Korean Embroidery – Jasu

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In my last blog post dated 24 August 2019, I have talked about one of Korean traditional crafts, najeonchilgi (mother-of-pearl craft works), in this blog post, let’s talk about another Korean traditional craft, embroidery, or in Korean, jasu (자수). You could also often see products decorated by jasu in shops selling traditional Korean handicrafts. Continue reading

Chance to know more about Korean sports history

With the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics drawing near, there are special exhibitions held to celebrate this great event in South Korea. Apart from the tiger-related special exhibition held in the National Museum of Korea mentioned in my blog post dated 28 January 2018, a special exhibition entitled “Korean Sports, a History Written in Sweat” is currently held in the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History until 4 March 2018.  Continue reading

Tiger in Korean Culture

Q: What do the Seoul 1988 Olympics, the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 and the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games have in common, apart from the fact that they are hosted in South Korea?

A: They all use tigers as the official mascots.

According to a poll run by the National Institute of Biological Resources, part of the Ministry of Environment, tiger is Koreans’ favourite animal. In fact, tiger has a close connection with the Korean culture – let’s discuss about this in this blog post. Continue reading

A new venue to enjoy Korean traditional paintings

In my blog post dated 5 March 2017, I have provided an overview of the Korean traditional paintings.  Where will you go if you want to see some Korean traditional paintings?  You may think of venues like the National Museum of Korea and art galleries.  However, currently, there is a new venue where you can see such paintings -the Seoul Metro. Continue reading

Let’s go hiking in Inwangsan!

Have you watched the recently aired Korean TV drama, “Queen for Seven Days” (7일의 왕비)?  This drama is about the sad love story of King Jungjong and his wife, Queen Dangyeong (who was deposed after being crowned as the queen for 7 days only) of the Joseon Dynasty.  Do you know Inwangsan (인왕산), one of the well-known mountains in South Korea, is also related to this sad love story?  Let’s talk about this famous mountain in this blog post. Continue reading

Let’s enjoy Korean traditional paintings!

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The Korean TV drama “Saimdang: Light’s Diary” (사임당, 빛의 일기) currently being aired is about the life of Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), a famous female poet and artist of the Joseon period.  In the drama, you can often see Korean traditional paintings during the Joseon period.  I really like the Korean traditional paintings – they’re simple but elegant.  When I visited the National Museum of Korea, I also bought file folders with the Korean traditional paintings (as shown in the photos above).  In this post, let’s have a brief overview of the Korean traditional paintings – for the purpose of this post, it means Korean paintings up to and including the Joseon period. Continue reading

Let’s get hands-on Korean cultural experience!

As a Korean culture lover, I find it interesting to read and see different aspects of Korean culture, but it’s even more fun to get some hands-on experience.  In this post, I’d like to share information on some places in Seoul in which you can get Korean cultural experience. Continue reading

Ssireum – Korean traditional wrestling

If you are a fan of the Korean variety show, Running Man, you may have seen a number of times that the MCs and the guests played ssireum (씨름) – Korean traditional wrestling in which two players compete by grabbing the opponent’s satba (샅바 – a cloth belt tied around the waist and thigh) and trying to knock the opponent down by using strength and techniques. You can watch this video for one of the episodes of Running Man in which ssireum was played.

In January 2017, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration has designated ssireum as a national intangible cultural asset.  An application has also been submitted to list ssireum as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO and the final decision will be made in 2018.  Let’s talk about this traditional Korean sports in this post. Continue reading

Interesting things about Insadong in Seoul

If you have visited Seoul before, it is very likely that you have already gone to Insadong (인사동) since it is a popular tourist spot well-known for traditional Korean arts & crafts, workshops, galleries, restaurants and tea houses, some of them are housed in remodeled hanoks (i.e., the traditional Korean-style houses).  When I studied Korean in Seoul, Insadong was one of my favourite places for spending my weekends in a relaxing way – I liked to read books while having the traditional Korean tea in one of the tea houses there.  Let me share some interesting things about Insadong in this post. Continue reading

Here comes Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving)…

13 September 2019 is Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) in South Korea and this is one of the important traditional festivals for Koreans. I have talked about the Chuseok gifts that Koreans may buy in the blog post dated 2 February 2015.  Let’s talk about some more interesting customs about the Korean Chuseok in this blog post. Continue reading