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Learning from our forebears

Learning from history is important, we say.

For Pyo Jae-du, the word “history” here is not limited to major historical events. It includes our forebears’ attitude toward life.

Pyo, a former reporter of The Korea Herald, released a book titled “Historical Stories from Forebears” (unofficial translation) in March. 

“Historical Stories from Forbearers”
“Historical Stories from Forbearers”
Writer Pyo Jae-du
Writer Pyo Jae-du

In the 302-page book, Pyo looks into life of our forbears from Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) to Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Rather than just going over major historical events, the writer delves into journals and personal writings that tell deeper, more intimate stories.

“The book describes hardships that our forebears faced. Major historical affairs are, of course, important. But I thought it could also be valuable to look into their everyday lives,” Pyo said.

In the preface, Pyo quotes the famed English historian E. H. Carr, “History is an unending dialogue between the past and present.” He argues, it is important to look into our history. Forgetting history will make us a tree without roots.

The topics of the six-chapter book span a wide spectrum, covering the diplomacy of Goryeo and Joseon, respecting the elders, life in exile and more. Some of the chapters also discuss the laws regarding remarriage and the status of women.

Published under Dongshin Publisher, the book is written in Korean and costs 15,000 won.

By Im Eun-byel (
Korea Herald Youtube