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The Dawn of Modern Korea: the transformation in life and cityscape

Author:
Publisher: , 2007.
Link to online store *

Publisher description:

The 20th century was a time of great changes for any country, but in Korea these changes were especially dramatic. In 1960, it was one of the world’s poorest countries. By 2000 it transformed itself into one of the world’s largest economies. This astonishing transformation completely changed Koreans’ daily life as well.

This book describes how small but essential things have changes over the last century, and how new technology and ideas arrived in Korea for the first time. Within the last century photographs, newspapers, movies, restaurants, electric lights, cars (as well as accidents caused by them), subways, and so many other things appeared in Korea. In this book, the author details how these “modern things” changed the centuries-old ways of Korean life

LKL adds:

The book is an edited collection of Andrei Lankov’s articles in the Korea Times. The articles cover the following topics:

1784 : Yi Sang-hun is baptized in Beijing | 1871 : First photographs taken in Korea | 1881 : The first group of Korean students goes abroad to learn modern technology | 1882 : Telephones imported | 1883 : Hansŏng sunbo founded | 1884 : Rickshaws introduced into Seoul | 1884 : The first phonograph is brought to Korea | 1885 : The first Western hospital opens in Korea | 1885 : Electric lighting installed in the royal palace | 1886 : The Ewha School is established | 1894 : Gentry privileges abolished | 1896 : The western calendar made obligatory | 1897 : Independence Gate completed | 1897 : The Hans?ng Bank is founded | 1899 : The Seoul-Incheon railway is opened | 1899 : Tram services begin in Seoul | 1900 : The first foreign-educated female Korean doctor returns home | 1901 : The first automobile enters Seoul | 1902 : Ms. Sontag’s hotel opens in Seoul | The 1900s : Western-style spectacles win popularity | 1903 : Korean migrants arrive in the US | 1905 : The Tongdaemun Market opens | 1907 : The Korean Crown Prince leaves for Japan | 1908 : Korean opera or ch’angg?k is born | 1908 : Seoul acquires a modern water supply | 1911 : First census held | 1912 : Taxi service established | 1915 : Traffic rules introduced | 1917 : The Indogyo Bridge completed | 1921 : The last tiger killed in South Korea | 1921 : State monopoly on tobacco introduced | 1922 : An Ch’ang-nam’s demonstration flights over Yoŭido Island | 1922 : Women granted permission to teach in primary schools | 1920s : The practice of early marriage declines | 1924 : First public bathhouse opens | 1920s : Study in Japan booms | 1925 : Kwon Ki-?k graduates from the Chinese Air Force Academy | 1925 : New Seoul railway station built | 1925 : The Grill opens at the Seoul railway station | 1926 : Singer Yun Sim-dŏk commits suicide | 1926 : Arirang becomes the first ever Korean blockbuster | 1920s : “New women” bring trouble to traditional families | 1927 : JODK begins radio broadcasts from Seoul | 1928 : Seoul acquires a regular bus service | 1920s : Courtesans lose their prominence | 1935 : Christians oppose obligatory Emperor Worship | 1936 : Son Ki-jŏng wins a gold medal in the Olympic marathon | 1930s : The decline in the tradition of mock-kidnapping widows | 1937 : Hwasin Department Store opens its new premises | 1939 : The Governor General moves into a new residence | 1946 : Seoul National University established | 1948 : The Republic of Korea (or Taehan Minguk) officially proclaimed in Seoul | 1948 : Prostitution outlawed | 1948 : Official recognition for the Korean anthem | 1948 : The Republic of China and Seoul establish diplomatic relations | 1950 : “Ch’ilsŏng Saida” begins production in Seoul | 1950 : Bank of Korea introduces new Korean banknotes | 1952 : Kia begins producing bicycles | 1950s : Large quantities of US wheat shipped to Korea | 1954 : The first on-screen kiss | 1954 : A KNA plane departs for Taibei | 1955 : American families adopt Korean babies | 1950s and 1960s : A modern outlook on ‘connections’ | 1955 : Automobile production begins in Korea | 1957 : Publication sponsors first nationwide beauty contest | 1950s : Turks establish mosques in Korea | 1961 : Korean Family Planning Association is founded | 1962 : Motion Picture Law adopted | 1964 : Foreign trade volume reaches $100 million | 1960s : The growth of deep-sea fishing | 1964 : The Map’o flats completed | 1960s : the growth of milk consumption | 1965 : LG begins production of refrigerators | 1967 : The Korean government procures computers from the US and Japan | 1968 : POSCO Steel is founded | 1969 : Middle and high school entrance examinations abolished | 1969 : First high-rise building constructed | 1970s : New heating systems introduced | 1970 : Seoul-Pusan expressway opens to traffic | 1970s : the era of Japanese tourism | 1970 : Chongno bookstore opens | 1970s : Policy to reduce food consumption is introduced | 1977 : Coffee vending machines introduced in Seoul | 1978 : First nuclear power plant switched on | mid-1970s : Campaign against long hair launched | 1970-80s: Arranged marriages slide in popularity but survive | 1980 : Seoul’s population reaches 10 million | 1982 : Night curfew lifted | 1984 : Commercial mobile phone network is introduced | 1985 : First known case of AIDS involving a Korean | 1980s : Steady decline in rice consumption | 1988 : Seoul Olympics | 1989 : The frequency of traffic incidents reaches its peak | 1990s : The fertility rate nose-dives | 1994 : Legislation against pre-natal sex-determination introduced | 1990s : Perception of Korean sex culture redefined dramatically | 1990s : Foreign workers arrive in increasing numbers

LKL says:

Not to be read from cover to cover, but one to be opened at random and enjoyed for 5 minutes or so at a time. Recommended.

LKL rating: score-2score-2score-2score-1score-0

Read our review of this book here. Entry on Goodreads.com here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site (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 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.