Exploring the People, Culture, and History of China’s Yanbian Korean Autonomous Region

While most people are familiar with both North and South Korea, not so many know about what has been coined the “Third Korea” - the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture (연변 조선족 자치주, 延边朝鲜族自治州). This region is located in Northeast China, next to the Russian Far East and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and is home to a sizeable Korean ethnic minority - mainly descendants of Korean migrants who arrived in 1860 and 1945.

God Pictures: Korean Shaman Paintings

In this presentation, a western anthropologist, a Korean folklore scholar, and a Korean art historian describe the different paths and interests that led them to collaborate on their recent book about Korean shaman paintings, God Pictures in Korean Contexts, published by the University of Hawai’i press.

Lecture Video: Solitary Sage


How did North Korea's rich and powerful live under Kim Il Sung, how do they live now?

The existence within North Korean society of a privileged group of elite families is a well-known fact. The elite became hereditary in the 1960s, and around the same time they developed a number of mechanisms whose goal would be to support that modestly privileged lifestyle. Now we see the emergence of a new class of wealthy families as a form of market economy takes root unofficially. These people are also eager to show their earthly success, and they are, generally, less modest than their predecessors.

(confirmed) Special Tour of the spectacular Yeongsan-jae Buddhist Ceremony At Bongwon-sa, one of Seoul’s Greatest Temples

The Korean Yeongsan-jae or literally “Vulture-Mountain Ceremony” is a religious performance-genre of its own, consisting of various arts such as music, dance, drama, literature and philosophy. It is rooted in classical Buddhism but has merged with diverse Korean traditions, becoming one of the most important and characteristic traditional Buddhist rituals in Korea.

(confirmed - taking registrations) Gangneung Excursion

This excursion will take us to see and be part of one of the most important remaining centres of traditional Korea’s culture, the City of Gangneung (Kangnŭng), wherein there are more well preserved Joseon (Chosŭn) period buildings and other cultural assets than most other parts of Korea.

(confirmed) Daehangno and Hyehwa-dong: An Architectural Walk

During this excursion of Daehangno and Hyehwa-dong, we will look at a variety of styles of Korean architecture in the 20th century. The excursion will begin around Marronnier Park, which were Seoul National University and its Japanese colonial forerunner, the Gyeongseong Imperial University were located. Several university buildings built during the colonial period still stand, including the former headquarters building which was designed by Park Kil-yong (1898-1943), a noted Korean architect during the colonial period.

Convenience for You: the Convenience Stores of Korea

This RASKB tour highlights Korea's rich history and heritage of convenience stores.

We will travel north to Paju to visit the newly constructed Convenience Store City, home to 250 convenience stores in an 875,000 square meter area. The first plans for Paju Convenience Store City were created in 1989 by a group of convenience store owners that would be based solely on the idea of convenience stores and their products, and that this model village would be the most convenient place in the world, built in harmony with the existing environment of the area.

(confirmed) Tea-making, temples and food in Jiri Mountain

Korean tea can only be made from late in April until the end of May. After that, the leaves of the tea bushes lose their flavor. This annual visit to an individual tea-maker offers a unique opportunity to participate in the processes by which tea is made, and to taste the freshly dried leaves in the beautiful surroundings of Jiri-san mountain, as well as sampling some delicious local food.

Politics in the Trenches: A Field Report from the 20th National Assembly Election

Extensive field work in the lead up to the 20th National Assembly Election (April 13, 2016) uncovers a complex system of games, gambits, and intrigue that occur out of the public eye, long before Korea's voters ever take to the voting booths. This talk will highlight the (not all negative) impacts and interactions of three informal structures, 1) camps, 2) factions, and 3) nomination patronage, on contemporary Korean electoral politics.


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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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