history

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Joseph Juhn
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In Search of Koreans in Cuba: A Tale of Jeronimo Lim

On Dec. 28, 2015, I boarded a flight in Toronto bound for Havana, Cuba. It was one of those trips you grant to yourself as a reward for having worked hard that year. I had no particular agenda other than observing how people live in a communist nation, going to

Katelyn Hemmeke
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Beyond Infantilizing Portraits: South Korean Adoptees Speak Out

Perhaps the world’s best-known Korean adoptee today is Adam Crapser. After living in the U.S. for almost four decades, Crapser was deported to South Korea late last year because his adoptive parents had never filed for his American citizenship.  The twists and turns of

Haeryun Kang
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Haebangchon's Forgotten Past: A Stairway, A Shrine and The War Dead

There’s a stairway on the outskirts of the hip Haebangchon area in Seoul — one that doesn’t really merit a second look. No impressive characteristics beyond its steepness, nothing spectacular in its surroundings. No chic bars, no hipster coffee shops. There’s no reason to remember, much less

Sukjong Hong
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The "Comfort Women Deal" between South Korea and Japan: Six Alternative Views

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KOREA EXPOSÉ
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Halmeoni

During my recent research visit to Seoul, I had a long conversation with my halmeoni. No, it was more like a story time, much like the ones we shared years ago when she raised me. I named certain events in her life and she would promptly supply her memories. “

Se-Woong Koo
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South Korea's History Textbook Whitewash

Half my life was spent outside South Korea, but I still cannot forget certain history lessons from childhood in Seoul. Dokdo, rocky islets claimed by both South Korea and Japan, is an inalienable Korean territory. Hangul, the writing system credited to a 15th-century king and used by the two Koreas,

Se-Woong Koo
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When We Became Gangnam

There are a few things I cannot forget from my childhood: picking mugwort with my sexagenarian babysitter at a nearby park, to dry and put in bean-paste soup; delighting in a cheap candy ring that came in a range of bright shades so pretty I dared not eat it; a

Seung-hye Lee
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Memories of Dictatorship from Not Long Ago

One night in 1972, I was having dinner with an American friend and her fiancé at the restaurant of the YMCA in downtown Seoul. It was a dangerous time. The talk of the town was a constitutional change the government was pushing for so that then-President Park Chung-hee

Tae Yang Kwak
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History Guides the Future in South Korea's Latest Blockbuster

Poster of Ode to My Father (Source: CGV) Three uniformed South Korean high school students mercilessly heckle a South Asian migrant laborer in contemporary Busan. Seeing this, an elderly Korean man flies into a rage against them. The privileged youngsters are oblivious to the fact that the old man, Deok-soo,

Se-Woong Koo
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Admiral Conquers South Korean Cinema, Exposing Fissures in Politics

Source: CJ Entertainment It’s a big-screen scene to thrill the heart of even the most cynical South Korean moviegoer. The year is 1597, and the forces of the Joseon Dynasty – the precursor to the modern Korean nation – and Japan are at war. The last remnants of