Early Korean LiteratureEarly Korean Literature Early Korean literature was heavily influencedby Shamanism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Began as an oral tradition Good was rewarded and evil was punished andvalues like loyalty to the King, filial piety,respect for ones elders, true friendship andchastity were emphasized. Korean writings were poems called hyangga.
Goryeo Dynasty or KoryŏGoryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ Korean dynasty established in 918 byEmperor Taejo. The name "Goryeo" is derived from "Goguryeo",one of the ancient Three Kingdoms of Korea,which changed its name to "Goryeo" during thereign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo (in the 5thcentury). The English name "Korea" derives from"Goryeo."
Religion; Confucianism and Buddhism. During Koryo period, hanshi, poems in Chinesecharacters, developed to maturity, and towardthe end of the dynasty, a new form of poetrycalled shijo gained wide acceptance. Korean literature of the upper class, mostlywritten in classical Chinese was characterized byan emphasis on philosophic expositions on theChinese classics, an art that was essential forgovernment service, the only respectableavenue to success outside of teaching.
Also Chosŏn, Choson, Chosun, Cho-sen, was a Koreanstate founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted forapproximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of theGoryeo Dynasty at what is today the city of Kaesong. The Choson period also saw a great outpouring ofliterature written in Han-gul which often centered onthe concept that all men are equal and attacked socialinequality, spurred by the introduction of Sirhak(Practical Learning) in the 17th century.Choson DynastyChoson Dynasty
The shijo, a short three-line poem written inHan-gul (the Korean alphabet), remainedpopular throughout the Choson Dynasty. The Joseon period has left a substantial legacy tomodern Korea; much of modern Koreanetiquette, cultural norms, societal attitudestowards current issues, and the modern Koreanlanguage and its dialects derive from the cultureand traditions of Joseon.
Let’s talk about Religions inLet’s talk about Religions inKorea…Korea…
What is ShamanismWhat is Shamanism??Shamanism is a practice that involves apractitioner reachingaltered states of consciousness in order toencounter and interact with the Spirit world.A shaman is a person regarded as having accessto, and influence in the world ofbenevolent and malevolent spirits, who typicallyenters into a trance state during a ritual, andpractices divination and healing.
What isWhat is BuddhismBuddhism??Buddhism is a religion indigenous to theIndian subcontinent that encompasses avariety of traditions, beliefs, and practiceslargely based on teachings attributed toSiddhartha Gautama, who is commonlyknown as the Buddha (meaning "theawakened one" in Sanskrit and Pāli).
What is KoreanWhat is Korean BuddhismBuddhism??Korean Buddhism is distinguished from otherforms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve whatit sees as inconsistencies in Mahayana Buddhism.When Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the4th century CE, the Korean peninsula waspolitically subdivided into three kingdoms:Goguryeo in the north, Baekje in the southwest,and Silla in the southeast. There is concreteevidence of an earlier introduction of Buddhismthan traditionally believed.
GoguryeoGoguryeoIn 372, the monk Sundo ( 道順 , or Shundao inChinese) was sent by Fu Jiān ( 苻堅 ) of Former Qinto the court of the King Sosurim of Goguryeo. Hebrought texts and statues with him and theGoguryeo royalty and their subjects quicklyaccepted his teachings. Buddhism in China was in arudimentary form, consisting of the law ofcause and effect and the search for happiness.
BaekjeBaekjeIn 384, the Indian monk Marananta arrived in Baekje andthe royal family received the similar strain of Buddhism hebrought. King Asin proclaimed, "people should believe inBuddhism and seek happiness." In 526, the Baekje monkGyeomik went directly to Central India and came back witha collection of Vinaya texts, accompanied by the Indianmonk Paedalta. After returning to Baekje he translated theBuddhist scriptures in Sanskrit into seventy-two volumes.The Vinaya School in Baekje was established by Gyeomik,about a century earlier than that of in China. As a result ofthe work, he is regarded as the father of Vinaya studies inKorea.
SillaSillaBuddhism did not enter the kingdom of Silla untilthe 5th century. The common people were firstattracted to Buddhism here, but there wasresistance among the aristocrats. In 527, however,a prominent court official named Ichadonpresented himself to King Pophung and announcedhe had become Buddhist. The king had himbeheaded, but when the executioner cut off hishead, it is said that milk poured out instead ofblood. Paintings of this are in the temple at Haein-sa and a stone monument honoring his martyrdomis in the National Museum of Kyongju.
During the reign of the next king, King Chinhung, thegrowth of Buddhism was encouraged—eventually beingrecognized as the national religion of Silla.The monk Jajang ( 慈藏 ) is credited with having been amajor force in the adoption of Buddhism as a nationalreligion. Jajang is also known for his participation in thefounding of the Korean sangha, a type of monasticcommunity.Another great scholar to emerge from the Silla Period wasWon-hyo.Buddhism was so successful during this period that manykings converted and cities/places were even renamed afterfamous places during the time of Buddha.
What is Confucianism?What is Confucianism?Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical systemdeveloped from the teachings of the Chinese philosopherConfucius ( 孔夫子 K ng Fūz , or Kung-fu-tzu, lit. "Masterǒ ǐKong", 551–479 BC). Confucianism originated as an"ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during theSpring and Autumn Period, but later developedmetaphysical and cosmological elements in theHan Dynasty.Following the abandonment of Legalism inChina after the Qin Dynasty, Confucianism became theofficial state ideology of China, until it was replaced by the"Three Principles of the People" ideology with theestablishment of the Republic of China, and thenMaoist Communism after the ROC was replaced by thePeoples Republic of China in Mainland China.
What is Korean Confucianism?What is Korean Confucianism?Korean Confucianism is the form of Confucianismdeveloped in Korea. One of the most substantial influencesin Korean intellectual history was the introduction ofConfucian thought as part of the cultural influence fromChina. Today the legacy of Confucianism remains afundamental part of Korean society, shaping the moralsystem, the way of life, social relations between old andyoung, high culture, and is the basis for much of the legalsystem. Confucianism in Korea is sometimes considered apragmatic way of holding a nation together without thecivil wars and internal dissent that was inherited from theGoryeo dynasty, and before.
Traditional:Traditional:Korean literature shows a significant difference beforeand after Western influences. In the pre-Western period,literature was influenced by Shamanism, Buddhism andConfucianism. Under these influences, individualsaccepted the status quo and had a fatalistic view of life.Early literature depicted a love of nature and man andheld that nature and man are one. Another special aspectof the early period of Korean literature was that it beganas an oral tradition. Therefore, many literary works, alsotales and legends sung or spoken by the ancestors ofvarious Korean tribes, were presented at tribal rites,religious festivals, sacrifices and political gatherings.
Influenced by social norms, morals andcustoms, in Korean literature good isrewarded and evil is punished. Earlyliterature stresses behaviour patterns likeloyalty to the king, filial piety, respect forseniors, true friendship and chastity ofwomen.
Modern:Modern:After western influences, modern Koreanliterature has shown dissent both politicaland moral, and has deviated fromtraditionally restricted subject matters toencompass varied themes. The first Koreanwriting was produced in the Shilla Kingdomin the 8th century.
The Character of Korean LiteratureThe Character of Korean LiteratureKorean literature is usually dividedchronologically into a classical and a modernperiod. But the basis for such a division is still beingquestioned. Great reforms swept Korea after themid-19th century as its society actively absorbedWestern things.Koreas classical literature developed against thebackdrop of traditional folk beliefs of the Koreanpeople; it was also influenced by Taoism,Confucianism, and Buddhism.
Modern literature of Korea, developed out of itscontact with Western culture, following the courseof modernization."New Education" and the "National Language”and “Literature Movement" developed.Han-gul - Korean scriptKorean literature extends over a broad territory:literature recorded in Chinese; and literaturewritten in Han-gul.Shinsosol- "new novel"Changgok- Music and classical poetry, formerlyfused together in a kind of a song
Linguistic expression and manner of transmissionare issues of utmost importance in the overallunderstanding of Korean literature.Korean literature in Chinese was created whenChinese characters were brought to Korea.In the Koryo and Choson cultures, Chinese letterswere central to Koreans daily lives.The use of the Korean script began during theChoson period with the creation of the Koreanalphabet (Hunmin Chong-um).
The creation of the Korean alphabet in the 15thcentury was a crucial turning point in Koreasliterary history.Korean script made possible the broadening ofthe literary field to include women andcommoners.The Korean script (Han-gul) assumed its place ofleading importance in Korean literature onlyduring the latter half of the 19th century.As soon as the linguistic duality of "Chinese" and"Native" within Korean life was overcome,literature in the Korean script became thefoundation upon which the national literaturedeveloped.
Koreas Classical LiteratureKoreas Classical LiteratureHyangga from the Shilla periodHyangga from the Shilla period The Hyangga poetry of the Shilla period signaledthe beginning of a unique poetic form in Koreanliterature. The Hyangga were recorded in the hyangchalscript, in which the Korean language was writtenusing "sound" (um) and "meaning" (hun) ofChinese characters. Fourteen poems in the Hyangga style from theShilla period have been preserved in the Samgukyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms).
This poetic form was passed down to the KoryoDynasty, and 11 poems from that period arepreserved in the Kyunyojon (Tales of Kyunyo).4-line, 8-line, and 10-line poems.It is difficult to make general determinationsabout the personalities of the Hyangga poets.But it is thought that the 4-line poems with theirballad-like attributes may indicate that the poetscame from a broad range of backgrounds.
The Koryo Kayo (Koryo Songs)The Koryo Kayo (Koryo Songs)The literature of the Koryo period is marked byan increased use of Chinese letters, thedisappearance of Hyangga, and the emergenceof Koryo kayo (Koryo songs) which continued tobe transmitted as oral literature until the Chosonperiod.The new poetic form introduced by writers ofthe Koryo period was the Koryo kayo calledpyolgok.The identities of most of the Koryo kayo authorsare unknown.
The songs were orally transmitted; only later inthe Choson period were they recorded using theKorean script (Han-gul).The Koryo Kayo are characterized by increasedlength and a free and undisciplined form.The bold, direct nature of the songs make themdistinctive.They deal with the real world of humankind. Butbecause the songs were transmitted orally overa long period and recorded only after thebeginning of the Choson period, there is a strongpossibility that they have been partially altered.
Shijo and KasaShijo and Kasa The creation of the Korean alphabet in the earlyChoson period was one of the turning points inthe history of Korean literature. .In the process of creating the Korean alphabet(Han-gul) and investigating its practicality,akchang (musical scores) were written in theKorean script, such as Yongbiochbon-ga (Songsof Flying Dragons Through the Heavens) whichcelebrates the foundation of the ChosonDynasty(1392-1910), and which is complete withmusical notation and instrumentation.
The shijo ("current tune") is representative ofChoson period poetry. Its poetic form wasestablished in the late Koryo period, but itflourished to a greater extent under the Chosonperiods new leading ideology, Song Neo-Confucianism. The fact that a majority of the shijopoets were well versed in Confucianism, and thatthese poems of the late Koryo and early Chosonperiods for the most part dealt with the theme ofloyalty, helps us to understand the historicalfunction of the shijo.
ProseProse Korean prose literature can be divided into narratives,fiction, and literary miscellany. Narratives include myths, legends, and folktales found inthe written records. The most important myths are those concerning the Sunand the Moon, the founding of Korea by Tangun, and thelives of the ancient kings. The legends touch on place and personal names andnatural phenomena. The folktales include stories about animals; ogres,goblins, and other supernatural beings; kindnessrewarded and evil punished; and cleverness andstupidity.
FictionFictionKorean fiction can be classified in various ways.1. There is fiction written in Chinese and thatwritten in Korean.2. There are the short works of one volume,"medium" works of about 10 volumes, and longworks of more than 10 volumes.3. There are works of yangban writers and those ofcommon writers.
• From the 17th century onwards, fiction becameincreasingly popular and more readily available throughbook rental schemes. Geumo SinhwaGeumo Sinhwa (New stories from Mount Geumo) byKim Si-seup)- The first known classical work of Korean fiction- It was written in Chinese characters.•In the mid-Joseon period, parable-like stories werepublished.•By the end of the Joseon period, many writers had startedto deviate from the orthodox conventions of classicalChinese literature, and literature about common peoplesuch as merchants, thieves, or gisaeng were commonplace.
Oral literatureOral literatureOral literature includes all texts that were orallytransmitted from generation to generation untilthe invention of Hangul (hangul)--ballads,legends, mask plays, puppet-show texts, andpansori ("story singing") texts.Orally transmitted texts are categorized asballads and are classified according to singer(male or female), subject matter (prayer, labour,leisure), and regional singing style (capital area,western, and southern).
The songs of many living performers, some ofwhom have been designated as "intangiblenational treasures" by the South Koreangovernment, are still being recorded.Legends include all those folk stories handeddown orally and not recorded in any of thewritten records.The final type of folk literature is found in thetexts of pansori of the Yi dynasty.The texts evolved gradually from the legends,which provided their sources and were alteredand expanded as they were passed from oneperformer to another.
The early Joseon periodThe early Joseon periodYongbi eocheonga (hangul: 용비어천가 , hanja:龍飛御天歌) literally means "Songs of theDragons Flying to Heaven".It was compiled during the reign ofSejong the Great as an official recognition of theJoseon dynasty and its ancestral heritage as theforerunners of Joseon, the Golden Age of Korea. This compilation was the first piece of Koreantext to depart from a long history reliant onChinese characters and be recorded in Hangul,the first and official alphabet of Korea.
Themes in addition to the establishment of theJoseon Dynasty:linear events that took place in Chinathe apotheosis of virtuous Kings proceeding thefall of the Goryeo DynastyConfucian political and philosophical ideologiesof the era in rejection to BuddhismEach of the poems included in the work conveydeep-seated feelings of nationalism and a proudproclamation of cultural independence from theMongol empire.
The late Joseon periodThe late Joseon period Modern Korean literature developed against thebackground of the Joseon Dynastys fall. This first period of modern Korean literature isoften called "enlightenment". This period was to a large extent influenced bythe 1894 Gabo Reforms which introducedWestern-style schools and newspapers emerged. Many biographical works were published in thelate Joseon period where the main characterwas often depicted as a hero. Jayusi - formation of modern free verse poetry.
Modern literatureModern literature Modern Korean literature gradually developedunder the influence of Western cultural contactsbased on trade and economic development. The first printed work of fiction in Korean wasJohn Bunyans Pilgrims Progress (in Korean: 천로역정 Cheonno-yeokjeong), translated byJames Scarth Gale (1893). Christian religion found its way into Korea,culminating in the first complete edition of theBible in Korean published in 1910.
Mostly Western aesthetic schools thatinfluenced Korean literature. Music and classical poetry, formerly consideredone as part of changgok, were increasinglyperceived as old-fashioned and out of date. Modern literature is often linked with thedevelopment of hangul, which helped increaseworking class literacy rates. Hangul reached its peak of popularityin thesecond half of the 19th century, resulting in amajor renaissance. Sinsoseol, for instance, arenovels written in hangul.
Colonial PeriodColonial Period During Colonial Korea (1910–1945), free speech and thepress were restricted, thus influencing the literature of thetime. Many expressions of the late Joseon period, with theirfocus on self-reliance and independence, were no longerpossible. With the Samil Movement in 1919 came a new form ofKorean literature. Many writers exhibited a more positive attitude, trying tocope with the national situation at the time. Literature focused on self-discovery, and increasingly onconcrete reality. Many novels of the time experimented with new literarystyles and techniques.
In 1919 Kim Tong-in and Kim Hyok founded a literarymagazine, Changjo ( 창조 Creation) marking the startingpoint of contemporary Korean literature. The literary magazines which appeared during the 1920sand 1930s laid the basis for the future development ofmodern Korean literature. Almost all of these magazines were ordered todiscontinue publication in the 1940s as the Japanesetightened their grip with the spread of their aggressivewar to the Pacific and all of Southeast Asia. Many novels of the 1920s centered around themes ofthe suffering of intellectuals. The lives of farmers were often depicted as pathetic. As the Japanese government strengthened ideologicalcoercion during the 1930s, Korean literature was directlyaffected.