In this major reassessment of Japanese imperialism in Asia, Mark Driscoll foregrounds the role of human life and labor. Drawing on subaltern postcolonial studies and Marxism, he directs critical attention to the peripheries, where figures including Chinese coolies, Japanese pimps, trafficked Japanese women, and Korean tenant farmers supplied the vital energy that drove Japan's empire. He identifies three phases of Japan's capitalist expansion, each powered by distinct modes of capturing and expropriating life and labor: biopolitics (1895–1914), neuropolitics (1920–32), and necropolitics (1935-45). During the first phase, Japanese elites harnessed the labor of marginalized subjects as Japan colonized Taiwan, Korea, and south Manchuria, and sent hustlers and sex workers into China to expand its market hegemony. Linking the deformed bodies laboring in the peripheries with the "erotic-grotesque" media in the metropole, Driscoll centers the second phase on commercial sexology, pornography, and detective stories in Tokyo to argue that by 1930, capitalism had colonized all aspects of human life: not just labor practices but also consumers’ attention and leisure time. Focusing on Japan's Manchukuo colony in the third phase, he shows what happens to the central figures of biopolitics as they are subsumed under necropolitical capitalism: coolies become forced laborers, pimps turn into state officials and authorized narcotraffickers, and sex workers become "comfort women". Driscoll concludes by discussing Chinese fiction written inside Manchukuo, describing the everyday violence unleashed by necropolitics.
A firsthand account of the American Jewish experience on the front lines of the Korean War
During the height of the Korean conflict, 1950–51, Orthodox Jewish chaplain Milton J. Rosen wrote 19 feature-length articles for Der Morgen Zhornal, a Yiddish daily in New York, documenting his wartime experiences as well as those of the servicemen under his care. Rosen was among those nearly caught in the Chinese entrapment of American and Allied forces in North Korea in late 1950, and some of his most poignant writing details the trying circumstances that faced both soldiers and civilians during that time.
As chaplain, Rosen was able to offer a unique account of the American Jewish experience on the frontlines and in the United States military while also describing the impact of the American presence on Korean citizens and their culture. His interest in Korean attitudes toward Jews is also a significant theme within these articles.
Stanley R. Rosen has translated his father’s articles into English and provides background on Milton Rosen’s military service before and after the Korean conflict. He presents an introductory overview of the war and includes helpful maps and photographs. The sum is a readable account of war and its turmoil from an astute and compassionate observer.
Mark E. Byington explores the formation, history, and legacy of the ancient state of Puyŏ, which existed in central Manchuria from the third century BCE until the late fifth century CE. As the earliest archaeologically attested state to arise in northeastern Asia, Puyŏ occupies an important place in the history of that region. Nevertheless, until now its history and culture have been rarely touched upon in scholarly works in any language. The present volume, utilizing recently discovered archaeological materials from Northeast China as well as a wide variety of historical records, explores the social and political processes associated with the formation and development of the Puyŏ state, and discusses how the historical legacy of Puyŏ—its historical memory—contributed to modes of statecraft of later northeast Asian states and provided a basis for a developing historiographical tradition on the Korean peninsula. Byington focuses on two major aspects of state formation: as a social process leading to the formation of a state-level polity called Puyŏ, and as a political process associated with a variety of devices intended to assure the stability and perpetuation of the inegalitarian social structures of several early states in the Korea-Manchuria region.
Never before translated into English, this official history of the reign of King T'aejo--founder of Korea's long, illustrious Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910 CE)--is a unique resource for reconstructing life in late-fourteenth-century Korea. Its narrative of a ruler's rise to power includes a wealth of detail not just about politics and war but also about religion, astronomy, and the arts.
The military general Yi Sŏnggye, posthumously named T'aejo, assumed the throne in 1392. During his seven-year reign, T'aejo instituted reforms and established traditions that would carry down through the centuries. These included service to Korea's overlord, China, and other practices reflecting China's influence over the peninsula: creation of a bureaucracy based on civil service examinations, a shift from Buddhism to Confucianism, and official records of the deeds of kings, which in the Confucian tradition were an important means of educating succeeding generations. A remarkable compilation process for the sillok, or "veritable records," was instituted to ensure the authority of the annals. Historiographers were present for every royal audience and wrote down each word that was uttered. They were strictly forbidden to divulge the contents of their daily drafts, however--even the king himself could not view the records with impunity.
Choi Byonghyon's translation of the first of Korea's dynastic histories, The Annals of King T'aejo, includes an introduction and annotations.
From the mid-seventeenth to the mid-nineteenth century, millions of Korean men from all walks of life trained in the arts of war to prepare not for actual combat but to sit for the state military examination (mukwa). Despite this widespread interest, only for a small minority did passing the test lead to appointment as a military official. Why, then, did so many men aspire to the mukwa?
Eugene Y. Park argues that the mukwa was not only the state's primary instrument for recruiting aristocrats as new members to the military bureaucracy but also a means by which the ruling elite of Seoul could partially satisfy the status aspirations of marginalized regional elites, secondary status groups, commoners, and manumitted slaves. Unlike the civil examination (munkwa), however, that assured successful examinees posts in the prestigious central bureaucracy, achievement in the mukwa did not enable them to gain political power or membership in the existing aristocracy.
A wealth of empirical data and primary sources drives Park's study: a database of more than 32,000 military examination graduates; a range of new and underutilized documents such as court records, household registers, local gazetteers, private memoirs, examination rosters, and genealogies; and products of popular culture, such as p'ansori storytelling and vernacular fiction. Drawing on this extensive evidence, Park provides a comprehensive sociopolitical history of the mukwa system in late Choson Korea.
Filling an important gap in extraterritoriality studies and in the history of Anglo-Korean relations, this benchmark study examines Britain’s exercise of extraterritorial rights in Korea from 1884 until Korea’s formal annexation by Japan in 1910. It shows how the treaty provisions—which provided for Britain’s ideal extra-territorial regime—were influenced by Britain’s considerably greater experience in Japan beginning in 1859. The caseload proved miniscule in the absence of any large British commercial or maritime presence. Nevertheless, it provides an insight into extra-territoriality’s operation outside major commercial centres and ports. Britain’s protection of Chinese interests in Korea in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War, 1894–1895 is also covered.
Between 1876 and 1945, thousands of Japanese civilians—merchants, traders, prostitutes, journalists, teachers, and adventurers—left their homeland for a new life on the Korean peninsula. Although most migrants were guided primarily by personal profit and only secondarily by national interest, their mundane lives and the state’s ambitions were inextricably entwined in the rise of imperial Japan. Despite having formed one of the largest colonial communities in the twentieth century, these settlers and their empire-building activities have all but vanished from the public memory of Japan’s presence in Korea.
Drawing on previously unused materials in multi-language archives, Jun Uchida looks behind the official organs of state and military control to focus on the obscured history of these settlers, especially the first generation of “pioneers” between the 1910s and 1930s who actively mediated the colonial management of Korea as its grassroots movers and shakers. By uncovering the downplayed but dynamic role played by settler leaders who operated among multiple parties—between the settler community and the Government-General, between Japanese colonizer and Korean colonized, between colony and metropole—this study examines how these “brokers of empire” advanced their commercial and political interests while contributing to the expansionist project of imperial Japan.
The Burden of the Past reexamines the dispute over historical perception between Japan and South Korea, going beyond the descriptive emphasis of previous studies to clearly identify the many independent variables that have affected the situation. From the history textbook debates, to the Occupation-period exploitation of “comfort women,” to the Dokdo/Takeshima territory dispute and Yasukuni Shrine visits, Professor Kimura traces the rise and fall of popular, political, and international concerns underlying these complex and highly fraught issues.
Utilizing Japanese and South Korean newspaper databases to review discussion of the two countries’ disputed historical perceptions from the end of World War II to the present, The Burden of the Past provides readers with the historical framework and the major players involved, offering much-needed clarity on such polarizing issues. By seeing behind the public discourse and political rhetoric, this book offers a firmer footing for a discussion and the steps toward resolution.
In Cine-Mobility, Han Sang Kim argues that the force of propaganda films in Korea were derived primarily from the new mobility afforded by transportation. Kim explores the association between cinematic media and transportation mobility, and its connection with the new culture of mobility, including changes in gender dynamics, that accompanied it.
In Cine-Mobility, Han Sang Kim argues that the force of propaganda films in Korea were derived primarily from the new mobility afforded by transportation. Kim explores the association between cinematic media and transportation mobility, and its connection with the new culture of mobility, including changes in gender dynamics, that accompanied it.
This book is a study of labor relations and the first generation of skilled workers in colonial Korea, a subject crucial to the understanding of modernization in twentieth-century Korea. Born in rural Korea, these workers confronted both the colonial experience and the modern workplace as they interacted with Japanese managers and workers.
The twelve chapters in this volume seek to overcome the nationalist paradigm of Japanese repression and exploitation versus Korean resistance that has dominated the study of Korea's colonial period (1910-1945) by adopting a more inclusive, pluralistic approach that stresses the complex relations among colonialism, modernity, and nationalism. By addressing such diverse subjects as the colonial legal system, radio, telecommunications, the rural economy, and industrialization and the formation of industrial labor, one group of essays analyzes how various aspects of modernity emerged in the colonial context and how they were mobilized by the Japanese for colonial domination, with often unexpected results. A second group examines the development of various forms of identity from nation to gender to class, particularly how aspects of colonial modernity facilitated their formation through negotiation, contestation, and redefinition.
In an era marked by atrocities perpetrated on a grand scale, the tragedy of the so-called comfort women—mostly Korean women forced into prostitution by the Japanese army—endures as one of the darkest events of World War II. These women have usually been labeled victims of a war crime, a simplistic view that makes it easy to pin blame on the policies of imperial Japan and therefore easier to consign the episode to a war-torn past. In this revelatory study, C. Sarah Soh provocatively disputes this master narrative.
Soh reveals that the forces of Japanese colonialism and Korean patriarchy together shaped the fate of Korean comfort women—a double bind made strikingly apparent in the cases of women cast into sexual slavery after fleeing abuse at home. Other victims were press-ganged into prostitution, sometimes with the help of Korean procurers. Drawing on historical research and interviews with survivors, Soh tells the stories of these women from girlhood through their subjugation and beyond to their efforts to overcome the traumas of their past. Finally, Soh examines the array of factors— from South Korean nationalist politics to the aims of the international women’s human rights movement—that have contributed to the incomplete view of the tragedy that still dominates today.
Legislation to change Korean society along Confucian lines began at the founding of the Chosŏn dynasty in 1392 and had apparently achieved its purpose by the mid seventeenth century. Until this important new study, however, the nature of Koryŏ society, the stresses induced by the new legislation, and society’s resistance to the Neo-Confucian changes imposed by the Chosŏn elite have remained largely unexplored.
To explain which aspects of life in Koryŏ came under attack and why, Martina Deuchler draws on social anthropology to examine ancestor worship, mourning, inheritance, marriage, the position of women, and the formation of descent groups. To examine how Neo-Confucian ideology could become an effective instrument for altering basic aspects of Koryŏ life, she traces shifts in political and social power as well as the cumulative effect of changes over time. What emerges is a subtle analysis of Chosŏn Korean social and ideological history.
In this wide-ranging study, Hyung Il Pai examines how archaeological finds from throughout Northeast Asia have been used in Korea to construct a myth of state formation. This myth emphasizes the ancient development of a pure Korean race that created a civilization rivaling those of China and Japan and a unified state controlling a wide area in Asia.
Through a new analysis of the archaeological data, Pai shows that the Korean state was in fact formed much later and that it reflected diverse influences from throughout Northern Asia, particularly the material culture of Han China. Her deconstruction of the uses of the archaeological finds by nationalistic historians reveals how they have been utilized to legitimate Korean nationalism and a particular form of national identity.
The South Korean warship Cheonan was sunk in mysterious circumstances on 26 March 2010. The remarkable events that followed are analysed by Tim Beal and woven into a larger study of the increasingly volatile relations between North and South Korea and US concern about the rise of China.
South Korea's stance towards the North has hardened significantly since the new conservative government came to power. Beal argues that the South moved quickly to use the sinking of the Cheonan to put international pressure on the North, even before the cause of the sinking had been established. The US followed suit by attempting to pressurise China into condemning North Korea. The media reports at the time presented an open and shut case of unprovoked North Korean aggression, but the evidence points towards the accidental triggering of a South Korean mine as the cause and South Korean fabrication to incriminate the North.
With the South bent on forcing the fall of the North's regime with US help and China unlikely to stand idly by, this book offers an essential guide to the key factors behind the crisis and possible solutions.
When you consider the size of Korea’s population and the breadth of its territory, it’s easy to see that this small region has played a disproportionately large role in twentieth-century history. The peninsula has experienced colonial submission at the hands of Japan, occupation by the United States and the Soviet Union, war, and a national division that continues today.
Cuisine, Colonialism and Cold War traces these developments as they played out in an unusual sphere: Korea’s national cuisine, which is savored for its diversity of ingredients and flavor. Katarzyna J. Cwiertka shows that many foods and dietary practices identified as Korean have been created or influenced by its colonial encounters, and she uncovers how the military and the Cold War had an impact on diet in both the North and South. Surveying the manufacture and consumption of rice and soy sauce, the rise of restaurants, wartime food, and the 1990s famine that still affects North Korea, Cwiertka illuminates the persistent legacy of Japanese rule and the consequences of armed conflicts and the Cold War. Bringing us closer to the Korean people and their daily lives, this book shines new light on critical issues in the social history of this peninsula.
Investigating the late sixteenth through the nineteenth century, this work looks at the shifting boundaries between the Choson state and the adherents of Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, and popular religions. Seeking to define the meaning and constitutive elements of the hegemonic group and a particular marginalized community in this Confucian state, the contributors argue that the power of each group and the space it occupied were determined by a dynamic interaction of ideology, governmental policies, and the group's self-perceptions.
Collectively, the volume counters the static view of the Korean Confucian state, elucidates its relationship to the wider Confucian community and religious groups, and suggests new views of the complex way in which each negotiated and adjusted its ideology and practices in response to the state's activities.
Cultures of Yusin examines the turbulent and yet deeply formative years of Park Chung Hee’s rule in South Korea, focusing on the so-called Yusin era (1972–79). Beginning with the constitutional change that granted dictatorial powers to the president and ending with his assassination, Yusin was a period of extreme political repression coupled with widespread mobilization of the citizenry towards the statist gospel of modernization and development. While much has been written about the political and economic contours of this period, the rich complexity of its cultural production remains obscure. This edited volume brings together a wide range of scholars to explore literature, film, television, performance, music, and architecture, as well as practices of urban and financial planning, consumption, and homeownership. Examining the plural forms of culture’s relationship to state power, the authors illuminate the decade of the 1970s in South Korea and offer an essential framework for understanding contemporary Korean society.
In Curative Violence Eunjung Kim examines what the social and material investment in curing illnesses and disabilities tells us about the relationship between disability and Korean nationalism. Kim uses the concept of curative violence to question the representation of cure as a universal good and to understand how nonmedical and medical cures come with violent effects that are not only symbolic but also physical. Writing disability theory in a transnational context, Kim tracks the shifts from the 1930s to the present in the ways that disabled bodies and narratives of cure have been represented in Korean folktales, novels, visual culture, media accounts, policies, and activism. Whether analyzing eugenics, the management of Hansen's disease, discourses on disabled people's sexuality, violence against disabled women, or rethinking the use of disabled people as a metaphor for life under Japanese colonial rule or under the U.S. military occupation, Kim shows how the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is seen as a negotiation rather than a necessity.
In 2002, North Korea precipitated a major international crisis when it revealed the existence of a secret nuclear weapons program and announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Earlier in the year, George W. Bush had declared North Korea part of the “axis of evil,” and soon afterward his administration listed the country as a potential target of a preemptive nuclear strike. Pyongyang’s angry reaction ensured the complete deterioration of relations on the Korean peninsula, where only two years before the leaders of North and South Korea had come together in a historic summit meeting.
Few international conflicts are as volatile, protracted, or seemingly insoluble as the one in Korea, where mutual mistrust, hostile Cold War attitudes, and the possibility of a North Korean economic collapse threaten the security of the entire region. For Roland Bleiker, this persistently recurring pattern suggests profound structural problems within and between the two Koreas that have not been acknowledged until now. Expanding the discussion beyond geopolitics and ideology, Bleiker places peninsular tensions in the context of an ongoing struggle over competing forms of Korean identity. Divided Korea examines both domestic and international attitudes toward Korean identity, the legacy of war, and the possibilities for-and anxieties about-unification.
Divided Korea challenges the prevailing logic of confrontation and deterrence, embarking on a fundamental reassessment of both the roots of the conflict and the means to achieve a more stable political environment and, ultimately, peace. In order to realize a lasting solution, Bleiker concludes, the two Koreas and the international community must first show a willingness to accept difference and contemplate forgiveness as part of a broader reconciliation process.
Roland Bleiker is professor of international relations at the University of Queensland. From 1986 to 1988 he served as chief of office for the Swiss delegation to the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Panmunjom.
In recent years there has been a marked resurgence of interest in the effects of electoral laws on important aspects of politics such as party competition. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars looks at the impact of one set of electoral rules--the single non-transferable vote--on electoral competition in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Under this plan citizens are allowed one vote even though there is more than one seat to be filled. In comparative studies of the adoption and rejection of the single nontransferable vote and the consequences of its use across different settings, the contributors explore the differences in the operation and effects of the application of the same rule in different countries. Arguing that any single feature of a political system is embedded in a political structure and cannot be understood in isolation, the authors demonstrate how the same rule can have different consequences depending on the context in which it operates. The contributors offer fresh insights into the comparative study of political institutions as well as into the operation of particular electoral rules.
In addition to the editors, the contributors include Kathleen Bawn, John Boland, Jean-Marie Bouissou, Gary Cox, John Fu-Sheng Hsieh, Arend Lijphart, Emerson Niou, Steven R. Reed, and Frances Rosenbluth, among others.
Bernard Grofman is Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine. Edwin A. Winckler is at the East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Brian Woodall is Assistant Professor in the School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. Sung-Chull Lee is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine.
Embodied Reckonings examines the political and cultural aspects of contemporary performances that have grappled with the history of the “comfort women,” the Japanese military’s euphemism for the sexual enslavement of girls and young women—mostly Korean—in the years before and during World War II. Long silent, in the early 1990s these women and their supporters initiated varied performance practices—protests, tribunals, theater, and memorial-building projects—to demand justice for those affected by state-sponsored acts of violence. The book provides a critical framework for understanding how actions designed to bring about redress can move from the political and legal aspects of this concept to its cultural and social possibilities.
Based on extensive archival and ethnographic research, the study argues for the central role of performance in how Korean survivors, activists, and artists have redressed the histories—and erasures—of this sexual violence. Merging cultural studies and performance theory with a transnational, feminist analysis, the book illuminates the actions of ordinary people, thus offering ways of reconceptualizing legal and political understandings of redress that tend to concentrate on institutionalized forms of state-based remediation.
From an award-winning historian, a concise overview of the deep and longstanding ties between China and the Koreas, providing an essential foundation for understanding East Asian geopolitics today.
In a concise, trenchant overview, Odd Arne Westad explores the cultural and political relationship between China and the Koreas over the past 600 years.
Koreans long saw China as a mentor. The first form of written Korean employed Chinese characters and remained in administrative use until the twentieth century. Confucianism, especially Neo-Confucian reasoning about the state and its role in promoting a virtuous society, was central to the construction of the Korean government in the fourteenth century. These shared Confucian principles were expressed in fraternal terms, with China the older brother and Korea the younger. During the Ming Dynasty, mentor became protector, as Korea declared itself a vassal of China in hopes of escaping ruin at the hands of the Mongols. But the friendship eventually frayed with the encroachment of Western powers in the nineteenth century. Koreans began to reassess their position, especially as Qing China seemed no longer willing or able to stand up for Korea against either the Western powers or the rising military threat from Meiji Japan. The Sino-Korean relationship underwent further change over the next century as imperialism, nationalism, revolution, and war refashioned states and peoples throughout Asia. Westad describes the disastrous impact of the Korean War on international relations in the region and considers Sino-Korean interactions today, especially the thorny question of the reunification of the Korean peninsula.
Illuminating both the ties and the tensions that have characterized the China-Korea relationship, Empire and Righteous Nation provides a valuable foundation for understanding a critical geopolitical dynamic.
“The relationship between China and Korea is one of the most important, and least understood, in Asia. With the wisdom and clarity we have come to expect from Westad, this book illuminates the long history of these two neighbors.” —Rana Mitter, author of China’s Good War
“A timely must-read primer on the China–Korea relationship…and its impact on and implications for our world today.” —Carter J. Eckert, author of Park Chung Hee and Modern Korea
“Valuable and wide-ranging…As two thousand years of history have shown, China’s role in Korea is a complex one. Westad’s short and stimulating study provides many clues to understanding that relationship.” —J. E. Hoare, Literary Review
“An insightful and entertaining primer on Korean history over the last 600 years.” —Popular History Books
Koreans long saw China as a mentor and protector. Chinese culture heavily influenced Korea, whose first written language used Chinese characters, while Confucianism shaped the structure of Korean government. This deep, sometimes fraught, relationship has done more to shape the politics of the region than many realize.
During the Ming Dynasty, Korea agreed to become a vassal of China, in hopes of escaping ruin at the hands of the Mongols. The connection frayed in the nineteenth century, when the Qing, beset by domestic problems, did little to protect Korea from encroaching Western powers or the imperial designs of Meiji Japan. The relationship shifted again in the twentieth century as nationalism, revolution, and war refashioned Asia. Odd Arne Westad lays bare the disastrous impact of the Korean War on the region and offers a keen assessment of Sino–Korean interactions today, including the thorny question of reunification.
By the turn of the twentieth century, Japan’s military and economic successes made it the dominant power in East Asia, drawing hundreds of thousands of Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese students to the metropole and sending thousands of Japanese to other parts of East Asia. The constant movement of peoples, ideas, and texts in the Japanese empire created numerous literary contact nebulae, fluid spaces of diminished hierarchies where writers grapple with and transculturate one another’s creative output.
Drawing extensively on vernacular sources in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, this book analyzes the most active of these contact nebulae: semicolonial Chinese, occupied Manchurian, and colonial Korean and Taiwanese transculturations of Japanese literature. It explores how colonial and semicolonial writers discussed, adapted, translated, and recast thousands of Japanese creative works, both affirming and challenging Japan’s cultural authority. Such efforts not only blurred distinctions among resistance, acquiescence, and collaboration but also shattered cultural and national barriers central to the discourse of empire. In this context, twentieth-century East Asian literatures can no longer be understood in isolation from one another, linked only by their encounters with the West, but instead must be seen in constant interaction throughout the Japanese empire and beyond.
Empire of the Dharma explores the dynamic relationship between Korean and Japanese Buddhists in the years leading up to the Japanese annexation of Korea. Conventional narratives cast this relationship in politicized terms, with Korean Buddhists portrayed as complicit in the “religious annexation” of the peninsula. However, this view fails to account for the diverse visions, interests, and strategies that drove both sides.
Hwansoo Ilmee Kim complicates this politicized account of religious interchange by reexamining the “alliance” forged in 1910 between the Japanese Soto sect and the Korean Wonjong order. The author argues that their ties involved not so much political ideology as mutual benefit. Both wished to strengthen Buddhism’s precarious position within Korean society and curb Christianity’s growing influence. Korean Buddhist monastics sought to leverage Japanese resources as a way of advancing themselves and their temples, and missionaries of Japanese Buddhist sects competed with one another to dominate Buddhism on the peninsula. This strategic alliance pushed both sides to confront new ideas about the place of religion in modern society and framed the way that many Korean and Japanese Buddhists came to think about the future of their shared religion.
Entrepreneurial Seoulite might be read as a memoir on Hongdae based on the author’s observations as a member of South Korea’s Generation X. During the 1990’s, Hongdae became widely known as a cool place associated with discourses on alternative music, independent labels, and club culture. Today, Hongdae is well known for its youth culture and nightlife, as well as its gentrification.
Recent research on Korean culture approaches the K-wave phenomenon from the perspectives of cultural consumption, media analysis, and cultural management and policy. Meanwhile, studies on Seoul have centered on its transformation as a global, creative city. Rather than examining the K-wave or the city itself, this book explores the experience of living through the city-in-transition, focusing on the relationship between “the ideology that justified engagement in capitalism” and the “subjectification process.” The book aims to understand the project to institutionalize a cultural district in Hongdae as a demonstration of the coevolution of ideologies and citizenship in a society undergoing rapid liberalization—politically, culturally, and economically.
A cultural turn took place in Korea during the 1990s, amid the economic prosperity driven by state-led industrialization and the collapse of the military dictatorship due to democratization movements. Cultural critiques, emerging as an alternative to social movements, proliferated to assert the freedom and autonomy of individuals against regulatory systems and institutions. The nation was hit by the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and witnessed massive economic restructuring including layoffs, stakeouts, and a prevalence of contingent employment. As a result, the entire nation had to find new engines of economic growth while experiencing a creative destruction. At the center of this national transformation, Seoul has sought to recreate itself from a mega city to a global city, equipped with cutting-edge knowledge industries and infrastructures.
By juxtaposing the cultural turn and cultural/creative city-making, Entrepreneurial Seoulite interrogates the formation of new citizen subjectivity, namely the enterprising self, in post-Fordist Seoul. What kinds of logic guide individuals in the engagement of new urban realities in rapidly liberalized Seoul—culturally and economically? In order to explore this query, Mihye Cho draws on Weber’s concept of “the spirit of capitalism” on the formation of a new economic agency focusing on the re-configuration of meanings, and seeks to capture a transformative moment detailing when and how capitalism requests a different spirit and lifestyle of its participants. Likewise, this book approaches the enterprising self as the new spirit of post-Fordist Seoul and explores the ways in which people in Seoul internalize and negotiate this new enterprising self.
The defiant dictatorship of North Korea and the thriving democracy of South Korea may appear starkly different, but they share a complex and often misunderstood history that is ably recounted in Everlasting Flower.
Keith Pratttraverses the ancient landscapes of the Koreas, from the kingdoms of Old Choson and Wiman Choson to the present-day 38th Parallel division. The book’s engaging narrative details the wars, ruling dynasties, Chinese and Japanese imperialism, and controversial historical events such as the abuses of the Japanese occupation.
Everlasting Flower applies an equally careful eye to religious practices, dress, and food, and augments the narrative with richly illustrated pictorial essays. As the Korean peninsula assumes a prominent role in world affairs, Everlasting Flower offers an invaluable survey of Korean history and culture.
The Films of Bong Joon Ho
Nam Lee Rutgers University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PN1998.3.P6625L44 2020 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar® for Best Director for Parasite (2019), which also won Best Picture, the first foreign film to do so, and two other Academy Awards. Parasite was the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes. These achievements mark a new career peak for the director, who first achieved wide international acclaim with 2006’s monster movie The Host and whose forays into English-language film with Snowpiercer (2013) and Okja (2017) brought him further recognition.
As this timely book reveals, even as Bong Joon Ho has emerged as an internationally known director, his films still engage with distinctly Korean social and political contexts that may elude many Western viewers. The Films of Bong Joon Ho demonstrates how he hybridizes Hollywood conventions with local realities in order to create a cinema that foregrounds the absurd cultural anomie Koreans have experienced in tandem with their rapid economic development. Film critic and scholar Nam Lee explores how Bong subverts the structures of the genres he works within, from the crime thriller to the sci-fi film, in order to be truthful to Korean realities that often deny the reassurances of the happy Hollywood ending. With detailed readings of Bong’s films from Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000) through Parasite (2019), the book will give readers a new appreciation of this world-class cinematic talent.
This ninth title in the series Studies in the Modernization of the Republic of Korea offers new insights into the role of finance in a rapidly developing country. Combining history and theory, it provides a rigorous test of previous theoretical propositions. The study illustrates the complexity of the Korean financial system and the danger of easy generalization from partial evidence.
The two major components of the financial system are brought into focus—one regulated and statistically recorded, the other unregulated, unrecorded. The burden of financial intermediation shifts from one to the other largely in response to government policy measures. By looking only at the regulated sector, previous studies have often misperceived the role of the financial system and the effects of government policies. The financial scandal in Seoul in May 1982 vividly demonstrated that the unregulated part of the system is still important and that overregulation of the “modern” part generates strong pressures for perpetuating the illegal, unregulated, “traditional” financial institutions.
Since the early 1980s, Korea’s financial development has been a tale of liberalization and opening. After the 1997 financial crisis, great strides were made in building a market-oriented financial system through sweeping reforms for deregulation and the opening of financial markets. However, the new system failed to steer the country away from a credit card boom and bust in 2003, a liquidity crisis in 2008, and a run on its savings banks in 2011, and has been severely tested again by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Financial liberalization, clearly, has been no panacea.
This study analyzes the deepening of and structural changes in Korea’s financial system since the early 1980s and presents the empirical results of the effects of financial development on economic growth, stability, and the distribution of income. It finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, financial liberalization has contributed little to fostering the growth and stability of the Korean economy and has exacerbated income distribution problems. Are there any merits in financial liberalization? The authors answer this query through empirical examinations of the theories of finance and growth. They point to a clear need to further improve the efficiency, soundness, and stability of Korean financial institutions and markets.
The notion of the individual was initially translated into Korean near the end of the nineteenth century and took root during the early years of Japanese colonial influence. Yoon Sun Yang argues that the first literary iterations of the Korean individual were prototypically female figures appearing in the early colonial domestic novel—a genre developed by reform-minded male writers—as schoolgirls, housewives, female ghosts, femmes fatales, and female same-sex partners. Such female figures have long been viewed as lacking in modernity because, unlike numerous male characters in Korean literature after the late 1910s, they did not assert their own modernity, or that of the nation, by exploring their interiority. Yang, however, shows that no reading of Korean modernity can ignore these figures, because the early colonial domestic novel cast them as individuals in terms of their usefulness or relevance to the nation, whether model citizens or iconoclasts.
By including these earlier narratives within modern Korean literary history and positing that they too were engaged in the translation of individuality into Korean, Yang’s study not only disrupts the canonical account of a non-gendered, linear progress toward modern Korean selfhood but also expands our understanding of the role played by translation in Korea’s construction of modern gender roles.
To understand how North Korea has survived as the worlds last Stalinist regime despite international isolationand at enormous human costs to its peopleone must look at how its political system was created. The countrys foundations were laid in the late 1940s and 1950s as a result of interaction between the Soviet Stalinist model, imposed from outside, and local traditions.
Andrei Lankov traces the formation of the North Korean state and the early years of Kim Il Sungs rule, when the future "Great Leader" and his entourage were consolidating their power base. Surveying the situation in North Korea after 1945, Lankov explores the internal composition of the ruling elite, the role of the Soviets, and the uneasy relations between various political groups. He also focuses on how in 1956 Kim Il Sung defeated the only known attempt to oust him and thereby established absolute personal rule beyond either Soviet or Chinese control.
The book is based on previously secret Soviet documents from Russian archives, as well as interviews with Russian and Korean participants.
In The Great Enterprise, Henry H. Em examines how the project of national sovereignty shaped the work of Korean historians and their representations of Korea's past. The goal of Korea attaining validity and equal standing among sovereign nations, Em shows, was foundational to modern Korean politics in that it served a pedagogical function for Japanese and Western imperialisms, as well as for Korean nationalism. Sovereignty thus functioned as police power and political power in shaping Korea's modernity, including anticolonial and postcolonial movements toward a radically democratic politics.
Surveying historical works written over the course of the twentieth century, Em elucidates the influence of Christian missionaries, as well as the role that Japan's colonial policy played in determining the narrative framework for defining Korea's national past. Em goes on to analyze postcolonial works in which South Korean historians promoted national narratives appropriate for South Korea's place in the U.S.-led Cold War system. Throughout, Em highlights equal sovereignty's creative and productive potential to generate oppositional subjectivities and vital political alternatives.
This study provides a comprehensive overview of Korea’s macroeconomic growth and structural change since World War II, and traces some of the roots of development to the colonial period. The authors explore in detail colonial development, changing national income patterns, relative price shifts, sources of aggregate growth, and sources of sectoral structural change, comparing them with other countries.
In Hegemonic Mimicry, Kyung Hyun Kim considers the recent global success of Korean popular culture—the Korean wave of pop music, cinema, and television, which is also known as hallyu—from a transnational and transcultural perspective. Using the concept of mimicry to think through hallyu's adaptation of American sensibilities and genres, he shows how the commercialization of Korean popular culture has upended the familiar dynamic of major-to-minor cultural influence, enabling hallyu to become a dominant global cultural phenomenon. At the same time, its worldwide popularity has rendered its Koreanness opaque. Kim argues that Korean cultural subjectivity over the past two decades is one steeped in ethnic rather than national identity. Explaining how South Korea leaped over the linguistic and cultural walls surrounding a supposedly “minor” culture to achieve global ascendance, Kim positions K-pop, Korean cinema and television serials, and even electronics as transformative acts of reappropriation that have created a hegemonic global ethnic identity.
This volume presents two histories of the early Korean kingdom of Paekche (trad. 18 BCE-660 CE). The first, written by Jonathan Best, is based largely on primary sources, both written and archaeological. This initial history of Paekche serves, in part, to introduce the second, an extensively annotated translation of the oldest history of the kingdom, the Paekche Annals (Paekche pon'gi). Written in the chronicle format standard for the traditional official histories of East Asia, the Paekche Annals constitutes one section of the Histories of the Three Kingdoms (Samguk sagi), a comprehensive account of early Korean history compiled under the editorial direction of Kim Pusik (1075-1151). Although these two representations of Paekche history differ markedly, the underlying problem faced by both the twelfth-century and the twenty-first-century historian is essentially the same: fashioning a responsible, encompassing, and reasonably coherent history of the kingdom from meager, and often disparate and fragmentary, evidence.
Included in the volume are 22 appendixes on problems in Paekche history; a concordance of proper names, official titles, omens, and weights and measures; a glossary of geographical names; and six historical maps of the kingdom showing its changing boundaries.
These chapters by eight Korea specialists present a new approach to human rights issues in Korea. Instead of using an external and purely contemporary standard, the authors work from within Korean history, treating the successive phases of Korea’s modern century to examine the uneasy fate of human rights and some of the ideas of human rights as they have developed in the Korean context. Beginning with the Independence Club of the late nineteenth century and continuing through to the constitutional and judicial structures underlying the Sixth Republic Government of Roh Tae Woo in South Korea, these papers illuminate the sometimes complex interactions between modern Korean human-rights issues and the legacies of Korean culture and colonial occupation.
The contributors provide a corrective to two common errors: one, an overemphasis on the tension between residual Confucian culture and human-rights concepts; two, the opposite error, a defensive nationalism that gives rise to ill-founded efforts to identify democratic antecedents in the Korean past. Instead, these authors allow each episode in the emergence of Korean human rights thought and action to stand in the context of its own time and of Korea’s modern history. The final sections deal with the usefulness and appropriateness of U.S. policies toward human rights in South Korea and comparatively with the overall issues raised in the volume.
In the year 721, a young Buddhist monk named Hyecho set out from the kingdom of Silla, on the Korean peninsula, on what would become one of the most extraordinary journeys in history. Sailing first to China, Hyecho continued to what is today Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran, before taking the Silk Road and heading back east, where he ended his days on the sacred mountain of Wutaishan in China.
With Hyecho’s Journey, eminent scholar of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. re-creates Hyecho’s trek. Using the surviving fragments of Hyecho’s travel memoir, along with numerous other textual and visual sources, Lopez imagines the thriving Buddhist world the monk explored. Along the way, Lopez introduces key elements of Buddhism, including its basic doctrines, monastic institutions, works of art, and the many stories that have inspired Buddhist pilgrimage. Through the eyes of one remarkable Korean monk, we discover a vibrant tradition flourishing across a vast stretch of Asia. Hyecho’s Journey is simultaneously a rediscovery of a forgotten pilgrim, an accessible primer on Buddhist history and doctrine, and a gripping, beautifully illustrated account of travel in a world long lost.
"North Korea is not just a security or human rights problem (although it is those things) but a real society. This book gets us closer to understanding North Korea beyond the usual headlines, and does so in a richly detailed, well-researched, and theoretically contextualized way."
---Charles K. Armstrong, Director, Center for Korean Research, Columbia University
"One of this book's strengths is how it deals at the same time with historical, geographical, political, artistic, and cultural materials. Film and theatre are not the only arts Kim studies---she also offers an excellent analysis of paintings, fashion, and what she calls 'everyday performance.' Her analysis is brilliant, her insights amazing, and her discoveries and conclusions always illuminating."
---Patrice Pavis, University of Kent, Canterbury
No nation stages massive parades and collective performances on the scale of North Korea. Even amid a series of intense political/economic crises and international conflicts, the financially troubled country continues to invest massive amounts of resources to sponsor unflinching displays of patriotism, glorifying its leaders and revolutionary history through state rituals that can involve hundreds of thousands of performers. Author Suk-Young Kim explores how sixty years of state-sponsored propaganda performances---including public spectacles, theater, film, and other visual media such as posters---shape everyday practice such as education, the mobilization of labor, the gendering of social interactions, the organization of national space, tourism, and transnational human rights. Equal parts fascinating and disturbing, Illusive Utopia shows how the country's visual culture and performing arts set the course for the illusionary formation of a distinctive national identity and state legitimacy, illuminating deep-rooted cultural explanations as to why socialism has survived in North Korea despite the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and China's continuing march toward economic prosperity. With over fifty striking color illustrations, Illusive Utopia captures the spectacular illusion within a country where the arts are not only a means of entertainment but also a forceful institution used to regulate, educate, and mobilize the population.
Suk-Young Kim is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and coauthor with Kim Yong of Long Road Home: A Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor.
In the early 1990s, South Korea was showcased as a country that had combined extraordinary economic growth with a narrowing of income distribution, achieving remarkably low rates of unemployment and poverty. In the years following the financial crisis of 1997–1998, however, these rates ballooned to pre-crisis levels, giving rise to the perception that the gap between the rich and the poor in Korea had once again widened.
Income Inequality in Korea explores the relationship between economic growth and social developments in Korea over the last three decades. Analyzing the forces behind the equalizing trends in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the deterioration evident in the post-crisis years, Chong-Bum An and Barry Bosworth investigate the macroeconomic conditions, gains in educational attainment, demographic changes and conditions in labor markets, and social welfare policies that have contributed to the evolution of income inequality over time.
The authors also raise fundamental questions about whether the pre-crisis pattern of combining strong economic growth with improving equality can be restored, as well as how government policies might be designed to promote that objective. The book concludes with a discussion of some proposals for improving the efficacy of redistributive policies in Korea.
In Intimate Empire Nayoung Aimee Kwon examines intimate cultural encounters between Korea and Japan during the colonial era and their postcolonial disavowal. After the Japanese empire’s collapse in 1945, new nation-centered histories in Korea and Japan actively erased these once ubiquitous cultural interactions that neither side wanted to remember. Kwon reconsiders these imperial encounters and their contested legacies through the rise and fall of Japanese-language literature and other cultural exchanges between Korean and Japanese writers and artists in the Japanese empire. The contrast between the prominence of these and other forums of colonial-era cultural collaboration between the colonizers and the colonized, and their denial in divided national narrations during the postcolonial aftermath, offers insights into the paradoxical nature of colonial collaboration, which Kwon characterizes as embodying desire and intimacy with violence and coercion. Through the case study of the formation and repression of imperial subjects between Korea and Japan, Kwon considers the imbrications of colonialism and modernity and the entwined legacies of colonial and Cold War histories in the Asia-Pacific more broadly.
This volume makes available for the first time in English two of the most important novels of Japanese colonialism: Yuasa Katsuei’s Kannani and Document of Flames. Born in Japan in 1910 and raised in Korea, Yuasa was an eyewitness to the ravages of the Japanese occupation. In both of the novels presented here, he is clearly critical of Japanese imperialism. Kannani (1934) stands alone within Japanese literature in its graphic depictions of the racism and poverty endured by the colonized Koreans. Document of Flames (1935) brings issues of class and gender into sharp focus. It tells the story of Tokiko, a divorced woman displaced from her Japanese home who finds herself forced to work as a prostitute in Korea to support herself and her child. Tokiko eventually becomes a landowner and oppressor of the Koreans she lives amongst, a transformation suggesting that the struggle against oppression often ends up replicating the structure of domination.
In his introduction, Mark Driscoll provides a nuanced and engaging discussion of Yuasa’s life and work and of the cultural politics of Japanese colonialism. He describes Yuasa’s sharp turn, in the years following the publication of Kannani and Document of Flames, toward support for Japanese nationalism and the assimilation of Koreans into Japanese culture. This abrupt ideological reversal has made Yuasa’s early writing—initially censored for its anticolonialism—all the more controversial. In a masterful concluding essay, Driscoll connects these novels to larger theoretical issues, demonstrating how a deep understanding of Japanese imperialism challenges prevailing accounts of postcolonialism.
This important new study by one of Korea’s leading historians focuses on the international relations of colonial Korea – from the Japanese rule of the peninsula and its foreign relations (1905–1945) to the ultimate liberation of the country at the end of the Second World War. In addition, it fills a significant gap – the ‘blank space’ – in Korean diplomatic history. Furthermore, it highlights several other fundamental aspects in the history of modern Korea, such as the historical perception of the policy-making process and the attitudes of both China and Britain which influenced US policy regarding Korea at the end of World War II.
The first general history of Korea as seen through maps, Korea: A Cartographic History provides a beautifully illustrated introduction to how Korea was and is represented cartographically. John Rennie Short, one of today’s most prolific and well-respected geographers, encapsulates six hundred years of maps made by Koreans and non-Koreans alike.
Largely chronological in its organization, Korea begins by examining the differing cartographic traditions prevalent in the early Joseon period in Korea—roughly 1400 to 1600—and its temporal equivalent in early modern Europe. As one of the longest continuous dynasties, Joseon rule encompassed an enormous range and depth of cartographic production. Short then surveys the cartographic encounters from 1600 to 1900, distinguishing between the early and late Joseon periods and highlighting the influences of China, Japan, and the rest of the world on Korean cartography. In his final section, Short covers the period from Japanese colonial control of Korea to the present day and demonstrates how some of the tumultuous events of the past hundred years are recorded and contested in maps. He also explores recent cartographic controversies, including the naming of the East Sea/Sea of Japan and claims of ownership of the island of Dokdo.
A common theme running throughout Short’s study is how the global flow of knowledge and ideas affects mapmaking, and Short reveals how Korean mapmakers throughout history have embodied, reflected, and even contested these foreign depictions of their homeland.
In the first part of the twentieth century, Korean Buddhists, despite living under colonial rule, reconfigured sacred objects, festivals, urban temples, propagation—and even their own identities—to modernize and elevate Korean Buddhism. By focusing on six case studies, this book highlights the centrality of transnational relationships in the transformation of colonial Korean Buddhism.
Hwansoo Ilmee Kim examines how Korean, Japanese, and other Buddhists operating in colonial Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Manchuria, and beyond participated in and were significantly influenced by transnational forces, even as Buddhists of Korea and other parts of Asia were motivated by nationalist and sectarian interests. More broadly, the cases explored in the The Korean Buddhist Empire reveal that, while Japanese Buddhism exerted the most influence, Korean Buddhism was (as Japanese Buddhism was itself) deeply influenced by developments in China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Europe, and the United States, as well as by Christianity.
Offering the most comprehensive analysis of Korean cinema from its early history to the present, and including the films of Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho and Kim Ki-young, Korean Cinema in Global Contexts: Postcolonial Phantom, Blockbuster and Trans-Cinema situates itself in the local, Inter-Asian, and transnational contexts by mobilizing the critical frameworks of feminism, postcolonial critique and comparative film studies. It is attentive to an enmeshment of the cinematic, aesthetics, politics and cultural history.
Arguably the most brutal crime committed by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific war was the forced mobilization of 50,000 to 200,000 Asian women to military brothels to sexually serve Japanese soldiers. The majority of these women died, unable to survive the ordeal. Those survivors who came back home kept silent about their brutal experiences for about fifty years. In the late 1980s, the women’s movement in South Korea helped start the redress movement for the victims, encouraging many survivors to come forward to tell what happened to them. With these testimonies, the redress movement gained strong support from the UN, the United States, and other Western countries.
Korean “Comfort Women” synthesizes the previous major findings about Japanese military sexual slavery and legal recommendations, and provides new findings about the issues “comfort women” faced for an English-language audience. It also examines the transnational redress movement, revealing that the Japanese government has tried to conceal the crime of sexual slavery and to resolve the women’s human rights issue with diplomacy and economic power.
The spicy tang of kimchi, the richness of Korean barbecue, the hearty flavors of bibimbap: Korean cuisine is savored the world over for its diversity of ingredients and flavors. Michael Pettid offers here a lushly illustrated historical account of Korean food and its intricate relationship with the nation’s culture.
Over the last twelve centuries, Korean food dishes and their complex preparations have evolved along with the larger cultural and political upheaval experienced by the nation. Pettid charts this historical development of the cuisine, exploring the ways that regional distinctions and historical transformations played out in the Korean diet—including the effects of wartime food shortages and preparation techniques. Underlying all these dishes are complicated philosophical and aesthetic considerations, and Pettid delves into their impact on everything from the rituals associated with group meals or drinks with friends to the strict rules governing combinations of dishes and ingredients according to temperature, texture, spices, color, and consistency.
Featuring a batch of mouthwatering recipes and over a hundred vivid photographs of a striking array of dishes, Korean Cuisine is an incisive and engaging investigation into the relationship between Korean culture and food that will spice up the bookshelves of foodies and scholars alike.
Korean families have changed significantly during the last few decades in their composition, structure, attitudes, and function. Delayed and forgone marriage, fertility decline, and rising divorce rates are just a few examples of changes that Korean families have experienced at a rapid pace, more dramatic than in many other contemporary societies. Moreover, the increase of marriages between Korean men and foreign women has further diversified Korean families. Yet traditional norms and attitudes toward gender and family continue to shape Korean men and women’s family behaviors.
Korean Families Yesterday and Today portrays diverse aspects of the contemporary Korean families and, by explicitly or implicitly situating contemporary families within a comparative historical perspective, reveal how the past of Korean families evolved into their current shapes. While the study of families can be approached in many different angles, our lens focuses on families with children or young adults who are about to forge family through marriage and other means. This focus reflects that delayed marriage and declined fertility are two sweeping demographic trends in Korea, affecting family formation. Moreover, “intensive” parenting has characterized Korean young parents and therefore, examining change and persistence in parenting provides important clues for family change in Korea.
This volume should be of interest not only to readers who are interested in Korea but also to those who want to understand broad family changes in East Asia in comparative perspective.
How do poor nations become rich, industrialized, and democratic? And what role does democracy play in this transition? To address these questions, Jongryn Mo and Barry R. Weingast study South Korea's remarkable transformation since 1960. The authors concentrate on three critical turning points: Park Chung Hee's creation of the development state beginning in the early 1960s, democratization in 1987, and the genesis of and reaction to the 1997 economic crisis. At each turning point, Korea took a significant step toward creating an open access social order.
The dynamics of this transition hinge on the inclusion of a wide array of citizens, rather than just a narrow elite, in economic and political activities and organizations. The political economy systems that followed each of the first two turning points lacked balance in the degree of political and economic openness and did not last. The Korean experience, therefore, suggests that a society lacking balance cannot sustain development. Korean Political and Economic Development offers a new view of how Korea was able to maintain a pro-development state with sustained growth by resolving repeated crises in favor of rebalancing and greater political and economic openness.
Over the past decade, Korean popular culture has become a global phenomenon. The "Korean Wave" of music, film, television, sports, and cuisine generates significant revenues and cultural pride in South Korea. The Korean Popular Culture Reader provides a timely and essential foundation for the study of "K-pop," relating the contemporary cultural landscape to its historical roots. The essays in this collection reveal the intimate connections of Korean popular culture, or hallyu, to the peninsula's colonial and postcolonial histories, to the nationalist projects of the military dictatorship, and to the neoliberalism of twenty-first-century South Korea. Combining translations of seminal essays by Korean scholars on topics ranging from sports to colonial-era serial fiction with new work by scholars based in fields including literary studies, film and media studies, ethnomusicology, and art history, this collection expertly navigates the social and political dynamics that have shaped Korean cultural production over the past century.
Contributors. Jung-hwan Cheon, Michelle Cho, Youngmin Choe, Steven Chung, Katarzyna J. Cwiertka, Stephen Epstein, Olga Fedorenko, Kelly Y. Jeong, Rachael Miyung Joo, Inkyu Kang, Kyu Hyun Kim, Kyung Hyun Kim, Pil Ho Kim, Boduerae Kwon, Regina Yung Lee, Sohl Lee, Jessica Likens, Roald Maliangkay, Youngju Ryu, Hyunjoon Shin, Min-Jung Son, James Turnbull, Travis Workman
The Bodleian Library and the museums of the University of Oxford are home to many historically significant and valuable manuscripts, rare books, and artifacts related to Korean history and culture. Despite their importance, many of these items have been overlooked within the libraries’ collections and largely neglected by scholars. Korean Treasures seeks to change this by highlighting the many noteworthy and unusual archaeological relics and artworks in the collections and presenting them together in a single volume for the first time.
Notable items included here are the court painting scroll of the funeral procession of King Yongjo (1694–1776); a presentation edition of a book given by King Yongjo to his son-in-law; a group of documents issued by Emperor Kojong (1852–1919) between 1885–86 to confer various titles to his civil and military officials; a sundial made by the famous maker Kang Yun (1830–1898) for Emperor Kojong; a ceramic dish made and signed by Princess Yi Pangja (1901–1989) as well as a rare example of a suit of armor, an ornate helmet of the early sixteenth century, and a general’s quiver and arrows. In addition to the numerous color images of items from the collection, Korean Treasures provides a thorough overview of the extent of the Korean book collections in Oxford and a guide to the locations where some of these treasures can be found.
Kyongju is South Korea's preeminent "culture city," an urban site rich with archaeological wonders that residents compare to those of Nara, Xian, and Rome. By examining these ancient objects in relation to the controversies that engulfed South Korea's high-speed railway line when it was first proposed in the 1990s, Kyongju Things offers a grounded and theoretically sophisticated account of South Korean development and citizenship in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Its sensitivity to issues of place, knowledge, and cultural heritage and its innovative use of network theory will be of interest to a wide range of scholars in anthropology, Asian studies, the history of science and technology, cultural geography, urban planning, and political science.
Robert Oppenheim is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
"A tale of South Korea's new politics involving antiquarians, weekend hikers, activists, and entrepreneurs, told with wit and theoretical sophistication."
---Laurel Kendall, Curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History
"In Kyongju Things, Robert Oppenheim employs an innovative theoretical blend to insightfully illuminate the interactions of agency and objects in the making of a 'place.'"
---Roger L. Janelli, Professor Emeritus, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University
"Kyongju Things is responsible, pathbreaking, and ambitious, with a stunning and welcoming introduction . . . Oppenheim calls upon a theoretical tool kit that allows him to productively re-think place, locality, technology, things, and subjectivity in ways that really do challenge the existing scholarship on South Korea. Kyongju Things will make a splash in Korean studies."
---Nancy Abelmann, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author of Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement
In Lost Modernities Alexander Woodside offers a probing revisionist overview of the bureaucratic politics of preindustrial China, Vietnam, and Korea. He focuses on the political and administrative theory of the three mandarinates and their long experimentation with governments recruited in part through meritocratic civil service examinations remarkable for their transparent procedures.
The quest for merit-based bureaucracy stemmed from the idea that good politics could be established through the "development of people"--the training of people to be politically useful. Centuries before civil service examinations emerged in the Western world, these three Asian countries were basing bureaucratic advancement on examinations in addition to patronage. But the evolution of the mandarinates cannot be accommodated by our usual timetables of what is "modern." The history of China, Vietnam, and Korea suggests that the rationalization processes we think of as modern may occur independently of one another and separate from such landmarks as the growth of capitalism or the industrial revolution.
A sophisticated examination of Asian political traditions, both their achievements and the associated risks, this book removes modernity from a standard Eurocentric understanding and offers a unique new perspective on the transnational nature of Asian history and on global historical time.
Mahan and Baekje is a pioneering study of the Korean past from the perspective of everyday objects: ceramics made, used, and left behind by ancient Koreans themselves. Focusing on the third to fifth centuries CE in southwestern Korea, this book reexamines the social, political, and economic construction of the interconnected societies known as Mahan and the kingdom of Baekje. Pottery, which played central roles in Mahan’s and Baekje’s culinary practices, community gatherings, trade, and ritual, now sheds new light on the origins of Korean civilization.
Using advanced archaeological and geochemical techniques, this book traces the production, exchange, and use of pottery from Mahan and Baekje. The patterns reveal the shared underpinnings of Mahan and Baekje political economy, showing that the Baekje kingdom developed locally and not as the result of outside forces. Long-distance trade in Mahan and Baekje suggest a cosmopolitan ethos with roots in the deep past, while smaller scale exchanges hint at the complex web of social interactions that typified early Korean societies. Mahan and Baekje provides exciting new details of life at an epochal moment in ancient Korea.
Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, refers to discrimination based on any kind of “human category.” Explaining Korea’s relationship to difference and its practices of othering, including in media culture, requires new language and nuance in English-language scholarship.
This collection brings together leading and emerging scholars of multiculturalism in Korean media culture to examine mediated constructions of the “other,” taking into account the nation’s postcolonial and neocolonial relationships and its mediated construction of self. “Anthrocategorism,” a more nuanced translation of injongchabyeol, is proffered as a new framework for understanding difference in ways that are locally meaningful in a society and media system in which racial or even ethnic differences are not the most salient. The collection points to the construction of racial others that elevates, tolerates, and incorporates difference; the construction of valued and devalued ethnic others; and the ambivalent construction of co-ethnic others as sympathetic victims or marginalized threats.
In Memory Construction and the Politics of Time in Neoliberal South Korea Namhee Lee explores memory construction and history writing in post-1987 South Korea. The massive neoliberal reconstruction of all aspects of society shifted public discourse from minjung (people) to simin (citizen), from political to cultural, from collective to individual. This shift reconstituted people as Homo economicus, rights-bearing and rights-claiming individuals, even in social movements. Lee explains this shift in the context of simultaneous historical developments: South Korea’s transition to democracy, the end of the Cold War, and neoliberal reconstruction understood as synonymous with democratization. By examining memoirs, biographies, novels, and revisionist conservative historical scholarship, Lee shows how the dominant discourse of a “complete break with the past” erases the critical ethos of previous emancipatory movements foundational to South Korean democracy.
Engage and explore readings from a multi-religious, globalized, multicultural region
The papers in this collection were presented at the third meeting of the Society of Asian Biblical Studies held at the Sabah Theological Seminary, Malaysia in 2012. The essays represent the work of women/feminist scholars in biblical hermeneutics in this region who have raised questions against traditional, male-centered interpretations, offering distinct perspectives based on their experiences of pain, subjugation, and a forced sacrificial philosophy of life.
Articles focused on finding justice for women through dialogue with biblical texts
Reflections on migration, diaspora, displacement, discrimination, and conditions generated by poverty and systemic oppression
This pathbreaking study presents a feminist analysis of the politics of membership in the South Korean nation over the past four decades. Seungsook Moon examines the ambitious effort by which South Korea transformed itself into a modern industrial and militarized nation. She demonstrates that the pursuit of modernity in South Korea involved the construction of the anticommunist national identity and a massive effort to mold the populace into useful, docile members of the state. This process, which she terms “militarized modernity,” treated men and women differently. Men were mobilized for mandatory military service and then, as conscripts, utilized as workers and researchers in the industrializing economy. Women were consigned to lesser factory jobs, and their roles as members of the modern nation were defined largely in terms of biological reproduction and household management.
Moon situates militarized modernity in the historical context of colonialism and nationalism in the twentieth century. She follows the course of militarized modernity in South Korea from its development in the early 1960s through its peak in the 1970s and its decline after rule by military dictatorship ceased in 1987. She highlights the crucial role of the Cold War in South Korea’s militarization and the continuities in the disciplinary tactics used by the Japanese colonial rulers and the postcolonial military regimes. Moon reveals how, in the years since 1987, various social movements—particularly the women’s and labor movements—began the still-ongoing process of revitalizing South Korean civil society and forging citizenship as a new form of membership in the democratizing nation.
The Korean War, often invoked in American culture as “the forgotten war,” remains ongoing. Though active fighting only occurred between 1950 and 1953, the signing of an armistice resulted in an infamous stalemate and the construction of the Korean Peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone. Minor Salvage reads early Korean American life writings in order to explore the admittedly partial ways in which those made precarious by war seek to rebuild their lives. The titular phrase “minor salvage,” draws on different valences of the word salvage which, while initially associated with naval recovery efforts, can also be used to describe the rescue of waste material. Spurred by the stories told and retold to him by his parents Soon Ho and Yunpyo, Sohn enacts minor salvage by reading overlooked early Korean American life writings penned by Induk Pahk, Taiwon Koh, Joseph Anthony, and Kim Yong-ik alongside a later generation of life writings authored by Sunny Che and K. Connie Kang. In the context of the Korean War, Sohn argues, life writings take on a crucial political orientation precisely because of the fragility attached to refugees, civilians, children, women, and divided family members. To depict the possibility of life is to acknowledge simultaneously the threat of death, violence, and brutality, and in this regard, such life writings are part of a longer genealogy in which marginalized communities find representational power through the creative process.
As the two billion YouTube views for “Gangnam Style” would indicate, South Korean popular culture has begun to enjoy new prominence on the global stage. Yet, as this timely new study reveals, the nation’s film industry has long been a hub for transnational exchange, producing movies that put a unique spin on familiar genres, while influencing world cinema from Hollywood to Bollywood.
Movie Migrations is not only an introduction to one of the world’s most vibrant national cinemas, but also a provocative call to reimagine the very concepts of “national cinemas” and “film genre.” Challenging traditional critical assumptions that place Hollywood at the center of genre production, Hye Seung Chung and David Scott Diffrient bring South Korean cinema to the forefront of recent and ongoing debates about globalization and transnationalism. In each chapter they track a different way that South Korean filmmakers have adapted material from foreign sources, resulting in everything from the Manchurian Western to The Host’s reinvention of the Godzilla mythos.
Spanning a wide range of genres, the book introduces readers to classics from the 1950s and 1960s Golden Age of South Korean cinema, while offering fresh perspectives on recent favorites like Oldboy and Thirst. Perfect not only for fans of Korean film, but for anyone curious about media in an era of globalization, Movie Migrations will give readers a new appreciation for the creative act of cross-cultural adaptation.
Naming the Local uncovers how Koreans domesticated foreign medical novelties on their own terms, while simultaneously modifying the Korea-specific expressions of illness and wellness to make them accessible to the wider network of scholars and audiences.
Due to Korea’s geopolitical position and the intrinsic tension of medicine’s efforts to balance the local and the universal, Soyung Suh argues that Koreans’ attempts to officially document indigenous categories in a particular linguistic form required constant negotiation of their own conceptual boundaries against the Chinese, Japanese, and American authorities that had largely shaped the medical knowledge grid. The birth, decline, and afterlife of five terminologies—materia medica, the geography of the medical tradition, the body, medical commodities, and illness—illuminate an irresolvable dualism at the heart of the Korean endeavor to name the indigenous attributes of medicine.
By tracing Korean-educated agents’ efforts to articulate the vernacular nomenclature of medicine over time, this book examines the limitations and possibilities of creating a mode of “Koreanness” in medicine—and the Korean manifestation of cultural and national identities.
The Naval Air War in Korea
Richard P. Hallion University of Alabama Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS920.2.U5H35 2011 | Dewey Decimal 951.904245
“In The Naval Air War in Korea, Dr. Hallion has captured the fact, feel- ing, and fancy of a very important conflict in aviation history, in- cluding the highly significant facets of the transition from piston to jet-propelled combat aircraft.”—Norman Polmar, author of Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, 18th Edition
A New History of Korea
Ki-baik Lee Harvard University Press, 1984 Library of Congress DS907.16.Y5313 1984 | Dewey Decimal 951.9
The first English-language history of Korea to appear in more than a decade, this translation offers Western readers a distillation of the latest and best scholarship on Korean history and culture from the earliest times to the student revolution of 1960. The most widely read and respected general history, A New History of Korea (Han’guksa sillon) was first published in 1961 and has undergone two major revisions and updatings.
Translated twice into Japanese and currently being translated into Chinese as well, Ki-baik Lee’s work presents a new periodization of his country’s history, based on a fresh analysis of the changing composition of the leadership elite. The book is noteworthy, too, for its full and integrated discussion of major currents in Korea’s cultural history. The translation, three years in preparation, has been done by specialists in the field.
The 2012 smash "Gangnam Style" by the Seoul-based rapper Psy capped the triumph of Hallyu , the Korean Wave of music, film, and other cultural forms that have become a worldwide sensation. Dal Yong Jin analyzes the social and technological trends that transformed South Korean entertainment from a mostly regional interest aimed at families into a global powerhouse geared toward tech-crazy youth. Blending analysis with insights from fans and industry insiders, Jin shows how Hallyu exploited a media landscape and dramatically changed with the 2008 emergence of smartphones and social media, designating this new Korean Wave as Hallyu 2.0. Hands-on government support, meanwhile, focused on creative industries as a significant part of the economy and turned intellectual property rights into a significant revenue source. Jin also delves into less-studied forms like animation and online games, the significance of social meaning in the development of local Korean popular culture, and the political economy of Korean popular culture and digital technologies in a global context.
A dramatic new telling of the dawn of modern East Asia, placing Korea at the center of a transformed world order wrought by imperial greed and devastating wars.
In the nineteenth century, Russia participated in two “great games”: one, well known, pitted the tsar’s empire against Britain in Central Asia. The other, hitherto unrecognized but no less significant, saw Russia, China, and Japan vying for domination of the Korean Peninsula. In this eye-opening account, brought to life in lucid narrative prose, Sheila Miyoshi Jager argues that the contest over Korea, driven both by Korean domestic disputes and by great-power rivalry, set the course for the future of East Asia and the larger global order.
When Russia’s eastward expansion brought it to the Korean border, an impoverished but strategically located nation was wrested from centuries of isolation. Korea became a prize of two major imperial conflicts: the Sino-Japanese War at the close of the nineteenth century and the Russo-Japanese War at the beginning of the twentieth. Japan’s victories in the battle for Korea not only earned the Meiji regime its yearned-for colony but also dislodged Imperial China from centuries of regional supremacy. And the fate of the declining tsarist empire was sealed by its surprising military defeat, even as the United States and Britain sized up the new Japanese challenger.
A vivid story of two geopolitical earthquakes sharing Korea as their epicenter, The Other Great Game rewrites the script of twentieth-century rivalry in the Pacific and enriches our understanding of contemporary global affairs, from the origins of Korea’s bifurcated identity—a legacy of internal politics amid the imperial squabble—to China’s irredentist territorial ambitions and Russia’s nostalgic dreams of recovering great-power status.
For South Koreans, the twenty years from the early 1960s to late 1970s were the best and worst of times—a period of unprecedented economic growth and of political oppression that deepened as prosperity spread. In this masterly account, Carter J. Eckert finds the roots of South Korea’s dramatic socioeconomic transformation in the country’s long history of militarization—a history personified in South Korea’s paramount leader, Park Chung Hee.
The first volume of a comprehensive two-part history, Park Chung Hee and Modern Korea: The Roots of Militarism, 1866–1945 reveals how the foundations of the dynamic but strongly authoritarian Korean state that emerged under Park were laid during the period of Japanese occupation. As a cadet in the Manchurian Military Academy, Park and his fellow officers absorbed the Imperial Japanese Army’s ethos of victory at all costs and absolute obedience to authority. Japanese military culture decisively shaped Korea’s postwar generation of military leaders. When Park seized power in an army coup in 1961, he brought this training and mentality to bear on the project of Korean modernization.
Korean society under Park exuded a distinctively martial character, Eckert shows. Its hallmarks included the belief that the army should intervene in politics in times of crisis; that a central authority should plan and monitor the country’s economic system; that the Korean people’s “can do” spirit would allow them to overcome any challenge; and that the state should maintain a strong disciplinary presence in society, reserving the right to use violence to maintain order.
In 1961 South Korea was mired in poverty. By 1979 it had a powerful industrial economy and a vibrant civil society in the making, which would lead to a democratic breakthrough eight years later. The transformation took place during the years of Park Chung Hee's presidency. Park seized power in a coup in 1961 and ruled as a virtual dictator until his assassination in October 1979. He is credited with modernizing South Korea, but at a huge political and social cost.
South Korea's political landscape under Park defies easy categorization. The state was predatory yet technocratic, reform-minded yet quick to crack down on dissidents in the name of political order. The nation was balanced uneasily between opposition forces calling for democratic reforms and the Park government's obsession with economic growth. The chaebol (a powerful conglomerate of multinationals based in South Korea) received massive government support to pioneer new growth industries, even as a nationwide campaign of economic shock therapy-interest hikes, devaluation, and wage cuts-met strong public resistance and caused considerable hardship.
This landmark volume examines South Korea's era of development as a study in the complex politics of modernization. Drawing on an extraordinary range of sources in both English and Korean, these essays recover and contextualize many of the ambiguities in South Korea's trajectory from poverty to a sustainable high rate of economic growth.
The Joseon Dynasty in Korea lasted over five centuries and saw the height of classical Korean culture, leaving a lasting imprint on the attitudes and traditions of Korea today. In Pathways to Korean Culture, Burglind Jungmann provides a survey of the important developments in Korean art and visual culture during the Joseon Dynasty and introduces Joseon painting to the wider world.
In addition to discussing the more well-known ink paintings of the literati elite, Jungmann investigates the role of women as artists and patrons, the use of the ideals of Chinese antiquity for political purposes, and the role of painting in foreign exchange and as a means of escapism. She also explores the support of Buddhist products in a society governed by Confucian ideology and court projects done to document important events and decorate palaces. Jungmann unwraps the layers of personal, intellectual, aesthetic, religious, socio-political, and economic contexts within which these paintings are embedded, casting new light on the conditions of this period. Tying in with exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in June, 2014 and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in November, 2015, Pathways to Korean Culture fills an immense gap in the literature on this period of Korean art.
James B. Palais theorizes in his important book on Korea that the remarkable longevity of the Yi dynasty (1392–1910) was related to the difficulties the country experienced in adapting to the modern world. He suggests that the aristocratic and hierarchical social system, which was the source of stability of the dynasty, was also the cause of its weakness.
The period from 1864 to 1873 was one in which the monarchy attempted to increase and expand central power at the expense of the powerful aristocracy. But the effort failed, and 1874 saw a rebirth of bureaucratic and aristocratic dominance. What this meant when Korea was “opened” two years later to the outside world was that the country was poorly suited to the attainment of modern national objectives—the aggrandizement of state wealth and power—in competition with other nations. Thus any sense of national purpose was subverted, and the leadership could not generate the unified support needed for either modernization or domestic harmony. The consequences for the twentieth-century world have been portentous.
What role did civil society play in Korea's recent democratization? How does the Korean case compare with cases from other regions of the world? What is the current status of Korean democratic consolidation? What are the prospects for Korean democracy?
In December 1997, for the first time in the history of South Korea (hereafter Korea), an opposition candidate was elected to the presidency. Korea became the first new democracy in Asia where a horizontal transfer of power occurred through the electoral process. Sunhyuk Kim's study of democratization in Korea argues that the momentum for political change in Korea has consistently emanated from oppositional civil society rather than from the state. He develops a civil society paradigm and utilizes Korea’s three authoritarian breakdowns (only two of which resulted in democratic transitions) to illustrate the past and present influences of Korean civil society groups on authoritarian breakdowns, democratic transitions, and post-transition democratic consolidations.
One of the first systematic attempts to apply a civil society framework to a democratizing country in East Asia, The Politics of Democratization in Korea will be of use to political scientists and advanced undergraduate and graduate students working in comparative politics, political theory, East Asian politics, and the politics of democratization.
Buddhism in medieval Korea is characterized as “State Protection Buddhism,” a religion whose primary purpose was to rally support (supernatural and popular) for and legitimate the state. In this view, the state used Buddhism to engender compliance with its goals. A closer look, however, reveals that Buddhism was a canvas on which people projected many religious and secular concerns and desires.
This study is an attempt to specify Buddhism’s place in Koryo and to ascertain to what extent and in what areas Buddhism functioned as a state religion. Was state support the main reason for Buddhism’s dominance in Koryo? How actively did the state seek to promote religious ideals? What was the strength of Buddhism as an institution and the nature of its relationship to the state? What role did Confucianism, the other state ideology, play in Koryo? This study argues that Buddhism provided most of the symbols and rituals, and some of the beliefs, that constructed an aura of legitimacy, but that there was no single ideological system underlying the Koryo dynasty’s legitimating strategies.
This report examines what could be done to convince North Korean elites that unification would be good for them. It describes five areas of concern that North Korean elites would likely have about the outcomes of unification and proposes policies that the Republic of Korea government could adopt that would give North Korean elites hope for an acceptable unification outcome.
Koreans constituted the largest colonial labor force in imperial Japan during the 1920s and 1930s. Caught between the Scylla of agricultural destitution in Korea and the Charybdis of industrial depression in Japan, migrant Korean peasants arrived on Japanese soil amid extreme instability in the labor and housing markets. In The Proletarian Gamble, Ken C. Kawashima maintains that contingent labor is a defining characteristic of capitalist commodity economies. He scrutinizes how the labor power of Korean workers in Japan was commodified, and how these workers both fought against the racist and contingent conditions of exchange and combated institutionalized racism.
Kawashima draws on previously unseen archival materials from interwar Japan as he describes how Korean migrants struggled against various recruitment practices, unfair and discriminatory wages, sudden firings, racist housing practices, and excessive bureaucratic red tape. Demonstrating that there was no single Korean “minority,” he reveals how Koreans exploited fellow Koreans and how the stratification of their communities worked to the advantage of state and capital. However, Kawashima also describes how, when migrant workers did organize—as when they became involved in Rōsō (the largest Korean communist labor union in Japan) and in Zenkyō (the Japanese communist labor union)—their diverse struggles were united toward a common goal. In The Proletarian Gamble, his analysis of the Korean migrant workers' experiences opens into a much broader rethinking of the fundamental nature of capitalist commodity economies and the analytical categories of the proletariat, surplus populations, commodification, and state power.
Socialist doctrines had an important influence on Korean writers and intellectuals of the early twentieth century. From the 1910s through the 1940s, a veritable wave of anarchist, Marxist, nationalist, and feminist leftist groups swept the cultural scene with differing agendas as well as shared demands for equality and social justice. In The Proletarian Wave, Sunyoung Park reconstructs the complex mosaic of colonial leftist culture by focusing on literature as its most fertile and enduring expression. The book combines a general overview of the literary left with the intellectual portraits of four writers whose works exemplify the stylistic range and colonial inflection of socialist culture in a rapidly modernizing Korea. Bridging Marxist theory and postcolonial studies, Park confronts Western preconceptions about third-world socialist cultures while interrogating modern cultural history from a post–Cold War global perspective.
The Proletarian Wave provides the first historical account in English of the complex interrelations of literature and socialist ideology in colonial Korea. It details the origins, development, and influence of a movement that has shaped twentieth-century Korean politics and aesthetics alike through an analysis that simultaneously engages some of the most debated and pressing issues of literary historiography, Marxist criticism, and postcolonial cultural studies.
Todd A. Henry, editor Duke University Press, 2020 Library of Congress HQ75.16.K6H467 2019
Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Korean people have faced successive waves of foreign domination, authoritarian regimes, forced dispersal, and divided development. Throughout these turbulent times, “queer” Koreans were ignored, minimized, and erased in narratives of their modern nation, East Asia, and the wider world. This interdisciplinary volume challenges such marginalization through critical analyses of non-normative sexuality and gender variance. Considering both personal and collective forces, the contributors extend individualized notions of queer neoliberalism beyond those typically set in Western queer theory. Along the way, they recount a range of illuminating topics, from shamanic rituals during the colonial era and B-grade comedy films under Cold War dictatorship to female masculinity among today’s youth and transgender confrontations with the resident registration system. More broadly, Queer Korea offers readers new ways of understanding the limits and possibilities of human liberation under exclusionary conditions of modernity in Asia and beyond.
Contributors. Pei Jean Chen, John (Song Pae) Cho, Chung-kang Kim, Todd A. Henry, Merose Hwang, Ruin, Layoung Shin, Shin-ae Ha, John Whittier Treat
Often depicted as one of the world’s most strictly isolationist and relentlessly authoritarian regimes, North Korea has remained terra incognita to foreign researchers as a site for anthropological fieldwork. Given the difficulty of gaining access to the country and its people, is it possible to examine the cultural logic and social dynamics of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea?
In this innovative book, Sonia Ryang casts new light onto the study of North Korean culture and society by reading literary texts as sources of ethnographic data. Analyzing and interpreting the rituals and language embodied in a range of literary works published in the 1970s and 1980s, Ryang focuses critical attention on three central themes—love, war, and self—that reflect the nearly complete overlap of the personal, social, and political realms in North Korean society. The ideology embedded in these propagandistic works laid the cultural foundation for the nation as a “perpetual ritual state,” where social structures and personal relations are suspended in tribute to Kim Il Sung, the political and spiritual leader who died in 1994 but lives eternally in the hearts of his people and still weaves the social fabric of present-day North Korea.
The contentious relationship between modernism and realism has powerfully influenced literary history throughout the twentieth century and into the present. In 1930s Korea, at a formative moment in these debates, a “crisis of representation” stemming from the loss of faith in language as a vehicle of meaningful reference to the world became a central concern of literary modernists as they operated under Japanese colonial rule.
Christopher P. Hanscom examines the critical and literary production of three prose authors central to 1930s literary circles—Pak T’aewon, Kim Yujong, and Yi T’aejun—whose works confront this crisis by critiquing the concept of transparent or “empiricist” language that formed the basis for both a nationalist literary movement and the legitimizing discourse of assimilatory colonization. Bridging literary and colonial studies, this re-reading of modernist fiction within the imperial context illuminates links between literary practice and colonial discourse and questions anew the relationship between aesthetics and politics.
The Real Modern challenges Eurocentric and nativist perspectives on the derivative particularity of non-Western literatures, opens global modernist studies to the similarities and differences of the colonial Korean case, and argues for decolonization of the ways in which non-Western literatures are read in both local and global contexts.
Rediscovering Korean Cinema
Sangjoon Lee, Editor University of Michigan Press, 2019 Library of Congress PN1993.5.K6R43 2019 | Dewey Decimal 791.43095195
South Korean cinema is a striking example of non-Western contemporary cinematic success. Thanks to the increasing numbers of moviegoers and domestic films produced, South Korea has become one of the world’s major film markets. In 2001, the South Korean film industry became the first in recent history to reclaim its domestic market from Hollywood and continues to maintain around a 50 percent market share today. High-quality South Korean films are increasingly entering global film markets and connecting with international audiences in commercial cinemas and art theatres, and at major international film festivals. Despite this growing recognition of the films themselves, Korean cinema’s rich heritage has not heretofore received significant scholarly attention in English-language publications.
This groundbreaking collection of thirty-five essays by a wide range of academic specialists situates current scholarship on Korean cinema within the ongoing theoretical debates in contemporary global film studies. Chapters explore key films of Korean cinema, from Sweet Dream, Madame Freedom, The Housemaid, and The March of Fools to Oldboy, The Host, and Train to Busan, as well as major directors such as Shin Sang-ok, Kim Ki-young, Im Kwon-taek, Bong Joon-ho, Hong Sang-soo, Park Chan-wook, and Lee Chang-dong. While the chapters provide in-depth analyses of particular films, together they cohere into a detailed and multidimensional presentation of Korean cinema’s cumulative history and broader significance.
With its historical and critical scope, abundance of new research, and detailed discussion of important individual films, Rediscovering Korean Cinema is at once an accessible classroom text and a deeply informative compendium for scholars of Korean and East Asian studies, cinema and media studies, and communications. It will also be an essential resource for film industry professionals and anyone interested in international cinema.
In Reencounters,Crystal Mun-hye Baik examines what it means to live with and remember an ongoing war when its manifestations—hypervisible and deeply sensed—become everyday formations delinked from militarization. Contemplating beyond notions of inherited trauma and post memory, Baik offers the concept of reencounters to better track the Korean War’s illegible entanglements through an interdisciplinary archive of diasporic memory works that includes oral history projects, performances, and video installations rarely examined by Asian American studies scholars.
Baik shows how Korean refugee migrations are repackaged into celebrated immigration narratives, how transnational adoptees are reclaimed by the South Korean state as welcomed “returnees,” and how militarized colonial outposts such as Jeju Island are recalibrated into desirable tourist destinations. Baik argues that as the works by Korean and Korean/American artists depict this Cold War historiography, they also offer opportunities to remember otherwise the continuing war.
Ultimately, Reencounters wrestles with questions of the nature of war, racial and sexual violence, and neoliberal surveillance in the twenty-first century.
An epoch-marking alliance of laborers, students, dissident intellectuals, and ordinary citizens was at the heart of South Korea’s transformation from a dictatorship into a vibrant democracy during the 1980s. Collectively known as the minjung (“the people”), these agents of Korean democratization historically carved out an expanded role for civil society in the country’s politics. In Revisiting Minjung, some of the foremost experts in 1980s Korean history, literature, film, art, and music provide new insights into one of the most crucial decades in South Korean history. Drawing from the theoretical perspectives of transnationalism, post-Marxist studies, intersectional feminism, popular culture studies, and more, the volume demonstrates how an era that is often associated with radical politics was, in effect, the catalyst for the subsequent flourishing of democratic and liberal values in South Korea.
Revisiting Minjung brings new themes, new subjectivities, and new theoretical perspectives to the study of the rich ecosystem of 1980s Korean culture. Treated here is a wide array of topics, including the origins of minjung ideology, its critique by the right wing, minjung art and music, workers’ literary culture, women writers and the resurgence of feminism, erotic cinema, science fiction, transnational political travels, and the representations of race and queerness in 1980s popular culture. The book thus details the origins and development of some of the movements that shape cultural life in South Korea today, and it does so through analyses that engage some of the most pressing debates in current scholarship in Korea and abroad.
Winner, 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies
Since the 1970s, a key goal of lesbian and gay activists has been protection against street violence, especially in gay neighborhoods. During the same time, policymakers and private developers declared the containment of urban violence to be a top priority. In this important book, Christina B. Hanhardt examines how LGBT calls for "safe space" have been shaped by broader public safety initiatives that have sought solutions in policing and privatization and have had devastating effects along race and class lines.
Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic research in New York City and San Francisco, Hanhardt traces the entwined histories of LGBT activism, urban development, and U.S. policy in relation to poverty and crime over the past fifty years. She highlights the formation of a mainstream LGBT movement, as well as the very different trajectories followed by radical LGBT and queer grassroots organizations. Placing LGBT activism in the context of shifting liberal and neoliberal policies, Safe Space is a groundbreaking exploration of the contradictory legacies of the LGBT struggle for safety in the city.
South Koreans in the Debt Crisis is a detailed examination of the logic underlying the neoliberal welfare state that South Korea created in response to the devastating Asian Debt Crisis (1997–2001). Jesook Song argues that while the government proclaimed that it would guarantee all South Koreans a minimum standard of living, it prioritized assisting those citizens perceived as embodying the neoliberal ideals of employability, flexibility, and self-sufficiency. Song demonstrates that the government was not alone in drawing distinctions between the “deserving” and the “undeserving” poor. Progressive intellectuals, activists, and organizations also participated in the neoliberal reform project. Song traces the circulation of neoliberal concepts throughout South Korean society, among government officials, the media, intellectuals, NGO members, and educated underemployed people working in public works programs. She analyzes the embrace of partnerships between NGOs and the government, the frequent invocation of a pervasive decline in family values, the resurrection of conservative gender norms and practices, and the promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to survival.
Drawing on her experience during the crisis as an employee in a public works program in Seoul, Song provides an ethnographic assessment of the efforts of the state and civilians to regulate social insecurity, instability, and inequality through assistance programs. She focuses specifically on efforts to help two populations deemed worthy of state subsidies: the “IMF homeless,” people temporarily homeless but considered employable, and the “new intellectuals,” young adults who had become professionally redundant during the crisis but had the high-tech skills necessary to lead a transformed post-crisis South Korea.
By the mid-1980s, Korea's economic and political situation was becoming volatile. Labor relations were especially contentious. The Strains of Economic Growth, a collaborative research project between the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Korea Development Institute provides an analytic history of the economic causes of the labor unrest and popular discontent of the late 1980s. Set against rapid increases in wages and employment, worker dissatisfaction is traced to patterns of income inequality and to non-pecuniary dimensions of working life, including the suppression of labor organizations. The desire for greater political freedom also played an important role in the unprecedented unrest of this period.
The conclusions of this volume are essential for understanding the labor struggles that continue in Korea today and are highly relevant for policy makers from other emerging economies that wish to benefit from both the successes and failures of Korea's experience.
In Tourist Distractions Youngmin Choe uses hallyu (Korean-wave) cinema as a lens to examine the relationships among tourism and travel, economics, politics, and history in contemporary East Asia. Focusing on films born of transnational collaboration and its networks, Choe shows how the integration of the tourist imaginary into hallyu cinema points to the region's evolving transnational politics and the ways Korea negotiates its colonial and Cold War past with East Asia's neoliberal present. Hallyu cinema's popularity has inspired scores of international tourists to visit hallyu movie sets, filming sites, and theme parks. This tourism helps ease regional political differences; reimagine South Korea's relationships with North Korea, China, and Japan; and blur the lines between history, memory, affect, and consumerism. It also provides distractions from state-sponsored narratives and forges new emotional and economic bonds that foster community and cooperation throughout East Asia. By attending to the tourist imaginary at work in hallyu cinema, Choe helps us to better understand the complexities, anxieties, and tensions of East Asia's new affective economy as well as Korea's shifting culture industry, its relation to its past, and its role in a rapidly changing region.
The Butterfly Lovers Story, sometimes called the Chinese Romeo and Juliet, has been enduringly popular in China and Korea. In Transforming Gender and Emotion, Sookja Cho demonstrates why the Butterfly Lovers Story is more than just a popular love story. By unveiling the complexity of themes and messages concealed beneath the tale’s modern classification as a tragic love story, this book reveals the tale as a rich academic subject for students of human emotions and relationships, comparative geography and culture, and narrative adaptation. By examining folk beliefs and ideas that abound in the narrative—including rebirth and a second life, the association of human souls and butterflies, and women’s spiritual power—this book presents the Butterfly Lovers Story as an example of local religious narrative. The book’s cross-cultural comparisons, best manifested in its discussion of a shamanic ritual narrative version from the Cheju Island of Korea, frame the story as a catalyst for inclusive, expansive discussion of premodern Korean and Chinese literatures and cultures. This scrutiny of the historical and cultural background behind the formation and popularization of the Cheju Island version sheds light on important issues in the Butterfly Lovers Story that are not frequently discussed—either in past examinations of this particular narrative or in the overall literary studies of China and Korea. This new, open approach presents an innovative framework for understanding premodern literary and cultural space in East Asia.
Since the turn of the millennium South Korea has continued to grapple with transgressions that shook the nation to its core. Following the serial killings of Korea’s raincoat killer, the events that led to the dissolution of the United Progressive Party, the criminal negligence of the owner and also the crew members of the sunken Sewol Ferry, as well as the political scandals of 2016, there has been much public debate about morality, transparency, and the law in South Korea. Yet, despite its prevalence in public discourse, transgression in Korea has not received proper scholarly attention.
Transgression in Korea challenges the popular conceptions of transgression as resistance to authority, the collapse of morality, and an attempt at self- empowerment. Examples of transgression from premodern, modern, and contemporary Korea are examined side by side to underscore the possibility of reading transgression in more ways than one. These examples are taken from a devotional screen from medieval Korea, trickster tales from the late Chosŏn period, reports about flesheating humans, newspaper articles about same- sex relationships from colonial Korea, and films about extramarital affairs, wayward youths, and a vengeful vigilante. Bringing together specialists from various disciplines such as history, art history, anthropology, premodern
literature, religion, and fi lm studies, the context- sensitive readings of transgression provided in this book suggest that transgression and authority can be seen as forming something other than an antagonistic relationship.
In Transnational Korean Cinema author Dal Yong Jin explores the interactions of local and global politics, economics, and culture to contextualize the development of Korean cinema and its current place in an era of neoliberal globalization and convergent digital technologies.
The book emphasizes the economic and industrial aspects of the story, looking at questions on the interaction of politics and economics, including censorship and public funding, and provides a better view of the big picture by laying bare the relationship between film industries, the global market, and government. Jin also sheds light on the operations and globalization strategies of Korean film industries alongside changing cultural policies in tandem with Hollywood’s continuing influences in order to comprehend the power relations within cultural politics, nationally and globally. This is the first book to offer a full overview of the nascent development of Korean cinema.
Based on ethnographic research in Seoul and Los Angeles, Transnational Sport tells how sports shape experiences of global Koreanness, and how those experiences are affected by national cultures. Rachael Miyung Joo focuses on superstar Korean athletes and sporting events produced for transnational media consumption. She explains how Korean athletes who achieve success on the world stage represent a powerful, globalized Korea for Koreans within the country and those in the diaspora. Celebrity Korean women athletes are highly visible in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. In the media, these young golfers are represented as daughters to be protected within the patriarchal Korean family and as hypersexualized Asian women with commercial appeal. Meanwhile, the hard-muscled bodies of male athletes, such as Korean baseball and soccer players, symbolize Korean masculine dominance in the global capitalist arena. Turning from particular athletes to a mega-event, Joo discusses the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, a watershed moment in recent Korean history. New ideas of global Koreanness coalesced around this momentous event. Women and youth assumed newly prominent roles in Korean culture, and, Joo suggests, new models of public culture emerged as thousands of individuals were joined by a shared purpose.
Detailing for the first time the story of America's homefront during the Korean War, Truman and Korea fills an important gap in the historical scholarship of the postwar era. Paul Pierpaoli analyzes the political, economic, social, and international ramifications of America's first war of Soviet containment, never losing sight of the larger context of the cold war. He focuses on how and why the Truman administration undertook a bloody, inconclusive war on the Korean peninsula while permanently placing the nation on a war footing.
Truman and Korea illuminates the importance of the Korean conflict as a critical turning point in the cold war by examining both the immediate and the long-term domestic and foreign policy effects of the conflict. Pierpaoli addresses such important topics as presidential war powers and debates concerning the Defense Production Act; the inner workings of the many war mobilization agencies; the operations and politics of nationwide price and wage controls; questions concerning cold war tax policies and fiscal and monetary policies; and the evolution of national security policy.
Pierpaoli shows that President Truman's decision to intervene in the Korean War quickly became subsumed by larger cold war concerns. By the autumn of 1950 the Korean mobilization program had become the nation's de facto cold war preparedness program, which would come to span nearly forty years and eight presidential administrations. After 1950 the cold war not only continued to significantly shape political and ideological discourse in the United States but also began to reshape aggregate economic policy. By doing so, it altered the nation's industrial and economic contours, giving birth to the concept of an institutionalized "national security state," which in turn spawned the cold war military-industrial-scientific complex.
Based upon extensive research in the papers and official presidential files of Harry S. Truman, as well as many manuscript collections and records of wartime and government agencies, Truman and Korea offers a new perspective on the Korean War era and its inextricable ties to broader cold war decision making.
Under the Ancestors’ Eyes presents a new approach to Korean social history by focusing on the origin and development of the indigenous descent group. Martina Deuchler maintains that the surprising continuity of the descent-group model gave the ruling elite cohesion and stability and enabled it to retain power from the early Silla (fifth century) to the late nineteenth century. This argument, underpinned by a fresh interpretation of the late-fourteenth-century Koryŏ-Chosŏn transition, illuminates the role of Neo-Confucianism as an ideological and political device through which the elite regained and maintained dominance during the Chosŏn period. Neo-Confucianism as espoused in Korea did not level the social hierarchy but instead tended to sustain the status system. In the late Chosŏn, it also provided ritual models for the lineage-building with which local elites sustained their preeminence vis-à-vis an intrusive state. Though Neo-Confucianism has often been blamed for the rigidity of late Chosŏn society, it was actually the enduring native kinship ideology that preserved the strict social-status system. By utilizing historical and social anthropological methodology and analyzing a wealth of diverse materials, Deuchler highlights Korea’s distinctive elevation of the social over the political.
Fully illustrated in colour, here is the first introduction in English to one of Korea’s outstanding cultural assets – the banchado (‘painting of the order of guests at a royal event’) – relating to all those taking part (1800 people) in the eight-day royal procession to Hwaseong (Gyeonggi Province) organized by King Jeongjo in 1795 for the dual purpose of visiting his father’s tomb and celebrating his mother’s sixtieth birthday. The banchado is a fine example of the meticulous record-keeping of the period (known as uigwe – the subject-matter of this book being known as the Wonhaeng eulmyo jeongni uigwe) and the skills of the court artists at that time. In addition to the banchado illustrations, the Wonhaeng eulmyo jeongni uigwe contains extensive lists of all the participants in the procession, details of the workers and technicians involved, including their duties and wages. It even includes the different foods offered at meal-times, the quantity of ingredients and the costs. The author provides a full analysis of the context, planning, execution and significance of the event.
“[T]his fine book . . . . enlarges our vision of one of the great national cinematic flowerings of the last decade.”—Martin Scorsese, from the foreword
In the late 1990s, South Korean film and other cultural products, broadly known as hallyu (Korean wave), gained unprecedented international popularity. Korean films earned an all-time high of $60.3 million in Japan in 2005, and they outperformed their Hollywood competitors at Korean box offices. In Virtual Hallyu, Kyung Hyun Kim reflects on the precariousness of Korean cinema’s success over the past decade. Arguing that state film policies and socioeconomic factors cannot fully explain cinema’s true potentiality, Kim draws on Deleuze’s concept of the virtual—according to which past and present and truth and falsehood coexist—to analyze the temporal anxieties and cinematic ironies embedded in screen figures such as a made-in-the-USA aquatic monster (The Host), a postmodern Chosun-era wizard (Jeon Woo-chi), a schizo man-child (Oasis), a weepy North Korean terrorist (Typhoon), a salary man turned vengeful fighting machine (Oldboy), and a sick nationalist (the repatriated colonial-era film Spring of Korean Peninsula). Kim maintains that the full significance of hallyu can only be understood by exposing the implicit and explicit ideologies of protonationalism and capitalism that, along with Korea’s ambiguous post-democratization and neoliberalism, are etched against the celluloid surfaces.
The Will to Win focuses on the substantial role of US military advisors to the Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) from 1946 until 1953 in one of America’s early attempts at nation building.
Gibby describes ROKA’s structure, mission, challenges, and successes, thereby linking the South Korean army and their US advisors to the traditional narrative of this “forgotten war.” The work also demonstrates the difficulties inherent in national reconstruction, focusing on barriers in culture and society, and the effects of rapid decolonization combined with intense nationalism and the appeal of communism to East Asia following the destruction of the Japanese empire. Key conclusions include the importance of individual advisors, the significance of the prewar advisory effort, and the depth of the impact these men had on individual Korean units and in a few cases on the entire South Korean army.
The success or failure of South Korean government in the decade following the end of World War II hinged on the loyalty, strength, and fighting capability of its army, which in turn relied on its American advisors. Gibby argues that without a proficient ROKA, the 1953 armistice, still in effect today, would not have been possible. He reexamines the Korean conflict from its beginning in 1945—particularly Korean politics, military operations, and armed forces—and demonstrates the crucial role the American military advisory program and personnel played to develop a more competent and reliable Korean army.
This collection presents new research on the changing roles of women in Japan and Korea. At a time when women in these two countries are becoming more politically and socially prominent, these essays provide insight into the clashes that have arisen between tradition and change. The contributors compare similarities and differences in the two cultures, considering family life, education, health care, work, reproductive and legal rights, and political participation, including the rise of women's movements in Asia and the battle against sexism and gender stereotyping. Essays written by Japanese and Korean women, leading social scientists and practitioners, illuminate the current political, economic, and social status of women in Japan and Korea.