Suicides soar among NY Koreans

Suicides soar among New York Koreans – more depressing stories for 2009: Money troubles have been the leading force behind the sharp rise, say Korean civic leaders and officials, who are alarmed by the trend. Failure to get into top colleges, perform well at school or climb the economic ladder can cause deep shame and […]

The London Korean Links Awards 2009

LKL’s fourth annual, unscientific and personal list of highlights from the London Korean Year, 2009. Film of the Year There were two hotly anticipated high-profile films this year: Bong Joon-ho’s Mother and Park Chan-wook’s Thirst. Both are obvious candidates for film of the year and delivered everything that one has come to expect from these […]

How Chaebol bosses get out of jail

How Chaebol bosses get out of jail: the Marmot on Lee Kun-hee’s release to spearhead the Pyeongchang 2018 campaign. http://bit.ly/6GlQ9l. | 3:56 PM Dec 30th, 2009 from bit.ly Jaekoo: Indeed it was an interesting news to me as well. Don’t know why business professors and some media use jargons like Chaebol when more neutral (or […]

Michael Breen: The Koreans

Michael Breen: The Koreans – Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies Thomas Dunne Books, 1998 & 2004 With a commendable dose of filial piety appropriate to the subject of his book, Michael Breen dedicates his work to “Mum and Dad”. Having lived in Korea on and off since 1982, maybe some […]

Some thank-yous

Another fun year of blogging, and so it’s time to thank all those who have made things possible. In no particular order, thanks to: The regular and one-off contributors who provide coverage, insight and expertise that are beyond me, and make LKL much more than what it would otherwise be. We’ve had several new contributors […]

Brief review: A Ricepaper Airplane

Gary Pak: A Ricepaper Airplane University of Hawai’i Press, 1998 Synospis (from the back of the book) From a hospital bed a dying man unfolds the tale of an arduous life on the fringes of a Hawai’i sugar plantation in the 1920s. There Kim Sung-wha – labourer, patriot, revolutionary, aviator – envisioned building an airplane […]

Treeless Mountain gets theatrical release

Treeless Mountain, one of the quiet successes of the London Korean Film Festival by director Kim So-yong, will be getting a UK theatrical release on 8 January 2010. Synopsis When their mother needs to leave in order to find their estranged father, seven-year-old Jin and her younger sister, Bin, are left to live with their […]

LKL Critics’ Choice 2009: Philip

The editor provides an eclectic choice of albums from this year. 2009 has been a bumper year for new, innovative music and some welcome re-releases of the back catalogue. And anyone interested in the Korean contemporary music scene needs to be very grateful to Anna over at Indieful ROK for the work she does in […]

Yi Chuljin at Roehampton

After seeing Yi Chuljin’s Seung Mu & Salpuri Dance. Michaelis Theatre, Roehampton University, 2nd Dec. 2009. By Paul O’Kane. To see Yi is to be freed, from the chair in which one is sitting, becoming somewhat elevated, and thereby rescued, both from this moment and from whatsoever culture we reluctantly and temporarily inhabit. In his […]

LKL Critics’ Choice 2009: Saharial

  This year can definitely be marked down as one for the less inspiring years for discovering new musical talent. Korea is packed full of vocally gifted teens all eager to make the break into stardom and this year saw various girl and boy bands pop up from nowhere as companies vied for more of […]

Kang Sok-kyong: The Valley Nearby

Kang Sok-kyong: The Valley Nearby Tr Choi Kyong-do Heinemann Asian Writers Series, 1997. Originally published as 가까운 골짜기, 1989 Living in the country, Yun-hee is engaged in a solitary struggle. Her two worlds, that of a rural housewife and that of an advocate for equality, are at odds with each other. As her artistic, alcoholic […]