London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Minor Salvage The Korean War and Korean American Life Writings [forthcoming]

The Korean War, often invoked in American culture as “the forgotten war,” was fought between 1950 and 1953 and ended with an infamous stalemate and the construction of the Korean Peninsula’s Demilitarized Zone. Millions of Korean civilians and refugees were left behind, some of whom would go onto live in the United States. Minor Salvage … [Read More]

The Pachinko Parlour

The days are beginning to draw in. The sky is dark by seven in the evening. I lie on the floor and gaze out of the window. Women’s calves, men’s shoes, heels trodden down by the weight of bodies borne for too long. It is summer in Tokyo. Claire finds herself dividing her time between … [Read More]

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

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]

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea: Reflections and Future Directions

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea provides an in-depth look at the lives of families in Korea that include immigrants. Ten original chapters in this volume, written by scholars in multiple social science disciplines and covering different methodological approaches, aim to reinvigorate contemporary discussions about these multicultural families. Specially, the volume expands the scope of … [Read More]

Confronting South Korea’s Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

South Korea’s economic miracle is a well-known story. However, today Korea is confronting a new set of internal and external risks, which may foreshadow the next crisis. The Korean economy has been struggling with the faltering growth momentum and the rise of unprecedented socio-economic problems over recent years well before the pandemic crisis. After abrupt … [Read More]

Imaging Migration in Post-War Britain: Artists of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese Heritage

This book examines the artistic practices of a range of British-based artists of East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese) heritage in order to consider the social, political and cultural effects of migration or diaspora upon their creative production. Beccy Kennedy-Schtyk demonstrates three themes: the multiplicity and expansive contemporaneity of these artists’ visual oeuvres; the … [Read More]

North Korean Defectors in Diaspora: Identities, Mobilities, and Resettlements

This edited collection investigates the mobilities, resettlement practices, and identities of North Korean defectors who have relocated to the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, and South Korea. The contributors to this volume examine the complex nature of defection from North Korea, highlighting the ways in which defectors renegotiate their identities in order to adapt … [Read More]

The Two Koreas and their Global Engagements

This book departs from existing studies by focusing on the impact of international influences on the society, culture, and language of both North and South Korea. Since President Kim Young Sam’s segyehwa drive of the mid-1990s, South Korea has become a model for successful globalization. In contrast, North Korea is commonly considered one of the least … [Read More]

Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea

Drawing on previously unused or underutilized archival sources, this book offers the first account of the historical intersection between South Korea’s democratic transition and the global human rights boom in the 1970s. It shows how local pro-democracy activists pragmatically engaged with global advocacy groups, especially Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, to maximize … [Read More]

The Borders of Chinese Architecture

An internationally acclaimed expert explains why Chinese-style architecture has remained so consistent for two thousand years, no matter where it is built. For the last two millennia, an overwhelming number of Chinese buildings have been elevated on platforms, supported by pillars, and covered by ceramic-tile roofs. Less obvious features, like the brackets connecting the pillars … [Read More]

The God Susanoo and Korea in Japan’s Cultural Memory: Ancient Myths and Modern Empire

From the publisher’s website: This book discusses how ancient Japanese mythology was utilized during the colonial period to justify the annexation of Korea to Japan, with special focus on the god Susanoo. Described as an ambivalent figure and wanderer between the worlds, Susanoo served as a foil to set off the sun goddess, who played … [Read More]

Invented Traditions in North and South Korea

Almost forty years after the publication of Hobsbawm and Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition, the subject of invented traditions—cultural and historical practices that claim a continuity with a distant past but which are in fact of relatively recent origin—is still relevant, important, and highly contentious. Invented Traditions in North and South Korea examines the ways in which compressed modernity, … [Read More]

Korean Immigrants from Latin America: Fitting into Multiethnic New York

Korean Immigrants from Latin America explores the migration and resettlement experiences of Koreans from Latin America now residing in the New York metropolitan area. It uses interview data from 102 Korean secondary migrants from Latin America to explore the religious, familial, economic, and educational dimensions of their migration and resettlement processes in the U.S. As Korean … [Read More]

The North Korean Conundrum: Balancing Human Rights and Nuclear Security

North Korea is consistently identified as one of the world’s worst human rights abusers. However, the issue of human rights in North Korea is a complex one, intertwined with issues like life in the North Korean police state, inter-Korean relations, denuclearization, access to information in the North, and international cooperation, to name a few. There … [Read More]

Education in South Korea: Reflections on a Seventy-Year Journey

From the publisher’s website: This book, the result of a landmark colloquium held in Korea to reflect on the role of education in Korean society, provides fascinating insights into the interplay of political evolution and pedagogy. Korea has gone from one of the world’s poorest societies after the Korean War to one of its richest, … [Read More]