Recent excavations and research of the Imjin-Hantan River Area have furnished new data that presents a revised position on the age and technological characteristics of the palaeolithic industry. The initial date of hominid occupation is, if not earlier than, the later Middle Pleistocene. In addition, handaxes and associated small tools in the Imjin-Hantan River Area are predominantly bracketed into the OIS 5-3. Although several researchers suggest that the date of the Chongokni site falls in the later Middle Pleistocene, these new dates contradict the old notion that handaxe-based assemblages are chronologically equivalent to the Acheulian industry (or the Lower/Early palaeolithic technocomplexes). Rather, it is believed that the Imjin-Hantan River Area handaxe is not a direct output of either the hominid acculturation or technological transmission. The relatively simple and underdeveloped level of manufacturing technique suggests that this young handaxe might have been produced as a result of a provisional necessity in the demand for a reliable multi-purpose tool. This crude but instrumental tool-type persisted until new high-quality raw materials (obsidian and porphyry) began to be heavily exploited and the small-tool-dominant Upper Palaeolithic technology finally emerged during the terminal Pleistocene in this area.
In this article, I will examine the research history of subdivision/periodization of Korea’s Bronze Age and Japan’s Yayoi period and compare the methodologies of the two countries. The subdivisions of the Korean Bronze Age and the Japanese Yayoi period are similar in that they set changes in pottery as the basis, but show clear differences in their contents. The subdivision of the Korean Bronze Age set at first the changes in metalware and later the changes in pottery as the standard. However, after the concept of “types” was introduced, cultural epochs became the standard. Of course, periodization is initially done using material culture including pottery, followed by cultural interpretations of other archaeological aspects. However, it can be seen as a methodological limitation. The subdivision of the Japanese Yayoi period, however, used changes in pottery as the standard since the formation of Japanese archaeology. Whether good or bad, it is said to be the most important characteristic of Japanese archaeology. Of course, the idea is that classification is not simply based on changes in pottery form but includes changes in pottery types under the concept of “model,” but is limited in its actual application.
The processes and mechanisms of change in prehistoric social organizations are explored in archaeology. At the heart of the exploration are studies on the emergence of a regional-level complex social organization and political economy. The transition from the Early to Middle Bronze Age in centralwestern Korea witnessed social complexity and the utilization of intensive riceagricultural technology known as wet-rice farming. These two socioeconomic phenomena seem to have led to the first formation of a regional-scale political economy in Korean prehistory. I reconstruct a Middle Bronze Age sociopolitical organization based on regional settlement pattern data and suggest and compare two regional polities, each of which had a three-tiered settlement hierarchy and a substantial concentration of population in their centers within the research area of centralwestern Korea. Although these two polities mark an organizational similarity and geographical proximity, they show dissimilarity in their patterns of production and distribution of wet-rice. This difference is attributable to differing politico-economic interests of the elite who resided at the centers of the polities. That is, the elite of each polity had different strategies (one for tribute collection, the other for the direct management of agricultural production), but the same goal (funding their newly arising sociopolitical institutions) for sustaining the systems of political economy.
This paper focuses on the significance of production and exchange in Korean archaeology. While material culture in Korean archaeology has mainly been used as a means of designing temporal and spatial frameworks, new perspectives adopted in the research of production processes, production organization, and exchange contain great archaeological potential. Through recent excavations of production sites and pioneering studies of archaeological provenance, the study of production and exchange in Korean archaeology has begun to take place. This paper therefore presents, first, key issues concerning technology, production, and exchange in archaeological research. Second, key developments which have taken place in Korean archaeology regarding the study of production and exchange are examined, and new archaeological discoveries relevant to these issues are introduced. Finally, it is stressed that through the adoption of appropriate methods, the new perspectives examined in this paper can help archaeologists better understand the communities who manufactured, exchanged, and consumed material culture in ancient Korea.
Korean funerary archaeology in the last decade has witnessed the emergence of new interpretative approaches and methodological applications to burial contexts. This paper will consider some of the new and more notable research directions in Korean funerary studies. They include the understanding of burial contexts as a place of ritual practice, the interpretation of burials as a means of social reproduction, and the use of new units of analysis in the study of burial contexts. It is suggested that these new research trends also provide insight into the more general theoretical and methodological developments taking place within Korean archaeology, which include new perceptions of society and the archaeological record, as well as a diversification of units of analysis.
This paper investigates the soft power potential of the Korean wave. For that purpose, this paper combines a theoretical discussion of soft power with a descriptive analysis of the Korean wave. The theoretical discussion of soft power, however, differs from that of Joseph Nye’s in that this paper broadens the category of soft power into five categories in accordance with the specific goals which are achievable with soft power. The author also develops various soft power strategies to achieve those specific goals. The conceptual framework is followed by a discussion of the Korean wave and also of how Korea can make use of the Korean wave to achieve certain foreign political and economic goals. The paper concludes that even if Korea can not depend solely upon soft power for its diplomacy, the Korean wave can contribute to its soft power by providing opportunities for the manipulation of Korea’s images, extending a network effect of Korean popular culture, and also producing internationally influential heroes and celebrities.
The study explores the legal topography of landlord-tenant relations in Korea under Japanese rule with particular reference to Suncheon County in South Jeolla Province during the period 1920-1934. It inquires into the legal relations between landlord and tenant with regard to the forms of tenancy contract, security of tenure, rent payment and renegotiation, and the control of the labor process. It highlights, on the one hand, gaps in rules and options in action in the functioning of the law. The study throws light on situations where multiple rules were available for invocation and application, choice between which involved conflicts between differing group interests. On the other hand, it brings into relief the structural limitations of the choice of action. It shows how the law suppressed claims that might have disrupted landlordism in a fundamental way. By bringing the two aspects together, this study attempts a nuanced interpretation of the social implications of the law and legal system of Korea under Japanese rule.
This paper identifies the repertoire, gender of the dancers, and the most popular court entertainment dances during the Daehan Empire, and analyzes selected changes in these dances as depicted in Records of Court Banquets, an invaluable source of information on the types of court banquets and certain aspects of some of the dances performed. The court entertainment dances performed during the Daehan Empire were in large part based on those danced in 1892. The most interesting feature of the court banquets held in April 1902 was the revival of dances such as the Double Large Drum Dance, Double Sword Dance, and Double Ball-throwing Dance, which had not been performed since they were first created in 1795, 108 years earlier. In order to develop a fuller understanding of changes, however, an in-depth analysis of accompanying music and singing, costumes employed, and movements used must be carried out. The scope of this paper focuses on what can be seen in the paintings.
Weapon-shaped stone tools from the Russian Maritime Province have been used by Russian scholars to date the regional Bronze Age and Early Iron Age since they are thought to be mainly replicas of bronze items from the southern Siberian Seima-Turbino, Karasuk, and Tagar cultures. Although Russian archaeologists have paid some attention to the neighboring area comprised of the Korean Peninsula, northeast China and the Japanese archipelago, linguistic barriers have prevented them from a detailed investigation. Recent research in Korean archaeology has shown that there are very similar daggers to the Maritime Province’s Tagar-type replicas in Korea’s Late Bronze Age. They follow the tradition of stone daggers from the Early Bronze Age, which seems to be influenced by the first millennium BCE Upper Xiajiadian culture from northeast China. This example suggests that a direct influence from southern Siberia appears an unconvincing hypothesis. To reconstruct more precise relationships among various bronze and stone replicas, it is necessary to collect all related objects from the regions in question and to catalogue them for a comparative typological study.