Half of the population of the Republic of Korea says they have no religious affiliation. The other half is divided among Buddhists, Protestants, and Catholics. This equal division among believers and non-believers is a relatively recent development. Until a few decades ago, the vast majority of Koreans proclaimed no religious affiliation. As a result of both urbanization and proselytizing, the number of the self-consciously religion increased dramatically over the second half of the 20th century. However, no single religious community has been able to dominate this transformed religious landscape. Instead, three major religions have emerged as the clear winners in the competition for adherents: Buddhism, Protestant Christianity, and Catholicism. Those three religions have been more successful than alternatives such as Confucianism, shamanism, and new religious movements in adapting to the competitive religious market that prevailed in the Republic of Korea in the 20th century. Their success is due to their ability to gain the attention of potential members amidst crowded urban environments who define themselves as compatible with modernity, and create unique brands that distinguish them from their competitors.
Beginning in the late 1930s, the notion of the East Asian Community gained currency among Japanese intellectuals as Imperial Japan attempted to justify its invasion of China and colonization of its Asian neighbors. The East Asian Community was characterized by Japanese intellectuals’ new logic of an East Asian empire that incorporated Chinese and colonial subjects and was led by Japan. Moritani Katsumi was a converted Marxist social scientist who found the project of building an East Asian community feasible in colonial Korea. Involved in a wide range of academic and political activities in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Moritani called for imperial Japan to restructure the Korean economy, the agricultural sector in particular. His writings on Korea show one important facet of Japanese intellectuals’ wartime concepts of colony as he tried to change Korean society to a total-war- optimized one for imperial Japan in the name of economic development.
The task of the present study is to elucidate the reality of labor hygiene in Colonial Korea by reviewing the employees’ health conditions in the Bureau of Posts and Telecommunications (BPT) and the BPT authorities’ measures taken against it. A colonial employment structure, which emphasized the role of ethnic Japanese in the division of labor system, was built in to the BPT. Ethnic Koreans were assigned mainly to the lower classes of the hierarchical system and relatively to dangerous tasks with the wages amounted to only more than half of those of the Japanese. Nevertheless, the health indexes, e.g., morbidity rate, death rate, and turnover rate from diseases of the Koreans were lower than those of the Japanese, which means that the physical conditions of Koreans were better than those of Japanese. Even though Japanese employees often worked indoors and lived communally after work, the very comfortable life style was the cause that increased the likelihood of their exposure to infectious diseases. To cope with these situations, BPT authorizes established the Field Worker Mutual Aid Association and strengthen the part-time doctor system. However, while the morbidity rate showed an upward trend from the mid-1930s, the mortality rate and the disease turnover rate were not high. “The good body-making policy” of BPT authorizes was not to decrease the diseases but to hold down the deaths and retires concomitant with the increase of diseases.
In this paper I reveal the mutual interaction between drama, history, and reality, and analyze the cultural operating principle of “the political.” I achieve this by analyzing the narrative of, and viewer reactions to, the television drama Queen Seondeok, which serves as a prominent example of popular K-drama culture in 21st century Korea. First, I explain that conspiracy theory forms the core of the Queen Seondeok narrative arc, showing how it creates a shared bond of sympathy both with and among the audience in the context of popular disillusionment and resistance to “the political.” Viewing the drama with a critical eye focused on the conspiracies fabricated by the political persons that appear in the show, viewers come to support and sympathize with the conspiracy in the narrative, internalizing it as a lens through which to assess the world. In the process, a paradoxical interaction is revealed. To prove this, I analyze the paradoxical approach adopted by the viewers of the drama: by sympathizing with the narrative the audience recognizes “the political” as a “natural” lens. This stems from the way the drama satirizes and “reenacts” modern and contemporary Korean political history. Finally, I unveil specific mechanisms employed by the characters in Queen Seondeok to disguise their emotions and to win the competitive power game. All these elements together show both the operating principles of cultural politics in the medium of TV drama, and the empowerment inherent in the act of watching.
Arhats are those who attained arhatship, the highest level a Buddhist monk can achieve through the practice of asceticism. They have been worshiped by humans since the early period for their supernatural powers that served to protect Dharma and provide benefits to ordinary people. Paintings of arhats have long been popular in Korea, but most of the remaining examples date to the late Joseon dynasty. In the late Joseon dynasty, paintings of the sixteen arhats and the solitary saint were produced in large numbers and murals of arhats adorned many spaces inside a temple. At that time, arhat paintings were commissioned by Buddhist monks and laypeople and produced by Buddhist monk painters, who were open to the sharing of iconography but influenced the style of their works with personal artistic characteristics. As a result, painters could freely demonstrate their signature styles in arhat paintings, which allowed them considerable freedom of expression. A set of paintings of the sixteen arhats, in particular, sometimes features a combination of different painting styles, indicating that several master monk painters participated in the production. In the late Joseon dynasty, paintings of the sixteen arhats were generally enshrined in arhat halls, while in comparison paintings of the solitary saint were installed in relatively diverse areas around a temple. Most of the murals of arhats were painted in the upper portions of the walls of main halls dedicated to Buddhas. Paintings of the sixteen arhats and the solitary saint mainly served as objects of worship inside a temple hall, and murals of arhats, especially those on the spaces between bracket sets or over naemokdori bars below the ceiling, are more likely to have provided adornments to protect Buddhas and the Buddhist world. Arhat paintings of the late Joseon dynasty include several subcategories within the genre and served various purposes. They are significant in that they shed light on the working methods of the Buddhist monk painters of the time.
In analysing Jung Jiwoo’s Happy End this study explores the femme fatale, castration, femicide, and implementation of fantasy related to the theme of trauma. I argue Ilbeom as the homme fatale like typical film noir in the 1940s and Bora as the femme fatale in classic film noir make Minki a victim and wrongdoer simultaneously. I discuss invisible cross-dressing in Minki’s masculine body dissembled. This transformation as a drag queen made him change his gender role in the family. In addition, I explore the theme of castration anxiety. In Happy End, Minki’s castration complex drives him traumatized due to the loss of masculinity power. Finally, his trauma causes his wife’s murder with unbidden memories of trauma. It is very controversial to comprehend the director’s final scene in the film. I answer he implements his experiences as if they are in reality. Proceeding from what has been said above, it should be concluded that Minki’s hysterical excess of masculinity in Happy End came from his trauma.
This study examines the changing jobs of journalists and the function of journalism. An examination of pertinent theories and an assessment of practical data in South Korea led to four suppositions: first, more than half of the provincial respondents said that they would think about accepting job offers if they were offered positions in power circles but more than half of the Seoul respondents stated they would not accept; second, major reasons for accepting such job offers are “new experience or future career,” “economic issues,” and “job security”; and finally, there are notable differences in accepting job offers between journalists working in Seoul and provincial media companies.