Mural paintings in ancient tombs reflect the past ages. They are a “testimony of history” containing pictures and ideas of those who lived in the past and show the culture of the day as it was. Therefore, it is difficult to understand the paintings without considering the history and culture of those days. Analysis of the formation and content of mural paintings in Goguryeo’s ancient tombs is interlocked with understanding the path that Goguryeo had traveled, i.e., its social and cultural processes. Goguryeo history drew people’s attention in the 1990s. In particular, mural paintings in ancient tombs are emerging as a major subject of study due to their value as materials with abundant content. It is more encouraging that many treatises are being published with Goguryeo’s mural paintings as the subject. However, attempts have not been made to link the mural paintings in ancient tombs, which are the basis of funeral art, to the society and culture of the times (Jeon Ho-tae 1997b). Such an attempt must be made even if only in the sense of just presenting the data for “examination and discussion,” although there are still several areas which are hard to ascertain. This paper was prepared with this purpose in mind.
China has already engaged in the massive task of assimilating Korean history as part of its own history via the Northeast Asia Project that was launched in 2002. They had already shown their intent in the past by distorting the facts regarding Balhae to suit their own historical and political interests. They are now putting their hands on the history of Goguryeo, and they will also target the matter of Gojoseon as well as the very origin of the Korean people in the near future. If they are not stopped, a huge part of Korean history will be literally stolen away from Korea. All these maneuverings by the Chinese indicate their current need to maintain control over the Chinese-Korean minorities, but it is also clear that, with regard to the future situations that would undoubtedly unfold, they are viewing the potential for gaining control over the northern region of the Korean peninsula, control in whatever terms that would fit their needs. These actions are also in response to a certain level of the Koreans’ biased perception of their own history. In order to counteract their advances, establishing a long-term system of data collecting and training of scholars is highly recommended.
Music played an important role in the Goryeo dynasty. The administrative apparatus of Goryeo was largely Confucian in orientation and as such, music was considered to be of paramount importance in the proper performance of rituals. The Goryeosa mentions that Chinese ritual music was originally performed together with indigenous Goryeo music at the ancestral shrines of the Goryeo rulers. This fact is significant because it reveals the existence of heterogeneous elements within a tradition that is often portrayed as homogeneous and also offers an avenue for further exploration into the composition of Goryeo ideology. The present article looks at Goryeo ideology from a pluralist perspective. Using the example of mixed performances of ritual music, it describes and analyses the co-existence of different ideological elements in the same space. As such, it tries to offer an alternative for the abundance of one-dimensional characterizations of Goryeo and argues that in Goryeo's ideological landscape ideology functioned in a dynamical discourse where boundaries overlapped, intersected and were never absolute. In short, this article explores the different ideological elements of Goryeo by means of focusing on Goryeo ritual music.
A politico-economic approach has thus far dominated studies of reunification. It is certain that Korean reunification cannot be achieved without a resolution of political and economic issues. The need for a politico-economic approach cannot be overemphasized. However, if we are to learn from the case of Germany, we must grant that the problem of social and cultural integration is just as important as political and economic unification. Social and cultural factors can play a significant role in South-North reunification. This is because social members’ values and attitudes, as much as politico-economic dimensions, exert crucial influence on reunification A socio-cultural approach is crucial to both the accommodation of various views on reunification and a consistent reunification policy. We need to replace the current political and economic approach that both sides have been using with efforts to include the demands of a varied and pluralistic society. The usefulness of a socio-cultural approach is that it is not only conducive to the preparation for reunification, but also acts as a mediator between the reunification consciousnesses of different generations, groups, and individuals.
This article explores King Jeongjo’s role in coping with the religious conflicts among the intellectuals in eighteenth-century Joseon. My argument is that King Jeongjo’s ruling style led Catholicism debates into political persecutions. He has been regarded, in most existing works, as generous and tolerable to Catholicism. In those works, King Jeongjo was on the defense line against Anti-Catholicism attacks during his reign, but after his sudden death, Pyokpa, the political rivals of the Namin, took retaliatory action in the name of ‘Western Learning. Of course, King Jeongjo had a great interest in “Western Learning” and protected some scholars of the Namin against political attacks. But he took measures that created distrust among his subjects in order to weaken their power. He often followed the tactic of “divide and rule,” so called “like cures like.” In the mean time, the relationship among his subjects grew worse. The leaders of the Noron, for example, said to those of the Namin in the public places, “I will not live with you under the sky.” The Namin, to make things worse, were unexpectedly divided into two groups; pro-Catholicism and anti- Catholicism. The distrust and attacks among the Namin scholars made them irreconcilable, and such became one cause of the martyrdoms of 1801. In sum, King Jeongjo was responsible for the immense political persecution, although it was the unintended results of his actions after his death.