South Korea's Lost Decade

Among the common comparisons between South Korea's economy and that of Japan, a question is occasionally posed: will Korea face a similar scenario to Japan's 'lost decade' of economic stagnation? The answer is usually that despite the similarities between the two economies, Korea won't suffer the same fate as Japan. But while Korea's economy has continued to grow uninterrupted for the last decade, it has arguably paid an opportunity cost for a failure to make fundamental changes that are needed to ensure longer-term growth.

Paradise lost of two Korean Americans: Alice Hyun and Wellington Chung, crushed by cold war regimes

This is a story of two Korean Americans who were US citizens but wanted to join the Korean independence movement during the colonial period. Alice Hyun was known as a so-called “US spy” and “Korea’s Mata Hari” by South and North Korea. She was known as the first lover of famous Korean communist Park Hon Young during his stay in Shanghai in the early 1920s. She was involved in the Korean independence movement and became a communist. She served in the US Army during the Pacific War and joined the US Army Forces in Korea after World War II.

From the First Tram to Korea’s Modern Day Transport System

Transportation played a very important role in Korea’s economic growth during the 20th century. It developed as rapidly as the economy, and today Korea’s cities have some of the most efficient public transport systems in the world. This lecture will take the audience through how public transport developed from the first trams in Seoul to today’s subway systems, and conclude by looking at what the future holds.

The Comfort Women of WWII

Who were they? Sex slaves, prostitutes, or kidnapped girls forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers? Since their stories jumped into the spotlight in the early 1990s—after over forty years of silence—controversies have embroiled the issue. Conflicting conjectures continue. How many comfort women were there? What were their lives like before, during, and after their time as comfort women? How should we teach future generations about this chapter of WWII history?

Bhutan 2017

Join the RAS on our overseas excursion to Bhutan during the Lunar New Year's Holiday next year! Our very first trip to Bhutan, we have put much effort putting this together. Many thanks go out to Tom Coyner, who will be leading this tour. 

*The price of this excursion includes a round trip ticket from Incheon to Bangkok. You may wish to join us in Bangkok, in which case your price will be reduced by the cost of the airfare. 


Pictures from the Past – the charm and revelations of historic Korean postcards

Historic picture postcards comprise one of the largest sources of visual images of traditional and modernizing Korea. Especially those published between 1900 and the 1940s give us fascinating looks at Korean life and society of the time. As it happens, they also they provide a rich body of images that document the Japanese occupation.

CONFIRMED - (NOTE: itinerary change) Museum of Shamanism and Yongam-sa Temple

The abbot of Jinkwansa passed away a few days ago so we will go to Young Am Sa or the "Dragon Rock Temple," which is also located in Bukan Mountain Fortress National Park, instead. To avoid walking in hot and rainy weather, we will go by taxi from the Shamanism Museum and return to Gupabal subway station by around 6 pm. The following is a note passed to us by the tour leader himself. 


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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
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