January 2014 Newsletter

Read the newsletter text below or click here to view the formated version if you didn't receive it in your email.


Dear Members and Friends of RAS Korea

A very happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2014 will be a year of peace, although the news is hardly reassuring, whether it be the recent events in North Korea, the provocative attitudes of the Japanese leadership, or the deep divisions and conflicts constantly manifested in South Korean society. But we in the RAS will continue to seek a deeper understanding of and affection for Korea during the coming year, in whatever ways we can.

Our program of lectures remains the most popular of our activities. They will continue, with lectures on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays in January because of the upcoming Lunar New Year at the end of the month.

One challenge facing us is the reduced interest in our excursions. Of course, the winter cold makes travel less appealing and for the first weeks of the year we will offer very few excursions. In recent months, members have naturally expressed disappointment when, after signing up for a tour, they have been notified just a day or two before the excursion is scheduled that it has been cancelled for lack of participants. We cannot usually afford to run tours at a loss, of course, and hiring a bus costs quite a lot. The only solution we can find is to insist that our members should register for an excursion rather earlier than they have been doing. We have decided that the Tuesday afternoon before a weekend bus-excursion will be the deadline for reaching the minimum number (we usually need a minimum of 8 paid-up registrations to pay for the bus). I would like to encourage those of you interested in a particular excursion to actively recruit some friends to accompany you. This does not apply to walking visits within Seoul, of course, where no bus is required and there is no minimum number.

Our other activities will continue, notably the Reading Group and the Business & Culture Club, with the monthly visits to the National Museum resuming in March. A Colloquium for people engaged professionally in Korean Studies using English has been launched under the auspices of the RAS. We also very much hope that a regular viewing and discussion of Korean movies can begin soon. What else might we do? An art-gallery group visiting interesting exhibitions? A tea group?

You will see that we list only a small number of Sponsors. We would be most grateful if more companies and organizations were willing to support our activities. Perhaps some of you reading this letter might see a possibility of sponsorship, which can take many forms? We are more than willing to discuss details with any potential donor / sponsor.

The most important source of income is membership dues, of course, and it is a great help if you can introduce the RAS to your friends and colleagues and encourage them to join us. To help this, we have decided that any member can invite a friend who is not a member to one lecture without their having to pay; equally, if a friend (or even two) accompanies a member on an excursion once, that friend would pay the member’s price. We would ask you not to invite the same persons more than once, of course! We hope they will decide to become members.

I worry that the administration of memberships might have been neglected during 2012, after Sue Bae retired and before Hong Yonjoo replaced her. If any of you feel that our office did not acknowledge receipt of a payment or act upon it in 2012, especially, please contact our Manager so that she can verify our records and take appropriate action.

Our Office holds a considerable stock of books about Korea for sale, which are listed in our home page. You are always welcome to come and browse when the Manager is there (usually during the day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday).

I have gone on too long. Please write to us with your suggestions or complaints, so that we can provide a better service as we begin our 115th year (1900 having been our first!). I want to express particular thanks to our Council and to Ms. Yonjoo Hong for all the support they provide in so many ways.

Happy New Year!

Brother Anthony

President, RAS Korea.


Upcoming Lectures

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 (nb, 1st Tuesday of the month!), Roger Shepherd: The Baekdu Daegan as One Mountain System (he will also sign copies of his book)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014, Hank Morris: Korea in the Asian Crisis of '97-'98: the 'IMF Crisis in Korea

Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Her Majesty’s Ambassador Scott Wightman: A day in the life of the British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea



Saturday Jan 25  Gwangneung & Sanjeong Lake

Friday, January 31- Saturday, February 1  Special Lunar New Year Adventure in Seoraksan


Business & Culture Club

The next Business & Culture Club meeting will be held on Jan. 14 (and every 2nd Tuesday). Please join the Facebook group or see our home page “Groups” for full details.

Jan. 14 (Tue) at noon

Meeting place: Cafeteria at the B1 of Woori Bank Head Office (12:00~12:20)

Activity: Visit of Woori Bank Museum (12:25~13:10)


Reading Group

Monday, January 6, 7pm. We will be reading "Winter That Year" by Yi Munyol in the library of Jong-no district office just behind the American Embassy. Click to apply to join the Facebook Group for the Reading Club, from where you can download the text of the work.


For full details of all upcoming events see the RAS web page http://www.raskb.com/  or join our Facebook groups.

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Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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