Reading Note: Oleg Benesch, “Inventing the way of the Samurai: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Bushido in Modern Japan”

Before I praise Benesch’s book, a complaint: Oxford UP pricing is absurd. Now that’s not unusual for academic hardbacks, monographs that go to libraries and specialists. But 1) Benesch’s book should be a standard teaching text in modern Japanese history and culture, 2) there’s no reason for the ebook version to cost US$78. There are […]

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“Prosthetic Memories”

Seungsook Moon at Japan Focus has an interesting historiographical essay about the contested life and legacy of Park Chung Hee, who led Korea through the 60s and 70s. The debate is particularly interesting because it parallels discourses which are ongoing in other post-dictatorial societies, including the debates about Stalin in Russia, Mao and Deng in […]

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African mercenaries in Chosŏn

I meant to post a note on this interesting piece at the Oh My News website a couple of weeks ago, but other things intervened. It recounts the story of the black mercenaries who fought with the Ming troops in Chosŏn during the international war of the late sixteenth century (known as the Imjin waeran […]

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Thoughts on Yusin

Readers here might be interested in giving thoughts about a query and my comment regarding Yusin on the Korean Studies Discussion List by Dr. Alon Levkowitz. His query: I would like to consult the group about a word – Yushin (Yusin). Was the term Yushin for the yushin constitution under Park’s regime was chosen for […]

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