Sado (2015)

I just saw the movie I’ve been waiting years to see: a biopic about the infamous Crown Prince known as Sado Seja. My reaction?

Yuan Shih-k’ai by Jerome Chen

Ah, hostile biography. Today I’ll be discussing what I’ve picked up reading a book about Yuan Shih-k’ai (now just Yuan Shikai), the first President of post-revolutionary China. He’s one of those figures I’d never even heard of, and when I stumbled upon Jerome Chen’s eponymously titled  biography of the man, I decided to read it mostly out of […]

The Status of Fiction in Traditional Northeast Asian Literary Culture

A while back, I mentioned how, in 1632, the commoners around Shaoxing (in China) had planned to cosplay the characters from the famous wuxia novel The Outlaws of the Marsh, hoping to appease the gods into making it rain so a famine could be avoided, and some of the local literati had gotten involved, donated some cloth and lots of money, and […]

The Mudang’s Dance (Reprint)

So, a few years ago, I was invited to write a piece for Arc Magazine. The result was “The Mudang’s Dance,” a piece on how accelerated modernization and social change seems to have given Korean society an interestingly different relationship with the future (and the past) from what dominates in the English-speaking world. The piece was only available in Arc […]