As Japan & South Korea reach an agreement on the painful subject, some books to help the reader untangle the past: Salon

A guide to the literature of Japan's "comfort women": Comfort station survivors tell their stories
(Credit: Columbia University Press)

If you’ve followed any of the headlines emerging about the “comfort women” in the past weeks—or months, or years, or decades—you probably have some questions. Did the Japanese government really coerce thousands of women into military brothels while its empire colonized Asia? Were the so-called “comfort women” sexual slaves or indentured servants, consenting prostitutes, or none of the above? Was the Japanese government’s recent apology to South Korea, along with the pledge to pay $8.3 million to Korean survivors, a resolution, an insult or one step in a long process of reconciliation? Does the U.S. bear any responsibility? And why is a statue of a teenage girl still making so many people so mad?

The extraordinary life of Xu Sanguan, a famous Chinese fictional character who sells his blood over the years to support his family, will soon be adapted in South Korea as a blood merchant.

South Korea’s popular actor Ha Jung-woo recently started directing and starring in a film adaptation of a renowned Chinese author Yu Hua’s 1995 novel “Xu Sanguan Mai Xue Ji” or” Chronicle of a Blood Merchant”.

Skilled translators with literary passion are essential for overseas success of Korean literature: The Korea Herald

Korea translationThe year 2011 was a great year for Korean literature abroad. Writer Shin Kyung-sook’s “Please Look After Mom,” originally published in Korean in 2009, achieved international acclaim, a first for a Korean literary work in translation.

The following year, Shin received the prestigious 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize, the first Korean and the first woman to receive the prize, which recognizes the best work of fiction by an Asian writer in English or translated into English. 

The Literature Translation Institute (LTI) and Random House Korea are launching an ambitious project aimed at helping Korean literature go global.

LTI president Kim Seong-kon said he and Eric Yang, Asia Pacific Publishers’ Association president and RH Korea CEO, have agreed to publish a collection of selected East Asian literary works as part of efforts to draw Western readers’ attention to Korean literature.

Among several plans to promote literature, South Korea hopes to send children’s books to the North as part of Incheon’s turn as UNESCO World Book Capital 2015: Publishing Perspectives

The unfolding South Korean ferry tragedy has cast a pall over Incheon’s plans to celebrate its status as UNESCO World Book Capital 2015.  The ferry was traveling from Incheon Port to the southern resort island of Jeju. At the London Book Fair, where Korea was Market Focus, many of the proposed schemes for the year-long accolade were on display.