Letters from Joseon: 19th Century Korea Through the Eyes of an American Ambassador’s Wife

From the publisher’s website: John Mahelm Berry Sill’s role as the American Minister to Korea (1894-1897) is one of controversy. He has been described as weak, ineffective, and reluctant by some and as independent, proactive, and alert by others, depending on the researcher. He served during an extremely turbulent period of Korean history, a span […]

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 […]

Writing Women in Korea: Translation and Feminism in the Early Twentieth Century

From the publisher’s website: Writing Women in Korea explores the connections among translation, new forms of writing, and new representations of women in Korea from the early 1900s to the late 1930s. It examines shifts in the way translators handled material pertaining to women, the work of women translators of the time, and the relationship between […]

The Making of the First Korean President: Syngman Rhee’s Quest for Independence

From the publisher’s website: The only full-scale history of Syngman Rhee’s (1875–1965) early career in English was published nearly six decades ago. Now, in The Making of the First Korean President, Young Ick Lew uncovers little-known aspects of Rhee’s leadership roles prior to 1948, when he became the Republic of Korea’s first president. In this richly illustrated […]

Asia’s Unknown Uprisings: South Korean Social Movements in the 20th Century

From the publisher’s website: Using social movements as a prism to illuminate the oft-hidden history of 20th century Korea, this book provides detailed analysis of major uprisings that have patterned that country’s politics and society. From the 1894 Tonghak Uprising through the March 1, 1919, independence movement and anti-Japanese resistance, a direct line is traced […]

Anglo-Korean Relations and the Port Hamilton Affair, 1885-1887

From the publisher’s website: In April 1885 the British navy seized the small archipelago of Port Hamilton (now Geomundo) off Korea, an incident dubbed the Port Hamilton Affair. This was part of a larger story of Empire and East Asian geopolitics involving China, Japan, Korea and Russia. At the time Britain and Russia seemed close […]

The Korean Frontier in America: Immigration to Hawaii, 1896–1910

From the publisher’s website: Korean immigration to Hawaii provides a striking glimpse of the inner workings of Yi-dynasty Korea in its final decade. It is a picture of confusion, functionalism, corruption, oppression, and failure of leadership at all levels of government. Patterson suggests that the weakness of the Korean government on the issue of emigration […]

Human Rights in Korea: Historical and Policy Perspectives

From the publisher’s website: These chapters by eight Korea specialists present a new approach to human rights issues in Korea. Instead of using an external and purely contemporary standard, the authors work from within Korean history, treating the successive phases of Korea’s modern century to examine the uneasy fate of human rights and some of […]

Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876–1945

From the publisher’s website: Between 1876 and 1945, thousands of Japanese civilians—merchants, traders, prostitutes, journalists, teachers, and adventurers—left their homeland for a new life on the Korean peninsula. Although most migrants were guided primarily by personal profit and only secondarily by national interest, their mundane lives and the state’s ambitions were inextricably entwined in the […]

The Ilse: First-Generation Korean Immigrants in Hawaii, 1903-1973

From the publisher’s website: On January 13, 1903, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Hawai’i. Numbering a little more than a hundred individuals, this group represented the initial wave of organized Korean immigration to Hawai’i. Over the next two and a half years, nearly 7,500 Koreans would make the long journey eastward across the Pacific. […]

Min Yong-hwan: A Political Biography

From the publisher’s website: The diplomat and scholar-official Min Yông-hwan (1861-1905), described by one contemporary Western observer as “undoubtably the first Korean after the emperor,” is best remembered in Korean historiography for his pioneering diplomacy at the courts of Tsar Nicholas II and Queen Victoria in the late 1890s. Furthermore, he is considered to be […]

Empire of the Dharma: Korean and Japanese Buddhism, 1877–1912

From the publisher’s website: Empire of the Dharma explores the dynamic relationship between Korean and Japanese Buddhists in the years leading up to the Japanese annexation of Korea. Conventional narratives cast this relationship in politicized terms, with Korean Buddhists portrayed as complicit in the “religious annexation” of the peninsula. However, this view fails to account for […]

Populist Collaborators: The Ilchinhoe and the Japanese Colonization of Korea, 1896–1910

From the publisher’s website: An empire invites local collaborators in the making and sustenance of its colonies. Between 1896 and 1910, Japan’s project to colonize Korea was deeply intertwined with the movements of reform-minded Koreans to solve the crisis of the Choson dynasty (1392–1910). Among those reformers, it was the Ilchinhoe (Advance in Unity Society)—a […]

Eastern Learning and the Heavenly Way: The Tonghak and Chondogyo Movements and the Twilight of Korean Independence

From the publisher’s website: Tonghak, or Eastern Learning, was the first major new religion in modern Korean history. Founded in 1860, it combined aspects of a variety of Korean religious traditions. Because of its appeal to the poor and marginalized, it became best known for its prominent role in the largest peasant rebellion in Korean […]

Korea and Christianity

From the publisher’s website: More than two centuries have passed since Catholicism was introduced in Korea. Over a century has passed since the introduction of Protestantism. Membership in the Protestant denomination has grown to over ten million in that period. This volume looks into the development and the rapid rise of Christianity in Korea and […]

Korea through Western Eyes

From the back cover: Western Perceptions and Modernization 1882 – 1905 The authors bring the characters involved in this important period of Korean history to life and place them both within their contemporary context as well as their broader long-term setting. There are stories of bravery and dedication, but also of greed and selfishness and […]