[KS] soft-masculinity and cross-dressing in Korean context

koreana acta actakoreana at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 23:09:46 EDT 2009

Cross-dressing has been seen in some form of Korean drama.

Actresses, whose *yosong kukguk* (female drama troupe) was popular in the
1940s, used to take male parts wearing mens costumes.

Earlier example of cross-dressing is found in *Kwan'guk cholgu
sibisu*(twelve quatrains on viewing the theatre, 1826), written in
Chinese poem
style by Sin Wi. The fourth quatrain of the poem narrates a performance of *
Ch'unhyangga*. The clothing of the singer, who is dressed up as Ch'unhyang,
appears to be ill-gitting to the author. This suggests that Ch'unhyang's
part was performed by a male singer.
*Not only the appearance of her costume but also the holding of her fan is

The tradition of a man playing the part of a woman might have been continued
up to the time of the organisation *hyomnyulsa* (travelling performer's
group), which existed at the end of the 19th and early 20th century.

Yeonok Jang

2009년 7월 31일오전 9:50, Brother Anthony <ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr>님의 말:

> I was struck by an account of "grass-eaters / herbivores" -- effete young
> men in today's Japan -- in the Independent newspaper last month, readable at
> http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japans-generation-xx-1704155.html and it is striking that Korea is once again so similar to Japan in its
> social shifts. May be in some of China's big cities there might be something
> similar? I would have thought that cross-dressing would be a totally
> different topic, sociologically and psychologically, but this article ends
> with references to it. I was intrigued to learn of the Angel's Knee Pillow,
> of which I had not heard.
> Brother Anthony
> Sogang University, Seoul
> http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/
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