[KS] Question

Gari Keith Ledyard gkl1 at columbia.edu
Fri Jan 10 18:06:45 EST 2003

You can add the Ming dynasty to the list of those charged with wishing
either Korea or some Korean individual ill by trying to stop the "natural
energy flow" flowing through the "arteries" (_maek_) along the spines of
its mountain ranges.  Ming was a Korean ally during the Imjin Wars, but
some of its generals supposedly were jealous of Korean competitors for
glory.  I regret that I cannot remember where I read this, but I did, in a
secondary source by a modern South Korean author.
	I agree with Ruediger Frank.  Such an allegation against North
Korea strikes me as very odd, since this is the kind of thing, as a
tenacious theme in traditional Korean culture, that North Korea would
normally respect.
	For information on the traditional theory and practice behind
these allegations--which will go on until the East Sea dries up and the
mountains all crumble--see my <Cartography in Korea>, section entitled
"Korean Geomancy: the Shapes and Forces of the Land," in J. B. Harley and
David Woodward, eds., _The History of Cartography_, Vol.2, Book 2
(Cartography in the traditional East Asian and Southeast Asian Societies),
University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1994, pp. 235-345, of which pp.
273-279 for the geomantic angle.  Also browse pp. 305-331, Figs.
10.21-22, 10.32, 10.46-48; and also color plate 18 for a folk
representation of the geomantic "arteries."  Note that "Vol. 2, Bk. 2" is
a volume all by itself (pp970).  If you ask for just "Vol. 2," you better
bring a cart to carry it away!

Gari Ledyard

On Fri, 10 Jan 2003, joy kim wrote:

> Dear Listmembers,
> Happy New Year!  I am seeking list members's help to answer the
> following question. This was posted at "Ask an East Asian Librarian"
> <http://askvrd.org/askeasl/>, a virtual reference desk site maintained
> by the Council on East Asian Libaries (an affiliated body of the
> Association for Asian Studies):
> "I have heard that the North Koreans drove long metal rods into the
> ground during the Korean Conflict. The South Koreans had to remove these
> after the war. The purpose was to disrupt the natural energy flow within
> the country (most probably a concept based in their religion or ancient
> teachings). Can you give me any information or suggest a research source
> on this?"
> Any of you heard this too?  I'd appreciate any info you may have to offer.  Thank you in advance!
> Joy Kim
> Curator
> Korean Heritage Library <http://www.usc.edu/isd/archives/arc/libraries/eastasian/korea/>
> University of Southern California
> University Park
> Los Angeles, CA 90089-0154
> Tel: 213-740-2329
> Fax: 213-740-7437

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