Lee O-young, who helped South Korea see magnificence, dies on the age of 88

SEOUL – The celebrated and discovered South Korean critic Lee O-young, who served because the nation’s first tradition minister, died on February 26 after years of preventing most cancers. He was 88.

Lee, who is predicated in Asan, a metropolis in southern Chungcheong Province, taught at universities and authored quite a few articles and books as a literary critic.

Lee first attracted the eye of the nation’s literary circles as a future critic whereas learning Korean literature at Seoul Nationwide College. He was promoted to editorial author by Seoul Shinmun, a South Korean day by day, when he was in his late 20s. He additionally contributed a variety of articles and opinion items to different main newspapers, together with JoongAng Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo. He based the journal Literature and Thought and wrote greater than 60 books, which had been finally hailed as “the brightest thoughts in modern-day Korea.”

His most well-known e book, “The Compact Tradition: The Japanese Custom of ‘Smaller Is Higher’,” was initially written in Japanese in 1982 whereas Lee was a visiting researcher on the College of Tokyo. Within the e book, which grew to become a bestseller in Japan, Lee argued {that a} clear function of Japanese tradition is its tendency to cherish small issues and attempt to diminish the whole lot. He quoted quick haiku poems, bonsai, orizume bento lunches that come packed in small packing containers and varied cut-down industrial merchandise.

The e book is taken into account top-of-the-line research of Japanese tradition written by a foreigner together with “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” by the American anthropologist Ruth Benedict.

Lee staged the opening and shutting ceremonies of the Seoul Olympics in 1988. It was the primary Olympics in 12 years to function athletes from the Western and Jap blocs, since Western nations led by america boycotted the Moscow Video games in 1980 and the Soviet Union led the Jap Bloc. took revenge by skipping the 4 Olympics in Los Angeles. years later. Lee adopted the slogan “past the wall” for the ceremonies, a name for an finish to the Chilly Struggle, which got here three years later.

In direction of the tip of the opening ceremony, which attracted 70,000 spectators and was broadcast globally, a younger boy ran from one nook of the meadow to the other nook whereas rolling a metal bar. It was a formidable inventive expression that confirmed how South Koreans may admire the fantastic thing about a clean canvas and the way the nation had achieved exceptional financial progress, referred to as the Miracle of the Han River.

In 1990, Lee grew to become the primary head of the Ministry of Tradition, established by former President Roh Tae-woo. In that capability, Lee led the nation’s political efforts to advertise Korean tradition. His best achievement as Minister of Tradition was the institution of the Korea Nationwide College of Arts, the nation’s solely nationwide artwork college. Lee argued that current tutorial establishments couldn’t play an efficient position in nurturing inventive expertise and developed particular curricula for artwork college students.

Former President Kim Dae-jung, who was in workplace from 1998 to 2003, took benefit of Lee’s instructional heritage to develop the nation’s content material business. Kim argued that tradition can be a key business within the twenty first century, and established movie and music departments at a number of universities.

Many movie administrators, music producers, and actors who’ve gained a worldwide viewers discovered their topics in these departments. The Artwork College based by Lee laid a pedagogical basis for the worldwide hallyu Korean growth.

The emergence of South Korea as a cultural powerhouse with a rising worldwide presence in music, tv dramas and movies won’t have been potential with out Lee’s contribution.

In recent times, Lee, as a college professor, continued to suggest new concepts and approaches in a lot of areas, together with tradition and historical past. A South Korean newspaper reporter who knew Lee in his ultimate 12 months says Lee by no means stopped being thoughtful and sympathetic to others, together with younger individuals. “He talked about his ideas and emotions with a humorousness,” the journalist stated. “No different commentator in South Korea is as versatile and multi-talented as him.”

Lee maintained his ties to Japan for a very long time. He served as honorary president of Nara Prefectural College. Nara Governor Shogo Arai, who advisable Lee as the primary international president of the prefecture college, stated: “I want he may have led the prefecture college together with his deep perception into historical past and unsurpassed studying.”

As a member of the Northeast Asia Trilateral Discussion board, an everyday sage convention involving outstanding figures in politics, enterprise, and academia from Japan, China, and South Korea, Lee went on to emphasise the significance of peaceable improvement of the three nations he stated have widespread cultural backgrounds.

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