Follow-up on Confucianism
- China, Japan, and Korea are three Asian countries with strong Confucian tradition.
However there are differences. The Korean version is that of Zhu Xi (called
Chu Hee or Chu-Ja), known as Neo-Confucianism among philosophers. Korean
call it Chu-Ja Hak.
Zhu Xi is largely unknown even among highly-educated Chinese scholars. Japanese Samurai doctrine was largely based on Buddhism. Neo-Confucianism was introduced to Japan after Japanese troops kidnapped Korean scholars during their invasion of Korea 400 years ago. Konishi Yukinaga (known as So-Seo Haeng Jang ) was one of their commanders. Did you know he was a Christian? He became quite interested in the Korean version of Confucianism, and kidnapped Korean scholars to his country.
This became the beginning of Neo-Confucianism in Japan. Japan's Tokugawa dynasty adopted this Korean version as its constitution. In Japan, this version called "Shiu-shi Kaku" (Chu-ja Hak in Korean). However, the Tokugawa period lasted only for 250 years until Japanese started copying Western systems 1850. This means that their Neo-Confucianism is not too strong.
We can thus conclude that Koreans were able to absorb Christianity so easily thanks to the tradition of their own Confucianism. It is thus an interesting subject to see the common denominator between Christianity and the Korean version of Confucianism.
- Click here for the early years of Korean Christianity.
copyright@2017 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.