FEATURES (22)

The Origins of Kisaeng

Written by  |  Friday, 19 August 2022 22:19  |  Published in FEATURES

Skilled, Beautiful, and Much More Entertaining than Business Matters.

In ancient times Chinese, Koreans and Japanese businessmen and government officials used the sensual appeal and entertainment skills of young women as integral elements in creating and maintaining their professional relationships.

Early in Korea’s “Three Kingdoms Period” [roughly 57 B.C. to 669 A.D.] troupes of attractive young women trained extensively in singing, dancing, poetry, music and more as entertainers and became permanent parts of the kings’ courts and the various ministries of the three governments.

These young women came to be known as kisaeng (kee-sang), or “skilled persons,” and their numbers and influence increased significantly over time.

KANG.D of D.GNAK

Written by  |  Sunday, 09 April 2017 03:21  |  Published in FEATURES

Fashion Designer turns Imprecision into Perfection


D.GNAK, a Korean-born fashion designer trained in New York, believes truly outstanding designs don't need to make sense and has created intriguing pieces that fail tofollow mainstream design concepts. His logo, which is the reverse mirror image of his name, captures the uniqueness of his brand that goes against popular templates. Launched in 2008, the D.GNAK men’s clothing line has achieved global success. KANG. D. shared his international influences and inspirations with Seoul Journal

U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea: Building Lasting Relations

When it comes to international relations, Mark Lippert, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, comes with a wealth of experience. He has served as a foreign policy advisor to various Senators and Senate Committees, including his work as the Foreign Policy Advisor for then-Senator Obama from 2005 to 2008. After Mr. Obama was elected as president, Mr. Lippert served him as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff for the National Security Council. Mr. Lippert left Washington from 2009 to 2011 to be on active duty in the United States Navy, and upon his return, held senior positions in the Department of Defense. In 2014, he was appointed as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. Since then, he has served his country as a representative to build and maintain peaceful relations between the two countries. On March 5th, 2015 during an event organized by the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, which advocates peaceful reunification between North and South Korea, a man named Ki-Jong Kim, who was protesting annual joint military drills between South Korea and the U.S. military, slashed Ambassador Lippert in the face and jaw shortly before the ambassador was supposed to give a speech. The gash required 80 stitches. In addition, the ambassador was also slashed five times on his left arm and hand. Ki-Jong Kim was sentenced to 12 years in prison for attempted murder, assaulting a foreign envoy and business obstruction. Adding on to the ambassador’s expertise in international relations and diplomacy, Mr. Lippert brings a personable approach to his position; his fast acquisition of the Korean language, his love of walking in the streets of Seoul, and his social media accounts that share his daily life in Korea show the endearing personality he brings to his job. He currently resides in Seoul with his wife, Mrs. Robyn Lippert, his son, Sejun Lippert, and a pet dog, Grisby, a lovable basset hound who has his own Twitter account. Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie about his experience as an ambassador and his experience in Korea. 

Businessman-turned-photographer communicates with his subjects through still-life photography, placing emphasis on sensibility

Korean-born Bohnchang Koo studied at Yonsei University with a major in Business Administration, only to discover that he was not happy as a businessman. When he was younger, Koo enjoyed playing with craftsmanship, but he believed he wasn’t qualified as an artist, so he never insisted on going to art school. After serving the army for three years, he studied in Hamburg, Germany. There, he found his possibilities, talents, and sensibility — a sensibility that was shameful in Korea. Because the students and professors in Germany encouraged his sensibility, he became confident in finding what he wanted to do with his life. What he found was photography. Since discovering his passion, Koo’s works have appeared in over 30 solo exhibitions and he has won three notable awards. Aside from being a professional photographer, Koo was a professor at Kaywon School of Art and Design, Chung Ang University, Seoul Institute of the Arts, and a visiting professor in London Saint Martin School. Seoul Journal executive editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Koo about his photography, how he transitioned from a businessman to a photographer, and what inspirations he gets from other photographers to incorporate into his own works.

Building a Global Community

Ambassador Oh Joon is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations. His most recent role at the U.N. was President of the Economic and Social Council, which he served from 2015 to 2016.He currently serves as the President of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Having begun his career fresh out of university at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Oh has served as a diplomat both within South Korea and around the world. Working as a senior member of the Korean Foreign Ministry, he has worked at the Republic of Korea Embassy in Brazil and Malaysia, and most recently was Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Singapore from 2010 to 2013. He has also served many roles in the United Nations, where he represented the Republic of Korea in many U.N. bodies. He has also served as President of the Security Council in 2014. Seoul Journal Executive editor Anthony Al-Jamie talked with Ambassador Joon about diplomacy, his experiences, and challenges that face our world today.

Artist Yun-Woo Choi

Written by  |  Saturday, 23 July 2016 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

Defying Boundaries through Massive Magazine and Newspaper Sculptures


Yun-Woo Choi received a BFA and an MFA in sculpture from Hong-Ik University, and an MFA from School of Visual Arts. Choi was a recipient of the Jung-Ang Fine Art prize in 2007, the winner of the Year in Review award in the Sculpture and Installation category from See.Me in 2014, and he participated in the Anderson Ranch Art Center’s residency program in Aspen, Colorado. His works have been featured in several shows in the U.S. and Korea, including the Chungju International Craft Biennial and the Busan International Biennial. He currently works and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Seoul Journal talked with Yun-Woo Choi to discuss his views on art and his current works.

Ballerina Hyo Jung Kang

Written by  |  Sunday, 27 March 2016 08:03  |  Published in FEATURES

Graceful Ballerina Hyo-Jung Kang Dances Her Way Across the World and into the Spotlight

Hyo-Jung Kang was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. She started her ballet training in 1998 at the Sunwha Art Middle School in Seoul. From there, she traveled all over the world to train at the Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. and to perform in various parts of Asia, America, Switzerland, and Germany. Kang even participated in the Prix de Lausanne, and continued her ballet training at the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart where she graduated in 2004. In April 2011, she was given the prestigious title of “Principal Dancer” after her amazing performance as Juliet in John Cranko’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Seoul Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie spoke with Hyo-Jung Kang as she gave us insight on her life and career as a successful dancer.

Hines Ward

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 March 2016 03:33  |  Published in FEATURES

NFL Analyst & Former Star Receiver Discusses his Korean Heritage

Hines Ward is a champion on and off the football field who has come a long way from his birthplace in Seoul, South Korea. The retired National Football League (NFL) wide receiver, who is currently an NBC studio analyst, holds every receiving record in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Born in Seoul in 1976 to a Korean mother and an African American father, he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has become an advocate for the social acceptance of foreigners and mixed-race youth in South Korea. In addition, President Barack Obama, who has called Hines Ward “the happiest man in football,” appointed Hines a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP of Super Bowl XL is a four-time Pro Bowler, the all-time team leader in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, and the only receiver in Steeler history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for four straight seasons. He was named to the Steelers’ 75th Season All-Time Team and on January 1 2012, his last catch as a Pittsburgh Steeler made NFL history as Hines became the eighth player to reach 1,000 career receptions. Since his retirement from the NFL, he has appeared on television and the silver screen, making cameos in The Dark Knight Rises and The Walking Dead, and championing the dance floor as a reality TV star, winning Season 12 of ABC's hit dance competition Dancing with the Stars. His many achievements have resulted in Hines being featured on the cover of such publications as TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and Esquire, and as one of GQ's 2009 "Men of the Year.” Hines Ward shared insight into his Korean roots and his many achievements with Seoul Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie.

Author Chung Serang

Written by  |  Sunday, 29 November 2015 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

The Youngest Korean Author to Have Her Novels Translated to Japanese

Serang Chung debuted as a writer in 2010 at the age of 26, with her fictional short story “Dream, Dream, Dream” which was published in the journal “Fantastic” and Naver’s “Today’s Literature.” Just four years later in 2014, she received the Changbi Prize for “As Close as This.” She has written stories of multiple genres including romance, sci-fi and horror. Having a strong interest in Japanese literature herself, her novels have not only been translated into Japanese, but she is also the youngest Korean author to have had her books translated into Japanese. Serang Chung shared some of her insights into the literary world with Seoul Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie.

Role of Friendship Networks

Written by  |  Friday, 27 November 2015 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES
Tagged under

 

Friendships are obviously important in all societies for business as well as for social reasons, but few people go as far as Koreans in their need and compulsion to develop and keep a network of chingu (cheen-goo) or friends.

EIGHT WAYS TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION IN KOREA

 |  Saturday, 08 August 2015 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

 

Whether you’re travelling to Korea for business or pleasure, showing your respect for Korean culture and traditions is important. Here are eight super nice things you can do for your friends in Korea to make a really good first impression that’ll last!

Drinking Survival Rules in Korea

Written by  |  Saturday, 11 July 2015 06:04  |  Published in FEATURES

 

The basic game plan for any night out among Koreans is to last five rounds which cover five different locations. These rounds often include multiple alcoholic beverages and food across a spectrum of delicacies. It may sound like a basic bar hop from the college days of yore, but for many, they’re no longer in college and still, the need to “hop” from place to place persists. For anyone new to Korea, if you don’t know what the expectations are, you could go hard and fast and end up home in bed before the night has even began according to Korean standards. The rounds can be flexible in order, but do not doubt that there will be multiple rounds with lots of food and drink. Here are the basics before you head out for the first time or for the next time.

Irvine, California Mayor Steven Choi

Written by  |  Monday, 06 April 2015 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

Irvine, California Mayor Steven Choi

Brings Work, Living and Play Together at Great Park

Steven Seokho Choi is the second Korean-born mayor of Irvine, California and the first Asian American to have been elected to a four-year term on the Irvine City Council. Holding a B.A. from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea, he earned his master’s degree in library science from Louisiana State University and his Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh. He founded and serves as director of Dr. Choi’s Academy and has taught at University of Southern California, University of California Irvine, California State University Los Angeles, Henderson State University, Saddleback College and Coastline Community College. His political career began when he was elected to the Irvine Unified School District School Board in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. He was then elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004. In 2012, Choi successfully ran for Mayor of Irvine and was re-elected in 2014. Seoul Journal's Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie met with Mayor Choi at Irvine City Hall.

Author Kyung-sook Shin

Written by  |  Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

Kyung-sook Shin is a celebrated author in her native South Korea. She made her literary debut in 1985, winning the Munye Joongang New Author Prize for her novella Winter Fable. She recently came to international attention with the translation of her latest book, Please Look After Mom, into a number of languages for distribution in 33 countries. The book is about a mother who disappears and the family’s desperate search to find her. It won the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize for 2011, the Asian equivalent of the Man Booker Prize. The first Korean and first woman to win the prize, she beat celebrated Asian authors such as Haruki Murakami and Anuradha Roy. TJ’s Hong Kong correspondent David Nunan caught up with Ms. Shin at the recent Hong Kong International Literary Festival where she was a featured speaker.

DN: When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?
K-s S: My dream to become a writer came very naturally to me. I grew up in the rural countryside, a long way from the city. We raised animals like cows and chickens and then we would kill them and eat them. I had many siblings, many brothers who would bring books home and leave them lying around. I read them and fell in love with literature. Many of the questions I had about life were answered in the books. I loved the characters and felt that I was experiencing the same thing. So my dream to become an author was very natural to me. When I was 16, I went to Seoul to go to high school, and my love of literature got deeper there.

Rethinking the MBA

Written by  |  Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00  |  Published in FEATURES

Rethinking the MBA

As the global financial crisis has subsided, some business schools have added one or two courses on ethics to their MBA programs. The courses are mostly an afterthought. The thinking behind them is: “Our financial institutions have behaved badly, so maybe it would be a good idea to add a touch of ethical instruction to the curriculum.” Nothing could be more revealing of the mindset of our economic thinkers than that business ethics has become a sideshow, an add-on, an extra frill.

The prevailing view of the economy as a giant autonomous mechanism following inexorable laws is a highly abstract, quasi-scientific conception. Like the laws of gravity, there isn’t much room for ethics. But, in fact, this prevailing view conflicts sharply with how we actually experience the economy in our day-to-day encounters.

The Hungarian philosopher Karl Polanyi emphasized the importance of what he called “tacit knowledge,” or non-conscious knowledge that accumulates from our experience with ideas, objects, people or institutions without our being fully aware of it.

QUALITY TIME

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:24  |  Published in FEATURES

What is the most beneficial way to reward your children?

Buy them a new toy? Allow them to stay up later? Let them watch a special TV show?

These may or may not have positive effects, but none of them can compare with the undivided attention of a parent.

Older children may deny that they require attention from their parents; however, it is possible to see the impact extra attention can have. With younger children, the results are often visible straight away. They respond with smiles and can be encouraged to try new things. Eventually you may notice an increase in your child’s self-esteem as they grow older.

Self-esteem is what we build in our children when we give them the attention they require. However, it is important to give children quality attention; just being around your child is not considered quality attention.

Parenting with Lorraine

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:20  |  Published in FEATURES

A 30-year veteran Marriage Family and Child therapist, mother of five, and grandmother of 10, Lorraine Al-Jamie helps parents to acquire skills that enhance their ability to raise high-functioning and happy children.

The Terrible Twos and Adolescence

Although the terrible twos and adolescence seem far apart, they have much in common. Both are times when children feel a great need for autonomy. Since parents are well aware that children still need us to guide them, we cannot just throw our hands up and give them the freedom they want even though at times we may all be tempted to do so.

To help our children develop skills to become responsible adults, we must provide them with opportunities to make their own decisions whenever safe – and when the consequences of a wrong choice don’t overwhelm. This is the challenge. There is a fine line between deciding what consequence may be too hurtful and which not. It takes courage and faith for a mom or dad to watch their child do something that may cause them to fall down. But it is critical that we do just that so children can learn to be thoughtful and make wise decisions before the consequences become tougher as adults.

How we go about setting limits for our children also is critical. This depends on the age and emotional development of the child. Let us start with infancy. Until around two, babies are usually fairly compliant. And then what is often referred to as “the terrible twos” hits and parents don’t know what hit them. It is extremely important that parents don’t think of their children as being BAD. It is helpful if we view this stage as our child doing what he needs to, to learn more about how the world operates. He must push against limits to learn that they exist, and learn how to cope emotionally when he finds himself up against them.

Bullying

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:18  |  Published in FEATURES

A SUBJECT that unfortunately is on our minds today is bullying. Some children’s lives become a living hell because they’ve become the tar- gets of a bully or several bullies. Death is the outcome in extreme cases. It is not unknown for a victim to commit suicide to escape from bullying. It appears to me that the attack on this outrage must be two pronged. We must help the victim and protect him physically and psychologically. And we must realize that the bully also desperately needs our help.

Who can help? Many of us: the parents and family of the victim, the parents and family of the bully. Also teachers and educational administrators, coaches and other adult leaders plus anyone who witnesses an incident of bullying. It’s so natural and easy for passersby to not act by telling himself that it’s none of his business and that it is the responsibility of other adults to deal with the situation. But you cannot assume that someone else is going to rescue the child.

Parenting with Lorraine

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:16  |  Published in FEATURES

30-year veteran Marriage Family and Child Therapist and mother of 5 assists parents in acquiring skills that enhance their ability to raise high-functioning and happy children.

Respect

What outcome are we aiming for?

It is almost universally agreed that the most important job in the world is raising a child, and yet, it is often something we undertake without any preparation. Generally, we parent as we were parented and sometimes this leads to a positive outcome. However, we are not always clear about what outcome we are aiming for.

Blind obedience?

Do we want our children to be blindly obedient? In some cases, “yes.” For example when we shout “STOP” when our child is about to step into oncoming traffic without looking. But how about when we call them to come to us when they are in the middle of some task that is important to them? Are we willing to hear “just a minute, I’m playing a video game.” For some, that is a natural and acceptable response. For others it may feel like defiance. What makes for that difference in our reaction? Generally, it is in the tone of the relationship we have developed with that child.

Mutual respect

When we have built a relationship based on mutual respect and trust, we are much less likely to interpret our child’s response as defiance. For many it is a novel idea that “respect” is a quality that goes in both directions. We are likely to believe that our children owe us respect. We are less likely to understand that our children also want respect.

Saving Face in Korea

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:43  |  Published in FEATURES

Getting Along & Getting Things Done in Korea!

The Importance Of Saving Face in Korea!

Because of the importance of social class, rank and precise behavioral forms in pre-modern Korea all Koreans became incredibly sensitive about the behavior of others as well as their own actions because there were so many ways they could get into trouble.

Doing something that made someone else “lose face” or yourself losing face was not a trivial thing. It could be, and often was, disastrous—and it is still something that cannot be taken lightly.

This cultural factor gave birth to chae-myun (chay-me-yuun) or “face-saving” as one of the most important—and demanding—aspects of Korean life.

Through the Eyes of Yankelovich

Written by  |  Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:41  |  Published in FEATURES

See how one of the world’s most influential people in public affairs, communications and public relations, Daniel Yankelovich, views the world.

A PROBLEM NOT CONFINED TO THE UNITED STATES

DEMOCRACIES with capitalist economic systems like those in Japan, the United States and Europe have many features in common. One is to compartmentalize thinking about the economy as if it were an autonomous system that operated in isolation of the larger society to which it belongs. Such thinking can lead to serious miscalculations of the sort that currently threaten the social contract that now prevails in the United States

Most economic theorists acknowledge that capitalism creates inequalities. This is a tradeoff that most Americans up to now have willingly accepted, despite the high value we place on equality. To reconcile the conflicting pulls of freedom and equality, Americans have settled on the principle of equality of opportunity as the underlying core value of democratic capitalism. Unfortunately, however, the traditional American value of seeking to “better oneself ” is beginning to show signs of erosion. This is because it is becoming increasingly difficult to realize.

South Korean Exports Rising

Written by  |  Tuesday, 04 February 2014 13:33  |  Published in FEATURES

Car parts exports are outdoing exports of finished cars in South Korea. According to a recent article in Korea's leading newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, the improved quality of Korean-made components and more overseas production by Korean conglomerates have attributed to the rise in exports of car parts that is up by 6% in 2013 over the previous year. This rise is nearly double of what the finished automobile industry has seen with their 3.1% increase. According to South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, exports of car parts hit a new record in 2013 at 26 billion won. The Chosun Ilbo also recently reported that exports of IT parts are surging as domestic firms including Samsung boost the proportion of overseas production. In addition, last year exports of semiconductor chips hit a record of US$57.15 billion due to the growing demand in mobile devices. 



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