Civilizations 30: Korea’s Dilemmas from Donghak Uprising to Sino-Japanese War 1894

Korea’s dilemmas with the imperialists

By the 1860s it was Korea’s turn to face the dilemma of how to deal with the imperialists. Qing China and Meiji Japan had a lot to say about what they thought Korea should do. We talk about the attempts to reform, Donghak Uprising in Korea, and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5.

Civilizations Episode 5: The Bureaucracies of East Asia

The Mandarinates of China, Korea, and Vietnam

Following Alexander Woodside’s book Lost Modernities, we talk about the Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese Mandarinates, the peculiarities and pitfalls of a system based on competitive examinations, the interplay of meritocracy and feudalism, and the relevance of it all to today’s debates about standardized testing and education more generally.