Korean American Books

Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Korean Shamanistic Rituals, by Jung Young Lee

This book (published 1980) is derived from Japanese scholar Takashi Akiba’s research and  analysis published in 1950, Field Research on Korean Shamanism. The elaborate and dramatic kut rituals are described relative to shamanism’s focus on nature, birth, death and life. Lee’s research was criticized in a 1982 review by Ch’oe Kil-song for the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, as being a thin reiteration of Akiba’s work, veritably a translation rather than new scholarship. However, it gives access to Akiba’s work which is only available in Japanese.

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