Confucian Ways of Life and Death

In 1988, John and I taught in the same language school. When I observed his class a few days after I arrived in Seoul, he asked the students, “Now, when your father was young, did he have to do a deep bow each morning outside his father’s bedroom door?”

“Well, no, maybe not.”

“But your grandfather did, didn’t he?”

“Yes, of course.”

John had become more a participant in traditional and modern Korean culture than a great many Westerners have. Tradition seemed to hold a particular fascination for him, as it does for many unconventional people. He has carved out Read More