Education About Asia: Online Archives

Reading the Korean Cultural Landscape

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BY JE-HUN RYU
SEOUL AND ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY: HOLLYM. 2000
340 PAGES; 39 FIGURES; 49 PHOTOGRAPHS; MULTIPLE INDEXES

Je-Hun Ryu’s Reading the Korean Cultural Landscape provides an invaluable compendium of short essays on the cultural geography of southern Korea. The range of essays can be seen in the book’s five major sections: “Religious Landscapes” describes a variety of Buddhist, Confucian, Catholic, and Protestant imprints on the landscape of Korea; “Folk Landscapes” adds discussions of spirit halls, stones and pebble piles, and village rituals; “Linguistic Landscapes” addresses isoglosses, linguistic islands, and place names; “Rural Landscapes” provides discussion of elite (yangban) villages, folk housing, village forests, and the development of irrigation; and “Urban Landscapes” looks at both traditional and colonial imposition of order in several different cities.

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