London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Sources of Korean Tradition: Volume Two: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries

Modeled after the classic Sources of Chinese Tradition, Sources of Japanese Tradition, and Sources of Indian Tradition, this collection of seminal primary readings in the social, intellectual, and religious traditions of Korea from the sixteenth century to the present day lays the groundwork for understanding Korean civilization and demonstrates how leading intellectuals and public figures … [Read More]

The Record of the Black Dragon Year

From the publisher’s website: The Imjin nok, or Record of the Black Dragon Year, is the first popular tale inspired by the Japanese invasion of Korea between 1592 and 1598. As a collection of folk narratives clustered around major events and characters, it exists in some forty manuscript and printed versions, long and short, in … [Read More]

The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment: Korean Buddhism’s Guide to Meditation (with Commentary by the Son Monk Kihwa)

From the publisher’s website: A concise guide to the key practice systems of the East Asian Meditational schools Ch’an, Son, and Zen. The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment, used in monastic education for more than a millennium, is a concise guide to the key paradigms of the practice systems of the East Asian meditational schools (Ch’an, Son, and … [Read More]

Sources of Korean Tradition: Volume One: From Early Times Through the Sixteenth Century

From the back cover: Drawn from Peter H. Lee’s Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, Volume One, this abridged introductory collection offers students and general readers primary readings in the social, intellectual, and religious traditions of Korean from ancient times through the sixteenth century. Sources of Korean Tradition is arranged according to the major epochs of Korean … [Read More]

Sourcebook of Korean Civilization: Volume 2: From the Seventeenth Century to the Modern Period

From the publisher’s website: This is the most comprehensive and authoritative English-language anthology of primary source material on Korean civilization ever assembled. Encompassing social, intellectual, religious, and literary traditions, this volume covers the seventeenth century to the modern period. Contemporary histories, social documents, Buddhist scripture, philosophical treatises, and popular literature selected for this book reflect … [Read More]

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]

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]

Sourcebook of Korean Civilization: Volume 1: From Early Times to the Sixteenth Century

This book is the most comprehensive and authoritative English-language anthology of primary source material on Korean civilization ever assembled. It begins with the Korean creation myth, covering the rise of Korea’s Three Kingdoms, then the history of the Kory dynasty and its lasting influences on Korean culture, and, finally the Early Choson period, with important … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

To Become a Sage: The Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning

From the publisher’s website: Yi Hwang (1501-1570), better known by his pen name T’oegye, is generally considered Korea’s preeminent Neo-Confucian scholar. The Ten Diagrams on Sage Learning is his final masterpiece, a distillation of the learning and practice of a lifetime, and one of the most important works of Korean Neo-Confucianism. In it he crystallized the essence … [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]

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 … [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]