15 korea introduction


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15 korea introduction

  1. 1. KoreaSouth Korea North Korea Hankuk Chosun한국 조선韓國 朝鮮 The land of the morning calm
  2. 2. Geopolitical Location Manchuria• Appendage to China• “Dagger pointed at the heart of Japan”
  3. 3. GeographyOverall Shape?• What do you see?Size:• Roughly equal to UtahPopulation: in ‘06• South Korea: 48,846,823• North Korea: 23,113,019Climate:• Temperate:• Cold winters• Hot, wet summersTopography:• Mountainous
  4. 4. Divided Nation• Japanese Occupation 1910• Divided in 1945 – Carrot used by US to lure USSR into the Pacific phase of WWII – 38th Parallel – North: Soviet realm… ergo Communist – South: US realm … ergo Capitalist• Korean War: 1950-53 – Enemies – Divided Families – No mail, no trade, no visits, no phone calls
  5. 5. Ethnic Homogeneity“Racially pure,” Unique RaceEast Asian or Mongoloid racial group• Strong sense of racial identity• Self-identification as distinct from other Asian nations
  6. 6. Korean Language한국어 조선말Altaic Language GroupStructurally identical to Japanese60% of vocabulary borrowed from ChineseDistinct from bothNot a tonal languageRegional dialects – Just like U.S.
  7. 7. Korean Language 한국어 조선말Early Literacy: ChineseEarly Writing: Chinese Characters1400s Hangul – commissioned by King Sejong• Phonetic system• “Simple enough for women & servants”
  8. 8. Writing SystemMixed Writing system• Chinese root words written in Chinese characters – 900 characters to pass middle school – 1800 characters to pass high school• Korean Native words written in Hangul• Typical until 1945 – North Korea dropped Chinese about 1950 – Hangul only newspapers in South Korea first published in 1988
  9. 9. National Creation Myth:Tangun 2333 BC• Hwan-ung (god figure)• Tiger and Bear want to be human• Live in cave 100 days eating mugwort and garlic• Bear endures and becomes a woman• She prays for a husband• Hwan-ung takes her as wife and they bear a son, Tangun who governs over the people of Korea See http://www.lifeinkorea.com/information/tangun.cfm for a simple but solid version of this story on the web.
  10. 10. Native Religious Traditions• Animistic religious beliefs• Shamanism• Mudang: – Korean Shaman – Always Female• Kut: – Korean exorcism – Ecstatic dance
  11. 11. Native Spiritual / Cultural Concepts• Han – Collective burden of historic pain – Centuries of oppression – Eons of suffering – Creates a sorrow, sense of ‘blues’ that is unique to Koreans and pervades their art, music and culture
  12. 12. Native Spiritual Concepts• Nature of the Human Soul – Similar to China – spirit resides in the environment of its life/death. – Burial practices similar to China
  13. 13. Native Spiritual ConceptsAncestor Veneration:• Chesa• Enhanced & formalized by Confucianism• Major part of civil responsibility in later Korean history
  14. 14. Borrowed Religious Concepts• Daoism – Focus on nature – Fengshui• Confucianism• Buddhism• Christianity – arrives late
  15. 15. Daoist ideas:Symbolism of theSouth Korean Flag• Center is the Korean version of the Yin-Yang symbol• The four trigrams are:• ☰; geon ( 건 ; 乾 ) = heaven 天• ☷; gon ( 곤 ; 坤 ) = earth 地• ☲; ri ( 리 ; 離 ) = sun 日• ☵; gam ( 감 ; 坎 ) = moon 月
  16. 16. Fengshui (Chinese)Pungsu (Korean)• Geomancy• Wind and Water• Used in:• Interior decorating• Architecture• City planning, etc. • 5 Frog Brothers Folk tale…
  17. 17. Confucianism• Borrowed from China• Dominant Governing Ideology in later dynasties• Major impact on Korean Culture – Hierarchy – Ritualism and formality – Male dominance
  18. 18. Buddhism • Borrowed from China – About 50 CE – Becomes important about 500 CE• Adopted by early dynasties• Political dominance early on• Coexists with Confucianism, Daoism and native traditions -- usually
  19. 19. Christianity• Catholics enter 1774• Protestants enter 1884 Myongdong Cathedral: Seoul• Both become politically and socially very important – Protestants 1900 to the present – Catholics briefly about 1800 and again since 1970 (much more to come in later history discussion)