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Constructing "Korean" Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography, and Racial Myth in Korean State Formation Theories

Pai, Hyung Il

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ISBN 10: 067400244X / ISBN 13: 9780674002449
Published by Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, Mass., 2000
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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543 pages. Lovely copy. Minor wear to dust jacket, else like new. Record # 453679. Bookseller Inventory # 453679

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Constructing "Korean" Origins: A Critical ...

Publisher: Harvard University Asia Center, Cambridge, Mass.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In this wide-ranging study, Hyung Il Pai examines how archaeological finds from throughout Northeast Asia have been used in Korea to construct a myth of state formation. This myth emphasizes the ancient development of a pure Korean race that created a civilization rivaling those of China and Japan and a unified state controlling a wide area in Asia.

Through a new analysis of the archaeological data, Pai shows that the Korean state was in fact formed much later and that it reflected diverse influences from throughout Northern Asia, particularly the material culture of Han China. Her deconstruction of the uses of the archaeological finds by nationalistic historians reveals how they have been utilized to legitimate Korean nationalism and a particular form of national identity.

From the Inside Flap:

In this wide-ranging study, Hyung Il Pai examines how archaeological finds from throughout Northeast Asia have been used in Korea to construct a myth of state formation emphasizing the ancient development of a pure Korean race that created a prehistoric civilization rivaling those of China and Japan. Pai traces the many facets of the development of this myth from the theories of Japanese archaeologists working for the colonial regime in Korea through the reaction to these theories of nationalist historians in postwar South Korea. Her deconstruction of the uses and abuses of archaeology reveal how archaeological data have been utilized to legitimate Korean nationalism and a particular form of "pan-Tongi" ethnic identity. Her re-analysis of the archaeological data, however, shows that state formation occurred much later in the peninsula through a process of sustained culture contact and culture change stimulated by the material culture of Han China, which entered the peninsula via the Han dynasty outpost of Lelang commandery, located near what is now P'yongyang, the North Korean capital.

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