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Introduction To World Civilization History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Ancient China and Ancient Korea are acting the role of neighborhood. Being this reasons, some of the cultures that might influence by each others, such as religion, art, architecture. Since Ancient China and Ancient Korea had experienced long history with different Dynasty. In every period, they experienced lots of changes for their country, and each period create their own culture and bring it to nowadays. Actually, in most of the information show that Ancient China is the biggest country which is full of civilization and she influenced Ancient Korea in most of the ways. Therefore, in this essay, it will discuss what the similarities and differences are between Ancient China and Ancient Korea in different dimensions. And also talk about how it influence us in nowadays, what are the values, norms, beliefs in their own period.

At the beginning, I will introduce the history of Ancient Korea briefly. “Ancient Korea experienced three kingdoms which are Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. [1] ” These three kingdoms are the most important period in Ancient Korea. In 1392, Taejo Yi Seong gye unified the whole Korea and created Joseon Dynasty, and in that period, Ancient Korea adopts the benefits from others and developed in their own ways. Actually, Ancient Korea has a long history that similar with Ancient China, especially in the dimension of religion. Since Ancient China divided into many religions in different period, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Mohism, those thought had already brought to Korea and influenced them. However, in different period of Ancient Korea, their religion had a bit different. According to some information of Ancient Korea history, in three kingdoms which are Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla are already had Buddhism. “Since Ancient China in Southern and Northern Dynasties, Buddhism is popular in China” [2] and became one of the religions that they believe and most influence to nowadays.

Because of Ancient Korea had a close relationship with Ancient China, therefore many things in China can easily brought to Korea. In 918, Goguryeo period was famous in Confucianism and Buddhism, people in Korea believe this kinds of thought, and those religion almost use Chinese wordings and let it bring to Korea also. In Goguryeo period, “The Book of Confucianism which is Chinese language, Chinese words are brought into Ancient Korea.” [3] And at the same time, Buddhism also affected the Ancient Korea. People in Korea adopt Buddhism in that period, especially these “Buddhist culture also influenced Korean art” [4] The dimension of art will talk about it later.

In the three kingdoms period, people in that period are accepted the thought of Buddhism. However, in Joseon Dynasty is against this kind of religion. At the same time, Confucianism replaced Buddhism in Goguryeo period. Because of the ideas of Confucianism, it uses simple words to bring the difficult philosophy. In Joseon Dynasty, the king of Joseon Dynasty influenced by this thought, and thinks that this thought can integrate with the values of Korean. Therefore, Confucianism was popular in that period and also until now. The differences of religion in Ancient China is they can believe other religion like Taoism, Mohism, Confucianism, and each religion have their own characteristic to fulfill in different period. Actually, Confucianism is influenced Ancient Korea in many ways until now.

In addition to the similarities and differences of religion, art also can show that how influenced and contradictory are. Art can divide into painting, literary. In Ancient China, painting and literary are the important elements of their own culture. Every dynasty had their own characteristics to create paintings, such as Tang-Song Dynasty’s painting; the main theme usually is about the surroundings, or figure painting. However, Ancient China has main special elements of their painting art, which was include poetry to respond to the paintings. Literary in Ancient China also is the important things that can show the culture and thought, and literary can let the posterity know more about that period, because this is a kind of history to let people know about things at different dynasties. In different dynasties had their famous writings, such as “The book of Changes”, “Journey to the West”, and poetries. In the case of Ancient Korea, the dimension of art is mostly cause acculturated by china culture. Especially Buddhism influenced art of Ancient Korea. As a mention before, Buddhism was famous in certain period- Goguryeo period. At the time, they use sculpture which combine with Buddhism to create their own artistic. Just like an essay said “While Korea did not effort such great changes as China, it created its own unique iconography from the start, an indication that it adopted Buddhism with a clear sense of its identity.” [5] 

Ancient Korea is a unique country that she contains their own culture but at the same time, she needs to adopt the others to establish their own. For Ancient Korea influenced by Ancient China, Korean is used Chinese words to record things. However, in 15th Century Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great- the 4th king of Joseon Dynasty created “Hunminjeoeum” to replace Chinese. Let Korean had their own words to build up their distinct image. And this kind of method became a big change of Korea nation. However, to create “Hunminjeoeum”, it adopts the phonology of china [6] , so that Ancient Korea also cannot deviate from the influence of Ancient China.

The third dimension is architecture. Ancient China’s architecture acting an important role in Asia which influence many countries try to imitate her characteristics. The architecture of Ancient China combined with some elements that like Feng Shui. This is the unique culture in Ancient China which needs to cooperate with the environment to prevent disaster. In the past, people in china also create the construction method that to be the foundation of china architecture. They just use the wood to construct durable buildings, and this method import to different country like Korea and Japan. Therefore, architecture in Ancient Korea also full of china characteristics. But Korea tries to create their own style of architecture, and finally they got the Hanok to be their traditional houses. They mixed the characteristics of china’s architecture and adopt it to rebuild their own. Hanok- the traditional houses in Korea did not have Feng Shui to cooperate with their construction but they also concern the surroundings of environment which they choose for the houses. Because they know that the houses have to think of the season to let the house can feel cool in summer and warm in winter. And that became the main characteristics of Hanok.

For civilization of Ancient China and Ancient Korea, as we known Ancient China and Ancient Korea experienced long history and they ac as a role of neighbor, they construct the special culture for their own country, especially Ancient China. Because of the around 5000 years of culture construction, many things got their own values, norms and beliefs. And those things can be the reference for the others. Just like Ancient Korea, many things was influenced by Ancient China that to base on the norms of China and get the advantages to contribute their own culture. Ancient Korea is a unique country that you can find the shadow of china culture easily, but you still can experience their unique culture. As the dimensions of religion, art and architecture, both of the nations of China and Korea, they both have the great things to learn and to preserve.

Civilization of a country is to let the people and even the world know the changes of the country. How they can adopt the old things to get advancement to nowadays. And at the same time, they also can preserve their history to let the later generation to know the past of the country. As the examples of Ancient China and Ancient Korea, they created the unique elements that different from the others countries. As we know form this civilization, religion can influence the whole country that can affect to many aspects like art, literary, architecture. Those things can reflected the thought of a country, and also it can show that how they preserve their history. Civilization just likes to express the achievement of a country, if the society do not attach important of their history, do not preserve their civilization, which will not be achieved in the world. Civilization is an element of progression in a country and civilization needs to follow the steps of times to renew. Every moment what people do can even show the civilization of the country, it is because we adopt the moral of the past which is bring to us in nowadays. Actually, we are experienced the things which are the history leave behind to us. Even the literary, art, thought, judgment, those are already get into our life. Therefore, civilization is to let us to learn how to adopt the advantages of the past and get change to create a progressive country. The civilization of Ancient China and Ancient Korea achieved that to their own societies in nowadays because of their history.

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