When it comes to understanding the history and culture of Seoul, it’s impossible to ignore the impact of Confucianism. This ancient Chinese philosophy has had a profound influence on Seoul for centuries, shaping the city’s values, traditions, and customs. From the architecture to the etiquette, Confucianism is deeply embedded in the fabric of Seoul’s culture.
### The Spread of Confucianism
Confucianism first arrived in Korea during the Three Kingdoms period (57 BC-668 AD) and was later adopted by the Koryo dynasty (918-1392). During the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), Confucianism became the official state ideology and a major source of political power. As a result, Confucian values were taught in schools, used in court proceedings, and honored in daily life.
### Impact on Korean Society
Confucianism had a major impact on Korean society, particularly on the structure of the family. The traditional Confucian values of filial piety, loyalty, and respect for elders were strongly emphasized. These values were seen as essential for maintaining harmony within the family and society as a whole. To this day, these values remain deeply ingrained in Korean society, particularly in Seoul.
### Impact on Architecture
The influence of Confucianism can also be seen in the architecture of Seoul. Traditional Korean homes are often built in the traditional hanok style, which is based on Confucian principles. These homes feature large courtyards, sloping roofs, and curved eaves, all of which are designed to promote harmony and respect.
### Impact on Etiquette
Confucianism has also had a major impact on the etiquette of Seoul. Koreans are expected to adhere to a set of social norms, such as bowing to elders, addressing people with honorific titles, and avoiding direct eye contact. These customs are deeply rooted in Confucian values and are still widely observed in Seoul today.
From its architecture to its etiquette, Confucianism has had an undeniable influence on the history and culture of Seoul. This ancient Chinese philosophy has shaped the city’s values, traditions, and customs for centuries, and continues to do so today. In what other ways has Confucianism influenced Seoul’s culture?
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