Confucianism - Chongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine

Confucianism... 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.