|Endorsement by 'Do-ol' Kim Yong-ok
|He then typed out the inscription in both Chinese
and Korean for me. It's in poetic classical Sino-
Korean text, and roughly translates to:
“I painted this for David Mason 'Master Mountain-
Wolf'. This Tiger is the Mountain-spirit; by it the
clear-&-strong powerful energies that emanate
from Heaven-&-Earth are purified. It serves as
the fundamental heart of Joseon's religions [the
source of the Korean people’s religiosity].
'Mountain-Wolf teacher' has shown this as the
basic means of harmonizing all religions, and as
the axis for South & North Korea to find unity
(with his research). This Tiger is the Baekdu-
daegan, the Korean people’s eternal hometown."
"Drawn when he visited my Nakhanjae office,
Winter of Gapshin Year, by Stone-head, 2004
November 25th afternoon"
"This Tiger is the Mountain-spirit....
This Tiger is the Baekdu-daegan..."
Below are two typical drawings of a tiger
in the shape of the Korean Peninsula, a
common Korean- nationalist artistic
theme. The first examples of it were
drawn in the late Joseon Dynasty, so as
a theme it has deep roots.
Dr. Kim Yong-ok [literally "Gold Dragon Jade"], best known by his pen-name “Do-ol” [stone-head, a
Daoist/Zen reference] is Korea's leading "public philosopher." Once a leading professor of the
Oriental Classics at Korea University (after graduating from there with BA in Philosophy, then an MA from
Taiwan National University and another from Tokyo University, and finally a PhD from Harvard -- his
dissertation was on the late-Ming Neo-Confucian philosopher Wang Fuzhi), he became a Doctor of Oriental
Medicine and playwright and movie-director, and is now professor emeritus of Chung-ang University.
Now just over 60 years old (born 1948/06/14 in Cheonan), he is a celebrated expert on all Oriental
doctrines and medicines, a multi-lingual genius with a great sense of ironic humor about it all.
He has been putting out several very successful series of books and lectures on KBS-TV covering his
relevant modern interpretations of classical Daoism (Lao-tzu), the Analects of Confucius and Zen
Buddhism (the Diamond Sutra). When he met with Dalai Lama in Dharmasala, India, it was
supposed to be for just a one-hour interview – but their conversation lasted for a full two days, and
became the content of his latest three-volume book, and a new lecture-series entitled “Do-ol’s
Special -- Who We Really Are” running on MBC-TV. His mind rapidly ranges over vast territories, and
he doesn't hold back on enthusiastic vehemence; whenever he speaks it’s very interesting to listen to.
At his lecture to Seoul's foreign ambassadors in March 2004, I gave him an English copy of my book;
he looked all through it with pleasure, and during his lecture recommended it to the audience. Eight
months later he called me up, saying that he had finished reading the whole book, and wanted to tell
me that he thoroughly agrees with my general perspective on the San-shin and its central place in
Korean culture. He especially liked my conclusions in the out-on-a-limb fourth chapter, on neo-
traditionalism, eco-piety and national reunification. Declared that I ‘hit the nail right on the head’,
and wrote something fresh and important that Korea and the world needs to hear.
He invited me to drop by his office for a deeper discussion of these matters, and when I did in late
November, he made this traditional brush-&-ink painting-with-calligraphy for me in recognition of our
meeting of the minds. He put five seals on it, three of his and two of mine (upper-right-corner is my
pen-name ‘San-lang’ or “Mountain Wolf”; that seal was made for me at the Hwang-shan or ‘Yellow
Mountains’ of China in 1983):
drawing and inscription on the flyleaf of
the copy he gave me of his 2005 book
on the Joseon-Dynasty-founding
philosopher Jeong Do-jeon (1342-1398)