Korea and its Traditions

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Celadon

Korean ceramic pottery with a thin blue or green glaze.

Describe how geography affected life on the Korean peninsula.

Peninsula is at the crossroads of East Asia. Both bridge and battleground. Russia, China, and Japan surround. Each in the past century has sought to dominate. 1945, US has also had a major interest in Korea.

Describe the relative location of Korea in relation to China and Japan.

Korea points "like a dagger at the heart of Japan" North end of the peninsula has mountains and Yalu River separate from Korea and China.

Give two examples of how Koreans adapted or modified Chinese ideas under the Silla or Koryo dynasties.

Korean monks went to China to learn about Buddhism, and temples were built. (Imperial Dragon temple): center of state sponsored Buddhism during Silla. Confucian College in 682. Confucian Ideas restricted previous rights of women in Korea.

How did the Chinese capital influence Korean rulers?

Koguryo developed a strong, independent state because Chinese could never have real power over Korea because of mountains. Evolved from tribes to centralized monarchies. Confucianism through royal authority and kingly virtue.

How did the Chinese influence first begin to reach Korea?

Buddhism was transmitted through 3 Kingdoms. Koguryo (372) Paekche (384) Silla (527). Intro of Buddhism meant the importation of not only the religion, but also of an advanced Chinese Culture.

How did the relative location of the Korean peninsula influence the development of Korean civilization?

Koreans descended from nomadic Mongolian tribes. Practiced agriculture and used bronze. Spiritual beliefs were shamanistic, gods/spirits were good or evil.

How has Korea's geography influenced the way of life of its people?

Mountains are almost 70%, makes farming difficult, so many live along the western coastal plains (farming region) 5,400 coastline w/harbors -> Koreans depend on seafood & large fishing industry.

Over what time period did Korean culture evolve?

7000 BCE-313 CE

Silla (Shilla) dynasty

Occupied most of the peninsula. One of the three kingdoms. Adopted Buddhism for Korea (became the state religion) Notable for bone rank. Silla and Tang joined in conquest, but wanted an independent unified state, so eventually drove Chinese out -> still maintained close ties.

Understand the influence of China and Buddhism on Korea.

Mountains between China & Korea had originally made it impossible for Chinese to have any real control. Buddhism absorbed the myths, legends, & shamanist beliefs of the early Koreans. Intro of Buddhism meant not only importance of religion, but also of an advanced Chinese culture.

What Chinese practices did Koreans adapt or improve upon?

Developed Bone Rank (hereditary, on caste), rather than Chinese bureaucracy and civil service based on rank. Development of industry (cattle & farm tools, dams, private ownership, but then came the division between aristocracy and commoners.

What religion came to Korea from China?

Buddhism

Why might Korea's location be considered strategic to other countries?

Many natural & agricultural resources. North has coal, iron ore, and many minerals, South has larger expanse of arable land & warm climate. -> Korea is seen as a prize

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