[KS] perspectives on Korean history

Robert Armstrong chonan99 at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 11 06:56:46 EST 2001

What exactly is an invasion?  Isn't it the conquest and holding of a land 
claimed by another?  I think that one "invasion" that we don't often think 
of is the Port Hamilton incident by the British.  Could we also claim that 
the Russian timber company on the Yalu River was an invasion?

>From: "Ted Han" <jangpa1 at hotmail.com>
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>Subject: Re: [KS] perspectives on Korean history
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>>The issue is this:  it drives me nuts to hear oft and o'er the bit
>>about how Korea has been invaded so many times.  There are so-called
>>scholarly studies that document several thousand "invasions" -- some
>>number them, 2,386, or whatever.
>>My take is, that such a view, though nearly universal, is a product
>>of recent, 20th century, events.  Looking at the long view, however,
>>aside from the Mongols in the 13th century, and the Hideyoshi
>>invasion in the late 16th century, you've got a culture of civilian,
>>not military dominance, and peace not war -- not a product of
>>multiple invasions.
>I have to partially agree with you. The concept of Yangban includes two
>sides of same coin: munban (literati or civilian) and muban (military). The
>16th century or later Korean dynasty's failure is not caused by the 
>dominance and/or despised military. To me, it was total inability for the
>Korean kingdom to deter foreign invasion.
>I know you are not implying, but some Korean historians interpreted/
>emphasized history that way in order to justify military dictatorship in
>It may be true that Korea does not have militaristic culture as systematic
>as Japan, but I don't think that lack of tradition invited or caused
>Ted Han
>Intercultural Institute of California
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