[KS] perspectives on Korean history

Eugene Y. Park parkey at benfranklin.hnet.uci.edu
Wed Dec 12 02:34:57 EST 2001

Dear List,

In the context of discussing Korea's ostensibly invasion-ridden past, 
I've noticed some list members totally underestimating the importance of 
Koguryo as an integral part of Korean history in the minds of most 
Korean people.  My intention here is not to argue for or against 
including Koguryo (and Parhae for that matter) as a part of Korean 
history.  Instead, I just want to point out that it's not just some 
nationalist Koreans who hold Koguryo dearly.

Gene Park

---------Included Message----------
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:27:10 -1000 (HST)
From: "Daniel Corey Kane" <dkane at hawaii.edu>
Reply-To: <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
To: <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Subject: Re: [KS] perspectives on Korean history

I've enjoyed the recent debate over Korea's ostensibly invasion-ridden
past.  I would have to agree with the general consensus that Korea's
history is certainly no more, and considerably less in fact,
invasion-ridden than that of other countries east and west. Neither,
however, did it have much of an expansionist past.  I don't think 
outside of some Korean nationalist historians, would equate Koguryo 
Korea though there are undeniably historical ties that bind them.  I
think most agree that the definition (as was brought up earlier I
think) of Korea as an invaded country was a line used heavily by 
historians of the colonial period attempting to display Korea's
historic passivity and impotence. However, not to dump everything on 
lap of "Japanese colonial historians" I have come across a lot of these
views of Korea as passive and invaded decades before the colonial era 
the writings of Westerners.

Related to this topic of invasion then one could also pose the question
then of whether Korea was a "hermit nation". Perhaps Prof. Peterson 
attack that one next?  In fact, the two categorizations, of Korea as 
invaded and isolated, seem contradictory don't they? Does anyone know 
origins of Korea's designation as hermit nation? I know it was still
being referred to as such on the eve of annexation over 30 years after
opening up!

---------End of Included Message----------

Eugene Y. Park
Assistant Professor of Korean History
University of California, Irvine
Department of History
Irvine, CA 92697-3275
Ph. (949) 824-5275
Fax (949) 824-2865

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list