The Tonghak Religion

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As for the significance of the Tonghak religion which was founded by Ch’oe Cheu, is a teaching that is an amalgamation of numerous belief systems. It is combination of Neo-confucianism and indigenous Korean spirituality with traits of Taoism. While his conception of God may have been inspired by christianity it differs in an enormous way, while still maintaining that God had created humans, he quotes this divine power saying, “MY mind is your mind.” This differs a lot with the Christianity as this God says that it could lead society into harmony, the individual into personal salvation through the requirement of constant self cultivation of mind and material force. In an essay written by Ch’oe Cheu, he states that there are similarities yet …show more content…

Unlike Korea, Japan at this point has been heavily modernized and really started viewing and embracing western ideals as practical, applying it to their nation as a whole. Already holding negative views toward the west, and by signing a treaty with Japan who is a nation that has embraced their ideals and way of life is distressing to Ikhyon. It is no better than creating relationships with the western nations that Korea has isolated themselves from for so long. Viewing from this perspective, it would allow the Japanese to eventually have power over Korean society. Their western-taught ways could heavily affect many Koreans, especially through their products, and possibly other western things such as religion could leak in. He also adds how peace would eventually lead to conflict and that Japan’s friendly relations with Korea would have ulterior motives. In hindsight, it is somber how accurate his predictions regarding Japan were. Not only did Japan follow their own manifest destiny as America attempted, expanding their empire throughout Asia, even defeating the Russians in combat with their upgraded weapons, they would eventually colonize Korea and claim them as Japanese subjects starting in 1910 and ending with Hirohito’s declaration in 1945. Ikhyon was right that Japan would have a major impact on Korea nearly changing its history and destroying the Korean culture and

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