|[a] Culture RF|
|[b] Unified RF|
When Chinese civilization encounters a barbarian people, those barbarians are transformed by Chinese ways into a civilized people. Barbarians look up to China and are delighted to receive its civilizing influence. This is the way things are in the natural order of things....Regrettably, Europe was not introduced to the basic principles of the Great Tao, and Europeans were not turned into more virtuous people by its civilizing power. Europeans do have a remarkable talent for technology. They easily surpass the Chinese in that area. But that achievement makes them arrogant, and they think that they can convert the whole world to their way of thinking. They need to think again!
|[c] Gate RF|
A number of aspects of Choson history and society gave rise to a slowly growing sense of national identity, many of which were drawn upon by writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as they tried to create a distinct sense of Korean ethnicity and nationhood. Although it was slow to take root, an important change took place with the debate that followed the development of an indigenous Korean script in the fifteenth century. King Sejong's preface to the Hunmin Chongum (Correct Sounds to Instruct the People) makes the point that even though Korea was deeply influenced by Chinese civilization, there remained distinct differences.
Although our country's rituals, music, and literature are comparable to those in China, our speech and language are not the same as China's....With these twenty-eight letters, infinite turns and changes may be explained; they are simple and yet contain all the essence; they are refined and yet easily communicable....They can be used whatever and wherever the occasion may be. Even the sounds of wind, the cries of cranes, the crowing of roosters, and the barking of dogs can all be transcribed in writing.
Ch'oe Malli's opposition to the alphabet, however, is instructive in the way that it portrays the relationship between the two countries:
|[d] Scripted RF|
The school of "Practical Learning" (sirhak) that developed in late Choson further developed this growing theme. Although they wrote in classical Chinese and were imbued with the Neo-Confucian teachings of their early education, they began to differentiate themselves as Koreans from what Choe Mali had called “the senior state.” At the same time, those same scholars began to criticize abuses within Korea that had formed over the centuries—most pointedly directing their criticisms at the yangban aristocracy and the examination system that strongly symbolized Chinese influence.
To select men for public office on this basis is really a foolish thing to do.....
The examination system thus selects men who are useless, and it does so
on the basis of worthless writing.
|[e] Practical RF|