Hannu Salama: Kosti Herhiläisen perunkirjoitus
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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Material Asia: Objects, Technologies and Rethinking Success (Conference)

The following conference has been announced. More information on contacts etc. to be added soon. Here's a link to the announcement in the homepage of the Society for East Asian Anthropology.

Material Asia: Objects, Technologies and Rethinking Success
August 1-5, 2011
Jeonju, Korea

A Joint Conference of the Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA/AAA) and the Korean Society for Cultural Anthropology

Abstracts for papers due: March 1, 2011
Registration opens: April 1, 2011

The conference assumes a broad awareness of the social effect of things in contemporary East Asian life and human responses to new technological and material possibilities: commodifications of all manner of life experiences from cultural performances and tourism to body parts, the transfer of technologies, the robotics industry and employment of robots in everyday life, expanded transnational markets in labor and brides, and the market-driven production of ideally productive, intelligent, and beautiful people. Consumption, including the literal consumption of food has assumed unprecedented forms. Local and regional responses and critiques of these possibilities are varied and often complex.

Participants are encouraged to submit proposals for sessions of 3 to 5 papers and priority will be given to those sessions that bring together presenters working in different parts of the region around a common topic.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Old titles from Korea Development Institute available as pdf

I was happy to find old titles by Korea Development Institute (KDI) that have been out of print since long available as pdf files from the Institute homepage. As none of these titles is available in any Finnish library, this is very valuable indeed.

Jones: Public Enterprise and Economic Development: the Korean case. KDI 1975.(14 MB)

Mason et al: The Economic and Social Modernization of the Republic of Korea. Studies of the Modernization of the Republic of Korea : 1945-1975. Harvard East Asian Monographs 92, 1980. (32 MB)

Jones and Sakong: Government, Business, and Entrepreneurship in Economic Development: The Korean Case. Studies of the Modernization of the Republic of Korea 1945-1975. Harvard East Asian Monographs 91, 1980. (25 MB)

And for those who are more comfortable with Korean and extensive use of Chinese characters, the Korean translation of the previous title:
존스, 司空 共著: 經濟開發과 政府 및 企業家의 役割 (KDI 1981)

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Ticket diplomacy

Iltalehti reports that Russia had been given the biggest number of parking tickets in Helsinki with 154. South Korea came second with 54 tickets. Russia did not pay a single ticket in 2009, South Korea paid one. However, South Korea greatly exceeds Russia in the amount of tickets per diplomat; Russia got only about 3 three per diplomat, while South Korea got nine.

The director of parking control in Helsinki Marjo Jumpponen says:
In my opinion it's immoral not to pay parking fines. That gives a bad reputation to the whole country, while they should show an example to others.
I'm happy to be back in the university after more than two years.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

New set of old photographs in Flickr

Until yesterday, it had been one year since I've added anything to this site. This time I added some photographs taken in various restaurants in Korea, mainly about 10 years ago when I was conducting dissertation fieldwork in Seoul. The most recent ones in the Flickr set, added already earlier, are from my latest visit to Korea in December 2006 - January 2007.

식당 • Restaurants set at Flickr
Set as slideshow

Restaurant 식당
서울 신림2동 1999년6월5일 • Seoul, Sillim 2-dong, June 5, 1999

Restaurant 식당
왼쪽부터 주인 아주머니의 언니, 아들, 친구, 주인 아주머니. 서울 신림2동 1999년3월25일 • Seoul, Sillim 2-dong, March 25, 1999

Restaurant 식당
추어탕집의 부부. 남자는 "풍"이라고 하는 병을 앓았기 때문이 일을 별로 할 수가 없어 실제 주인과 운영자는 여자였다. 폐업을 2000-2001년 사이에 했다. 서울 신림2동, 1999년11월6일 • Seoul, Sillim 2-dong, Nov 6, 1999

식당 • Restaurants set at Flickr
Set as slideshow

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Call for papers: NAJAKS 2010: Bridging Japan and Korea

Call for Papers (NAJAKS website)

The 8th NAJAKS Conference: Bridging Japan and Korea

August 19 -21, 2010
Helsinki, Finland

Japan and Korea have long historical relations of interaction and entanglement. However, recent history has been overshadowed by the Japanese colonial rule of Korea (1910-1945), Korea’s partition (1948) and the Korean War (1950-1953). It is only in the post-Cold War context that the attempts at the reconciliation of political, historical and cultural issues on various levels – governmental, semi-governmental, academic, civil, popular and grass-roots – have become possible in Japan and Korea. The political, social, cultural as well as other issues related to Japan and Korea are by no means peripheral or particular on the world map. On the contrary, they raise a number of critical questions concerning, for example, modernity, colonialism, post-colonialism, militarism, the nation-state, the Cold War and the post-Cold War era. The histories of Japan and Korea are entangled in complex and ironical manners not only within East Asia but also in the larger modern world order. Therefore, the studies on Japanese and Korean experiences, their interrelation, tension, conflict and attempts at reconciliation provide a vantage point to examine critical issues that are relevant for broader subjects as well.

We invite abstracts from scholars in various stages of their career and students, among others. The presentation topic does not have to be exactly on the theme. Broadly related topics are also welcomed.

Keynote Speaker is Professor Seungsook Moon, Vassar College, USA.

There is no conference fee, however, participants are responsible for their own travel costs and accommodation.

The conference consists of six sections and conveners are indicated below with e-mail addresses:

1. Social and political sciences (Antti Leppänen, antti.leppanen[a]gmail.com)
2. Cultural studies and anthropology (Mikako Iwatake, mikako.iwatake[a]helsinki.fi)
3 History (Mikako Iwatake)
4. Literature (Miika Pölkki, miika.polkki[a]helsinki.fi)
5. Linguistics (Jeong-Yong Kim, jeong-yong.kim[a]helsinki.fi)
6. Teaching Japanese and Korean languages (Jeong-Yong Kim)

Please send an abstract (500-800 words) with a brief biography or CV (maximum 1 page) in an e-mail attachment to the convener by March 10th, 2010. We will inform applicants about our decision around March 20th, 2010.

For further information, please contact Mikako Iwatake, University of Helsinki.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Flickr sets

I have added three new photograph sets to my Flickr photostream, one being a collection of neighborhood grocery stores ("supermarkets") and the two others walks in Busan in late December 2006.

동네슈퍼 Neighborhood store
Collection of pics of inside and outside of neighborhood grocery stores from 1998 to 2006.
동네슈퍼 Neighborhood store
This photograph: 서울 신린2동, 1998년12월28일 • Sillim 2-dong, Seoul, Dec 28, 1998
Set in detail
Set as slideshow

부산 산책 2006.12.29 Busan walk
Walk in downtown Busan, beginning from the railway station, in Choryang-dong, Yeongju-dong and Bosu-dong.
부산 산책 2006.12.29, 영주동 Busan walk
This photograph: 부산 영주동 • Yeongju-dong in Busan
Set in detail
Set as slideshow

부산 산책 2006.12.30 Busan Walk
Walk in downtown Busan in Gondongeo Market, Nambumin-dong, Chojang-dong, Jagalchi Market, and Bosu-dong bookshop quarters.
부산 산책 2006.12.30 Busan walk
This photograph: man tries to sell ssiregi at a restaurant but is refused.
Set in detail
Set as slideshow

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Homepage of the Finnish Anthropological Society opened

The Finnish Anthropological Society, which has had its homepage housed for a long time under the auspices of the Dept of Social and Cultural Anthopology of the University of Helsinki, has finally its own homepage and domain at www.antropologinenseura.fi (here also in English). (There is a chance that I end up being the webmaster...)

And there is also a chance that this blog wakes up from its dormancy. Let's see.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

spam of the week

Normally I don't bother to open spam mails (who does), but the recent phenomenon of Finnish-language spam messages intrigued me so much that I opened one that arrived today. The sender field is appropriately forged as helpdesk(a)helsinki.fi as to look like something from the U. of Helsinki, but unfortunately the level of Finnish in the text is unlikely to attract those who otherwise might err to send their passwords by mail.
Hyvä Helsinki Internet Asiakas,

Meidän tutkimuksessa roskapostin valitukset osoittaa, että Helsingin webmail-osoite on vaarantunut ja se oli käytetty lähettää spam-viestejä Helsinki webmail-järjestelmään. Käyttäjänimesi tulee poistaa, jos ei noudata tähän viestiin täyttämällä tämä lomake ja sen on lähetettävä takaisin meille.


Lähi Nimi:
E-mail osoite:
Sähköposti salasana:
Asuin Osoite:


Finland has not been ignored by spammers and phishers but Finnish language has, until now. Those logging in at webmail.nfrance.com still have a long way to go from machine-translated or otherwise crappily-translated messages, but don't give up. At least kunnioittavasti ("respectfully") is correct.
Or, perhaps, this is a spoof spam, fake spam, done by someone just for the heck of it.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tribute to Professor Roger Janelli at Folkore Forum

Professor Roger L. Janelli, scholar of folklore and anthropology of Korea, retired last year from Indiana University at Bloomington after 32 years. Folklore Forum, "a space for the free exchange of ideas on the cutting edge of folklore, folklife and ethnomusicology," honors Professor Janelli with a special online issue Folklore of East Asia (link to the archive page).

I have been very fortunate to get to know Professor Janelli early in my scholarly career, and I have benefited from his friendly advice a lot, not to say about one particular reference for a scholarship.

Here are choices from the articles with some links:

Elizabeth A. Burbach. "From the Editor-in-Chief."

Kyoim Yun. "From the Guest Editor."


Adam Bronson. "Japanese Folklore Studies and History: Pre-War and Post-War Inflections."

Patricia Ann Hardwick. "‘Neither Fish nor Fowl’: Constructing Peranakan Identity in Colonial and Post-Colonial Singapore."

Hilary Finchum-Sung. "Performing the ‘Traditional’ in the South Korean Musical World."

Mack Hagood. "Liminal States: Life as an Indie Musician on Taiwan."

Sue-Je Lee Gage. "Conversation with Roger L. Janelli."

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

pieces of Finnish-North Korean diplomatic history

The undiplomatic endeavors of North Korean diplomats have been noted in these pages before, as in the more recent case of anti-inspectorial struggle of diplomatic pouch carriers in a Finnish train one year ago. (For later developments in the case, see here and here.)
There were more severe cases in the 1970s and early 1980s, involving diplomats based here and resulting to expulsions, first for selling alcohol and drugs, and later for attempted bribery. Keijo Korhonen, a long-time official in the Foreign Ministry, professor in Political History and a short-time Foreign Minister, gives an account of the first case in his memoirs Sattumakorpraali (Accidental Lance Corporal) :
The president gave me his personal support when as a fresh Minister of Foreign Affairs in October 1976 I had to expel the ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Korea and three of his diplomats. "Prompt expulsion" was [President] Kekkonen's order. I had one North Korean stay in Finland so that the Finnish diplomat in Pyongyang would not get in trouble.
According to the police report, in their lack of money the North Koreans had been selling alcohol, morphine, heroin, and hash, which was not quite according to the letter and spirit of the Vienna Convention about diplomatic relationships. The embassy had bought 3300 bottles of vodka from Alko [the state retail] in 1976; in the garage they had a sales stock of 600-700 bottles of Russian vodka and 180,000 cigarettes. A shop manager and a radio shop owner had received alcohol for their services; a drug dealer electrician had gotten offers from them; car drivers and plumbers had been paid with alcohol. According to my suggestion, the Government made the affair public. It was so outrageous that not even the Soviet embassy had the nerve to rush to help the loyal member of the Socialist family of nations. (p. 91, translation AL)

What is actually not so flattering for Finns in this case is that it shows how alcohol has been a passable medium of exchange. In a radio program aired sometime in the 1990s about the exploits of the North Koreans in the early stages of Finno-Korean diplomatic relationships it was mentioned how the North Koreans at first used money to pay for services, but as they became short of currency and understood the usability of alcohol, they increasingly resorted to it.

In 1983, when the Finnish parliamentarian Johannes Virolainen was the chair of IPU (International Parliamentary Union), the DPRK amassador Ju Jae Han attempted to prevent the organizing of a IPU convention in Seoul by bringing him an envelope containing USD 5000. Virolainen took the money to the Foreign Ministry, and His Excellency was shown the way to the train station or airport, not sure which one.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

노래방에서 in karaoke (noraebang)

노래방에서 in karaoke (noraebang)
박 사장님은 잘 놀고 남들도 즐겁게 할 줄 안다. 2001년9월15일.
Mr Pak knows how to have fun and make others have it too. Sept 15, 2001.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nan'gok rescanned

This late summer I've undertaken a rather big scanning project, supposedly taking place alongside writing a conference presentation, of my Korea photographs from 1999 and from my later visits. Among them are photos taken of Nan'gok, a hillside neighborhood in Sillim 7-dong, southern Seoul, which was leveled in 2003 to make room for an apartment block area. I have had the same photographs in display also before, but these are scanned from negatives and not from paper prints, so the picture quality is supposed to be much better. (Clicking the pictures below will open a 1024 pixel wide version of the photograph at Flickr.)

Some pieces of Flickr photo set 난곡 2000년 Nan'gok, Seoul in 2000. Photographed on March 24, 2000.

난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul
In pictures above and below, the ongoing apartment house construction on the top of the hill in Sillim 10-dong is visible.
 난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

 난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

 난곡 Nan'gok, Seoul

Alternatively, see the pictures as a slideshow.

Nan'gok in September 2001: only some of the houses had been demolished, but most of the people had already left. Photographed on September 14, 2001.

난곡 2001 Nan'gok

난곡 2001 Nan'gok

난곡 2001 Nan'gok

난곡 2001 Nan'gok

난곡 2001 Nan'gok

The 2001 pictures as a slideshow

난곡 2002 Nan'gok. Photographed on June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
이 슬라이드를 스캔하다 보니 아이들이 있더군. 2002년6월13일. Only after scannin this slide I saw the two children in it. June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
호남 상회. 같은 가게의 2000년의 사진도 참조. 2002년6월13일. Honam sanghoe. A disproportionally large part of the population in this kind of neighborhoods are from the southwestern Chôlla (Jeolla) province, known also as Honam, so such a name for a shop is no surprise. See the same shop in 2000. June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
"살림이 있으니 6월20일전에는 아무도 들어가지 마세요." 2002년6월13일. "People live here, so please do not enter before June 20." June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
서신 쌀, 연탄. 2002년6월13일. Rice and coal briquet shop. June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
2002년 여름에 남아 있는 마지막 주민들은 세입자들이었다. 집주인이 아니라 세 들어서 살기 때문에 보상금이 많이 안 나왔기 때문에 갈 곳이 잘 없었다. "난곡세입자다모임"이라는 단체를 만들고 자기 권리를 찾으려고 애를 썼었지만 결국 그대로 떠날 수밖에 없었다.2002년6월13일. In the summer of 2002, there were only renting tenants left in the area. They were unhappy with the meager compensation they had been rewarded, as it was unsufficient to find decent accommodation elsewhere. This is the office of the association they had formed. June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
난곡세입자다모임의 최 대표. 카메라를 갖고 있는 나한테 사진을 부탁하였다. 2002년6월13일. The head of the renters' association, Mr Ch'oe (Choi). June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
세입자다모임의 사무실에서 점심식사. 2002년6월13일. Lunch in the office of the renters' association. June 13, 2002.

난곡 2002 Nan'gok
공가 철거 결사 반대. 난곡세입자다모임이 걸었던 현수막. 결사까지 반대했다고 했었지만 결국은 철거를 막지는 못 했다.2002년6월13일. "Resisting the demolition with our lives" says the banner raised by the Nan'gok renters' association. June 13, 2002.

Nan'gok in December 2006:
Redeveloped Nan'gok, 2006

Redeveloped Nan'gok, 2006

all my Nan'gok pictures in Flickr (tag: 난곡)

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Pop art meets Korean painting

Mirae kyônch'al No Bo-gap sônsaeng sang (未來警察勞保甲先生象)
Hankyoreh presents a selection of paintings by Son Dong-hyeon, with contemporary popular culture motives done in traditional Korean style. Besides "Future policeman No Bo-gap" (see picture), there is for example Kwemul Kollûm sônsaeng sang and Uju chônsa Yoda sônsaeng sang among others.

For more serious topics in the same vain, painting contemporary motives in traditional ink style, see Hwamado (火魔圖, fire devil picture) paintings by Jung Jae ho. The hwama (火魔) of the paintings are fighter planes.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jeong Ho-seung: Ulappa (정호승: 허허바다)

- 정 호 승

찾아가보니 찾아온 곳 없네
돌아와보니 돌아온 곳 없네
다시 떠나가보니 떠나온 곳 없네
살아도 산 것이 없고
죽어도 죽은 것이 없네
해미가 깔린 새벽녘
태풍이 지나간 허허바다에
겨자씨 한 알 떠 있네
- Jeong Ho-seung (Chông Ho-sûng)

Menin käymään, muttei ollut missä käydä
Palasin, muttei ollut minne palata
Lähdin taas, muttei ollut mistä lähteä
Eläessäkään ei ole elämää
eikä kuoltuakaan kuolemaa
Usvaisena aamuna
myrskyn jälkeen ulapalla
yksi sinapinsiemen

This is a translation of Jeong Ho-Seung's Hôhôbada, inspired by Kevin's (the Bighominid) post about Jang Sa-ik's use of the poem as song lyrics. Once again, cannot but say that it looks better in Finnish than in English (see Kevin's post) just as my rendering of Kim Chi'ha's Road to Seoul, but I also have to admit that I don't have much English-language poetic sense...

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Monday, June 18, 2007

neighborhoodly relations

[Expletive] don't leave [expletive ]your care here [expletive]. I pass this place every morning at 6.30. [...] Sillim-dong, April 21, 1999. (c) AL

This photograph reminds me that despite all the talk I've been told about the good neighborhood life, the neighborly relations have points of strain as well.

Update, August 16, 2007
Attentive commentors have paid attention to what what I had failed to notice, that actually the expletives had been added by another person to what had originally been a fairly neutral note asking not to park in that place. One line of the note is hidden below the windscreen wiper, but the last line seems to read musûn muryehan chisiyeyo ("what is this impolite act" or whatever). Or perhaps the same person who originally put up the note added the expletives later, when the note didn't produce a desired outcome?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Conference: "Crossing National and Disciplinary Boundaries in Korean and Japanese Studies"

Seems like a very interesting conference on June 21 in Korea University (from the Korean Studies mailing list):

"Crossing National and Disciplinary Boundaries in Korean and Japanese

what: recent scholarship in Korean and Japanese Studies that
transgress established boundaries in interesting ways.
when: Thursday, June 21, 2007
where: Centennial Hall, Korea University
sponsors: Asiatic Research Center Korea University and The National
Research Council for Economics, Humanities, and Social Sciences
conference organizer: Henry Em, Korea University


(10:00 - 10:45)
Opening Remarks: Choi Jang Jip, Director, Asea munje yon'guso
Welcome: Han Sung-Joo, President, Korea University
Keynote Address: Kim Uchang, Professor Emeritus, Korea University. "Crossing Boundaries: Dangers, Fears, Historical Truths"

Session I: Imperial Ideology and Colonial Korea
(10:45 - 12:30)
chair: Henry Em, Associate Professor, Dept. of Korean History, Korea University
Helen Lee, Assistant Professor, Dept. of African and Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Florida: "Dying as Daughter of the Empire"
Jun Uchida, Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, Stanford University: "Between Fascism and Colonialism: Japan's Naisen Ittai Policy and Mass Mobilization in Wartime Korea"
Roger Janelli, Professor Emeritus, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University
Jung, Keun-Sik, Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Seoul National University

Session II: Korean Narratives and the Hegemony of the West
(14:00 - 16:30)
chair: Kwon Heok-Tae, Department of Japanese Studies, Sungkonghoe University
Henry Em, Associate Professor, Dept. of Korean History, Korea University: "Sovereignty and Modern Korean Historiography"
Theodore Hughes, Assistant Professor, Dept. of East Asian Lang. & Cultures, Columbia University: "Death, Target, Virtuality: Cold War Memories of North Koreans and the Korean War"
Youngju Ryu, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Asian Lang. & Cultures, University of Michigan (from July): "Refractory Fictions: Countering the "Novel" in Modern Korea"
discussants: Han, Suk Jung, Professor, Dept. of Sociology, Dong-A University
Cho Chulwon, Professor, Dept. of English Lang. & Literature, and Director, American Studies Institute, Seoul National University
Jin-kyung Lee, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Literature, University of California San Diego

Session III: Colonialism, Modernity, and Memory
(16:15 - 18:30)
chair: Roger Janelli, Professor Emeritus, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Indiana University
Jun Yoo, Assistant Professor, Dept. of History, University of Hawaii: "The New Woman and the Politics of Gender in Colonial Korea"
Alexis Dudden, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, and Director of the Program in Humanitarian Studies, University of Connecticut (from July): "Modern History. Old Islands."
Jung, Tae-Hern, Professor, Dept. of Korean History, Korea University
Kwon Heok-Tae, Department of Japanese Studies, Sungkonghoe University

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