Film Review: Love, Lies (Park Heung-sik, 2016)

An historic album made by a hitherto unknown Korean popular music singer from the colonial period is literally unearthed in a modern-day construction site. Miraculously, although the LP is damaged, audio engineers can restore the sound to something like the original, for broadcast on a golden oldies radio show. But who is the singer, and […]

Screening: Returning, After Seventy Years

Wednesday 29 October 2019, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm SOAS | Russell Square | College Buildings Room: 4429 Register online here Synopsis In September 1950 the Daily Worker journalist Alan Winnington released his pamphlet “I Saw The Truth in Korea” which documented atrocities in Daejeon during the Korean War presided over by the South Korean […]

Samuel Hawley’s Imjin War comes to YouTube

One of my most enjoyable reads so far this year has been Samuel Hawley’s Imjin War, originally published in 2005. At 664 pages long it might seem a bit intimidating, but in my view it could probably be twice as long and still be as gripping. But for those who like their history in nibble-sized […]

Nine Confucian academies listed at UNESCO

For visitors to Korea (such as myself) who like to try to get round all the UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, the list just got longer. On Saturday 6 July, the World Heritage Committee included nine Seowon, or Neo-Confucian Academies, in the list. The nine seowon are dotted around the central and southern parts of the […]

Screening: Daily Bread + 50 Years of Silence

On UN International Eliminate Sexual Violence in Conflict Day, SOAS Korean Social and Environmental Justice Society will have a special film event celebrating Jan Ruff O’Herne, a survivor of Japanese military sexual slavery, and human rights campaigner. Jan was inspired in 1991 by the Korean grandmothers to tell her story – and to tell her […]

Former UK Home Secretary to unveil statue commemorating Vietnamese victims

In an article on Politics Home, former UK Home Secretary Jack Straw writes about South Korea’s need to investigate rape and other atrocities inflicted by South Korean soldiers upon women during the Vietnam War. Despite Korea’s history of Japanese military sexual slavery, successive South Korean governments have refused to investigate their own military’s crimes against […]

[Cambridge] Ra Jong-yil Lecture – Professor Carter Eckert

This year’s Ra Jong-yil Lecture at Cambridge will be given by Professor Carter Eckert from Harvard University: The US in the Making of South Korean Militarism (1945-1961). The Shasha Suite | Westminster College | Madingley Road | Cambridge Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 – 17:00 to 19:00 Militarism has been deeply intertwined with Korean history and […]

Brief review: Samuel Hawley — The Imjin War

Samuel Hawley: The Imjin War – Japan’s Sixteenth-Century Invasion of Korea and Attempt to Conquer China 2nd Edition, Conquistador Press 2014 Originally published by Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch, Seoul, 2005 How is it that a 664 page book only merits a brief review? Well, because as an historical book a proper review should only […]

Screening: Daily Bread + 50 Years of Silence

Two films on the subject of a Dutch “Comfort Woman”. Daily Bread + 50 Years of Silence Arapina | 8 Little Thames Walk | London SE8 3FB 6pm, Wednesday 1 May 2019 Daily Bread Director: Ruby Challenger (Australia 2018, 15 mins, Dutch & Japanese with English subtitles. Historical drama) 50 Years of Silence Director: Ned […]

SOAS seminar: The Re-Organization of the Rural Economy in Modern Korea

The first, and possibly only, seminar of the new term: Empire by Association: The Re-Organization of the Rural Economy in Modern Korea, 1870-1945 Dr Holly Stephens (University of Edinburgh) Friday 26 April 2019, 5:15 – 7:00pm SOAS Brunei Gallery Room B104 | Registration required via SOAS website Abstract The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries were a […]

2018 travel diary 3 – The Smile of Baekje

10 – 11 November 2018. My trips to Korea are usually preceded by a hurried piece of research on the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) website trying to find out what notable items of tangible or intangible heritage, or what other historic or scenic sites there might be, to attract an inquisitive traveller to the places […]

SOAS seminar: Remembering a dissident Confucian Monk

This is a seminar I’m particularly looking forward to, as I’ve been interested in the story of King Danjong since I came across the burial site of his placenta a few years ago. Remembering a dissident Confucian Monk: How Kim Sisŭp became Sŏlcham, and Sŏlcham the Boyi of Korea Dr Dennis Wuerthner (Ruhr-University Bochum) Friday […]

Eleanor Hyun on Korean Munbangdo Paintings (OCS members + guests)

A special lecture given by the BM’s Eleanor Hyun for the Oriental Ceramics Society: Picturing Possession: Korean Munbangdo Paintings A lecture by Dr. Eleanor Soo-ah Hyun, curator of Korean collections at the BM Tuesday 12th February: The annual Sonia Lightfoot Memorial Lecture 5:45 for 6:15 pm with welcome drinks sponsored by Woolley & Wallis Society […]

Carlo Rossetti’s photographs as social and historical narratives

Continuing this term’s series of seminars at SOAS: Carlo Rossetti’s photographs as social and historical narratives about Korea at the beginning of the 20th century Assistant Professor Giuseppina De Nicola (Sapienza University of Rome) 1 February 2019, 5:15 – 7:00 PM SOAS, Brunei Gallery Room: B104 | Online Registration required Abstract Italy first established its […]

Early Korean Cinema season at the BFI and KCC

Tickets for the Early Korean Cinema season at the BFI, which was announced as last year’s London korean Film festival came to an end, go on sale on 15 January. The organisers particularly direct our attention to two screenings: THU 7 FEB, 18:00 – OPENING SCREENING WITH LIVE PERFORMANCE + INTRO: Crossroads of Youth 청춘의 […]