Korean Rockets Part 1 – the Singijeon

As stated previously (in Korean Naval Firepower Part 1), there is evidence to suggest that gunpowder was in use in Korea during the Three Kingdoms period (57~668 AD). If, as some scholars believe, saltpeter firearms were invented in Korea in the 7th century, this would place the invention 100 years before it is believed to […]

Korea in the mid-fifties – historic slides

Two upcoming opportunities to see historic photographs of the Korean peninsula in the 1950s. First, courtesy of the Anglo Korean Society, photos of South Korea at the KCC. Details below. Watch this space for photos of North Korea at SOAS in May. KOREA IN THE MID-FIFTIES – HISTORIC SLIDES A talk and slide show by […]

Three Korean traditions named world treasures

Three Korean traditions named world treasures: gagok (lyrical songs), daemokjang (wooden architectural craftsmanship) and maesanyang (falcon hunting). That UNESCO list keeps getting longer! http://bit.ly/9Ia99y # Daemokjang is Important Intangible Cultural Heritage No.74; Gagok is Important Intangible Cultural Heritage No.30

2010 Travel Diary #37: The Last King of Gaya

Korea is rightly proud of its heritage, and submits the most select elements of its long history to UNESCO for inscribing in the list of important world heritage items. One of the most recent items to have been so listed is the Joseon Dynasty Royal Tombs. They are beautifully peaceful places to visit. Perfectly manicured […]

Double entry, poison and murder: historical sources examined at SOAS

LKL reports from the 21 May conference at SOAS – Historians, clerks and accountants: Methodological issues in the use of sources on Chosŏn History. The one-day seminar at SOAS examined the value and danger of using alternative historical sources. The types of sources discussed ranged from family and guild accounting records, via personal travelogues, ancient […]

Two Korea-related talks at the Senate House

News of two upcoming Korea-related seminars in the Comparative Histories of Asia Seminar hosted by the Institute of Historical Research at Senate House, University of London. Thursday 28th January, 5.30pm Dr Owen Miller (Cambridge / SOAS) “The Idea of Stagnation in Korean History from Fukuda Tokuzo to the New Right” Thursday 25 February, 5.30pm Professor […]

Kim Jeong-ho’s Daedong Yeojido online

An amazingly detailed 1861 pictorial map of the Korean peninsula is now available online. Well worth a look. # The Daedong yeojido was produced by the great Korean geographer Kim Jeong-ho. The map is at a scale of about 1:162,000 and is a wood block print that includes two inset maps of Seoul, texts and […]

A belated look back at 2009

For the past 3 years LKL has concocted a quiz of the year as a way of gathering together some of the news stories which have most caught our eye. This year, as I came to draw up the list in mid December I found it hard to think of anything amusing or diverting: most […]