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Course: Art of Asia > Unit 3

Lesson 7: Joseon dynasty (1392–1897)

Confucian scholar's house

An introduction to Korean Confucianism and related architecture. Learn more about Korean art and culture on education.asianart.org. Created by Asian Art Museum.

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  • leaf grey style avatar for user Rachel Hershey
    At , the narrator says that the women's quarters were the farthest from the entrance. Why were they placed at that location. Was it an action of respect or of dishonor?
    (14 votes)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user Kim Min
      It was in dishonner. In the past, korea thought that men were more strong and perfect.
      So they didin't want girls to be born. So they hid the girls to look like there familly only
      had boys. we learned in history class, in my land, Korea. It is wrong now, but in the old times, it was just nothing.
      (2 votes)
  • orange juice squid orange style avatar for user Potato
    What does Confucian mean?
    (2 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user Siddhartha D
      Confucian relating to Confucius or Confucianism.Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.His followers competed successfully with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favor of the Legalists during the Qin Dynasty. Following the victory of Han over Chu after the collapse of Qin, Confucius's thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into a system known as Confucianism.Later on, The People who follow Confucianism are known as Confucians.
      (1 vote)

Video transcript

during the joseon dynasty from the 1400s until the early 1900s Korean society was governed by a class of scholar officials these scholars attempted to create a model Confucian society based on strict codes of morality close attention to ancestry and an austere lifestyle scholars began their training at rural academies here they were instructed by master scholars in classic literature and calligraphy correct ritual observances were also stressed and each Academy had its own ancestral shrine in traditional towns and villages the scholar official often the clan head lived in the largest house these houses were enclosed within walled compounds and constructed with tile roofs in contrast peasant houses were built on a smaller scale using simpler materials and a thatched roof entering through the main gate of the scholars residence we encounter a separate wing intended for the senior man of the house here during the summer months he could receive guests on an open porch with wooden floors the study was simple and refined in keeping with Confucian principles among the main items here were scholarly books and writing implements the women's quarters were usually built in the area of the property furthest away from the entrance some had their own private inner courtyard and open porch area the principal kitchen was located next to the largest room reserved for the senior woman of the house a woman's room held clothing cabinets bedding and various sewing and embroidery materials bedding was stored during the day so that rooms could be used for a variety of purposes the lives of young upper-class women were largely confined to private areas of the home when a young woman married she moved to her husband's family residence the life of the scholar class is reflected in the artworks we see in the museum this folded screen depicts many of the objects used in a scholar study portraits like this one of a Confucian scholar wearing traditional robes and a horse hair hat were symbols of status this luminous white jar its color symbolizing purity honor order and modesty appealed to Confucian ideals of humility and virtue