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``I Will Continue Chinese Character Lesson For Free ``

Posted July. 28, 2001 08:55,   


An instructor, who has been teaching the Chinese classics for about 50 years for free, opened the biggest private village school in Korea.

`Hwa Seok` Kim Soo-Yeon (76) established the `Haksung School` with the traditional Korean-style in his hometown, Daeseok Village, Daeseok-Ri, Sungduk-Myun, Kimje City, Chonbuk Province.

Since age of 29 when he first became an instructor, Kim has taught the Chinese classics in his own house. But he sold his old and cramped house located in Sanyoi-Myun, Jungeup City, and built a new village school in order to nurture more junior scholars.

About 100 students can live together in the new school with a land of 800 pyong with a floor space of 85 pyong, equipping 26 small and large rooms.

Master Kim established the new village school by the help of his five sons and two daughters without external supports.

Kim has moved about 10 times to Kimje and Jungeup in Chonbuk Province, Buyeo in Chookbuk Province and other cities for the last 50 years. Because he has opened the village school whenever he moved, his disciples currently reach about 5,000.

When he first declared to establish the new village school, a great number of his disciples tried to help him little by little. However, the revered elder Mr. Kim rejected the suggestion of his disciples, saying that ``since the teaching refers to helping the disciples to be awaken by him/herself which has already existed inside him/herself, not to creating something from nothing, there is no reason to accept the tuition fee or the supports from without``.

Recently, the college students, herbal doctors, judicial apprentices and school teachers are visiting the `Haksung School` during the vacation season.

The class is basically taught through face-to-face instruction. Kim is lecturing on the `Four Books and Three Classics` and his youngest son Kim Jong-Hoi (38) is in charge of the basic course.

The instruction has been given for free, but the students should bring their own meals according to the old tradition.

Learning from `Seoam` Kim Hee-Jin who was a Confucian scholar in the last years of Chosun Dynasty, Kim inherited `the Kiho School`. He has stubbornly stuck to a topknot and the white clothes, but he has always stressed the practical academic tradition maintaining that an educated person should work without squandering his/her life.