International Journal of Korean History

International Journal of Korean History

Basic info

  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: Korean History
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF

Publication charges

  • Article Processing Charges (APCs): No
  • Submission charges: No
  • Waiver policy for charges? No

Editorial information

Open access & licensing

  • Type of License: CC BY-NC
  • License terms
  • Open Access Statement: Yes
  • Year open access content began: 2000
  • Does the author retain unrestricted copyright? False
  • Does the author retain publishing rights? False

Best practice polices

  • Permanent article identifier: DOI
  • Content digitally archived in: Other
  • Deposit policy registered in: None

This journal has '224' articles

A New Approach to the Household Register of Lelang (樂浪) Commandery

A New Approach to the Household Register of Lelang (樂浪) Commandery

Authors: Dae-Jae Park
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

The household register of Lelang Commandery first revealed in North Korea in 2006 is comprised of wooden tablets that contain detailed information on the number of households of 25 counties in Lelang Commandery. By exploring the nature of kiho (其戶), an item found at the end of the household register of Lelang Commandery, this study illustrates the fact that there were regional distinctions between the 18 counties of the central region and the seven counties of Yŏngdong. Kiho refers to the households in eighteen counties, of the total households in Lelang Commandery, excluding the seven counties of Yŏngdong. This demonstrates that the 18 counties in the central region had been under the direct control of the governor of Lelang, while the seven Yŏngong counties were under the jurisdiction of the commandant headquarters of the Eastern Section, an office that was established separately to govern the seven counties. At the same time, this article also notes that the number of households in all 25 counties of Lelang Commandery was recorded together on the document, as this meant that the administrative jurisdiction of the governor of Lelang included all 25 counties, including the seven Yŏngdong counties. Since the commandant headquarters of the Eastern Section were a military office under the command of the governor of Lelang Commandery, the seven Yŏngdong counties were also under the governor’s administrative control. Therefore the seven Yŏngdong counties can be understood as a region governed indirectly by the governor of Lelang and directly by the commandant headquarters of the Eastern Section.

Keywords: Lelang Commandery (樂浪郡), household register (戶口簿), seven counties of Yŏngdong (嶺東 7縣), inner commandery (內郡), frontier commandery (邊郡), section commandants (部都尉), commandery commandant (郡都尉), governor of Lelang (樂浪太守), Commandant of the Eastern Section (東部都尉)
An Analysis on the Contents of the Stele of Koguryŏ in Ji’an with Regard to Koguryŏ’s Reorganization of Sumyoje

An Analysis on the Contents of the Stele of Koguryŏ in Ji’an with Regard to Koguryŏ’s Reorganization of Sumyoje

Authors: Jong-Rok Lee
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

Despite a considerable amount of research focused on Koguryŏ’s Sumyoje (守墓制), there are many unsolved issues regarding the characteristics of the custodians of the royal tombs because the Stele of King Kwanggaet’o has been the only source to examine the system. In this sense, the Stele of Koguryŏ in Ji’an (集安高句麗碑; Chiban Koguryŏbi in Korean),” found in 2012, provides an opportunity to reinterpret the system, drawing scholarly attention to Koguryŏ’s Sumyoje again. Although the date and purpose of the stele is still amidst debate, historians generally agree that the purpose of the stele is related to the custodians for the royal tombs. Naturally, most of the recent articles on the newfound stele have addressed this system, broadening our perspective on Koguryŏ’s domestic administration. This paper, based on the interpretations and arguments of previous studies, argues that the Stele of Koguryŏ in Ji’an was a part of Koguryŏ’s general policy to reorganize their control over their inhabitants and overcome the shortage of manpower. Under the hypothesis that “selling and buying” the custodians and, ultimately, statute labors had been habitually practiced in Koguryŏ before this time, it is possible that the ruling class of Koguryŏ recognized the necessity to forbid this custom around the fourth century as the kingdom suffered a shortage of manpower especially after the continuous wars against the Yan dynasty and Paekche.

Keywords: the Stele of Koguryŏ in Ji’an, the Stele of King Kwanggaet’o, Sumyoje, King Kwanggaet’o, statute labor, centralized government system
The Native Origins of the Paekche Refugee Ye (禰) Family and the Background of Their Activities in the Tang Dynasty

The Native Origins of the Paekche Refugee Ye (禰) Family and the Background of Their Activities in the Tang Dynasty

Authors: Dongmin Lim
( 25 downloads)
Abstract

The excavation of Paekche refugee epitaphs has increased in the 21st century. Among them, the epitaphs of the Ye (禰) family are valuable materials to understand the fall of Paekche, Paekche refugee activity, and their native origins. However, all of the Ye family epitaphs contain different stories about their native origins. More specifically, the native origin and ancestors of the Ye family became more detailed and Sinicized over time. The record of their ancestors is likely to have been fabricated for the future survival of the descendants in the Tang. Although the exact native origin is not clear, it is almost certain that the Ye family lived in Paekche since at least the sixth century and had already become accustomed to Paekche language and culture. With this understanding, it is remarkable how they could have been active in the Tang, just after surrendering, and not in Silla. It was natural for Paekche officials to yield to the Tang because of the situation in both the Tang and Silla. However, other factors related to Paekche were also important. Because Paekche had maintained its cosmopolitan and open attitude coupled with their familiarity with the Chinese language and culture, the Ye family could emigrate to the Tang and hold high status in various fields in East Asia.

Keywords: Paekche refugee, the epitaphs of Paekche refugee, Ye (禰) family, the epitaphs of Ye family, Ye Sikchin, Ye Gun, Ye Sosa, Ye Insu
A Study of Past Research on Sŏngsan Fortress Wooden Tablets and an Examination of Exacavated Wooden Tablet Documents

A Study of Past Research on Sŏngsan Fortress Wooden Tablets and an Examination of Exacavated Wooden Tablet Documents

Authors: Nari Kang
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

This paper examines past research on wooden tablets (mokkan) excavated from Sŏngsan Fortress in Haman and attempts to provide a new interpretation of wooden tablet documents (munsŏ mokkan) that have been recently discovered. Up until last year (2016), a total of 314 wooden tablets have been excavated from Sŏngsan Fortress in Haman. They were produced in various regions around the mid-sixth century. Most were wooden tablet labels (hach’al mokkan), which contained the following information in the same format: “place name, person’s name, item, and the amount of items.” The place names found on the wooden tablets were under the jurisdiction of Sangju (上州), showing that Silla administered the territories that once belonged to Kaya and collected taxes from different regions, which were brought to Haman through the waterways of the Nakdong River. The discovery of additional wooden tablets has advanced the understanding of the structure and nature of ch’on (village, 村) as well as the meaning of “負” (pu), and intensified the debate on the nature of noin (奴人). It was also possible to speculate on the state of society in Silla through the recently discovered wooden tablets, 17-No. 1 and Chajŏn-No. 221. This study was able to confirm that “taebŏp” (代法) was a stipulation on the length of statute labor workers performed for each rotation, and that workers were mobilized for the construction of Sŏngsan Fortress for 60 days at a time. Moreover, this study speculates that the labor mobilization system, whose basic unit was ch’on, was already established in the mid-sixth century, and that the document administration of regional governments in Silla were in practice as well.

Keywords: Sǒngsan Fortress in Haman, mokkan, wooden tablets, hach’al, labels, munsǒ mokkan, wooden tablet documents, mandate, fundamental laws, and statute labor
Institutionalizing Japan’s Relief System for Repatriates: Koreans and Japanese at Hakata Port in 1945

Institutionalizing Japan’s Relief System for Repatriates: Koreans and Japanese at Hakata Port in 1945

Authors: Youngho Choi
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

This research focuses on the formation process of the relief system for repatriates at Hakata port, located in Fukuoka prefecture during the first three months, after the unconditional surrender by the Japanese Imperial Government on August 14, 1945, until the establishment of the Interim Office for Repatriates in Fukuoka on November 15. It highlights the ethnic discrimination by Japanese officers displayed to Korean returnees. In comparison with Japanese repatriates, Korean returnees faced challenging health conditions with respect to transport, shelter, nutrition, inspection and other basic services. Before the arrival of the local occupation forces in the port, Korean repatriates had to bear systematic discrimination by the Japanese government, the Government General of Chosŏn, and the Fukuoka Prefectural government.

Keywords: Repatriates, Hakata, Fukuoka, Government General of Chosŏn, SCAP, Interim Office for Repatriates
The Ancient State of Puyŏ in Northeast Asia: Archeology and Historical Memory. By Mark E. Byington. Cambridge and London: Harvard University East Asia Center, 2016. xv + 398 pp. [ISBN: 9780674737198]

The Ancient State of Puyŏ in Northeast Asia: Archeology and Historical Memory. By Mark E. Byington. Cambridge and London: Harvard University East Asia Center, 2016. xv + 398 pp. [ISBN: 9780674737198]

Authors: Richard D. McBride
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

The early history of Northeast Asia, particularly the region conventionally referred to as “Manchuria,” has a long and complex relationship with the polities, peoples, states, and cultures of the nation-states now commonly referred to as “Korea” and “China.” The ancient history of Manchuria, and especially the cultural affiliation of the early states and polities that existed there in the remote past, has recently been a topic of energetic debate among East Asian politicians and scholars, particularly since the People’s Republic of China launched the Northeast Project (Dongbei Gongcheng, 東北工程) in 2001 and the Republic of Korea responded by creating the Northeast Asia History Foundation (Tongbuga Yŏksa Chaedan, 東北亞歷史財團) in 2006. Mark Byington’s monograph on the ancient state of Puyŏ is a careful and detailed study of the archeology and historiography of the early Manchurian state Puyŏ, which was traditionally claimed by Koguryŏ (trad., 37 BCE–668 CE) in its founding legend and Paekche (trad., 18 BCE–660 CE) as the surname of its ruling family, and thus by later Korean historians as one of the mainsprings of the ancient Korean people. This monograph, based on his 2003 Ph.D. dissertation, gets at the heart of the academic issues surrounding the Puyŏ people by examining the evidence, both archeological and historiographical, in a balanced, exacting, and critical manner.

Keywords: Northeast Asia, Archeology, Historical Memory
Coming Home: Finding Our Space of Innocence Through Sagŭk Films

Coming Home: Finding Our Space of Innocence Through Sagŭk Films

Authors: Saena Dozier
( 13 downloads)
Abstract

The emergence of South Korea as an economic super power has coincided with the rise in popularity of the sagŭk film genre. This is surprising because, for decades, sagŭk, a genre of film set in the premodern era based on real historical events and the lives of actual historical figures albeit blended with strong fictional elements, has been marginalized and dismissed as a “dead genre.” In this review, I discuss the dominating operative mode of the sagŭk films, melodrama, and its essential feature of a “space of innocence” to explain its role in resuscitating the sagŭk film genre. I argue that organically emerging spaces of innocence within the diegesis of sagŭk film contributes to its becoming not only commercially viable but also one of the most popular genres in South Korea as well as outside of Korea, garnering global recognition.1 The space of innocence within the diegesis of recent South Korean sagŭk films is noteworthy in that, unlike a traditional definition, it is not bound to a particular space or time. Instead, an original status of virtue and innocence is manifested in personages in historical fiction. People who are historical and fictional characters in sagŭk films become the space of innocence. Contemporary sagŭk films elucidate the ideal humanness within people of the imaginary past, making them the locus of virtue. Ideal humanness in the characters then shapes and governs all human relations and social interactions in the diegetic world of the film. These relationships are among kings and subjects, family members, lovers, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. By doing so, the sagŭk films present desirable human qualities as a space of innocence which is no longer available in a late capitalistic society such as South Korea. At the same time, these idealized traits offer pleasure to audiences who see a restoration of innocence in humanness—something contemporary viewers imagine to be forever lost living under what Rob Wilson calls the “killer capitalistic” society of South Korea.2 With the analysis of a space of innocence as foundational to sagŭk phenomenon, I also demystify and redefine the notion of nostalgia and discuss how nostalgia is expressed in contemporary sagŭk films. With melodrama, nostalgia fundamentally shares the substantive desire to return to a space of innocence, idealized in one’s imagination among possible social interactions within a collective community. This ideal state, as I define in this review, supposedly existed in rural communities before the urban degradation of a late capitalistic society.

Keywords: Coming Home, Innocence Through Sagŭk Films
Editor’s Introduction: Papers from the 2017 Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference in conjunction with the AAS-in-Asia Conference

Editor’s Introduction: Papers from the 2017 Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference in conjunction with the AAS-in-Asia Conference

Authors: Leighanne K. Yuh
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

The February 2018 special issue features articles based on presentations at the 2017 Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference in conjunction with the Association of Asian Studies-in-Asia Conference held at Korea University in Seoul. Inspired by similar conferences in the United States, the graduate students of the Korean History department have organized and sponsored a graduate student conference (the KUKH Graduate Student Conference) for the last four years. Our department is extremely supportive of graduate student work, the exchange of scholarly ideas (especially at the junior level), and up and coming scholarship. As a result of growing interest and support, 57 students from 13 different countries participated in the 2017 graduate student conference. Since the AAS in Asia conference did not accept individual papers, there were many graduate students who wanted to participate but were unable to form a full panel. As a result, these students asked to participate in the KUKH Graduate Student Conference, or join the panels of our Korean History department graduate students. Instead of operating in competition, we believed it would be more constructive to hold an Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference in conjunction with the AAS in Asia conference. Rather than focus on Korean history, we accommodated a broader scope to include Asian Studies in general, and asked students to present on topics related to the AAS in Asia “Beyond Borders and Boundaries” theme. After reviewing the 94 applications, the graduate student organizers grouped together relevant papers to make panels. As a result, 18 students participated in the East Asian History session, 19 students participated in the Korean Literature, Language and Culture session, and 20 students presented in the Chinese and Japanese Studies session.

Keywords: Editor’s Introduction, Graduate Student
Ukanju and the Changing Political Order of Northeastern Asia in the 17th Century

Ukanju and the Changing Political Order of Northeastern Asia in the 17th Century

Authors: Meng Heng Lee
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

For decades, historians defined the ukanju, also known as taoren (逃人) in the Chinese-language archives of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911A.C.), as the Manchu’s ethnic Han-Chinese slaves or escapees. However, this definition fails to explain why ukanju served as the catalyst for the Manchu invasions of Chosŏn in 1627 and 1636 and why so many ukanju with considerable ethnic diversity emerged in the first half of the 17th century. Also, the question of what roles the ukanju played in the Ming-Qing transition (1616–1644 A.C.) is still unexplored. In this essay, I will redefine ukanju as, rather than merely slaves, a person or group of people who fled from their own country to another place (or crossed the borders). I will also point out the overlooked relationship between the ukanju and the transition of the political order in Northeastern Asia during the 17th century – including the reversal of outcomes in battles between the Qing and the Ming, the legal shift regarding state boundaries and the act of fleeing in the Chosŏn legal code. To achieve this goal, I will utilize Manchu archives as well as Qing and Chosŏn archives written in classical Chinese as the main sources of this essay. This study, therefore, contributes to Korean and Chinese history, international relations in pre-modern Northeastern Asia, and Manchu studies.

Keywords: ukanju, fleeing, border-crossing, international relations in pre-modern Northeastern Asia
An Unfulfilled Expectation: Britain’s Response to the Question of Korean Independence, 1903-1905

An Unfulfilled Expectation: Britain’s Response to the Question of Korean Independence, 1903-1905

Authors: Euy Suk Kwon
( 11 downloads)
Abstract

This article examines Britain’s response to the question of Korean independence amid Russo-Japanese rivalry between 1903 and 1905. Russo-Japanese tension reached its peak when Russians unilaterally seized and fortified Yongampo in 1903. Britain expected Korea to check the Russian penetration by opening Yongampo and the Yalu River to foreign commerce, but Korea delayed the opening until the country fell under Japanese occupation in March 1904. Korea’s reluctance to open the river also made Britain suspect Korea’s declaration of neutrality. Therefore, when the Russo-Japanese War broke out, Britain acted in cooperation with Japan when they forced Korea to accept Japanese control. Furthermore, since Korea failed to modernise the government, Britain believed that the country should be placed under the control of Japan. Although Kojong and the Korean government were seeking Britain’s support for the integrity of Korea, Britain approved Japan’s plan to make Korea a protectorate and tried to secure their commercial interest in the country.

Keywords: Anglo-Korean Relations, Kojong, Korea, Britain, British Foreign Policy, Korean Foreign Policy, Anglo-Japanese Alliance, Russo-Japanese War, Korean Independence, Korean Neutrality
“A Thorough Study of the Spanish Influenza”: How Japanese Party Politics and Ministerial Conflicts Reduced the Pandemic

“A Thorough Study of the Spanish Influenza”: How Japanese Party Politics and Ministerial Conflicts Reduced the Pandemic

Authors: Juhee Kang
( 14 downloads)
Abstract

When the Spanish Influenza hit Japan from 1918 to 1920, it revealed deep cleavages within the governmental ministries as well as in the scientific community. It posed an incomprehensible problem while causing massive demographic damage that the existing system of emergency protocols could contain. To redress the situation, in 1920, Matsushita Teiji, a former physician and a non-partisan member at the 43rd House of Representatives, proposed to establish a research institute dedicated to the study of the flu. The proposal resulted in the formation of a special committee with most of its discussants prominent members of the scientific community. Yet, over the five meetings the committee held, the committee reduced its mission from building an institute to conducting “a thorough study.” The catastrophe, comparable to a natural disaster worsened by the lack of a preventive system, was rendered into a social problem that merely required a “study” to find solutions. By reconstructing the skirmishes at the committee meetings and the relationships among the discussants, this paper shows how the reduction took place within the context of 1920s’ party politics and the bureaucratic system managing medical science. Contrary to the façade of structural stability that some historians and itself promoted, the Japanese state in the story of the Spanish Influenza exhibits a wobbly amalgam of fragmentary party interests and incoherent ministerial authorities.

Keywords: Japanese Empire, Spanish Influenza, Infectious Disease Prevention, Party Politics, Medical Inspection
The Endeavour to Revise Unequal Treaties in East Asia in the Early 1880s

The Endeavour to Revise Unequal Treaties in East Asia in the Early 1880s

Authors: Seunghoon Han
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

This article aims to identify possible changes in the East Asian unequal treaty system in the early 1880s. In 1880, Korea confirmed that China and Japan had suffered from economic damage due to the loss of 5 percent import duty rate and tariff autonomy, and that Japan was preparing the Western powers to revise treaties. Therefore, Korea drafted a treaty that guaranteed the tariff rate of 10% on major imports and Korea’s tariff autonomy based on Japan’s draft of a treaties revision toward Western powers. China, which mediated the settlement of the treaties between Korea and Western powers, secured Korea with an import tariff rate of 10–30 % and tariff autonomy. However, China applied a 5 percent import tariff to Korea, which was in effect in China and Japan, through Regulations for Maritime and Overland Trade between Chinese and Korean Subjects (1882). Japan also applied an import tariff of 8 percent and denied Korea’s tariff autonomy in regulations under which Japanese trade is to be conducted in Korea (1883). In the extension, Korea and Britain set a tariff rate of 7.5 % on major imports in the second Korea-Britain Treaty (1883). The 7.5% tariff was higher than the 5% tariff in China and Japan. However, the 7.5% tariff was the amount of the import duties and transit duties of China combined. Although Japan imposed only a 5% tariff, she strictly prohibited Westerners’ trade in areas other than the open ports. On the other hand, according to the second Korea-Britain Treaty, Korea imposed a tariff of 5 % and 7.5 % on most imports. The average tariff applied in Korea was only about 7%. Furthermore, Westerners in Korea were free to trade in all areas as well as open ports. The possibility of revising the East Asian unequal treaty system, which was proposed since 1880, ended up being disadvantageous to Korea.

Keywords: unequal treaty system in East Asia, import tariff, tariff autonomy, Regulations for Maritime and Overland Trade between Chinese and Korean Subjects (1882), Regulations under which Japanese trade is to be conducted in Korea (1883), the second Korea-Britain Treaty (1883)
King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea. By Blaine Harden. New York: Viking, 2017. 260 pp. [9780525429937]

King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea. By Blaine Harden. New York: Viking, 2017. 260 pp. [9780525429937]

Authors: John Cussen
( 12 downloads)
Abstract

Journalist Blaine Harden’s exposé-like biography of the curiously forgotten black-ops phenom who led for the whole of the Korean War the most successful of the United States’ counter-intelligence operations takes as its premise the War’s revisionist history as advocated by historians Bruce Cumings, Jon Halliday, Sahr Conway-Lanz, Su-kyoung Hwang and others, as well as by social historians Hoenik Kwon and Dong Choon Kim. The latter pair would remind us that in the Republic of Korea, where the Korean War narrative overlays the nation-state’s foundation story, imprudent unto reckless through the mid-1990s would have been any South Korean’s recalling in public either the Autumn Uprising of 1946 or the Jeju Massacre of 1948—two of several pre-War/War events in which many, many thousands of alleged Communists and supposed North-sympathizers were put to death by police and right wing paramilitaries in the loose employ, first, of the United States Military Government in Korea (1945–1948) and, later, of the nascent Republic of Korea. Similarly, the former group would remind us of War events such as the No Gun Ri Massacre of 1950, a diabolically tricky bridge-underpass incident in the early War in which some 300 Korean refugees were gunned down by American ground troops. Also, the revisionists would have us recall the United States’ apocalyptic carpet bombing of North Korea for much of the War’s three years and that sustained act of wartime non-restraint’s preposterously faint recording in the mainstream American memory. About the protagonist of Harden’s book, I’ll say first that he was present in his official military capacity as a counter-intelligence officer at several of the fratricidal pre-War/War massacres recalled by the above named social historians. He was, too, I’ll say second about him, an agent of the carpet bombing insisted upon by the revisionists, for it was he who most successfully supplied the bombers with their targets. Thirdly, I’ll say about him that at the end of the seventeen years during which he served without scruple and without discernible concern for life or limb the American military’s missions in two Asian wars, he was spirited off the last Korean base on which he served in a straightjacket. Next, he was forcibly removed to a succession of military psych wards, and, lastly, he was subjected for several months to anti-psychotic chemical medications in their maximum dosages, as well as to electroshock therapy. Once released, this former black-ops savant now set adrift would tell his family members that these treatments were “not health care,” but, instead, the government’s efforts “to erase his brain—because he knew too much” (165). What he knew and what he did, as well as the nature of Kurtz-like person that he was—these are the subjects of Harden’s generously researched and ably told inquiry.

Keywords: King of Spies, Dark Reign, America’s Spymaster
Hawaii, Cannes, and Los Angeles: Projecting South Korean Cinema to the World

Hawaii, Cannes, and Los Angeles: Projecting South Korean Cinema to the World

Authors: Sangjoon Lee
( 11 downloads)
Abstract

In summer 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens dominated the box office in virtually every major film market on the planet. There were, however, two notable exceptions. Patrick Brezeski (The Hollywood Reporter) points out two markets where the force was not strong enough to hold local audiences – Vietnam and South Korea. At the South Korea box office, CJ Entertainment’s mountaineering adventure drama The Himalayas (Himallaya, 2015) outperformed The Force Awakens. Vietnam’s Star Wars-beating movie was, interestingly enough, Sweet 20 (Em là bà nội của anh), a remake of 2014 South Korean hit Miss Granny (Susanghan Kŭnyŏ). It was indeed a second regional remake. The Chinese version came first, only ten months earlier, with the title of 20 Once Again (Chóng fǎn èrshí suì, 2015). Surprisingly, all three versions were also produced (or co-produced) by CJ Entertainment, South Korea’s media giant. Brezeski, thus, concluded his article with this line: “If there’s any force to rival The Force, it might be just be the so-called “Hallyu, or Korean pop culture wave, which continues to dictate trends across much of Asia.”1 Certainly, South Korean cinema has been one of the most striking case studies of non-Western cinema success stories in the age of the neo-liberal world order where Hollywood dominates the global movie consumer’s mind, heart, and soul. Under the tsunami of the US products over the world’s media marketplace, South Korean cinema has successfully defended itself. A little more than a decade ago, New York-based film magazine Film Comment had its first special issue on South Korean cinema – “Korean Prospects: Inside an Asian Cinema Powerhouse.” Chuck Stephens, special issue editor, proclaims that South Korean cinema has undergone “one of the greatest renaissances in global filmmaking the world has ever seen.”2 As Stephens applauds, in 2001 South Korea became the first film industry in recent history to reclaim its domestic market back from Hollywood, and in 2006 local films had a 67% market share, the highest such figures in the world, except America and India. Moreover, adding to this film industry success story, the high-quality South Korean local product flowed outward to global film markets to connect with international audiences both in commercial cinemas, art theatres, and at major international film festivals. Pak Ch’anuk (Park Chan-wook)’s Oldboy (Oltŭboi, 2003) received the Grand Prix at the Cannes in 2003. Kim Kitŏk (Kim Ki-duk), on the other hand, had great success in Venice and Berlin with his idiosyncratic art-house cinematic works such as The Isle (Sŏm, 2000), 3-Iron (Pinjip, 2004), and, more recently, Pieta (P’iet’a, 2012). Other breakthrough auteurs, art-house and genre-bending specialists alike followed: Hong Sang-su, Lee Chang-dong, Im Sang-su, Kim Ji-un, Ryu Seung-wan, Bong Joon-ho, and Kim Dong-won. The aim of this short survey essay is to rediscover and reevaluate a history of contemporary South Korean cinema, the ways in which South Korean cinema has been curated, exhibited, and received in the West through international film festival circuits, art houses, and specialized theatre chains in North America and, to some extent, Europe. This essay begins with the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) in the early 1980s where South Korean cinema was „discovered’ by Anglophone film critics and academics for the first time and folds the discussion in the mid-2000s when South Korean cinema had finally become a fixture of the international film festivals after getting critical acclaims of celebrated auteurs.

Keywords: Hawaii, Cannes, Los Angeles, Projecting, Korean Cinema

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