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It's Madness

The Politics of Mental Health in Colonial Korea

Theodore Jun Yoo

It’s Madness examines Korea’s years under Japanese colonialism, when mental health first became defined as a medical and social problem. As in most Asian countries, severe social ostracism, shame, and fear of jeopardizing marriage prospects compelled most Korean families to conceal the mentally ill behind closed doors. This book explores the impact of Chinese traditional medicine and its holistic approach to treating mental disorders, the resilience of folk illnesses as explanations for inappropriate and dangerous behaviors, the emergence of clinical psychiatry as a discipline, and the competing models of care under the Japanese colonial authorities and Western missionary doctors. Drawing upon unpublished archival as well as printed sources, this is the first study to examine the ways in which “madness” was understood, classified, and treated in traditional Korea and the role of science in pathologizing and redefining mental illness under Japanese colonial rule.

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Japan's Colonization of Korea

Discourse and Power

by Alexis Dudden

From its creation in the early twentieth century, policymakers used the discourse of international law to legitimate Japan’s empire. Although the Japanese state aggrandizers’ reliance on this discourse did not create the imperial nation Japan would become, their fluent use of its terms inscribed Japan’s claims as legal practice within Japan and abroad. Focusing on Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, Alexis Dudden gives long-needed attention to the intellectual history of the empire and brings to light presumptions of the twentieth century’s so-called international system by describing its most powerful—and most often overlooked—member’s engagement with that system. Early chapters describe the global atmosphere that declared Japan the legal ruler of Korea and frame the significance of the discourse of early twentieth-century international law and how its terms became Japanese. Dudden then brings together these discussions in her analysis of how Meiji leaders embedded this discourse into legal precedent for Japan, particularly in its relations with Korea. Remaining chapters explore the limits of these ‘universal’ ideas and consider how the international arena measured Japan’s use of its terms. Dudden squares her examination of the legality of Japan’s imperialist designs by discussing the place of colonial policy studies in Japan at the time, demonstrating how this new discipline further created a common sense that Japan’s empire accorded to knowledgeable practice. This landmark study greatly enhances our understanding of the intellectual underpinnings of Japan’s imperial aspirations. In this carefully researched and cogently argued work, Dudden makes clear that, even before Japan annexed Korea, it had embarked on a legal and often legislating mission to make its colonization legitimate in the eyes of the world.

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Korea's Future and The Great Powers

Nicholas Eberstadt and Richard J. Ellings

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Korea's Great Buddhist-Confucian Debate

The Treatises of Chong Tojon (Sambong) and Hamho Tuktong (Kihwa)

Translated and with an introduction by A. Charles Muller

This volume makes available in English the seminal treatises in Korea's greatest interreligious debate of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On Mind, Material Force, and Principle and An Array of Critiques of Buddhism by Confucian statesman Chŏng Tojŏn (1342–1398) and Exposition of Orthodoxy by Sŏn monk Kihwa (1376–1433) are presented here with extensive annotation. A substantial introduction provides a summary and analysis of the philosophical positions of both Neo-Confucianism and Buddhism as well as a germane history of the interactions between these two traditions in East Asia, offering insight into religious tensions that persist to this day.

Translator A. Charles Muller shows how, from the time Confucianism and Buddhism met in China, these thought systems existed, along with Daoism, in a competing relationship that featured significant mutual influence. A confrontative situation eventually developed in China, wherein Confucian leaders began to criticize Buddhism. During the late-Koryŏ and early-Chosŏn periods in Korea, the Neo-Confucian polemic became the driving force in the movement to oust Buddhism from its position as Korea's state religion. In his essays, Chŏng drew together the gamut of arguments that had been made against Buddhism throughout its long history in Korea. Kihwa's essay met Neo-Confucian contentions with an articulate Buddhist response. Thus, in a rare moment in the history of religions, a true philosophical debate ensued.

This debate was made possible based upon the two religions' shared philosophical paradigm: essence-function (ch'e-yong). This traditional East Asian way of interpreting society, events, phenomena, human beings, and the world understands all things to have both essence and function, two contrasting yet wholly contiguous and mutually containing components. All three East Asian traditions took this as their underlying philosophical paradigm, and it is through this paradigm that they evaluated and criticized each other's doctrines and practices.

Specialists in philosophy, religion, and Korean studies will appreciate Muller's exploration of this pivotal moment in Korean intellectual history. Because it includes a broad overview of the interactive history of East Asian religions, this book can also serve as a general introduction to East Asian philosophical thought.

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Korea's Twentieth-Century Odyssey

by Michael E. Robinson

For more than half of the twentieth century, the Korean peninsula has been divided between two hostile and competitive nation-states, each claiming to be the sole legitimate expression of the Korean nation. The division remains an unsolved problem dating to the beginnings of the Cold War and now projects the politics of that period into the twenty-first century. Korea’s Twentieth-Century Odyssey is designed to provide readers with the historical essentials upon which to unravel the complex politics and contemporary crises that currently exist in the East Asian region. Beginning with a description of late-nineteenth-century imperialism, Michael Robinson shows how traditional Korean political culture shaped the response of Koreans to multiple threats to their sovereignty after being opened to the world economy by Japan in the 1870s. He locates the origins of both modern nationalism and the economic and cultural modernization of Korea in the twenty years preceding the fall of the traditional state to Japanese colonialism in 1910. Robinson breaks new ground with his analysis of the colonial period, tracing the ideological division of contemporary Korea to the struggle of different actors to mobilize a national independence movement at the time. More importantly, he locates the reason for successful Japanese hegemony in policies that included—and thus implicated—Koreans within the colonial system. He concludes with a discussion of the political and economic evolution of South and North Korea after 1948 that accounts for the valid legitimacy claims of both nation-states on the peninsula.

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A Korean Confucian Way of Life and Thought

The Chasongnok (Record of Self-Reflection) by Yi Hwang (Toegye)

Translated, Annotated, and with an Introduction by Edward Y. J. Chung

Yi Hwang (1501–1570)—best known by his literary name, T’oegye—is one of the most eminent thinkers in the history of East Asian philosophy and religion. His Chasŏngnok (Record of self-reflection) is a superb Korean Neo-Confucian text: an eloquent collection of twenty-two scholarly letters and four essays written to his close disciples and junior colleagues. These were carefully selected by T’oegye himself after self-reflecting (chasŏng) on his practice of personal cultivation. The Chasŏngnok continuously guided T’oegye and inspired others on the true Confucian way (including leading Neo-Confucians in Tokugawa Japan) while it criticized Buddhism and Daoism. Its philosophical merit rivals T’oegye’s monumental Sŏnghak sipto (Ten diagrams on sage learning) and “Four-Seven Debate Letters”; however, as a testament of T’oegye’s character, scholarship, and teaching, the Chasŏngnok is of greater interest. The work engages with his holistic knowledge and experience of self-cultivation by articulating textual and historical material on various key doctrines and ideas. It is an inspiring practical guide that reveals the depth of T’oegye’s learning and spirituality.

The present volume offers a fully annotated translation of the Chasŏngnok. Following a groundbreaking discussion of T’oegye’s life and ideas according to the Chasŏngnok and his other major writings, it presents the core of his thought in six interrelated sections: “Philosophy of Principle,” “Human Nature and Emotions,” “Against Buddhism and Daoism,” “True Learning,” “Self-Cultivation,” and “Reverence and Spiritual Cultivation.” The bibliography offers a current catalogue of primary sources and modern works in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and English. As the first comprehensive study of the Chasŏngnok, this book is a welcome addition to current literature on Korean classics and East Asian philosophy and religion. By presenting T’oegye’s thought-provoking contributions, it sheds new light on the vitality of Confucian wisdom, thereby affording scholars and students with an excellent primary source for East Asian studies in general and Confucian studies in particular.

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Korean Unification

Inevitable Challenges

JACQUES FUQUA

Since the conclusion of World War II, the Korean people and the international community have contemplated a unified peninsula, but a divided Korea remains one of the last visible vestiges of the Cold War. What will removing this specter entail? And with what should it be replaced? Similar to the unification of East and West Germany, merging North and South Korea is likely the only means of achieving stability and lasting peace on the peninsula. However, after decades of a divided existence—with South Korea now thriving as a democracy and North Korea barely subsisting as a Stalinist dictatorship—this task will be monumental. What form of government would likely emerge, given the North Korean regime’s practice of completely controlling its population? How would its citizens, indoctrinated by decades of Juche ideology, be assimilated into a larger community of capitalists? What would become of North Korea’s military of 1.2 million? How would a reunified government exercise control over the North’s starving masses? These questions are only some of the core issues addressed in Korean Unification: Inevitable Challenges. Jacques L. Fuqua Jr. argues that diplomatic, humanitarian, cultural, and military solutions must coincide to create peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula that could thus extend to elsewhere in Asia.

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The Last Days of Kim Jong-il

The North Korean Threat in a Changing Era

Bechtol, Bruce

North Korea has remained a thorn in the side of the United States ever since its creation in the aftermath of the Korean conflict of 1950û1953. Crafting a foreign policy that effectively deals with North Korea, while still ensuring stability and security on the Korean Peninsula-and in Northeast Asia as a whole-has proved very challenging for successive American administrations. In the wake of ruler Kim Jong-il's death in December 2011, analysts and policymakers continue to speculate about the effect his last years as leader will have on the future of North Korea.

Bruce Bechtol, Jr. contends that Kim Jong-il's regime (1994-2011) exacerbated the threats that North Korea posed, and still poses, to the world. Bechtol explains how North Korea presents important challenges on five key fronts: its evolving conventional military threat, its strategy in the Northern Limit Line (NLL) area, its nuclear capabilities, its support for terrorism, and its handling of the succession process.

Bechtol's analysis clears up the persistent mystery of how Kim Jong-il's dysfunctional government in its final years was able to persist in power while both presenting a grave danger to its neighbors and setting the stage for the current government. This work addresses issues important for policymakers and academics who must deal with those in power in North Korea.

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Laying Claim to the Memory of May

A Look Back at the 1980 Kwangju Uprising

by Linda S. Lewis

The Kwangju Uprising--"Korea's Tiananmen"--is one of the most important political events in late twentieth-century Korean history. What began as a peaceful demonstration against the imposition of military rule in the southwestern city of Kwangju in May 1980 turned into a bloody people's revolt. In the two decades since, memories of the Kwangju Uprising have lived on, assuming symbolic importance in the Korean democracy movement, underlying the rise in anti-American sentiment in South Korea, and shaping the nation's transition to a civil society. Nonetheless it remains a contested event, the subject still of controversy, confusion, international debate, and competing claims. As one of the few Western eyewitnesses to the Uprising, Linda Lewis is uniquely positioned to write about the event. In this innovative work on commemoration politics, social representation, and memory, Lewis draws on her fieldwork notes from May 1980, writings from the 1980s, and ethnographic research she conducted in the late 1990s on the memorialization of Kwangju and its relationship to changes in the national political culture. Throughout, the chronological organization of the text is crisscrossed with commentary that provocatively disrupts the narrative flow and engages the reader in the reflexive process of remembering Kwangju over two decades. Highly original in its method and approach, Laying Claim to the Memory of May situates this seminal event in a broad historical and scholarly context. The result is not only the definitive history of the Kwangju Uprising, but also a sweeping overview of Korean studies over the last few decades.

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