Korean History


Professional Vita
Book Discussion



New: Most recent article on Korean History (unpublished): The Great Korean Gender Shift


Under the Black Umbrella  unblkumbcov.jpg (35808 bytes)            

Voices from Colonial Korea, 1910-1945

                     by Hildi Kang

         Accessible and attractive narratives, linked by brief historical overviews, provide a large and fully textured view of Korea under Japanese rule. Looking past racial hatred and repression, Kang reveals small acts of resistance carried out by Koreans, as well as gestures of fairness by Japanese colonizers. Impressive for the history it recovers and preserves, this book is a candid, human account of a complicated time in a contested place. The rich and varied life stories invigorates a period of Korean history long shrouded in the silence of those who endured under the “black umbrella” of Japanese colonial rule.

This book is unique, in that it gives the lives of ordinary citizens who coped with the difficulties of these years. It fills a gap in the academic world, and the life stories make it accessible also to the general reader and to high schools in Asian studies and/or 20th century history.


ISBN 0-8014-3854-3

Cornell University Press, PO Box 6525, Ithaca, NY 14851-6525            $25.00

e-mail orderbook@cupserv.org



“The Politics of Ancestors: Korean Family Lineage Records”

in Korean Culture, Vol.17, no.3, Fall 1996,    p.32

    Korean genealogical records are a source of personal and family identity, an asset to culture, and a window into Korean history. These records, kept by every Korean family, are a microcosm of Korean history. While the search for ancestors in most countries is a personal sojourn, in Korea it became a political necessity. From modest beginnings, these records grew in size and importance until they took their place among the most complete and revered genealogies in the world.




“Hidden in Full View: Shamanism in Korea”

in Korean Culture, vol. 19, no.4, winter 1998.  p.23

  Many customs and art work understood simply as part of the broader Korean tradition are directly linked to this folk religion. Symbols of the faith exist in full view, yet they often go unrecognized even as they decorate folding screens, book covers, Buddhist temples, and packaging in grocery stores. Shamanic performances at the Korean Folk Museum or the Seoul National Theater bring the rituals into full view, yet the power of Shamanism remains hidden, experienced only by believers.