What is Definition of Han Spirit and Why should it be Expanded

△ Hwandan Gogi (桓檀古記)

TKM is Originated from Han Spirit and Korean Sentiments 

By David Park, Founder of South Baylo University

I believe that Han Spirit is one of phrases that represent best for Korean people and it is essential to understand Korean culture and sentiments.

Han means ‘sky’, ‘huge’, and ‘one for all’. Han also shares history of the beginning of the universe and history of ancient Korea.

Yul, which could be translated in English as spirit, means mind and soul and spiritual soul. It also contains meaning of the nature of all material things. As we put ‘Han’ and ‘Yul or spirit’ altogether, Han spirit means traditional Korean spirit as unifying all different ideas with affirmation.


I experienced with severe identity crises in my late 30’s as I actively lectured classes in school as a professor. I had unanswered questions such as who am I? Where am I from and am I heading to? As I was trying to find answers for questions by studying Han spirit, questions expanded to my country. Where did Korean people come from?


My journey of studying ideas of Han spirit, Humanitarianism and Governing nation with reason was amazing. As I study more for the ideas, I was fascinated more me. Also, I found a serious problem. Han spirit had been fading away and forgotten by most of Korean people. There were many answers or explanation, but most critical factors were imperial Japanese education that tried to extinguish traditional Korean philosophy and Han spirits during Japanese colonial era and toadyism toward China during Chosun Dynasty.


There is an essential book that explains Han spirit. Title of the book is Hwandan Gogi (桓檀古記), also called Handan Gogi, is a compilation of texts on ancient Korean history. The text was compiled in 1911 by Gye Yeon-su (계연수, 桂延壽; ? – 1920) and supervised by Yi Gi (이기, 李沂; 1848–1909). The entire set of texts, of which the only extant version is a modern transcription by Yi Yu-rip published in 1979, is widely regarded as a forgery among academics.


There is Han Spirit Institute in South Baylo University and the institute researches and advocate, promote, and publicize, Korean culture and history and Han spirit. First the institute was found in 1977 and name was Han Research Center. Current name for the institute has used since 2014.

I think education of Han spirit is also important to acupuncturists in US. Because thoughts like humanitarianism and governing nation with reason is applicable to educate an acupuncturist who care for his/her patients with empathy.


One but most important reason I founded the South Baylo University is for introducing and educating Han sprits. And a class for Han spirit is provided for students. I believe that education of Han spirit is making South Baylo University distinguish from other acupuncture schools in US.


In order to get more attention from the students, yearly I have invited professors from Korea to provide Han spirit classes and seminars since 1997.


I believe TKM is not just for inserting acupuncture needles on points or prescribing herbal formula for reducing pain. TKM is an integrated medical treatment that performs acupuncture and prescribing herbal formula in order to practice Korean thought of empathy toward to patients. The thought is not just for students or Korean acupuncturists. It is virtue that all acupuncturists must have.