Confucianism, Christianity And Buddhism in the Koreas:
June 13, 2018

Which, if any one or a mixture of these systems could help the Koreas co-exist?

1. South Korea is very Confucian. My not being married isーperhaps to some degreeーtestament to this.

The people who manage to marry South Koreans from outside the culture do it in spite of the strong Confucian ethic to keep it in the “family”. Yes, many trends are changing,but I can tell you from living there 15 years that actually, though I am not a huge fan of Confucianism for the reason I just mentioned and a few more, there are benefits to their Confucianism, too:

2. Not only is the North quite communist, culturally, as in “communal”, the South reminded me of a Communist country all the time. You will never see people cooperate like the Koreans – unless you are looking at the Japanese or Chinese (or any other Confucian-backed culture in Asia) – but the Koreans take the cake. Their language reflects communal-ism; everything is “we” and “our”. An only child refers to his or her parents as “our parents.” Everyone says “our country” instead of “my country.” You hear “oori nara”, “Our country” all the time, and just as often, “We think.” Not only this, but you hear patently same answers to many mundane questions about which one would expect variation in answer.

No, these things don’t have to be patently communist, but the foreigner gets the feeling the South Koreans would be happy being Communist in deed if not name, as long as they could still have capitalism alongside it. I mean, they hate Communism, but their behavior beguiles that.

The South Koreans have many socially democratic or out-and-out socialist tendencies. They limit private teaching to level the playing field between rich and poor – things of that nature.

3. I think that though the North is more Confucian, this is more a function of the totalitarian system; and, yes, once that system is gone old Kong Fu Tsu’s traditions will erode, but far more slowly than in the South, as the South has not slaked it off completely yet, either – and they have been a republic over fifty years.

Confucianism is a deep part of the consciousness in this part of the world. The Japanese don’t seem to talk about it, but it is deeply instilled here, too. The roles men and women play are strong – and much stronger, though blurred – in South Korea.

4. There is a lot of Buddhism South Korea, but the Buddhists are not sensational about their religion, as the Catholics are and the Protestants are. Yes, they are becoming more secular, but the Christian population is at about 24~28%.

A lot of Koreans (if not most) claim to be Christian or Catholic (which they annoyingly pretend are so very different, that they say Catholics are not Christians).

Many go to church solely for the appearances, and more so for the networking opportunities. It is probably the most “keep-up-with-the-Joneses” country on the planet and it drives its own citizens to madness.they have told me many times themselves. this cannot be under-estimated. I have a friend of 20 some odd years who emigrated with his family and recently went back to try to start a business. he has become so Americanized he cannot stand it.He particularly hated how his wife loses so much social freedom from scrutiny every time he goes back.

So, while Confucianism is not a “religion” per se, in South Korea – according to anthropology (it’s more of a philosophy), I say it is a religion. I said it all the time when I was there. They honor Confucianism far more than Christianity or Buddhism, whether they would admit it or not. It is who they are. I don’t think they even realize it. My ex had no clue that she behaved more Confucian and Buddhist than “Capitalist Republic-an Christian” because it was in her heritage.

The North’s religion, I would say is “Kim-ism” with a backbone of Confucianism.

The South’s religion Is Confucianism with backbones of Korean Christianity and Buddhism.

But the funny thing is, the civility and obedience and communal success in China, North Korea and South Korea – in my opinion – is probably also so much more in debt to Confucius than to Communism.

So, I think that what people are hinting at – that the two countries could co-exist or even re-unite at some point – is right. This could work – but because they share Confucius, not because one is democratic and will influence the other.

Watch Today in Tokyo: Japan And America
April 3, 2018

20180403_150456.jpgToday’s is a great morning, because I have a quiet space I can rent at a reasonably normal human fee – as my own, I have the kitchen just right and a work and sleep and meditation space from which I can observe people out two window – on a corner – in a bedroom neighborhood of working class Japanese, the sort of location any writer or artist would feel very rich.

Now the bad news:

From a country that has done what humans in every society should want to do – that is, master the concept of civil society – I watch America with anger that can not brew to hot given my peaceful circumstances – sadness, given that we gave democracy in its present form to the world – and not much hope, because Americans cannot seem to make the cultural changes necessary.

The reason Japan and Asia and Latin American and European countries to a large extent achieve peace, good infrastructure and a communal society that is safe is these cultures have a common philosophy, not merely a body of rights that champions only freedom, which in America means diametrically opposite views and too much fantasy – combined with no sense of national communal cohesion run amok under a senseless system of politics run by money, not democracy.

You have to ask yourself, American, why and how the nations we bombed and aided are doing what we proclaimed to be bringing them – much better than we are. In fact, why is our version of democracy a disaster? And don’t tell me it isn’t; only tell me how to fix it – because with children shot in schools, movie house and shopping malls, the EPA reversing of environmental laws and Amtrak trains crashing every several months in cities where police officers shoot the people they are meant to protect – and lets not forget many in our country cannot get proper food, shelter and health care – that is a disaster by any intellectually honest reckoning.

Have a better day, America,

One of Your Sons

卍道

CA

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