London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Borderlands of China and Korea: Historical Changes in the Contact Zones of East Asia

From the publisher’s website: This volume utilizes the concept of contact zones to reconceptualize the time and space around East Asian borders as meeting zones where multiple races, nations, and cultures interacted through the processes of exchange, coexistence, and acculturation. Focusing especially on the borderlands of China and Korea, the contributors document the shifts and … [Read More]

Efficacious Underworld: The Evolution of Ten Kings Paintings in Medieval China and Korea

From the publisher’s website: The Ten Kings hanging scrolls at Tokyo’s Seikadō Bunko Art Museum are among the most resplendent renderings of the Buddhist purgatory extant, but their origin and significance have yet to be fully explored. Cheeyun Kwon unfurls this exquisite set of scrolls within the existing Ten Kings painting tradition while investigating textual, … [Read More]

Buddhas and Ancestors: Religion and Wealth in Fourteenth-Century Korea

Publisher description: Two issues central to the transition from the Koryo to the Choson dynasty in fourteenth-century Korea were social differences in ruling elites and the decline of Buddhism, which had been the state religion. In this revisionist history, Juhn Ahn challenges the long-accepted Confucian critique that Buddhism had become so powerful and corrupt that … [Read More]

Transgression in Korea: Beyond Resistance and Control

From the publisher’s website: Since the turn of the millennium South Korea has continued to grapple with transgressions that shook the nation to its core. Following the serial killings of Korea’s raincoat killer, the events that led to the dissolution of the United Progressive Party, the criminal negligence of the owner and also the crew members … [Read More]

A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ

From the publisher’s website: “The king and ministers, superior and inferior, move with ritual and refinement. When the king goes on an inspection tour, everyone has the correct ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in front while armored soldiers block the road. The soldiers of the Six Divisions all hold their attributes. Although … [Read More]

Archaeology of East Asian Shipbuilding

From the publisher’s website: North American Society for Oceanic History John Lyman Book Award in Naval and Maritime Reference Works and Published Primary Sources – Honorable Mention “The most comprehensive technical inventory of East Asian shipbuilding and shipwrecks available to date, this detailed analysis refines our understanding of East Asia ship construction.”-Hans Konrad Van Tilburg, … [Read More]

Under the Ancestors’ Eyes: Kinship, Status, and Locality in Premodern Korea

From the publisher’s website: Under the Ancestors’ Eyes presents a new approach to Korean social history by focusing on the origin and development of the indigenous descent group. Martina Deuchler maintains that the surprising continuity of the descent-group model gave the ruling elite cohesion and stability and enabled it to retain power from the early Silla (fifth century) … [Read More]

New Perspectives on Early Korean Art: From Silla to Koryo

From the publisher’s website: This volume, consisting of five chapters and an introduction, includes discussion of a variety of artworks, ranging from gold adornments found in Silla tombs to Koryŏ Buddhist paintings scattered in modern museum and private collections, that provide insight into the religious practices, aesthetics, cross-cultural exchanges, and everyday life of the people … [Read More]

Lords of the Sea: Pirates, Violence, and Commerce in Late Medieval Japan

From the publisher’s website: Lords of the Sea revises our understanding of the epic political, economic, and cultural transformations of Japan’s late medieval period (ca. 1300–1600) by shifting the conventional land-based analytical framework to one centered on the perspectives of seafarers who, though usually dismissed as “pirates,” thought of themselves as sea lords. Over the course … [Read More]

Across the Perilous Sea: Japanese Trade with China and Korea from the Seventh to the Sixteenth Centuries

Originally published as Le commerce extérieur du Japon des origines au XVIe siécle in 1988, this new edition of the landmark French study chronicles Japan’s transformation from an importer of continental luxury items, raw materials, and techniques to an exporter of high-quality merchandise over nearly a millennium. The vicissitudes of foreign trade policy, as well … [Read More]

Establishing a Pluralist Society in Medieval Korea, 918-1170: History, Ideology, and Identity in the Koryŏ Dynasty

This book offers no less than a radically different view of the Koryŏ state. Until now scholarship failed to recognize the complicated historical descent, byzantine international relations and multiple incommensurable worldviews of the early Korean Koryŏ state (918-1170). Instead, it subjected these to reductionist categories favouring reified particulars over broader views. Asking how Koryŏ meaningfully … [Read More]

Empire’s Twilight: Northeast Asia under the Mongols

From the publisher’s website; The rise of the Mongol empire transformed world history. Its collapse in the mid-fourteenth century had equally profound consequences. Four themes dominate this study of the late Mongol empire in Northeast Asia during this chaotic era: the need for a regional perspective encompassing all states and ethnic groups in the area; … [Read More]

Power of the Buddhas: The Politics of Buddhism During the Koryo Dynasty

From the publisher’s website: Buddhism in medieval Korea is characterized as “State Protection Buddhism,” a religion whose primary purpose was to rally support (supernatural and popular) for and legitimate the state. In this view, the state used Buddhism to engender compliance with its goals. A closer look, however, reveals that Buddhism was a canvas on … [Read More]

The Book of Korean Poetry: Songs of Shilla and Koryo

From the publisher’s website: “Here at last in one English-language volume is the heart and soul of the Korean lyric tradition, brought to sensuous life by a poet who is our finest all-around translator of Korean literature.”—Bruce Fulton, Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation, University of British Columbia Korea’s history is divided … [Read More]

The Land of Scholars: Two Thousand Years of Korean Confucianism

This book discusses the historical development of Korean Confucianism in terms of its social functions. It also examines the types of transfiguration Confucianism underwent and the role it played in each period of Korean history. The Land of Scholars spans from the Three Kingdoms period in 18 BC to the Joseon dynasty in 1910. The … [Read More]