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The Museum of SILHAK

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The Center of Silhak (Practical Learning) Studies in East Asia The Museum of SILHAK www.silhakmuseum.or.kr Tel.031.579.6000

The Museum of SILHAK collects data, conducts research, provides education, and holds exhibitions on Silhak—a Confucian social reform movement in late Joseon Dynasty (17th-18th) , in order to further the development of Korean studies.

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Silhak was a pioneering movement that arose amidst Westernization movements and the emergence of a commercial economy in late Joseon Dynasty . It aimed to rebuild Joseon society after it had been devastated by Japanese and Chinese invasions. To rebuild Joseon society, Silhak put great importance on reforming the social and economic problems, the advancement of commerce and industry, and technological development. In this sense, Silhak was considered pioneering thought at the time. Silhak played an important role in the introduction of Western culture into the country, and was an ancestor to the country’s later modernization movements.

It is no coincidence that Silhak emerged from Seoul and Gyeonggi province, as they were the center for Joseon’s most distinguished officials. Seoul and Gyeonggi were also the first places to accept Western culture. Although cultural relics from the time are found in many places, most cultural relics related to Silhak can be found in Gyeonggi province. It is thus a great honor that the Museum of SILHAK was established by Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation.

In light of the importance of Silhak in Korean history, the Museum of SILHAK has the following goals:

First, the museum will excavate cultural relics related to Silhak and collect/organize Silhak related data from the inside and outside of the country. Second, the museum will strive to become a space for Silhak scholars’ activities. Third, the museum will work to become a Silhak educational center in connection with schools and social organizations.