A few announcements from my little corner of Korea:

An association of those who respect the memory of Dr Zo Zayong (Jo Ja-yong, d.2000), the famous collector, preserver and researcher of korea’s traditional folk-art, will gather down at his tomb in the southern area of Sogni-san National Park, on this coming Sunday the 14th (starting at 10am), to raise a biseok (standing-stone memorial-monument) inscribed with his biography and accomplishments, with a traditional ceremony including some shamanism.  All friends and interested onlookers are invited along!See: http://www.zozayong.com/ for more info, location & photos of his tomb, some of the artworks he saved, etc.   If you are able, I would strongly recommend going down there on Saturday and enjoying other parts of that park, surely one of the most beautiful and culturally-rich in the nation, and staying overnight in one of the motels in a nice tourist-village outside of Beobju-sa…

Tomorrow (Monday) morning i’m beginning a series of nine lectures: “3000 Years of Korea’s Cultural Evolution“, for the Seoul International Women’s Association (SIWA), 10:00 am to noon on Mondays and Fridays into December, near City Hall metro station.  Subtitle is “From Dan-gun to Lee Myeong-bak”, and emphasis is on religious developments.  These are always fun to do, and every year there’s a new audience requesting it be held again.  Sorry for the late notice, but if you’re interested in attending and have those mornings free, and can pay the modest tuition, contact me directly or else look on the SIWA webpage; you don’t have to be a member to attend, and it would be OK to start with the second one.

A bunch of us are holding a daylong seminar on “Footprints of Choe Chi-won in Chungcheong-namdo” — with presentations in both Korean and English about this Confucianist hero of Korean Daoism, one of my favorite figures of Korean history (857 – ?) — at Hanseo University on the slopes of Gaya-san in Haemi-myeon within Seosan City — on Saturday Nov 27th.  If you’re on facebook, this event is posted on the page here.

Hiking season is starting to wind down for everyone but the hardiest, maybe just a few good weekends left.  Our Baekdu-Daegan Trail Guidebook has been selling well, and some of the copies signed by all four authors are still remaining for sale.  It makes a good Christmas gift for anyone who loves hiking in Korea!

Just Friday I finally finished editing my new book (typical Korean last-minute rush!), the compilation of those 30 articles on the Greatest Icons of Korean Buddhism that appeared in the Korea Times every Friday for most of this year.  I re-wrote and expanded many of the articles, and plenty of lovely color photos were appended to each article.  Thousands of these books are going to be distributed for free at the G-20 Summit to the visiting international participants (political and economic types, journalists, etc).  I am supposed to eventually be given a stack of them to distribute to interested non-Koreans myself, and if any of you M-Holers really want one you can just send me your mailing address in an e-mail, postage is on me.  We might do 30 more of these articles next year, then compile all 60 into a bigger book to be sold commercially.

AND, our annual commemoration of United Nations International Mountains Day will be on the afternoon of Saturday, December 11th this year, with many presentations and a good crowd of peak-lovin’ folks, central downtown Seoul.  For more info as it develops, contact me or watch the KMPL site for a further announcement…