Toji (Korean : 토지),known in English as Land,is a 16-volume Korean novel written by Park Kyong-ni from 1969 to 1994. It tells the story of five generations of a wealthy Korean family from South Gyeongsang Province. The novel was very popular in South Korea,where it was made into a television series. Part I (of five) was translated into English by Agnita Tennant,as part of a UNESCO Collection of Representative Works project.
Toji is a total of five parts and sixteen volumes. It deals with the Choi's and Lee Yong's family history through the end of Joseon dynasty,Japanese occupation and independence. The novel,taking place in Pyeongsa-ri in Hadong,Yongjeong in Gando,Seoul,and Jinju,describes how the Choi family is brought to ruin and eventually rises to the challenge.The story of the family and the Korean people is recounted with the historical events of great import,such as the Donghak Peasant Revolution,the Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905,the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894,the 1909 Gando Convention,and the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It is a sizeable work in no fewer than 20 volumes, encompassing a period of a half century and six hundred characters.
The first part (1897–1908) centers on the fall of the Choi family,which is based on the events at Pyeongsa-li in 1894;as the family gradually declines and Jo Jun-gu,a distant relative,steals their money,Choi Seohui,the only descendant,moves to Gando with the village people.The second part (1911-1917) involves moving the background to Yongjeong in northeast China, were Choi Seo-hee and her sons take revenge on Cho Jun-gu—she marries Gilsang,a former servant,becomes rich again,and returns home.
In the third part,(1919-1929 ) the story centers around Yongjeong and in Tokyo,Seoul,and Jinju,with Kim Hwan dead in prison. where she has recovered the family fortune. Both the second and third chapters delineate independence movements abroad during the Japanese colonization,conflict within the Koreans overseas,and hardships that intellectuals experience.
In part 4,(1930-39),Kim Gil-sang's release from prison,the completion of the altar portrait of Buddha,the death of Kihwa (Bong-sun),and the love and conflicts between Ogada Jiro and Yu In-Sil are slowly drawn,and the second generation Lee's son,Lee Hong and Choi Seo-hee along with the story of her two sons,Hwan-guk and Yun-guk growing up shows portrayals of the country's history,art,and culture.
In part 5,(1940–59) the Koreans' suffering and waiting are depicted in World War II,and the major event is the love triangle of Lee Sang-hyun,Lee Yun-guk,and Song Young-kwang. The novel ends with Lee Yang-hyun running to Choi Seo-hee after hearing about Japan's unconditional surrender on the radio.
The main characters are the family members of Deputy-Minister Choi:Lady Yun,her son Choi Chisu,and her granddaughter Choi Seohui. Also,there are Pyeongsa-ri residents who have connections with the family,the intellectuals,and those engaged in nationalist movements,such as Kim Gilsang and Kim Hwan.In particular,the author created fascinating characters like Ju gabi,Jo Byeongsu,Song Gwansu,Mohwa,and Mongchi who sublimate their hardships into love and show a strong will to live in such extreme realities. However,more negative characters,such as Jo Jun-gu and Kim Dusu appear,as well.
Land chronicles the Choi family's history spanning 50 years,from the latter era of the Joseon period to the end of the Japanese colonization. It is the chronology of the family and a historical novel that vividly depicts what the Korean people went through,but it is also a work of literature that explores human nature.The main characters who lead the story are Seohui,Gilsang,Weolseon,and Yong-i,but as the title "Land" suggests,the Korean history and society,or the Korean land can be regarded as its main characters and main themes. The collapse and resurgence of the Choi family actually signifies the fall and rise of the Korean people, and what Pak emphasizes through the whole story is the importance of loving kindness and cherishing life.
Instead of addressing real events specifically,the film shows the course of the history by describing individuals who struggle through the tumultuous times.Its first chapter tells the tragic history of Deputy-Minister Choi's family and the story of his death,an outbreak of a contagious disease,the death of Lady Yun,the plot of Jo Jun-gu,Yunbo joining militia,and the family moving to Gando,as it extensively delineates the development of the Modern Korean history. The second chapter,set in Gando,recounts the love,betrayal,and conflict between the characters with historical events such as the decline of the Confucian values,the loss of farmland,and the fights against Japan. The third chapter is about Seohui in Hadong,the intellectuals based in Seoul,the activists fighting in Jirisan Mountain,and the refuges in Manchuria and Gando. The fourth chapter paints a realistic and extensive picture of the intellectuals based in Seoul,Tokyo,and Manchuria;the activists standing against Japan in Hadong,Jinju,Jirisan Mountain,and Manchuria. Lastly,the fifth chapter tells the remaining stories of the characters when the surrender of Japan is imminent. As such,the novel describes the story of the Choi family,closely following social changes in space and time. It realistically portrays the Korean history and ways of life, and incorporates dialect and proverbs to show the beauty of the Korean language.
The film has been commended for its profound exploration of human dignity and human nature laid out in the specific historical context of the country. In addition,it is considered one of the best works of modern Korean literature that conveys the unique beauty of the Korean language. It has been translated and introduced into a number of languages,including English,French,and Japanese.
One of its important features is that it documents how the caste system of the feudal times crumbled and how the Korean people suffered from the Japanese invasion. While it exhibits a positive attitude towards the traditional,indigenous society,it also calmly depicts how it declined as the new modern culture gained power. In addition,it describes a history with the people as its agents.
It is also significant that the novel embodies in depth one of the major Korean values,cherishing life. As shown in the beautiful scene of Gilsang finishing the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva statue,the value of cherishing life in this novel refuses materialism that oppresses life,and supports love.It is about treating all living beings equally and acknowledging their own dignity. In Land,the human world is described as 'the valley of skeletons' swiped by an infectious disease,but it ultimately pursues hope as 'the tree of life' is growing there. Imi's mother gives birth to Hong-i in Pyeongsa-ri,where the disease spreads;the Korean people regain their lives with a pure heart after the defeat of Japan and the ensuing demise of the Japanese colonization.
The novel led to many movie and TV series adaptations. The director Kim Su-yong adapted it into a 1974 filmstarring Kim Jimi,Lee Sunjae,Seo Hui,Heo jang-gang,and Choi Jeongmin. The movie received the 13th Dae Jong Film Awards for Best Picture and Best Director,and Kim Jimi won Best Actress.
KBS created two TV series adaptations in 1979 and 1987,and SBS did one in 2004. The 1979 adaptation was created when TV was black and white and it was remade in 1987. As Pak was still writing the novel at the time,she was hesitant about adapting only its first part. But she eventually agreed,thinking it was meaningful. SBS started filming in 2004,after the novel was finished. In the 1979 adaptation,Han Hyesuk and Seo Inseok played Seohui and Gilsang,respectively. The 1987 TV series starred Choi Suji and Yun Seongwon and the 2004 remake starred Kim Hyeonju and Yu Junsang. The 1987 TV series was directed by Ju Ilcheong,the 2004 adaptation by Lee Jonghan. The TV series adaptations maximize the conflict,love,and hate depicted in the original so that they are interesting and touching in their own ways. One of the filming sites,the house of the Choi family in Pyeongsa-ri,later became a tourist attraction.
Weoltan Literature Award (월탄문학상,1972) [ circular reference ]
Until the 1990s,most Korean Bible translations used old-fashioned,antiquated language. This made it difficult for Christians that preferred colloquial terms to comprehend what the Bible said. By the 1990s,more colloquial and contemporary versions of the Korean Bible translations came about for Christians,which made it easier for them to comprehend and understand the words from the Bible in a more precise way.
Kim Jae-young is a South Korean writer and professor. She is an author that articulates pressing societal issues such as diaspora and neoliberalism from the perspectives of the marginalized and minorities. Kokkiri,which represents migrant workers’issues through the use of mythic and archetypal symbols,is her most representative work.
Ip sog-ui geomeun ip is a poetry collection written by Ki Hyongdo.
Jung Hanmo (1923–1991) was a Korean poet. The primary subject matter of his poems was the bleak reality after the Korean War but he wrote poems representing his love for life and hope for the future. He taught Korean literature in universities for a long time,leaving many achievements as a scholar. When he was the Minister of Culture and Public Information in 1988,he decisively carried out the lifting of the ban on around 100 writers who had defected or had been kidnapped to North Korea.
Pahk Yon-Hee (1918–2008) was a Korean author. Though his early works focus on themes of futility and decadence,his works after the Korean War demonstrate a marked shift towards denouncing the irrationality of society and encompassing historical novels as well. His representative works include the 1956 short story “Jeungin”,the 1958 novel Geu yeojaui yeonin,and the 1975 novel Hong Gildong.
Gisangdo is a Korean poem written and published by Kim Kirim in 1936. Gisangdo is a satirical poem that compared the volatile state of international affairs in the 1930s to the development of a typhoon. The poem has been lauded as a prime example of the modernism of Kim Kirim,a man who attempted to imbue his poems with an awareness of modern civilization.
Eulhwa is a novel written by Kim Dong-ri.
Your Republic is Calling You is a Korean novel written by Kim Young-ha. Borrowing the title of RenéMagritte’s series of paintings,Empire of Light,Bichui jeguk is about a North Korean spy stationed in South Korea and the day he is summoned back to North Korea. The novel both overviews the societal changes that Korea went through from the 1980s to the 2000s and follows the fate of a man whose fate becomes wholly unknown to him. In 2016,Bichui jeguk was jointly adapted into a play by the National Theater of Korea and the Centre Dramatique National Orléans and performed in both South Korea and France.
SŏIr-ok is a Korean sijo poet. Since her debut as a poet in 1990,she has written realist sijo poems with gritty descriptions of Korean society,based on her interest in the marginalized.
Kiwan Sung is a Korean poet and musician. He is noted for his avant-garde,experimental poems in the literary world. He aims to write poetry that is completely different from any preexisting poems and has tried many experimental attempts,such as putting music (sound) and poetry together. Sung's major work is the poetry collection Rieul. He is currently working as a professor of sound art.
Yi Yongak (1914–1971) was a Korean reporter and poet who wrote about the injustices of the Japanese occupation of Korea and about the political system of North Korea.
Cho Yongmee is a Korean poet. She writes poems based on her experience of nature and landscapes through her various senses such as vision,touch and hearing rather than using the abstract and notional mode of expression. Her poems show different aspects of normal phenomena from her sensitive perspective.
Cha Bumseok was a Korean playwright and director. As the first generation of post-war writers,he wrote from a realistic perspective and made remarkable contributions to the Korean modern plays. Based on the critical awareness of reality,his works represent social issues and characteristics of the Korean society.
When Adam Opens His Eyes(Korean:아담이눈뜰때) is a Korean novel written by Jang Jung-il. It is a coming-of-age story of a 19-year-old boy who has taken a gap year to retake the yearly College Scholastic Ability Test,and also an artist novel that seeks a possibility of life through writing. The novel is considered to have led the beginning of the Korean literature of the 1990s.
Silvery World( is a Korean novel published by Lee Injik in 1908,categorized as sinsoseol,or new novel. By depicting how a wealthy farmer gets killed by a venal official,it denounces the corrupt feudal system of the late Joseon dynasty. The author wrote it with a plan to adapt it into a play from the beginning,and it was performed in Wongaksa as the first Korean sinyeongeuk, or new play.
Kim Sa-ryang was a Korean writer. He wrote in a variety of genres including novels,plays,reports,and reviews,in two languages,Korean and Japanese. His career as a writer first began in Japan after publishing a short story written in Japanese,and his Korean-written works were later published in Korea. For his short story "Bit soge," written in Japanese,he became the first Korean to be nominated for the Akutagawa Prize. He went to China in 1945 to join the army fighting for Korea's liberation. After the country's independence,he mostly lived and wrote in North Korea and died in 1950 during the Korean War.
Kim Sa-i is a Korean poet. Departing from the pre-existing poetry about labor whose emphasis is on its purpose,she writes poems that fully represent the life experiences of the working people. Especially,her interest lies in the structural alienation of women workers engendered by patriarchy. Being a former laborer herself,she continues to participate in activism to support the working people.
Kim Youn Bae is a Korean poet. Since his debut in 1986,he has consistently written in a variety of genres,including lyrical,serial,and epic poems. His lyrical poems show his affection and respect for the lives of ordinary people,and his serial and epic poems exhibit his sense of responsibility to record history with the people as its protagonists.
Cho Taeil (1941–1999) was a Korean poet. He was one of the poets who actively engaged in social matters during the Yushin era,and led the Minjung poetry in the 1970s along with Shin Kyeongrim and Kim Jiha. He launched a poetry magazine,Siin and played a leading role in establishing the Council of Writers for Freedom and Practice.