London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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]

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]

Record of the Seasonal Customs of Korea: Tongguk sesigi by Toae Hong Sŏk-mo

Record of the Seasonal Customs of Korea (Tongguk sesigi) is one of the most important primary sources for anyone interested in traditional Korean cultural and social practices. The manuscript was completed in 1849 by Toae Hong Sŏk-mo, a wealthy poet and scholar from an influential family. Toae, with his keen interest in the habits and customs … [Read More]

Graphic Design From South Korea

A celebration of creativity from South Korea, compiled and published by Counter-Print. Featuring 19 design companies and their work including: Studio Fnt, Bohuy Kim, Hong Eunjoo and Kim Hyungjae, Son Ayong, Na Kim, Pa-i-ka, Corners Studio, Ordinary People, Shin Dokho, Sulki and Min, Bowyer, Jin & Park, Triangle, CFC, Everyday Practice, Hezin O, DDBBMM, Jaehoon … [Read More]

The Chemistry of Korean Foods and Beverages

From the publisher’s website: As people embrace new traditional cuisines, curiosity about the chemical composition follows. Korean foods and beverages have been inspired by Korea’s unique location and climate. Some Koreans believe food is medicine, and this belief promotes the use of balanced and nutritional ingredients. The most distinctive feature of Korean food is the … [Read More]

Seoul & Chemulpo Railroad: The First Railroad of Korea

From the description on Amazon: An account of the construction of the Seoul & Chemulpo Railroad, the first railroad of Korea, and its relationship to the murder of Queen Min. The book also includes a summary of the railroad’s place within the framework of the history of Korean-American diplomacy and is illustrated with over 200 … [Read More]

Communicating Food in Korea

From the publisher’s website: An in-depth investigation of the complex relationships among food, culture, and society, Communicating Food in Korea features contributors from a variety of disciplines, including economics, political science, communication studies, nutrition research, tourism research, and more. Each chapter presents a unique interpretation of food’s economic, political, and sociocultural relevance. Situated in Korea’s shifting historical … [Read More]

Soju: A Global History

From the publisher’s website: Hyunhee Park offers the first global historical study of soju, the distinctive distilled drink of Korea. Searching for soju’s origins, Park leads us into the vast, complex world of premodern Eurasia. She demonstrates how the Mongol conquests of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries wove together hemispheric flows of trade, empire, scientific … [Read More]

Korean Food Television and the Korean Nation

From the publisher’s website: This book examines the historical development of Korean food TV and its articulation of Koreanness in the era of globalization. Jaehyeon Jeong defines the evolution of Korean food TV as an outcome of the conjuncture between the television industry’s structural changes, the shift in food’s landscape and cultural legitimacy, and various … [Read More]

How to Live Korean

From the publisher’s website: How to Live Korean takes a deep-dive into Korean culture, unpacking what it means to be Korean in all its forms and uncovering the way the locals think, what they enjoy getting up to and who they do it with. Whether it’s Korean movie Parasite sweeping the Oscars, the explosion of … [Read More]

Juche – How to Live Well the North Korean Way

From the publisher’s website: ‘Game changing. Juche is to shape the cultural zeitgeist just as The Little Book of Hygge did.’ Fern Brady ‘A book to bring shame upon our depraved morals and our wilted-spinach governments.’ Ivo Graham How did North Korea become the top-rated destination on Tripadvisor? The answer is Juche … ‘In this … [Read More]

Korean Culture Dictionary: From Kimchi To K-Pop And K-Drama Clichés

From the publisher’s catalogue: Before reading this book, you probably had some moments of curiosity in your life where you questioned certain things about Korean culture. Why is there a Pepsi logo on the Korean flag? Why do Korean kids in my class only have like… three last names (Kim, Lee, Park)? If you are … [Read More]

K-Pop Confidential

From the publisher’s website: A Korean-American girl travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a girl group at the same K-pop company behind the most popular boy band on the planet, in this romantic coming-of-age novel perfect for K-pop fans everywhere! Candace Park knows a lot about playing a role. For most of her … [Read More]

Body and Ki in GiCheon – Practices of Self-Cultivation in Contemporary Korea

This is the first English language book that studies contemporary practices of self-cultivation in South Korea called ki suryŏn (氣修練 training related to ki – “life energy”), reinvented in modernity similarly to Indian yoga and Chinese qigong. I focus on GiCheon, one of the ki suryŏn practices. By Victoria Ten (Jeon Yeon Hwa) https://www.ergon-shop.de/titel/body-and-ki-in-gicheon-id-89162/ [Read More]

If I Had Your Face

From the publisher’s website: A riveting debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, after-hours room salons catering to wealthy men, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania “Powerful and provocative … a novel about female strength, spirit, resilience—and the solace … [Read More]

Seeds of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea

Japanese colonial rule in Korea (1905-1945) ushered in natural resource management programs that profoundly altered access to and ownership of the peninsula’s extensive mountains and forests. Under the banner of “forest love,” the colonial government set out to restructure the rhythms and routines of agrarian life, targeting everything from home heating to food preparation. Timber … [Read More]