Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk: Kŭmo sinhwa by Kim Sisŭp

One of the most important and celebrated works of premodern Korean prose fiction, Kŭmo sinhwa (New Tales of the Golden Turtle) is a collection of five tales of the strange artfully written in literary Chinese by Kim Sisŭp (1435–1493). Kim was a major intellectual and poet of the early Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1897), and this book […]

An Illustrated Guide to Korean Mythology

From the publisher’s website: This highly engaging volume by one of Korea’s leading scholars of comparative mythology – the the first study of its kind in English – provides a valuable introduction to centuries-old beliefs, myths and folk tales relating to Cosmology and Flood, Birth and Agriculture, Messengers of the Underworld, Shamans, Disease, Good Fortune, […]

Korean Impact on Japanese Culture: Japan’s Hidden History

From the dust jacket: This account of the founding of Japan’s imperial line and the subsequent introduction of Buddhism is a major extension beyond already published works. Both in the East and the West, scholars have customarily ignored the pivotal role played by Koreans in the early centuries of Japan’s cultural development. Facts are drawn […]

Samguk Yusa: Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea

A fascinating work, dating from the late 1200s. This book (Yusa), is not just a story but a collection of histories, anecdotes and memorabilia, covering the origins of Korea’s three monarchies: Silla, Paekche and Koguryo, offering an account of the latter nation that differs quite a bit from what you’ll read in Chinese history books. […]

Folk Tales from Korea

From the publisher’s website: Folk Tales from Korea is a fun way to access to the Korean ethos.  Enjoy these folk tales handed down through the generations and you will gain a better understanding of the Korean people.  You will most certainly recognize the Confucius influence on people’s lives. “These 99 examples are as various as they are enjoyable, some […]

Tales from Korea

According to Worthpoint, “17 editions [were] published between 1934 and 1963 in English”. WorldCat has the 1934 edition being self-published, with subsequent versions being published by a range of houses. Difficult to obtain nowadays, though Amazon US is currently listing a copy of the 1946 edition with a price reflecting its rarity. Copies are kept […]

Korean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts and Fairies

From James Scarth Gale’s preface: To any one who would like to look somewhat into the inner soul of the Oriental, and see the peculiar spiritual existences among which he lives, the following stories will serve as true interpreters, born as they are of the three great religions of the Far East, Taoism, Buddhism and […]