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Special Performance Information

Dear members and friends of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch,

You may recall that early in October a professor of dance named Ms. Park Eun-young presented a special re-enactment of a Joseon-era court performance in Changgyeonggung palace.

She will present the same dances, songs and ceremonies this coming Saturday December 8 at 6:00 pm in the 국립국악원 예악당 Yyeak-dang hall of the National Gugak Center, which is beside Seoul Arts Center (see here for directions)

There will be no charge for this performance. If you would like to attend, please send an email to Suzanna Samstag at jiyunsmom@hotmail.com

Best wishes

Brother Anthony

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RASKB Interview: Early Westerners in Korea & the RAS-KB

Patrick Wunderlich interviews Brother Anthony, president of the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch. We discuss early westerners in Korea from the 1880s until the end of the Korean War. We talk about who the early visitors were, why they came to Korea and life after the Japanese annexation of Korea.  The role of the RAS-KB in helping westerns learn about Korea is also discussed.

In part two, we conclude the interview by discussing the last westerners in Korea before the start of World War II and the first westerns who returned to Korea after the war. Thanks for listening.

Pictures From the Mountains of the Baekdu Daegan in North Korea

If you missed the wonderful lecture by Roger Shepherd, you can find his pictures on the Hike Korea flickr account.

During the lecture, Roger talked about his travels in North Korea and shared many stories about his adventures.

You can learn more about Roger Shepherd and Hike Korea by visiting www.hikekorea.com

An Interview with Brother Anthony: What is the RAS-KB?

Patrick Wunderlich talked with Brother Anthony, president of the RAS-KB, about what the RAS-KB is and why it is a great organization to join and support. They discussed tours, lectures, and how it has changed over the years. Please share this interview with anyone who may be interested in joining the RAS-KB.

Links to sites discussed in the interview:

More information about tours and lectures can be found at http://raskb.com/cultural_excursions and http://raskb.com/lectures

The annual journal, Transactions, is available online at http://raskb.inje.ac.kr/main/main2.php

RAS-KB Newsletter November 2012

Dear members and friends of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch

The weather is getting colder, winter is here! Before the end of the year, the RASKB is hoping you might be interested in one or other of our upcoming activities:

Tonight (Tuesday November 20) at 7:30pm Professor Hi-chun Park of Inha University will be talking about "Energy Policy in Korea with special attention to Nuclear Energy Policy" and it should be a most interesting lecture. Dr. Park has an outstanding record of work in this very important area of modern concern. He presided in 2001, 2003 and 2004 the Korea Resource Economics Association. He has been president of the Korean Petroleum Industry Development Forum and the Study Group on the Natural Gas Industry in Korea. And much more . . .

Next Tuesday (November 27) Roger Shepherd will be telling us about the three months he recently spent trecking across the Mountains of the Baekdu Daegan in North Korea, a follow-up to his exploration of the range in South Korea, about which he has already spoken to us and published a magnificent book.

On Tuesday December 11, to end the year's program, Jocelyn Clark will give us a lecture-concert of traditional Korean music, as she did last year, to great acclaim. She is a recognized exponent of the gayageum, as well as other forms of traditional music.

We are hoping to offer some excursions that are not too challenging in cold weather. This coming Saturday, November 24, Robert Fouser will lead a stroll along the Eastern Sections of the Seoul City Wall.

On Sunday, December 2, Ms. Sue Bae will lead a visit to 2 temples not very far from Seoul, Gakwon sa and Magok-sa, one modern and the other ancient. On Saturday December 8 she will lead a tour which she organizes every year, "Shopping Spree: a hodgepodge of culture, sightseeing and fun." It provides good chances to do some Christmas shopping.

Our Reading Group will meet on December 3, the Photography Group on December 5, and on December 19 we will enjoy another visit to one part of the National Museum of Korea. The National Museum visit tomorrow (November 21) will focus on the current magnificent exhibition of Goryeo Era celadon pottery, the largest ever held. It continues until December 16 and is well worth a visit. It is open until 9pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and (big secret!) almost nobody knows that, so you can enjoy peace and quiet in empty galleries.

I will be sending out more news about our 2013 program soon, and you can always find full information in our home page

I hope that you will find something of interest among these events and look forward to seeing you there.

With my best wishes

Brother Anthony
President, RASKB

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Brother Anthony Translating For Korean Poet Ko Un in England

Read about RASKB president Brother Anthony during his trip to England with Korean poet Ko Un. Brother Anthony has translated many of Ko Un's writings and is now translating for him in England.


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November with the RASKB

November with the RASKB

Dear members and friends of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch,

The year is hurrying toward its close, the next few weekends will be the last chance to get outside of Seoul and enjoy the beauties of Korean nature in autumn. Our excursions might be the ideal way of doing this. Once winter comes, it is still important to keep fit and since Korea is rarely snow-bound, some of our winter hikes offer some healthy exercise with minimal risk. But we will also try to organize some indoor events for greater ease.

Here are our upcoming events, excursions, lectures, study groups . . . . I look forward to seeing many of you at them. Please note that the first lecture is delayed by a week, since the room is not available on the customary 2nd Tuesday.

Visit our home page from time to time, especially the Blog! We are trying to keep it updated and improved.

With my best wishes

Brother Anthony
President, RASKB


Jiri-san and Namwon: A Journey into Korea's Scenic South Jeolla Province
Saturday, November 3 - Sunday, November 4, 2012
Leader: David Mason
The southern regions retain their autumn colors much later and this should be a splendid chance to enjoy natural beauty (with history, too) in balmy weather and with a truly expert leader!

Gilsang-sa Temple and the Korean Furniture Museum
Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 9:45am to 3:00pm
Leader: Mr. Song-Hyon Jang
The recently opened Furniture Museum has a unique collection housed in beautiful Korean buildings.

Old Incheon: A Walk through Korean History since 1876
Saturday, November 10, 2012 13:30-18:00
Leader: Dr. Robert J. Fouser
Delayed by a couple of weeks, this will be a highly instructive visit to an Incheon that most of us have never seen, with relics of the Japanese era, missionary buildings, and the Chinese quarter

KTX 1-day visit to Mokpo’s Japanese-era remains,
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 7:00am to 9:00pm
Leader: Robert Koehler
And going further afield, Mokpo also offers a considerable number of colonial-era buildings in fine condition that we can visit in a single day thanks to the speed of the KTX, with no risk of snarled traffic! And with the best guide one could hope to find!

Eastern Gyeongju Expedition
Saturday, November 17 - 8:00am to Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 8:00pm
Leader: Jennifer Flinn
Gyeongju has many sites that are often missed in standard tours. Jennifer lived here for a time, she will take us to some fascinating, less familiar locations. Usually the autumn colors linger here until late November, some years this weekend is the peak viewing time, it should be a spectacular weekend.

The eastern parts of Seoul City Wall
Saturday November 24
Leader: Robert Fouser
Walking along the wall, and tracing its course where it no longer exists, should give a different, deeper impression of Seoul's history.

Discovering Gakwon-sa temple, Magok-sa
Saturday December 1
Leader: Sue Bae
As winter starts, a short trip to visit a couple of fine temples, one new and one old.


(NB date 1 week later than usual !) Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 7:30 pm
Energy Policy in Korea with special attention to Nuclear Energy Policy
Hi-chun Park
There is a need for a radical reform in the energy market policy in Korea. A per capita energy consumption of over 5 tonnes of oil equivalent is too high. There is a need for radical measures to reduce energy consumption and, in turn, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This presentation will discuss various issues of the Korean energy policy such as energy pricing and nuclear energy development.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 7:30 pm
Mountains of the Baekdu Daegan in North and South Korea
Roger Shepherd
In recent months, Roger has been able to spend 3 months trecking and photographing in the North Korean part of the Baekdu Daegan. In 2013 he will publish a book about it. He will be giving a presentation for RASKB about his experiences there and what this book will mean to Korea.

Study Groups

RAS Reading Club
To learn about Korea and develop cultural literacy through reading works of Korean literature (in English translation). The next meeting will be on Monday November 12, reading “Gray Snowman” by Choe Yun. (See map in “Library” in our home page). All RASKB members are welcome.
Contact: Bob Fouser kagoshimabob@gmail.com

RAS Photo Special Interest Group
We are organizing a monthly photography special interest group, the RAS Photo SIG, to help people improve their photographic skills. Meetings are usually held once a month in the Inje University building. The next meeting will be on Wednesday Nov. 7th. (See map in “Library” in our home page).
Contact: Tom Coyner tom@softlandingkorea.com

National Museum of Korea: RASKB lecture-visit
*** This month's visit will be a very special one. The Museum is currently holding the largest exhibition of Goryeo-era celadons ever held anywhere. Some extremely rare pieces have been brought from overseas to join the national treasures still preserved in Korea. Tonight a member of the staff will provide a guided visit just for RASKB members. Those wishing to attend should send an email with the subject “National Museum Tour” to royalasiatickorea@gmail.com. The visit is limited to 20 people, on a first come first served basis.

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RAS-KB Book Sale Update

Dear members and friends of the RASKB

Our book sale has been very popular, many orders have already been received and are being processed! Some people have asked about coming to the office and seeing the books. This is certainly a good idea, also because the shelves in the office contain many books about Korea from other publishers that do not figure in our lists, books that we can also sell at reduced rates. The sale lasts until November 10. If you missed the first mailing, see here.

Since our staff cannot always be in the office, it is better if those wishing to come call ahead to make sure someone will be there. The phone number is (02) 763-9483 and the address of our office is Room # 611, Korea Christian Building, 136-46 Yeonji-dong, Jongno-ku, Seoul If you come by subway: Dark Blue Line (#1 Line), station #129 (Jongno 5 ga). Take exit #2 and proceed 100 meters straight ahead to the Korea Christian Building.

Here's a bargain that was not mentioned before. We can offer complete sets of our journal 'Transactions' in 2 formats. Volumes 1-30 are available in a reprint, 6 hard-backed books each containing 5 volumes. Volumes 31-86 are available either as individual paper-covered volumes as published or they can be bound without the covers in a hard-backed binding to match volumes 1-30. Complete set 1: Vols 1-30 bound, the rest unbound as published: US$450.

Complete set 2: Vols 1-85 bound hard-back US$650. Postage is extra of course, and the binding is done on receipt of the order, so will take a few days.

I hope this may be of interest.

With my thanks and best wishes

Brother Anthony
President, RASKB

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Daehangno and Hyehwa-dong Tour Recap

Last Saturday I attended the RAS-KB tour to Daehangno and Hyehwa-dong led by Dr. Robert Fouser. The tour was a combination of exploring hanoks (traditional houses) and architecture as well as discussing current real estate laws and policies. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the tour was learning about the future of traditional neighborhoods, government and corporate policies and redevelopment districts. Although our discussion was nothing short of enlightening, it was far too complicated and detailed to recap in any meaningful way here.

Aside from lively discussions, learning about the construction and maintenance of hanoks was a significant part of the tour. Throughout the excursion, Dr. Fouser showed participants which hanok exteriors were hand-build and which were machine-cut. We also learned about which pieces of wood are the most important in maintaining the structure of the hanok and how these houses are insulated.

Our group also discovered a few treasures during our excursion. Tucked away from the bustling areas and shopping streets we encountered earlier was the house of former Prime Minister Chang Myon. Although we were not able to enter the house due to ongoing renovation, we were still able to learn about the house’s different styles of architecture which includes both Japanese and Western styles. Its large and distinctive windows set it apart from other hanoks in Korea.

The tour concluded at another hidden gem, the house of Choi Sun-woo, a restored hanok maintained by the National Trust of Korea. The courtyard was simply amazing and is a must see for anyone seriously interested in seeing a wonderfully preserved hanok. Many members of the tour did not know about the house before attending the tour.

Pictures from this tour can be found on the RAS-KB Facebook page. Also, Dr. Fouser has recently started a blog about tours he has led. His blog can be found here.


By Patrick Wunderlich

RASKB October Program

Dear members and friends of the Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch

I hope you spent a happy Chuseok weekend? I was very glad to hear that nearly 40 of you attended Bob Fouser's guided walk through his beloved Seochon on Saturday. Next weekend's excursion to Andong has also proved to be very popular. Spending a night in a 'real' Korean house in rural Hahoe Village is in itself a special experience, and the entire program promises to be most rewarding. A large number attended the September lectures by Robert Provine and Kathryn Weathersby, it is a great encouragement to feel that you enjoy the lectures we provide.

In Korea there is a tradition that says the autumn is the best time for reading books. As you know, the RASKB has a considerable number of books for sale and we will soon be announcing a special autumn book sale to encourage you to build up a library of books about Korea.

We have begun work to redecorate and redesign our office, hoping that it will become a place you will enjoy visiting.

Please feel free to write to us with suggestions for our next year's activities, we hope to offer excursions to Japan, Mongolia and North-eastern China (including Baedu-san), and sometimes we will try to use trains to get away from Seoul for some of our trips in order to avoid the Saturday-morning gridlock.

I look forward to greeting many of you at one or other of the events listed below. The autumn is Korea's most beautiful season, I hope you will enjoy it to the full with us.

Brother Anthony
President, RASKB

Lectures (in the Residents' Lounge of Somerset Palace)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 7:30pm

Korea’s Responses to AIDS

Sister Miriam Cousins.

Sister Miriam will survey the situation regarding HIV/AIDS in Korea, both among Korean people and among foreigners. She has played a leading role in developing new forms of Christian ministry for PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS) and she will speak of her work in establishing shelters for people who have lost their jobs and been rejected by their families and communities because they have HIV/AIDS.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 7:30pm

Categorizing Migrants: the Making of Multicultural Society in South Korea

Daisy Y. Kim.

The Korean state and society have employed the language of multiculturalism to incorporate certain groups of migrants (migrant spouses), while excluding others (migrant workers) through deliberately constructed images and portrayals of migrants in the mass media as well as through politico-ideological apparatuses. By seeing how public and
private actors and institutions incorporate migrants in broader Korean society, this lecture explores ways of categorizing and labeling migrants and the consequences in the making of a multicultural society.

NB  In November, lectures will be held on Tuesday, November 20 and November 27


Daehangno and Hyehwa-dong: An Architectural Walk

Saturday, October 6, 2012: 13:00-16:30

Leader: Dr. Robert J. Fouser

Gangneung (Kangnŭng), Province of Gangwon-Do (Kangwŏn-Do)

Saturday-Sunday, October 13-14, 2012

Leader: Mr. Peter Bartholomew

Discovering Hangeul and King Sejong in the Center of Seoul

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Leader: Bob Fouser

Discovering Seoul’s Street Food

Wednesday, October 17

Leader: Jennifer Flinn

Seoraksan and Waterpia

Saturday-Sunday, October 20-21

Leader: Sue Bae

Fortress Wall of Bugaksan Hike

Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 9:00am to 12:00 noon

Leader: Ms. Won-Na Cha

Old Incheon: A Walk through Korean History since 1876

Saturday, October 27, 2012: 13:30-18:00

Leader: Dr. Robert J. Fouser

Jiri-san and Namwon: A Journey into Korea's Scenic South Jeolla Province

Saturday, November 3 - Sunday, November 4, 2012

Leader: David Mason

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Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 but we are short staffed and there are meetings elsewhere often: please call or email before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796
Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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