Chinese influence on Korean culture

Chinese culture has had a tremendous impact in many areas of Korean culture, including arts, written language, religion and government administration, with Koreans molding these Chinese models into distinctly Korean forms.[1]

ArchitectureEdit

Korean wooden-frame architecture was introduced from China during the Han dynasty and has continued to the modern era.[2][better source needed] Other Chinese concepts to influence Korean architecture include yin and yang, the five elements, Chinese geomancy, Taoism and Confucianism.[3][better source needed]

Chinese cultural influence around the turn of the common era formed the basis for the early Korean architecture in the Three Kingdoms period.[4][better source needed] This influence is attributed to Lelang Commandery, a Chinese colony in what is now northwestern Korea, which was founded in 109 BCE.[5][better source needed] Baekje in particular adopted heavy Sinitic influence.[6][better source needed]

Later, during the Koryŏ period, further artistic and architectural influences from Song and Liao were absorbed in the peninsula.[7][better source needed] The wooden building style of this period also seems to have been influenced by that of Fujian in southern China.[8][better source needed]

Painting and sculptureEdit

Science and technologyEdit

MusicEdit

While a vast majority of Korean musical instruments clearly have some Sinitic ancestry, most of these imported instruments have never been widely used in Korean music, and many are now obsolete.[9] The qin (Korean kŭm), for instance, is almost never played outside of the semi-annual Sacrifice to Confucius (Korean sŏkchŏn).[10] The comparatively popular kayagŭm and kŏmun'go, although they are reputed to have originated in China, have been independent for centuries, and have been modified significantly from the Chinese originals.[10]

The traditional genre of tangak (literally "music of Tang") was imported from China, probably mostly during the Koryŏ period.[11] The aak genre, by contrast, was developed in Korea in the fifteenth century based on Chinese written sources from an earlier period, as the style had already fallen out of fashion in China.[12] Despite Korean claims to aak retaining its "pure" Chinese form it bears marks of alteration after being imported to Korea.[12]

Writing and literatureEdit

 
The Chinese scholar Jizi is credited by ancient sources with introducing written language to Korea.

The majority of literature produced in the Korean peninsula before the twentieth century was written in Classical Chinese;[13] the reason for this is that the indigenous writing system, hangŭl, only developed relatively late (the fifteenth century) and was not widely accepted as a means of writing intellectual discourse until the late nineteenth century.[13]

Extant Korean poetry in Chinese goes back to the Koguryŏ period.[14] Later, under Unified Silla and Koryŏ, poetic and prose compositions continued to closely follow forms originating in China and characteristic of the Six Dynasties period.[15] The Wen Xuan was extremely influential in China during the Tang Dynasty, and the Korean literati of the period followed suit.[15] Tang poetic principles also appear to have influenced poetic composition the peninsula during the Koryŏ period.[15]

Several important poets of the ninth and tenth centuries, including Ch'oe Ch'i-wŏn (born 857) and Ch'oe Sŭng-no (927-989) studied in China.[16]

All scriptural and commentarial writings composed by pre-modern Korean Buddhists were written in literary Chinese (Korean hanmun).[17]

ScholarshipEdit

The historian Gim Busik (1075–1151), a Confucian,[18] adopted the historiographic style of Sima Qian in compiling his Samguk Sagi.[19]

Religion and philosophyEdit

To ignore the greater northeast Asian context in discussing Korean Buddhism is to distort Korean Buddhism.[20] Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the fourth century, during the Three Kingdoms period.[21] The Samguk sagi records that Buddhism was first introduced to Koguryŏ around 372 by the monk Sundo/Shundao, who was summoned to the Chinese state of Former Qin by its king Fujian,[21] and that the Indian monk Mālānanda brought Buddhism from the Eastern Jin to Paekche around 384.[18]

All schools of Korean Buddhism have their roots in earlier Chinese innovations, in both doctrine and soteriology.[20] While Korean monks training in China often played a critical part in some of these developments,[20][note 1] China's size and its geographical position on the Silk Road (which gave it stronger ties to the older Buddhist traditions of India and Central Asia) allowed it to pioneer the majority of trends in East Asian Buddhism.[20]

The monk Wŏnch'ŭk studied in China under Xuanzang and developed his own interpretation of Yogācāra Buddhism derived from Xuanzang's New Yogācāra.[22] Sŏn Buddhism, a Korean form of Chan Buddhism, began with the seventh century Silla monk Pŏmnang, who studied in China with the Fourth Patriarch of Chan Buddhism, Daoxin.[22] Sŏn monks followed Pŏmnang's example studying this new form of Buddhism in China for the next century and a half,[22] and most of the founders of Nine Mountains school of Sŏn traced their lineage to Mazu Daoyi of the Hongzu sect.[22] Two other examples of Korean sects with Chinese roots were Ch'ŏnt'ae, founded by Ŭich'ŏn based on the Chinese Tiantai,[23] and Hwaŏm (Ch. Huayan.[24] Though Ŭich'ŏn only established Ch'ŏnt'ae as a separate school of Korean Buddhism in the eleventh century, Korean Buddhists had been studying Chinese Tiantai as early as the seventh century.[25]

The eleventh-century Korean Tripiṭaka that would later become a reference point for the twentieth-century Japanese Taishō Tripiṭaka were based on the Chinese Buddhist Tripiṭaka completed in the tenth century.[23]

Law and governmentEdit

Pre-modern Korea's dynastic governmental systems were significantly indebted to China.[26]

Starting in the Three Kingdoms period, Korean government officials were trained with a Chinese-style Confucian examination system.[27] This examination system continued into the Chosŏn period, but unlike in China the examination was only open to members of the aristocratic upper class.[28]

The national flag of South Korea is derived from the Chinese philosophy yin-yang and the Chinese divination text I Ching.[29]

LifeEdit

Most Korean surnames, such as Kim, Lee and Park, are derived from Chinese names.[30][31][32]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Buswell (2010 : 44-46) emphasizes the mutual interchange of influence between Chinese Buddhism and the traditions of other "peripheral" regions such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Tibet.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Armstrong, Charles K. (2009). "Central Themes for a Unit on Korea". Columbia University "Asia for Educators". Columbia University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. Through much of its history Korea has been greatly influenced by Chinese civilization, borrowing the written language, arts, religions, and models of government administration from China, and, in the process, transforming these borrowed traditions into distinctly Korean forms.
  2. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 1. Introduction". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. Since the introduction of the Chinese culture of the Han Dynasty the basic system of wooden building frames has been passed down to recent years, Such structures coincidentally blended with other indigenous architectural details.
  3. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 1. Introduction". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. Korean architecture has also been affected by a number of Oriental conceptual thoughts: yin and yang, interpretation of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth), geomancy, Taoism and Confucianism either directly or indirectly.
  4. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 2. Ancient Architecture". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. In this is period [roughly 109 BCE] the Chinese culture was transplanted to Korea and the influence spread rapidly throughout the peninsula to furnish a basis for the development of Korean architecture.
  5. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 2. Ancient Architecture". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. In 109 B. C, the Chinese colony of Nangnang (Lo-lang) was established in the northwest region of Korea. The site of the colony headquarters and tombs are found on the southern bank of the Taedong River near the city of Pyongyang. Official buildings were built of wood and brick and roofed with tiles having the features of Chinese construction.
  6. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 2. Ancient Architecture". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. Paekche, the recipient of influences from continental architecture, assimilated diverse influences and expressed its derivation from Chinese models.
  7. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 4. Koryo Architecture". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. Following the cultural tradition of United Silla, the art and architecture of Koryo was developed under fruitfull ties with the contemporary culture of the Sung and the Liao in China.
  8. ^ Yoon, Chang Sup. "A Brief History of Korean Architecture: 4. Koryo Architecture". Atelier Professor KOH Architectural Design Lab, Gyeongsang National University. Gyeongsang National University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. In this period, the wooden building style seemed to be affected by the cultural influence of the Fukien province in the southern coast of China.
  9. ^ Provine 1987 : 5-7.
  10. ^ a b Provine 1987 : 7.
  11. ^ Provine 1987 : 10.
  12. ^ a b Provine 1987 : 9-10.
  13. ^ a b Paragraph 1 in Emanuel Pastreich "The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea", chapter 53 in Mair 2001.
  14. ^ Paragraph 2 in Emanuel Pastreich "The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea", chapter 53 in Mair 2001.
  15. ^ a b c Paragraph 3 in Emanuel Pastreich "The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea", chapter 53 in Mair 2001.
  16. ^ Paragraph 4 in Emanuel Pastreich "The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea", chapter 53 in Mair 2001.
  17. ^ Buswell 2010 : 46.
  18. ^ a b Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 449.
  19. ^ Paragraph 8 in Emanuel Pastreich "The Reception of Chinese Literature in Korea", chapter 53 in Mair 2001.
  20. ^ a b c d Buswell 2010 : 44.
  21. ^ a b Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 448.
  22. ^ a b c d Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 450.
  23. ^ a b Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 451.
  24. ^ Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 454.
  25. ^ Park, Jin Y. article "Buddhism in Korea" in Keown and Prebish 2010 : 451-452.
  26. ^ Provine 1987 : 5.
  27. ^ Armstrong, Charles K. (2009). "Central Themes for a Unit on Korea". Columbia University "Asia for Educators". Columbia University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. All were strongly influenced by Chinese culture and government administration, including the use of the Confucian examination system to train government officials.
  28. ^ Armstrong, Charles K. (2009). "Central Themes for a Unit on Korea". Columbia University "Asia for Educators". Columbia University. Retrieved 3 May 2016. But unlike China, the pool of eligible examination takers in Korea was officially limited to members of the upper social class, called yangban.
  29. ^ DK (2014). Complete Flags of the World. Penguin. ISBN 1465434054. At the flag's center is a disk containing an S-shaped line, the upper half being red and the lower half blue. This is derived from the Eastern yin-yang symbol, .... The other alteration to the original flag in 1948 was to trigrams (kwae) surrounding the yin-yang, which were reduced from eight to four, They are the basic trigrams from the I-Ching, a divination system widespread in the East.
  30. ^ Taylor, Insup; Taylor, Martin M. (1995). Writing and Literacy in Chinese, Korean and Japanese. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 9027285764.
  31. ^ Hopfner, Jonathan (2011). oon Seoul. valon Travel. ISBN 1612382444.
  32. ^ "Why so many Koreans are called Kim". The Economist. September 9, 2014.

Cited worksEdit