Korean Studies, vol. 25, no. 1 (2001)


Military Examinations in Late Chosôn, 1700–1863: Elite Substratification and Non-Elite Accommodation
Eugene Y. Park, 1

In late Chosôn, increasing domination of the civil branch of the central government by capital civil official families led to the political marginalization of other yangban families. Turning to military examinations, some in Seoul reproduced themselves as semihereditary military lines that enjoyed the powerful civil officials’ patronage and government support. Many among the provincial elite also chose military careers in the course of their exclusion from central politics. Possible weakening of their local political hegemony, however, may have made the elite status more purely ascriptive in nature, and the military examination degree seems to have lost its appeal. Despite the differentiation, the central civil official, central military official, and local elite families continued to constitute one yangban status group. This elite substratification process enabled the capital military men to retain their membership in yangban society, take pride in their profession, and loyally defend the existing order. Meanwhile, commoners began to participate en masse in the military examinations, but the degree merely helped to satisfy their aspirations for higher social status without actually allowing their political participation. By facilitating elite substratification and non-elite accommodation, the military examinations in late Chosôn appear to have promoted social stability and dynastic longevity.

Ch’anggûk Opera and the Category of the “Traditionesque”
Andrew Killick, 51

Ch’anggûk opera was first developed in the early twentieth century, when it was advertised as shinyôn’gûk, or “new drama,” emphasizing the novelty of its indoor theater setting and acting conventions. Today, ch’anggûk is often described in English as “traditional Korean opera,” mainly because it incorporates elements of the older musical story-telling genre p’ansori. While ch’anggûk has come to base a large part of its appeal on this association with tradition, it has not inspired the commitment to preservation and protection from change that typically distinguishes “traditional” art forms. By surveying the history of ch’anggûk’s relationship to “tradition,” I seek to define a separate category of art forms, the “traditionesque,” which I believe will prove to be an important one, not only in Korea but worldwide.

The Creation of National Treasures and Monuments: The 1916 Japanese Laws on the Preservation of Korean Remains and Relics and Their Colonial Legacies
Hyung Il Pai, 72

This article surveys the history of Korea’s heritage management laws and administration beginning with the current divisions of the Office of Cultural Properties and tracing its structure back to the 1916 Japanese Preservations Laws governing Korean remains and relics. It focuses on the eighty-year-old bureaucratic process that has led to the creation of a distinct Korean patrimony, now codified and ranked in the nationally designated registry of cultural properties (Chijông munhwajae). Due to the long-standing perceived “authentic” status of this sanctified list of widely recognized “Korean” national treasures, they have been preserved, reconstructed, and exhibited as tangible symbols of Korean identity and antiquity since the early colonial era.

“Ten Million Families”: Statistic or Metaphor?
James A. Foley, 96

This article assesses the number of surviving first-generation divided family members in Korea. The estimates of scholars and government agencies of population movement in the two periods in which the majority of families are compared: the liberation period (August 15, 1945, to June 25, 1950) and the Korean War (June 25, 1950, to July 27, 1953). In this way, an estimate is made of the number of surviving first-generation divided-family members and of the veracity of the oft-used concept of “ten million families.” The article also examines another less frequently mentioned group of divided-family members: Japanese Koreans “repatriated” to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea between 1959 and 1984.

Korean History Studies in Japan: The 2000 Shigaku Zasshi Review of Historiography
Hamanaka Noboru, Kuwano Eiji, and Nagashima Hiroki, trans. by James Lewis and Kenneth R. Robinson, 111

Shigaku zasshi, the leading history journal in Japan, devotes its fifth issue every year to historiography reviews of scholarship published in Japan over the previous year on various national and regional histories. The reviews for Korean history are written by specialists and introduce and direct readers to publications in many fields, including archaeology, economic history, and social history.


C. Fred Alford, Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization
reviewed by Byung-ok Kil, 128

Taik-young Hamm, Arming the Two Koreas: State, Capital and Military Power
reviewed by Andrei Lankov, 132

Samuel S. Kim, ed., Korea’s Globalization
reviewed by Timothy C. Lim, 133

David R. McCann, Early Korean Literature: Selections and Introductions
reviewed by Kichung Kim, 138

Dennis L. McNamara, ed., Corporatism and Korean Capitalism
reviewed by Timothy C. Lim, 140

Hyung Il Pai and Timothy R. Tangherlini, eds., Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity
reviewed by Changzoo Song, 143

Hyung-chan Kim, Tosan Ahn Ch’ang-Ho: A Profile of a Prophetic Patriot
reviewed by Jacqueline Pak, 147

Dae Sook Suh and Chae-Jin Lee, eds., North Korea After Kim Il Sung
reviewed by Andrei Lankov, 151