The Marmot's Hole

Korea... in Blog Format

Category: Seoul Selection stuff

Buy my brick!

CNN Go’s Max Kim selects some of his favorite places from my guide book.

Yes, it’s heavy (“the books clocks in at 752 pages and looks and weighs more like a brick”), and apparently doesn’t make for the most exciting read (“we would have loved some quirky/crazy personal stories featuring these destinations as settings”), but:

[T]he 1,000-plus photographs are amazing, and the book is certainly crammed with historical and practical information.

The costs and times of transportation are particularly useful, as are the accommodation recommendations per region.

And hey, I even took some of those 1,000 photos myself!

“Korea” is available at Seoul Selection, Seoul Selection USA, Amazon.com and elsewhere.

My guidebook is out

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I don’t usually blog shop, but I suppose I’d be remiss of I did not mention that my Korea guidebook is out and can be purchased from this afternoon at Seoul Selection bookshop.

Prof. Mason and Baekdu-daegan in the Korea Herald

In the Korea Herald our own Prof. Mason speaks about his passions – Baekdu-daegan and, of course, Sanshin which he describes as “a symbol of the relationship between human beings and the ecology of the mountains where they live.” 

“Baekdu-daegan is such a huge topic related to so much of Korea’s history and traditional culture. It’s just amazing how many really important aspects of Korean Studies remain un-researched,” he told The Korea Herald.

Influenced by the mountains, “Korea developed one of the strongest and richest traditions among all countries, and its tradition remains remarkably strong, even in such a modernized high-tech country,” he said.

For those who haven’t been to his site I have included the link – although, to be honest, it is on the sidebar.  There is a lot of valuable information there with lots of pictures – so enjoy.

‘Korean Tea Classics’

For fans of Korean tea culture:

Three ancient texts expressing the essence of the Korean Way of Tea are here translated into English for the first time. The oldest, ChaBu Rhapsody to Tea, by Hanjae Yi Mok (1471-1498), is a sophisticated and delicate celebration of tea. The author was a scholar of considerable attainments who died far too early. The 19th century saw a tea revival among Korean literati. Its main guide was the Venerable Cho‐ui (1786-1866). The first of his tea texts, ChaSinJeon Chronicle of the Spirit of Tea, he copied from a Ming Chinese work to serve as a practical guide to tea. The great poem, DongChaSong Hymn in Praise of Korean Tea, for which Cho‐ui is chiefly celebrated, is a set of formal poetic stanzas celebrating tea with notes by the author to elucidate the references.

This volume offers an English translation of these three remarkable works, with explanatory notes and biographies of the two great masters of Korean tea. It gives readers who are unfamiliar with Classical Chinese access to the essential texts of the Korean Way of Tea.

Hey, I Didn’t Fire at the North Korean Ships!

My cherubic visage on the front page of Media Daum:

Me on Media Daum

Hey, At Least I Got a Decent Review from Yonhap

Yonhap seemed to like my guidebook.

‘Missionary Photography in Korea: Encountering the West through Christianity’

If you’re like me and have a keen interest in the history of Korea’s early missionary community, check out Seoul Selection’s recently released “Missionary Photography in Korea: Encountering the West through Christianity.”

Edited by renowned Korean history scholar Donald Clark and — who would know a thing about missionary history in Korea — and organized by the Korea Society, the hardcover volume is full of rare old photos, interviews and essays.

PS: If you live in New York, Prof. Clark will be speaking at the Korea Society on Oct 22 — copies of the book will be available for purchase. In Korea, Gyeonggi Suwon International School will be hosting a one-week exhibition of the book’s photographs from Oct 27.

Mt. Juwangsan National Park

Daejeonsa Temple, Mt. Juwangsan

On assignment for SEOUL in Cheongsong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

I love my job.

SEOUL Guidebook Released

You can now pick up “Seoul Selection Guides: Seoul” at Seoul Selection Bookshop, next to Gyeongbokgung Palace. We’re open Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 6:30pm.

We’ve sent it out to Kyobo, Youngpoong, etc., so it should be available at those stores from early next week, if not this weekend.

Seoul Guidebook Hits Stands Friday

Kushibo gets a word of thanks for plugging my upcoming guidebook to Seoul, which will hit stands Friday.

Of course, if you’d like to pre-order, you can do so here — 24,000 won for 464 pages ain’t bad. And for just 9,000 won more, you can also pick up “Seoul’s Historic Walks” and enjoy a Koehler double feature.

VOA (Korean) on Seoul Selection

Voice of America (Korean service) did a story a little while back on Seoul Selection — give it a listen.

‘JSA’ Rereleased in Limited Edition

I don’t usually blog shop, so to speak, but this might be of interest to readers — we (i.e., Seoul Selection) have released a limited edition DVD of the Park Chan-wook classic “JSA.” Some 500 copies are available, so if you haven’t seen this film — which many consider the best film ever made about Korea’s national division — this is your chance.

The region code is “ALL,” so you can pop it into a machine anywhere on the planet (even North Korea!), and at 27,000 won (or US$22.41), you can’t go wrong.

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