to have spent his last years teaching an ardent group of followers of the values to be appreciated in a collection of ancient writings loosely identified as the Five Classics. Confucius is thought to have died in 479 BCE.

Under the succeeding Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, Confucian ideas gained even more widespread prominence. During the Song Dynasty, the scholar Zhu Xi (AD 1130–1200) added ideas from Taoism and Buddhism into Confucianism. In his life, Zhu Xi was largely ignored, but not long after his death his ideas became the new orthodox view of what Confucian texts actually meant. Modern historians view Zhu Xi as having created something rather different, and call his way of thinking Neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism held sway in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam until the 19th century.

Although often followed in a religious manner by the Chinese, scholars continue to debate its standing as a true religion. Confucian beliefs do consider the influences of spiritual matters including the possibility of an afterlife and the nature of Heaven. However Confucian beliefs have little concern for rituals which intend intercession with a deity, or the nature of the human soul.

Confucian thought places great emphasis on study and intellectual achievement. Rather than advocate for creative thought and critical thinking, however, Confucius taught that his followers should master and internalize the old classics in order to relate current issues to problems and solutions of the past. In this way, the accrual of knowledge fostered the development of virtue such that the benevolent man could be identified by the way he treated others. Ethics, therefore, is held as one of the pillars of Confucian thought, with the superiority of personal exemplification valued over explicit rules of behavior. Confucian moral teachings emphasize self-cultivation, emulation of moral exemplars, and the attainment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules. Virtuous action towards others is founded in virtuous and sincere thought, which begins with knowledge. A virtuous disposition without knowledge is susceptible to corruption and virtuous action without sincerity is not true righteousness. Cultivating knowledge and sincerity is also important for one's own sake; the superior person loves learning for the sake of learning and righteousness for the sake of righteousness.

Confucian political thought is, likewise, based in benevolence and ethical thought, holding that the best government is one that rules through rites and people's natural morality rather than the use of bribery and coercion. In his Analects, Confucius is declares:"If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of the shame, and moreover will become good." This "sense of shame" is an internalization of duty, where the punishment precedes the evil action, instead of following it in the form of laws as in Legalism. A strong central government, led by an enlightened despot, would also be regulated in that sound governmental practices could be recognized by the peace and prosperity they bring. In the absence of these results a leader could lose his right to rule (Mandate of Heaven).

Following the death of Confucius, his teachings were consolidated and defended by Mencius (372 - 289 BC), among others, who feared the eclipse of these beliefs by rival schools of thought. While embracing the Confucian pursuit of a moral virtuous life, Mencius expanded on the teaching of Confucius in two important ways. One was Mencius' focus on human nature and specifically that Humans are essentially good. In this way, Mencius continued to prize education as a method of enhancing Character rather than simply as an expression of moral worth. Through education, Mencius held that all people could attain the four most important ethical attributes: benevolence, observance of rites, righteousness and wisdom. The second expansion that Mencius made on Confucian teachings concerned the nature of a benevolent ruler. Confucius had held that a ruler be benevolent, to which Mencius added that the ruler be righteous as well. In this way it was not enough that a ruler be magnanimous or charitable, but that ruler must also respect his people and treat them with dignity. "A king", he claimed, "is he who gives expression of his humanity through virtuous conduct." In the absence of such a ruler, subjects could leave that domain to seek an appropriate ruler. Violence was to be avoided at all costs. The Neo-Confucians of the later Song dynasty would consider Mencius the orthodox version of Confucianism.

Long History of the Confucianism in Korea
The nature of early Korean political and cultural organization centered on the clan and the tribe rather than cities and states. A Chinese record of the Gojoseon Kingdom (1000BCE - 300 BCE) labeled the inhabitants of the peninsula as DONG-I or "eastern barbarians" or "eastern bowmen". Though the Shang Dynasty (1766BCE – 1040 BCE) is recognized chiefly for its metallurgical accomplishments, its organizational accomplishments included the invocation of authority through one's ancestors. When the Shang Dynasty was overtaken by the Western Zhou (1122 BCE – 771 BCE), the Zhou modified the Shang belief in ancestors belief to invoke the "Mandate of Heaven" as a way of identifying the divine right to rule. The Mandate of Heaven was based on rules of good governance and the emperor was granted the right to rule by heaven as long as those rules of good governance were obeyed. The scattered rule of many semi-autonomous holdings were increasingly brought under the rule of a central government as a Zongfa or "kinship network" though as time went on the territory ruled was far too large for all vassals to be actual blood relatives. Vassals to the king enjoyed hereditary titles and were expected to provide labor and fighting forces as circumstances merited. In these many ways, the Gojoseon kingdom would have been “validated” by their “big brother” to the south, and while the Gojoseon king would still rule, the “Mandate of Heaven” lay obligations on him to rule justly and fairly and for the benefit of his people and not just his favorites or relatives. As the Western Zhou declined, China entered into a period known as the Spring and Autumn period (771 BCE – 471BCE) and the "kinship network" also declined. Control of many feudal holdings fell to feudal lords and knights, or "fighting gentlemen", (C. SHI). Unbound by family relationships, these men were free to attack their neighbors and accrue holdings. It was into this period, then, that Confucius was born and spent his entire life seeming to strive for the construction of a governmental ideal in the nature of the Zhou centralized government. However, in 109 BCE the Han Emperor, Wu-Ti overwhelmed Gojoseon by both land and sea and established four bases, or "commanderies", Four Commanderies of Han in the region as a way to stabilize the area for trade. The subsequent introduction of four separate administrations to oversee the region only served to prolong the divided nature of the Korean peninsula and hamper an adoption of the Confucian model.

As the Three Kingdoms Period emerged from the Four Commanderies, each Kingdom sought ideologies under which their populations could be consolidated and authority could be validated. From its introduction to the kingdom of Baekje in 338 AD, Buddhism spread rapidly to all of the states of the Three Kingdoms Period. Though Shamanism had been an integral part of Korean culture extending back to earliest time, Buddhism was able to strike a balance between the people and their administration by arbitrating the responsibilities of one to the other. By the time of the Goryeo Dynasty (918 - 1392) the position, influence and status of Buddhism far exceeded its role are a mere religious faith. Buddhist temples, originally established as acts of Faith had grown into influential landholdings replete with extensive infa-structure, cadre, tenants, slaves and commercial ventures. The state observed a number of Buddhists holidays during the year where the prosperity and security of the nation were inextricably tied to practices and rites that often mixed Buddhist and indigenous Korean beliefs. As in China, Buddhism had divided into the more urban faith rooted religious texts and the more contemplative faith of the rural areas. This emphasis on texts and learning produced a "monk examination" wherein the Buddhist clergy could vie with Confucian scholars for positions in the local and national government. During this time, Confucian thought remained in the shadow of its Buddhist rival, vying for the hearts and minds of Korean culture, but with growing antagonism.

With the fall of Goryeo, the position of the landed aristocracy crumbled to be replaced by the growing power of the Korean illiterati who advocated strenuously for land reform. Interest in Chinese literature during the Goryeo Dynasty had encouraged the spread of Seonngnihak or Neo-Confucianism, in which the older teachings of Confucius had been melded to Taoism and Buddhism. Neo-Confucian adherents could now offer the new Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910) an alternative to the influence of Buddhism. In Goryeo, King Gwangjong (949 - 975) had created the national civil service examinations, and King Seongjong (1083 - 1094) was a key advocate for Confucianism by establishing the Gukjagam, the highest educational institution of the Goryeo dynasty. This was enhanced, in 1398, by the Sunggyungwan – an academy with a Neo-Confucian curriculum – and the building of an altar at the palace, where the king would worship his ancestors. Neo-Confucian thought, with its emphasis on Ethics and the government's moral authority provided considerable rationale for land reform and redistribution of wealth. Rather than attack Buddhism outright, Neo-Confucian critics simply continued to criticize the system of Temples and the excesses of the clergy.

By the time of King Sejong (ruled 1418–1450), all branches of learning were rooted in Confucian thought. Korean Confucian schools were firmly established, most with foreign educated scholars, large libraries, patronage of artisans and artists, and a curriculum of 13 to 15 major Confucian works. Branches of Buddhism in Korea were still tolerated outside of the major political centers. In Ming China (1368–1644), Neo-Confucianism had been adopted as the state ideology. The new Joseon Dynasty (1398–1910) followed suit and also adopted Neo-Confucianism as the primary belief system among scholars and administrators. Jo Gwang-jo's efforts to promulgate Neo-Confucianism among the populace had been followed by appearance of Korea's two most prominent Confucian scholars, Yi Hwang (1501–1570) and Yi I (1536–1584), who are often referred to by their pen names Toe gye and Yul gok. Having supplanted all other models for the Korean nation-state, by the start of the 17th century, Neo-Confucian thought experienced first a split between Westerners and Easterners and again, between Southerners and Northerners. Central to these divisions was the question of succession in the Korean monarchy and the manner in which opposing factions should be dealt. A growing number of Neo-Confucian scholars had also begun to question particular metaphysical beliefs and practices. A movement known as Silhak (lit. "practical learning") posited that Neo-Confucian thought ought be founded more in reform than in maintaining the status quo. Differences among various Confucian and Neo-Confucian schools of thought grew to conflicts as Western countries sought to force open Korean, Chinese and Japanese societies to Western trade, Western technologies and Western institutions. Of particular concern were the growing number of Catholic and Protestant missionary schools which not only taught a Western pedagogy but also Christian religious beliefs. In 1894, Korean Conservatives, nationalists and Neo-Confucians rebelled at what they viewed as the loss of Korean Society and Culture to alien influences by the abandonment of the Chinese classics and Confucian rites. The Dong Hak Rebellion—also called the 1894 Peasant War (Nongmin Jeonjaeng)—expanded on the actions of the small groups of the Donghak (lit. Eastern Learning) movement begun in 1892. Uniting into a single peasant guerrilla army (Donghak Peasant Army) the rebels armed themselves, raided government offices and killed rich landlords, traders and foreigners. The defeat of the Dong Hak rebels drove ardent Neo-Confucians out of the cities and into the rural and isolated areas of the country. However, the rebellion had pulled China into the conflict and in direct contention with Japan (First Sino-Japanese War). With the subsequent defeat of Ching China, Korea was wrested from Chinese influence concerning its administration and development. In 1904, the Japanese defeated Russia (Russo-Japanese War) ending Russian influence in Korea as well. As a result, Japan annexed Korea as a protectorate in 1910, ending the Joseon kingdom and producing a thirty-year occupation (Korea under Japanese rule) which sought to substitute Japanese culture for that of Korea. During this period, a Japanese administration imposed Japanese language, Japanese education, Japanese practices and even Japanese surnames on the Korean population predominantly in the large cities and surround suburban areas. However, in the isolated areas of Korea, and well into Manchuria, Korean nationals continued to wage a guerrilla war against the Japanese and found sympathy for Neo-Confucian goals of reform and economic parity among the growing Communist movement. With the end of the Japanese occupation, Confucian and Neo-Confucian thought continued to experience neglect if not willful repression during the Korean War as well as the repressive dictatorships which followed.

Today, the landscape of Neo-Confucian schools, temples, places of ancestral worship, and scholarship contend with a range of modern practices and ideologies. Strong elements of Neo-Confucian thought still exist in day-to-day administrative and organizational hierarchies, but the fixtures and services which brought these into being have disappeared. With Neo-Confucianism taken out of the school curricula and removed from the daily life of Koreans, the sense that something essential to Korean history is missing led to a rebirth of Confucianism in the late 1990s. Foreign scholars have also developed an interest in Korean Confucianism as an overriding element of governance that maintained a newly-arisen elite within Korea dependent on all the cohesive devices of Confucianism from the 14th century onwards.

Culturally, such national observances as Chiseok underscore the Confucian ideal of filial piety, while such Confucian values as a special respect for teachers and the wisdom of elders remain ingrained influences of daily life. The arts still maintain major traditions: Korean Pottery, the Korean Tea Ceremony, Korean Gardens, and Korean flower arrangement follow Confucian principles and a Confucian aesthetic. Scholarly calligraphy and poetry also continue, in much fewer numbers, this heritage. In films, school stories of manners and comic situations within educational frames fit well into the satires on Confucianism from earlier writings. Loyalty to school and devotion to teachers is still an important genre in popular comedies. Confucian values arguably still have an immense influence on the daily affairs of the Korean people. Modern Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism is also not without its challenges. Perhaps the single greatest challenge is reconciling the modern role of women in Society and the future of the Korean family as an institution. Neo-Confucian philosophy going back to the 15th Century had relegated Korean women to little more than extensions of male dominance and producers of requisite progeny. Shifting views on the relationships in Korean families has introduced a host of issues concerning women's rights to self-determination and the nature of care for an aging generation.

We've confused with Confucianism. Is it some of doctrine or religion?
Ever since Europeans first encountered Confucianism, the issue of how Confucianism should be classified has been subject to debate. In the 16th and the 17th centuries, the earliest European arrivals in China, the Christian Jesuits, considered Confucianism to be an ethical system, not a religion, and one that was compatible with Christianity. The Jesuits, including Matteo Ricci, saw Chinese rituals as "civil rituals" that could co-exist alongside the spiritual rituals of Catholicism. By the early 18th century, this initial portrayal was rejected by the Dominicans and Franciscans, creating a dispute among Catholics in East Asia that was known as the "Rites Controversy". The Dominicans and Franciscans argued that ancestral worship was a form of pagan idolatry that was contradictory to the tenets of Christianity. This view was reinforced by Pope Benedict XIV, who ordered a ban on Chinese rituals.

This debate continues into the modern era. There is consensus among scholars that, whether or not it is religious, Confucianism is definitively non-theistic. Confucianism is humanistic, and does not involve a belief in the supernatural or in a personal god. On spirituality, Confucius said to Chi Lu, one of his students, that "You are not yet able to serve men, how can you serve spirits?" Attributes that are seen as religious—such as ancestor worship, ritual, and sacrifice—were advocated by Confucius as necessary for social harmony; however, these attributes can be traced to the traditional non-Confucian Chinese beliefs of Chinese folk religion, and are also practiced by Daoists and Chinese Buddhists. Scholars recognize that classification ultimately depends on how one defines religion. Using stricter definitions of religion, Confucianism has been described as a moral science or philosophy. But using a broader definition, such as Frederick Streng's characterization of religion as "a means of ultimate transformation", Confucianism could be described as a "sociopolitical doctrine having religious qualities." With the latter definition, Confucianism is religious, even if non-theistic, in the sense that it "performs some of the basic psycho-social functions of full-fledged religions", in the same way that non-theistic ideologies like Communism do.