Special Events, Workshops and Conferences

  • 2020 Feb 25

    Prayers for Divine Protection: The Temple God (1885) of Hŭngch’ŏnsa and the Cult of Guan Yu

    4:30pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

    Barker 133, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Harvard Buddhist Studies Forum; co-sponsored by the Korea Institute
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    Seunghye Lee
    Curator of Buddhist Art, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

    Seunghye Lee holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago with a specialty in Chinese and Korean Buddhist art. Currently, she is Curator at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, where she co-curated the exhibition “Exquisite and Precious: The Splendor of Korean Art” in 2015 and edited its catalogue. She has also held a position at the Academy of Buddhist Studies, Dongguk University, where she participated in a nation-wide survey of Buddhist manuscripts and xylographs in temple collections. Her research focuses on the relationship between Buddhist art and practices of worship in China and Korea from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. Her major publications include an annotated English translation with introduction of Go Yuseop’s A Study of Korean Pagodas: Joseon tappa ui yeon’gu (Seoul: Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, 2017); “Hall of Underground Palace of the Tianfeng Pagoda: Changing Form, Function, and Meaning of Reliquary Space in Southern Song China” (Chicago: Art Media Resources, 2019) and “Aspirations for Pure Land Embodied in a Modern Buddhist Temple, Anyang’am” (Acta Koreana 22, no. 1, 2019). She is working on a monograph on the consecration of Korean Buddhist images, while continuing her research on modern Korean Buddhism and Buddhist art.

    Abstract
    Korean Buddhist temples rarely dedicate shrines to tutelary deities or enshrine visual representations of them in worship halls. The Temple God (1885), hung in the main hall of Hŭngch’ŏnsa in today’s Seoul, is a rare example. In this painting, the main deity sits at the center, solemnly facing front. Its iconographical features demonstrate visual affinities with cultic images of Guan Yu, the legendary Chinese marshal who was deified and worshipped as Kwanwang or “King Kwan” in late Chosŏn Korea. Intriguing visual similarities between this Buddhist deity and Guan Yu have not been examined thoroughly in previous studies of late Chosŏn Buddhist paintings. The cult of the Chinese god, which enjoyed unparalleled support from the royal court and commoners during King Kojong’s reign, seems to have been a major factor behind this unlikely iconographical borrowing. By closely analyzing the Temple God against the religious and visual culture of the late nineteenth century, this talk sheds new light on the religious syncretism reflected in the painting and implications behind the royal patronage of the Guan Yu cult in a time of political chaos and upheaval.... Read more about Prayers for Divine Protection: The Temple God (1885) of Hŭngch’ŏnsa and the Cult of Guan Yu

  • 2020 Mar 02

    Film Screening of “Shusenjo”

    4:15pm

    Location: 

    Tsai Auditorium (S010), CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Film Screening & Discussion with the Director; jointly sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Kim Koo Forum at the Korea Institute, and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
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    Miki Dezaki
    Film Director

    Miki Dezaki is a recent graduate (March 2018) of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. He worked for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program for five years in Yamanashi and Okinawa before becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand for one year. He is also known as "Medamasensei" on Youtube, where he has made comedy videos and videos on social issues in Japan. His most notable video is "Racism in Japan," which led to numerous online attacks by Japanese neo-nationalists who attempted to deny the existence of racism and discrimination against Zainichi Koreans (Koreans with permanent residency in Japan) and Burakumin (historical outcasts still discriminated today). "Shusenjo" is his directorial debut.

    Participants:
    Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University
    James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center 
    Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature; Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    About the Movie:
    The "comfort women" issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of "comfort women" are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation... Read more about Film Screening of “Shusenjo”

  • 2020 Mar 13

    Merit or Inheritance?: How Young Adults Understand Inequality in Japan and Korea

    4:15pm to 5:45pm

    Location: 

    Porte Seminar Room (S250), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Edwin O. Reischauer Institute Japan Forum Lecture Series; co-sponsored by the Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs at the Harvard Korea Institute and the Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations
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    Yuki Asahina
    ...

    Read more about Merit or Inheritance?: How Young Adults Understand Inequality in Japan and Korea
  • 2020 Mar 24

    The Political Constraints to Economic Growth in Asia

    2:00pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

    Belfer Case Study Room (S020), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Harvard-Yenching Institute Annual Roundtable; co-sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center and the Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs at the Korea Institute

    Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ashoka University
    Kaoru Sugihara, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto
    Taeyoon Sung, Yonsei University
    Kellee Tsai, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Yang Yao, Peking University

    Moderated by Elizabeth Perry,...

    Read more about The Political Constraints to Economic Growth in Asia
  • 2020 Apr 27

    Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care

    4:00pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138
    Harvard-Yenching Library Book Talk; co-sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and the Korea Institute at Harvard University

    Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature; Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    Chaired by Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian History; Interim Director, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University