Joseon Dynasty

The first of the KCCUK’s “Teaser Screenings” for the London Korean Film Festival 2016 took place on Monday in the presence of Director Lee Joon-ik and the recently-arrived Korean ambassador. The chosen film was The Throne (사도) – a movie which was #5 in the 2015 Korean box office and deals with an incident in […]

{ 3 comments }

Conference news: Conceptions of ‘Life’ and ‘Nature’ in Classical Discourses

by Philip Gowman 8 October 2015
Thumbnail image for Conference news: Conceptions of ‘Life’ and ‘Nature’ in Classical Discourses

SOAS’s Centre of Korean Studies is presenting a one-day conference tomorrow. The event is free and open to the public – no booking is required. Conceptions of ‘Life’ and ‘Nature’ in Classical Discourses 9 October 2015, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm Venue: 21/22 Russell Square Room: T101 and T102 Programme Presentations in Korean will be […]

Read the full article →

In Korea, historical grievances last down the generations

by Philip Gowman 25 September 2015
Thumbnail image for In Korea, historical grievances last down the generations

Today’s Korea Times article, Man fined for obstructing ancestral rite, is nicely timed to ensure good behaviour over the Chuseok period. But the ancestral rite Mr Kim disrupted was not any old rite. This is a family grievance that goes back to 1453 and the reign of King Sejo: The court said Kim got into […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 10: Namhansanseong and the Gangnam Tombs

by Philip Gowman 7 June 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 10: Namhansanseong and the Gangnam Tombs

Myeongdong, Seoul, Sunday 7 June The Mountain Fortress I am scheduled to meet a friend at 9:30 at Sanseong Station on Line 8. From there we take the bus (number 9) via a circuitous route through a residential area and up the steep hill to the main car park of one of Korea’s latest UNESCO […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 9: Yeongsanjae and Seodaemun

by Philip Gowman 6 June 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 9: Yeongsanjae and Seodaemun

Myeongdong, Seoul, Saturday 6 June Bongwonsa temple and the Yeongsanjae rituals Today is the second UNESCO-listed item of intangible cultural heritage of my brief stay. I am tagging along with a small group of American summer students who are getting course credits by having a whale of a time in Seoul. How this works from an […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 7: A King, two generals and a gisaeng

by Philip Gowman 4 June 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 7: A King, two generals and a gisaeng

Sancheong-gun, Thursday 4 June Having over-indulged the previous evening, I didn’t sleep well. Although I had set the alarm to wake me up for my early morning hike, I didn’t really need it. I get up at 6am, and Kyung-sook emerges from the other room soon afterwards. We are shortly on our way along the […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 3: Park Soo-keun, King Sejong’s tomb and the journey to Gangneung

by Philip Gowman 31 May 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 3: Park Soo-keun, King Sejong’s tomb and the journey to Gangneung

Myeongdong, Seoul, Sunday 31 May. Most of the morning I’m faffing around with my bags, working out what I can leave at the hotel in Seoul so that I can travel slightly lighter on the bus down South. For the first time I’ve brought an SLR to Korea with me to get some slightly better […]

Read the full article →

2015 Travel Diary day 2: The Drawing hand | Seooreung | Tea Museum | Makgeolli at Kim Sakkat

by Philip Gowman 30 May 2015
Thumbnail image for 2015 Travel Diary day 2: The Drawing hand | Seooreung | Tea Museum | Makgeolli at Kim Sakkat

Myeongdong, Seoul, 30 May. Two hours sleep on the plane, and only another two on my first night in Seoul, means that I’m groggy on Saturday morning. A quick session in the hotel gym doesn’t do much to remedy that. Coffee with The Drawing Hand My brain is gently kick-started by a coffee in the hotel lobby, […]

Read the full article →

Royal Asiatic Society lecture: Humour and Eighteenth-Century Korean Art

by Philip Gowman 8 April 2015
Thumbnail image for Royal Asiatic Society lecture: Humour and Eighteenth-Century Korean Art

It’s not often that the one-time parent organisation the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch (est 1900) puts on an event that is anything to do with Korea. But the upcoming talk at the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (est 1823) looks well worth the wait. Humour and Eighteenth-Century Korean Art RAS STUDENT […]

Read the full article →

Pak Chiwon’s Jehol Diary: An amiable bore abroad

by Philip Gowman 30 March 2015
Thumbnail image for Pak Chiwon’s Jehol Diary: An amiable bore abroad

Pak Chiwon: The Jehol Diary Translated with notes by Yang Hi Choe-Wall Global Oriental 2010, 208pp The Jehol Diary is a contemporary account of one of the regular journeys from Joseon Korea to Qing China bearing tribute to the emperor. The journey described in this diary took place in 1780, and was ordered by King Jeongjo […]

Read the full article →

Global Oriental title on Joseon dynasty wins American Library Association award

by Philip Gowman 21 February 2015
Thumbnail image for Global Oriental title on Joseon dynasty wins American Library Association award

Congratulations to Brill / Global Oriental books, whose Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea was in Choice Magazine’s list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014. The book, edited by Cambridge University’s Michael Shin, is a collection of features on various aspects of life in the Joseon Dynasty: Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea shows how the momentous […]

Read the full article →

Theatre on video: a screening of Oh Tae-seok’s The Life Cord

by Philip Gowman 31 January 2015
Thumbnail image for Theatre on video: a screening of Oh Tae-seok’s The Life Cord

Oh Tae-seok’s plays are always worth watching, and coming up this month is a screening of a live performance by the National Drama Company of Korea. The play covers a troubled period of Joseon dynasty history: the struggles for the throne in the years following the death of King Sejong. The story of the deposed […]

Read the full article →

Seduced by Yi Seong-gye: the first volumes in the Sillok are translated

by Philip Gowman 18 October 2014
Thumbnail image for Seduced by Yi Seong-gye: the first volumes in the Sillok are translated

The Annals of King T’aejo, Found of Korea’s Choson Dynasty Translated and annotated by Choi Byonghyon Harvard University Press, 2014, 1,028 pp I wandered into the University bookshop last night for a browse. I’d just been to see Andrew Killick talk about Hwang Byungki at SOAS, and thought I might try to pick up his […]

Read the full article →

Latest UNESCO listings break the stereotypes

by Philip Gowman 19 July 2014
Thumbnail image for Latest UNESCO listings break the stereotypes

A famine-ridden state that spends all its money on its army and its nukes; and a country that builds a green city and restores its rivers… Those are the stereotypes. Yet it’s the North that has just had a biosphere reserve registered at UNESCO, while the South’s latest registration is an impressive piece of military […]

Read the full article →

Namhansanseong joins Suwon fortress on UNESCO World Heritage list

by Philip Gowman 30 June 2014
Thumbnail image for Namhansanseong joins Suwon fortress on UNESCO World Heritage list

South Korea’s eleventh listing on the UNESCO World Heritage list is Namhansanseong. It was added to the list at the end of a 10 day meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee at Doha on 25 June. According to the summary on the UNESCO website: Namhansanseong was designed as an emergency capital for the Joson dynasty […]

Read the full article →

2014 Travel Diary day 7: the concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng

by Philip Gowman 12 June 2014
Thumbnail image for 2014 Travel Diary day 7: the concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng

Another literary lunch and a visit to the tombs of the trusted palace servants. Eulji-ro, Seoul, Thursday 12 June, 9am. I decide to take it easy today, and have a bit of a lie in. I pop outside to the subway station to pick up a coffee and pastry, and then pay a quick visit to […]

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 →