[KS] hanbok and fashion: the North skirts the issue

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Thu Nov 24 11:41:43 EST 2005

Dear Listmembers,

Inspired by, albeit not really answering, Katarzyna's question:

As ever, a Northern angle may be of interest. See below.

While in general Fox sucks, the fact that this was picked up and
carried by the ever-useful CanKor suggests the story is kosher.
I've yet to check it on Yonhap. Does anyone have direct access to
Joson Yosung? Does Brian Myers read this list?

One has long noted the gender asymmetry in these matters, and not
only in North Korea. Chaps may wear Western suits - but woman
must represent The Nation. (No doubt the postcolonialist crew have 
spotted this, and dressed it up in all sorts of fancy theory garb.)

In Seoul last month, I observed slightly more of both sexes than before
- but still only a handful - sporting modernized versions of traditional
Korean dress. Would that this catches on! Of all the baleful legacies of
Western imperialism, the grey suit is surely among the most tedious
(with the necktie adding that final touch of strangulation; wisely eschewed
by Israelis and Iranians - on this at least they agree - plus of course the 
ever casual Dear Leader, whose own dress sense scarcely qualifies
him to pontificate on matters of sartorial soundness).

On NK bossing women around, see further a recent KCNA item below.
(If Pyongyang publishes a Dr Spock equivalent, presumably it's called:
"Bringing Up Your Baby Bullet and Bomb"...)

Happy Thanksgiblets!
Aidan fc

Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University 

Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK 
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Fox News, 4 November 2005 


North Korea's communist government is urging women in the country to wear 
traditional Korean clothes instead of pants, according to a North Korean monthly 
magazine."Keeping alive our dress style is a very important political issue to 
adhere to specific national cultural traditions at a time when the US 
imperialists are manoeuvring to spread the rotten bourgeois lifestyle inside North 
Korea ," the Joson Yeosung (Woman) magazine said, according to South Korea's 
Yonhap news agency.

The magazine said exotic dress dampens the revolutionary atmosphere in 
society and blurs national sentiment and asked the public to reject clothes that 
aren't North Korean style. Instead, it counsels women to wear Hanbok - the 
brightly colored, loose-fitting dresses that are traditional in the Koreas. The 
campaign comes as North Korea struggles to tighten its control over an influx of 
outside influences, which it claims is part of a US psychological offensive 
aimed at toppling the communist regime -- a charge Washington denies.

Early this year, the North also launched a social campaign against men with 
long hair, calling them unhygienic, anti-socialist fools. The North, which 
demands unquestioning allegiance of its citizens and controls all media, has 
stepped up the ideological education of its people to counter outside influences. 
However, the country's loosely controlled border with China has led recently to 
increased traffic in smuggled recordings of music and videos from the 

[emphases added]

Papers Hail Opening of National Meeting of Mothers

Pyongyang, November 22 (KCNA) -- Pyongyang-based papers today warmly hail the 
opening of the 3rd national meeting of mothers here. The 1st national meeting 
of mothers took place in November 1961 in the presence of President Kim Il 
Sung and the 2nd meeting was held in 1998. The 3rd meeting will prove to be a 
historic meeting strikingly demonstrating the noble ideological and moral 
qualities of the mothers and other women in the DPRK united close around the 
headquarters of the revolution and mark a significant occasion in fully showcasing 
the revolutionary spirit of the Korean women who play a great role in the 
revolution and construction and in the training of the rising generation, Rodong 
Sinmun notes in an editorial, and goes on: 

The women have a very important task to fulfill as they are turning one of 
the wheels of revolution. 

The meeting will offer opportunities to widely introduce the examples and 
experience of those mothers who gave birth to many babies or took care of many 
orphans as they would do their own children and brought up them as human bullets 
and bombs, reliable pillars for building a great prosperous powerful nation 
and heroes and other women who have performed great feats assisting the army, 
the education of the rising generation, drive for building a great prosperous 
powerful nation. The meeting will give further momentum to the dynamic social 
movement for learning from them and help bring about a fresh turn in the 
education of the younger generation and markedly raise the role of the women as a 
mighty force for building a great prosperous powerful nation. The opening of the 
meeting is a clear proof of the great policy followed by the WPK to put the 
dignity of the mothers and other women on the highest level and take care of 
their destiny and future in a responsible manner. 

The editorial calls upon all mothers and other women to remain true to the 
Songun idea and policy, firmly uphold and thoroughly implement them and 
eternally glorify the country as a big harmonious family, its society as a society 
where the benevolent policy of leader Kim Jong Il is in full bloom. Minju Joson 
editorially calls upon all mothers and other women to bear their duties they 
have assumed before the revolution and times in mind and remain true to the 
Songun idea and leadership of Kim Jong Il and thus strikingly demonstrate the 
Korean women's wisdom and revolutionary stamina to the whole world.


In a message dated 24/11/2005 14:22:14 GMT Standard Time, 
K.J.Cwiertka at let.leidenuniv.nl writes:

> Subj:[KS] hanbok and fashion 
> Date:24/11/2005 14:22:14 GMT Standard Time
> From:K.J.Cwiertka at let.leidenuniv.nl
> Reply-to:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> To:Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
> Sent from the Internet 
> Dear colleagues,
> A friend of mine has a Korean student who is affiliated with the London 
> College of Fashion and has just begun working on the project 'Reframing Fashion 
> in Non-Western Contexts: Material Culture of Hanbok and Representation of 
> Western Dress in Korean Modern Fashion 1876-1950s'. Do you know of any research 
> in this area, or have other suggestions as for whom the student might contact 
> for advice?
> Thanks in advance.
> Katarzyna 
> Katarzyna J. Cwiertka, PhD 
> Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies 
> Leiden University 
> P.O. Box 9515 
> 2300 RA Leiden 
> The Netherlands 
> Tel.: +31-(0)71-5272599
> Fax: +31-(0)71-5272215 
> http://www.koreaans.leidenuniv.nl/index.php3?m=13&c=42 

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