London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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]

The Red Palace

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood… Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, … [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]

Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan: Elite Graffiti in Premodern Korea

North Korea’s Kŭmgangsan is one of Asia’s most celebrated sacred mountain ranges, comparable in fame to Mount Tai in China and Mount Fuji in Japan. Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan marks a paradigm shift in the research about East Asian mountains by introducing an entirely new field: autographic rock graffiti. The book details how late Chosŏn (ca. 1600–1900 … [Read More]

The Encyclopedia of Daily Life: A Woman’s Guide to Living in Late-Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: This volume is a fully annotated translation of an early nineteenth-century encyclopedia, the Kyuhap ch’ongsŏ (The Encyclopedia of Daily Life). Written by Lady Yi (1759-1824) as a household management aid for her daughters and daughters-in-law, the work is a treasure trove of information on how women of higher status in the … [Read More]

The Letters of Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon

Our translations of the 20 or so letters written by Saint Andrew Kim Dae-geon during the 4 years of travel and adventure prior to his death in 1846 have now been published by The Research Foundation of Korean Church History, marking the 200th anniversary of his birth on August 21, 1821. In addition to the … [Read More]

The Forest of Stolen Girls

Suspenseful and richly atmospheric, June Hur’s The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting historical mystery sure to keep readers guessing until the last page. 1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene. Years later, … [Read More]

Neo-Confucianism and Science in Korea: Humanity and Nature, 1706-1814

Historians of late premodern Korea have tended to regard it as a hermit kingdom, isolated from its neighbours and the wider world. In fact, as Ro argues in this book, Korean intellectuals were heavily influenced by both Chinese Neo-Confucianism and the European Enlightenment in the late 18th and 19th centuries. In the late Choson period … [Read More]

Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations

From the publisher’s website: From an award-winning historian, a concise overview of the deep and longstanding ties between China and the Koreas, providing an essential foundation for understanding East Asian geopolitics today. In a concise, trenchant overview, Odd Arne Westad explores the cultural and political relationship between China and the Koreas over the past 600 … [Read More]

Turning toward Edification: Foreigners in Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: Turning toward Edification discusses foreigners in Korea from before the founding of Chosŏn in 1392 until the mid-nineteenth century. Although it has been common to describe Chosŏn Korea as a monocultural and homogeneous state, Adam Bohnet reveals the considerable presence of foreigners and people of foreign ancestry in Chosŏn Korea as well … [Read More]

The Power of the Brush: Epistolary Practices in Chosŏn Korea

From the publisher’s website: The invention of an easily learned Korean alphabet in the mid-fifteenth century sparked an “epistolary revolution” in the following century as letter writing became an indispensable daily practice for elite men and women alike. The amount of correspondence increased exponentially as new epistolary networks were built among scholars and within families, … [Read More]

The Borderlands of China and Korea: Historical Changes in the Contact Zones of East Asia

From the publisher’s website: This volume utilizes the concept of contact zones to reconceptualize the time and space around East Asian borders as meeting zones where multiple races, nations, and cultures interacted through the processes of exchange, coexistence, and acculturation. Focusing especially on the borderlands of China and Korea, the contributors document the shifts and … [Read More]

The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonon (Testament) by Chong Chedu (Hagok)

From the publisher’s website: Translated, edited, and introduced by Edward Y. J. Chung, The Great Synthesis of Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism in Korea: The Chonŏn (Testament) by Chŏng Chedu (Hagok), is the first study in a Western language of Chŏng Chedu (Hagok, 1649–1736) and Korean Wang Yangming Neo-Confucianism. Hagok was an eminent philosopher who established the unorthodox Yangming school … [Read More]

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Choson in Sinographic Writing

As the political, economic, and cultural center of Choson Korea, eighteenth-century Seoul epitomized a society in flux: It was a bustling, worldly metropolis into which things and people from all over the country flowed. In this book, Si Nae Park examines how the culture of Choson Seoul gave rise to a new vernacular narrative form … [Read More]

Aspiring to Enlightenment: Pure Land Buddhism in Silla Korea

From the publisher’s website: Centered on the practice of seeking rebirth in the Pure Land paradise Sukhāvatī, the Amitābha cult has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea since the middle of the Silla period (ca. 300–935). In Aspiring to Enlightenment, Richard McBride combines analyses of scriptural, exegetical, hagiographical, epigraphical, art historical, and literary materials to … [Read More]