The purpose of this study is to examine the philosophical foundation of ‘Jeong In-bo’, who led the Korea Studies in the horizon of modern East Asia, as part of the academic origin and identity research of Korea Studies. This study compared Jeong In-bo ...
The purpose of this study is to examine the philosophical foundation of ‘Jeong In-bo’, who led the Korea Studies in the horizon of modern East Asia, as part of the academic origin and identity research of Korea Studies. This study compared Jeong In-bo with Zhang Binglin (China) and Haga Yaichi (Japan), the representative national studies scholars of modern East Asia and reviewed the philosophical succession and Lee Geon-bang in Kanghwa Schools who was Jeong’s academic root, in order to clarify the philosophical foundation and identity of modern Korea Studies.
1. Jeong In-bo and Zhang Binglin’s juche thought is integrated into statements ‘I act as myself’ and ‘Rely on yourself, not others’ respectively. However, Zhang Binglin’s ‘Rely on yourself, not others’ refers to ‘overcoming a temporary child-self and acquire non-self to establish one’s juche and to lead a revolution in society based on it, while Jeong In-bo’s ‘I as myself’ means the main subjective awakens the true intent and recover the true intent that cannot be deceived amid the ethical tension of anxiety, thereby establishing juche and realizing empathy of the people. What Zhang Binglin and Jeong In-bo aimed for is ‘transcendent self’ and can be compared to ‘existential self’. To conclude, both can communicate with each other, but their ideological influence relationship is not valid.
2. Jeong In-bo’s Chosun Studies has been carried out according to the structures of the ‘ideological basis, development, and future orientation of the Soul of Chosun’ he proposed. According to him, Soul of Chosun consists of two axes: ‘Self-reliance’ and ‘humanitarianism for all’ from its ideological basis to its development and future orientation. Jeong In-bo explained the ideological basis of the Soul of Chosun with music, dance, and the Eastern ethnic group, and when talking about the development of the Soul of Chosun, he gave historical examples that saved the people with an independent, autonomous moral consciousness, ‘Benefiting others to benefit oneself’ in Buddhism, and pacification spirit based on empathy of the people.
3. Jeong In-bo’s juche thought and Chosun Studies inherited the academic form of Kanghwa Yang-ming Studies that mainly focused on Chosun or the Nation of the East as well as the juche principle of his teacher Lee Geon-bang. In addition, Jeong’s thought was also a realization of a calling in the time to regain national independence in response against the Japanese militarism. This is a different tendency of research from Takese Takejiro who pursued militarism or Haga Yaichi who focused on folklore studies to solidify the sense of Japan-ness. Jeong In-bo’s Chosun Studies ‘independently’ pursued the ‘welfare and benefit of the people’ of Chosun, and here, ‘the welfare of the people’ is spiritual welfare, not economic welfare.
4. Jeong In-bo’s Chosun Studies mainly concerned the problems of Chosun independently, and is far from the exploration and consolidation of a nation’s own spirit or nationalistic development as in Haga Yaichi. Moreover, his juche thought is not an influence of Zhang Binglin, and is a pursuit of the well-being of the people through ‘benefitting others for the benefit of oneself’.