Abstract

Abstract:

This study analyzes historical documents to assess the influence of the Government-General on Korean Buddhism under Japanese rule from 1910 to 1945. Although the Government-General had the authority to appoint and dismiss head monks, internal records show that when head monks were elected in conflict-free towns and provinces, the Government-General did not actively intervene in the election process. Despite the widespread belief that the Government-General actively supported married monks, its leaders actually criticized their marital status. They approved the appointments of married head monks in response to the increasing demands of Korean Buddhist society, demands for amendments to temple regulations the Government-General had no choice but to accept as the number of married monks grew. The Government-General attempted to create the Temple Public Asset Foundation whereby any temple-owned assets, such as temple buildings and forests, would be transferred to the Foundation for partial management. However, a lack of cooperation among the Buddhist leaders derailed this plan. The Government-General exercised comparatively weak control over Korean Buddhism until World War II and, despite Japanese rule, Korean Buddhism managed to pursue a relatively autonomous development.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2167-2040
Print ISSN
2093-7288
Pages
pp. 275-299
Launched on MUSE
2019-11-05
Open Access
No
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