SEOUL – Well-known and erudite South Korean critic Lee O-yang, the nation’s first tradition minister, died on February 26 after years of combating most cancers. He was 88.
A local of Asana, a metropolis in southern Chungcheong Province, Lee taught at universities and wrote many articles and books as a literary critic.
Lee first attracted the eye of the nation’s literary circles as a promising critic when he studied Korean literature at Seoul Nationwide College. He was promoted to editor of the South Korean day by day Seoul Shinmun when he was about 20 years previous. He has additionally offered a variety of articles and opinions in different main newspapers, together with JoongAng Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo. He based the journal Literature and Thought and wrote greater than 60 books, which he finally praised as “the brightest thoughts in trendy Korea.”
His best-known guide, Compact Tradition: The Japanese Much less-Higher Custom, was first written in Japanese in 1982, when Lee was a visiting fellow on the College of Tokyo. In a guide that grew to become a bestseller in Japan, Lee argued that one of many hallmarks of Japanese tradition is its tendency to worth small issues and attempt to cut back every part. He quoted brief poems haiku, bonsai, rice bento lunches that come packaged in small containers and a wide range of smaller industrial merchandise.
The guide is taken into account top-of-the-line research of Japanese tradition, written by a foreigner, together with “Chrysanthemum and Sword” by American anthropologist Ruth Benedict.
Lee led the opening and shutting ceremonies of the 1988 Seoul Olympics. It was the primary Olympics in 12 years to function athletes from the Western and Japanese blocs because the US-led Western international locations boycotted the Moscow Video games in 1980, and the Soviet-led Japanese Bloc retaliated by lacking 4 Olympics in Los Angeles. -Angeles. in a 12 months. Lee adopted the slogan “outdoors the wall” for ceremonies, a name for an finish to the Chilly Struggle, which happened three years later.
On the finish of the opening ceremony, which gathered 70,000 spectators and was broadcast all over the world, the younger man ran from one nook of the grass discipline to the alternative nook, rolling a metal hoop. It was a powerful inventive expression that confirmed how South Koreans might respect the great thing about clear canvas and the way the nation has achieved extraordinary financial progress, referred to as the Miracle on the Khan River.
In 1990, Lee grew to become the primary head of the Ministry of Tradition, which was established by former President Ro The Wu. On this capability, Lee led the nation’s political efforts to advertise Korean tradition. His best achievement as Minister of Tradition was the institution of the Korean Nationwide College of the Arts, the nation’s solely nationwide college of the humanities. Lee argued that present tutorial establishments couldn’t play an efficient function in nurturing inventive expertise, and developed particular curricula for artwork college students.
Former President Kim De Zhong, who served from 1998 to 2003, used Lee’s academic legacy to develop a nationwide content material trade. Claiming that tradition would grow to be a serious trade within the twenty first century, Kim established movie and music departments at many universities.
Many administrators, music producers and actors who’ve received a worldwide viewers have studied at these schools. The College of the Arts, based by Lee, laid the academic basis for the worldwide hallyu Korean growth.
The rise of South Korea as a cultural heart with a rising worldwide presence in music, tv dramas and movies wouldn’t have been doable with out Lee’s contribution.
Within the following years, Lee, as a college professor, continued to supply new concepts and approaches in quite a lot of areas, together with tradition and historical past. A South Korean newspaper reporter who knew Lee within the final years of his life says Lee has by no means ceased to be thoughtful and compassionate about others, together with younger folks. “He spoke about his ideas and emotions with a humorousness,” the reporter mentioned. “No different commentator in South Korea is as versatile and proficient as he’s.”
Lee maintained his ties with Japan for a very long time. He was honorary president of the College of Nara Prefecture. Nara Governor Seyo Arai, who really useful Lee as the primary overseas president of the prefectural college, mentioned: “I would really like him to move the prefectural college along with his deep perception into historical past and unsurpassed erudition.”
As a member of the Northeast Asia Tripartite Discussion board, a daily convention of sages with distinguished politicians, enterprise and lecturers from Japan, China and South Korea, Lee continued to emphasise the significance of peaceable growth between the three international locations, which he mentioned have in frequent. cultural origin.