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Korean Cultural Heritage: Traditional Lifestyles (Korean Cultural Heritage Series) [Hardcover]

By Korea Foundation (Author) & Korea Foundation (Author)
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Item Number 198696  
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Item description for Korean Cultural Heritage: Traditional Lifestyles (Korean Cultural Heritage Series) by Korea Foundation & Korea Foundation...

Korean Cultural Heritage: Traditional Lifestyles (Korean Cultural Heritage Series) by Korea Foundation

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Yeong & Yeong Book Company
Pages   264
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.5" Width: 8.8" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   2.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1997
Publisher   Yeong & Yeong Book Company
ISBN  8986090139  
ISBN13  9788986090130  

Availability  0 units.

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Great - neither dumbed down nor dry; interesting and great to increase cultural understanding  Aug 9, 2009
Full title: "Korean Cultural Heritage: Traditional Lifestyles."
This book is one of the best for both laypersons and those of more intellectual bent, because it is well and intelligently written for increasing understanding of Korea's traditional culture. Includes lots of great photos in a collection of fine articles - each chapter is a different article. You can skip around, skim, or read it cover-to-cover and either way, come away enriched. If you love South Korean food, aesthetics, or historical or modern day TV dramas, this will fill in many gaps for the western audience... Answers much of what you may have been curious about food, drink, clothing, rites of passage and familial bonds with the concepts behind them, housing and furnishings, etc. Touches upon artistic concepts and the values behind them as well in decorative items, everyday items and housing, clothing, etc. (And there is a separate book just on the arts, and another on the performing arts, in this series). There's a set of appendices with a long list of folk villages and folk museums to go see someday, a very interesting chart of world chronology (showing major Korean historical dates side-by-side with those of China, Japan and the Western world's major historical dates), and a chart of the major royal lineages.
Worth the full price or get it used... read mine from the library which was donated by the Korea Foundation that published it - and now I'm buying my own copy, it was that good, and will look up the other books in this series by this publisher. Has more easily readable depth (Thank you, Korea Foundation!) on topics than the two books I also recommend below, because those two go for introductory breadth instead. As a combination together these give a really great start.

Two other great books (references but fun reading) on traditional Korean culture are:
1). "An Encyclopaedia of Korean Culture", edited by Suh Cheong-Soo, et al, English edition by Hansebon, Seoul, Korea, ISBN 89-951352-4-7-01030 - thick hardback with lots of pictures and text with sections covering a satisfyingly wide range of both traditional and modernday topics: geography, climate, regions, cities and provinces, north/south relations, literature survey, religions, ideologies & customs, shamanism & folk beliefs, food, dishes and seasonings, cakes, drinks and liquor, clothing and accessories, housing, furniture, family life & holidays, rites of passage, sports, weaving and manual arts, ceramics, crafts, instruments of commerce, fine arts and calligraphy, sculpture, music, dance, drama and movies, education, printing/publishing, media, health/medical, plants, animals, agriculture, forestry, fishery, livestock, science and technology, modern industry, information and communications.
2) "An Illustrated Guide to Korean Culture: 233 traditional key words", by the National Academy of the Korean Language, Hakgojae Publishing, Seoul Korea, ISBN 89-85846-98-1 03380... Sections are: food, dress and ornament, housing life, seasonal festivalss, folk beliefs, beauty of (famous beautiful/historical places), symbols and local specialties.
Also, South Korea turns out many really excellent popular TV series on subtitled DVDs which are popular worldwide - see this site, yesasia or hanbooks, and you can rent some through your local library or korean store. After seeing some of them (Dae Jang Geum (Jewel in the Palace), Haeshin (Emperor of the southern seas), Ruler of Your Own World, etc., (you can enjoy these without knowing anything about the culture beforehand... my family found themselves sucked into Dae Jang Geum and not minding the subtitles, even the guys!).
Reading these books to fill in the rich cultural landscape was very satisfying, and I'm still interested in history and traditional and modern culture. And food, too. Did you know that Korea only began using red chili pepper in the 1500's - late in their 5,000 year history?
If you don't find these books here on this site new or used, you can also check hanbooks-com.

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