From Central Institution to Regional Indoctrination: The Interplay between Ritual Policies and Cultural Assimilation in the Didactic Transformation of Ancient Chinese Etiquette in the Chosun Dynasty of Korea from the 15th to 16th Century

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project examines the transformation of ancient Chinese ritual concepts into practice in local communities of Korea during the Chosun Dynasty. The project will compare the source materials regarding the rituals preserved in the documents of the Royal House and National Archives of Chosun Dynasty with ancient Chinese ritual records, aiming to analyze the process of cultural assimilation, as the central government implemented ritual policies through regional organizations at different administrative layers, such as counties, townships and neighborhoods. The project will also study how the central government constructed and adjusted its policies in collaboration with Confucian scholars to suit the target of regional indoctrination, and how it adapted in response to cultural resistance arising from Korean traditional customs, or divergence of geographical features and economic structure in various regions. The findings of the project will make a significant contribution to understanding how cultural assimilation can move from a cultural elite to grass-roots communities, and provide a more complete and in-depth picture of Sino-Korean cultural interactions from the 15th to 16th centuries. Four articles will be published in refereed journals in order to disseminate the findings to the relevant audiences. It is likely that these articles including the published articles which related to the project will also lead to the publication of an academic monograph.

The proposed project is valuable in the following three respects:
1. Compared with previous studies, this project introduces original and innovative aspects to the study of the assimilation of Chinese rituals in Korea.
2. By uncovering the reason why certain Chinese Ruist rituals (such as the “Drinking Rite in Rural Communities” ) are still practised in rural Korea in modern times, the project opens the door to further research into the links between ancient Chinese culture and the basis of Korean culture (especially grass-roots culture) today.
3. The material the Principal Investigator proposes to collect for this research from unique collections of literary works, gazetteers and dispersed community compacts would lay a foundation for future studies across disciplines and interconnections between cultures of the two countries and various topics of sociology.
Effective start/end date1/11/1331/10/16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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