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Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea: Economy and Society

Editor: Michael D Shin
Author: ,
Translated by: ,
Publisher: , 2014
Link to online store *

Winner of the 2014 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea shows how the momentous changes of the time transformed the lives of the common people. In twenty-three concise chapters, the book covers topics ranging from agriculture, commerce, and mining to education, marriage, and food culture. It examines how both the spread of Neo-Confucianism in the early Joseon period and its decline from the seventeenth century impacted economic and social life.

The book also demonstrates that much of what is thought of as ancient Korean tradition actually developed in the Joseon period. Chapters in this book discuss how customs such as ancestor worship, the use of genealogies, and foods such as kimchi all originated or became widespread in this era.

Contributors: Kim Kuentae, Yeom Jeong Sup, Kim Sung Woo, Lee Hun-Chang, Lee Uk, Yoo Pil Jo, Kim Kyung-ran, Kim Eui-Hwan, Oh Soo-chang, Ko Dong-Hwan, Kwon Nae-Hyun, Lee Hae Jun, Jung Jin Young, Kwon Ki-jung, Han Sang Kwon, Kwon Soon-Hyung, Jang Dong-Pyo, Seo-Tae-Won, Sim Jae-woo, Chung Yeon-sik, O Jong-rok, Hong Soon Min. This volume was co-translated by Edward Park and Michael D. Shin

Source: publisher’s website

LKL adds: One to source from your local library. There’s no paperback, and even the pdf version is over £100.


The Intimate Past: An Introduction to the Joseon Period | Michael D. Shin
Farming in the Joseon Period | Kuentae Kim
A Typical Day and Year in the Life of the Peasantry | Jeong Sup Yeom
The Tax Burden of the Peasantry | Sung Woo Kim
Currency and the Value of Money | Hun-Chang Lee
The Merchants of Seoul | Uk Lee
The Joys and Sorrows of the Itinerant Merchants | Pil JO Yoo
Foreign Trade and Interpreter Officials | Kyung-ran Kim
Salt: White Gold | Eui-Hwan Kim
Seeking Work at Mines | Soo-chang Oh
When Did Joseon’s Population Reach Ten Million? | Dong-Hwan Ko
Rural Society and Zhu Xi’s Community Compact | Nae-Hyun Kwon
Why Did Peasants Create the Dure? | Hae Jun Lee
Did Fake Genealogies Exist? | Jin Young Jung
The Baekjeong Class | Ki-jung Kwon
The Rebellion of Im Ggeokjeong | Sang Kwon Han
Did People Divorce in the Joseon Period? | Soon-Hyung Kwon
The Educational System | Dong-Pyo Jang
Military Life | Tae-Won Seo
The Penal System | Jae-woo Sim
Eating Culture | Yeon-sik Chung
Liquor and Taverns | Yeon-sik Chung
Tea and Tobacco | Jong-rok O
The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces | Soon Min Hong

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.