This study looks at the following questions: how did Goryeo celadon; which flourished during the Goryeo dynasty and was known to contemporary China and Japan, suddenly drew interest from Korean and Japanese scholars in the modern period when it started to be collected and reproduced, and even exhibited around the world; and how was it perceived during the Joseon dynasty. It examines the contemporary views and perceptional changes towards Goryeo celadon by reviewing historical records, collections of literary works, diaries, and other materials written by Joseon literati who would play a role in linking their Goryeo predecessors and their own successors in the modern world. The accounts which show the interest, the appreciation, and the collecting of Goryeo celadon are concentrated in historical records and literary collections produced in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Through those writings, it is understood that Goryeo celadon was thought of as something exquisite or elegant, profound, and authentic that could hardly be mimicked. Meanwhile, literati texts written in the late Joseon period describe the Goryeo celadons as physical objects, that were either owned by the authors or seen by them and remembered with specific images. In the late nineteenth century, Goryeo celadons were even selected as royal gifts for diplomacy. This study finds that unlike previous studies which have emphasized the process of modernized Japan and Western powers indulging in Goryeo celadon out of cultural interest and taste since 1900s, Goryeo celadon was actually collected and appreciated starting in the eighteenth century. In the first half of the nineteenth century, Goryeo celadons were continuously stolen from graves and bought by the Japanese. Starting from the eighteenth century, information on Goryeo became increasingly common as books and artwork from China was introduced and rapidly disseminated. Various historical books including Gaoli tujing and collected literary works were copied, kept, and read. In particular, the Gaoli tujing was found to have survived in various manuscript exemplars produced in Korea; this has implications for other important texts. Various pieces of information on Goryeo continuously and repeatedly contributed to the formation of how Goryeo was viewed; this viewpoint was reconstructed and established as the present image of the dynasty. The memories and experiences gleaned from texts and physical objects overlapped and interwove in the Joseon period to imbue Goryeo celadon with symbolic meanings.
Among the various plant designs that decorated Goryeo celadon, the plantain design is notable for the changes in composition, decorative techniques, and other aspects over a set period, despite the small number of celadon vessels actually made with plantain designs. The paper aims to discern the meaning of the plantain design and its development on Goreyo celadon, and the research outcomes are as follows. First, the cultural meaning of the plantain design was established in China. The plantain represented the Buddhist concept of impermanence, and through the Tang and Song dynasties it became the symbol of the spirit of the scholar as its meaning expanded. Such meanings were shared by the literati and intelligentsia of the mid- and later Goryeo period, and the study of literary and historical materials confirmed that the plantain design also functioned to imbue a space with special meaning. Second, in China the plantain was used as a seasonal background element in paintings from the Tang dynasty. During the Song dynasty, when direct influence on Goryeo is expected, the connection between the plantain and the literati grew even stronger. Though the plantain appears on few examples of Song or Jin dynasty ceramics, it can be found both as the main design motif, expressed pictorially, and as a subordinate design used instead of lotus leaves. Third, Goryeo celadon with plantain designs was produced in Gangjin and Buan for around two centuries, from the first quarter of the 12th century to the second quarter of the 14th century, focusing on maebyeong. This whole production period was sub-divided into three periods: the introductory period, the perfection period, and the change and repetition period. There were differences in decorative techniques and the combination of design motifs used in each period. Fourth, much importance was placed on the influence of Chinese paintings on the production of Goryeo celadon. From the start of the perfection period, however, Goryeo celadon plantain designs moved beyond Chinese influence, and the creativity of the Goryeo people was reflected in the meaning of the plantain and its expression.
In the twelfth-century Goryeo, celadons began to be used by the royal court and the noble, which enhanced the reputation of celadons. The iconography of diverse seosu (auspicious beasts) employed in the twelfth-century celadon wares is indicative of such enhanced reputation of celadons. A wide variety of auspicious animals, including the dragon, lion, girin, hornless dragon, turtle-dragon, fish-dragon, sea horse, rhinoceros, bonghwang, and nansae decorated particular types of vessels, such as incense burner, large basin, large bowl, maebyeong, ewer, brush rack, and water dropper. Despite being mythical animals, the actual appearance of seosu was perceived as a sign of good omens from heaven and an emblem of a peaceful and prosperous era. The seosu iconography is presumed to have been employed to adorn the spaces designed for Daoism-oriented royal banquets or rituals. In Goryeo of the twelfth century, the royal court strongly advocated Daoism and acquired a deep understanding of Confucian scriptures. As a result, elements such as seosu became the iconographic expression of the king’s authority represented on celadons of Goryeo.
Goryeo Dynasty was the only dynasty in the world that used celadon roof tiles to adorn pavilions in the gardens of royal palaces in the mid-twelfth century. Celadon roof tiles were installed in Taepyeongjeong, Yangijeong, and Seoru Pavilions. Based on the Yingzao fashi manual published in 1103 during the Northern Song Dynasty, the titles of the designs on celadon roof tiles have been identified as haishiliuhua (exotic camellia) and longyahuicao (elixir or dragon-fang-shaped fairy orchid). The origins of both designs can be traced to China. Camellia design, symbolizing the concept of rebirth by transformation in pure land or rebirth in paradise, had been applied mainly to grotto murals, stone coffins inside imperial mausoleums and tombs of the nobles, and temple buildings from the Tang period. Moreover, haishiliuhua was the term referring to exotic camellia imported from Korea and Japan to China. Elixir or dragon-fang-shaped fairy orchid appears to have symbolized the cure for diseases, good health, and longevity. Owing to their religious connotations, exotic camellia and elixir or dragon-fang-shaped fairy orchid began to be used as official design on a wide variety of artworks in the Tang period and in the Song period, respectively. In particular, exotic camellia pattern which was flamboyant and rhythmical during the Tang period became simplified and schematized in the Song period. In Goryeo, the use of both designs can also be observed in Buddhist artworks. They began to be utilized in steles for Buddhist monks in the late eleventh century. Moreover, sliver-inlaid incense burners, transcribed Buddhist sutras, and Buddhist paintings, including Water-Moon Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, were ornamented with these designs throughout the early Joseon period. Celadon roof tiles of the mid-twelfth century marked the appearance of these designs in Goryeo celadons. The exotic camellia pattern used in Goryeo displays originality. In line with the Buddhist concept of rebirth in paradise, each phase in camellia’s material and physical transformation from flower through fruit into seed is portrayed in detail as a pouch-shaped ovary of which seeds are pouring out like a cluster of grapes or a series of beads. Such depiction of seeds could not be found in China or Japan, but continued to be used in Korea until the early Joseon period. Both exotic camellia and elixir or dragon-fang-shaped fairy orchid designs on celadon roof tiles appear to have been influenced by the designs on silver-inlaid bronze incense burners of the time. Therefore, celadon roof tiles installed in Goryeo royal buildings in the mid-twelfth century were produced embodying wishes for the king’s good health, longevity, and rebirth in paradise.
This paper aims to identify the usage of earthenware pottery for food storage based on surviving written records and materials excavated from Goryeo period sites. Although written records from this period is insufficient by themselves, this research has been possible thanks to well-preserved pottery excavated from Goryeo period sites. Earthenware pottery was used for the storage of drinking water and food. Evidence of Goryeo earthenware used for food storage can be found in literature and at temple and other building sites as well as from the wrecks of trading ships discovered in the waters off of Mado. At the time, earthenware was used to store grain, fermented foods such as traditional Korean sauces (jang), salted and fermented seafood (jeotgal), kimchi, and alcohol. Earthenware vessels were used as measuring containers to verify a predetermined quantity. In all ages, including in the Goryeo period, earthenware has been made chiefly for practical use in diverse spaces. That is why the intended usage of such earthenware pottery matters more in a discussion of its identity than do its figurative qualities based on shape.
This paper examines the development and implications of the Tang-Song poetry debate in Joseon. The debate, which started in China during the late Song period, was introduced to early Joseon through the Ming dynasty. While embracing the Chinese literati’s evaluations of Tang and Song poetic traditions and their reverence for Tang poetry as a paragon of poetic excellence, the Joseon literati also formed critical views on the debate, informed by their unique cultural and political realities. This paper identifies three key factors that led to the distinct development of the debate in Joseon: namely, 1) the influence of orthodox Neo-Confucian ideology, 2) the growing awareness of Joseon’s temporal and cultural distance from China, and 3) King Jeongjo’s literary reform. While Song poetry was rejected as an inferior model by the Ming participants in the debate, the Joseon literati came to its defence due to their commitment to the Song Neo-Confucians and their literary works. Citing Joseon’s distinct history and culture from those of the Chinese dynasties, they also formed critical responses to the trend of imitating Tang poetry. More importantly, the debate in Joseon entailed the renunciation of Ming-Qing poetry and the promotion of Joseon poetry, best exemplified in King Jeongjo’s literary reform. Taken as a whole, the Tang-Song poetry debate served as a catalyst for dynamic theoretical explorations and indigenization of Sinitic poetry in Joseon, Korea.
This study examines ideological conflicts prevalent among Korean Hawaiians during the early twentieth century and cultural activities that unified the divided Korean communities. Previous studies have focused on struggles among Korean political refugees, prompted by conflicting strategies for Korean independence from Japanese rule (1910-1945). To date, no prior studies have explained how the political factions affected the everyday lives of non-political Korean Hawaiians—those who came to Hawaiʻi as plantation workers, picture brides, and their children; moreover, the discussion of their cultural activities has received limited attention. This study expands previous perspectives by focusing on the sociocultural activities of multigenerational Korean Hawaiians. Findings from archival resources reveal that political conflicts led to divisions among Korean churches, female social organizations, and second-generation Korean Hawaiians. Despite such challenges, Koreans actively participated in multicultural events such as the Balboa Day Festival and showed Korean traditional performances, through the orchestrated efforts of the first-, 1.5-, and second-generation Korean Hawaiians representing both sides of political factions. This study emphasizes that Korean Hawaiians, regardless of political, religious, and generational divisions, had common ground with the need to preserve Korean ethnic identity and to confirm their local identity by showing their presence to the multiethnic audiences through musical activities.
Jeju Island reveals exemplary openness to ghost phenomena. In Jeju cosmology, there exists ontological space for ghosts in which the existence of ghosts is tangible. Life on Jeju is permeated with these invisible entities. They are living beings who have their own autonomy. In the Jeju belief system, they are powerful presences and constantly influence the living. Historically, some ghosts have been deified, and are still worshipped as goddesses. There are 270 village shrines called dang on Jeju Island and six of them enshrine haunted maiden deities. The maidens are called halmang who are guardian deities of the six villages. They were seemingly historical figures who were deified after undergoing unbearable harshness in their lives and suffering an unaccepted death. All six maiden myths share commonalities: all are females around the age of puberty, all suffered in their lives, and all died unnatural deaths. The six maidens haunted their villages and were constantly deified to appease their spirits. This paper focuses on Jeju islanders’ experiences and understandings of ghost phenomena specifically concentrating on the myths of six village maiden goddesses. Finally, it will reflect on Jeju islanders’ mysterious experiences to find meaning through theoretical considerations.
The aim of this paper is to study the problems and causes of the trauma aspects arisen due to the rapid industrialization and urbanization in the 1970s of Korea depicted in Cho Se-Hee’s A Small Ball Shot up by A Dwarf (1978) and A Thorn Fish Coming into My Net (1978). Cho’s novels show how the Dwarf and Kyeonghoon unable to adjust to the 1970s’ industrialization and urbanization get traumatized under the threat of new reality. In the case of the Dwarf, he falls into lethargy, but for Kyeonghoon, due to his dreadful family stories and his defective relationship with his cousin and workers, he undergoes compulsive experiences again and again. Cho Se-Hee’s novels reveal how the 1970’s industrialization has destructive influence on two classes each.