London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Chae Man-sik: Peace Under Heaven

Chae Man-sik: Peace Under HeavenEnglish Translation by Chun Kyung-ja: ME Sharpe, 1993.
Originally published as 태평천하 in 1938

An entertaining comedy chronicling a day or so in the life of a lecherous, foul-mouthed nouveau riche landlord. It captures a snapshot of Seoul under Japanese colonial occupation, but the Japanese impinge very little on the narrative. The book has larger than life characters — the boisterous anti-hero Master Yun, surrounded by various female members of his extended family (either widowed or cast off by his male offspring); the feisty underage kisaeng who tries to extract the maximum as a price for her virtue; the reprobate male offspring. All great fun. Read this first, and then for a broader, deeper and darker picture of Seoul under the Japanese occupation read Three Generations.

3 thoughts on “Chae Man-sik: Peace Under Heaven

  1. isn’t there any sample stories of Chae Man-sik here? it sounds good but i can’t seem to find any samples.

  2. Sorry overaile, I haven’t got any samples. I got my copy of the book online from Seoul Selection. I don’t know of any online extracts of his work.

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