Historical

“Why did no one inform me that this was being made?” said King Seonjo (r. 1567–1608) on 28 November 1577. Concerned “that information about the court could potentially be circulated to wider circles in the elite” the king exiled the people responsible for the news-sheet. Jieun Choi of Korea Exposé has the fascinating story. Kim […]

{ 0 comments }

Historical feature: Sejong of Korea – The Philosopher King

by Matthew Jackson 6 March 2017
Thumbnail image for Historical feature: Sejong of Korea – The Philosopher King

“There will be no end to the troubles of the state or indeed of humanity until philosophers become kings or until those we now call kings really and truly become philosophers.” This is one of the most famous quotations from Plato. It is taken from his work The Republic, which in attempting to set out […]

Read the full article →

The World’s First Referendum – and its aftermath

by Matthew Jackson 8 August 2016
Thumbnail image for The World’s First Referendum – and its aftermath

Korea is a country of hidden wonders. These wonders, which have remained hidden in some cases for centuries, are continually being unearthed. Many have something to teach us about the world we live in today. The Sillok – royal annals that documented every day of the Joseon dynasty for the five centuries it governed Korea […]

Read the full article →

UK-Korea Relations – A Talk by Thomas Harris KBE

by Matthew Jackson 2 July 2014
Thumbnail image for UK-Korea Relations – A Talk by Thomas Harris KBE

The talk on UK-Korea relations by Sir Thomas Harris KBE CMG, held at Gresham College on Friday 27th of June, was both a stimulating and ultimately uplifting account of the diplomatic and economic interactions between the two countries before and after the Korean War. Amongst his various international posts as a businessman and diplomat, Sir […]

Read the full article →

The Art of Printing: Korea’s Evolving Printing Types

by Philip Gowman 5 April 2014
Thumbnail image for The Art of Printing:  Korea’s Evolving Printing Types

Organised to coincide with the London Book Fair, this exhibition at the KCC is curated by the Korean Publishers Association: The Art of Printing: Korea’s Evolving Printing Types Exhibition Dates: 07 April 2014 – 14 June 2014 Venue: Korean Cultural Centre UK The World’s Oldest Wooden and Metal Printing Technologies – Korea’s Printing Culture presented […]

Read the full article →

Raindrops over Joseon – Sejong’s Cheugugi

by Matthew Jackson 22 October 2011
Thumbnail image for Raindrops over Joseon – Sejong’s Cheugugi

King Sejong is most famous for the creation of the Korean alphabet, Hangul, which remains in use today. His whole career as king was underpinned by the philosophy that a king must serve his people, and this philosophy gave rise to many advances in science and culture that benefited the people of Korea. One less […]

Read the full article →

Is there a doctor in the peninsula? – Heo Jun and the Donguibogam medical textbook

by Matthew Jackson 26 August 2011
Thumbnail image for Is there a doctor in the peninsula? – Heo Jun and the Donguibogam medical textbook

Known as one of the greatest books in the history of Eastern medicine, the Donguibogam was composed by Heo Jun, a court physician in the early 17th century, and is today included as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Despite the huge advances in medicine since that time, it is still referred to by doctors […]

Read the full article →

Rediscovering the Lost Kingdom of Baekje

by Matthew Jackson 3 August 2011
Thumbnail image for Rediscovering the Lost Kingdom of Baekje

History, according to the saying, is written by the victors. The unification of the three kingdoms of Korea under Silla in 668 AD solved the problem of constant war in the peninsula, but created a significant problem for modern day historians, in that very little of the culture and heritage of Baekje (BC 18~AD 660) […]

Read the full article →

The Changdeokgung’s Injeong Hall – Welcome to the Rock Show!

by Matthew Jackson 20 July 2011
Thumbnail image for The Changdeokgung’s Injeong Hall – Welcome to the Rock Show!

When I visited Changdeok Palace in Seoul, my attention was naturally focussed mainly on the buildings themselves. One of these buildings is the Injeong Hall (Injeongjeon), which was used for important celebrations and ceremonies. The unassuming forecourt one walks through to enter the hall was been designed with great care, but for the unsuspecting observer […]

Read the full article →

The Life and Teachings of Master Wonhyo

by Matthew Jackson 13 June 2011
Thumbnail image for The Life and Teachings of Master Wonhyo

The life of Master Wonhyo (617-686 A.D.) is a typical Korean paradox. He was a scholar who composed over 100 works on Buddhist philosophy, whose influence in scholarship and teaching was felt in China and other surrounding countries. He is acknowledged today as the foremost figure in the history of Korean Buddhism. And yet, many […]

Read the full article →

Korea in the mid-fifties – historic slides

by Philip Gowman 25 March 2011
Thumbnail image for Korea in the mid-fifties – historic slides

Two upcoming opportunities to see historic photographs of the Korean peninsula in the 1950s. First, courtesy of the Anglo Korean Society, photos of South Korea at the KCC. Details below. Watch this space for photos of North Korea at SOAS in May. KOREA IN THE MID-FIFTIES – HISTORIC SLIDES A talk and slide show by […]

Read the full article →

Three Korean traditions named world treasures

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2010
Thumbnail image for Three Korean traditions named world treasures

Three Korean traditions named world treasures: gagok (lyrical songs), daemokjang (wooden architectural craftsmanship) and maesanyang and (falcon hunting). That UNESCO list keeps getting longer! http://bit.ly/9Ia99y #

Read the full article →

BAKS Symposium: ‘Reflections on War and Peace: Sixty Years after the Korean War’

by Philip Gowman 23 October 2010
Thumbnail image for BAKS Symposium: ‘Reflections on War and Peace: Sixty Years after the Korean War’

The British Association for Korean Studies announce their 2010 symposium at Asia House: ‘Reflections on War and Peace: Sixty Years after the Korean War’ Asia House, London Saturday 20 November 2010 10:00 Opening Ceremony: Emeritus Prof. James H. Grayson, President of BAKS HE Dr Choo Kyu-Hoo, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, ’60 Years […]

Read the full article →

Five Royal Tombs. Destination: Seooreung (Goyang)

by Chris Backe 30 August 2010
Thumbnail image for Five Royal Tombs. Destination: Seooreung (Goyang)

A few days ago LKL wrote about a Silla dynasty royal tomb in Sancheong County: the Last King of Kaya. Power K-blogger Chris Backe reports on a visit to five Joseon dynasty royal tombs in Goyang Just across the Seoul border rest some once-royal dead people. UNESCO certified as being significant to world culture, these […]

Read the full article →

The Last King of Gaya

by Philip Gowman 27 August 2010
Thumbnail image for The Last King of Gaya

Korea is rightly proud of its heritage, and submits the most select elements of its long history to UNESCO for inscribing in the list of important world heritage items. One of the most recent items to have been so listed is the Joseon Dynasty Royal Tombs. They are beautifully peaceful places to visit. Perfectly manicured […]

Read the full article →

Remembering the Battle of the Imjin at the KCC

by Philip Gowman 28 July 2010
Thumbnail image for Remembering the Battle of the Imjin at the KCC

“I’ve met Tom Cruise, and now I’ve met Sam Mercer. And when I met Sam I was truly star-struck. The man’s a legend.” So said a member of the audience at the Korean Cultural Centre after an instructive talk by Andrew Salmon on the battle of the Imjin on 15 July. Sam Mercer was sitting […]

Read the full article →

Heo Jun and Sancheong’s herbal heritage

by Philip Gowman 12 July 2010
Thumbnail image for Heo Jun and Sancheong’s herbal heritage

Thursday 6 May 2010. The mayor hurries off for an appointment: not only is the Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival in full swing, but elections are approaching in a month’s time. In fact I’m amazed he has found time to meet with this foreign blogger at all. He leaves the rest of us to finish the […]

Read the full article →