London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism [forthcoming]

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Body and Ki in GiCheon – Practices of Self-Cultivation in Contemporary Korea

This is the first English language book that studies contemporary practices of self-cultivation in South Korea called ki suryŏn (氣修練 training related to ki – “life energy”), reinvented in modernity similarly to Indian yoga and Chinese qigong. I focus on GiCheon, one of the ki suryŏn practices. By Victoria Ten (Jeon Yeon Hwa) https://www.ergon-shop.de/titel/body-and-ki-in-gicheon-id-89162/ [Read More]

Naming the Local: Medicine, Language, and Identity in Korea since the Fifteenth Century

From the publisher’s website: Naming the Local uncovers how Koreans domesticated foreign medical novelties on their own terms, while simultaneously modifying the Korea-specific expressions of illness and wellness to make them accessible to the wider network of scholars and audiences. Due to Korea’s geopolitical position and the intrinsic tension of medicine’s efforts to balance the local … [Read More]

It’s Madness: The Politics of Mental Health in Colonial Korea

From the publisher’s website: It’s Madness examines Korea’s years under Japanese colonialism, when mental health first became defined as a medical and social problem. As in most Asian countries, severe social ostracism, shame, and fear of jeopardizing marriage prospects compelled most Korean families to conceal the mentally ill behind closed doors. This book explores the impact … [Read More]

Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health, and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945

From the publisher’s website: South Korea represents one of the world’s most enthusiastic markets for plastic surgery. The growth of this market is particularly fascinating as access to medical care and surgery arose only recently with economic growth since the 1980s. Reconstructing Bodies traces the development of a medical infrastructure in the Republic of Korea (ROK) from … [Read More]

Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics in Taiwan and South Korea

Do the pressures of economic globalization undermine the welfare state? Contrary to the expectations of many analysts, Taiwan and South Korea have embarked on a new trajectory, toward a strengthened welfare state and universal inclusion. In Healthy Democracies, Joseph Wong offers a political explanation for health care reform in these two countries. He focuses specifically on the … [Read More]