Confucianism - Chongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine
...is a moral and religious system from China started by Kongfuzi,
under the Pinyin system, c.551-479 B.C., Chinese sage more
commonly known as Confucius, who created sayings known as
the Analects and other ancient commentaries. These moral concepts
taught how to treat other people. This was similar to the
Golden Rule. Confucianism, with these practical social concepts,
was surpassed by Buddhism from the 3rd to 7th century A.D.,
Confucianism had a revival under the Tang Dynasty of China
(618-907). The Song Dynasty (960-1279) developed a modified
version of Confucianism, based on beliefs of Zen Buddhism
and during the Ming Dynasty, under the Pinyin system, (1368-1644)
meditation became a part of Confucianism. With the overthrow
of the monarchy in 1911-12, Confucianism declined.
Although Confucianism was introduced to Korea during the
Three Kingdoms era (57 B.C.-A.D. 668) even before Buddhism,
its ideological flowering occurred later through the introduction
of Neo-Confucianism during the early period of the Choson
Dynasty (1392-1910). In 1910 Japan formally annexed Korea.
While under Japanese colonial rule until 1945, all of Korea's
religions were suppressed.
Chongmyo was built by King T'aejo in 1395, the fourth year
of his reign. Chyongmyo has been used for Confucian memorial
rites since that time.
Chongjon which is the main shrine is the largest wooden structure
in the world. It houses 49 spirit tablets for kings and queens.
This is Yongnyongjon, the Hall of Eternal Peace, was built
to house 32 ancestral tablets of lesser kings and queens.
It is similar in design to Chongjon.
Each year in May rites are held. This has preserved Confucian
music and dance which might otherwise have been lost.