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

koreana acta actakoreana at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 00:19:57 EDT 2009

Dear Yun Mi Hwang,

Cross-dressing has been seen in 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 *Kwanghallu akpu*, which was
written in Chinese by Yun, Talson in the latter part of the 19th century. A
verse of the poem narrates that the actor's appearance, who are dressed in
Ch'unhyang (the heroin of the Song of Ch'unhang), is awkward.
Yeonok Jang

2009/7/30 Clark W Sorensen <sangok at u.washington.edu>

> Clara,
> You might also consider that cross-dressing has been a regular feature in
> Korean shamanism since time immemorial. This includes female shamans
> manifesting male gods (in male clothing of course), and male shamans
> dressing in female clothing first, and then manifesting their gods (who are
> often male, making them double cross-dressers).
> Clark W. Sorensen
> On Wed, 29 Jul 2009, YM Clara Hwang wrote:
>> Dear members,
>> My questions are two-fold. First, I'm interested in reading more the rise
>> of feminine or soft mascuilnity in Korean context, portrayed in the popular
>> media. It seems to me the neither post-femininst mascuilinity or rise of new
>> men seen in the Western discourse nor the spread of Japanese manga (yaoi and
>> BL in particular) influencing the construction of new type of masculinity in
>> SK do not sufficiently explain this phenonenon. Have you come across any
>> scholarship that provides sound Korean socio-political context supported by
>> theoretical framework?
>> Second question, I was greatly intrigued by the representation of
>> cross-dressing in TV and films (King and the Clown, The Painter of the Wind,
>> Coffee Prince, etc), which of course intersects with the my first question
>> (and gender and queer theory). As far as I'm aware of Korea does not have
>> defining cultural tradition of transvestite theatres like Beijing opera or
>> Japanese Noh theatre. Or am I mis-informed? Is there any scholarship on the
>> tradition of cross-dressing in Korea?
>> Thank you.
>> Regards,
>> Yun Mi Hwang
>> PhD Candidate
>> University of St Andrews
>> ymh at st-andrews.ac.uk
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