Monthly Archives: January 2012

William McKenzie: the first American to “go native” in Korea

William McKenzie: the first American to “go native” in Korea

I have spent much time thinking about my role in Korea and the significance of my work. Having lived in Korea now for almost five years, I realize that a critical issue in one’s success, in every action, is how one is perceived by Koreans, and that how Koreans perceive one it related to how one perceives oneself and one’s role.

In this age, there are increasing opportunities for internationals to play a role in Korea beyond the rather limited roles played by internationals in the previous generation. In fact, I meet internationals who come to Korea because they think there is greater opportunity here than in their own countries. Read more of this post

“A study in the growth of international biomedical research collaboration in Korea” (article)

This rather technical article is based on the research that the Asia Institute conducted together with the Korea Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology in 2008-2009.




“A study in the growth of international biomedical research
collaboration in Korea”


International Journal of Technology Management & Sustainable Development

Volume 10, Number 2, 12 December 2011 , pp. 147-164(18)



This article is a study about international scientific collaboration,
specifically as it relates to the biotechnology sector in Korea. The
Korean biotechnology sector is compared to other major centres for Read more of this post

“Raise expectations for Korean Language Competency in International Students” (article in Korea IT Times)

Korea IT Times

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Raise expectations for Korean Language Competency in International Students

Emanuel pastreich

The world has witnessed a remarkable boom in the study of Korean language over the last five years. There are an increasing number of international students enrolling in Korean universities, often taking all their courses in Korean. I taught a course in Korean literature this year at Kyung Hee University and found many students from abroad were enrolled. Read more of this post

Korean Organic Farming: “The Jewel of Great Price” (Report)

Korean Organic Farming: “The Jewel of Great Price”

Emanuel Pastreich

The Asia Institute

January 25, 2012

The Flower of the Dharma Sutra (Fahuajing 法華經) includes a remarkable tale entitled “The Jewel of Great Price” (無價寶珠) that describes quite accurately the state of organic farming in Korea today as a forgotten treasure.

In “The Jewel of Great Price,” a man is given a jewel by a friend as a present. But because the friend sews the jewel safely into the lining of the man’s jacket while he is sleeping and does not have the chance to tell him about it before parting early the next morning, the man suffers through terrible deprivations over years, unaware that he has this priceless jewel right in his own jacket. Only later when he meets up again with his friend does he learn of the treasure that he was carrying with him. Read more of this post

“Korea’s tradition of propriety” (Article in Korea Herald)


Emanuel Pastreich

Korea’s tradition of propriety: Godsend for network age

2012-01-25 19:05

In this age the complex relations developing between individuals outside of the workplace or the family, whether those that develop through online communications within organizations, or those found in social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, are having a profound impact on our society. Connections between people from vastly different Read more of this post

Presenting rural Korea to the World as the “Provence of Asia” (essay)

Presenting rural Korea to the World as the “Provence of Asia”

When I lived in Daejeon for four years, I was struck by the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The old hills covered with pine trees, the rivers and canals that surrounded luscious fields of rice were infinitely appealing. I found many delightful villages that produce unique agricultural products in the countryside. The older farmhouses were simple, but beautiful, reminding me of some of the farm houses I had seen as a child in Europe. In rural Korea, I felt, I had encountered something equivalent to Tuscany or Provence in Europe, an idyllic region which could attract tourists from around the world to enjoy its villages and its agricultural products. Read more of this post

‘The Korean Dream” Article in Munhwa Ilbo Newspaper (In Korean)

This article in the Munhwa Ilbo Newspaper argues that the Korean Wave of today must evolve into the “Korean Dream” of tomorrow. Like the American dream of the 1950s and 1960s, Korea is in the position to influence how people around the world conceive of themselves and their societies by promoting a “Korean Dream,” an model for thinking and behavior. I suggest that Koreans have to take the full responsibility that comes with great influence and put forth a  new vision of the world and the role of individuals that will have a positive impact. Such a dream must go beyond consumption to engage with spiritual issues and issues of sustainability. The concept of “Korean Dream’ was first introduced to me by the GPFF (Global Peace Festival Foundation” and I have been much impressed by their efforts to create a new model for activity by youth.

Read more of this post

Country Living Magazine: A New Trend in Korea

The magazine “Country Living” (정원생활) has taken on a new level of sophistication in its design and its content. In a word, “Country Living” presents an appealing image of rural life that is tempting to Koreans in their 30s and 40s. It is hard to imagine such an image of rural Korea previously, a place most Koreans wished to escape for the modernity of the big city (usually Seoul) but things are changing rapidly in Korea these days. Most magazines about country life tended to be rather drab descriptions of agricultural activities with older women in bright colored outfits. Read more of this post

The importance of the humanities

There has been quite a lively debate in Korea, and throughout the world, concerning the importance of the humanities. I most certainly think the debate is most welcome and most healthy. I fear that often, however, the argument for the humanities is not made in a manner that will be convincing to undergraduates.

The argument tends to be that the humanities are essential for assuring a more complete human experience, for making you spiritually and ethically more satisfied. Although I certainly would not deny that logic, The fact is that most youth do not think in such terms. For most youth the main issue appears to be survival and there is not  much space for living a more perfect spiritual life.  Read more of this post

Symbolic Meeting of Park Geun Hye and Han Myung-sook

The remarkable emergence of women as the critical political force in Korea is best embodied by the meeting on January 17th, 2012, between Representative Park Geun-hye, chairwoman of the Grand National Party’s emergency committee, and Han Myeong-sook, chairwomen of the  Democratic United Party. Needless to say, it is the first time that the leaders of two major Korean parties are both women.

The meeting was filled with no small degree of irony. Park is the treasured daughter of the late President Park Chung-hee, well known for his efforts to suppress by any means his opponents. Han was one of the victims, spending two years in jail in 1979 for political reasons. Her husband spent 13 years in prison. Read more of this post