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Category Archives: Uncategorized

일기: 空間 사옥/아라리오 뮤지엄

지난 3월에 일본 건축가 이소자키 아라타는 건축계에서 최고의 상으로 알려진 프리츠커상을 받았다. 이소자키가 일본의 가장 유면한 건축가들 중 하나라면 한국의 가장 유명한 건축가는 누구일까? 내가 보기에는 그 건축가는 이소자키와 동갑이고 동경에서 같이 공부했던 김수근이다. 이소자키와 김수근은 공통점이 몇 가지가 있다. 그런데 이소자키가 프리츠커상을 받은 소식을 듣고 나서 나는 김수근이 50대에 일찍 죽지 않았다면 그도 프리츠커상을 […]

Open Culture posts on Japan

Since 2012 I’ve written about all manner of topics at Open Culture, and you can find a selection of some of my favorite posts over the years in the Open Culture section of my essays page. I often write there about things Japanese, and you’ll find those posts gathered below: Akira Kurosawa Akira Kurosawa Names His 21 Favorite Art […]

일기: 서경식, <디아스포라 기행>

우리는 먼저 일본에서 태어나고 자랐던 한국사람으로서 서경식 교수님의 국적에 관한 논의에 대해서 생각을 피할 수 없다. 게다가 그의 역사와 여행에 대한 깊은 관심은 그러한 생각을 집착으로 변화시킬 수 있다고 할 수 있다. 저자는 “나는 과연 어째서 일본 같은 나라에서 태어났을까?” 또는 “국경을 건너는 것은 왜 이렇게 복잡할 수 있을까?” 와 같은 질문을 던지고 “자기의 국적을 […]

Korea Blog: Ways of Looking at Kim Swoo-geun, Korea’s Poet of Brick, Concrete, and Much Else Besides

This year’s Pritzker Prize, informally known as the “Nobel Prize of architecture,” went to Isozaki Arata, one of the most celebrated architects in Japan. His more than 55-year-long career, the many and varied fruits of which include Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, began at the University of Tokyo, from which he received his doctorate in […]

Korea Blog: “Birthday,” the First Tearjerker About the Ferry Disaster that Killed 250 High-School Students

When I first visited Korea, less than three months had passed since the sinking of the MV Sewol. The pall cast by the more than 300 deaths it caused, 250 of the them having been high-school students, showed no sign of even potential abatement. I met up with a film-critic friend and we guessed at how […]

일기: 이정헌, <나의 소녀>

한국 서점과 미국 서점의 큰 차이 점 중 하나는 에세이를 얼마나 많이 소유하고 있는지이다. 미국 서점에서는 에세이 집들이 주로 한 책장의 한 선반을 차지하지만 한국 서점에서는 에세이집들이 가게의 절반을 차지할 수도 있다. 에세이를 열심히 읽을 뿐만 아니라 에세이를 전문적으로 쓰는 나는 그 사실이 아주 즐겁다. 한국에 처음 이사왔을 때 한동안 임시 머물었던 홍대에 있는 동네 […]

Korea Blog: Stoked by a Racist Ad, a K-Pop Sex Scandal, and an Anti-Communist Massacre, Can the Korean Demand for Apology Ever Be Satiated?

However robust the Korean supply of public apology has been lately, it may never even come close to meeting the Korean demand for public apology. Longtime Korea observers know this, just as they know that the apologies, and more so the expectations for and rejections of those apologies, have only just begun to flow forth […]

Korea Blog: Listen to the Seoul of the 1980s, Real or Imagined, with Streaming Mixes of Korean “City Pop”

Japanese names like Katomatsu Toshiki, Ohnuki Taeko, Yamashita Tatsuro, or Takeuchi Mariya may or may not mean anything to you. Rest assured, however, that there are Korean record collectors to whom they mean a great deal indeed. I see more than a few of them in person whenever Gimbab Records, a shop not far from where […]

Korea Blog: Fried Chicken’s Central Role in a TV Drama, a Police Comedy, and Korean Culture Itself

“Did you come because of the movie?” said a middle-aged man waiting a few places in front of me in line for fried chicken. He didn’t ask me, but a nearby family of four or five, and they had indeed come because of the movie, as had I. That movie, Lee Byeong-heon’s Extreme Job (극한직업), racked up […]

My Interview on the Blunt Report Podcast: Korean Desires, Happiness, and a Frog in a Well

A few months ago, Konner Blunt came to Korea to record a few episodes of his interview podcast The Blunt Report, which “exists today to create interest and intrigue in the world around us.” You might remember me doing something similar with Notebook on Cities and Culture‘s Korea Tour, and now that I live in Korea myself, I seem to have […]