Abstract

This article examines the Confucian component of the North Korean juche ideology, appraising the national-Stalinist doctrine in view of its relation to the Reformed Confucianism of Chŏng Tasan. A representative of the indigenous sirhak (practical learning) school in the late Chosŏn era, Tasan merits attention because he was politically endorsed in Kim Il Sung’s 1955 juche speech and was popular in the 1960s. Studying the rise, fall, and revival of Tasan; Kim Jong Il’s statements on behalf of the North Korean state bureaucracy; and the juche and Tasanist conceptions of “man,” the author concludes that Tasan’s Neo-Confucianism was assimilated into juche and that the sirhak scholar is being ideologically re-appreciated for regime legitimacy in North Korea today.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 93-121
Launched on MUSE
2012-05-04
Open Access
No
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