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 […]

2016 travel diary 15: Song of the Sword and Roaring Currents – the two sides of Myeongnyang

Munnae-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do, 18 May 2016, 4:30pm. The battle of Myeongnyang, in October 1597, was Yi Sun-shin’s penultimate victory, and the last one that he came out of alive. His final victory, the Battle of Noryang, came in December 1598 in the narrow strait between Namhae and the mainland, when a stray bullet killed him. […]

2012 Travel Diary #22: The Burial Grounds of the Royal Joseon Placentas, and why underfloor heating is not always good for you

Sancheong Town, Gyeongsangnam-do, Sunday 1 April 2012. Yes, it’s 1 April, and no, this article is not an April Fool’s joke. Sunday in Sancheong town, and the National Assembly election campaign is in full swing. All along the main street, the ppongtchak trucks are parked nose to tail, probably about eight of them. All of […]

MacGyver and the Imjin War

I was puzzled when I learned that Koreans regard the time bomb as a proud addition to their list of inventions. This is because I associate the time bomb with incidents involving James Bond and MacGyver, in which the emphasis is on defusing the bomb and foiling the plans of an evil terrorist. Although it has […]

The Turtle Ship

There is a story that when the nascent Korean shipping industry was attempting to raise capital, Barclays asked what the Koreans could provide in the way of security for the loan. The Korean executive is said to have taken a 500 won bill from his pocket, which featured the turtle ship of Yi Sun-sin, and […]

Book Review: Admiral Yi Sun-sin

Admiral Yi Sun-sin: A brief overview of his life and achievements Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project, 2006 A quick and easy read setting out the achievements of Admiral Yi in the Imjin war against Japan. As well as telling Yi’s story (sometimes using Yi’s own war diary and memorials to the throne), the book […]

Admiral Yi enters cyberspace in history book fightback

The Admiral who gave the Japanese a bloody nose in the Imjin War has no fewer than three websites to his name: www.koreanischerheld.com exclusively for German readership, www.koreanpatriot.net for a multilingual audience (including English), and www.koreanhero.net which is an html version of a glossy book on his achievements. He himself can be contacted, through some timewarp […]