Expanded Han’gŭl Day Observance Planned


Korea Times Radio Seoul logoThe Korea Times Hawaii and AM1540 Radio Seoul will host a series of events on the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa campus to showcase the Korean writing system and its history as well as Korean food culture in observance of the 4347th National Foundation Day of Korea and 568th anniversary since proclamation of Han’gŭl, the Korean alphabet.

hangul3October 9th is the Korean national holiday celebrating King Sejong’s promulgation of Han’gŭl in 1446. October is also a meaningful month with the National Foundation Day of Korea being observed on the 3rd of the month.

Every year for the last fourteen years, the Korea Times / AM1540 Radio Seoul has celebrated Han’gŭl Festival during the week of October 9, and this year is elevating this special day to promote Korea’s history and food culture to the local community as well. The festival is an opportunity for children as well as college students to appreciate the Korean language and its culture through an essay and speech contest.

This year’s Annual Han’gŭl Festival will be celebrated on October 4th at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Center for Korean Studies. Two Korean organizations–Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) and Wanderers of Bibimbap–will showcase the culinary history and arts of Korea. These two groups of volunteers will spend additional time in Hawai’i spreading information about the island of Dokdo, which is currently the subject of a territorial dispute with Japan, and also demonstrating the making of bibimbap for local audiences.

This year’s event is supported by generous donations from the Korea Foundation and the Honolulu Consulate General of the Republic of Korea. Other sponsors are Korean Air, Dongbu Insurance, Korean American Foundation Hawaii, Ohana Pacific Bank, Korea Freedom Federation, and the National Unification Advisory Council of Korea.

Schedule of Events

  • Korean Essay and Speech Contest
    Participants include K-12 and college students
    Center for Korean Studies
    Saturday, October 4, 2014, at 9:00 A.M.
  • Nutritional value of Korean Bibimbap and Secrets of Its Taste
    Food demonstration and tasting by Wanderers of Bibimbap
    Center for Korean Studies
    Saturday, October 4, 2014, at 11:00 A.M.
  • Let’s Talk about the History of Korea
    VANK Presents a special lecture on the history of Korea
    University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Art Auditorium
    Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 4:30 P.M.

photo: Wanderers of BibimbapWanderers of Bibimbap (비빔밥 유랑단, www.beginyourbibimbap.com) consists of Korean college students who travel throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa to promote the Korean staple bibimbap as a healthy food item for people around the world.

The organization Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, or VANK (http://korea.prkorea.com/wordpress/english/), spearheads numerous civilian diplomatic missions that help bring about a better understanding of Korea and Korean culture. With the sponsorship of the provincial government of Kyŏngsangbuk-do, VANK spreads a message of peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula.

For further information, contact Dong-Kwan Kong at dongkwan@hawaii.edu or call (808) 956-8292.

2014 Understanding Korea Essay & UCC Contest

CFIA logoaThe Center for International Affairs at the Academy of Korean Studies is the home of the Understanding Korea Project, which seeks to correct inaccurate information on and improve contents about Korea in foreign textbooks. The Center’s 2014 Understanding Korea Essay & UCC competition is aimed at promoting interest in Korea-related contents in foreign textbooks and Understanding Korea materials. Please note the following guidelines.

Domestic and International Promotion of the Understanding Korea Project

  • Improve the image of Korea in foreign countries
  • Improve the understanding of Korea; expand the base of the project
  • Establish healthy image of Korea in the world


Category Themes Detail
Essay Image of Korea from the International Point of View
  • Thoughts on images of Korea presented in foreign textbooks
  • Ways to improve the images of Korea abroad
Essay Application of Understanding Korea Materials
  • Review the application of Understanding Korea materials
  • Ideas for developing Understanding Korea materials
UCC Understanding Korea Project
  • Create innovative video that can properly teach Korea’s history and culture

* Foreign materials imply publications and digital contents created by non-Koreans, including the Korean-related contents in non-Korean textbooks, and targeted towards non-Koreans.

* Understanding Korea materials published by AKS can be requested for the purpose of this contest. Full details for the materials can be found on the Web site of the Center for International Affairs (CEFIA): http://www.ikorea.ac.kr.


Any individual or a group who has genuine interest in the Understanding Korea Project

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Poet Ko Ŭn Offering Two Presentations at CKS

photo of Ko ŬnKo Ŭn, who is widely regarded as the foremost contemporary poet in Korea, will make two appearances at UH Mānoa at the invitation of the Center for Korean Studies. Ko will take part in a symposium titled “Poet Ko Ŭn and Korean Literature in the World” on October 7, 2014, at the Center. On October 9, he will present a public reading from his works. Both events will take place in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Ko’s visit to Honolulu was arranged by CKS faculty member Gary Pak of the Department of English.

The other participants in the symposium will be Brother Anthony of Taizé, the principal English-language translator of Ko’s poetry; Lee Sang-hwa, emeritus professor of English at Joongang University; and Yung-Hee Kim, professor of Korean literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Pak will moderate the discussion.

For the poetry reading, Ko will be joined again by Brother Anthony, who will provide translation and commentary.

photo of Ko Ŭn seatedKo, now eighty-one years old, was imprisoned several times in the 1970s and 1980s for his participation in the campaign for Korean democracy. The prolific writer has published some 135 volumes, including many books of poetry, several works of fiction, autobiography, drama, essays, translations from classical Chinese, and travel books. His works have been translated and published in more than fifteen countries. He has won all of South Korea’s major literary prizes, as well as many international prizes, and is frequently mentioned as a contender for the Nobel Prize in literature.

Brother Anthony, a native of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, has been living in Korea since 1980, teaching English literature at Sogang University, where he is now an emeritus professor. He is also a chair-professor in the International Creative Writing Program at Dankook University and currently serves as president of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch. He has published more than thirty volumes of English translations of Korean literature, mostly poetry, as well as fiction by Yi Munyŏl. He took Korean citizenship in 1994, and is officially known as An Sŏnjae. He received the Korean government’s Award of Merit, Jade Crown class, in October 2008 for his work in promoting knowledge of Korean literature in the world.

For additional information about Ko’s life and works, visit his Web page at http://www.koun.co.kr/. For more about Brother Anthony and many other interesting topics, visit his celebrated Web page at http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/.

Ko Ŭn’s appearances are co-sponsored by the UHM College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature and Department of English. The UH Mānoa Bookstore will have copies of some of Ko’s books on hand for purchase and signing at both events.

The Center for Korean Studies is located at 1881 East-West Road on the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa campus. Center events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Paid parking is available in the parking lot mauka of the Center. For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, contact the Center at (808) 956-7041.

Fall Film Series Looks at Apartment-Centered Contemporary Korean Life

film series photo of apartment buildingsThe Center for Korean Studies fall 2014 film series gets underway September 23 with the first of five features examining aspects of apartment life in contemporary Korea. The series, programmed by Prof. Myungji Yang of the UH Mānoa Department of Political Science, is titled “Living Apart? Apartments in Korean Cinema.”

Apartments are a key to understanding current Korean society. As the prototypical type of modern housing, high-rise apartment buildings in Korean cities both exemplify and signify affluent and cultured lifestyles. Apartments are more than a type of housing: They serve as an indicator of one’s socioeconomic status and they symbolize Korean dreams and aspirations. The massive wave of apartment construction over the past few decades has rapidly changed old, disorganized urban landscapes into highly modern, well-ordered environments. Yet this seemingly progressive urban redevelopment process was accomplished by violent and brutal means—demolishing the homes of the urban poor, destroying traditional communities, and pushing the less affluent to the outskirts of cities without any proper compensation. Focusing on private lives in urban spaces, this series of films will show the ways in which apartments have shaped the modes of living and the sense of community among Korean urbanites, highlighting the unique character of Korean capitalism as represented in built environments.

still photo from Barking Dogs Never Bite from fall film seriesThe series opens with Barking Dogs Never Bite (플란다스의 개), Bong Joon-Ho’s 2000 directorial debut. The film follows the misadventures of Yun-ju, a part-time lecturer, who becomes hyper-sensitive to the constant barking of a dog somewhere in the apartment complex he and his wife call home. One day, he discovers his neighbor’s dog sitting by the doorway. Convinced that this dog is the source of the annoying barking, he locks the animal away in the basement. But he returns home only to hear barking again and to discover that he has stolen the wrong dog. Soon, one dog after another disappears, and the manager of the apartment building, Hyun-nam, keeps getting more and more complaints from residents about pets gone missing.

Subsequent features in the series are 301/302 (Oct. 14), Green Fish (Oct. 28), The Neighbors (Nov. 18), and The Ball Shot by a Midget (Dec. 2). For more information about these films, see the full schedule.

Screenings take place in the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium at 1881 East-West Road on the University of Hawai’i Mānoa campus and begin at 6:30 p.m. Korean films are shown with English subtitles. The films are free and open to all University of Hawai’i students, faculty, and staff and to the community at large. Limited, paid ($6.00) public parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Center and in other visitor parking lots on campus. For more information about parking regulations and locations, consult the campus parking office Web page.

The series is supported by the Timothy and Miriam Wee Memorial Fund at the Center for Korean Studies. For further information about the series, contact the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956-7041 or Professor Myungji Yang (myang4@hawaii.edu) at (808) 956-6387.

For Korea, What Comes After Prosperity?

photo: A.P. D'CostaHaving advanced from its state as an impoverished, warn-torn nation to a place among the great economies of the world, what comes next for the Republic of Korea? That’s the question to be addressed by Anthony P. D’Costa in a talk sponsored by the East-West Center Research Program on on Wednesday, September 24, from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

D’Costa is the chair of Contemporary Indian Studies at the University of Melbourne (development Studies) and the Australia India Institute and is currently a POSCO visiting fellow at the East-West Center. His talk, titled “Capitalist Maturity and South Korea’s Development Conundrum,” will take place in Burns Hall 3012.

Using the concept of capitalist maturity, D’Costa will examine the development challenges for Korea in the post-development era. His presentation will focus on Korea’s regional (Asian) economy, business and institutional responses to expanding Asia, and the societal adjustment issues to increasing flows of Asian students, professionals, and unskilled workers. The presentation will conclude by briefly indicating the many unfinished domestic reforms at multiple levels, which could reinforce Korea’s external engagement and potentially resolve the development conundrum arising from capitalist maturity.

D’Costa has written extensively on the political economy of the steel, auto, and IT industries covering themes of capitalism and globalization, development, innovations, and industrial restructuring in India and Northeast Asia. He is working on a book on globalization and the international mobility of IT workers to be published by Routledge and After Development Dynamics: South Korea’s Engagement with Contemporary Asia, an edited volume to be published by Oxford.

For more information, contact Cynthia Wasa Nakachi (NakachiC@eastwestcenter.org) in the East-West Center Program Office at (808) 944-7439.