London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong

Lady Hyegyong’s memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, form one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean literature. From 1795 until 1805 Lady Hyegyong composed this masterpiece, depicting a court life Shakespearean in its pathos, drama, and grandeur. Presented in its social, cultural, and historical contexts, … [Read More]

Buddhism in Koryo: A Royal Religion

In this volume, we catch glimpses of Buddhism in the Koryo period at its height. It was a time when the religion made significant contributions to the development of Korean culture. Art and literature flourished under the support of the central government. Monasteries of great beauty were constructed, and the monastic community was productive in … [Read More]

Korean Adoption and Inheritance: Case Studies in the Creation of a Classic Confucian Society

The cases in Korean adoption and inheritance reveal steps in the transition called “Confucianization” that took place mostly in the seventeenth century. The transition from partible inheritance, equally divided between sons and daughters, to primogeniture; the attempt to use soja as heirs; the movement toward agnatic adoption as the way to provide an heir when … [Read More]

Hamel’s Journal And A Description Of The Kingdom Of Korea 1653-1666

Publisher’s description: The first Western account of Korea is the story of a group of sailors shipwrecked on Cheju-do. Some thirteen years later, after escaping to Japan, Hamel gave the outside world a firsthand description of Korea, an almost unknown country until then. Dr. Jean-Paul, who is Dutch, has made the first translation based on … [Read More]

The Four-Seven Debate: An Annotated Translation of the Most Famous Controversy in Korean Neo-Confucian Thought

From the publisher’s website: This book is an annotated translation, with introduction and commentary, of the correspondence between Yi Hwang (T’oegye, 1500-1570) and Ki Taesung (Kobong, 1527-1572) and between Yi I (Yulgok, 1536-1584) and Song Hon (Ugye, 1535-1598), known as the Four-Seven Debate, the most famous philosophical controversy in Korean Neo-Confucian thought. The most complex … [Read More]

The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology

From the publisher’s website: Legislation to change Korean society along Confucian lines began at the founding of the Chosŏn dynasty in 1392 and had apparently achieved its purpose by the mid seventeenth century. Until this important new study, however, the nature of Koryŏ society, the stresses induced by the new legislation, and society’s resistance to … [Read More]

Encounter

This historical novel, Encounter (만남), by Hahn Moo-Sook, one of Asia’s most honored writers, is a story of the resilience in the Korean spirit. It is told through the experiences of Tasan, a high-ranking official and foremost Neo-Confucian scholar at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Because of Tasan’s fascination with Western learning, then synonymous … [Read More]

Assimilation of Buddhism in Korea: Religious Maturity and Innovation in the Silla Dynasty

From the publisher’s website: The unified Silla dynasty period (669-935 AD) that followed the Three Kingdom period in Korea was a time when Buddhism was being assimilated into the Korean culture and taking on certain aspects not borrowed from China. Buddhist specialists will be interested to see the ways in which the various schools were … [Read More]

Introduction of Buddhism to Korea: New Cultural Patterns

From the publisher’s website: A collection of articles dealing with the introduction of Buddhism in Korea and its subsequent spread from there to Japan. The studies contained in this volume cover the Three Kingdom period. Contents Preface Introduction of Buddhism to Korea – Ahn Kye-hyen The Reception of Buddhism in Korea and Its Impact on … [Read More]

Hye Ch’o Diary: A Memoir of the Pilgrimage to the Five Regions of India

From the publisher’s website: The first English translation of the travel diary of a Korean Buddhist monk who traveled from his homeland to India in the eighth century. While the Chinese Buddhist pilgrims have been much studied, Hye Cho’s pilgrimage has not been given the consideration it deserves. His description of the Silk Road communities, … [Read More]

Korean Women: View from the Inner Room

From the preface: This collection of articles presents an amazing variety of female roles and certainly belies the stereotype of the powerless and dependent Korean woman. Korean women, whether ideologically confined to the inner rooms or cast out to the periphery of society, created for themselves positions of influence radiating across the narrow ideological and … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

King Sejong: A Novel

No synopsis available. The National Library of Australia categorises the book as biographical fiction. This title is pretty hard to find outside of university libraries. [Read More]

Nanjung Ilgi: war diary of admiral Yi Sun-sin

The text of Korea’s 76th national treasure, listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World registry. Second-hand copies are occasionally available, for a price (eg, at the time of writing Amazon has a copy available at over £1,000); and you can find it in specialist libraries. LTI Korea advertise the title as being available to purchase … [Read More]

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. … [Read More]