Category Archives: youth

Haebangchon T-shirts on sale

The Asia Institute is proud to announce the sale of our original Haebangchon T-shirts.

Please be sure to order them for your self, your family, and all your friends.


Price: 12,000 KRW


We also have Haebangchon stickers for sale & Itaewon stickers as well.

Stickers: 1000 Won each




For all orders, please contact:











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Discussion Members:

Jingyu GAO  (China)

LeoYao LU  (China)

Myeongsu Ryu TODA  (ROK)

Sunny Chan Yiu LAM  (HK)

Shi Pong LEE  (HK)

Yumiko SHIMOGAKI  (Japan)



Emanuel Pastreich (United States)

(Director, The Asia Institute)


(Based on a series of discussions held on October 5, November 15, November 22, and December 6, 2014)



Opening Remarks by Emanuel Pastreich (United States)

This seminar presented us with a valuable opportunity to learn about each other, and also to learn about our own perspectives and our own biases. We came to the question of democracy, and specifically the case of Hong Kong, with a general impression the issue based on how we saw it presented in the media. But in fact that are many aspects of politics in Hong Kong and of democracy today that we do not understand all that well. The very term “democracy” is not a given like “tomato” or “oxygen” but rather a vague term subject to an infinite number of interpretations. The value of this effort by youth from many different countries to create a platform for an honest and non-political discussion about the important issues of our age is critical to our future and it is an honor to be here today for this event.

I was struck by the sincerity of the questions raised and the care of the responses given in the course of this discussion. There was a sincerity that was striking about the discussion and I was touched by the clear desire of the students to understand the problems in Hong Kong in a larger context. By extending their discussion to all of Asia, and avoiding a narrow definition of democracy, they have opened the way to a constructive dialog that will extend to the rest of Asia, and to the world.

Youth in Hong Kong are facing incredible pressures. They face economic pressures related to the breakdown of the economic system that supported their parents; political pressures related to the immense influence that other nations have on Hong Kong because of its links to global capital; social pressures related to an aging society and the profound alienation among young people today. Read more of this post

Korean Comics for Kids: “Surviving Climate Change”

One of the most remarkable comics that I have seen of late comes from the “Survival ” (살아남기) series published by I-Seum. This comic, “Surviving Climate Change” explains in considerable detail, with reference to scientific data, the process of climate change.  The “Survival” series includes several quite powerful comics that blend relevant facts with an entertaining narrative.

“Surviving Climate Change” is notable in that it draws the attention of children to the concrete challenges we face. Such writing for children is absolutely critical in our age as they will be the ones who will struggle with the consequences of our decisions.

The comic is divided into three sections. A humorous, slightly slapstick, dialog between the protagonists, a crisis that the protagonists encounter that brings them face to face with the consequences of climate change and a more detailed description, including actual photographs and statistics, that supports the arguments made in the comic.

surviving climate change 1

Read more of this post

Against “Anti-youthism”

Emanuel Pastreich
December 1, 2012

Against “Anti-youthism”

There is an elephant in the room that most people want to ignore. It is the biggest news around, but no one takes it seriously.

We talk about racism, sexism and anti-gay sentiments, but there is something at least as serious out there that has no name. I struggle to come up with a term. Let us call it “anti-youthism”. Read more of this post

Girls Generation gets its own postage stamps

I don’t know what your thoughts about the Korean pop group  Girl’s Generation receiving its own set of stamps from the Korean Postal service. I suppose it is great for the Korean Wave, but personally, I fear that we are

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More of Korea’s educational comics “manhwa”

Here are a few more interesting educational comics, “manhwa,” from Korea.

These three comic books are devoted to investigating the world around us. “Spider, Let’s Play” introduces the world of arachnids and insects. “Science Investigation Team CSI” has the reader he is a detective solving mysteries of the natural world and “Why and How” relates intriguing scientific facts in an accessible manner.

Read more of this post

Asia Institute Gathering to talk about the Environment with Youth (Friday, June 15, 2012)

Asia Institute Gathering

Please do join us for an informal gathering for students to discuss this most critical topic:

What youth can do for the environment?”

Your presence would be greatly valued, and your suggestions as to what can meaningful responses to the environmental crisis.

(Hosted by Emanuel Pastreich, Professor of Humanitas College)

Friday, June 15

5 PM

Location Room #209 (second Floor) Neo-Renaissance Hall

Kyung Hee University (Hoegi-dong)

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Asia Institute Seminar with Professor Noam Chomsky (video)

Asia Institute Seminar


Professor Noam Chomsky

Department of Linguistics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


The Asia Institute held this Webinar with Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT on December 3, 2011 as a webinar between Seoul, Korea and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Professor Chomsky discussed how youth can effectively work to change the world and improve policies at both the local and international levels. He stressed the need for youth around the world to work together and to come up with their own solutions, saying repeatedly that the answer must come from students, not from him. When told that he was the leading progressive intellectual in the United States, he promptly replied, “I resign!”

There have been several Korean media interviews with Professor Chomsky over the years, but this seminar was the first time that Korean students, including those not fluent in English, were able to ask Professor Chomsky questions directly. This dialog between experts and young people is emblematic of the Asia Institute approach to contemporary issues. Professor Chomsky later remarked, “I much appreciated the opportunity.”

Video on Youtube: 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3