David A. Mason, Promoting Traditional Korean Culture

This is my second Skype interview with David Mason. The first was on Korean mountain spirit. (Link). The photographs are used with permission and come from his websites. (Link) (Link) – I highly recommend spending a couple of hours browsing through the many pictures and stories.

I began by asking David when he first came to Korea and under what circumstances.

David’s story

Well now, I was one of those Lonely Planet book carrying, backpack travelers that everyone loves to either admire or disparage. In East Asia this kind of travel didn’t get … Read More

The Korean Mountain Spirit

David A. Mason has spent thirty years roaming Korean mountains, giving tours, teaching university classes in culture and tourism and researching and writing books and articles about Korean culture, particularly the religious traditions. His Spirit of the Mountains received the 20002 Best Book on Korean Culture Award from Korea’s Academy of Sciences. He was contributing editor to The Baekdu-daegan Trail Guidebook by Roger Sheperd and Andrew Douch and co-author of the 1997 Lonely Planet Guide to Korea. He is currently completing an encyclopedia of Korean Buddhism. This recent interview took place over Skype, when David was in Korea and I

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A Look at Korean Shamanism

My friend Frank Concilus came to Korea in 1966 as a teacher with the Peace Corps. He returned to the States and received a graduate degree in Asian Studies in 1970, then came back to Asia for two or three years’ practice in Asian languages. He stayed. He married a Korean woman, they had a child, and he took two jobs, one teaching English at a Korean university and one teaching anthropology and sociology at the branch of the University of Maryland on the U.S. Army post.

Some people smile and call Frank “just a real sweetheart” and others like Read More