Hwarang Do

views updated

Hwarang Do (Korean, ‘The Way of Flower Youth’). An indigenous institution of young aristocrats residing in the kingdom of Silla in Korea. The Hwarang corps, founded during the reign of King Chinhŭng (540–76), was composed of aspiring leaders, schooled in civil and military virtues through their devotion to Mirŭk (Maitreya, the future Buddha), their observance of Wŏnʾgwang's ‘Five Precepts for Laity’, and the adoption of various shamanic, Taoist, and Confucian values.