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Monday, May 17, 2004

Everyday objects of contemporary Korean history

While looking for info on the prices of rice in Korea in the end of 50s and early 60s I ended up at the site of the Musem of the (Municipal) University of Seoul, where there's a wonderful pictorial exhibition of everyday objects of contemporary Korean history.

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I wanted to find some new info on the price of rice, because I have so conflicting information on it. Jo Jung-rae in his novel Han'gang tells that one kama (80 kg) of rice cost 13000 hwan in 59-60 (an earlier post of mine). But according to Grandfather Kwôn who used to keep a laundry in Sillim-dong, and who in the common Korean fashion often compared prices in the old times to the price of one kama of rice, the price in the late 50s and early 60s was from 1000 to 4000 hwan.
(11.6.99) TV set cost the same as a house… a TV set cost 200 kama (sacks) of rice.
(13.12.99) At that night I spent 20 000 won, which was the price of 5-6 kama of rice, sangsanghal sudo ŏmnŭn ton, almost one month's salary for her father.

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