Korean Studies, vol. 31 (2007)


The Changing Faces of Inequality in South Korea in the Age of Globalization
Hagen Koo, 1

The social and cultural landscape of inequality in South Korea has changed significantly in the recent period. This article investigates the emerging pattern of social inequality in South Korea since the financial crisis in 1997–1998, focusing on changes in three major areas of social life: work, consumption, and education. The general trend of change has been increasing job insecurity for white-collar workers, the rise of consumption as a dominant basis of class distinction, and the intensification and globalization of educational pursuits. The study explores how these changes are connected to the globalization process and how South Korea’s middle class is being transformed in this process.

Silla Buddhism and the Hwarang segi Manuscripts
Richard D. McBride II, 19

This article assesses the authenticity of the recently publicized Hwarang segi manuscripts by comparing the information they contains relating to the hwarang and Silla Buddhists and Buddhism to the information found in the traditional Chinese Buddhist materials and the Korean literary materials dating to the mid-Koryŏ period. The evidence suggests that the manuscripts are not “authentic” or “genuine,” but are probably an in-progress historical fiction dating to the colonial period, because they concoct problematic genealogies for known figures, because they promote Buddhist identities for sixth-century figures that are anachronistic, and because they deploy specialized terminology inconsistently.

Pan ch’inyŏng Wedding Rites, Residential Rules, and the Status of Women in Sixteenth-Century Chosŏn: An Analysis Based on Miam-ilgi, the Diary of Yu Hŭi-ch’un
Mee Hae Park, 39

This study focuses on wedding rites, residential rules, and the status of women in the mid-Chosŏn dynasty. Based on Miam-ilgi (眉巖日記), a diary of Yu Hŭi-ch’un (柳希春), a famous sixteenth-century Korean Confucian scholar, the marriage of his grandson Kwang-sŏn (光先) is examined. The nuptial procedure consisted of the discussion of marriage, the sending of presents to the bridal house, and finally the ceremony itself, nominally called pan ch’inyŏng (半親迎). In the wedding described in the diary, the bride continued to live in her natal home while the bridegroom alternated between residing at his and his in-laws’ home. Despite the fact that it was a departure from the strict patrilocality advocated by Confucian principles, the diary makes it clear that even Yu Hŭi-ch’un retained some characteristics of the traditional customs. The bridegroom’s stay with his paternal grandfather implies the significance of socioeconomic factors and the experience necessary to serve as the successor of the Yu family. This article argues that the characteristics of pan ch’inyŏng wedding and variations in the practices thereof is evidence of the flexibility of marriage procedures, residential patterns, and the status of women within a patrilineal society.

Imperial Japan’s Preparations to Conscript Koreans as Soldiers, 1942–1945
Brandon Palmer, 63

On May 9, 1942, the Japanese colonial government of Korea announced that beginning in December 1944 Korean men would be drafted into the Japanese military. By the end of World War II, 110,000 Korean conscripts served with the Japanese armed forces. Why did the Japanese postpone the enlistment of Korean recruits for thirty months after the initial announcement? This article examines the reasons for the delay. It argues that Japan needed the time to expand Korean proficiency in the Japanese language, to provide basic military training, to solidify its ideological control over Koreans, and to rectify the dilapidated Korean family registry system.


Wontack Hong, Korea and Japan in East Asian History: A Tripolar Approach to East Asian History
reviewed by Gina L. Barnes, 79

Keith Pratt, Everlasting Flower: History of Korea
reviewed by Michael J. Seth. 82

Michael J. Seth, A Concise History of Korea: From the Neolithic Period through the Nineteenth Century
reviewed by Eugene Y. Park, 84

James B. Lewis, Frontier Contact between Chosŏn Korea and Tokugawa Japan
reviewed by Nam-lin Hur, 86

Keith Howard, Perspectives on Korean Music
reviewed by Yong-Shik Lee, 88

Hyung-ju Ahn, Between Two Adversaries: Korean Interpreters at Japanese Alien Enemy Detention Centers during World War II
reviewed by Timothy L. Savage, 92

Allan R. Millett, The War for Korea, 1945–1950: A House Burning
reviewed by Adam J. Cathcart, 93

Chae-jin Lee, A Troubled Peace: U.S. Policy and the Two Koreas
reviewed by James I. Matray, 97

Bruce Cumings, North Korea: Another Country
reviewed by Graeme P. Auton. 100

Hyung-chan Kim with Dong-kyu Kim, Human Remolding in North Korea: A Social History of Education
reviewed by Sheena Choi, 103

Junmo Kim, The South Korean Economy: Towards a New Explanation of an Economic Miracle
reviewed by Joseph J. Stern, 104

Gi-Wook Shin, Ethnic Nationalism in Korea: Genealogy, Politics, and Legacy
reviewed by Robert Oppenheim, 107

Young Whan Kihl, Transforming Korean Politics: Democracy, Reform, and Culture
reviewed by Jungmin Seo, 110

Gabriel Jonsson, Towards Korean Reconciliation: Socio-Cultural Exchanges and Cooperation
reviewed by Graeme P. Auton, 112

John Horne and Wolfram Manzenreiter, ed., Japan, Korea and the 2002 World Cup
reviewed by Barbara Mori, 116