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International Coffeehouses: Korea

This guide will provide links to resources related to the countries featured in the International Coffeehouses.

panoramic photo off Seoul

 The Night of Seoul. Digital Image. 2006. Lam, Charles. Retrieved from <>

Facts in Brief

Country flag

The Republic of Korea (South Korea) forms the southern part of the Korean peninsula, in eastern Asia. To the north, separated by a frontier that roughly follows the 38th parallel, is the country’s only neighbour, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). To the west is the Yellow Sea, to the south the East China Sea, and to the east the Sea of Japan. The climate is marked by cold, dry winters, with an average temperature of −6°C (21°F), and hot, humid summers, with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F). The official language is Korean. Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Chundo Kyo are the principal traditional religions. Chundo Kyo is peculiar to Korea, and combines elements of Shaman, Buddhist and Christian doctrines. There were an estimated 13.7m. Christians in South Korea in 2008, of whom about 8.6m. were Protestants and 5.1m. Roman Catholics. The national flag (proportions 2 by 3) comprises, in the centre of a white field, a disc divided horizontally by an S-shaped line, red above and blue below, surrounded by four configurations of parallel, broken and unbroken black bars. The capital is Seoul. By December 2014, as part of an administrative decentralization process, all government ministries and institutions had been relocated 120 km south of Seoul to Sejong City, which now constitutes the de facto administrative capital of the country.


Snapshots of South Korea from AP Images

Photo of the winter olympics

PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

Christophe, E. (2018). Pyeongchang Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Photo of the Lotter World Tower at night

Lotter World Tower, Seoul

Lee, J., & rcackett|File|Filed|4/2/2017 1:26:39, P. (2017). South Korea Lotter World Tower.

Chef's making Bibimbap

Bibimbap "mixed rice"

Lee, J. (2013). South Korea Bibimbap.

Photo of a crowd in South Korea

Tradition in modern society

Ahn, Y. (2014). South Korea Daily Life.

Male and female dressed in traditional Korean clothing

Hanbok, Korean traditional clothing

Lee, J., wsantana|BinaryUpdate|PhotoShopped|10/20/2017 12:32:50, P., & wsantana|File|Filed|10/20/2017 12:35:04, P. (2017). South Korea Hanbok.

K-pop band on stage performing


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AP Images

Contemporary and historical images from the Associated Press.

Book Gallery

I'll Be Right There Cover Art

I'll Be Right There

Set in 1980s South Korea amid the tremors of political revolution, I'll Be Right There follows Jung Yoon, a highly literate, 20-something-year-old woman, as she recounts her tragic personal history as well as those of her three intimate college friends. When Yoon receives a distressing phone call from her ex-boyfriend after eight years of separation, memories of a tumultuous youth begin to resurface, forcing her to re-live the most intense period of her life.

Call number: PL992.73.K94 O3513 2013

The Vegetarian Cover Art

The Vegetarian

Winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul. Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman's struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

Call number: PL992.26.K36 C4313 2015  

Modern Korean Drama Cover Art

Modern Korean Drama

Stretching from 1962 to 2004, these seven works tackle major subjects, such as the close of the Choson dynasty and the aftermath of the Korean War, while delving into trenchant cultural issues, such as the marginalization of students who rebel against mainstream education and the role of traditional values in a materialistic society. He chooses works that aren't just for Korean audiences. These texts confront universal themes and situations, tackling the problem of ambition, the trouble with fidelity, and the complexity of sexual and interpersonal relationships.

Call number: PL979.7 .M63 2009  

The Book of Korean Poetry Cover Art

The Book of Korean Poetry

Korea’s history is divided into four periods: the Three Kingdoms of Koguryo (37 bc–ad 668), Shilla (57 bc–ad 668), and Paekche (18 bc–ad 660); Unified Shilla (668–935); Koryo (935–1392); and Choson (1392–1910). Kevin O’Rourke’s The Book of Korean Poetry traces Korean poetry from the pre-Shilla era to the end of Korea’s golden poetry period in the Koryo dynasty. There are two poetry traditions in Korea: hanshi (poems by Korean poets in Chinese characters) and vernacular poems, which are invariably songs.

Call number: PL984.E3 O73 2006  

Learn Korean!

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Map of South Korea

Country Map

General Map of South Korea. Digital Image. Public Domain. Retrieved on 21 February 2018 from <>.


Traditional Folk Music

Traditional Music From Korea Cover Art

Art & Architecture

Photo of the architecture in Unmun-sa

Unmun-sa, North Kyongsang Province, South Korea

(Date of photograph: Between 1974 and 1976). Architecture 1. [architecture]. Retrieved from

image of residential building

Chris Stowers. (2009). Residential buildings on the fringes of Seoul.. Retrieved from

Statue from the war memorial of Korea

Chris Stowers. (2009). Statue in front of The War Memorial of Korea, in Seoul.. Retrieved from

Statue in front of the War Memorial of Korea

Chris Stowers. (2009). Statue in front of The War Memorial of Korea, in Seoul.. Retrieved from

Statue of the Admiral Yi Sun Sin

Chris Stowers. (2009). Statue of Admiral Yi Sun Sin in central Seoul.. Retrieved from

Picture of Gyeongbokgung Palace

Chris Stowers. (2009). Gyeongbokgung Palace, central Seoul.. Retrieved from

photo of artifacts in an exhibition

Curator: Woo, Hyunsoo. (July 8, 2006 - September 23, 2007, 09/26/2006). Celebrate Korea: A Decade of Collecting, Exhibition Installation View. Retrieved from

Photo of a landscape drawing with Korean text

Anonymous Korean. (early 20th Century). Landscape. [drawing]. Retrieved from

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