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A Buddhist Reconquest of Korea?: Namho Yŏnggi and “Changan kŏlsikka”

A Buddhist Reconquest of Korea?: Namho Yŏnggi and “Changan kŏlsikka” The Late Chosŏn period saw significant social changes, one of which was increasing urbanization. The capital Hansŏng, in particular, grew in both the size and diversity of its population. It is often said that Buddhism in the Chosŏn period catered to the lower classes and withdrew from the cities to the mountains. Though this is true to a degree, Buddhism continued to serve the urban city population, including the women’s quarters of the royal palaces as well as men of different social status groups. This article argues that well-connected priests like Namho Yŏnggi (1820–1872), who maintained relations with elite <i>yangban</i> and educated commoners, primarily addressed literate urban dwellers. Namho Yŏnggi was the author of two Buddhist songs in the <i>kasa</i> form, and one of these, “Changan kŏlsikka” (Song of Begging in the Capital), may be seen as a Buddhist counter-attack against the dominance of Confucianism, and even as an appeal to the educated for a symbolic reconquest of the centre of the nation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Religions University of Hawai'I Press

A Buddhist Reconquest of Korea?: Namho Yŏnggi and “Changan kŏlsikka”

Journal of Korean Religions , Volume 3 (1) – Jul 14, 2012

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Institute for the Study of Religion, Sogang University, Korea
ISSN
2093-7288
eISSN
2167-2040

Abstract

The Late Chosŏn period saw significant social changes, one of which was increasing urbanization. The capital Hansŏng, in particular, grew in both the size and diversity of its population. It is often said that Buddhism in the Chosŏn period catered to the lower classes and withdrew from the cities to the mountains. Though this is true to a degree, Buddhism continued to serve the urban city population, including the women’s quarters of the royal palaces as well as men of different social status groups. This article argues that well-connected priests like Namho Yŏnggi (1820–1872), who maintained relations with elite <i>yangban</i> and educated commoners, primarily addressed literate urban dwellers. Namho Yŏnggi was the author of two Buddhist songs in the <i>kasa</i> form, and one of these, “Changan kŏlsikka” (Song of Begging in the Capital), may be seen as a Buddhist counter-attack against the dominance of Confucianism, and even as an appeal to the educated for a symbolic reconquest of the centre of the nation.

Journal

Journal of Korean ReligionsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 14, 2012

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