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Korea’s Pastimes and Customs: A Social History

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2005
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

Why are there so many Gims (Kims), Yis (Lees) and Baks (Parks) in Korea? What was life like in Korea hundreds of years ago? What kinds of communities did the Korean people form? How did they celebrate their birthdays and holidays? What kinds of games did they play in their spare time? These are some of the questions Lee E-Wha answers in Korea’s Pastimes and Customs: A Social History.

In this book, Lee makes Korean history more accessible and relevant to today’s readers by bringing a contemporary and down-to-earth perspective to his historical interpretation. His discussion of Korean pastimes is laced with enlightening journeys into their origins and interesting episodes associated with them. His examination of the significance of clan affiliation and genealogy in traditional Korean society helps shed light on the general attitude modern-day Koreans have toward family. Through Lee’s rendering of farmers’ co-ops, mutual-aid societies, various ceremonies and rituals, superstitions and fortune telling, the reader can virtually reconstruct Korean communities of the distant past.

Lee E-Wha was born in 1937 in Daegu, Korea, the fourth son of Lee Dal, the foremost Korean authority on The Book of Changes. Lee was formerly director of the Institute of History and editor of Historical Criticism. Among his major publications are The Heroes of the Donghak Peasant Uprising, Shapers of Korean History, Politics and Social Change in Late Joseon, Korean Factions, The Story of Heo Gyun and A Historical Journey into Customs.

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* 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.