Question 1: Event with Most Lasting Impact on Korean Society

The explosion of Hallyu also referred to as The Korean Wave is often described as an event that led the nation to rise. In the 1990s, Korea’s popularity across East and Southeast Asia and Los Angeles grew due to a large number of immigrant populations. Consequently, Korean cultural heritage gained a bigger audience. For example, Shiri, a Korean movie, has become popular in America. Korean movies were often snubbed for a long time as the American audience had a close-minded and prejudiced of the nation’s media productions. The increasing number of Korean restaurants, however, evidences the greatest Korean wave or Hallyu across the globe. Americans for example often engage in discussion to determine where to find the greatest Korean food as Korean restaurants have been increasing in number. Americans and culinary tourists acknowledge and appreciate kimchi, jajangmyeon, anju, and banchan among other famous dishes.

The Korean wave has ensured the nation’s cultural heritages and geographical origins to achieve universal recognition and popularity. Hallyu has also enabled global audiences to acknowledge that Koreans also face diverse issues. For example, Korean soap operas address love, sex, employment, cultural expectations, and family problems enabling the audience to recognize that Koreans experience similar day-to-day issues influencing their lives. Koreans satirical drama, Attitude and feelings: Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive, has often been referenced by Americans in discussing cultural issues in Korea. Although Hallyu started in Iran, it currently accounts for a considerably large number of media programs broadcasted globally. For instance, governments across Taiwan and Vietnam have been considering banning Korean materials from being broadcasted as they have been taking over the media airwaves. They have been taking over the airwaves at the expense of locally produced shows. This issue has also occurred in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. This tendency has instigated some backlash from people against the Korean wave through Manga Kenkanryu, which translates as anti-Korean wave. Nonetheless, the Hallyu experience affirms the fact that the Korean cultural heritage is widely diverse.

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According to Ravina, the Korean wave, Hallyu, achieved greater international success through the invention of gangnam style of dancing. Psy, a Korean k-pop musician, released a music video on YouTube on 15th July 2014. The song achieved international recognition and global success within a short period. For example, it was ranked among top billboard songs in the United States. The song was also ranked number one in various Chinese music charts. Ravina asserts that Psy’s success should not shock the global audience as it has been blooming for several years in Asia, Africa, United States, South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Popular culture is defined as cultural content produced for the public as it is easy to understand and enjoy. The Korean popular culture has, therefore, been drawing a lot of attention globally for various reasons. Foremost, Korea has never invaded other nations. As a result, other countries do not develop negative feeling about Korea. Instead, they believe that it cannot threaten them prompting the consumers to prefer Korean cultural heritage, products, and services.

Consequently, the Korean government has continued to play the critical role of ensuring Hallyu is consistent. For example, the government has been shaping the Korean broadcasting and cultural industries. It has formulated and implemented political, social, economic, and commercial policies addressing the popular culture to ensure negative stereotypes are dispelled and prompting the global audience to accept and appreciate the Korean culture. Thus, the explosion of Hallyu has been an event in modern Korean history with the most lasting impact on the society as it has transformed how Korea is perceived. Moreover, it has contributed to the establishment of the nation’s image as a successful country that develops prosperity, liberalism, and democracy.

Question 2: Argument to Convince the King That Joseon Needs To Prepare For War Immediately

To the King,

The Japanese Invasion aims to conquer Korea and use it as a base for eventual conquest of China. The emissaries dispatched to Joseon confirm Japanese fully intended to attack. As the king, you should not believe officials disagreeing with this confirmation by claiming the Japanese are bluffing due to the following reasons. Foremost, the Japanese navy is capable of guarding the Tsushima supply route. It will greatly hamper the land from advancing. Besides this, Japanese have a strong guerilla force capable of limiting Korea’s defensive operations and manpower. Moreover, it should be noted that Korea is a tributary state to China. These political intrigues and domestic issues should, therefore, prompt you as the king to develop diplomatic and military steps to repel the Japanese invasion.

The following steps are applicable in addressing the Japanese invasion. Foremost, it should be noted that the Japanese are striving to conquer Korea to guarantee Hideyoshi’s domestic political position. It will provide Hideyoshi with vital resources from Korea’s peninsula, including land, which is considered to be valuable in the Japanese political landscape. Thus, an army of Korean soldiers should protect the Korean peninsula. The establishment of protection will hinder Hideyoshi from invading Korean land. It will also undermine his desires to utilize the land in rice production. Consequently, he will lack resources measuring his political powers. As a result, Hideyoshi’s strives to provide his warriors with new territories to retain control over them will be thwarted.

As the king of the Korean land, you should also acknowledge that Japanese efforts to conquer Korea are realistic. The Japanese army is a well-trained formation that comprises battle-hardened veterans capable of overrunning Korean peninsula. Thus, Japanese are likely to be victorious whether we prepare to repel the attack or snub their threats to invade the peninsula. Although the Korean military is poorly trained, equipped, and inexperienced, first of all the political-bureaucratic feuds should be resolved. It will reduce corruption and increase land and tribute tax revenues. The gathered financial resources should be utilized to convince China to support Korea in repelling the Japanese invading army.

The next step to stop the Japanese invasion should be based on the fact that Japan has a highly militarized society. Moreover, the country had spent more than a century in warfare even before Hideyoshi unified his army. For example, in 1590 they participated in conquering the Hojo clan of Odawara. Besides this, eight years before taking control over the Hojo clan, they were in the frontline during the assassination of Oda Nobunaga. The doctrine of snubbing and ignoring warfare should, therefore, be replaced with developing a plan to repel Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea’s peninsula. The plan should acknowledge that Hideyoshi has assembled an army oriented to fighting. Korea should, therefore, develop a strategy counterattacking the Japanese intentions. For example, it should be noted that Samurai commonly known as ‘ronin’ have been unemployed for a long time. However, this tendency has not hindered their population to increase. Thus, they are likely to be on the frontline during the invasion as it will provide them with unemployment relief as Hideyoshi will reward their skills and efforts.

Thus, we should not sit tight and hope for the best. Instead, we should select a Korean army, train and equip them effectively to counterattack the Japanese. The Korean army should ensure that Hideyoshi does not achieve international fame by conquering the peninsula as he will gain favor with foreign rulers. Consequently, he will strive to achieve military dominion. Thus, a plan to crush his ambition to acquire prestigious recognition should be thwarted by seeking help from China. Ultimately, these steps will ensure Korean manpower is empowered to repel the Japanese and Korea’s reputation, prestige, land, manpower, resources, and political influence will be protected.

Question 3: The Terms ‘Jang-ga-ganda’ and ‘Shijip-ganda’

Marriages in Korea have been regarded as private and personal for a long time. As a result, the government did not impose policies on marriages. In the 1970s, the Korean society believed in the matchmaking phenomenon, which reduced the number of men and women marrying foreigners. However, since the 1990s, the Korean society has experienced social and political trial and error changes. These changes have enabled Korea to evolve into a multicultural society successfully as globalization has increased the number of people able to travel, study, and work overseas. Consequently, the number of international marriages has grown. The Korean society has always supported social integration especially through marriages. As a result, in 1997, the National Law was revised into the Grand Plan comprising of policies determining social integration of foreigners. The revision of the National Law confirmed that Korea accepts transformation into a multicultural society which has reduced rates of prejudice against international marriages in the country.

Colonial times between 1910 and 1945 witnessed Korean women becoming mistresses to Japanese men. During the same periods, women who had lost their virginity would be described as people with dirty bodies. For example, Korean women captured during the Chung Dynasty in China would return home to be looked down as shamed outcasts. They also had to live in segregated areas known as Itaewon. However, they managed to survive and adjust to the Korean society. Consequently, the presence of the United States military was increasing in Korea. It enhanced the process through which segregated women would integrate with the rest as most all women began engaging in sexual relations with American soldiers. Although such relations were considered as a betrayal of the Korean nationalism, the number of international marriages continued to grow.

In the 1990s, the government developed two orientations to regulate migration influx, namely open-door or cross-border and close-door policies. The policies were aimed at reducing the number of immigrants entering Korea while regulating international marriages. However, between 1994 and 1996, the number of international marriages increased as they allowed foreigners to come to Korea. This social problem had to be addressed in 1996 by reducing marriage agencies and brokers. “Jang-ga-ganda” is, therefore, a Korean term used to mean “getting married” when marriages were traditionally enacted to affirm that two families rather than two individuals have united. Since globalization and increase in international marriages, the term has changed to “shijip-ganda”. This term acknowledges Koreans no longer rely on the traditional phenomenon of matchmaking as globalization has facilitated the overseas travels, which have led Koreans to marry foreigners.

There are diverse social changes in Korea. In particular, there are unique transformations associated with the manners in which Koreans get married, especially after globalization. According to Yeun, Myeong, Sin, and Eun, the major social change witnessed is a large number of foreigners gaining entry into Korea without necessarily getting married. The foreigners include students and workers who do not have to rely on disguised marriages to cross Korean borders. Cultural changes have also been witnessed as foreigners introduce their languages, customs, lifestyles, values, systems, and food. Traditional marriages were based on the notion of exclusivism which was often accompanied with inhospitality, indifference, exploitation, physical violence, sexual abuse, and discrimination, especially when the matchmaking phenomenon failed. The social transition has, therefore, allowed Koreans to make individual decisions when choosing a marriage partner. It has resolved social problems as the established social integration phenomenon through “shijip-ganda” supports individuals’ decisions and choices. Moreover, it maintains and promotes healthy relations as marriage partners have increased understanding of their personal interests. Thus, they are able to live with each other without feeling obliged to as they can overlook partners’ traits they dislike. Ultimately, social changes associated with how Koreans have evolved when getting into marriage have strengthened relations and the cultural society in general.

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Jul 27, 2020 in History
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