Flowering Plums and Curio Cabinets: The Culture of Objects in Late Chosŏn Korean Art

From the publisher’s website: The social and economic rise of the chungin class (“middle people” who ranked between the yangban aristocracy and commoners) during the late Chosŏn period (1700–1910) ushered in a world of materialism and commodification of painting and other art objects. Generally overlooked in art history, the chungin contributed to a flourishing art […]

A New Middle Kingdom: Painting and Cultural Politics in Late Chosŏn Korea (1700–1850)

Publisher description: Historians have claimed that when social stability returned to Korea after devastating invasions by the Japanese and Manchus around the turn of the seventeenth century, the late Chosŏn dynasty was a period of unprecedented economic and cultural renaissance, in which prosperity manifested itself in new programs and styles of visual art. A New Middle […]

Korean Confucianism: The Philosophy and Politics of Toegye and Yulgok

From the publisher’s website: This book explores Neo-Confucianism and its relationship to politics by examining the life and work of the two iconic figures of the Joseon dynasty Yi Hwang (1501-1570, Toegye) and Yi I (1536-1584, Yulgok). Neo-Confucianism became state orthodoxy in 1392, and remained in place for over five centuries until the end of […]

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 […]

Ginseng and Borderland: Territorial Boundaries and Political Relations Between Qing China and Choson Korea, 1636-1912

From the publisher’s website: Ginseng and Borderland explores the territorial boundaries and political relations between Qing China and Choson Korea during the period from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries. By examining a unique body of materials written in Chinese, Manchu, and Korean, and building on recent studies in New Qing History, Seonmin Kim […]

The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Choson Korea

From the publisher’s website: The Choson state (1392–1910) is typically portrayed as a rigid society because of its hereditary status system, slavery, and Confucian gender norms. However, The Emotions of Justice reveals a surprisingly complex picture of a judicial system that operated in a contradictory fashion by discriminating against subjects while simultaneously minimizing such discrimination. […]

A Unique Banchado: The Documentary Painting, with Commentary, of King Jeongjo’s Royal Procession to Hwaseong in 1795

From the publisher’s website: Fully illustrated in colour, here is the first introduction in English to one of Korea’s outstanding cultural assets – the banchado (‘painting of the order of guests at a royal event’) relating to all those taking part (1800 people) in the eight-day royal procession to Hwaseong ( Gyeonggi Province )  organized by King Jeongjo in 1795 in order to visit the tomb of […]

Catholics and Anti-Catholicism in Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: Korea’s first significant encounter with the West occurred in the last quarter of the eighteenth century when a Korean Catholic community emerged on the peninsula. Decades of persecution followed, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Korean Catholics. Don Baker provides an invaluable analysis of late-Chosŏn (1392–1897) thought, politics, and society […]

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 […]

Brief Encounters: Early Reports of Korea by Westerners

From the publisher’s website: This anthology is a compilation of Westerners’ accounts of their visits to Korea, originally published in books or newspapers before the country opened its doors in the late nineteenth century. The opening of Korea made it possible to explore the country in detail and write detailed accounts. Prior impressions were garnered […]

Classical Writings of Korean Women

This work is a collection of essays travelogues written by women during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The work ranges from a eulogy for a broken needle to a travelogue describing various trips to scenic spots on the Korean peninsula, including to the Keum-Gang Mountains. Now available in English, this collection gives us a sampler of […]

Neo-Confucianism in Korea

From the publisher’s website: Chinese and Japanese Neo-Confucius scholars have traditionally claimed that Korean Neo-Confucianism was an imitation of Chinese Neo-Confucianism, a belief which was generally accepted by Western scholars. Now, this book edited from the theses of representative Korean Neo-Confucius scholars, shows that the three Korean scholars, T’aegye, Yulgok and Dasan in the Chosŏn […]

Kaesŏng Double Entry Bookkeeping (KDEB) in a Global Perspective (2 vols)

From the publisher’s website: (Vol 1 | Vol 2) These two volumes represent a great contribution for a better understanding of the development of double-entry bookkeeping as a traditional accounting method used in East Asia. The chapters that follow compare the perspectives of scholars from South Korea, China, Japan, and Europe who argue that the […]

The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation

From the publisher’s website: The Imjin War (1592–1598) was a grueling conflict that wreaked havoc on the towns and villages of the Korean Peninsula. The involvement of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean forces, not to mention the regional scope of the war, was the largest the world had seen, and the memory dominated East Asian memory […]

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, […]

The 1728 Musin Rebellion: Politics and Plotting in Eighteenth-Century Korea

From the publisher’s website: The 1728 Musin Rebellion: Politics and Plotting in Eighteenth-Century Korea provides the first comprehensive account in English of the Musin Rebellion, an attempt to overthrow King Yŏngjo (1694–1776; r. 1724–1776), and the largest rebellion of eighteenth-century Korea. The rebellion proved unsuccessful, but during three weeks of fighting the government lost control […]