London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Song of Arirang: The Story of a Korean Rebel Revolutionary in China [forthcoming]

Song of Arirang tells the true story of Korean revolutionary Kim San (Jang Jirak), who left colonized Korea as a teenager to fight against Japanese imperialism and fought alongside Mao’s Red Army during the Chinese Revolution. First published in 1941, this remarkably intimate memoir (as told to the American journalist Nym Wales aka Helen Foster … [Read More]

Modern Korean Digraphia: Metanarration and National Identity, 1894–1972

William Strnad traces the formation and development of modern Korean digraphia during the years 1894–1972, including a description and analysis of the historical discourse related to Korean phonetic script and Chinese characters. Modern Korean digraphia was contextualized and altered amid the global emancipation and speculative metanarratives of modernity, and the national metanarratives of nationalism and … [Read More]

Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History

“Absorbing…Starry Field reminds us that even knowing where we came from won’t tell us where we’re going – but it will help along the way.” Susan Choi, National Book Award winning author of Trust Exercise A poignant memoir for readers who love Pachinko and The Return by journalist Margaret Juhae Lee, who sets out on a search for her family’s history … [Read More]

Moral Authoritarianism: Neighborhood Associations in the Three Koreas, 1931–1972

Moral Authoritarianism offers a new perspective on the three modern Korean states—the Japanese colonial state, South Korea, and North Korea—by studying neighborhood associations during the four war decades (1930s–1960s). The existing historiography perceives the three states in relation to imperialism and to the Cold War, thus emphasizing their differences by political changes. By shifting the focus … [Read More]

Transnationalism and Migration in Global Korea: History, Politics, and Sociology, 1910 to the Present

Contrary to the image of Korea as a largely self-contained country until its economy became global during the 1990s, this book shows that transnationalism has firmly been part of modern Korea’s national experience throughout its existence. The volume portrays Korea’s frequent transnational entanglements with other nations in East Asia and the West from the start … [Read More]

The Red Decades: Communism as Movement and Culture in Korea, 1919–1945

Focusing on previously neglected cultural expressions of colonial-period Korean socialism such as Marxist philosophy, Marxist historiography, and travelogues by socialist writers, The Red Decades reveals Marxian socialism as a cultural phenomenon of colonial-age Korea. Providing an account of the social composition of the Communist milieu in 1920s and 1930s Korea and outlining the aims of … [Read More]

The Making of Modern Subjects: Public Discourses on Korean Female Spectators in the Early Twentieth Century

Under Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century, Korean women began to expand their realm from the domestic to the public sphere. Sung Un Gang examines how the women’s gaze was reimagined in public discourse as they began attending plays and movies, and investigates the complex negotiation process surrounding women’s public presence. As the … [Read More]

East Asia Observed: Selected Writings 1973-2021

This collection brings together themes in East Asian history, diplomacy, culture and politics written by J E Hoare since the early 1970s. His writings derive from his training as a historian, from his time as a Research Analyst in the British Foreign Office from 1969-2003, and from his experiences as a diplomat in the Republic … [Read More]

Korea at War: Conflicts That Shaped the World

An engaging history covering a century of conflict on the Korean Peninsula Korea at War recounts how two separate nations emerged on the Korean peninsula as the result of devastating conflicts involving provocative personalities and superpower intrigues. The topics covered in this fascinating book include: The brutal years of Japanese colonial rule which began with Japan’s … [Read More]

Justifying Violence on Korea’s Cold War Frontlines: The Life and Representations of Kim Tu-han

The son of a nationalist martyr, Kim Tu-han (1918-1972) rose to prominence as a mobster in 1930s Seoul. As conditions shifted, he deployed his gang first as a construction corps supporting the Japanese war effort, then as a progressive force, and, most successfully, as an anti-communist vigilante group. After narrowly escaping the death sentence for … [Read More]

City of Sediments: A History of Seoul in the Age of Colonialism

Once the capital of the five-hundred-year Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1897) and the Taehan Empire (1897–1910), the city of Seoul posed unique challenges to urban reform and modernization under Japanese colonial rule in the early twentieth century, constrained by the labyrinthian built environment of the old Korean capital. Colonial authorities attempted to employ a strategy of “erasure”—monumental … [Read More]

Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of “Korea’s Hiroshima”

Most of us the world over do not know much about the nuclear experience, let alone the 70,000 Korean victims of the atomic bomb or their arts of life and survival. Quietude: A Musical Anthropology of “Korea’s Hiroshima” gives new insight into the overlooked and abused people who have lived and died on the margins … [Read More]

The Apology

I exist now. Don’t tell me that I didn’t exist before. How should a nation apologise for the crimes of its past? Seoul, 1991. She kept her silence for over forty years. Then Sun-Hee spoke out, igniting a fire that burns to this day. Yuna is about to uncover a shameful family secret. Priyanka, the … [Read More]

Tigers Unchained: 100 Years of Korean Anarchism

From its introduction in the early-twentieth century during the National Liberation Movement to its influence on contemporary politics and culture, anarchism has had a deep, historical significance in Korea. Tigers Unchained explores that significance through lenses that are simultaneously political, cultural, historical, and aesthetic. This translation constitutes a major contribution to multiple fields, while providing new ways … [Read More]

Historical Statistics of Korea

This book presents economic statistics of Korea in the past three centuries, focusing on the century following 1910. The data, typically time series rather than cross-sectional, are given in 22 chapters, which refer to population, wages, prices, education, health, national income and wealth, and technology, among others. Rather than simply putting together available data, the … [Read More]

A History of Protestantism in Korea

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Protestant Christianity in Korea. It outlines the development of Christianity in Korea before Protestantism, considers the introduction of Protestantism in the late nineteenth century and its widening and profound impact, and goes on to discuss the situation up to the present. Throughout the book emphasises the importance of … [Read More]