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Foundation of Asian Culture -Culture series 1


羽堂 鄭敬熙 has the copyright of the calligraphy. Using, copying, and distributing the calligraphy without permission of 羽堂 is a violation of Laws.


What's the definition of culture?


It's hard to define in one sentence. While studying Islamic culture, I found the closest definition. Korean Ulama(علماء) Heesoo Lee's description of "history" was in line with the definition of "culture."

"The entirety of traces of lives."

My way of understanding culture starts from "eating local foods (including drinks)," "enjoying art (music, fine art)," and "learning the language" after that studying their "history." Of course, the best way is direct experience (live there or travel), which is expensive.


Learning Language

Latin was the common language of the upper class in Europe from the Roman empire. Still, the European university teaches Latin because it's the root of their tongues. Thus the Latin language (lingua latīna) is the key to understanding European culture.


Likewise, Chinese Character was the common language of the upper class in Asia. Asian countries have taught their citizen Chinese characters mandatorily, making them understand their language better.


China, Japan, and Korea share Chinese characters as their written language; we have Trilateral Common Vocabulary Dictionary.


Chinese character & 書藝 (Seoye)

Ancient Asians used many different styles of Chinese characters. Qin Shi Huang(Chinese: 始皇; 'First Emperor of Qin,' 259–210 BCE) united China and Chinese characters. The United Chinese character's name is 篆書 (Jeon-Seo, seal script). We still use this Chinese character in the Korean seal. Thus we can easily see 篆書 in the seal impressions when we chop. Not nowadays, but when I was a teenager, most children learned Korean Seoye (Korean: 서예/書藝, literally "the art of writing" calligraphy); it was one of the must-know.

COVID19 side effect

After recovery from COVID19, I suffered insomnia as a side effect. To overcome insomnia, I began to learn 書藝 (Seoye) instead of using a drug. I met a great teacher, one of Korea's top 先生s ("person born before another" or "one who comes before.") in 篆書 (Jeon-Seo, seal script).


The Acme of Asian art

Asians used different names, but Chinese calligraphy was the acme of Asian art {Chinese calligraphy, shūfǎ or fǎshū (書法 or 法書 in traditional Chinese, literally "the method or law of writing"); Japanese calligraphy, shodō (書道, literally "the way or principle of writing"); Korean calligraphy, seoye (Korean: 서예/書藝, literally "the art of writing"); and Vietnamese calligraphy, thư pháp (Vietnamese: Thư pháp/書法, literally "the way of letters or words")}.


Korean expression is most closed to art as the meaning of 서예/書藝(seoye) is "the art of writing." Hence, we have had great writing artists. My teacher (先生) is one of them.


Please enjoy her calligraphy, but you should get her consent before using, copying, and distributing the calligraphy (I got).


My morning routine

My early morning starts with grinding the ink stick. Immediately I smell the "ink stick scent (墨香)," which releases my tension. Then, while writing with a big ink brush, I see its movement, like our tongues (tongue feeling in my hand!). Next, I hear the ink spreading sounds which is like white noise. Finally, I see the shape of ink extending the Korean paper. In conclusion,

"서예/書藝 (seoye) satisfies all sensation other than the taste. It's inevitable to fall in love."

Please enjoy my teacher's writing.



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