London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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

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]

100°C: South Korea’s 1987 Democracy Movement [forthcoming]

What does it take for ordinary citizens to risk everything to protest living under a repressive government? What takes them beyond the brink, to the “boiling point”? In his graphic novel 100°C, celebrated webtoon and comics artist Choi Kyu-sok sheds a light on these questions by examining the lives of one family caught up in the great … [Read More]

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]

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

From the publisher’s website: 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 … [Read More]

Gwangju Uprising: The Rebellion for Democracy in South Korea

The essential account of the South Korean 1980 pro-democracy rebellion On 18 May 1980, student activists gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to protest the martial law government of General Chun Doo-hwan. The security forces responded with unmitigated violence. Hundreds of students, activists and citizens were arrested, tortured and murdered. This fresh translation … [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]

Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire

In 1973, Billy Graham, “America’s Pastor,” held his largest ever “crusade.” But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there? Race for Revival seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the … [Read More]

A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa

A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa examines the cultural and social impact of Japanese colonialism and modernity on the wider aspects of everyday life in Korea. Selected as an outstanding work in 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences in South Korea, is by any measure a remarkable work. Lee considers … [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]

Beasts of a Little Land

It is 1917, and Korea is yet to be divided into north and south. With the threat of famine looming, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school in cosmopolitan Pyongyang, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. But the city’s … [Read More]

Balancing Communities: Nation, State, and Protestant Christianity in Korea, 1884–1942

From the publisher’s website: Starting in 1884 with the arrival of the first resident Protestant missionary in Korea and ending with the expulsion of missionaries from the peninsula by the Japanese colonial government in 1942, Balancing Communities examines how the competing demands of communal identities and memberships shaped the early history of Protestantism in Korea. In so … [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]

Reflections from Prison: 20 Years and 20 Days

Reflections from Prison is a collection of letters and essays from renowned Korean thinker Shin Young-Bok written during his 20 years as a political prisoner under the military government. ​The letters range from post cards to tiny characters squeezed onto his Army Prison daily ration of two sheets of toilet paper. They provide a window not … [Read More]

The Candlelight Movement, Democracy, and Communication in Korea

From the publisher’s website: This book examines key features, problems and implications of the 2016-2017 Candlelight Movement, a historical cornerstone for democracy and social movements in South Korea. The Candlelight Movement brought profound social changes with important lessons and questions for scholars, practitioners, activists, and the public. To examine the full complexity of the movement, … [Read More]