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Jowihan's thought about Traditional cultures

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2009, (70), pp.153-179
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

민영대 1

1한남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

We see that traditional cultures has been handed down to us from the ancient times. It is natural that we can see diverse elements of traditional cultures reflected in classical works. In Jowihan's Choiceokjeon we can find several aspects of traditional culture scattered in the whole story. Choiceokjeon was written by Jowihan in 1621. Choiceok, the main character of the story, are forced to face a tragic fate when his wife was taken to Japan in the turmoil of Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. To get over the grief he goes to China after the war. However, he luckily meets his wife in China and comes back to Korea and lives happily ever after. Choiceok was later identified to be a real person who used to live in Namwon. Jowihan, the author of the story, was an confucian scholar living in the confucian society in th time of Joseon Kingdom. In his story, however, we can find not only confucian, but also diverse traditional ideas including buddist and taoist ideas. The story depicts Choiceok's life, his struggle to pass the state exam, his willingness to join the volunteer army during the war, the whole process of his marriage, the couple's visiting Manbok temple to wish for a baby boy, his wandering in China to forget the personal grief after losing his wife, his final visit to Cheongseong mountain, the cradle of Taoism, and so on. Besides, we can find diverse sayings and proverbs properly mixed in the story. We also see the whole process of how Hongdo is born and how he serves his parents, the whole process of funeral rites, fortune-telling, positive view on the monogamy system, and especially diverse traditional beliefs, such as confucian, taoist, and buddist ideas. The author scatters all these traditional features in the whole story and succeeds in depicting the society saturated with traditional motifs. Jowihan is a skillful writer who invites the readers to his well-built fictional world and let them to fully participate in his world of traditional cultures.

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