When We Hide the Sky: Lessons Learned From Korea and Japan’s Pasts

By Kellyn Gross

One of the first Korean proverbs that I heard in the initial months of my living in Gangwon Province was sonbadageuro haneuleul gariryeohanda. Or in English, don’t try to hide the sky with the palm of your hand.

A colleague at the time had difficulty explaining the literal sense of the proverb to me, but the gist I got was that though one can cover the sky from view with her hand, the sky still remains—its existence unending even if you can’t see it.  More figuratively, you can’t deny the obvious or hide from yourself and your past misdeeds.  Life has a way of making us face ourselves no matter what, and it’s foolish to think otherwise.

Equality and Heaven on Earth

by Dae Han Song

The Donghak Uprising marked a pivotal moment in Korean history: in 1894, peasants rose up against a corrupt and exploitative government and declared the equality of all people. Unable to put down the mass uprising, the ruling class betrayed its people and invited Chinese forces into the country, which provoked a Japanese invasion leading to the end of the Donghak Uprising and the beginning of one of Korea’s darkest periods: Japanese colonization. Yet, despite its tragic end, the Donghak Uprising’s struggle for a just and equal society laid the foundation for Korean modernization and democracy.

From Korea With Love – Podcast Episode 1

A Sample Chapter From Sorabol

Where Have All The Korean Ruins Gone?

There isn’t a whole hell of a lot left of the Shilla Dynasty. Aside from two spectacular sets of ruins in Gyeongju—Seokguram and Bulguksa, of course—and a few decent sculptures in the local museum, nearly everything this thousand-year old culture created has been completely destroyed. Part of me suspected that this was due to a lack of artistic fervor, but absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence: it’s also possible that the last millennium of Korean history was turbulent enough to nearly erase the Shilla from existence.

Gwangju Day 2 – 5.18 Memorial Park & Downtown

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