Historically, Korea and Vietnam have been in the unenviable position of being surrounded by powerful neighbors who at times descend upon them as colonizers or occupying forces. East Asian new religious movements such as Daesoon Jinrihoe and Caodaism offer unique insights into each country’s national sentiments regarding such historicities. In particular, the painting in Daesoon Jinrihoe titled Five Immortals Playing Baduk (五仙圍碁 Oseon Wigi), and the painting in Caodaism titled The Three Saints (三聖 Tam Thánh) are strikingly similar in the manner in which both countries depict a national representative alongside foreign representatives. Generally speaking, Five Immortals Playing Baduk can be seen as providing a subtle and provocative critique of foreign interference, whereas The Three Saints has integral, reconciliatory, and diplomatic overtones. Sociological insight can be gained from analyzing the national sovereignty depicted in these paintings and related scriptural passages as a supernatural compensator as understood in Rational Choice Theory.

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