London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

  • Booklist: Joseon dynasty (89 titles)
    • SOAS 2022 Autumn seminars

      The Tradition of Commons: Two Magna Cartas of England and Korea Prof Hang-Nyeong Oh (Jeonju University) 18 November ‘Magna Carta’ was a charter approved by King John of England in 1215. And there was a constitution called the Great Compendium of Statecraft (經國大典) in Korea in 1485. Article 33 of Magna Carta stipulates that “In … [Read More]

      Review: Na Man’gap – the Diary of 1636

      Na Man’gap’s Diary of 1636, as George Kallander explains in his informative introduction, is the longest known private account of the second Manchu invasion of Korea. Na (1592 – 1642) was a senior scholar-official who was with the King and court inside Namhansanseong – he was in charge of military rations – throughout the siege … [Read More]

      Book review: Christopher Lovins on King Chŏngjo

      Thus far this year I’ve been focusing on literature in translation. As I wait for the next major wave of publications to hit the shops, I’ve turned my attention to non-fiction. And the first title I reached for was Christopher Lovins’s King Chŏngjo: An Enlightened Despot in Early Modern Korea, which came out in paperback … [Read More]

      SOAS seminar – Small China concept in the T’aengniji by Yi Chung-hwan

      The last SOAS seminar before Brexit… The Small China concept in the “T’aengniji” by Yi Chung-hwan (1690-1756?) Dr Nataliya Chesnokova (National Research University Higher School of Economics) 31 January 2020, 5:15 – 7:00 PM Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), Alumni Lecture Theatre, SOAS Free | Registration link on SOAS website Abstract The late Chosǒn period … [Read More]

      The World’s First ‘Active’ Greenhouse

      The greenhouse is an ancient invention, dating back 2,200 years. Modern ‘active’ greenhouses are distinguished from older ‘passive’ ones by the fact that they allow for the adjustment of air and soil temperature. Previously, the first such greenhouses were believed to have been built in Germany in 1619, using a stove to regulate air temperature, … [Read More]

      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 … [Read More]

      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 … [Read More]

      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 … [Read More]

      2019 Travel Diary #3: Anmyeondo

      Having enjoyed the peace of Mallipo and Chollipo beaches and the rich rewards of Chollipo arboretum on previous visits to Taean-gun, for LKL’s third visit to the county it was time to explore the coastline elsewhere. This time, we were to venture into Anmyeondo, Korea’s 6th-largest island, where the attractions include a recreational forest and … [Read More]

      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 … [Read More]