Korean Studies Journal Special Issue on the History of Koryŏ

Korean Studies volume 41 coverThe Koryŏ peri­od is one of the least-studied eras of Korea’s his­to­ry despite the many insights it offers into Korea’s his­tor­i­cal tra­di­tions. Cur­rent schol­ar­ship on many aspects of Koryŏ’s his­to­ry sup­plies the bulk of the con­tent of the lat­est issue of Kore­an Stud­ies, the jour­nal of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies.

Along with an intro­duc­tion by guest edi­tor Edward J. Shultz, the recent­ly pub­lished vol­ume 41 of Kore­an Stud­ies presents nine arti­cles on var­i­ous top­ics that illus­trate both inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic devel­op­ments dur­ing dur­ing the life of the Koryŏ state and soci­ety (918‑1392). The vol­ume includes:

  • Ear­ly Koryŏ Polit­i­cal Insti­tu­tions and the Inter­na­tion­al Expan­sion of Tang and Song Insti­tu­tions” by Jae Woo Park;
  • Inter­state Rela­tions in East Asia and Med­ical Exchanges in the Late Eleventh Cen­tu­ry and Ear­ly Twelfth Cen­tu­ry” by Oongseok Chai;
  • Koryŏ’s Trade with the Out­er World” by Kang Hahn Lee;
  • Rethink­ing the Late Koryŏ in an Inter­na­tion­al Con­text” by David M. Robin­son;
  • The Man­age­ment of Koryŏ: Local Admin­is­tra­tion (Kun­hyŏn) and Its Oper­a­tion” by Yoke­un Jeong;
  • Kings and Bud­dhism in Medieval Korea” by Jongmyung Kim;
  • Analy­sis of Recent­ly Dis­cov­ered Late-Koryŏ Civ­il Ser­vice Exam­i­na­tion Answer Sheets” by Hyeon-chul Do;
  • The Make­up of Koryŏ Aris­to­crat­ic Fam­i­lies: Bilat­er­al Kin­dred” by Myoung-ho Ro; and
  • The Char­ac­ter­is­tics and Ori­gins of Koryŏ’s Plu­ral­ist Soci­ety” by Jong-ki Park.

The issue also con­tains two arti­cles on oth­er top­ics and three book reviews. The arti­cles are: “Infor­mal Empire: The Ori­gins of the U.S.–ROK Alliance and the 1953 Mutu­al Defense Treaty Nego­ti­a­tions” by Vic­tor D. Cha and “Kore­an Han and the Post­colo­nial After­lives of ‘The Beau­ty of Sor­row’” by San­dra So Hee Chi Kim.

Books reviewed in this issue are In the Ser­vice of His Kore­an Majesty: William Nel­son Lovatt, the Pusan Cus­toms, and Sino-Korean Rela­tions, 1876 1888 by Wayne Pat­ter­son (reviewed by Daniel C. Kane); Tourist Dis­trac­tions: Trav­el­ing and Feel­ing in Transna­tion­al Hal­lyu Cin­e­ma by Young­min Choe (reviewed by Dal Yong Jin); and South Korea’s New Nation­al­ism: The End of “One Korea”? by Emma Camp­bell (reviewed by Jae­hoon Bae).

Kore­an Stud­ies is co-published annu­al­ly by the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Press. The full text of the jour­nal is avail­able on line at Project Muse through sub­scrib­ing insti­tu­tions, such as the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Hamil­ton Library.

Details about sub­scrib­ing to the print edi­tion of Kore­an Stud­ies, are avail­able on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Press Web site.

For infor­ma­tion about sub­mit­ting arti­cles for pub­li­ca­tion in Kore­an Stud­ies, see http://www.hawaii.edu/korea/pages/Publications/guidelines.pdf.

Colloquium: Koryŏ and Korea Today

photo: Edward J. ShultzThink much about the Kore­an king­dom of Koryŏ (918‑1392) these days? Prob­a­bly not, unless you’re one of the small num­ber of schol­ars spe­cial­iz­ing in that peri­od. His­to­ri­an Edward J. Shultz—who is one of those scholars—wants to tell you why some con­sid­er­a­tion of Koryŏ even at this late date will reward the effort. He will do so in a Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies col­lo­qui­um Tues­day, March 10, 2015, at 4:00 p.m.

Shultz sug­gests that those who do not know about and appre­ci­ate the his­to­ry of Koryŏ are miss­ing one of the great sto­ries of Korea’s past and are lack­ing back­ground infor­ma­tion impor­tant for under­stand­ing Korea today. What hap­pened one hun­dred or even five hun­dred years ago still car­ries mean­ing today, he says.

The study of Koryŏ reveals that the king­dom was very much in the main­stream of world his­tor­i­cal devel­op­ments. It was a soci­ety that embraced mer­it as an avenue for advance­ment, it led the world in print­ing tech­nol­o­gy, it demand­ed that its his­to­ri­ans be free from out­side influ­ences, it grap­pled with issues of nation­al­ism ver­sus inter­na­tion­al­ism, it pur­sued a for­eign pol­i­cy based on hard real­ism, it open­ly bor­rowed from oth­er cul­tures, it devel­oped a clear iden­ti­ty of being Kore­an, and it pro­duced artis­tic mas­ter­pieces of world renown. All this was made even rich­er by its embrac­ing of a plu­ral­ist pos­ture that allowed com­pet­ing ide­olo­gies and points of view to exist side by side. In this respect, Shultz says, Koryŏ was very mod­ern. How we look at this past can tell us much about what we are think­ing or expe­ri­enc­ing today.

Edward J. Shultz is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus of his­to­ry at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i at Mānoa and inter­im chan­cel­lor of Hawai’i Tokai Inter­na­tion­al Col­lege. He is a for­mer dean of the UH School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies and for­mer direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies. Shultz is the author of Gen­er­als and Schol­ars: Mil­i­tary Rule in Medieval Korea and numer­ous arti­cles on the his­to­ry of Koryŏ and is the trans­la­tor, with Hugh Kang, of the Koguryŏ Annals of the Samguk Sagi and book two of Koryŏsa Chŏryo.

The col­lo­qui­um will be held in the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies con­fer­ence room from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies col­lo­quia are free and open to the pub­lic. The Cen­ter is locat­ed at 1881 East-West Road on the UH Mānoa cam­pus. Paid park­ing is avail­able in the lot mau­ka of the CKS build­ing else­where on cam­pus. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing arrange­ments for access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter at (808) 956‑7041.