Toegye and Gobong Write Letters

From the publisher’s website: Toegye and Gobong Write Letters is a unique look into the lives of two prominent Confucius scholars. This special edition of their letters highlights their personal struggles as civil servants and scholars. Set in the backdrop of the Four Seven debate, the greatest philosophical debate in Korean neo-Confucianism, these poignant letters have […]

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 […]

China, Korea and Japan at War, 1592–1598: Eyewitness Accounts

From the publisher’s website: The East Asian War of 1592 to 1598 was the only extended war before modern times to involve Japan, Korea, and China. It devastated huge swathes of Korea and led to large population movements across borders. This book draws on surviving letters and diaries to recount the personal experiences of five […]

A Chinese Traveler in Medieval Korea: Xu Jing’s Illustrated Account of the Xuanhe Embassy to Koryŏ

From the publisher’s website: “The king and ministers, superior and inferior, move with ritual and refinement. When the king goes on an inspection tour, everyone has the correct ceremonial attributes and the divine flag [troops] gallop in front while armored soldiers block the road. The soldiers of the Six Divisions all hold their attributes. Although […]

Seeking Order in a Tumultuous Age: The Writings of Chŏng Tojŏn, a Korean Neo-Confucian

From the publisher’s website: Chŏng Tojŏn, one of the most influential thinkers in Korean history, played a leading role in the establishment of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392–1910). Long recognized for his contributions to the development of Neo-Confucianism in Korea, Chŏng was both a prodigious writer and an influential statesman before being murdered in a political […]

A Korean Scholar’s Rude Awakening in Qing China: Pak Chega’s Discourse on Northern Learning

From the publisher’s website: Two years after Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, Pak Chega’s (1750–1805) Discourse on Northern Learning appeared on the opposite corner of the globe. Both books presented notions of wealth and the economy for critical review: the former caused a stir across Europe, the latter influenced only a modest group of Chosŏn […]

Doctrine and Practice in Medieval Korean Buddhism: The Collected Works of Ŭich’ŏn

From the publisher’s website: Ŭich’ŏn (1055-1101) is recognized as a Buddhist master of great stature in the East Asian tradition. Born a prince in the medieval Korean state of Koryŏ (960-1279), he traveled to Song China (960-1279) to study Buddhism and later compiled and published the first collection of East Asian exegetical texts. According to […]

A Korean Confucian Way of Life and Thought: The Chasŏngnok (Record of Self-Reflection) by Yi Hwang (T’oegye)

From the publisher’s website: Yi Hwang (1501–1570)—best known by his literary name, T’oegye—is one of the most eminent thinkers in the history of East Asian philosophy and religion. His Chasŏngnok (Record of self-reflection) is a superb Korean Neo-Confucian text: an eloquent collection of twenty-two scholarly letters and four essays written to his close disciples and junior colleagues. […]

A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice: A Mirror on the Sŏn School of Buddhism

From the publisher’s website: Sŏn (Japanese Zen) has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea from medieval times to the present. A Handbook of Korean Zen Practice: A Mirror on the Sŏn School of Buddhism (Sŏn’ga kwigam) was the most popular guide for Sŏn practice and life ever published in Korea and helped restore Buddhism to […]

Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen

From the publisher’s website: Chinul (1158–1210) was the founder of the Korean tradition of Zen. He provides one of the most lucid and accessible accounts of Zen practice and meditation to be found anywhere in East Asian literature. Tracing Back the Radiance, an abridgment of Buswell’s Korean Approach to Zen: The Collected Works of Chinul, combines an extensive introduction […]

Numinous Awareness is Never Dark: The Korean Buddhist Master Chinul’s Excerpts on Zen Practice

From the publisher’s website: Numinous Awareness Is Never Dark examines the issue of whether enlightenment in Zen Buddhism is sudden or gradual—that is, something intrinsic to the mind that is achieved in a sudden flash of insight or something extrinsic to it that must be developed through a sequential series of practices. This “sudden/gradual issue” was […]

The Korean approach to Zen: the collected works of Chinul

LKL says: this title, one of the Unesco collection of representative Korean works, is out of print. You can find it it major university libraries. The 468-page volume contains all of Chinul’s works, translated with an introduction by Robert E Buswell Jr. The reviewer on Goodreads found it hard going but important. The volume was […]

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, […]

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 […]

Songs from Korea

Like the similar volume, Tales from Korea, this title was originally self-published (in 1936) and then republished on several occasions. For example the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has in its library a copy of the 1948 International Cultural Association of Korea edition. The Koreana Museum in Seoul has a copy of the 1936 edition […]

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 […]