Come All Yi Faithful

Whew!   Crisis narrowly averted  –or at least postponed.   Although many Korea-watchers have been quick to credit Chinese influence for DPRK’s retreat from its recent brinksmanship, Lunghu thinks they’re missing the boat by overlooking a far more significant dimension to developments in the onetime Hermit Kingdom.   Yep, Admiral Yi is back on the job as spiritual guardian of Seoul, casting a watchful eye over the city from his lofty perch opposite the Flower Gate.

After an absence of 40 days (and 40 nights?) for long-overdue maintenance, the imposing statue of national hero Yi Soon-shin has been reinstalled atop its monumental plinth at Gwanghwamun Plaza.   Only a specialist in saju (the Korean version of feng-shui) can say whether Admiral Yi’s absence might have actually contributed to the formation of cracks in Gwanghwamun’s signboard, but there can be little doubt that the overall cosmic balance of the plaza (and the city/nation itself?) was perturbed by the altered flow of chi.   Now that he’s back, there’s an opportunity to restore the harmony that Confucians so prize.

Credit: Yonhap News Agency

[To put this into perspective that an American might understand, imagine The Mall without the Washington Monument facing the Capitol Building:  Yi Soon-shin means to Korea much of what George Washington means to the United States –not quite the founding father, but every bit the guarantor of national freedom.]

Does this mean that another Korean War can be averted?   As Chou En-lai famously remarked to Henry Kissinger (in quite another context), “It’s too early to tell.

Credit: Yonhap News Agency

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