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Ned Shultz
Edward J. (Ned) Shultz

Edward J. (Ned) Shultz, a professor emeritus of Asian studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, will receive one of the highest honors bestowed upon Korean studies scholars around the world, the Yongjae Award on March 10.

“When I was informed that I had received this award, I must confess surprise, and then thinking this is a real honor but there are many other people deserving of this award,” said Shultz. “My specific area of interest is Koryŏ history (918–1392), which is an overlooked period in Korea’s history, so in that respect, I was pleased that the Koryŏ kingdom was getting some focus.”

Shultz has spent nearly 50 years teaching UH students about Korea’s compelling history. His teaching career started in 1975 at Leeward Community College and would expand to UH West Oʻahu and then the Mānoa campus.

The Yongjae award, bestowed by Yonsei University, was created to pay homage to the institution’s first president who served as a minister of education during the Korean War.

Three people sitting on a bench and smiling
Shultz with students outside Kyongnam High School in 1966.
book cover
Shultz’ book was translated and published in Korea in 2014.

From Hawaiʻi to Korea

Shultz, a Boston native, first came to Hawaiʻi in 1966 and received training in Hilo to become a Korea Peace Corps volunteer. He was assigned to serve in the city of Pusan in South Korea and worked at Kyongnam High School. Upon returning to the islands, Shultz earned an MA and PhD at UH Mānoa.

Through the years, his teaching path at three UH campuses paralleled work to uplift civic and cultural programs that focus on Korea and Koreans in Hawaiʻi. Shultz is currently president of the Korean American Foundation, and served as director of the Center for Korean Studies at UH Mānoa (1998–2004).

“In many respects my involvement in Korea and its history is very much thanks to Hawaiʻi’s centrality in the study of Asia,” Shultz said.

He has authored numerous Korean studies articles, and in 2000, UH Press published Shultz’ book, Generals and Scholars in Medieval Korea, which was translated and published in Korea in 2014.

Future works

Shultz is currently working on a number of projects related to his area of expertise. Yonsei University just published his translation of Koryŏsa chŏryo (Essentials of Koryŏ History). He is also a member of an editorial team working on the translation of works on Koryŏ dynastic history which is set to be published by UH Press.

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