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HIS3040-2012-FALL Confucianism in Choson Dynasty with a Focus on Women

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Leah Ellins

on 5 December 2012

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Transcript of HIS3040-2012-FALL Confucianism in Choson Dynasty with a Focus on Women

"Even if he acquires a hundred concubines, accept them with equanimity." Jealousy is unacceptable
Respect husband no matter what
Don't go against his word Confucianism in Chosŏn:
A Focus on Women Overview Transition: Koryŏ to Chosŏn Koryŏ Chosŏn The Seven Sins Behavior Virtuous Women Education Family Relationship: House Rules Importance of
Human Relationships Husband & Wife Other Oppressed People Korea as a Slave Nation Secondary Sons Important Women Figures Sinsaimdang (1504-1551) Confucian Culture: Depiction of a Faithful Wife The Song of a Faithful Wife, Ch'un-hyang Discussion Questions Speech The Three Bonds The Five Relationships Moderate
Truthful and simple
Do not discuss other's status
Do not talk about your children's spouse I. Introduction

II. Virtuous Women

III. Importance of Human Relationships

IV. Other oppressed people

V. Important Women Figures

VI. The Depiction of Faithful Wife and the Confucian Culture

VII. Conclusion Quick Reminder Virtue
Filial Piety King ~ Subject
Father ~ Son
Husband ~ Wife
Eldest son ~ Youngest son
Friend ~ Friend
Late Koryŏ lacked these "innate qualities"

Exemplify those "who were not misled" to "transform the people" Famous painter/calligrapher
Mother of Yi Yulgok
"Wise Mother" Queen Sohye (1437-1504) Kisaeng Ancestral patrimony equally shared with brothers

Uxorilocal marriage system – no ranking

Divorce without negative social or economic consequences

Remarriage allowed

High degree of liberty in decision making and action 1. Disobedience to parents-in-law

2. Failure to produce a male heir

3. Adultery

4. Excessive jealousy towards other women in the household

5. Serious disease

6. Stealing

7. Excessive talk Chosŏn (1392 - 1910) Clothing Traditional

Neat and clean

Balanced Koryŏ (918-1392) Patriarchal system (eldest son sole heir)

Ranking order : primary and second wives
(1413 law )

The Seven Sins

Divorcees treated as outcasts

Remarriage forbidden

Partial freedom of expression within the inner quarters

Emphasis on virtue Food Always share

Never criticize

Table manners Primary wife > Secondary wives (concubines)
Husband punished if concubine > primary wife
Only one primary wife allowed
Wife: domestic realm (nae)
Husband: public realm (oe)
Obedience: wife follows, husband leads
Wife cannot remarry Polite
Control over emotions Choice of literature


Children's basic education The Story of Ch'un-hyang Trailer "Ch'un-hyang" by Im Kwon-taek Activities Household finance management

Cooking, sewing, etc.

Fields and animals

Medical and religious knowledge Mong-nyong :
15 years old
Son of governor Yi
Studying for Civil exam Most famous p'ansori in Korea rendered multiple times (movies, dance, plays, etc.)

Virtuous woman
Rise of the low class & sexual liberation Ch'un-hyang :
15 years old
Daughter of kisaeng Wŏl-mae and
Yangban Sŏng
Educated and talented Chastity Faithful to the husband

"beautiful custom" Yi Pinghogak (1759-1824)

Guide to household management

Wide circulation (~1800) The Encyclopedia of Women’s Daily life 1. How did changes in Chosŏn Dynasty impact women's lives?

2. What is a virtuous woman ?

3. Why was literature so important during Chosŏn dynasty in terms of women's voices?

4. What is Naehun (Instructions for the Inner Quarters), and why was it significant [in respect to women's opinions in Chosŏn]?

5. How did the social status upheld during the Chosŏn period affect the lives of Secondary sons?

6. What did "Records Written In Silence" depict?

7. Why was the story of Ch'un-hyang so famous? http://www.zimbio.com/watch/re-4evSBeFo/Chunhyang/Chunhyang Role of a Primary Wife "Rustling bamboos in the gentle winds of spring;
Reading books while incense burns at night." "My daughter has been carefully brought up as a chaste and modest maiden fit partner for a lord." Mother's
Role Ch'un-hyang's
Poem Interpretation of Ch'un-hyang Double Voice Discourse "They will choose you a chaste and modest maiden from a rich and honored family of ministerial rank, but when you go with her to pay your respects to your parents at morning and evening, don't forget me altogether." Virtue Liberation Keep domestic circle in order (for sake of husband) ~ help maintain order in society & the world
Be well-educated (not beyond inner quarters) "Husband and wife are the mainstay of human morality, and the differentiation between main wife and concubine may not be blurred." T'aejong sillok [1413] Woman from Chosŏn dynasty on today's 50,000 won bill Appeared in Koryŏ for the first time

Female entertainers for the Yangban and the royalty

Part of the Ch'ŏnmin: lower status within the society, often hereditary

Very cultivated and educated (Gyobang)

Status ambiguity : Double voice discourse

Hwang Jin-I Song Siyŏl: Instructions to my Daughter (17th cent.) a. Hereditary slavery (mid/late 10th century)
b. Population
c. Opposition
d. Slavery comes to an End a. Social Status

b. Illegitimate Sons & others

c. Opposition Memories of Lady Hyegyong Princess Hyegyong (1735-1815) A Record of Sorrowful Days (Hanjung nok) Conclusion Illustrated Conduct of the Three Bonds -Mid/late 10th century

-Matrilineal rule (1039) Recall Kim Pusik's View of Women and Confucianism in Samguksagi -within a few centuries, 1/3 population
-Early 17th-18th, 30% of population
-Buddhism and Neo-Confucian -Yu Hyongwon (1622-1673)
-Yi Ik (1681-1763)
-Yu Suwon (1694-1775) -King Sunjo (r. 1800-1834)
-Kim Hongjipin in 1894 Confucian rites (ye)

Cultivation of
Individual -“From that day on my parents began to use honorific expressions with me, and the elders of the clan treated me with respect—all this made me feel uncomfortable and indescribably sad...I felt like a sinner who has no place of refuge. I did not want to leave Father and Mother. My heart felt as thought it would melt away...” Family & Relatives Domestic
slaves [ "House Rules" by Sin Sukchu (1468) ] One: Make the Mind Discerning
Two: Be Circumspect in Behavior
Three: Be Studious Four: On Managing a Household
Five: On Holding Office
Six: On Instructing Women Property Careful spending
Harvest & ancestral sacrifice
Do not be excessive
Plan for future (children, illnesses, etc.) Parents and Children Instructing Children "Early instruction will lead to the preservation of the family and will spare dishonor to oneself. This is really up to the mother, so do not blame the father." Daughter into Wife Miscellaneous Child's marriage partner (genealogy)
Be firm in your decisions
Do not demean yourself "doing something against your will [...] can be constituted as demeaning. Please take it to your heart to live courageously and with principle." Queen Sohye:
Instructions for the Inner Quarters (1475) Women's role important for social order
Family depends on woman ~ must be educated
Women as advisers
"If a wife is not wise, she cannot serve her husband." Parents-in-law
Mother of lineal heir
Success of sons
Eternal faithfulness (no remarriage)
Economic security
Ancestral ceremonies
Remain virtuous Kwŏn Ch'ae (15th cent.)
Naehun (Instructions for the Inner Quarters) 1475
Literature for women in court
Expression through literature (within inner quarters)
Necessary to educate women Mencius (BC 372 ~ BC 289) Mong-Yong's
Book Governance by Virtue "Whether Chuang-tzu dreamt he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreamt it was chuang-tzu her soul was carried away like a breeze or a cloud. spirits move like the wind rising in two heavens or they move through
the earth and in a spring dream upon the pillow she flew thousands of li to the south." Most differentiating factors from Koryŏ Dynasty's Confucianism is that Chosŏn Dynasty's contains liberating factors in literati and even in pansori, a free-bound activity. How about modern women?
Can we trace the Confucianistic thoughts? (1607-1689)
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