Books Published by the Center for Korean Studies
Hawai‘i Studies on Korea Series
Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography
Edited by Timothy R. Tangherlini and Sallie Yea, November 2007.
Arranged around a set of provocative themes, the essays in this volume engage in the discussion from various critical perspectives on Korean geography. Part One, “Geographies of the (Colonial) City,” focuses on Seoul during the Japanese colonial occupation from 1910–1945 and the lasting impact of that period on the construction of specific places in Seoul. In Part Two, “Geographies of the (Imagined) Village,” the authors delve into the implications for the conceptions of the village of recent economic and industrial development. In this context, they examine both constructed space, such as the Korean Folk Village, and rural villages that were physically transformed through the processes of rapid modernization. The essays in “Geographies of Religion” (Part Three) reveal how religious sites are historically and environmentally contested as well as the high degree of mobility exhibited by sites themselves. Similarly, places that exist at the margins are powerful loci for the negotiation of identity and aspects of cultural ideology. The final section, “Geographies of the Margin,” focuses on places that exist at the margins of Korean society.
Contributors: Todd A. Henry, Jong-Heon Jin, Laurel Kendall, David J. Nemeth, Robert Oppenheim, Michael J. Pettid, Je-Hun Ryu, Jesook Song, Timothy R. Tangherlini, and Sallie Yea.
Timothy R. Tangherlini is a professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Sallie Yea is a senior research fellow in international development at RMIT University, Melbourne.
And So Flows History
By Hahn Moo-Sook, July 2005.
A compelling saga of love, jealously, honor, and greed, And So Flows History (Yŏksanun hŭrŭnda, 1947) depicts the relentless power of exterior forces on the lives of three generations of the illustrious Cho family—from the waning years of the Chosŏn dynasty in the late nineteenth century to the tumultuous postliberation era.Hahn Moo-Sook (1918–1993) is one of Korea's most celebrated writers of modern realist literature. She received many awards for her writing, including the 1986 Grand Prix of the Republic of Korea Literature Award for her novel Encounter. And So Flows History, Hahn's first novel, received first prize in a 1947 contest organized by a major Korean daily. "[This] is the first modern Korean novel that defines, both in duration of its action and the issues it addresses, the trajectory of recent Korean history.... [Hahn Moo-Sook] devises a form, which can be characterized as a novel of ideas, in which each character is a symbolic figure, and which interweaves the lives of the Cho family with the social forces of the time. Enormously influential, it prefigures such themes as tradition versus modernization, the repositioning of gender, the redefinition and recomposition of class, the interaction between Koreas in Korea, and those in the diaspora that are taken up in later works." —from the Introduction by JaHyun Kim Haboush
Young-Key Kim-Renaud is the eldest daughter of Hahn Moo-Sook. She is chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and professor of Korean language and culture and international affairs at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Crisis in North Korea: The Failure of De-Stalinization, 1956
By Andrei N. Lankov. August 2004.
North Korea remains the most mysterious of all Communist countries. The acute shortage of available sources has made it a difficult subject of scholarship. Through his access to Soviet archival material made available only a decade ago, contemporary North Korean press accounts, and personal interviews, Andrei Lankov presents for the first time a detailed look at one of the turning points in North Korean history: the country's unsuccessful attempts to de-Stalinize in the mid-1950s. He demonstrates that, contrary to common perception, North Korea was not a realm of undisturbed Stalinism; Kim Il Sung had to deal with a reformist opposition that was weak but present nevertheless. Lankov traces the impact of Soviet reforms on North Korea, placing them in the context of contemporaneous political crises in Poland and Hungary. He documents the dissent among various social groups (intellectuals, students, party cadres) and their attempts to oust Kim in the unsuccessful "August plot" of 1956. His reconstruction of the Peng-Mikoyan visit of that year—the most dramatic Sino-Soviet intervention into Pyongyang politics—shows how it helped bring an end to purges of the opposition. The purges, however, resumed in less than a year as Kim skillfully began to distance himself from both Moscow and Beijing. The final chapters of this fascinating and revealing study deal with events of the late 1950s that eventually led to Kim's version of "national Stalinism." Lankov unearths data that, for the first time, allows us to estimate the scale and character of North Korea's Great Purge.
Meticulously researched and cogently argued, Crisis in North Korea is a must-read for students and scholars of Korea and anyone interested in political leadership and personality cults, regime transition, and communist politics.
Voices from the Straw Mat: Toward an Ethnography of Korean Story Singing
From its humble "straw mat" origins to its paradoxical status as a national treasure, p'ansori has survived centuries of change and remains the primary source of Korean narrative and poetic consciousness. In this innovative work, Chan Park celebrates her subject not as a static phenomenon but a living, organic tradition adapting to an ever-shifting context. Drawing on her extensive literary and performance backgrounds, Park provides insights into the relationship between language and music, singing and speaking, and traditional and modern reception. Her "performance-centered" approach to p'ansori informs the discussion of a wide range of topics, including the amalgamation of the dramatic, the narrative, and the poetic; the invocation of traditional narrative in contemporary politics; the vocal construction of gender; and the politics of preservation.
Education Fever: Society, Politics, and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea
By Michael J. Seth. 2002. 328 pp.
In the half century after 1945, South Korea went from an impoverished, largely rural nation ruled by a succession of authoritarian regimes to a prosperous, democratic industrial society. No less impressive was the country's transformation from a nation where a majority of the population had no formal education to one with some of the world's highest rates of literacy, high school graduates, and university students. Drawing on their premodern and colonial heritages as well as American education concepts, South Koreans have been largely successful in creating a schooling system that is comprehensive, uniform in standards, and universal. The key to understanding this educational transformation is South Korean society's striking, nearly universal preoccupation with schooling—what Koreans themselves call their "education fever."
This volume explains how Koreans' concern for achieving as much formal education as possible appeared immediately before 1945 and quickly embraced every sector of society. Through interviews with teachers, officials, parents, and students and an examination of a wide range of written materials in both Korean and English, Michael Seth explores the reasons for this social demand for education and how it has shaped nearly every aspect of South Korean society. He also looks at the many problems of the Korean educational system: the focus on entrance examinations, which has tended to reduce education to test preparation; the overheated competition to enter prestigious schools; the enormous financial burden placed on families for costly private tutoring; the inflexibility created by an emphasis on uniformity of standards; and the misuse of education by successive governments for political purposes.
Min Yong-hwan: A Political Biography
By Michael Finch, 2002. 256 pp.
The diplomat and scholar-official Min Yong-hwan (1861–1905), described by one contemporary Western observer as "undoubtably the first Korean after the emperor," is best remembered in Korean historiography for his pioneering diplomacy at the courts of Tsar Nicholas II and Queen Victoria in the late 1890s. Furthermore, he is considered to be the foremost patriot of Korea's Taehan era (1897–1907). This pioneering study of Min Yong-hwan provides us with a new perspective on a period of Korean history that still casts its shadow over the region today.
This new biography of Min contributes substantially to our understanding of this period by looking beyond the established view of Korea as being polarized between reformists and reactionaries in the late Chosŏn era. In doing so, it provides us with deeper insight into the full range of responses of the late Chosŏn leadership to the dual challenges of internal stagnation and external intervention at the juncture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the recent history of Korea, late nineteenth-century imperialism, and Russian, Japanese, American, and British foreign policy in northeast Asia.
Laying Claim to the Memory of May: A Look Back at the 1980 Kwangju Uprising
By Linda S. Lewis. 2002. 208 pp
The Kwangju Uprising is one of the most important political events in late twentieth-century Korean history. What began as a peaceful demonstration against the imposition of military rule in the southwestern city of Kwangju in May 1980 turned into a bloody people's revolt. In the two decades since, memories of the Kwangju Uprising have lived on, assuming symbolic importance in the Korean democracy movement, underlying the rise in anti-American sentiment in South Korea, and shaping the nation's transition to a civil society. Nonetheless it remains a contested event, the subject still of controversy, confusion, international debate, and competing claims. As one of the few Western eyewitnesses to the Uprising, Linda Lewis is uniquely positioned to write about the event. In this innovative work on commemoration politics, social representation, and memory, Lewis draws on her fieldwork notes from May 1980, writings from the 1980s, and ethnographic research she conducted in the late 1990s on the memorialization of Kwangju and its relationship to changes in the national political culture. Throughout, the chronological organization of the text is crisscrossed with commentary that provocatively disrupts the narrative flow and engages the reader in the reflexive process of remembering Kwangju over two decades. Highly original in its method and approach, Laying Claim to the Memory of May situates this seminal event in a broad historical and scholarly context. The result is not only the definitive history of the Kwangju Uprising, but also a sweeping overview of Korean studies over the last few decades.
Linda S. Lewis is associate professor of anthropology and director of the East Asian Studies Program at Wittenberg University.
The Ilse: First-Generation Korean Immigrants in Hawai‘i, 1903-1973
By Wayne Patterson, 2000. 284 pp.
"A clear, persuasive account." —Choice, September 2000
"An insightful and well-researched analysis" —Acta Koreana, 2000
"Patterson provides us with a candid and thorough snapshot of a single generation of Korean immigrants in Hawai`i, each chapter . . . systematically exploring a single aspect of their lives. . . . He underestimates the potential contribution of his research to both Asian and Asian American studies." —Journal of Asian Studies, November 2000
"The Ilse is the most comprehensive work published to date on the initial wave of Korean immigrants to the United States. A well executed qualitative analysis of the life history of the community, the book is also extremely eloquent and entertaining to read. . . . It should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of East Asian immigration in America." —Eui Young Yu, California State University, Los Angeles
On January 13, 1903, the first Korean immigrants arrived in Hawai'i. Numbering a little more than a hundred individuals, this group represented the initial wave of organized Korean immigration to Hawai'i. Over the next two and a half years, nearly 7,500 Koreans would make the long journey eastward across the Pacific. Most were single men contracted to augment (and, in many cases, to offset) the large numbers of existing Chinese and Japanese plantation workers. Although much has been written about early Chinese and Japanese laborers in Hawai'i, until now no comprehensive work had been published on first-generation Korean immigrants, the ilse. Making extensive use of primary source material from Korea, Japan, the continental U.S., and Hawai'i, Wayne Patterson weaves a compelling social history of the Korean experience in Hawai'i from 1903 to 1973 as seen primarily through the eyes of the ilse. Japanese surveillance records, student journals, and U.S. intelligence reports—many of which were uncovered by the author—provide an "inner history" of the Korean community. Chapter topics include plantation labor, Christian mission work, the move from the plantation to the city, picture prides, relations with the Japanese government, interaction with other ethnic groups, intergenerational conflict, the World War II experience, and the postwar years. The Ilse is an impressive and much-needed contribution to Korean American and Hawai'i history and significantly advances our knowledge of the East Asian immigrant experience in the United States.
Wayne Patterson is professor of history at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, and author of The Korean Frontier in America: Immigration to Hawaii, 1896-1910 (UH Press, 1988).
The Record of the Black Dragon Year
Translated by Peter H. Lee, 2000. 240 pp
The Imjin nok, or Record of the Black Dragon Year, is the first popular tale inspired by the Japanese invasion of Korea between 1592 and 1598. As a collection of folk narratives clustered around major events and characters, it exists in some forty manuscript and printed versions, long and short, in the vernacular and literary Chinese. Peter H. Lee provides the first accurate and readable translation of this cultural text in English. In the Introduction, Lee traces the rise of popular storytelling in late Choson times, analyzes ten recurrent motifs shared by the most extant versions in the vernacular, and firsthand eyewitness accounts of Korean captives in Japan along with similar accounts of the war in the records of dream journeys and kasa poetry.
Peter H. Lee is professor of Korean and comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles
Handbook of Korean Vocabulary
By Miho Choo and William O’Grady. 1996.
This first-ever “root dictionary” of Korean designed for second-language learners contains more than 1,500 lists of words built from shared roots. The lists offer a unique and efficient way for learners to acquire new words. On encountering a word, one can consult the lists for its component roots and discover many other semantically related words built from the same elements. The Handbook consists of two sections, one presenting roots of Chinese origin and the second containing native Korean roots. Within each section, each list begins with the relevant root written in Korean script together with the Chinese character (if there is one) and its English translation. The entries for individual words within a list include information about each item’s colloquial interpretation, the literal meaning of the component parts, and the Chinese characters used to write it. The Handbook will be of value to teachers and students of Korean as well as to native speakers of Korean who wish to use the word structure of their native language as a starting point for the study of English vocabulary.
William O'Grady is professor of linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
The Clan Records: Five Stories of Korea
By Kajiyama Toshiyuki. Translated by Yoshiko Dykstra.
The five stories in this collection are the first English translations of Japanese works dealing with Korea under Japan’s harsh military rule. The stories included in the volume are: “The Clan Records,” “The Remembered Shadow of the Yi Dynasty,” “Seeking Life amdist Death: The Last Day of the War,” “When the Hibiscus Bloom,” and “A Crane on a Dunghill in Seoul in 1936.” “[The stories] are fascinating, sensual, and informative, shedding light on the thought and behavior of colonizers and the colonized in occupied Seoul.” —Journal of Asian Studies
South Korea’s Minjung Movement:
Titles in the Hawai'i Studies on Korea series and those listed under "Other Books" may be ordered from the University of Hawai'i Press, Order Dept., 2840 Kolowalu St., Honolulu, HI 96822-1888. Tel. (800) 956-2840 or (808) 956-8255; fax (800) 650-7811 or (808) 988-6052.
Titles from the Occasional Papers series and miscellaneous publications should be ordered from: Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawai‘i, 1881 East-West Road, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822. Tel. (808) 956-7041; fax (808) 956-2213.