content big menu sub menu

Guide to Exhibition Experience

Story of Confucianism

  • Guide to Exhibition Experience
  • 16C Path to Andong
  • Story of Confucianism

Confucianism Land is a Story of Confucianism that depicts the travel path to the 16C Andong

Confucius who is the originator of Confucianism was born in Chunchu Dynasty China, in Roh Kingdom.
Confucius who is the originator of Confucianism was born in Chunchu Dynasty China, in Roh Kingdom.
However, despite his difficulty he continued his studies and as time lapsed he gained recognition as a wise man who received requests from students that craved for learning from him.
Later, he became successful as a law officer, but as the politics of Roh Kingdom falls into difficulty he became disappointed with the situation and disposed of his position as a government official and travel throughout the kingdoms to find a place for ideal politics.
Eventually, he fails to carry out his mission and returns to his home where he concentrates solely on education for his students.
After he passed away, his students carried on his teachings and Confucianism began to spread widely. They collected his teachings which he passed on to his students during his lifetime and made a book.
This book is called is Analects of Confucius which is well-known today.

How did Confucianism Develop in Korea?

  • In Korea, the history of Confucianism dates back all the way to before the Period of Three States.
    The kings of the three states realized that the ideas of Confucius could be helpful in ruling the state, and therefore applied his ideas to all kinds of areas in politicseducationpolicies to develop their respective states. By having a look at Sesokogye, which is the mandate of Hwarangs from Shilla who were the prime movers of the unification of three states, one can find that the contents were greatly influenced by the Sanggangohryun of Confucianism in the aspects of being loyal to the king (), fulfilling ones filial duty(), having trust when befriending others(), and not retreating during war(). Meanwhile, people from Baekje, where Confucianism was accepted even earlier than Shilla, were active in spreading Confucianism to Japan as well.

What is the most Basic Teaching in Confucianism?

  • Confucius emphasized 'In'(:humanity)' as the most important element.
    The character of In is comprised of human() and 2() which adds up to mean two people, and when two people become acquainted what comes and go between them? It is love. You may think of this as a cliche where all kinds of religions talk about. However, 'having mercy to all living things' or 'loving everyone equally' is in fact a difficult thing in reality. Can you like the lady next door as much as you like your mother? Therefore, Confucianism provides that one should love his/her family above everyone else.
    If one is good to his/her parents, he/she will naturally be respectful to other elders, and if one gets along well with his/her friends, wouldnt he/she be able to get along with the friends of his/her friends as well? Love, in Confucius terms, is starting to share love with the people that are most close by and further spreading the sentiment to others and ultimately to the world.

When was Confucianism Introduced in Korea?

  • Confucianism gained its importance as knowledge regarding Confucianism began to be tested for selecting bureaucrats in the state exam system in Goryeoh Period. In particular, in the end of Goryeoh Period the Neo-Confucianism which was a philosophical completion of the former idea of Confucianism was adopted and carried out the role of a prime mover to establish Chosun and develop new policies and cultures. Meanwhile, scholars such as Giljae who were persistent with keeping the loyalty towards Goryeoh did not pursue the position of government officials and carried on the studies pertaining to scholarly attainments while raising students, and such attitude that deemed the authority as vulgar and hating injustice has created and is reflected on Koreas unique literary style.
  • During the middle of the Chosun Period, the scholars such as Seo Gyeong Duk, Lee In Jeok, Yi Hwang, Yi Yi, Jo Sik surpassed the Neo-Confucianism, reaching the level of interpreting the nature and truth of humans. Afterwards, in the end of Chosun Period, scholars such as Jeong Yak Yong, Yi Yik, Woo Hyeong Won etc thought that scholarly knowledge must be able to help the people, and therefore they developed practical science which practices substantial studies on the societal areas of politics, economy, science etc
  • Ahsung Maengja of Confucianism who Pursued Kingship Politics Juhui who laid the foundation for Neo-Confucianism

What is Confucianism?

  • The character, Yu(), which comprises the word in Scholarly Confucianism or Religious Confucianism() and refers to person who follows the teachings and mentality of Confucius. Yu() is originally a character that means smooth, permeates, and sheen. Later, the character has transformed to refer to a person who can smoothly infuse the teachings of the sages from the past to others, or in other words, educator or scholar.
    In conclusion, Confucianism can be summarized as a learning in which a person cultivates his/her mind with the teachings of Confucius to become a person with great character and later pass on the doctrines to others to make the world a more comfortable place.
  • Jeong Yak Yong
  • Practical Science ScholarJeong Yak Yong
    who Dreamt of Ideal State
  • As a representative practical science scholar in Chosun Dynasty, Dasan Jeong Yak Yong encountered the books of Yi Yik when he was 16 and was enlightened with practical science to pass the Daegwa and acquired the position of a government official when he was 29.
    He gained the trust of King Jeongjo and was appointed to oversee the important posts such as designing the Hwaseong in Suwon, but was exiled for getting winded around in the oppression of Catholicism.
    During his exile, he studied the countermeasures to reform the social problems based on the teachings of Confucius and Maengja, and asserted that the state had to develop its economy through promotion of commerce and industry in order to become a wealthy state.
    Leaving more than 500 writings during his lifetime while going through all the difficult times, his effort to accept his living in exile as his fate and learning from it was all viable due to his character based on diligence.
  • Yi Yi
  • Revolutionist Yi Yi who Tried to Accomplish
    the Kingship Politics
  • Yulgok Yi Yi, as the son of Sinsayimdang who is a famous character of a wise woman and good wife, was a prodigy who passed the Jinsa Exam when he was only 13 years old. However, when he was 16 his mother passed away and lost in despair he went to the Buddhist temple to experience the priesthood. One year later, he returned to his secular life and when he was 29 he passed the Daegwa to acquire the position of a government official, and subsequently presented many policies to rectify the social problems at the time.
  • Yi Hwang
  • Yi Hwang, the Father of
    Chosun Dynastys Neo-Confucianism
  • Toegye Yi Hwang was a prominent scholar who studied Neo-Confucianism which came from China, in depth. When he was 34 he passed the state exam, and after acquiring various positions as a government official he went to his homeVillage, Andong, to concentrate on studying the Neo-Confucianism when he was 49, and in year 1561 he established the Dosanseodang(Զߣ) to teach students and carry out his writings.
    Yi Hwang viewed the moral principle, yi(), as an unchanging center of the universe and emphasized that to practice this, the attitude of gyeong() is necessary.
    Such studies were passed on to scholars such as Yu Seong Ryong to form the School of Yeongnam and spread to as far as Japan.