South Korea’s Minjung Movement: The Culture and Politics of Dissidence

From the publisher’s website: The minjung (people’s) movement stood at the forefront of the June 1987 nationwide tide that swept away the military in South Korea and opened up space for relatively democratic politics, a more responsible economy, and new directions in culture. This volume is the first in English to grapple specifically with the nature of […]

Lee Ufan: Art of Encounter

Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan (born 1936) first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major proponents of the Japanese avant-garde group Mono-ha. Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition, the Mono-ha school of thought rejected Western notions of representation, choosing to focus on the relationships of […]

Kim Whanki: A Critical Biography

From the publisher’s website: Kim Whanki (1913-1974) is one of the most representative painters in modern Korean fine-art. Combining eastern instinct with Western logic, his paintings describe Korean characteristics and a sharp modernity through his paintings which embrace both concrete and abstract themes. During his career, he consistently pursued the theme of “Korean eternity.” He […]

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 History of the Early Korean Kingdom of Paekche, together with an annotated translation of The Paekche Annals of the Samguk sagi

From the publisher’s website: This volume presents two histories of the early Korean kingdom of Paekche (trad. 18 BCE–660 CE). The first, written by Jonathan Best, is based largely on primary sources, both written and archaeological. This initial history of Paekche serves, in part, to introduce the second, an extensively annotated translation of the oldest history […]

Under the Black Umbrella: Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910–1945

From the publisher’s website: In the rich and varied life stories in Under the Black Umbrella, elderly Koreans recall incidents that illustrate the complexities of Korea during the colonial period. Hildi Kang here reinvigorates a period of Korean history long shrouded in the silence of those who endured under the “black umbrella” of Japanese colonial rule. […]

Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era

From the publisher’s website: This volume contains translations — many appearing for the first time in the English language — of major literary, critical, and historical essays from the colonial period (1910–1945) in Korea. Considered representative of the debates among and between Korean and Japanese thinkers of the colonial period, these texts shed light on […]

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 […]

Reflections of a Zen Buddhist Nun

From the publisher’s website: The life and work of Kim Iryŏp (1896–1971) bear witness to Korea’s encounter with modernity. A prolific writer, Iryŏp reflected on identity and existential loneliness in her poems, short stories, and autobiographical essays. As a pioneering feminist intellectual, she dedicated herself to gender issues and understanding the changing role of women […]

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 […]