This highly engaging volume by one of Korea’s leading scholars of comparative mythology – the the first study of its kind in English – provides a valuable introduction to centuries-old beliefs, myths and folk tales relating to Cosmology and Flood, Birth and Agriculture, Messengers of the Underworld, Shamans, Disease, Good Fortune, Love and Family, Gods of Village Shrines, and Heroes. Containing thirty traditional stories, the book is fully illustrated throughout and contains a wide variety of Korean art, including rare shamanist paintings, as well as the work of some contemporary Korean artists. All the stories, based on Korean oral tradition, have been retold by the author according to their main plot and meaning because the original texts’ songs by shamans, containing many obsolete words and obscure idioms, are not easily understood today. The original title and source, including text notes, are provided at the end of each story. The author’s Introduction sets out the historical background and significance of the myths that appear here. He also provides full details of each of the Korean gods and their roles in mythology. While being a welcome addition to the literature on Korean culture for the non-specialist, An Illustrated Guide to Korean Mythology also provides an invaluable reference source for scholars and researchers in the fields of East Asian Mythology and Anthropology, as well as Korean History, Religion and Literature.
From Social Darwinism to 'Socialism with a Buddhist Face'
Edited by Vladimir Tikhonov and Owen Miller
One of Korea’s most eminent Buddhists and political activists in the independence movement during the long years of Japan’s colonization of his country, Han Yongun , otherwise known as Manhae (1879-1944), was a prolific writer and outstanding poet, known especially for his poetry collection Nim ui ch’immuk (‘The Silence of the Lover’). This volume, however, concentrates on translations of his principal non-literary works, which are published here in English for the first time. It focuses on his ideas for the revitalization of Korean Buddhism in the modern world; the nature of Buddhism as a religion; his critique of the atheist movements fashionable among the communists of his time, together with memoirs of his early life and travels. Selected Writings of Han Yongun, published in collaboration with the Academy of Korean Studies, also contains an introductory essay on Manhae’s life, his relationship with socialist ideas as well as the significance of some of the ideas discussed in the translated writings. Students and researchers in Korean Studies, Studies in Buddhism and Comparative Religions will find this collection invaluable.
Selected Papers From the British Association for Korean Studies Baks Papers Series, 1991-2005
Edited by Susan Pares and Jim Hoare
Established in 1982, the British Association for Korean Studies has published nine sets of Papers in the period 1991–2005 – the outcome of conferences, study days and workshops. The themes of Korea past and Korea present were selected to give the editors and BAKS council the widest choice of options in terms of scholarship, subject matter and interest.
Politics, Economy and Society
Edited by Rüdiger Frank, Jim Hoare, Patrick Köllner and Susan Pares
South Korea-oriented articles in the 2007 yearbook deal with online grassroots journalism and participatory democracy, the Lone Star scandal, changing perceptions of inward direct investment, the impact of China’s economic ascendance, modern cityscape and mass housing production, new ancestral shrines, and the political economy of patriotism. Additional articles highlight lessons of negotiations with North Korea, the plight of North Koreans in China, and Korea-China border issues. The yearbook is essential reading for anyone interested in modern Korea.
Written by Joong- Seok Seo, an eminent Korean historian and a thinker of rare originality, this book examines the tumultuous history of modern Korea from the perspective of nationalism. Based on the author’s extensive research and wide-ranging experience, the book goes to the heart of critical questioning about the political uses and abuses of nationalism by the ruling elites of post-liberation Korea. Indeed, Korean Nationalism Betrayed fills a yawning gap in the Western understanding of the authoritarian political structure of South Korea (1948-1988) that manipulated and distorted nationalism by identifying it with ultra-right anti-communism. The author provides a set of thought-provoking and compelling arguments against the assumptions of the Cold War, attributing the continued climate of tension and antagonism between the two Koreas to the tenacity of a Cold War mind-set. He traces the root of the tragedy of national division to the failure of Korean nationalism, and puts forward a compelling case for overcoming the legacy of polarized ideological stance, based on Cold War ideology and embracing a policy of reconciliation and cooperation by both sides.