To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Korean literati purges

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Literati purges is a translation of the Korean term sahwa (Korean: 사화 士禍), whose literal meaning is "scholars' calamity."[1] It refers to a series of political purges in the late 15th and the 16th centuries in which Sarim scholars suffered persecution at the hands of their political rivals.

The politics of the Middle Joseon Dynasty were primarily marked by a power struggle between two social groups of the yangban aristocracy.[2] People in place were the 'Meritorious Subjects', rewarded for helping the establishment of Joseon against the former Goryeo, and subsequent accomplishments. Referred as the Hungu faction (Hungupa, 훈구파, 勳舊派), they held the key positions in the State Council and the Six Ministries that carried out state affairs. The newcomers were the so-called Sarim (Sarimpa, 사림파, 士林派), who belonged to the neo-Confucian school of Kim Jong-jik and other thinkers. The Sarim scholars generally shunned the royal court and studied neo-Confucianism in rural provinces, especially after King Sejo's usurpation of the throne in 1455.

During the reign of King Seongjong, Sarim scholars started to occupy key positions in what was known as the "Three Offices" (Samsa, 삼사), the collective name for three government watchdog organizations: the Office of Inspector General (Saheonbu, 사헌부, 司憲府), whose main role was to impeach government officials for corrupt or improper actions; the Office of Censors (Saganwon, 사간원, 司諫院), whose function to criticize the improper actions and policies of the king and ministers; and the Office of Special Advisors (Hongmungwan, 홍문관, 弘文館) who oversaw the royal library and served as research institute to study Confucian philosophy and answer the king's questions.[3]

Using the Samsa as a stronghold, the Sarim scholars challenged the power of the central government and the Hungu faction as a whole, impeaching them for alleged corruption or impropriety. The subsequent conflict between these two factions resulted in violent purges (1498, 1504, 1519, 1545), having a specific pattern[4] among the political purges that occurred in Joseon from 1453 to 1722 (whose traditional number is twelve for the period 1453-1722).[5]

While the Sarim faction lost each of the four confrontations, its moral influence continued to increase and finally eclipsed the former Hungu faction.

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/2
    3 637
  • One Religion, Two Countries: Classical and Neo-Confucianism in Korea & Japan with Dr. John Goulde
  • 천쌤의 한국사 강의 - 14. 사화


The 10th to the 17th century forms of Confucianism, it developed very sophisticated. It would be equivalent, actually the closest analogy I have would be The Confucianism after the 11th century was very much like early renaissance scholasticism. If you compare how Christianity thought about itself prior to the 11th century, and how it thought about itself after the 12th century, the differences are that great. That is that Christians in Europe actually adopted Aristotelian logic, and developed basic philosophical understanding of religion. So the Confucians did the same thing. They developed systems of logic; arguments and debates that would in fact allow them to explain everything. Human nature, human emotions, the relationship between the universal calendar process and what people do. Human behavior, keen observation of family relations, very important, interested in that and so forth. So, thats really the difference and Neo-Confucianism is a pretty sophisticated system. Everything from how things change in time, through the analysis of yin-yang and the five phases of change and so forth to how our physical endowments generate our emotional reactions. So again tying in diet, tying in environment into the body so that we can predict how people react to different situations, because we understand the laws of change, and so forth. Alright, move on, after the 17th and 19th century there is one final movement within Confucianism. And this is a movement often referred to as practical learning. Korea also developed its own practical learning school, this is the equivalent, actually, of modern day science. Where people who are Confucians not only understand that the world is relevant but now they began to practice what we would call observational testing or evidentiary testing. And, in Korea, Japan as well as in China, Neo-Confucians began to put a much more stronger emphasis upon functionalism That is irrespectable what we believe or think, What is the effect of what we do? And so they would look at results first and say now, How can I get to those results? They applied it to things like, not just philosophy, but they applied it to agriculture they applied it to food production they applied it to manufacturing and in time in the 17th and 19th century Neo-Confucians turned away from all kinds of meta-phsyical speculation and in fact began to look at functional value of things rather than intentional value of things. It wasn’t just enough to understand how the humans react to things But now it was important for humans to react so that there is a net effect in society. A lot of the practical Neo-Confucians in fact turn their view towards local things. Utilitarianism was the rule. That is Neo-Confucianism became very this. One of the aspects of why Neo-Confucians became utilitarian and very practical was the influence of western thought. In the 15th century 16th century, a group of Italian and Portuguese missionaries showed up in China. They were the Jesuits and they brought with them classical learning, and mathematics, and cartography and all kinds of, even mathematical sciences and so forth. They showed up and began to publish in Chinese critiques of philosophy. So a man by the name of Montclair Richie, actually critiqued the epicureans, and he wrote this in classical Chinese, Why epicureanism is bad? And so on and so forth. So the Chinese were exposed to a lot of western based, I’d say post renaissance speculation. One of the most important things that the western missionaries taught the Chinese was the idea is that you cannot theorize about a thing until you know what the thing is. So if you have a problem, look at the problem first before trying to come up with a theory about what the problem means. Alright, and practical learning was most effective when it came to food production. That is you have traditional ways of creating food, lets throw all that out and begin to say lets look at the soil first. What is in the soil that is needed? Then lets look at the crop, the seeds and so forth. In other words, observation should lead to results. There is a strong emphasis upon the investigation of things and themselves apart from their ideological, sociological view. Many Neo-Confucianism also thought that the Neo-Confucian interpretation of text didn’t have strong evidence. So what they did was, they skipped back to the Han dynasty and developed a way of interpreting Confucian text without thousands of years of commentary. They just threw it all out. Very much like the Protestant Reformation, Where Protestants decided to discard Roman Catholic history in order to go back to the original text, So Confucians also did the same thing. They jumped back into the earliest interpretations of classical text without any kind of speculation. Some Neo-Confucians actually became logical positivists, that nothing is true unless you can prove it. If you can’t prove it then it can’t be true. Alright. We don’t expect that of Confucianist but actually they became very distrustful of meta-physics, and they said, we dont care what theory you hold to show me what the results are. Alright. So if you can talk about Confucianism and all of it virtues but if it doesn't show an effect in society, then why trust it. So in some ways very much like modern day scientist. They began to also because of the influence of western cultures in China in the 17th to 19th century, some Confucians actually began to question the value of Confucianism. They became much more entranced with western ideas, western sciences, Islamic ideas, other ideas that they have never seen before. And they were very much interested in economics and law, and political theory and so forth. And they thought Confucianism actually was probably dead, so get rid of it. So that's just the thing and we'll do with that. All of this type of Confucianism also came to Korea and Japan in the 17th century. And they're developed actually within Korea, Choson Korea, as well as in Japan, schools. Various schools that had in fact emphasized one aspect of either Neo-Confucian meta-physics versus something else, or Neo-confucian pragmatism versus something else. And unfortunately, a lot of those debates that went on in Korea also became heavy politicized. So the result was there is a lot of factualism that characterizes the Choson Period, but it is in service of a Confucian understanding of society. Let's now look at Korea We're going to look at Confucianism of various types and what it means within Korea Real quickly, when Classical Confucianism reached Korea primarily through the introduction of books, and in some instances Koreans going to China to study. They basically adopted Han dynasty Confucianism. That is that the idea the society should be ordered according to the principles of Confucius. Prior to the third century a new organization of the states on the Korean Peninsula, Koreans were organized according to principles that seems strange but there is evidence for it. The person who caught the most number of animals had power. It was called, the Chinese referred to it as "the hunt". In the Goguryeo Chronicles, it describes how earlier Goguryeo Kings appointed their ministers after a December hunt. Those people who got the most animals became the highest offices. So, again very old tradition. Later, Paekche develops this and Silla and so on and so forth, but Confucianism is introduced as a way of in fact helping the three kingdoms on the Korean peninsula organize themselves. One of the aspects about Confucianism that Koreans like very much and the Kings who supported it was that Confucianism wasn't about clans, or clan affiliation or territory. Confucianism was about society. And the need for a political system that everyone would adhere to. And the various kings in the various kingdoms of Korea, pushed Confucianism as a way of making sure that people conform to kingly rule. Now of course there was lots of people who didnt want to conform to kingly rule. They wanted to be independent, but usually they didn't get far. And over generations and generations all the kings on the Korean Peninsula eventually forced Their competitors to go to school, and they went to Confucian school, so eventually generation after generation learns that it is right to respect the king, it is right to serve in the military, it is right to pay your taxes. And by that time, usually, in mid-kingdom period much of the clan organization of Korea really becomes subjected to political organization. So political organization trumps that of the clan. State organizations in Korea, again, that in fact monarchy replaces clan rule. And that laws are in fact the product of the king. Later on, they are the product of bureaucrats. But the whole notion, that what keeps people together is a sense of law. This is actually, and I keep trying to emphasize this with people who don't think Korea actually is a civil society. The idea of civil society is very early implanted in Korea. Why would clans living in all, you know separated by valleys and mountains, in fact ever cooperate? That they had to develop a sense of civil society, Civil law means something. Without it you lose contact, you lose social bonding, and so forth, food and so on. So very early on this notion again that civil law, or civil rule, or civil society is in fact a reality. Now many people say that Korea doesn't have that sense. Well I dont know, everything I know of Korea is that certainly the various kingdoms tried to instill that. It may not always have been successful, people did break off and live off in the mountains by themselves, but by in large, most Koreans in fact have a strong sense of civil union. Alright, in addition to that Korea imported from China all kinds of iterature. One of the great stories actually that is told to me by a Chinese historian was We were talking about Korea and China and so forth and he said, Why did Koreans always steal our books? And he, because there are references in Chinese literature to Koreans coming in and buying up books. And, in the six dynasties period, 3rd century and the 5th century We actually have correspondence between the southern Liang dynasty emperor and the king of Goguryeo and the Liang emperor in the south part of China says, we are sending you the following and so forth, Could you send us copies of the classics? We don't have copies. So, they would actually import books back from Korea and back into China. And the Koreans did this all the time, they brought in literature. They either did it directly by going through China, buying up books and bringing them back, or sending students from Korea to China for five, ten years, where they studied and then brought back the books. And every time Korea went to congratulate the emperor on his birthday, they would always have somebody there buying books. So, everything was brought into the three kingdoms and the ruling elite which now subservient to monarchy did in fact promote at least among their own class this idea of literary education. And schools, and academies were created, where people would learn to read classical literature and so forth. So in the early period of the three kingdoms period, Korea really adopts what i would call classical learning. It's not really Confucian but it's a sense of classical learning. In the same way that, one time we expected everybody to be able to read and write Greek and Latin. We don't expect that anymore, but but when I grew up my brothers, sisters, my whole family were expected to complete our classical education before we got into high school. So you had to be able to read greek and latin and in my case hebrew, and so forth, but this was expected. Same thing in Korea, Koreans really adopted so much Chinese literature, and so on and so forth, and of course Koreans did not write in their own language when they wrote anything at all they wrote it in classical Chinese. Again, that doesn't mean they were being less Korean, only that they were using what was available. Early Korea also developed the civil service exam, their foreign relations with China, always used China as a way of protecting them against intruders. So that when Silla wanted to conquer two other kingdoms it got the Tang army to come in several times. When the Khitan invaded Korea in the 11th century they got the Chinese to come in and protect them. when the Jurched Proto-Mongols came in they got China to protect them. When the Japanese later in the 17th century, come into Korea they get the Chinese to come in and protect them. So, Korea had a strong relationship with China that in fact allowed their security to be in fact being taken care of that. Question: Can you please explain a little more about the exams? Civil service examination began as early as the 4th century continued on all the way down to the 20th century What the civil service examination is, is that members of a certain class, if your in the elite land owning class would either through private schooling or pubicly sponsored schooling learned classical texts, learned classical history, learned to write poetry, learn to write prose, so forth. This would qualify them to take an exam to get into a national academy Then depending on which period, they would either spend five or they could spend up to nine years. in this nationally sponsored acedemy going through every classical text that is associated with Confucius. At the end of which they took an exam and, the exam was just basically a set of questions that the examiner would ask, you know, What does King Chang of later Han dynasty's actions in a certain battle mean? Or, government. You know, so they had to know all of these things, and then they would write essays. Not only they had to write essays, but they had to write essays in whats are called, rhyme couplets, and its called parallel prose. So, they had to analyze the question in ways that every five characters rhymed with the next five characters. Very elaborate form of civil service. If they passed that exam then they took, then they would go on to other studies and then pass more exams. Eventually, they would take whats called the Teko, or the highest exam. Upon which, if they successfully passed it, then they could be appointed to office. Its very much, anyone of you have taken the civil service exam? Here in the United States? Take the Civil Service exam you get a ranking within U.S. government You know GS-12, GS-9, 8, etc. and so forth, and you become a bureacrat. And the civil service exam they're primarily at least from the beginning until about the 10th century, examine people's writing skills and their knowledge skills. After the 11th century, the civil service exam tested their philosophical skills. So what does Zhu Xi mean when he says this about the classic? And in Korea and Japan Zhu Xi Neo-Confucianism became the orthodox curriculum. So you had to know everything that the Song dynasty Neo-Confucian philosopher said about anything. Now, the emphasis was on content rather than writing. In the early years the emphasis was on how well you could compose a document. Good story, when the Mongols took over China, Mongols, didn't like the Chinese. Chinese didn't like the Mongols. But the Mongols actually wanted to put down the Chinese. So, one day Actually in early Neo-Confucian, late Koryo, early Choson dynasty, a man by the name of Yi saek was living in China. And, Kublai Khan, emperor of China called Yi saek to his palace and decided to in fact He asked Yi saek What was the meaning of such and such from the text? And Isak, went into a long discourse about the whole meaning of the text, where it came from, what does it mean and so on and so forth. And Kublai then made a pronouncement that he thought that the Koreans understood the meaning of words but the Chinese, could only draw the character. And this is a typical Mongol putting down the Chinese So, Kublai and actually his successors tended to promote Koreans in China and give them high offices. Because they werent Chinese they were beholden to the Mongols, and then of course they intermarried with the Korean royal family and the last seven kings of the Goryeo period didn't even have Korean names. They were all Mongol, they lived in China in Mongol China. So, but the whole idea was that the early Confucianism in Korea was basically bureacratic and later Confucianism is highly philosophical So you have to be able to argue something. Also they changed the nature of the exams. In the first set of exams in the early period, How well did you write? That was the question. And the next thing, what did you write? and what was your reinterpretation of a meaning rather than how well you can write about it. There were exams that looked at military logistics, weaponry, medicine, tax policy, manufacturing but theses were considered low level exams and highest exam were the ones that dealt with literature and Confucianism. Actually, there were a whole set of military exams in Korea that you could get ranked by taking these exams. And up until the 12th century most of the highest office holders were actually military families that had made their way into the bureacracy as military. And they for a while, they actually took over civil functions during the Chae regime. And thats when they became known as yangban, which means the milittary usurp the right of civil officials and they governed both sides of the aisle. Later on, the military were overthrown and the bureacrats took both sides of the aisle. Question: When we say high level exams and low level exams, I know that some of them a commoner can not take. So, whats the differentiation between ones that the nobility can take and the ones that actually commoners can take and get some kind of job? The people of low rank first of all, no one can take an exam unless their schooled Normally commoners couldn't take the exams they would not be schooled. Until the development of national academies basically you had to educate yourself in a private school. And, land-owning gentry would develop their own schools for their children. And they would then invite teachers in to teach them how to read and write, but the distinguish between what type of low level exam versus high level exam is really what level of office you can be appointed to after taking an exam. So if you are a country magistrate whose only responsibility is to collect taxes then thats a low level position. You're not in the capital, you're not near the king, and you're not in the central government. You're out in the country and your just keeping. Or if you are part of population, department of public works, where you have to keep a census of a local village. That would be a low level exam. And the idea was that you took a simple exam on mathematics and statistics, and so forth, you pass that and then you were assigned to the countryside and that would give you the position. But you could not rise up in rank, from provincial to capital, and within the capital from lowest level to the prime ministership. Unless you had taken certain exams. Commoners could not get into the city? No. Even in the military? Commoners can enter into the military, yes, they can. That was true, all they way up until about the 15th century. Then the Confucian bureaucrats decided they wanted to be military, so they took over military functions, they didn't know how to do it, but they took over it. But throughout the Koryo period, late Silla period you could join the military, and keep signing up for it, you know after tours of duty. And in time if you did well, you could actually get a rank within the military, and in fact your children then would get automatic ranks thereafter. So, the mobility within the three kingdoms and Koryo period was often times through military path. And, why spend all your time reading books when you can in fact be in charge of a local fortress or a coastal fortress and make a record for yourself and in Korea as in both civil and military offices, once you got appointed to any office within the government, either provincial or central, you were then given a land stipend. Which means your family could be moved to this land, and they could live off whatever farming they could do on the land. So your life was really guaranteed, it was an emolument, that unless you did something really bad you'd never lose that land. And it was a way to rise up in rank. Question: Was this only for some children or people who came from primary wives? What about those who came from secondary or tertiary? The whole question of where people came from and who is their mothers, primary, secondary, didn't really become an issue until the 14th century. Prior to that, I mean, you have wonderful stories of thieves, you know who get appointed to offices in the provincial government. If you were really smart and you knew how to wheel and deal yourself, you could get into government. Not very high but the examination of people's background before they took an exam, really something quite like it. Alright, and then of course also, in the early period Confucianism was not exclusive that is that in early Korea Confucians scholars studied Buddhist texts. Buddhist monks studied Confucius texts. Buddhist and Confucianists studied Daoist texts. So there was a kind of blending of these three traditions within China, very common. And part of the great stories I like to tell about is that, before the development of public education in the early Choson, Korean Confucians who were trying to get ready to take the exams didn't have any school to go to. They didn't have a private school on their family land. Then there were no public schools that they could go to. But the one place that Confucian scholars, would be bureaucrats, would in fact learn, was they went to a buddhist temple. And Buddhist monks often instructed Confucian bureaucrats in the classics. So, Kim Si-seup, early Choson, Confucian, when he tells us that he learned the analects of Confucius from a monk, and the monk taught him what the classical learning was, so on and so forth. So all throughout, up until the Choson period basically the three traditions were all mixed. And the view that Koreans had was that, if China created it, it must be good so we can't exclude anything. So they studied Daoism, they studied Confucianism, the studied Buddhism. And in fact, it's really hard until the beginning of Joseon dynasty to really say what Koreans are. They engage in Buddhist ritual, they read the classics of Confucius They compete for exams, jobs and emoluments primarily through the Confucian system They pay their taxes. Occasionally, they invite Shamans in to carry out exorcisms, and so on and so forth. And the three traditions traditional religious things, really are mixed. Everyone's engaged in everybody else's practices. That will change in the Choson period. Where the others will thing. So this is the early period. Okay, now we're in Japan. Same thing occurred in Japan. As early as the 4th century of the common era Confucianism, classical Confucianism also entered into Japan But it came to Japan by a Korea. In the Kojiki, the oldest Japanese historical document, we actually have descriptions of how ambassadors and envoys from the Korean peninsula arrived in Japan and brought with them what they called, hitobishi. Literally "masters of the brush." Hitobishi. Somebody would think. Japanese apparently couldn't read or write, But suddenly along comes a person who teaches them how to master these things. The reception of these envoys from the Korean peninsula they didnt know what to do with this hitobishi. So, they said the hitobishi the man's who expert in writing. Is to be assigned to the emperor's harem, his women's quarters. And so, the Kojiki reports that after that time imperial women in Japan learned to read and write, because they had been instructed in reading and writing. Anyone know that the first literature in Japan is composed by whom? Women. Up until the 11th century almost all the major works of Japanese literature are composed by women. Women write in classical Chinese, they write poetry and so on and so forth. Even to the point that when men tried to write, most of the time men are not concerned with reading or writing, but when men tried to write the only way they could get people to read their poetry, is to adopt a woman's pseudonym. So they called themselves Lady "something" rather. And then people would buy their book So the notion is that women know how to read and write. So the same thing, Confucianism is introduced In 520, we have actually, in the Kojiki a letter from the King of Paekche to Emperor Kineku, I think in which the, envoy from Paekche says to the King. In addition to what I've sent you, I am also sending you Buddhist monks. And they will teach you a kind of wish granting doctrine. And, please listen to them because the subtleties of their techings is even greater then that of Confucius. So by the 5th century the Japanese already know who Confucius is, so that when the envoy says I'm sending a buddhist monk to teach you, they know that this is like Confucianism. Also, in the same year, 591 The heir apparent to the Paekche throne arrives in Japan, and he is held hostage there or stays there until his father dies He brings with him a yin-yang master, literally masters of the teachings of yin and yang. Daoist metaphysics and so forth. A year later, the Japanese published their first calendar. The calendar of course is a calendar that tells you where the stars are on every day of the year. When the 24th turning points of the solar year occur, and, what rituals should be carried out on those 24 turning points. Again it was the Tang dynasty invention, Koreans had a calendar, Japanese got a calendar and so forth. Its very clear that when Prince Shotoku, the nephew of the empress, What's her name? Suiko, Empress Suiko. That when Prince Shotoku comes to take, Suiko is in fact a minority and Prince Shotoku becomes the regent. That Prince Shotoku who writes the first constitution of Japan in fact starts off with the phrase "Harmony is to be valued." Let everyone in Japan learn the teachings of the three sages. Laozi, Confucius and Buddha. And, the 17 article constitution promulgated by Prince Shotoku in fact, emphasized the need for Japanese to learn the traditions of China. The second article of that constitution says warfare amongst the Uji, among the various clans is to be avoided. It can, Japanese society is one in which there was constant warfare among clans that controlled different areas of Japan. The first clan names that appear in Japanese history are actually the names of areas. So the Izumi clan, is actually clan area where rice is grown in the northwest side of the island of Honshu. And so the Izumi clan Is actually refers to a region, so the Izumis, that are that. Later Izumi becomes the goddess of grain, who is worshipped in that area. So, the clan relations you know in regard to territory and their adherence and so forth, That has to be replaced so that the imperial office can in fact can hold its way. It's largely through Confucian learning that the Japanese learned to give their adherence to the emperor. It takes quite a while, actually until about the 11th century where the Japanese will adopt no longer make reference to their own clan history, but now begin to make reference to Chinese history. So Confucianism serves as a kind of counter point in native tradition. State organization rule of law again, replaces the clan loyalties of the Japanese And then of course like Korea Japanese also adopt, Chinese literature, history and the writing system. Japanese usually composed in classical Chinese up until the 10th century. Thereafter they were composed in Japanese. The mandate of heaven, again the Chinese. The Japanese didn't like the idea that the Emperor of China would in fact protect them. So the Japanese reinterpreted the Confucian documents to say that with the fall of the Tang dynasty you know Tang emperors, die and so forth, that the mandate moved from China to Japan. And thereafter the rulers of Japan were called emperor. So, the really didn't send tribute to China or anything like that. They expected the Chinese to send tribute to Japan. It was a nice thing that was created in the middle of the Heian period, that the Japanese were doing. But again, they used that justification for Japanese power within the area. And, of course they also tried to teach the Japanese. These early teachers taught to the Japanese, that they should be virtuous, they should take care of their family. One of the very important ideas that blended with Japanese native sensibility was the notion of graciousness. In Japanese it is called "aware." "Aware" means that to act in a way that is fitting to the circumstances in which what I find myself. So you're crying, then I comfort you. You're hungry, I feed you. Being aware of what the circumstances are is very important. So in early Heian period literature, Primarily, over and over again is that the culture person is one who has "aware", and they have sensitivity. The sensitivity is very similar to what Mencius says in the Confucian classics, that what you do in terms of behavior is dictated by the circumstances you find yourself in. So there is no universal behavioral model, only the circumstances will tell you how to behave. So you have to be aware of them. How do you get aware of them? You study, study, study, and you become very refined, very sensitive to social relations. Again, these seem to be the effect. One of the things that did not appear in Japan was the bureaucracy. Up until the 16th century, the Japanese did not have a Confucian Bureaucracy. There were none. The people who ruled Japan all this time who studied the Confucian classics were in fact members of powerful clans. Who inter-married their daughters into the imperial family, and thus were appointed to office. So there was no examination system, no public schooling system, none of the things we would expect of a Chinese informed Japan are there. The text are there and the Japanese do have a sense of it and you can find Confucianism in government documents, But there seems to in fact have not been any great influence of Confucianism on the Japanese populace. Instead the Japanese became Buddhist. And Japan is the only north-asian country that almost exclusively became totally Buddhist. Everyone all across all sectors in fact became part of the Buddhist establishment. Even after the Tokugawa bring in the samurai and the samurai studied Neo-Confucianism, the Japanese are still Buddhist, because Buddhism is really strong today. Even today the functions of Buddhism are still pretty much what they were in the 12th century. When people die their statistical data has to be registered in the Buddhist temple. The government then goes to those Buddhist temples to get the statistical data. So if you live in a O-machi district within any city in Japan today, and you die, somebody who represents you must go to the local temple to register your death. Its also a way that the government keeps records of what people are doing throughout. But again it’s not a Confucian temple, it’s not a Confucian department. Its a Buddhist one. So, Confucianism really it's a general affect. It doesn’t really affect most people even below the level of the ruling elite. When we move to the 16th century, that is the establishment of the shogunate. The first shogunate in Japan, in which military leaders co-opted the power of the emperor, occurs as early as the 11th century. And from the 11th to the 16th century shoguns battled for control of Japan. Meanwhile the emperor, himself in Japan is starved out to death or killed, you know, really strange. The emperor lives in his palace in Kyoto, but he has to send his daughter to the samurai shogun to ask for money, to ask for food and so forth. And anytime the emperor doesn't agree with the shogun the shogun can starved him out, by cutting off food supplies to the city Kyoto. And this happens over, and over, and over again. So, from the 11th century on the shoguns are in charge and that continues all the way down to the 19th century. One of the things that the shogun did, was they fostered, or a least they tried to foster a sense that Japan was really equivalent to China. So the shoguns would send scholars from Japan to China, get the exams, study the text, bring them back. And all throughout the late Kamakura period, 13th and 14th century, the people who were sent to study in China and bring back the latest knowledge and so forth, were Buddhist monks. They were often referred to as the gozan. Literally, the five recognized schools of mountain Buddhism in Japan whose members were sent into China to study and bring back text. So Neo-Confucianism was first studied in Japanese monasteries. Later on, when the Edo period is created, and Tokugawa Ieyasu becomes shogun of Japan. He decides to, in fact, turn samurai, his samurai compatriots into bureaucrats. And the first thing he does is he recruits Confucianist scholars, to in fact come up with a code outlining the social classes of Japan. So there is the lower classes, the serving classes, and then there are the konin. Where the Koreans called kongin, they were technicians and artisans, and then there were farmers. Then there are the city-dwellers called the chunin. These are middle class, and then above them are the samurai, and then the imperial family. The shogun's family. So in the Edo period, which begins in 1600, Neo-Confucianism is deliberately introduced by the shogunate. And, the samurai class are forced by the Edo shogun to give up their military skills and become bureaucrats. Even to the point that in 1620, Tokugawa Ieyasu, outlaws the use of swords, knives, and so forth, So the samurai don't have any weapons anymore. Instead they are turned into bureaucrats. Then 1640 ends thereafter a series of proclamations by the shogun of the Edo period. He restricts the movement of the samurai, so that they stay in the capital or they stay in wherever their position is. Their family can live anywhere they want in Japan, but they cannot visit them. So, the samurai are slowly, slowly turning into a hereditary bureacratic class. And what they do, they don't really have any power, they're not like Chinese bureaucrats. What they do is they study Confucianism. So they study all the Neo-Confucian texts and the debates and so on, and so forth. But they're not actually allowed to actually rule. So many of the samurai end up being scholars, studying Confucianism, that maintains their rank. And then of course among samurai, Confucian moralities absolutely are maintained. Because, being part of the samurai class means you are land-owning. If you fall out of that class then you lose your land. You have to go live in the city, or live on the outskirts of the city. So samurai had to conform, in order to maintain their use of land, they had to maintain their class. They were told that the way they maintained their class was to study Confucianism. And so codes for samurai ethics, constantly being promulgated. By the 18th century the samurai in Japan did begin to promulgate Confucianism among the lower classes. But not very successfully, because Buddhism was still in effect. So the expectation of middle class, farming class, worker class, and warrior class, was that they would conform to the samurai ethics. But in Japanese law only the samurai were responsible for failures in ethics. So a samurai could be punished if they were not filial. A samurai could be punished if they did not understand the classical text. Neo-Confucian texts and so forth. Lower classes like the chunin class the technical class, the artisan class, they were never punished. But they didn't any land anyway. So the lower classes really weren't that much affected by Confucianism. So the samurai class in Japan does it a lot of these samurai did in fact become great scholars. Abarai Ken, Souzeki, and then later, people like Nobunaga Matsuo Did in fact do some tremendous work. They became what we would call today anthropologists. They studied local history, the studies legends, they wrote up encyclopedias and so forth. But that's all they had to do, they didn't have to run the government. All they had to do was maintain their class. And so by the 17th and 18th century the Japanese became, the Japanese samurai class as Confucians would in fact study Japanese myths. The discovery of ancient Japanese dialects, the discovery of early Nara period poetry, this was done by the Neo-Confucians They studied everything and without reference to China. It was their job to study, and they were commissioned to write histories and so on and so forth. Some of the classical learning in the 18th century is a bit strange. Kitabatake Chikafusa was a Confucian scholar in Japan, who after he had read a Chinese translation of a Latin work called "The History of the World", decided to rewrite the history of Japan. So, instead of talking about Adam, you know, and the descendants of Adam, he talked about Amaterasu, the sun goddess and her descendants. So he re-wrote the history of the world in which, all of the world's populations come from Japan. And it was great, it was a great story. He pushed Japanese history back 250,000 years. And, in fact he enunciates all the reigns of all the emperors that ever existed prior to any recorded history. He actually talks about how the mother language of the world is Japanese. And then when people forgot to speak Japanese well they ended up speaking sanscrit. Or they ended up speaking Chinese, or they ended up speaking Korean, and so on and so forth. So, a lot of scholarship done didn't really have a lot of effect on the ordinary population, but it is part of tradition. The samurai classes again were also from the 17th century on not allowed to interact with lower classes. Why? The lower classes according to official Edo period documents were "mean", m-e-a-n. Meaning that they had low class interest. And, if samurai became involved with them they might lose their sense of morality. Also, and this is clear in the Tokugawa shogunate rescript is that, if samurai associated with lower classes, samurai would gain a love of money. And one thing you don't want is Confucians becoming worried about money. So, samurai were kept poor deliberately by the government, and the could not associate with the lower classes. Meanwhile, in the cities of Edo, Nagoya, Kyoto, the middle class, the chunin class, is making money hand over fist. Eventually this chunin class will become the antecedents of the modern industrialist. They're in producing things, they're engaged in overseas trade. They're making huge amounts of money. And some of them buy, samurai status. So not only do they have all of the money, the urban classes have all the money, but now they also have the status. By the time we get to the 19th century the samurai class is gone. There are a few samurai families throughout but most samurai either become middle class, or they deliberately did something so they ended up in the industrial elite. So by the 20th century the industrial elite is in charge. Neo-Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, Buddhism, are still there are as religious options. And the samurai are expected, as Neo-Confucians, to study all of them. So samurai, write histories of Shintoism, write histories of Buddhism, write histories of Daoism and so forth. By in large that effect then of Neo-Confucianism in Japan from the 17th century on is primarily academic. It doesn't really have wide spread effects within society itself. But it's a mechanism whereby the shogun can maintain his power. By keeping these Neo-Confucian scholars so occupied with their studies that they don't affect government. Question: Then who's a part of the shoguante? The shogun government primarily samurai who were given temporary offices, because the shoguns never paid the bureaucrats. They gave them land, and as long as the bureaucrats didn't interfere with the government. So what the shogunal government did, was they employed, for salary these middle class urban-dwellers to do things. Question:** He didn't He disbanded the military. There are no military expeditions by the Japanese until the 19th century. He literally disbanded the military. No, the shoguns closed the borders. of Japan, fom the 16th century on. No one was allowed to come into Japan, that obviously there were military guarding the border areas. But they were low class provincial elite that were paid to stay there and keep foreigners out. So you know, when the Dutch for example are out exploring East Asia, one of their boats crashes next to Kyushu, and they don't know what to do with this Dutch guy. Korea had the same problem, lots of Dutch showed up in the islands and so forth. So they didn't know what to do with him. They couldn't kill him, because they were afraid of the guns and so on and so forth, but you know basically they tried to get them to marry, intermarry with the Japanese so that they would eventually be subservient to the shogun. The Edo period is very strange because it's complete demilitarization of the country. I mean the Edo shoguns fought for 50 years among themselves just to get the power, but once they got into power, they stripped the country of its military They stayed in power because basically divine neglect. The people who had money they allowed to make as much money as possible. They're gone. The nobility are gone. All those powerful clans are gone. There is only the samurai and the middle class. And then of course the middle class can't leave the country. So all the money, all the food, all the technology that is produced by the middle class stays in the country. Some of them did actually leave the country, they became pirates. in South China and things like that, but that's about it. The point here is of course is that Neo-Confucianism really doesn't have an effect much on the Japanese at all. And I emphasize that because I want just the opposite case for the case of Choson. In Choson Korea, the Neo-Confucians really do change the society. Neo-Confucianism, in the Choson period of course is revolutionary. The history of Neo-Confucianism is of course is beginning the 11th century. After the Mongols invade Korea and become basically the rulers, post-factum rulers of Korea. Take the Korean kings and their sons hostage and raise them in China. The Mongols who don't like the Chinese at all encouraged Koreans to come to China. Take the exams become a part of the bureaucracy of China. The more that the Mongols can do this, the more they can put Chinese in their place. So the Mongols employed a lot of Koreans in their bureaucracy. The Mongols also established, especially after Korean Kings married into Mongol princesses, the buying of books. So that Koreans would in fact go to the city of Beijing, Dadu. And they would buy books and then bring them back. And again in the politics of the day Kublai Kan constantly was encouraging the Koreans to pass exams, to study hard. There were academies for the study of Chinese classics in Beijing, setup by the Mongols. These were reserved schools just for Koreans. So that the Koreans would have an edge in taking the civil service exams. It was because of that, that in the year 1200, the Mongols lift the restriction on the publication of Neo-Confucian texts by Zhu Xi, and actually issued national copies of Zhu Xi's commentary. Koreans get them. The first man to get a copy of the Neo-Confucian text was a man call An Hyang. He was in an embassy to China, he brought those texts, started teaching them in his private school. He was very interested, especially in Zhu Xi's understanding of ritual. So, whats called the Chujahakre, Zhu Xi's family ritual book was brought in, and the Koreans had never seen this before. So in their private academies and private schools they taught this notion of ritualism. The people who of course adopted Neo-Confucianism into China are what I would call, provincial upstarts. The earliest people, I think Professor Peterson talked about Chong Mongju, yesterday. Early merit subject of the Choseon Dynasty. His family was not very lustrous. Chong Dojon, who I will take about later this afternoon, not very lustrous. They were people, bureaucrats, coming from provincial areas. They are not part of the central government, they're waiting for the central government to retire. as it were so that they could compete for the positions and so forth. So a lot of provincial wannabes, came out and they're the ones who became interested in this, Why? Because the people in the capital weren't interested in this new Neo-Confucianism. For them things were fine. As long as they had their land and so-forth. So there developed a kind of new elite out in the provinces who became very interested. They used their Neo-Confucianism and the study of Neo-Confucian text primarily as a way of upsetting their superiors. I.e. the old guys in the capital of Kaesong. And they eventually did rise to power towards the end of the Koryo period with the help of Mongols, and they reformed education in Korea to in fact create Neo-Confucian education. So a man by the name of Yi saek and his compatriot was Chong Mongju, another figure in that area was Chong Dojon. These were people from very poor backgrounds in the country who get into a position where they can reform education. So Chong Mongju, Chong Dojon, and Yi saek are all appointed dean of the Confucian Academy. And what they do in that academy is to introduce the Neo-Confucian curriculum. They become a very closed society. So this new elite very quickly identified with each other, they are all taught by each other. I don't know if Professor Peterson told you about the struggles in the new Choson period. When the 5th son, the 4th son, the 3rd son, the 2nd son were all fighting each other to get the succession of the throne. The one thing that they could not touch though was these Confucian elites, because these sons actually had been educated by them. So Yi saek was never touched. I mean, Chong Mongju was killed, but Yi saek was never touched. He had been the patriarch of the academy. So he might be exiled, he was actually exiled for 13 years and then died there, but they never could touch him. So, this new elite, a provincial elite comes to power and in fact promulgates new Confucianism. One aspect of the new Confucianism of this elite is that the people weren't terribly dedicated to the idea of public service. People like An Hyang, and Kyojae and others actually thought it was okay to be a Confucian scholar without serving in government. And they preferred to live in the country, they preferred to live in the provinces rather than go to the city and capital. And so, there actually developed a group of Confucians who thought that Confucians are the moral treasure of the country. Don't employ them. Let them preserve the truth but don't employ them. And again, a kind of erimeticism, the sense of hermit lifestyle. And many people, Chong Mongju later and even Yi saek had this idea later on in their life, that the best Confucian was the unemployed Confucian. That Confucians really are repositories for truth. They teach children, they hand down the truth, they preserve purity, they don’t get involved in politics. Not all Confucians thought this, but some did. Then of course The new elite then of course seeks very quickly to displace the older elite, land-owning elite that had been patronized by the Mongols. And eventually they become connected, all these group people in the city of Kaesong become connected to a young man by the name of Yi Songgye. Yi Songgye was a warrior, came from a military family located in Northern Korea. He had been appointed to do various provincial posts and so forth. He too, actually Yi Songgye did get lessons from Chong Mongju, Yi Saek and others about this. When he is called by the last "Korean Wang," the last king of the, that's right, the third last king of the Koryo period. And he is called and told by the king to go north to investigate what the Ming dynasty Chinese are doing on the border and to dismantle any fortresses if they have. Chong Dojon, Yi saek and Chong Mongju advise Yi Songgye not to do this. Their argument is that these are the legitimate power of China. The Mongols are still in China by the Ming are taking over territory. So therefore, it would be wrong for a warrior of Korea, or a military of Korea to in fact insult the Chinese. So what do they tell him? Turn around, get rid of the king. And they actually instigate Yi Songgye's coup d'etat. They forced him to in fact displace the king. They are the ones who also appoint his successors, two successors after him, and they maintain the Koryeo kingship by the scholars themselves, pick their own candidates to be king. But their puppet kings obviously. The scholars are already in power. By 1392 of course, Yi Songgye has enough support that in fact he declared the end of the Koryo period and he establishes the new Choson period. But, Yi Songgye is of course beholden to his Neo-Confucian scholar friends. They are the rough and ready new elite. They immense, they get really immense amount of power, and Yi Song-gye himself is a little bit taken back, he doesn't know how to run a government. So he turns the government over to Neo-Confucians, they run the government. From then on they increase their power all they way down to the 18th century. Periodically the Choson kings will try to keep the bureaucrats in line, but they're not really successful. So by in large Neo-Confucians rise to power very really quickly. One of the first things that the Neo-Confucians in Korea do is they disestablish Buddhism That is, these new rough and ready Neo-Confucian scholars don't like royal patronage of Buddhism. So, a series of proclamations are made. One young scholar at the Sunggyungwan actually writes a letter to the king, and he says, makes this claim, long ago Confucius taught the correct way. He passed that way on to his disciple, Mencius. But after the death of Mencius the way was lost. And for a thousand years Buddhist and Daoist confused the population. Until our own time, when Chong Dojon, another Confucius scholar, picked up the way and has revived it. This is a student at the Sungyungwan writing to the king, telling him that the true inheritors of the Confucian way are not in China, they're in Korea, that Chong Dojon becomes a merit subject, later becomes prime minister and then actually given charge of the government, that in fact he represents ultra orthodoxy. Chong Dojun's appointees to the first court under King Taejo the first king of the Choson dynasty, are all his classmates. So they all get appointed. And in fact, within the space of 40 years, 4,000 Buddhist temples are changed over into Confucian academies, literally, 400,000 landed slaves that are connected with Buddhist temples are turned over to the government, or those slaves are put into the military, or they're sent back into farming. Women in the new city of Seoul are by law no longer allowed to visit Buddhist monasteries. And Buddhist monks by 1450, can't even come to cities unless they have a special passport They have to have a token issued by the central government. So, very quickly, this disestablishment of Buddhists. The argument that the Neo-Confucian's in the early Choson dynasty give for this persecution or disestablishment of Buddhism are the same arguments that were pounded in the Tang dynasty. That is that Buddhism and Daoism do not add to the welfare of society. Therefore, the king should withdraw his patronage, the government should stop paying for these two establishment. And the functions of those establishments, it should be taken over by Confucians. By 1450, there are only 200 temples left in the whole of the peninsula, and those are protected temples. They are under the direct control of the royal family. All other temples or either burned to the ground, or they are converted into a Confucian school or they're given away as manor houses for the new elite. So, again, Buddhism very quickly, almost disappears and so forth. Buddhism continues to be of interest to the Choson kings, but by in large by the time we get to the middle period, even that begins to wane. Throughout the Choson period the Neo-Confucians of Korea also become very, very rigid in regards to what they mean by Neo-Confucianism. And they consider that the Zhu Xi school, Zhu Xi was a Song Dynasty philosopher, his interpretations are in fact the best. Now that wasn't something they invented actually the Mongols had said the same thing. That they like Zhu Xi because Zhu Xi's school, which had developed in Jinan, in China, was actually, kind of upsetting to the establishment. And the Mongols didn't like the establishment, so they promoted Zhu Xi's Confucian. Koreans adopted from the Mongols the idea that Zhu Xi is the only orthodox teaching. And so they developed orthodox, Zhu Xi Neo-Confuciansm All school curriculums were changed so that everybody had to study, before you studied the classics, you studied the commentaries written by Zhu Xi. So by studying the commentaries by Zhu Xi, then you read the classics. So you have an orthodox understanding of it. The civil service exam was also changed by 1500 so that in fact the only subjects you could be examined on even if you have to be examined on military and medical and other things, but if you were to take the civil service exams that lead to the degree of "chinsa", advanced scholar you had to do it on Zhu Xi. So all the exam questions were about Zhu Xi's commentaries and everything had to be orthodox. This eventually lead to the development of an unorthodoxy. And people did not rise and fall in the government unless they had thorough knowledge of the Zhu Xi interpretation of Neo-Confucianism. Yi Songgye supporters among this new elite become merit subjects, and their merit subjects even though they may not hold off this after four or five generations, nevertheless they become very powerful clans. So that the Chong family, various Yi families and so forth that are a part of the supporters of Yi Songgye even today still are very important. They don't hold office, they're not in the government and so on, but nevertheless they are respected elite clans, they go all the way back to the Choson period. They also take over the national academy. What develops between the 16th and the 19th century, is that certain regions of scholars, scholars in certain regions of Korea begin to compete for control over education. And some, just they stay away from the whole thing and others try to get into the core and so forth. Eventually then, again, conflict among different interpreters of the classics does appear. Phase two of the Confucianization of Koryo course is that the Koreans give up the use of Mongol law and adopt the Ming code. In 1368, the Ming dynasty rose and successfully got rid of the Mongols, Koreans finally switched their alliance from the Mongols to the Ming. Thereafter, Koreans had to keep convincing the Ming that they were loyal, but the first way to show that was they adopted the Ming law code, and the Ming law code is in existence, we can actually read it. Early Neo-Confucians took that Ming code and adapted it to Korea. Basically it's 90% of the early Choson code is exactly the same as the Ming code. Again, as a way of showing that Korea was a loyal member, vassal, to the Chinese state. Phase three, sought to in fact limit the number of Koreans who could become monks, by eliminating both monk exams as well as permission. By 1600, for example, a family had to apply to the local magistrate if they wanted their son to become a Buddhist monk. It was up to the magistrate to allow or not allow them that to happen After the 17th century nobody became monks, there were very few monks and so forth. If anything it's members of the royal family, distant members of the royal family would become monks and continue the tradition So Buddhist and Daoists are pretty much restricted. Many of the Buddhist take refuge in mountain areas, where of course they lose all contact with their own traditions and become temple guardians. They basically take care of the temple buildings. But they don't know anything about Buddhism, and they don't know anything about Daoism and they really are not well. And the result of course is that Buddhism is pretty much debunked. Buddhists lands, again, and holdings as well as metal, all precious metals that are held by Buddhist now go into the central government. And the government redistributes lands to reward the new elite takes lands away from the old elite, and then redistributes that. The system of slavery, of course which Buddhism used in order the build up its wealth, now is transferred to Confucians. So Confucians now are in charge of the slaves. Confucians have the land, the territory with land and slaves and tenant farmers and so on and so forth. So that continues, and then Then of course there develops throughout the Choson period various lineages. Again these are scholar lineages in which teachers of certain regions have a following, and they compete within the central government to become powerful and so forth. Within those lineages there developed a lot of diversity about how to interpret Zhu Xi. Some people, although it was not legal, did in fact critique Zhu Xi, but would not publish their critique until after they were dead, so their descendants published it. There are quite a few Wang Yangming scholars in Korea but we don't see their records until much later. So Zhu Xi, Neo-Confucian orthodoxy is there. There are also and will be talking about that this afternoon they developed very sophisticated techniques about understanding the relationship between principle, the principle of the universe, and emotion. So the so-called I-ki debates between Yi Toegye and others, is a long extended series of debates, in which elements of Zhu Xi Neo-Confucianism are sort of analyzed, almost in-depth, that itself gets into issues. Community compacts are also important, community compacts are literally provincial law contracts that scholars write up to govern a village. As early as the Song dynasty in China, Song dynasty scholars did create compacts. So a scholar in a small village would write up basically a basic law for the village. Everyone in the village would then come, sign onto that, they would also agree to save up money for the village itself. In Korea, Korea is the only place that I know where the compacts were really widespread. Korean Neo-Confucians, especially people living out in the rural areas created community compacts, a lot of them. The Confucian scholar became technically the head of the village. And everyone agreed to teach children in such a way they all agreed that if children need money to take the exams, that the community will finance this. Everyone agreed to pay as much money to the community compacts so that they could keep a shrine there. When the offerings to Confucius and the sages were held everyone would contribute. So basically its a basic law govern villages and Koreans actually did a lot of these. I think Yi Yolguk wrote 17 different community compacts for various peoples in Gangwon-do and Gyeonggi-do, and those villages followed that basic law written for them by Confucian scholars all the way down to the 20th century. The other downside of the new Confucian orthodoxy, obviously we've heard a lot about this, was the Neo-Confucians in Choson dynasty restricted the movement of women. Unlike the Koryo period and early periods where women you know were free to move around. In the Choson dynasty they followed Zhu Xi's kare, the home rituals, in which women became cloistered. So they had to stay in their houses until the sun set. After the sun set then women could leave the house as long as they were covered, and meet other women. So at nighttime women were walking around the cities and the towns, but during the day they had to stay inside their houses and so forth. So there was clearly an androcentric form of society, not very good for women. Question: Were slaves part of the indigenous population? Or women? Slaves? You could lose status in Choson society if you didn't do what the king wants, if you sided with the wrong enemy, if you didn't perform well in a battle, and if you didn't pay your taxes. The king had the power to turn any village into a slave village. And then once they are slaves, then the king had the power to assign slaves to different parcels of land. Now when I'm talking about slaves, I'm really talking about landed workers. You can't kill a slave with impunity. I mean you could be punished. But it means that they are landed, they're tied to pieces of land, and as somebody changes office they get control over the use of the land and along with that go the land-workers. It's not like our, North American notions of slavery that slaves are property. Yeah, they're really landed farmers. Question: These are like government owned slaves? Yeah, they're all government owned slaves. And when you get a new job you are assigned a certain number of these along with the land. But the point is that you have to get these workers to produce that which will support your family, because your not given a salary, your given land instead. Question: So what practice did the indigenous tribe have? Which indigenous? You know like in Taiwan. Koreans themselves are immigrants. Koreans are immigrants from Central Asia. They landed in the peninsula probably around 1000 B.C. So there are no original inhabitants. Unlike the Ainu in Japan, where they Ainu may in fact have been Siberian migrants into the northern islands. Korea's people are basically people who immigrated there anyway. There are some Chinese and Japanese bloodlines but thats much later. No one's indigenous in this population. Is that correct? Am I right? Okay, so again one of the other sides again on the right side of this is always the bad side. One of the issues that confronts Neo-Confucianism within Korea is of course the marriage of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, with elite landed interests. That is the develoment of clans and families, were all Neo-Confucian but they're also hungry for power and what happens is factualism begins to characterize and bring Choson dynasty government almost to a standstill. Meaning, those who are trained in the adherence and loyalty to a regional teacher carry that loyalty into the central government, try to promote other members of that lineage, to the detriment of anybody who was holding the office. And, the switches between Namin, and the Old Party, the Southern Party, the Short Older Party, the Younger Older Party. There were all these lineages competing within the cental governent each of which officiially was dedicated to the common good. That of course also meant in order to achieve the common good you have to get rid of that other lineage. And a whole series of literati purges, and a man by the name of Han Jongman, actually he tells us this in his diary. He says, that when my brother was appointed to the ministry of rites, I didn't agree with him. So I went around to the Ministry of Personnel and the Centre General spreading rumors to get my brother out of office. He responded, along with my father to try to kill me. So, here is an example, and we have the recorded in his biography. That he attempted to get rid of his brother out of government but then his father and brother actually tried to kill him, and he escaped and ran off to Jejudo, wherever he went, so on and so forth So there's a lot of factualism that appears within Korean politics. But they are all Neo-Confucians they all adhere to the same. What happens is they marry the interest of the land-owning class with an ideology. So that the factualism which otherwise might be ideological, or might be regional now in fact carries with it a kind of life and death intentionality So you know we got to get those Nanmen out of government and that's our duty. And we'll do as any means possible to get that faction out of government They considered it their moral duty to promote the interests of their particular faction. Not a good thing, alright, and eventually that causes a sort of a downfall of Confucian Neo-Confucianism. One of the other aspects of Neo-Confucianism in the Choson of course is the spreading of Neo-Confucian values into other classes. Very important. By the 16th century Neo-Confucians are not only themselves adhering to an orthodox interpretation of the classics, and they have control over all the organs of government, but now they especially in their appointments at the local level begin to enforce Confucian morality onto the lower classes. So the artisan class, farmer class, warrior class, military class they must now conform to the directions of the local Confucian bureaucrat. Now this Confucian bureaucrat whose in the local villages is also responsible for teaching. So local villages will set up schools to teach children how to read, and write, and so forth, and the local Confucian master basically makes sure that the morality of the village conforms to what he expects it to be. So, the influence of Neo-Confucianism at almost all classes except the slave class, pretty much permeates within 100 years after the founding of the dynasty. Different from Japan, certainly different from China. In China, Neo-Confucianism was just one of many different ideas, and the Chinese never became ultra orthodox in regard to it, but in Korea they did. It wasn't the study of classical literature but it was the study of things like farming manuals and basic mathematics was taught, how to keep books. They also taught children how to memorize basic things like the thousand character classic, where these are little poems in which, be good to mommy, be good to daddy, god will reward you, heaven will take care of you, that type of thing. These were, the thousand character classics is a morality book, that children learned and memorized by heart even if they didn't understand how to write it, but they memorized it. Question: Did they learn how to write? Yes, some did. It's slow to begin with but I think by the middle of the 19th century well over 40% of the whole population of Korea can read and write. In some form, it's not necessarily classical Chinese but it might be Hango, and so forth. I think by the beginnings of the 20th century it's closer to 60%, by the end of the Korean War it's 80%, and now it's about 100% literacy. But again, the later period is, Neo-Confucianism gets displaced, western science comes in, modern education techniques comes in.

First literati purge of 1498

The first and second literati purges took place during the reign of Yeonsangun, successor to Seongjong. The First Literati Purge of 1498, also called Muo Sahwa (무오사화, 戊午士禍/戊午史禍), began as the personal grudge of Yi Guk-don against Kim Il-son, who once impeached him. Both were assigned to compile records related to King Seongjong's reign for Annals of Joseon Dynasty, and Kim Il-son, a disciple of Kim Jong-jik, included the latter's writing that was critical of King Sejo's usurpation in the compilation. (Kim Jong-jik wrote a lamentation of Xiang Yu's murder of Emperor Yi of Chu in early Chinese history after he heard of Danjong's death at the order of King Sejo.) When Yi Guk-don, Kim Il-son's superior, found this out, he sensed a chance of revenge. Kim Il-son and other followers of Kim Jong-jik were accused of treason by the Hungu faction, many of whom originally gained power from their support of Sejo. Because Yeonsangun's lineage came from Sejo, Sarim faction's view of Sejo's usurpation was considered to be treasonable. Yeonsangun - who disliked academia and was notorious for turning the Seonggyungwan, royal study hall, into his personal brothel - found an opportunity to purge the Sarim scholars and weaken the Three Offices. Kim Il-son and two others (Kwon Obok and Kwon Kyungyoo) received the death sentence by Lingchi while three were beheaded.[6] Kim Jong-jik's remains were excavated and then beheaded, and at least 18 others were exiled. Yeonsangun ordered the entire court officials to watch Kim's execution and even ordered that those who did not attend or turned face away be reported so that they might be punished.

Second literati purge of 1504

The Second Literati Purge of 1504, or Gapja Sahwa (갑자사화, 甲子士禍), followed when Yeonsangun eventually discovered that his real mother was not Queen Jung-hyeon but Deposed Queen Yun, who had been executed (by poison) in 1482 for poisoning one of Seongjong's concubines and scratching Seongjong's face. Yeonsangun was told about his mother's death and presented with a piece of clothing purportedly stained with her vomited blood. He responded by killing two of Seongjong's concubines, and ordering the execution of officials who had supported Yun's death. This event struck both the Hungu and the remnants of Sarim factions indiscriminately, including the instigators of the first purge. At least 36 officials were executed (by drinking poison) and the remains of eight deceased officials were mutilated. The actual death toll was much greater than 36, because the victims' families and relatives were punished as well - male members being killed and the female members enslaved. A total of 239 officials were either executed, exiled, or dismissed. Yeonsangun was eventually deposed by the remaining Hungu officials, and his half-brother Jungjong became the eleventh king of Joseon in 1506.

Third literati purge of 1519

Jo Gwang-jo

The Third Literati Purge of 1519, also called Kimyo Sahwa or Gimyo Sahwa (기묘사화, 己卯士禍), is one of the most discussed literati purges in Joseon Dynasty because the Sarim faction held political power and was in the process of carrying out significant reforms at the time of their purge.

Jungjong worked to remove excesses of Yeonsangun and return to Seongjong's era, but his royal authority was limited due to powerful presence of coup leaders who put him on the throne. Only when the three main leaders of coup died of old age and natural causes eight years later, Jungjong began to assert his authority and look for ways to restrain Hungu faction's power. He soon found an answer in Jo Gwang-jo, a young and energetic leader of the Sarim faction, who soon became Jungjong's most trusted official. He enjoyed such a complete confidence of Jungjong that Jungjong abandoned a planned war at the sole opposition by Jo. With Jungjong's support, Jo rose to become an Inspector General only four years after entering politics in a series of unprecedented promotions and brought in many like-minded, young Sarim scholars from rural provinces to Jungjong's court. Under his leadership, the Sarim faction pushed forth a series of reforms as they established local self-government system called Hyang'yak, pursued land reforms to distribute land more equally and limit amount of land owned by the rich, promulgated Confucian beliefs widely among the public with vernacular translations, and sought to reduce the number of slaves.[7] Jo believed that any talented people including slaves should be appointed as officials regardless of social status. (For instance, he met a nameless butcher/tanner of lowest class and admired his learning so much that he discussed state affairs with him and wanted to appoint him as a government official.) According to Annals of the Joseon Dynasty,[8] no official dared to receive a bribe or exploit the populace or local provinces during this time because of strict enforcement by Inspector General's Office. He was admired so much by populace that when he appeared on streets people gathered before him saying, "Our master is coming," according to famous Korean philosopher Yi I.

However, these radical reforms generated fierce hostility and resistance of the Hungu faction. Jo also made many political enemies by impeaching many of the so-called heroes of 1506 coup. Especially when Jo argued that many of the alleged contributors to 1506 coup did not actually contribute to the coup and revoked their special privileges (including tax exemptions and huge stipends), the Hungu faction began to plot Jo's downfall. In early 1519, there was a plot by some Hungu officials to assassinate Sarim officials, which was discovered in time.

"Jo will become king"

Jo's uncompromising character and his frequent remonstrations to Jungjong to support his radical programs also began to irritate the king. Furthermore, Consort Gyeong of Park clan and Consort Hui of Hong clan (Hungu faction leader Hong Kyung-ju's daughter) sought to estrange Jungjong and Jo Gwang-jo by often questioning Jo's loyalty and claiming that popular support was shifting to Jo. At the behest of Hong Kyung-ju, Minister of Rites Nam Gon, and Shim Jung, and other Hungu leaders, they told Jungjong that people were saying that it was actually Jo Gwang-jo who ruled the country and that people wanted to make him their king. Even if Jo was not disloyal, he would not be able to stop his supporters from doing so, they said.

According to Annals of Joseon Dynasty, Nam Gon now set out to slander Jo and wrote a phrase "Ju cho will become the king" (주초위왕, 走肖爲王)" with honey or sugary water on mulberry leaves so that caterpillars left behind such phrase on leaves.[9] When two Hanja (Chinese) characters "ju"(走) and "cho"(肖) are put together, they form a new Hanja character "jo"(趙), which happens to be Jo Gwang-jo's family name. Consort Hong or Consort Park showed the leaf to Jungjong and claimed that this was the heaven's warning that Jo would take the throne himself after eliminating Hungu faction. Jungjong, who himself rose to the throne through a coup d'état, began to distrust Jo Gwang-jo. [When Goryeo dynasty fell and was replaced by Joseon dynasty, there was popular saying "Son of wood will gain the country" (목자득국 木子得國). When two Hanja characters meaning wood(木) and son(子) are combined, they form a new character "yi"(李), which happens to be the family name of Yi Seong-gye, who deposed the last king of Goryeo and founded Joseon dynasty. These phrases helped Yi Seong-gye win popular support for the new dynasty as heaven's will.]

Now feeling certain that Jungjong was sufficiently estranged from Jo, Hong Kyung-ju secretly entered the palace to warn King Jungjong that the court was filled with Jo's supporters and that no one could dare oppose him openly. When Jo petitioned Jungjong to revoke special privileges of people who falsely contributed to 1506 coup, Jungjong's suspicion was further heightened. Jungjong dispatched a secret letter to Hong Kyung-ju, expressing his fear that Jo Gwang-jo would next go on to question legitimacy of the coup and then turn against him.[10] Jungjong instructed Hungu leaders to kill Jo Gwang-jo and then inform him. On November 15, 1519, Hungu leaders entered the palace secretly at night to bypass Royal Secretariat and present to the king written charges against Jo: he and his supporters deceived the king and put the state in disorder by forming a clique and abusing their positions to promote their supporters while excluding their opponents.[11] Inspector Jo Gwang-jo, Justice Minister Kim Jung, and six others were immediately arrested, and they were about to be killed extrajudicially without trial or even investigation.[12] The whole event had appearance of coup d'état except that it was sanctioned by the king.

"What is their crime?"

They would have been immediately killed except that War Minister Yi Jang-gon, who arrested Sarim officials, entreated that ministers should be consulted for such decision. The cabinet meeting on the following day regarding Jo's fate is described in detail in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. Most officials expressed their shock at Jo Gwang-jo's arrest and Jungjong's intention to execute him.[13] They entreated that he may have been extreme in his youthful zeal to improve the country but could not possibly have private agenda. Chief State Councillor Jeong Gwang-pil, who often clashed with Jo and was even approached by Nam Gon for support,[14] entreated in tears: "I have frequently witnessed horrid calamities during the reign of deposed king (Yeonsangun), but how could I imagine to see such thing again even after meeting the wise king?"[10] Chief Council and Six Ministries jointly entreated that punishing Jo and others on such charge without evidence would be a blot on the king's reputation.[15] Eighteen younger officials requested to the king to imprison them with Jo Gwang-jo.[16] Even Hong Sook, who became Justice Minister overnight and interrogated Jo, reported to the king that he was "deeply moved" by Jo's loyalty.[17]

New Inspector General Yu Eun protested in even stronger terms: "If Jo Gwang-jo is guilty of crime, he should be punished in open and just manner ... Instead, Your Majesty is handing out such punishment after secret words by two people in the middle of night... What is so difficult about punishing few seonbis with authority of king that Your Majesty should do so secretly by sending a secret message?... If there is a crime, it should be dealt with clearly and justly, but Your Majesty appeared to trust and be friendly with your subjects on the outside while thinking of eliminating them in mind."[18] Meanwhile, 150 Seonggyungwan students stormed the palace to protest Jo's arrest and filled the palace with shouts of entreaties,[19] and later 240 students petitioned to claim Jo's innocence and requested to be imprisoned together.[20] Such outpouring in Jo's support may have increased Jungjong's suspicion and anger. Later Chief State Councillor Jeong, Deputy State Councillor Ahn Dang and even War Minister Yi Jang-gon were removed from office for opposing Jo's execution.[21]

Purge of Sarim scholars

Jo Gwang-jo was completely caught off guard by the turn of the event. The Sarim faction had scored its biggest victory just four days earlier when Jungjong granted their petition to revoke special status for 70 Hungu officials. He continued to believe that Jungjong was misled by wicked Hungu ministers and was confident that he could persuade the king of his loyalty once he could face him in the interrogation. He wrote to Jungjong of his fear of this incident becoming a bloody purge and entreated that he would not regret dying ten thousand times if only he could be granted an audience.[22] However, he would never have a chance to see Jungjong again. Amid petitions for leniency, Jungjong commuted the death sentence to exile, and Jo Gwang-jo was exiled to Neung-ju. But less than a month later, Jungjong fired many ministers who entreated on Jo's behalf and reinstated Jo's death sentence by poison. Before drinking poison, Jo wrote a death poem declaring his loyalty and bowed four times toward the palace.[23] Later when there was a severe drought in the country, people believed that it was heaven's punishment for killing an innocent seonbi.

Kim Jung and three others were executed as well in 1520, and dozens of Sarim scholars were exiled. Many others left the central government in protest and retreated to rural provinces. In 1521, Ahn Dang's son allegedly plotted to assassinate Nam Gon and Shim Jung, for which a dozen people including Ahn Dang were executed. In all, 225 officials were affected by the purge. Most of Jo's reforms were rescinded with his fall. In the end, Jungjong abruptly abandoned his reformist agenda because he either lost confidence in Jo Gwango-jo's programs or feared that he would become too powerful in the future. While Jungjong and Jo Gwang-jo shared the reformist agenda, Jungjong was also chiefly interested in solidifying royal authority whereas the latter was more concerned with neo-Confucian ideology, in which the king must be governed and restricted by teachings of Confucius and Mencius.

The Third Literati Purge of 1519 was widely viewed as a missed opportunity to fulfill ideal neo-Confucian society by later generations because Joseon politics soon degenerated into power struggle among in-laws and relatives of the royal family. Later its victims, called Gimyo Sarim or "Wise men of Gimyo," were venerated as Confucian martyrs while instigators became symbols of wickedness for many generations (For instance, fermented fish of lowest quality is still called Gonjangyi, combined word from Nam Gon and Shim Jung's given names). Nam Gon, one of main instigators who fabricated the conspiracy, regretted his role in the purge late in his life and willed that all his writings be burnt. No writing of his remains except for one short poem although he was a famous writer.

Fourth literati purge of 1545

When Jungjong died in 1544 and the crown prince Injong became the twelfth king, Sarim's hopes proved to be true. He appointed Yi Eonjeok and other famous Sarim scholars to high positions and rehabilitated Jo Gwang-jo and other purge victims. Unfortunately for the Sarim faction, Injong's reign was also to be the shortest of Joseon kings. When Injong died eight months later and Myeongjong became the thirteenth king of Joseon at the age of twelve, his mother Queen Munjeong became the regent and her brother Yoon Won Hyung wielded enormous power. (Many in the Sarim faction believed that Injong was poisoned by Queen Munjeong, but there is no evidence that this was the case.) Lesser Yoon faction was not persecuted by Greater Yoon faction during Injong's reign, but Injong dismissed Yoon Won-hyung and Yoon Won-ro from their positions after they were impeached by the Greater Yoon faction. Now that he was reinstated, Yoon Wong-hyung accused Yoon Im and his supporters of plotting to put another prince instead of Myeongjong on the throne after Injong's death. This ploy at first backfired and led to his exile, but continued accusations and rumors of Yoon Im's treason led to the Fourth Literati Purge of 1545, in which the prince, Yoon Im, and nine of his supporters including Sarim scholars were executed. After this initial purge, Yoon Won-hyung continued to purge his rivals and Sarim scholars over next five years until the total death toll surpassed one hundred and many others including Yi Eonjeok were exiled. Yoon Won-hyung even killed his older brother Yoon Won-ro in the ensuing power struggle. After Queen Munjeong's death in 1565, Myeongjong exiled Yoon Won-hyung, who died or committed suicide the same year, and attempted to govern well by recruiting talented people but died two years later. Along with Kim Anro, Yoon Won-hyung is considered one of the worst politicians of Joseon dynasty.

Power struggle of in-laws

Unlike other literati purges, the Fourth Literati Purge of 1545, or Ulsa Sahwa (을사사화, 乙巳士禍), was largely a result of power struggle between relatives of the competing princes. After Jo Gwang-jo's fall, Nam Gon and Shim Jung's faction and Kim Anro's faction vied for power after Kim Anro's son married Jungjong's eldest daughter. Kim Anro was exiled by Nam Gon and Shim Jung for abusing power, but he returned from exile after Nam Gon's death and successfully drove out Shim Jung, who was accused of accepting bribes from Consort Park to help her put her son on the throne instead of crown prince. Later he framed Shim Jung and Consort Park on the charge of cursing the crown prince (A dead rat whose mouth, eyes, and ears were burnt with hot iron to make it look like a pig was discovered hanging from a tree in the crown prince's palace on his birthday. There also phrases cursing the crown prince, whose Chinese zodiac sign was Pig. Consort Park was suspected for she was already known to be plotting to put her son on the throne instead. It was later found out to be Kim Anro's doing after his fall.) Consort Park, her son Prince Buksong, and Shim Jung were executed. Kim Anro now unleashed the reign of terror against his political enemies in the name of protecting the crown prince. He even attempted to depose Queen Munjeong, who gave birth to a son who was later to become Myeongjong, but this led to his downfall and execution in 1537.

After Kim Anro's fall, the crown prince Injong's maternal uncle Yoon Im and Queen Munjeong's brothers Yoon Won-ro and Yoon Won-hyung filled the power vacuum. (Yoon Im and Yoon Brothers were close relatives by that period's standards - Yoon Im's great-grandfather was older brother of Yoon Brothers' great-great-grandfather.) Many officials gathered around the two centers of power and developed into separate political factions. Yoon Im's faction became known as ‘Greater Yoon’ and the Yoon brothers' faction as ‘Lesser Yoon.’ By then, Jungjong promoted Sarim scholars again by recalling them from exile and reappointing to court positions to restrain Hungu faction's power. Many Sarim scholars joined the Greater Yoon since they had great hopes for the crown prince, who studied under Jo Gwang-jo and Yi Hwang and was greatly anticipated to become a benevolent ruler.


These four purges decimated the Sarim faction and again drove them to the rural villages, where they built schools (called seowon). Yi Hwang, for example, left politics in the aftermath of the Fourth Literati Purge and did not return to the court despite repeated summons by Myeongjong. Other famous philosophers Jo Shik, Seo Gyeong-deok, and Seoung Soo-chim also turned away from politics after Jo Gwang-jo's death. Jo Shik turned down his appointment by writing to Myeongjong: "Under Your Majesty's reign, state of affairs has already gone awry and the foundation of the country has already collapsed. Heaven's will has already left as did the support of people... The Queen Regent is thoughtful, but she is merely a widow deep inside palace, and Your Majesty is young and thus merely a lonely heir to the late king. Therefore, how would one handle thousands of natural disasters and billion pieces of people's heart?"[24] (In Joseon Dynasty, natural disasters were thought to occur due to king's fault.)

However, the Sarim continued to thrive in rural provinces through its seowons and Hyang'yak system. By the reign of King Seonjo, successor to Myeongjong, the Sarim faction gained the control of the central government and dominated Joseon politics ever since.

Modern reinterpretation

The above account of literati purges is based on widely accepted traditional understanding of the subject, which largely stems from the Sarim faction's point of view. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty and much of what we know about these events were largely written by Sarim scholars even before they emerged as the eventual victor. Some historians have tried to reinterpret the literati purges as a result of struggle between the Joseon kings who wanted to establish absolute monarchy and the aristocrats who claimed that the true loyalty to king was to guide him to become a benevolent Confucian philosopher-king by pointing out his mistakes if necessary. The Sarim scholars tended to occupy key positions in Three Offices, which put them in conflict with the king and high-ranking ministers. In this view, the distinction between Sarim and Hungu factions are thought to be largely artificial, and division within aristocracy was largely along the family connections rather than philosophical differences.

Other purges

Following the Fourth Literati Purge of 1545, there were a series of other similar purges out of political struggle between different factions, but they are not called "literati purges," or sahwa (사화) in Korean, which specifically refers to persecution of Sarim scholars by the Hungu faction in late 15th and early 16th century. The later purges are instead called with various names such as oksa (meaning treason case), muok(false treason case), hwanguk (change of power), and bakhae (persecution, especially of those Catholic faith in the 19th century). One notable example of the later purges is Treason Case of 1589, or Gichuk Oksa, which is sometimes called the fifth literati purge even though both the instigators and victims were of Sarim faction. In these later purges, the victimized faction would call the event "literati purge (sahwa)" to signify their innocence and the rival faction's wrongs.

  • Oksa (Treason Case)
    • Shinsa Muok (신사무옥) or False Treason Case of 1521 - Three years after the Third Literati Purge of 1519, Jo Gwang-jo's supporters were accused of plotting to assassinate Nam Gon and Shim Jeong and were executed. It is more often considered a part of Third Literati Purge (Jungjong).
    • Gichuk Oksa (기축옥사) or Treason Case of 1589 - the bloodiest purge in Joseon history, in which the Western faction purged the rival Eastern faction. 1,000 people were executed or exiled (Seonjo).
    • Gyechuk Oksa (계축옥사) or Treason Case of 1613 - After Gwanghaegun rose to the throne, Greater Northern faction accused Lesser Northern faction of plotting to dethrone Gwanghaegun and make his half-brother the king. (The excesses of Greater Northern faction led to the coup d'état in which the Westerners and Southerners placed Injo on the throne.)
    • Shinyim Oksa (신임옥사) or Treason Cases of 1721 and 1722 - Leaders of Noron faction (split from Western faction) who supported Yeonyingun (later Yeongjo) advocated regency of Yeoningun in place of sickly Gyeongjong. They were accused of disloyalty, and four of them were executed in 1721. In 1722, Soron and Namin factions accused Noron faction of plotting to kill Gyeongjong, and eight leaders who had again advocated Yeonyingun's regency were executed.
    • Eulhae Oksa (을해옥사) or Treason Case of 1755 - After Yeonyingun rose to the throne and became Yeongjo, Soron faction was driven out of power in reaction to Shinyim Oksa. Five Soron members were accused of treason and were executed.
  • Hwanguk (Turn of state) - Purges in Sukjong's reign is called hwanguk, meaning sudden change of government. They marked the reemergence of earlier purges after a century of peaceful rivalry between Southern and Western factions.
    • Gyeonshin Hwanguk (경신환국) or Turn of 1680 - Two leaders of Southern faction was accused of plotting to dethrone Sukjong by the Western faction (Sukjong).
    • Gisa Hwanguk (기사환국) or Turn of 1689 - The Western faction fell out of power after opposing the naming of crown prince. Song Siyeol and others were executed. (Sukjong)
    • Gaapsul Hwanguk (갑술환국) or Turn of 1694 - The Southern faction's attempt to purge Western faction on charge of plotting to reinstate deposed Queen Inhyeon backfires. The Southern faction would never recover from this purge politically. However, the Westerners already split into Noron and Soron factions. (Sukjong)
    • Shinchuk Hwanguk (신축환국) or Turn of 1721 - Noron faction loses power in the aftermath of Shinyim Oksa. (Gyeongjong)
    • Eulsa Hwanguk (을사환국) or Turn of 1725 - Yeongjo becomes the king, and Noron faction regains power.
    • Jeongmi Hwanguk (정미환국) or Turn of 1727 - Yeongjo replaces hardliners with moderates from both Noron and Soron faction.
  • Bakhae (Persecution) - They were also called Saok(사옥), meaning "Heresy Case".
    • Sinhae Bakhae (신해박해) or Persecution of 1781 - First persecution of Catholicism in Korea. Noron's Byeokpa faction advocated persecution while Shipa faction opposed it. Two Catholics were executed, but persecution was limited after Jeongjo adopted Shipa faction's policy.
    • Shinyu Bakhae (신유박해) or Persecution of 1801 - After Jeongjo's death, Queen Jeongsun and conservative Byoekpa faction reversed many of Jeongjo's reforms and carried out the worst persecution of the Joseon Catholics, which was also aimed at the purge of liberal Shipa and Southern factions, some of whose leaders including Jeong Yak-yong were Catholics or had Catholic relatives. 300 people were executed, and Jeong Yak-yong was exiled. (Sunjo)
    • Gihae Bakhae (기해박해) or Persecution of 1839 - There was no persecution while Shipa was in power, but Byeoka regained power and resumed the persecution of Catholics by executing 119 people. (Heonjong)

Depictions in Korean mass media

The Korean literati purges are frequently depicted in Korean television dramas and movies. In Dae Jang Geum, main protagonist Jang Geum's father is a victim of the second literati purge. Jang Geum herself and her mentor Lady Han are framed in connection with the third literati purge while the male protagonist Min Jeong-Ho is portrayed as a follower of Jo Gwang-jo. In television drama Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin (2004-5), Yi Sun-shin's grandfather is depicted as a victim of third literati purge and Yi's father is arrested while paying respect to Jo Gwang-jo's spirit at Jo's abandoned house. the second literati purge is dramatized through the movie, "The Treacherous" (2015). The third and fourth literati purges also constitute main plot lines of the 2001 television drama "Ladies of the Palace". The first and second literati purges are depicted in television dramas "King and Queen" (1998–2000) "The King and I" (2007–2008), "Queen Insoo " (2011) " and 2005 film The King and the Clown.


  1. ^ Pratt, Rutt & Hoare 1999, p. 397
  2. ^ Wagner 1974, p. 23
  3. ^ Wagner 1974, p. 24
  4. ^ Wagner 1974, p. 22
  5. ^ Pratt, Rutt & Hoare 1999, p. 272
  6. ^ "윤필상 등이 사초 사건 관련자 김일손·권오복·권경유 등의 죄목을 논하여 서계하다 Yoon Pil-sang and others discuss the crimes of Kim Il-son, Kwon Oh-bok, Kwon Gyeong-yu, etc". Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  7. ^ [1] Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine Yi Duk Il, "Seonbi Image Demanded by 21st Century," (in Korean)
  8. ^ [2] Annals of Joseon Dynasty, October, 1520
  9. ^ Annals, September 21, 1568
  10. ^ a b Annals, April 13, 1520
  11. ^ Annals, November 15, 1519
  12. ^ Annals, December 21, 1544
  13. ^ Annals, November 16, 1519, No. 12
  14. ^ Annals, January 16, 1535, No.4
  15. ^ Annals, November 16, 1519, No.20
  16. ^ Annals, November 16, 1519, No.7
  17. ^ Annals, November 16, 1519, No.12
  18. ^ Annals, November 18, 1519
  19. ^ Annals, November 16, 1519, No.13
  20. ^ Annals, November 17, 1519
  21. ^ [3], Reformer Jo Kwang-jo (in Korean)
  22. ^ Annals, November 16, 1915, No.11
  23. ^ Annals, December 16, 1519
  24. ^ Annals, November 19, 1555


This page was last edited on 22 September 2023, at 19:25
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.