Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies

Beyond “Confucianization”
Boudewijn Walraven Leiden University

Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies. Vol. 7, No. 2

ⓒ 2007 Academy of East Asia Studies. pp.1-24

You may use content in the SJEAS back issues only for your personal, non-commercial use. Contents of each article do not represent opinions of SJEAS.


( 3 2007 Academy olE35~ M a i l kudies. pp.1-24


Vnl.7, No.2.

Speical Issue

Beyond " Confucianization"

The four shon a y s in LhiS special miion are devoted to a discussior~on whelher Korm can
really be understood to be a couniry thoroughly confucianized as such. Being reckoned as the most Confucianized couaay even among h e countries in East k i a , Korea as an academic topic have always been related to Confucianism; while. onc rhc other hand. only about 2% o l the Korean poplacion still chooses Confucianism a s irs prlmary af6liarion. At the 2007 biennial conference of Lhe Association for Korean Studics held in France, a group of scholars from Korea, Europe and h e US debated the limits ol h e standard view that after the m i t i o n from K.orya LO Chosirn Korea was , d u a l l y "Confucianized". Thc topic is no1 only relevant to the intellectual and social history of C h o s ~but , ~ also important for an undesmding or h e role of Confucianism and dcbtes about this in modem Korea. Here the essence of their efforts to shcd lights on nonConfucian side of C h d n and modem Korea is displayed. Authors contributed to this secrion with an inuoduction by Boudewijn Walraven include: Martina Deuchler. Don Baker. Mmn Okpyo, and Kim Daeyeol. Keywords: Coduciaoiza~ion, pauihealir).,shamanic rituals, Korean family, Koran hoism.

Boudewijn Walravcn Leidm University
There will scarcely be a lopic that has such a boundless capacity to coniuse as Confucianism. Is it a philosophy, a political ideology or a religion? M o d m Conlucia~lists lhernselves have given very different a n w m s to this queslion, distancing themselves from religion because of its irrational comola~ions or insisting on Confucianism's religious naturc w i ~ h o u whch ~ it cannot represent absolute truth.' To 19'"century Korean reformers and foreign residents Confucianism embodied everything tllat stood in rhc way 01 progress. The followers of' CoduciuslKongja $1 i-1and Mencius[Maenda ZT1 were compared to little frogs in a pond endlessly croaking maengkkong mamgkkong dT$js, incapable of accomplishing anyttung of practical value. By the end of the 20Ih century, in contrast, Confucianism was often invoked as the rooc of the rapid economic development of Korea and other Asian Tigers. Yet, in Korea less complimentary views of Confucianism are car from extinct, as wimessed by the title of a 1999 bestseller: Kongia-ga chugSya narcl-ga sanda %2\ Solo) w 7 F QQ [Confuciusmust die to save the nation]. One should note h e implicit assumption that Confucianism is still a force to be reckoned with, although only about 2% of the Korean population stilt chooses Confucianism as its primary affiliation.

in whole or in part. The editors of the Sunglzyun Journal ojEast Asian Studies felt that the brief position papers written to kick off the discussion would be of interest to many and therefore have decided to publish the more general papers presented in France in this issue of theJou~nal. see in an carlicr issue of this journal. Among them was Martina Deuchler. not all scholars who took part in the debate were of exactly the same opinion in all respects. "Confucianism" became son~ething very different and mainly survived as a much more diffuse ennty a conglomerate of values that still m y have the power to inspire (and perhaps to serve as the foundation of "Asian values") bur can be held. "Should Confucianism be Studied as a Religions Tradition?". Thc papers are presenied here in lheir original fonn. Obviously. whether the popularization or even vulgariiation of Confucianism. W. In the Chosbn period. . however. assigning it an excessively monolithic character. it was what Peter Berger has called the "sacred canopy" of society. as relali\dy brief statemenrs intended to s t m a discussion. by persons who simultaneously subscribe to alternative creeds such as Christianity Such distinctions. of which there is ample 1 Brcuker 2007. h o t . but also important for an understandmg of the role of Confucianism and debates about this in modem Korea (which in turn to a certain extent determine h e way we look at Chos6n Confucianimi). but now is working on another book on Korean Confucianism in which she will ask new questions and add nuance to her earlier views. To which extent was adherence to Conhcianism in the Choan period exclusive? At the 2007 biennial conference of the Association for Korean Studies held in France.J. which was supported by the "plausibilitystructure" created by the Choshn state.' When in 1894 the state examinations h a t forced anyone with arnbinon to study the Confucian classics were abolished and soon after the Chosbn state disappeared altogelher.'The topic is not only relevant to the intellectual and social history of Chos6n. For scholars from outside Korean Studies the papers may help to clanfy the particular ways in which Confucianism and Confucianization in Korea diverged from the trajectories seen in Cllina.Japan and Vietnam and be a stimulus to view Confucianism in hose countries in comparative perspective. Europe and the US debated the limits of the standard view that after the transition from KO@ W M to Chosbn Korea was gradually "Confucianized". Describing Confucianism as Chosh's sacred canopy. for instance. are only useful up to a point and do nor release us from the obligation co ask more probing questions. who with her classic The Confician Ti-aqfonnaliono f Korea gave delluled content to t h idea. may encourage us to see it in terms that too much derive from concepts more proper to monotheistic religons. a group of scholars Gorn Korea. not a s lull tmlmcnts of the lopics lhey deal with. for instance. -' For some detailed examples o l the way in which Buddhists co~rlpe~ed with Confucianism making use of Confucian ~erminolopy.Part of the confusion arises from the very diverse ways the appellation Confucianism has been used and the various functions it has fulfilled. There was some disagreement. Younghcc Lcc 2001.

in a skared tendency to go beyond Confucianism and Confucianization as refied concepts and look for Bourdieu's "logic of practice." although in certain ways a useful concept. these were conducted not in ounight defiance of Confucianism. In practice. which largely dictated the terms in which debates were conducted. Addressed to spirits that legitimately might be worshipped by Confucians. albeit perfonned by persons who did not possess the qualifications to do so.The latter is. Ironically such ritual practices may be interpreted either as an instance of Confucianization (man$ested in the desire of the lower orders to appropriate rituals that properly should be conducted by their Confucian superiors) or as an index of the incompleteness of Confucianization (because of the refusal to abide with strict Confucian rules). These were olien made in confoimity w i h Confucian orthodoxy. he encouraged researchers to be more self-critical in how they conceptualize their research topics. of course. should count as true "Cotlfucianiza~ion". kaleidoscopic realiv. No one. increased attention is required to what is hidden behind the siulple labcl of "Confucianization". but alsc frequently drew on other traditions that were more congruent with their dispositions and purposes. Taking chis warning to heart. rhought and ritual pracrice and Korean society T have often come r. I have been trying to move away from focusing on how Confucian values and norms were incorporated into the C h o a n During ihe long years that T . I think.Speical Issue evidence from Lau ChosZln. political and spiritual ends by making saategical choices.Such disagreements are overcome.o doubt the validity of the claim tlmt Korean society was a thoroughly Confucianized society." Warning against such constructs. is therefore an abstraction i h a ~ insufficiently reflects an ever-shifting.University of London have been worlung on h e rela~ionsliip between Confucian. However. however." 11 is clillicul~ LO deny that in the Chosbn period Coducianism became a dominant discourse. what we see in at least some o l the cases of the "licentious rituals" discussed by Donald Baker. there was leeway for people to pursue t l ~ & social. Is "Confucianization of Korea" a vahd concept of analysis? Martina Deuchler SOAS. would dispute that Confucianism had an enormous impact on Korean thought and society. this claim has created what Foucault called a " m t h regimeu--something that tends to become accepted as self-evident "object of knowledge. challenging or ignoring social privileges. or subverted Confucian orthodoxy by a particular selecnve interpretation of its tuIes. As a blanket term "Confucianization. bur as a form of "poaching".' but i t was not a csst-iron mould that shaped everything.

unproductive to cry to "measure" Korea's degree of Confucianization against an "ideal" Confucian society because even the Chinese Classics do not provide a umform picture of such an ideal society Yet. at the AKSE Conference in Stockholm. in particular of primogeniture..e. and where were the poincs of least interaction-i. which emerged in the htter half of Chosiin. power is dispensed herarchically from elder t o younger. some clucial compromises that made the mature Korean lineage system a much more complex consauct than simple pacrilinedity would suggest It corpus. commonly called a Lineage." That is. i t . poincs of accommodation. male to female. for example. and economic circumstances c ~ hl e time? Were Confucian principles 01kin organization adopted. to purely agnatic and lineal n my recent research I have locused on the history of what T organiza~ion? L loosely n U the Korean "descent group"lssijoh E&1Frcm late KO+ to law Chosbn. Instwd 01emplmizing ideolom 1 have been s~udying Lhe "logic of practice. as I shall show. account for change in social institutions that took place after 1392? Where then were the points of intersection of "Korean" and "Confucian"? That is. how and for what ends did the Chosbn Koreans use Confucianism? Was. lhey also dorninared the alloca~ionol he political and economic resources. who acts as the group's principal officiant in ancestral iires. that is. To whai cxccnt was che incligcnoiis descent group. and the pamliineaUy smctured group k definite boundaries. for instance.: points of contestation and resistance? To give an example: Some ten years ago. where were the points of densest interaction-i. the lineage S~WXI. It is the most senior member of the main descent h e .e. one of the straceges Korean elite descent groups devised LO come to t e r m wilh and survive under h e changing social. which was built on a bilateral societal code and thus clearly resisted an easy incorporation 01Conlucian lineal principles. to comba~ larid shortage? Was lineage: organization also uscd to strenglhen the elites' autlionty vi-wi-visLhe slate? The big question then seems to be: Why was rhe C o d u c i a patrilineal ideology ever adopled in a Korcan socioreligious environment t h a ~ w a s basically advmse. differennates between agnates and non-agates. subjected to structural change? I-Iow was such change implemented? And lor w h a ~ rcasons? Wkat was the outcome of the imposition of a "vertical*Confucian strucmre on h e 'horizontal" Kor* mchtion? The outcome producecl. the adoption of the Confucian-style patrilineal system. An assessment of the changes they experienced after the KoryiKhos6n transilion Lor w h c h Confucianism is generally believecl to have furnished the principal i m p e t u s is thus central to my research. The members of such a group derive their membership from a common apical ancestor and it is worship to common ancestors that structures agnates along main and collateral lines and binds them into a group. Desccnt groups were not only t h e lunclamcntal Komn kin organization since lime immemorial. of course. political. [hen. Did. recognized as the primogeniture heir. Paek Sngjong talked about changes in the C h o d n inheritance system and criticized earlier work (my own included) for assuming that the rise of . this much is clear: Conlucian social theory does propagate a suicdy panilineal system. . descent is reckoned through the male line.

I suggest taking ancestor worship as an alternative approach. the primogeniture heir. albeit only token. In time. In short. under simiir ideological conditions. and that. Paek thought that this was clear evidence that changes in the inheritance system. primogeniture not aIso emerge in China? He then showed that w e n in Korea primogeniture was in fact only ~arely fully observed.e. in particular the discrimination of secondary offspring. there was no uniformity in pracace. as noted above. in debnce of any prescriptions. could account for such variation. In such a narrowly deFined group. too. however. younger sons and even secondary sons[%l [$!Z] often remained beneficiaries of inheritance divisions. the patrimony is an entity that is divisible-and all those. that microhistory might be a useful research tool for refining our understanding of the inheritance system. As I have argued before. Chongson is a genealogically ascribed position and thus excludes younger brothers. did. ritual reasons could be put forward to prevent the relentless division of the patrimony Even so. not to speak of sisters. The inheritance system-the way the patrimony was shared out t o whom and in what propotiom-can indeed be used as a testing ground for examining the gradual transformation of the Korean descent group. ttus kind ol worshipping group focused on the ancestral shnne formed what 1 call a "ritual - . The site where the worshipping group gathered was the ancestral shrinelsadong mg] in which the ancestral tablets of the paniIineal antecedents were installed. In short. and at times even exclusive shares. focusing on the inheritance system may thus not be the best way to resolve whether or not the eventual irnplan&tion of primogeniture was the result of Confucianization. in the latter part of Chosbn. the inheritance system may indeed serve only in a limited sense as an inQcator of changing attitudes attributable to Confucian practice. instead. he.. was concentrated on this one man called chongson $f$(meaning "ritual heir"). In other words. A l l authority and. who think they have a legitimate clam to a share. could function as chief officiant. After aU. may want to receive it. other than ideological ones. He postulated. &d not come up with suggetions of what reasons. but is it a good testing ground? I also have found signacant variations. shares. he asked. Yet. and the ritual expenses were defrayed by assets (land and slaves) the ritual heir received as an extra share of the pau-imony It seems to have been in h e logic of the system that the ritual heir eventually became the sole heir of the patrimony for the nonConfucian reason rhat land became scarce in late Chos6n. which orders agnatic kin along smct principles of seniorit): collateralit>:and generational divisions.Speical Issue primogeniture -the preference of the eldest primary son as the principal heuwas a direct consequence of the country's Confudanization Why. 1also found cases that as late as the eighteenth century even daughters continued to receive. i. only one member. also considerable wealth.or fourthgeneration ancestor presupposes the formation of an agnatic group of worshippers with a collateral span of third cousins. Confucian ancestor worship focused on a common third. In sum.namely the most senior member of che main descent Line. had no connection to Neo-Confucian though^ Although Pael's observations were valid. even daughters. In short. Being chief oficiant was like being king-both are indivisible ofices. the primogenimre heirs did tend to receive larger shares rhan their younger siblings.

daughters') descendants. but it was inclusive. not all motiva~ionfor change in Chos6n Korea should simply be attributed to Confucianism. what we should focus on is the question: w h a ~ did the Chosdn Koreans think h e y were doing when they irivoked Confucian precepts as incenuves for action. political. Don Baker University o j B ~ i t i s h Columbia "A sacnfice which it i s nor proper 10 o h .Ill. its membership included all of a focal ancestor's direct descendants. "ritual Lineage" does not yield the complete picture of how the Chosivn Koreans came to organize themselves ritually. religious. and yet which is offered. There were also groups of agnatcs who worshipped at graves of ancestors more remote than hose worshipped in the domestic s h e . and social thought and behavior that. It embodies. In short. t: Legge. mns. Rather. "associational" aspects o l kinship." It was similar to the one describecl in such ritual handbooks as Zhu Xi's Domestic R i t a urJiali Lineage sm~cnlre in Korea was." When a label has been applied so broadly and widely it js dilXcul~to determine Ll Chi: Book One.1976:116. I argue. however. plulosopllical. at one time or anolher. In conclusion."~ Chosbn Korea is often described as a completely Confucian society. Korea's Confucianizarion was a very complex procss. it ignores the wide range of ritual. and wen his brothers and cousins also actively participated in the rites. Such a group also formed a h n d of lineage. part Two. is called a licentious s a d ~ c e A . much more complex.. The chongson shared h e ritual functions with the group's elders.Speical luue lineage. 6 . What 1 call m. Even though Confucian ritual prscriptions called for reformatory action. then.. a compromise formula that retained characteristics of the indigenous Korean dfscent group. licemiow sacnfice brings no blessi~~g. First of all. have been described with the amorphous umbrella term "Confucian.e. and its ri~ualactivities were sustained by corporately held land. this worshipping group was much broader than the ritual lineage and represenled what Myron Cohen calls ~ht. often even non-agnatic (i. some even going so far as to say that in its last nvo centuries it grew to be even more orthodox Confucian than China was at that tune. . Therr are a couple of problems with such a sweeping generalization. Rituals and Resistance in Chos6n Korea.

These ddferent reasons for labeling a ritual a "licentious ritual" have at least one thing in common: the). His article has not received he attention it desen~cs. However.whether a specific phenomenon it is applied to is orthodox or heterodox. ranging from shaman and other Iolk rituals to some Buddhist and Daoist rituals.2006." as resistance to the Confucianization prqjecL ol' the C:ho*n dynasty. A public ritual pcrlormancr (private or family rituals such as hosu 3 q e were not much of a concern to the government) would be labeled %ma" if it was performed without official authorization. little wcrc dcfincd by Confucian scholars aicl ollickils. In other words. 33-39. and if it was performed wirhou~tht decorum Confucians thought was appropriate. near the end of that dynasty. if it involved interaction with a supernaturaI personality who did not meet government approval. "licenlious rituals. Second. Several Lines from the . such a blanket assertion ignores the wide range of beliefs. What sort of resistance did Koreans tnount LO Confucianization? If Confucianization is defined as the drive to re-structure Korean society along patrilineal and occupationally-defined hierarchical Lines. Y i Mnghwa(1977) has a lisc olcondemnations ofitmsn on pp. Government officials were never able to totally supprt~s them. In fact. in accordance with Confucian criteria. A t least that is the way Confucian scholars and officials during the C h o a n dynasty appear to haw uriderstood the activity the. "Licentious riruals" remained a problem over the entire five centuries or h e Chosbn dynasty.r totally etirninatecl. Several decades ago Han U S n ( J 9 7 6 ) analyzed [he debale in ihe early years of the Chosiin dynasty over which rituals to promote and which LO condemn.y labeled "iimsa." I t is this second Fl aw in the "Conlucian Chodn" notion that I wish to address i n this short paper by pointing out instances of resistance by Koreans to Confucianiza~ion over the course of the entire Chosbn dynasty.h that spirit was not of the appropriate s o c d rink to do so.. "licentious rituals" may therefore be reasonably interpreted as resistance to the Coilfuciatlizationol Korea. scholarly attention has been yaid to how %~nsc~'' Thc only recent articlc I could find t h a ~ addresses that suhjrcr IS Ch'oe Chor~gsvng. much of which cannot fit under even the broadest definition of "Confucian. . and beluvior i n Chosbn Korea. all represent a refusal to accept the narrow definition o T acceptable ritual behavior the Confucian government of Chosan Korea tried to impose. Resistance tn Confucianism was n we. Yi does nor analyze the use of that tern." gm. If the person interacting wit." The term 'Yimsa" was applied to a wide range of activity. and to make it conform to the injunction of Confucius to respect spirits but keep them at a &stance: then we can interpret the performance of what the Confucian government called "amsa.Dcspirc their importance as a ~nan~lcsva~iun of resistance co Confucianization. The Confucian character of he concept of "licentious rituals" is clear noL only in its applicalion in Korea but also in its Chinese roots. values. new l o m s of "licentious rituals." practiced by Catholics and followers of Tonghak Rq:spread across the peninsula. Since ritual hegemony is an essential elemen1 of Confucian statecraft. they represent resistance through ritual to the attemp by ~ h government c to exercise ritual hegemony over all Levels of society.

4. great ollicers sacrifice to the Five Deities. +. The sccnon niost nfcen used in punishing those who engaged in "licentious rituals" was the section "prohibiting the depraved pracriccs of shamans and olhfr specialists in t.All ~hosc who gave false reports about (appearances of) spirits. t..~'~ This i s a classic statement of ritual hegemony.16:Legge. They creale amulets. and thar hose who interacted with supernatural beings above their station w m engaging in "licentious rituals.. ofiicers and the common pmple sacdice to their ances~ors"" LO argue that a proper social hierarchy lmd to be main taind in ritual behavior." Another passage From rhat same page in the Book oJRites was used to support the argument for ritual hegemony of the state: "There should be no presuming to resume any sacrifice which has been abolished (by proper authority). Book Three. the feudal lords sacrifice to the gads of the crops and famous mountains and great rivcrs in their tenitory.1976:237-8.1976:116. were put to death. trans.111..l.lmans arid vther spccidurs in the supernatural pretend c o be able to summon evil spirits. They c h a n d spirits duough spirit-writing. giving the state both the authority to determine which rituals m u s t be performed. nor to abolish any which has been so establi~hed. and d ~ c y ."" The Ming Law Cocltss. Some of them meet ro burn incense cogether or stay up all-night together. There are some who pretend to be engaged in good works only in order to seduce the masses. xans. which were adopwd by the Chos6n dynasty and used as i~ own law code. all those who used or formed such dungs were put to death . par1 TSQ.Confucian Classics were used i n arguing chat certain rituals should be deemed impropu.hesupcrnatural... "The Son of Heaven sacrifices lo heaven and arch.. and which must not be performed. The Book of Rires also suggested how the stale's ritual hegemony was to be enforced: "Using licentious music. such A praclices c r a ~diso~des ." That section reads as follows: Genwrlly speaking. 2003:16.vviaung lrom the correct path. strange garments. The state also claimed the riglx to determine who could officiate at ricuals.uans. .say they are ablc ro give water magical power with their incantadons.1976:116. 9L i Chi:Book One. no[ returning home until dawn brealcs.L e g e . lo Li Chi:Book One. wonderful contrivances and cxrraordinary implements. .part Two. 1 : L 1 Chi:Vol.. malung some rituals legtimate when performed by some but "licentiousn when performed by others."~ T ~ was E coupled with a clause in the sooh of Rites. thus raising doubts among the multitudes. 2 $Shgerland : trans. Ill.Those who are the leaders of 8 h n l e c ~ s : 2 . One 011-cited line is from the AIU~ECLE: "10 S ~ ~ toCspilirs C that are not onc's own is to be presurnpt~ous. This scaternent combines with the statements in the preceding paragraph to add a third dimension to ritual hegemony. sh. Legge. Some o r Lbcm even go SO far as to style themselves thc incamation of thc Maitwya Buddha. makes explicit that the ritual hegemony of the state could be enlorced with capital pnislirnen~. . by cle. Some of rhtm have esotelic iniges a m 1 sra~ues.

that such shaman rituals were so popular that there is really not much the government could do to eradicate them. Even among the upper class. First of all. At times. or challenged the ritual hegemony of the Confucian state. however. though monks were barred from entering the capital. the government erected temples in fortresses around Seoul to house warrior-monks. it is more often not "who is worshpped'' but "how they are worshipped" and "who worships them" that usually determines if a r i m 1is "licentious" or not1' The Sillok E& suggests that mlatively early in the dynasty a distinction benveen acceptable and unacceptable rituals was based on thaological grounds. riluals to mountain and river gods performed by shamans without permission). mountains and rivers. Confucian scholar-officials showed that they were aware of this inconsistency."'. or 3) it was a ritual performed in an Improper fashion. For esample. rituals to the gods of heaven. The king responded. or the ideological dominance of Confucianism. such as a shaman performing a funeral lor a deceased person of status. Han U ~ n ( 1 9 7 6 ) shows thnt there were three different grounds for declaring a ritual a -licentiousn or illegitimate ritual: 1) i1 it was performed by someone who did not have the proper status to perform i t or wns a ri~ualthat was he prerogative of the state but was perlormed by unauthorized individuals (lor txample. great sages from the past.'~And. if the women were Tne Mydrpyul cl1iltkae:Sechon 1. the stars. see Ch'oe Chonpng 2002. the sun.12(sinch'uk) Yi Chongtin 1988:87-190.Ire licentious. Instead. after the Japanese invasion of the 15905. in contrast to how improper ritual has usually been defined in the Abrahamic n-ahtiom. the moon. especially among the commoner classes. There was an official Daoist temple in Seoul until near the end of the 16*i century'j Local government offices. or great teachers are acceptable rituals. 16 For a masterful study of government-sponsoredshaman rinrals. 12 13 .294). 2) it was 3 ritual townrd a spirit which did not exkr. he noted. and Shaman rituals were illicit. Their followers should be beaten 100 times and hen banished 3.000 li 2 away. in 1456. or had no power to respond to those rituals and therefore the ritual m s a waste of time and resources. Daoist. the royal ancestors. this is clearly not how the condemnatory labeI of 11wn was actually applied. including the patriarchy. it was broadly applied to any ritual behavior that threatened the Confucian social hierarchy. employed ~hamans. Ln 1441. The rituals of Buddhism. grain. Article 181 (p. ir was stated ac court that "Generally speaking. was not worthy of ritual worship. and Shamanism . the earth. 1' Sejong sillok 94:23. all during the dynasty. and it even employed shamans in its medical system.' However. it was not limited to the specific behaviors listed in the law code. First of all. not all Buddhist. Secondly. an official pointed out to King Sejo h a t one of the problems the government was having in stamping out limsa is that the govemment legitimized shamans by taxing them as though theirs is a legitimate profession." There are some features of the Confucian dehirion of "licentious rituals" that we should pay special attention to. under King Sejo there was an oDicial Buddhist sutra publishing office and. as it was applied in Korea. Daoism.Speical h e such gro~ipsshould be mangled.

'The lung ordered d m an oiliclal h m the Royal Sublei Administranan pcrrkmn ha^ r i ~ ~instmd. I ' o r more on worship or klnjo. the king was told a shaman had sacrificed to "Majo" %@. Simgjung sillol: 6:9. Over several decades from the end of the 15" century into the 16Ih century. with men and women consorring together openly. At times the t m ilrnsa was applied to activities that were seen LO be as much licentious as they were illegitimate. as it was against the iituals themselves. O h r r ofhckls pointed O U L [ha[ commoners had been worshipping such spirits for centuries and rherefore i t would be impossible to coinpletrly stop h e m horn doing so. so the problem was not the god who w x worshipped but who lcd rha~ 1-i~ual. though ollickting at such ritlrals was supposecl to be reserved for government officials. In 1478.'~ Obviously it was nor which god was wol-jhippcd but hy whom he or she was WOI-shpped h a t determined whether a ritual was legitimate or not. ' 0 Sejong silloh 23:6.Speical 'Issric restrained. the ddferentiation of privileges and obligations according to social status. that actually determined where a ritual was "Licentious" or not can be Eound at various places in court records. "Those ignorant peasants won't stop acting like this unless we get d l y strict about enforcing the law against such practices. jus~ifyingthe standard translacion of " i r m " as licentious ritual. then visiting a shaman would not do them any h a m . they would fall ill over the next year. an official co~nplainedto IZing Sejong chat conllnoners were wotshipping rivrr and mountain go&. in 1-124. the hope tha~ such official riluals woulcl replace folk rit~a1. If they were not restrained.10(sinchJl~ k) .I l(1tybngjin). For example. Instead. the king was told that men and women were mingling together openly on that mountain and worshipping the mountain god out of the ignorant belief that. and whether they were authorized to do so.IT Evidence thac it was actually who performed a rimal.'!"' The umbrage voiced by the lung and his oEficials at such rituals appears to be aimed as much against the way the riads were performed. if they railed co offer such worship.He complained that this was a violation of "mydngbirn" +'." There was an official major shnne near the Seoul ciry wall. in 1413. hey proposed that the government establish irs oum slvines to such local deities and have ollicials lrdd the rituals at hose shnns to ensure that they were both decorous and perfomed by a celebrant of appropriate s ~ u s in . He adds.5?. Such a shaman-led ri~ualto Majo was declared an "~msu.'" ~al A k w yfars la~er.i(f1lbne) l a T'iitjo~tgsiflok 26:13. scc Iirn C l f ~ n g o 2002198-210. then uying LO outlaw frequenting shamans will noc stop them. d did not put a scop to such Righteous anger over improper c h ~ betlavior bcbvior.0 be a prublem lor rhe Confucian s m e and i~ oKicids for cecntmics after this.2(chungst1)as c i i ~ in l Ch-oc Chongsong 2006:19. the spirit of the first human being to ride a horse. there were frequent reporu to the court about men and women going to a mountain near Naju to perform "ilma" together. for example. Yr Sug\-vang(l563-1628) - 17 St90 silloh -1:2. "Licentious rituals" of all sorrs continued t.s.

" He then says that if you follow the Ming regularion to execute leaders of groups responsible for such rituals and punish their followers wirh 100 strokes. you wiU soon find yourself bewitched by them. must face the Full weight of the law. However. Even among well-educated scholars. since they delude he people in order to take their possessions from them. In his chapter on "Preventing trouble" [chehae I. as though they can read our minds.$%]. Tasan was a little less draconian in Tasan dealing with illicit rituals and shrines. then no one d l disobey that law He added "shamans. Tasan Chbng Yagyong Zllr TSa(1762-1836) showed in his advice lor district magistrates. in the Kaesbng Mhl area. many families have lost everything they had because they had used up too much of their financial resources at the shrines of local gods. In the section on "Ritual"1chesa Mi?]. They should be completely banned. his Mongmin simsa%&C~S. the Royal Secretariac[Sfingjbngw6n ziijSkF%] reported that. a belief char was often promoted by shamans.The problem is h i t solnedmes they say things that are true. monks claiming supernarural powers. They should be strangled."" Though limsa embraced much more than shaman rituals. he went on to say. early in the 17'h century." uich [he "sa" in this case being the character for shrine rather than rhe character for ritual. K'S focus on shamans was nor unusual. All these shamans care about is gettig their hands on your possessio=. "we need to beware of shamans. then you should do as Yulgok did and fuse to take part in it or contribute anything to it!' However.. "Lf you are assigned to a district that has a long tradition of performing an illicit ritual. (Such shrines were labeled ''lima. In 1566.. since shamans were seen as posing a major threat to the financial stability and moral respectability of Korean households. he cites 16 cases of local government . that "iimsa. Show them no mercy! Then you will have no more trouble from such nonsense. for example." In the meantime. if you know for sure h t a local ritual is an illicit ritual. you should focus on educating chose living there so that they themselves will bring it to an end.Speical Issue nored that in his time."both "Licentious rituak" and "licentious shrines" were still a problem. Tasan then went on to provide examples of effective acnon that could be taken against illicit rituals and the shrines at which they are performed."" In another section of the M o n p i n simsC. If you open your door to them and let them into your courtyard. wrote.. Shrines were given that label if they were the frequent site 01 illict rituals and were not also used for legitimate rituals)" A couple of centuries later. there are few who can escape being fooled by them. he wrote "Deal with licentious rituals in accordance with the provisions of the Ming l a w Codes.. an every more serious threat came from the belief in the power of gods of local shrine. Drawing on both Chinese and Kotean history. and others like [hem.

He was well aware of those new rituals. in one case." New illicit rituals were not the only 'licentious rituals" h a t govermnenL in the B'h century of the dynasty. at h e end of the Hideyoshi invasions were being laken over by shamans who.1 8.ll. 26 Cho~tgjo sillok:lj. l e spirit was leading not only the masses astray but had even won the favour of top of officials and. This is setting a bad example for the common people. what really upset An. instead of sjmply expressing the gratitude of the Korean peoplr lor he help Gwanyu gave at the time of the war against Japan. Wliat's significant. H i s own cousin. he pointed out. or. replacing a shrine to a disreputable spirit with one to admirable figures born that district's past. were asking the spirit in that shrine for special favours. Pwencing herself as the daughter of a sage king from the ancient past. at a time when new "licentiou rituals" had appeared in Korea. and h h a a l d violated the same clause in h e Ming code that had hem used [or centuries against those who engaged in and-Confucian "ttmsa. An goes on to complain that noise horn shaman and Buddhists rituals can be heard on the streers of the capital every day and that the royal purse is being misused to pay for purification rituals within the palace walk chat look just like Buddhst rituals.8(1:)~~ngo]. he complained that the slnines erected in Seoul to Gwanyu ldtl 77. even though he is otherwise a wise king. . In 1893. here is that what bother hn Hyoje H i R was not the go& who were being worshipped or who was worshipping hem as much as it was why they were being worshipped. For example.f i e *Lolbnghakpatriarch. "Why is this happening? It's all due to the fact rhat rituals are being used LO ask for hvours rather than to show respect" The former censor concludes that the reason why people are engaging in iimsu in the hope rhat those rituals w i l l bring them some personal benefit i s tha~ h e lung hinself. in 1898. 198511L a Kojor~g Tuhww~@sillolr:30."The lad charge agai~isc h n was two-fold: he had violated the hw mandarjng the erection ol'spiric rablecs. is not aware of the da~iger such ritual brhaviour Mongmin si1nsb:7Rla-211.(1759-91). who are also engaging in more and more such licentious ritual behaviour. an impudent spirit had appeared in that shrine and claimed to be in charge there. 35. a fonne~ officials were worried abou~ official in the Office of the Censor-General memorialized the h o n c about dl sorw of rituals that hr thought should be suppressecl. cited in Ch'oe Kibok ''Kojong Tachwungie s01011:37."" A sitnilar charge of umsa was u 4 to j u d y Lhe execution of Chbe Sihy6ng W43. throwing the image of the god into the river.7.30.@.8. To make matters worse.Spcical Issue oEFicials successfully putting an end to n tradition of a local licentious ritual by tearing down the shrine." Tasan made those suggestions early in the century. the king hrnself. had been executed for modi€ymg Conhcian mourning rituals to avoid violating Catholic regulations against what Catholics considered to be "ilmsa. Yun Chich'ung ?%.

in other words. Han Sanggil 2006. Moreover. risked government action against them. of defiance of and resistance to Cohcianization.Spcical lssuc 11 is important to note here thal not all unofficial ritual behaviour was condemned as "licentious ritual. its victory was never a total victory Non-Confucian religous beliefs and pmctices conrinuecl to sunrive. The government exercised ritual hegemony.29 Nevertheless. '9 Boudeuijn Widraven. Though Confucianism was able to dominate the public sphere. The government was less concerned about what its subjects believed than in whac they did. Also. Buddhist lay people were allowed LO meet in small groups to read h e sutrag." There was much private ritual behaviou~tlut was not subjec~ LO suppression by government officials. allowing m e ritual behaviour and prohibiting other rituals. since h y were private and intended only for a small circle of family members and neigl~l-rours (though they would attract attentioll if they involved h e families of governnlcnt officials or royal relatives). Confucian opposi~on and suppr&on. then il is clear that. Licentious rim& were a political problem rather than a theological issue. and even tlu-ivc. ir was never able to completely monopolize it. despilt. especially if they acted in large enough numbers to potentially threaten social order. especially rituals for entire communities and rituals that involved large numbers of men and women trawlling to the ritual site. unsanctioned rituals in public spaces involving large numbers of participants and observers. at least in some minds. Buddlust monks were free to yedorm ~ h r i r rituals in their temples. though Conti~cknism managed to win lor itsell the top spot on the idcologcal ladder during d~at more than five-cenrq long dynasty. river the course of the entire Chosbn dynasty If we can interpret such defiance of the ritual hegcmony of t h e Confucian state as a manifestation of resistance to h e governing ideology of that state." the hierarchical order of privileges and obligations. . chant t h e Buddha's name.Eighteen-Century Buddhis~ Betiek and Practices in Y6mbul pogwbnmun. A close study of the application of uthe condemnatory label amsa shows that it was used against group action [hat violated "myhgbun. '. or ask for the aid of the Big Dipper Deity or the Bodhisattva Chijang &$&. in order to maintain state control of the public sphere. Korean's prdhnlucian spiritudiry co~tld not be completely eliminated fi-om the public sphere Confucianism tried LO claim as its own. C k d y 'licentious ritual" remaincd a pruhlem. 'lhe govrmment ignored the vast majority of shaman rituals." presented at the 30qh annual conference of the Associarion for Korean Studies in Europe.

family and kinship. Conhcian rites existing side by side wicitli kinale Shamanism in Korea 1s ~ t s Shamat~ic rltes.Relevance of Confucianism in Present-day Korea: Reconsidering the Confucian Character o f the Korean Family and Gender Moon Okpyo Academy o f Korean Studies It is a formidable task to comment upon thc relevance of Confucianism in presentday Korea. One indicator may be found in the practice of ancestral rituals that may be considered as the key institution for the development and maintenance of patrilineal lineages. ethics and cosn~ologm of h e Korean people tlmt it is not s o easy to delineate their boundaries. One reason is that it is extremely difficult to decide what exactly Confucian elements arc. at least by the beginning of the 20h century. Another danger lies in the fact that it is quite possible to interprel he same situation in quite an opposite way.both as a continuation of past trahtion and as a break-away horn it. While it may be the historian's job to show us exactly what proportion of the total population were able to actually forn~ patrilineal lineages during the Chosbn period. the numerous records of surveillance and oppression of sharnanic practices during the Japanese colonial period indicate their continuing significan~e. Also. by the beginning of the 20& century. to what extcnt may we understand conLemporary Korean socieq as "Conlucian. patrilineal lineages had come to be accepted as an ideal norm not only among the elites but also among the commoners. Despite the official attempt to limit the range of ancestral ceremonies by status distinction. This is of course not to deny the continuing importance of other nonConfucian elements in Korean ritual life. an increasingly wider population came to practice them for up to four ascending generations in the paternal Line. With these r e s m t i o n s in mind. LC. the spread of > W h i l e [he mast common understanding of rhe c o e ~ i s ~ e n c o l c Confucianism and genderedncss. it seems that.. . i . what may be unders~oodas Confucian elements is so deeply penneated and diffused in the patterns of human relationships. instead of being separately institutionalized.csrral rites. there have heell rtpons of some seaside r~llages in the Eastern coast where Shamnic elements arc fully incorpora~ecl into what appears LO be Confucian anc. depending on the comrncntatofs perspective and stancc.male . that is. 1 will attempt in this short presentation to confine myself to some feature of contemporary pracLices of Korean family and gender rclalions." Lineage Ideology: It is generally believed that the Korean family and kinship were transformed from a bilateral orientation of the KO* period to a patrilineal lineage society as a result of the Confucianisation process of the Chos6n period. and to consider their implications in relation to the main theme of his panel. ritual life.'~ Similarly. The introduction of Christianity in the lace lqhcentury began to challenge Confucian ritual practices. ~ .

the persistence of patrilineal ideologies can be observed to the extent that first sons arc still considered as having a special obligation for h e care of aging parents and must expect moral censure when they do not fulfill their obligation for various practical reasons. Most Koreans do not live in a multigeneraiional extended l a d y unit composed ol parents. Therefore. when arguing for an increasing trend of the universal acceptance of Confucian ritual practices toward the late 19' century and the early 20G'century. Most of them instead live in units that sociologists call nuclear families. However. In short. what is emphasized is not so much a uniformity or homogenous nalure of its practice. one married couple and their unmarried children. and not as a unit that is created by a union of a male and a female as indMduals and is dissolved with the deaths of both spouses. it assumes an establishment of its dominant status as a cultural ideology and value systeni despite the fact that there still existed a considerable gap at the level of actual practices. On the contrary. the practice of ancestral rites regularly offered to the forbearers of the. married children and their families. children other than first sons including daughters economically and physically supporting their parents. an inherilancc system that gives priority to the senior male heir. the ratio of rural and urban population has been reversed and most Koreans now live in an urban environtncnt away from their hometown. were able to attain the extreme elaboration required in the ritual [ex& ol h e Chosbn period. such exclusive responsibility and expectation have become. despite the changes occurring in actual practice (separate residential arrangements. 1 1 1 other word. one w-ay of assessing the relevance of Conlucianism may be to examine to what extent pamlineal lineages and their supporting ideologies are recognized and practiced in everyday lives of modem Koreans. etc. most common people. The residential and economic arrangement notwithstanding. especially of lower social and economic status. paternal Line.). One of the basic characteristics of patrilineal lineage society is that the family is conceived as a constituent unit 01 a larger lineage that continues and expand5 through the father-son line. 11 is also most doubtful ha^. The discrepancy between customal): ethical expectations and institutional arrangements create a gap in the perception of obligations that causes much . even when Confucian ancestral rites were practiced. rtc. extended family relationshps are d l recognized and exert importance txpecially for the first sons and their families. The proportion of nuclear hmilies is even hgher in some rural arras as here are many aged couples living by themselves with their children in the cities. The demographic shifts that accompanied the urbanization process since the 1960s drastically undermined the infrastructure of a lineage society Between the 1950s and the 1990s. It is no longer possible for the members of a lineage group to live within one locality and under mutual influence. i t .Speical Issue keneration up to four generations'[sadm pongsa ILt'l1'2$riel mentioned above applied only 10 the hrnilies ol primogenid descendan~s. a source of much conllict in Korean Samilies because they are no longer legally and financially supported by a preferential inheritance system as in the late Chosbn period. The ideology i s supported by h e insriLution or male succcssion.

Gender Relationships: In a patrilineal socit~y. White ttlc fonns of anccsn*al rites arc chmgir~g and are being seliously challenged by diflerent religions. example in the phenomenon of what has become known as "wild goose families" [kirGgi hujoh 7 14 7 17 E ] designating . Christianity in particular.7%). d so Zorth.S%).Spcical Issue tension among family and lcin mcrnbers. i~ is brlieved h a t male lineage members are given priority over females in inheritance and pTOpP.rty ~ights.Buddhist(2.Catholics(S. The phenomenon of what is known as mybngjd noiroje commonly noted among urban housewives and relaced reform movements being initiated by Korean feminist groups can be considered examples of such contesradon.).7%). e ~ d1998.9R. 32 The religions of the respondents more or less .ents may be ccmdered as one example.O%). The Civil Code amended in March 2005 to be Moon Okpo. the priority of family over i~lclividuals is sUU being clearly observed. Familism: What may be understood as a modern form of "familism" may be another area where the relevance of Confucian elements in present-day Korea may be considered While the extent and range of actual kinship interaction is being reduced and diversified. rnosl: parenls are still w One may find one such h e sake of what is perceived to be prenlal obliga~ion. Ancestral Riles: One 01the bases of Korean patrilineal lineages has been the groups that regularly perforn mces~ral rites. in order to provide a bctcer education for their ctulclreu. Christians(ZI. reflect h e general disrribution or the total Buddhists(36. contested. and negotiated.)of the Koran population still perform or participw it1 ancestral riles or one form or another. population showlng No religion(31.5%. arrdngcmcnts. mamagr. family and gender roles are manifested. oftm in difkrent counlries. Kegadcss of the actual religious backgrounds of the wspondents." recent statistics show that more than ninety percent (97. . The household head syscemlhojzije P&LYlhas been abolished and children are no longer mandated GO s u c c d their fathers' surname and ancestral place namelpon'gwan +El. as in the case of lineage ideology and lun obligations. Excessive parental devotion to the childrm's educational and wcial achievem.J' ~11r forms of ancestral rites were reported to be "bnfucian{78. seeem to have: suhtirantidly undermind r h s e principles. the prolonged separation of husbands and wives. Christian(l5. Catholic(2.9%). Bmily rituals and especially ancesval rites provide one of the key areas where the differences in the perception of kin obligalions. Wlde obligations toward the aging parem and other emended family members are obviously wcalceaing among i l l i n g to sacrifice their individual lives for modem K o r a n s .4%). however." The reports indicate that. ConCucianists(0. Keccnt ckvelop~nents in the Korean legal sysccm. etc. succession system.5%) and others.3%).

without us being wen clearly aware of it. The ways by which these discrepancies are negotiated and settled in everyday life settings ~eflectnot only the intra-familial dynamics but also ihe power relations exicrnal to h c lamily in the realm of religions. kin obligations. between sexes. i n July 2005. and so forth. This idea has been n most of us. the Korean Supreme Court f i n d y rded in lavour 01equal recognition of a married-out daughter's rights LO the c h a m $+HE]. and few women will claim their legal rights in their natal lineage's corporate properties except in a few limited cases. etc. But it m a y lake h e moth& surname and place name if the parents have agreed at the time of their mau~iage. while the Confucian framework has been maintained. forms of rituals. and economics of thc hrgtrr sociery Chosen Confucian scholars' attitudes toward the L d O ~ Kim Daeycol JNaKO." ."~ Moreover. 2007. Xb&$. nevertheless may be taken as a n almost revoluaonary signal of what may be termed as de-Confucianization of Korean family and gender relationslips. stipulates that 'A cMd [in principle] rakes the father's surname and place name.l and it is rccommendd rhal the zrricle LO be abolished altogether and be replaced by another more neutral slatcmenl such a s 'Children's surname and place name is to be decided by an ngreernenl 01 dlelr parents.Spcical lssuc implemented from January 2 . coiporate properties of tlieil. between classes and regions. these legal and official changes may not cause an irnmedate uanslormation in the everyday life of most Koreans. that is. inculcated i it might be relatively surprising LO hear chat Korean Confucian literati of this 3i A further objection has becn raised by h c Korean Minisuy or women and Family . the regulation is still biased loward w h a ~Korean feminists c a l l "Principle of Father's 5umamee~pwsdn~i. in a prolonged legal case that has become called by the m& "Daughters' Rebellion" or ttal 6 1 7 1 tti pallan TSq $9. politics. a move away from the patrilineal principles that have taken f i r m roots since the late Chosijn period. Most of them wiU s d l take their father's surname and place name.). with regard to the expectations of h i l y and gender rols.ha.naml li~leageslchongjut~g As i n the case of the so-called Confucianization proces of the Cbos6n period. it may be said that. at least for the general public. substantial changes are occurring in its content and it is no longer supported by any kind of consensus. On the contrary. Ir. In sum. Paris 1s it shocking to hear that the Choson literati were rahcally or rigidly Nco- Confucian? Probably not. A considerable gap can be noted between generations.

period widely read and wrote about intellectual. many poems of Conhcian literati were inspired by the idea of the world of the Daoist hnortals. The established and general position of the Neo-Confucian orthodox school at the beginning of the Chosbbn period was thar Daoism was 'heterodox'[idnn E #I. the literati started to show &verse attitudes: they might be tolerant. ideological. The Daoist hygenic system. the doininant currents in Korean society and provided models in almost every field of culture for the Choshn period.ersthal art lunbmental or ultimi~e. Some of them stated that those who considered it as a heterodox text did not coirectly understand it. they read the Laozi while keeping heir Corducian eyes. When it comes to Daoist philosophical ideas. differently from their predecessors. These luve beeu the subject of studies tha~ have bcen published v q recently.This applies in particular wid1 regard to moral ~houghtand religious behaviour. i n s o h as any cultural pattern functions in relation to what is rneaningIul to Inan and to the purposes to which lw aspires. whch was published by a ~ o y a order. About twenty scholars also left shorter texts about t h i s Daoist classic. As a way LO understand tlik c:ulrural plurali~y. for example. after about two ceilturies long evohion during which Korean NeoConfucianism developed on its own. although it has not been a secret that different cultural traditions coexisted and even functioned in mumal complementarity as an integrated system of culture. was highly estimated and adopted in the M i m r 0fEa~teln Medicine. we havc to keep in mind. It seems to me that the cultural pluraliq of Chosbn society has k n often passed over. However. rhe cultural landscape was complex ancl h e criteria for membership in h e Conhcia~~ religious or idedogical community -the deternlina~ion of which often Llepcnded or1 circumsranc~wcre. Focusing on rhe principles and moral values . i t seems that Tmm his angle. rather "sofr". in a sense. h e boundaries b e m e n Confucianism m d dic other nahtions might be ainbigm~s for some intrIltrc~ual groups j n Cliosfin. First to attract nur atLention are five co~nmennries on the h z i t h a ~ have been fully lransinitted to the pl-escn~ day (cl: 'Pible I).Z I U of these commemamrs were well-h~lownaud~ors and thinkers in their time. However. they all occupied one or iht highest official posts in government at one poin~ o l dwir life. loo. Still. In working on a culn~nl model. we can Socus on and in~crpxel people's ultimate concerns and consider various traditions a s cultural models or infans to address these concerns.l-~oweve~. in which man pursues matt. that a model often i s like a 1001 and not always the. l Also. final or sole aim. was incontestably one of Coi~fucianism.s R B I . In his discussion paper. or the Tongu'i pogani '+R earlier chapters of the P~t?ciou. In general. Excep~ €or K Ch'u~1gdc(l74+ 1816). and moreover. open or even receptive vis-a-vis 'heterodox' traditions. several scholars of Chodn 3 2 and tried to interpret it wrote commentaries to the Laazi daodejing . l%m LklS pint of view it is also necessary to take into account Lhc ways in which a dominant tradi~ion is imposed in relation to o ~ h c r culrural factors. 1 would like to provide an example by presenting some msrs of Choson li~era~i whose attitudes toward the Laofi are of interest in dGs respect. religious or cosmological traditions other than Confucianism and sometimes even accepted them.

In l k close examination of the similarities and Merences between the ideas of the Laozi and notions (such as chbng ! $ 'essence'. in his commentary to the Laozi exposed characteristics of Daoism that differed from Confucianism. he finds that some ideas in h e book are close to Confucianism. closer not only than the individualism of later Daoists. Although he also scrutinizes the limits of the Laozi. who neglect the necessity of striving for the accumulation of learning. who frankly criticized Zhu Xi ftg. they found in general h a t certain ideas from the Lacxi can be in accordance w i ~ h Confucianism on the level 01Sundamental thought. too. lor example) and tries to clanfy the real meaning of these criticisms. Yulgok Yi l(1. sin $41'spirit' or 'spiritual consciousness') or practical id= (such as yatzgneng @?k'nourishing life').Spcical Issue to which Confucian literati adhered. he &xplainsthe criticisms in h e Laozi drrctrd against some Confucian coficepts('humanity' Tin t l. he tried to replace [he perspective of 'ordering h e wodd'[kydngse that stands at the center of Zhu Xi-ist NeoConfucianism. This kind olauempt is also seen in h e commentary done by Yi Ch'ungik. For him. and even than both the dhyiina school of Buddhism and the Yangming school of Neo-Confucianism. which Confucianism advocates.'l-ighteo~mes' [fii $1. Pak Sedang(1629-17031. Izi E 'pneuma'. but also than the immorality of vulgar Corlfucian Literati. While. as in the example of his reading ol the word 'inactjon'lmuwi %$$I as meaning governing the people accodng LO the 'Mandate of Heaven'[ch' rinmybng %@I. 'learning'lhak $1. he deplores that m o d persons are too rare in his time. But for the purposes of this paper the most interesting point is that a large part of his commentary selects the passages concerning 'empty the mind'lson $41or 'hgality'[saek I?$ ! and interprets them from the viewpoint of Confucian moral concerns related to 'sekultivation'[ch'igi %Zl and 'governing the people'lch'iin A]. they do not colitra&ct the fundamental spirit of Confucianism and even accord with it. This raises an interesting question: why did this great Confucian scholar rely on the Laozi to remind h~ readers of h e fundamental moral duty of Confucian literati? In the epilogue to h s commentary. being widely interested in diverse inteuecmal traditions other than Confucianism. Considered as one of the pioneers of h e 'Northern Sdool'(p~ilthakp'u 4t3l&l. Moreover.536-15841. Hong SBkchu(1774-1842) is one of the cerltral figurer of the history of Confucian ideas in 19"' century Korea. who were only loolring for individual salvation. A s one 01the pivotal figures in the history 01Kormn Confucianism.S6 Mybiighlg in his iiuerpretation of the Ltozi even inuoclucrs some proper Daoist cosmoIo@c. A scholar of the Kanghwa school. kfr a commentary on he Iwzj. a Korean Yanpning school entirely clissociatcd from orthodox 2 1 1 1 1%-ism. he even called the author of ihr tcruzi a 'mysterious sage' I hyhsdng 2321. as if he were warning the dominant Confucian elite of his time by propagating moral lmons drawn from the Laozi. he elucidates valid meaning of this Daoist text . but tried LO prove that basically these Daoist characteristics were not contradictory to Confucian logic and thought T h i s attitude is also seen in the commenlary of 5 6 My6n@ng(1716-1787). This is characterized by an interpretarion of the Laozi in purely Confucian teims and born an entirely Coducian point ol view.

1111 Sangdoh Yun K 1741-1826). sang that it enlightened him and made his mind empty Sin Hfim also argued that the author of the Taozi did not consider the Confucian virtues as defects. that is to say. (for example. In addition to these commentaries. some shorter but for my argument no less significant texts coafirm that many Chosen Confucian literati read and even appreciated rl~e so-called 'heterodox' wririag (see Table 2). which were employed only to crincize the abuses of its time that were disguised as moral virtues. they referred t o comprehensive principles or fundamental values. a younger contemporary of Yulgok. Yun I-Iyu. which could possibly blur Confudan identit)! Further research should be done in order to confirm this interpretation and to better understand these "positive" attitudes r e g a r h g [he La07i. h e y regretred that wen Conl~~cian not rightly understad the five thousand words of the Laozi and cri~icizedwlat i could not be criticized. however.suggest the idea oi an erosion of the borderline be~ween orlhodox Confucianism and philosophical Daoism. "He(author of the Laozi) was good in beholding che Dao. Before M I.e. Cho Kumny6ng). not marginal persons but figures who were central. but that he was disuessecl about the loss of the WAY arid Virtue." On the ocher h a d . or i t talks about the Dao wihout careful corsideraaon. Along with Sin m m . and that h e profou~idmeanings of the hook were distorled by later Daoists and Ruddhis~. hey underlined its limits : for example.l-li. Kylm(1549-1.expressed in its peculiar ironies. "but not good in literati did expressing it. or clmkmadc persons. WMC Chang % agrcfcl \KithYi Hamg to say that h e Laozi should not be negtec~ecl Beginning with Yun Myu(1617-1680). and one could thus be misled as also most of h e Daoists were. but one could meet ulthnate beauty and joy in the ideas of hgality and of lack of concern expressed in the book?s To conclude. On the one h n d . schools. Yi Haeng(1478-1534) declared that the Laod deserved esteem.618)exprrsserl a similar opinion. The cases arialyzcd in chis paper." wrote T m Sangdbk(1683-1719). These texts appeared from the beginning of the 16"' century onward. More than to cetmin canonic texts. Cho Kumydngmany balanced their criticisms awnst the Daoist book wilh rhe meem they felt for it.. YLT&u 1673-1744. stern LO . active and influential in Chosdn society This seems to raise an important question in relation with the general issue of our panel: ro what degree &d the founders of the Zhu Xi-kt school and Korean Neo-Confucian predecessors have authoriry for iater Confucian li~erari? At the least we can say that the acticudes of these licerati toward the Laod were not dogmatic or sectarian. and Sin Hm(1556-1628). [he Laozi concerns the "principles of' thing"[rnulli 1 9 R 1 nor those 01human beings(i. In K T6ksu's opinion. one could easily misunderstand the book's profundity because of its ambiguous and subtle expressions. coming Irom the vc.ry inside of (he Confucian Llilcrati group itseel Wid1 h boundaries between C~ducianism and the other intellectual or spirinlal t~aditions01 Chosi)n society being so hazy and unslablc. we could ac fist underline the fact that most of these licerari were hgh oEEicials in government. in the final analysis we may ask what were he practical goals and or ultimate concerns in the quest far which some groups of Chos6n literati adopted .

Minister 1618 senior 3" rank Bh? Great Northerner kjp? Noja %+% 3 Ha Kyun 3 % CMng ch'ungsin 5 7 8 9 1576. 1703 senior 2d rank Zm S a n w n 1638.F. Learning W b senior 2" rank At&E Todk chipi iWk Tamno %2 YiCh'~1ngi.Commander 1636 g.Minister 4 1 1 8 .k 1744924l 1816 X Kanghwa School Z%%G Second StateHongSakchu 1774.Third % $ .Minister $@. Noron % & : C ~ n g n tT2 o Table 2: other texts - Yi Haeng T% S i n Wm M k 1478. 3 % 4 E junior Z"9ank Third State Chang Yu 1587. 1744 Director hW. %# 1680 senior Prank Pak Sehng 1629.Minister %@.Councillor W t B 1638 .BE@. E ) B ~ .Minister % U s . P%B senior 2"' rank X Tok Nojayugam ? Noja k~ndoch'e 2 w w 0 Noja To~Bkky3ig S ' 3 % ? = w 1 w X Tok Noja sgp2 Tok Noja 3tT'3 Noja Yohm sd 23.senior larank Second State X Westerner Tok Noja Il%?b Nojaiim tW7 Tok~oddkk~n~ 1556.Councillor i%%El 1842 senior 1-rank m. 1628 senior Pdrank 1569.Minister hE.the Confucian legacy Table 1: commentaries S&M@ngung 1716rJs+ 1787 h4inkter Director A @ .Counciuorm 1534 E x . senior 1" rank Yun Hyu 1617. 1697 senior2" rank YiToksu 1673.%%9* .

g3EB&* Noja Todiikkyhg py&@ngsdl$$ & % E M & ' jb Yongjae sonsacng chip 8RX+%. Iphtrc sansaeng yugo ir?$-$&. ' & ) Small County 1689.City Magistrate 1719 n E ( i ~ .kwdn 5..Third Minister It326 PS m i o r 3"' rank 176018. namely ihe Lmzi.Ch'ambong 1783 @+$ junior (afh Jtf$jg I'ok Noja iRZ 7 15 SWBYi KwangnF 1(i rank ? Tok Noja $gk+Y' SOSO Yun Ki +k .&.lm Sangdk $k&E Kang 12 Chaehang WtU I1 . "Sa' chip SlH. 3. &&SF senior 2* rank 1720.z+3jg3' Noja chi tyaks6 17 '$8 School &sh"" iT.J.28 Sfingho li$ ~lmyu . kwan IS. .Z~ Noja non &+:&* Mullyed Nuja junior @rank rnvwz si7 Cho l 3 KUw% @a%$ Assistar11 1693. . "Kon" +.+.Section Chief 1737 senior Gdl rank Noron Z%? Tok h'ojn 823% 14 Minister w3. hwdn 3.wm X . "Kamch'iln nok" H & & * Soddng ujae @$+!. : : D i r u w r r*lzq. This text does no1 discuss the ideas o l the Laozi but argues that the person with whom Conlucios is known ro have learned about the rites was nor 7. 'S" . . . Noju nmhu +@. "Pydn" 3#.B Sin Chak 1741.Magistra~c 17-56 .aozi but Laodan and that the Latter had not written 'the five thousancls words'. hwon 2. 1683. wan@% ! . 46 Xach'on chip %I$%.. -'j Wmam hwdn 3 . Soron W? Soron .gfifi.

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