London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Comfort Women of the Japanese Empire: Colonial Rule and the Battle over Memory [forthcoming]

This is an important and controversial book, hitherto available only in Korean, Japanese and Chinese, a book which has been subject to court cases attempting to have some parts of the book deleted. The author reconsiders the issue of the “comfort women”, that is the Korean women who were compelled to provide sexual comfort to … [Read More]

Past Progress: Time and Politics at the Borders of China, Russia, and Korea

While anxiety abounds in the old Cold War West that progress – whether political or economic – has been reversed, for citizens of former-socialist countries, murky temporal trajectories are nothing new. Grounded in the multiethnic frontier town of Hunchun at the triple border of China, Russia, and North Korea, Ed Pulford traces how several of … [Read More]

Borderland Dreams: The Transnational Lives of Korean Chinese Workers

In Borderland Dreams June Hee Kwon explores the trajectory of the “Korean dream” that has fueled the massive migration of Korean Chinese workers from the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in northeast China to South Korea since the early 1990s. Charting the interplay of bodies, money, and time, the ethnography reveals how these migrant workers, in … [Read More]

Afterlives of Letters: The Transnational Origins of Modern Literature in China, Japan, and Korea

When East Asia opened itself to the world in the nineteenth century, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean intellectuals had shared notions of literature because of the centuries-long cultural exchanges in the region. As modernization profoundly destabilized cultural norms, they ventured to create new literature for the new era. Satoru Hashimoto offers a novel way of understanding … [Read More]

East Asia Observed: Selected Writings 1973-2021

This collection brings together themes in East Asian history, diplomacy, culture and politics written by J E Hoare since the early 1970s. His writings derive from his training as a historian, from his time as a Research Analyst in the British Foreign Office from 1969-2003, and from his experiences as a diplomat in the Republic … [Read More]

Human-Animal Relations and the Hunt in Korea and Northeast Asia

Studies the hunt, animals and how regional dynamics informed local cultural practices on the Korean peninsula Elucidates the significance of the peninsula in regional and Eurasian history through detailing and navigating animals and the hunt, themes scholarship has overlooked. Reframes the struggle between a kingship and a powerful bureaucracy competing for authority over an expanding … [Read More]

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Imaging Migration in Post-War Britain: Artists of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese Heritage

This book examines the artistic practices of a range of British-based artists of East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese) heritage in order to consider the social, political and cultural effects of migration or diaspora upon their creative production. Beccy Kennedy-Schtyk demonstrates three themes: the multiplicity and expansive contemporaneity of these artists’ visual oeuvres; the … [Read More]

The Borders of Chinese Architecture

An internationally acclaimed expert explains why Chinese-style architecture has remained so consistent for two thousand years, no matter where it is built. For the last two millennia, an overwhelming number of Chinese buildings have been elevated on platforms, supported by pillars, and covered by ceramic-tile roofs. Less obvious features, like the brackets connecting the pillars … [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]

A Long Road to Justice: Stories from the Frontlines in Asia

A constant stream of impoverished women and girls have been, and are being, enslaved and abused in the Asia Pacific region. Slavery is not a historical issue – it’s happening today. History is repeating itself. Through Sylvia Yu Friedman’s work in journalism, counter-trafficking and philanthropy, she has had rare and incredible access to victims of … [Read More]

The Future of the Korean Peninsula: Korea 2032 and Beyond

From the publisher’s website: This book considers both Koreas – North Korea and South Korea – to examine possible pathways for the years leading up to 2032 and beyond, thus offering a composite picture of Korea and its strategic relevance in Asia and the world at large. Through a combined South-North Olympic team and an … [Read More]

Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions

There is a tendency to think of Korean American literature—and Asian American literature writ large—as a field of study involving only two spaces, the United States and Korea, with the same being true in Asian studies of Korean Japanese (Zainichi) literature involving only Japan and Korea. This book posits that both fields have to account … [Read More]

Prostitutes, Hostesses, and Actresses at the Edge of the Japanese Empire: Fragmenting History

Analysing materials from literature and film, this book considers the fates of women who did not or could not buy into the Japanese imperial ideology of “good wives, wise mothers” in support of male empire-building. Although many feminist critics have articulated women’s active roles as dutiful collaborators for the Japanese empire, male-dominated narratives of empire-building … [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]