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Medieval Culture Hall

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This exhibition hall is dedicated to Buddhist and Confucian culture. It features Buddhist sculptures and crafts from the Three Kingdoms, Goryeo, and Joseon periods, and also explores the rise of Neo-Confucianism in the Joseon period, when some Buddhist temples were converted into Confucian private schools and Confucian scholars of the Yeongnam School became active in the area. The exhibits are organized to reflect the guiding Confucianist principle that, in order to properly govern a nation and bring peace to all, one must first be able to govern one’s family.

Buddhism

Buddhist Sculpture

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  • Buddhist Sculpture

Duration

Images of Buddhist saints and guardians represent the Buddhist doctrine of tangible objects of worship. Silla was the last of the Three Kingdoms of Korea to adopt Buddhism, after Baekje and Goguryeo. In Silla, the production of Buddhist images became widespread by the seventh century, primarily centered around the capital of Gyeongju. Northern areas (e.g. Yeongju, Bonghwa, Andong, Gunwi, and Gumi in Gyeongsangbuk-do) served as channels for the import of Buddhist culture; thus, numerous Buddhist artifacts have been found in the area, including gilt-bronze Buddhist images from the Three Kingdoms period and stone Buddhist images from the early Unified Silla period.

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  1. Pensive Bodhisattva Pensive Bodhisattva
  2. Buddha Buddha
  3. Pensive Bodhisattva Pensive Bodhisattva
  4. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
  5. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
  6. Buddha Buddha
  7. Buddha Buddha
  8. Bodhisattva Bodhisattva
  9. Lion States Lion States
  10. Vairocana Vairocana
  11. Buddhas Buddhas
  12. Amitabha Buddha Amitabha Buddha

Buddhism

Sarira Reliquaries

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  • Sarira Reliquaries

Duration

Buddhist pagodas serve as ornate storage units for sarira, which are beads, crystals, or relics believed to be corporeal remains of Buddhist monks or masters. Sarira are typically placed in containers called reliquaries, which can be made from diverse materials (e.g. gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, glass, crystal, etc). The reliquaries are then enshrined within a pagoda, along with other sacrificial offerings, such as miniature Buddhist images, beads, and accessories. The excavation and examination of sarira reliquaries and other relics from stone pagodas of the Unified Silla period have revealed important details about the Buddhist culture of the region. Today, representative objects of the Buddhist culture of Unified Silla include sarira reliquaries, green-glass sarira bottles, and diverse sacrificial offerings found in the Five-Tiered Brick Pagoda at Songnimsa Temple in Chilgok; the Three-Tiered Stone Pagoda at Galhangsa Temple in Gimcheon; and the Three-Tiered Stone Pagoda at Naehwari in Mungyeong.

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  1. Reliquary Reliquary
  2. Reliquary Reliquary
  3. Reliquary Reliquary
  4. Reliquary Reliquary
  5. Reliquary Reliquary

Buddhism

Buddhist Handicrafts

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  • Buddhist Handicrafts

Duration

Buddhist handicrafts can be generally divided into three categories: ritual objects, objects used for sacrificial offerings, and decorative objects. The first category includes objects that were used to call monks to gatherings, such as bells, umpan (cloud-shaped gongs made of iron or bronze), and mogeo (large hanging wooden fish), as well as objects that were actually used during rituals, such as bara (cymbals), woodblocks, hand bells, and vajra. The second category includes kundika bottles, incense burners, flower vases, candlesticks, and dishes for food. The third category includes sarira reliquaries, ornate roof tiles and bricks, and diverse decorative articles that were used to signify the Purified Land of Buddha, such as canopies, banners, altars, and baldachins (ornate canopies over an altar).

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  1. Dragon Head Dragon Head
  2. Buddhist Bell Buddhist Bell
  3. Buddhist Bell Buddhist Bell
  4. Buddhist Gong Buddhist Gong
  5. Incense Burner Incense Burner
  6. Ritual Ewer(Kundika) Ritual Ewer(Kundika)
  7. Vajra Bell Vajra Bell
  8. Vajra Vajra

Confucianism

Development of Confucian Academies

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  • Development of Confucian Academies

Duration

The first Confucian school officially designated by the king was Sosu Seowon (Confucian School) in Sunheung-myeon, Yeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do. “Sosu” roughly translates to “restoring the neglected tradition of academic learning.” The school was built on the former site of Suksusa Temple, and was thereby indicative of the sweeping changes of the Joseon Dynasty, as Confucianism replaced Buddhism as the national doctrine. During the reign of King Jungjong (r. 1506-1544), Ju Se-bung (1495-1554) was appointed as the administrator of Punggi-gun. To honor the Goryeo Confucian scholar An Hyang (1243-1306), Ju erected a shrine called Baegundong Seowon and trained young Confucian scholars there. In 1550, at the request of Yi Hwang (1501-1570), who had been appointed as the administrator of Punggi-gun in 1548, King Myeongjong named the place Sosu Seowon, and made arrangements for the school to receive financial support from the state.

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  1. Buddhas Buddhas
  2. Portrait of An Hyang Portrait of An Hyang
  3. Tablet of Sosuseowon Tablet of Sosuseowon
  4. Chronicles of Baegundongseowon Confucian Academy Chronicles of Baegundongseowon Confucian Academy

Confucianism

Dodongseowon Confucian Academy, Truths That Traveled to the East

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  • Dodongseowon Confucian Academy, Truths That Traveled to the East

Duration

In 1568, local Confucian literati built a shrine at the foot of Biseul Mountain in Hyeonpung-hyeon, in honor of the revered scholar Kim Goeng-pil (sobriquet: Hanhwondang). The shrine was originally called Dodong Seowon, but in 1573, King Seonjo granted it the official title of Ssanggye Seowon. The shrine was destroyed by fire in 1597 during the Japanese invasion, and then rebuilt in 1605 at a new location and renamed Borodong Seowon. Then in 1607, King Seonjo officially changed the name back to Dodong Seowon, now recognized as Korean Historic Site 488. In the late Joseon Dynasty, Heungseon Daewongun ordered that all Confucian schools be shut down, but Dodong Seowon was one of forty-seven major Confucian schools that were not affected by the order.

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  1. Rubbing from the Memorial Stone for Kim Goeng-pil Rubbing from the Memorial Stone for Kim Goeng-pil
  2. Vernacular Translation of Xiaoxue (Elementary Learning) Vernacular Translation of Xiaoxue (Elementary Learning)
  3. Biography and Collected Works of Kim Goeng-pil Biography and Collected Works of Kim Goeng-pil

Confucianism

Confucian Scholars and Academies in Gyeongsang-do

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  • Confucian Scholars and Academies in Gyeongsang-do

Duration

During the Joseon period, Yeongnam had the most active Confucian scholars of any region. During the sixteenth century, Yeongnam scholars often suffered exile or worse as a result of political disputes. Local scholars such as Kim Jong-jik, Jeong Yeo-chang, Kim Goeng-pil, Yi Eon-jeok, Yi Hwang, and Jo Sik led political movements against relatives of kings who wielded too much power.

During the Joseon period, the activities of Confucian scholars were mainly centered around the seowon (Confucian schools). Seowon served a variety of important functions, as shrines to pay homage to ancestors, as private schools for training young scholars, and as venues for discussing social and political problems.

Featured Items

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  1. Collected Works of Kim Jong-jik Collected Works of Kim Jong-jik
  2. Collected Works of Yi Eon-jeok Collected Works of Yi Eon-jeok
  3. Collected Works of Jeong In-hong Collected Works of Jeong In-hong

Confucianism

Susin, the Act of Mental Cultivation

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  • Susin, the Act of Mental Cultivation

Duration

Seonbi (Confucian scholars) were dedicated to self-cultivation based on the moral and philosophical tenets of Confucianism, and also to enlightening others. They strove to enhance their moral sensibility through self-discipline and the study of Confucian scriptures containing the teachings of ancestors. They also left behind many excellent poems, writings, and paintings reflecting their attitude of serenity towards nature and human life. Such works display the idealism and spirituality pursued by Confucian scholars.

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  1. Seven Chinese Classics Seven Chinese Classics
  2. Jinsilu (Reflections on Things at Hand) Jinsilu (Reflections on Things at Hand)
  3. Studies on Xinjing (Classic of the Mind-and-Heart) Studies on Xinjing (Classic of the Mind-and-Heart)
  4. Calligraphy of Yi Hwang Calligraphy of Yi Hwang
  5. Painting of Plum Blossom by Oh Dal-je Painting of Plum Blossom by Oh Dal-je
  6. Personal Items of the Men's Quarter (Brush Stand, Brush Rest, Water Dropper, Inkstone) Personal Items of the Men's Quarter (Brush Stand, Brush Rest, Water Dropper, Inkstone)

Confucianism

Jega, the Act of Regulating Home

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  • Jega, the Act of Regulating Home

Duration

In Confucianism, the foundation of all ethical principles is family. Benevolence and righteousness—the core values of Confucian ethics—can be obtained through respect for one’s parents and elder siblings. Social and political values are considered to be extensions of family ethics, so priority is placed on family management as the basis for proper rule and governance. Towards the end of the Goryeo period, Zhu Xi’s Family Rituals was introduced to the country, serving as the foundation for the rise of Neo-Confucianism, which became prevalent in the ensuing Joseon period. Confucian scholars took their fundamental principles from Zhu Xi’s treatise, and distributed the text throughout the country. Thus, Family Rituals came to represent the rules and standards of everyday life for all the people, commoners and nobility alike.

Featured Items

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  1. Records on Sacrificial Rite of National Shrine to Confucius Records on Sacrificial Rite of National Shrine to Confucius
  2. Collected Commentaries on Zhuzi jiali (Family Rites of Zhu Xi) Collected Commentaries on Zhuzi jiali (Family Rites of Zhu Xi)
  3. Inquiry into the Four Rites Inquiry into the Four Rites
  4. Essentials of Funerary Rites Essentials of Funerary Rites
  5. Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of Wedding Celebration of the Sixtieth Anniversary of Wedding
  6. Ancestral Tablet Chamber Ancestral Tablet Chamber
  7. Ancestor Seat Ancestor Seat

Confucianism

Chiguk, the Act of Governing the State

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  • Chiguk, the Act of Governing the State

Duration

Confucianism encompasses the view that social problems can only be solved if people pursue morality in their individual lives. This sense of morality was imposed on the king and the nobility more strictly than on the general populace. On the basis of Confucian doctrine, Joseon kings made great efforts to maintain sound relationships with high-ranking officials, and they worked to enact measures to properly and effectively rule the country. Confucian scholars considered it their ultimate duty to complete their morality through their studies and then put those morals into social practice as government officials. Hence, young Confucian scholars typically aspired to pass the state-administered examinations and obtain a post as a political official.

Featured Items

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  1. Illustrated Guide to the Five Confucian Virtues Illustrated Guide to the Five Confucian Virtues
  2. Official Notice of Successful Candidates List in Licentiate Examination of 1895 Official Notice of Successful Candidates List in Licentiate Examination of 1895
  3. Crimson Certificate Crimson Certificate
  4. Horse Passes Horse Passes
  5. Identification Tags Identification Tags
  6. Portrait of Seo Mae-su Portrait of Seo Mae-su