Lillias Horton was a doctor who went to Korea in 1888 as a Christian humanitarian missionary, whereupon she married one of the first Presbyterian missionaries to land in Korea, Horace Underwood. They traveled throughout Korea for fifteen years, and were connected to the Korean court, having had several audiences with the Kojong and Queen Min. This memoir of her travels is revealing and important for its eyewitness viewpoint, provincial as it is, of Korea in an era so few Westerners were familiar with. They lived through and witnessed the Japanese incursion into Korea, Queen Min’s murder, and the ongoing jockeying of power between the king and his father the Daewongun, the Tonghak uprising, birth of the Independence movement via the Independence clubs—virtually the dawn of the end of the kingdom and the dawn of the Japanese occupation. Her point of view, while prejudicially reflective of the attitude of that era, and her eye for detail bring a unique and fascinating account of Korea at the end of the 19th century. She mentions the work of many early missionaries by name, the scope including translations of tracts, the bible, and creation of Korean-English dictionaries. She especially focuses on the many smaller towns they visited in their mission work, and the hardship of the lives of the women, the “unsanitary filth” of the homes and streets, the lack of medical care, and the hunger for Christian salvation. She describes mobs of villagers when they first traveled into the country, folks so eager to see the foreign lady that they would poke fingers into the paper windows to peek in. Like James Gale’s THE VANGUARD, this memoir is an important description of daily life in the hermit kingdom at a tumultuous time, and is the female version of the Western vanguard into Korea. © 1903/1908. American Tract Society.
Hamburger Gim-Bap/Bus 1147
hamburger gim-bap and bus 1147 are 2 vignettes from the Korean-American writer, Mi Soon Burzlaff’s new book titled “Bravo your Life”.
Terrorism and Love
When the first tower fell, so did I. My body went completely limp as I crumpled to the ground in shock and tears.
Race(ism) 101 – Reflections on the Sa-I-Gu LA Riots
“The ultimate world-historical significance–and oddity–of Los Angeles is that it has come to play the double role of utopia and dystopia for advanced civilization,” Mike Davis, City of Quartz.
I was driving home, listening to 92.3 The Beat, a hip-hop radio station, when the acquittal verdict for the three police officers charged in the Rodney King beating was announced by the DJ. This was a year or two before the takeover of The Beat by DJ Theo Mizuhara, his silky voice becoming synonymous with all things hip-hop. I wonder if he would have been able to calm the rage of his listeners, whether his Japanese-American background would have meant anything for those calling in to voice their outrage and pain. I can remember how the ever-present sun made it necessary for me to put down the sun visor even though I was wearing sunglasses. It’s funny how you remember such tiny details.
Summer Camping While Black
Any parent of a child in New York City knows, all too well, that it is ridiculously expensive to raise a child here.
Night Sessions, by David Cho
This wonderful book of poems evoked tears, laughter, admiration and wonder.
Everlasting Flower: A History of Korea, by Keith Pratt
Published in 2006, this history of Korea provides a broad perspective on the traditions, culture, ancient foundations and recent divide of the peninsula.
Korean Folk and Fairy Tales, Suzanne Crowder Han
A representative sampling of Korean storieswhich have been passed down from generation to generation through spoken and written traditions.
Peace Under Heaven by Ch’ae Man-Sik
The story occurs within two days, and is a tragicomedy of greed, ambition, egoism and miserliness of the protagonist, Master Yun, and how his family circle augments and exacerbates those pitiable characteristics.
Lost Names by Richard E. Kim
Describes the life of a Korean boy (the author)south of Pyongyang during the harshest era of the Japanese occupation, 1930-1945.