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An industry - specific reference book of Korean studies published by the Institute of Korean Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Regional Public Organization "First of March"* - a pioneer publication of this kind in our country-has been published. It consists of two parts. The first of them (compiled by L. R. Kontsevich) is devoted to the centers of Korean studies in our country. It provides general information about scientific institutes and centers, universities, publishing houses, archives, libraries, and museums. The second part is a biobibliographical dictionary (compiled by T. M. Simbirtsev), which includes information about 186 colleagues who lived at the beginning of 2006.: 131 professional Korean studies specialists (Section 1) and 55 representatives of other specialties who either teach Korean studies or have works dealing with Korean topics (Section 2).

The reference book was written in live communication with the staff of Korean studies centers and individual Korean scholars and in some ways does not look like ordinary biobibliographic publications. A special feature of the dictionary is the presence of essays "From autobiography", where some authors (primarily the older generation) shared what they think is most important in their life and professional activities.

Here are some of the responses received by the compilers: "This is the book we've been waiting for for a long time" (A. A. Artemyeva); " Thank you. Let the memory of us remain for posterity "(L. V. Zenina); " I read like a novel, without looking up. Lots of useful information. I think about our scientific and other life. Interesting and curious. The young ones appeared... They didn't have time to enter Korean studies - they are already writing textbooks... " (R. Sh. Jarylgasinova); "A great publication and a gift for anyone interested in Korea. I spent the whole evening studying and thinking about how to use it in my academic work. I was especially pleased to read personal information about why they became Korean scholars. This gave the directory a soul" (B. B. Dashibalov).

The task of the author of this article is to make calculations and draw conclusions about the current state of Korean studies in Russia, based on the information provided in the biobibliographic dictionary compiled by her. According to the handbook, in Russia, the Korean language and Korean studies disciplines are taught in 30 universities, four of them have established centers for Korean studies (MSU, St. Petersburg State University, NSU, Far Eastern State University). Korean studies are carried out in 13 institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and four museums, books on Korea are regularly published in four publishing houses, three serial publications on Korean studies are published in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok, and the country - specific monthly "Seoul Bulletin" in Russian is published in Seoul, articles on Korea are regularly published in five academic and socio-political journals, the Institute of Korean Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences annually hosts conferences of Korean scholars. And yet among the fathers-

Modern Russian Korean Studies. Reference edition / Comp. L. R. Kontsevich (Scientific and educational centers), T. M. Simbirtseva (Biobibliographical dictionary). - Moscow: Pervoe Marta, 2006. - 624 p. (Series "Russian Korean Studies in the past and present", Vol. III).

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There is no consensus among government experts in their assessments of the current state of Russian Korean studies. According to some, in a number of centers, including traditional ones (Moscow, St. Petersburg), it is developing steadily, and in some regions (Primorsky Krai) this development even has an "explosive" character [Vorontsov, 2007, p.14]. According to others, Korean studies in Russia is currently experiencing a crisis: there are no books on Korea in bookstores; only a small part of graduates work in their specialty, the most talented and trained go abroad, and so on.

Recently, the Association of Russian Korean Studies (ARC) and the Russian Association of University Korean Studies (RAUK), which united 6 universities, were created. It seems that the calculations below can be useful for determining the strategy of newly created organizations and provide food for thought for those who are thinking about the future of our profession.

In my calculations, I will rely primarily on the section of the reference book "Korean Studies". According to the decision of the editorial board, 131 people were assigned to this category - those who have a special Korean studies education and at least three publications on Korean studies (except for newspaper articles) and/or teach subjects related to Korean studies at universities. Thus, special education and availability of publications were the main selection criteria, although it should be emphasized that the division of participants in the dictionary into "proper Korean scholars" and "non-Korean scholars" is rather arbitrary.

The second source used in the calculations is the lists of members of the Association of Soviet Korean Studies (ASC) for 1990. They were kindly provided to me by L. R. Kontsevich, who took an active part in the creation of this organization. ASK existed in 1990-1993, was a member of the Association of Soviet Orientalists, headed by L. B. Nikolsky, Doctor of Philology, compiler of the two-volume "Big Korean-Russian Dictionary" (Moscow, 1976).

Numerical composition. In 1990, ASC had 132 members. As already mentioned, in the dictionary of 2006, 131 people are listed in the section "professional Korean studies". Does this mean that the number of Korean scholars in our country has not changed in 17 years? How reliable is the number 131? If we keep in mind the Korean scholars who write and publish their works, I think that the dictionary covers most of them. Bibliographic work has been actively carried out in recent years1. I relied primarily on biobibliographic publications when choosing candidates. Therefore, the number 131 will be the base number in subsequent calculations. Still, there is a need to make some adjustments.

In the section "Russian Centers of Korean Studies" compiled by L. R. Kontsevich, 80 teachers of the Korean language of those universities in Siberia and the Far East where Korean departments have opened in recent years are mentioned. Of these, 45 people (including 9 people who, according to L. R. Kontsevich, have publications on the Korean language) were not included in the biobibliographical dictionary. Relations between Korean scholars from different regions of Russia are still poorly developed, and I did not know about these people at the time of compiling the dictionary. I apologize to them. With the above in mind.-

1 See, for example, the bibliographic lists compiled by L. R. Kontsevich: "Publications on Korea in Russia" on the websites of the Korea Foundation (Seoul). - Resources-Internet Resources on Korean Studies-Europe and IB RAS 2006. Bibliography of translations of Korean fiction into Russian (Collections. Separate editions) / / Encyclopedia of Koreans in Russia. 140 years in Russia, Moscow: Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, 2003, pp. 1386-1391; Bibliography. Literature on Korea published in Russian in Russia and a number of CIS countries in 1991-2006 / / Bulletin of the Center for Korean Studies of the Far Eastern State University. 2006, N 1 (9). Pp. 175-205. See also bibliographies in the book: Korean Studies in Russia: history and Modernity / Ed. by Yu. V. Vanin. Moscow: Pervoe Marta, 2004. 112 - 116, 153 - 154, 209 - 212 et al. (Russian Korean Studies in the past and present. Vol. II).

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Based on 45 teachers and three specialists who did not want to submit information about themselves for the dictionary, we can assume that there are currently about 180 professional Korean scholars in Russia.

Thus, since 1990, the number of Russian Korean scholars has increased by more than 36% - from 132 to about 180 people-mainly due to an increase in the number of teachers in the Korean departments of universities in Siberia and the Far East.


Table 1

The number of Korean scholars by Russian cities as of 1990 and 2006.

1990, people.

2006, people.


91 people (68.9% of the total number of ASK members)

75 (57.3% of the total number of participants in the dictionary, section "Korean studies")

Leningrad - St. Petersburg

16 (12%)

15 (11.5%)


9 (6.8%)

17 (13%) (+23*)


3 (2.3%)

0 (+6)





















South Korean teacher



1 (+6)



4 (+2)



6 (+3)



South Korean teacher




Union Republics (as of 1990)/Abroad (as of 2006)

Almaty - 4; Tashkent-2; Karaganda-1 (only 7 people, 5.3%).

10 people (7.6%)





Note:* The + sign means that these people are mentioned in the first part of the handbook in the section "Russian Centers of Korean Studies", but they are not listed in the section "Korean Studies" in the second part of the handbook.

According to the table above, the number of Korean studies specialists in traditional centers in the European part of Russia has decreased since 1990: in Moscow-by 16 (17.6%), in St. Petersburg - by 1 person (6.3%). The largest number of specialists in this profession has appeared in recent years in Siberia and the Far East. For example, in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where after the closure of Korean schools in 1964, for the first time in 1988, a Korean department was opened at the university, namely in the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk State Pedagogical Institute, and a kind of "Korean boom" began, the number of Korean studies increased from 1 to 9 people (six are included in the dictionary). They are Korean language teachers. Korean studies began in Novosibirsk (since 1997), Irkutsk (since 1993), Krasnoyarsk (since 2005), Ulan-Ude (since 2002), Yakutsk (since 2000), Khabarovsk (since 1992), Blagoveshchensk (since 1998), and Ussuriysk (since 1992 If in 1990, 17 people from Siberia and the Far East were listed in the ASK, then in the 2006 biobibliographic dictionary there are 28 of them (an increase of 60.7% + 45 teachers mentioned in the section "Russian Centers of Korean Studies", but not included in the dictionary). According to the handbook, only invited South Koreans teach in Kazan and Blagoveshchensk.

The growth rate of the number of students is significantly faster than the growth rate of the number of teachers. A typical example is Vladivostok, where a Higher college has been operating since 1995

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Korean Studies at FESU and where almost 300 students study today [Sovremennoe rossiiskoe koreevedenie, 2006, p. 81]. In the same city of Vladivostok, the teaching of Korean studies has recently begun in universities with a purely practical focus (Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service, Far Eastern State Technical Fisheries University, etc.). Apparently, we can talk about an increase in the number of students, at least 10 times compared to the beginning of the 1990s. At the same time, the number of professional Korean scholars in Vladivostok increased only 1.9 times (from 9 to 17), and a significant number of teachers of other specialties teaching Korean studies appeared. 16 out of 17 specialists included in the section "Korean studies" in Vladivostok work in the education system. At the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography (IAE) The Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences has not had a single new researcher - a professional Korean scholar-since 1990.

Separately, I would like to mention the Novosibirsk State University, where the Center for Korean Studies was established in 2006. It is unique in that it has strong links with the Academic Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography (IAET) The Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (many teachers are also employees of the Institute) provides students with the opportunity to specialize in problems that have declined in recent years in Russia. These are archaeology, early and ancient history, and Korean culture 2. Traditional Korean studies in Novosibirsk has good prospects, as evidenced by the appearance here in the last two years of two specialists (A. L. Subbotina and A. A. Gilev), who successfully graduated from NSU, received a master's degree in Seoul, and are now preparing to defend their PhD theses on the ancient history of Korea at the Institute of Applied History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. They also teach part-time at NSU and other Novosibirsk universities. This is one of the rare cases in Russia when people who received Korean studies in Russia and defended their studies in Korean in South Korea work in the Russian education system, i.e. this system is in demand.

The ASK consisted of 7 representatives of the Union republics. Currently, a new category of Korean studies specialists has appeared in our country - those who work or study abroad - in the Republic of Korea, Australia, Norway, the USA, Canada, and France. There are 10 such people. Six of them (V. D. Atknin, A. N. Lankov, V. M. Tikhonov, A.V. Bovin, L. A. Petrov, I. V. Tsoi) are graduates of St. Petersburg State University. Four of them work at prestigious foreign universities, one at a research institution in Paris, and this indicates the high level of teaching at this university, the compliance of its graduates with international requirements. All the above - mentioned graduates of St. Petersburg State University are specialists in the field of traditional Korean studies: ethnography, literature, ancient history, history of social thought, and language. It seems that traditional Korean studies, which is currently in decline, is the most promising area of research in terms of developing international relations. The work of our Korean scholars abroad undoubtedly contributes to the exchange of experience, dissemination of the achievements of domestic scientists in the world and world achievements in Russia.

Here is an example. Of all the Russian Korean scholars in the dictionary, almost only those who work abroad have personal websites. Poor Internet use, the lack of major Korean studies sites, including special publications and centers of Korean studies, and electronic library catalogs in Russian are serious problems that must be addressed urgently if we do not want to remain on the sidelines of science. Maybe Russian universities should invite our specialists from abroad, such as A. N. Lankov or V. M. Tikhonov, to give lectures on how to navigate hundreds of sites on Korean issues. Although it is

2 In 1990-2006, only 6 doctors and 27 candidates of sciences defended their degrees in Korean studies in Russia, including 1 doctor (16.7%) and 6 candidates (22.2%) in traditional issues.

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Table 2

Professional composition of Russian Korean scholars in 1990 and 2006


1990 Number, people, (%)

2006 Population, people, (%)


35 (26.5%)

62 (43.5%)

Employees of research institutes*, postgraduates

55 (41.7%)

36 (27.5%)

Employees of practical organizations (MFA, SSOD, mass media, Korean associations, business)

34 (25.8%)

22 (16.8%)


3 (2.3%)

2 (1.5%)

Independent researchers


3 (2.3%)


6 (4.6%)




Including non-working pensioners

8 (6%)

20 (15.2%)

By mid-2007, they had passed away

44 (33.3%)

4 (3%)


Note: * Calculations were made by the main place of work, not including part-time employees.

The task is primarily for professional librarians, who have now become experts in electronic information in the West. We don't have any such Korean specialists yet. It should also be noted that in the prestigious scientific journals published in English in the West and in South Korea, articles from Russian specialists are published mainly by those who work abroad.

Thus, in the post-Soviet period, there were significant changes in the geography of Korean studies in Russia. The number of specialists in traditional centers of Korean studies in the European part of the country decreased by 15.9% (107 people in 1990, 90-in 2006), especially in Moscow (by 17.6% since 1990). The study of Korea began in 8 cities of Siberia and the Far East and in 2 cities of the European part of Russia-in first of all, in practical universities, where Korean studies have never been taught before. Practical Korean studies are gradually moving to the east, but Moscow remains the main center (both scientific and practical activities).

Professional staff. According to Table 2, most of the Korean scholars in our country in 1990 were employees of research institutes - 55 people (41.7%). Now their number has decreased to 36 (27.5%), and the largest number is teachers - 62 (43.5%) compared to 35 (26.5%) in 1990. The number of Korean studies employees of practical organizations has decreased: from 34 (25.8% of the total number of members of the ASK in 1990) to 22 (16.8%).3.The number of non-working pensioners has increased: from 8 (6%) to 20 (15.2%). To date, 44 people (33.3%) from the 1990 USC and four (3%) from the 2006 Korean Studies section of the dictionary have passed away, which indicates an intensive process of generational change.

In 1990-2006, the number of economists and philologists increased slightly. Thus, today 10.7% (14 people)are economists by profession of the total number of Korean scholars, compared to 9% (12 people) in 1990, and philologists - 35.9% (47 people).-

3 A small but growing group of graduates of Korean studies departments has emerged-employees of South Korean firms and representative offices who do not have publications on Korea and, as a rule, do not support relations with the Korean studies community, unlike practitioners of the previous generation: translators, diplomats and journalists.

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Table 3

Korean studies with academic degrees as of 1990 and 2006.

1990, people (%)

2006, people (%)

Total number of people with an academic degree

83 people (62.9% of the total number of ASK members)

65 people (49.6%)

Doctors of Science

23 (17.4% of the total number of ASK members)

13 (9.9% of the total number of the "Korean Studies" section)



Doctor of Historical Sciences - 8 (61.5% of the total number of doctors);

doctor of Historical sciences - 13 (56.5% of all doctors);

D. phil. n. - 1 (7.7);

Doctor of Philology - 10 (43.5)

Doctor of Economics-3 (including 1 corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences) (23.1);

D. polit. Corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. RAS-1 (7.7)

Candidates of Sciences

60 (45.5)

52 (39.7)



Candidate of Historical Sciences - 25 (41.7% of all candidates);

Candidate of Historical Sciences - 26 (50% of all candidates);

Candidate of Philology - 20 (33.3%);

Candidate of Philology - 14 (26.9);

Candidate of Economic Sciences - 12 (20%);

PhD in Economics-7 (13.5);

Candidate of Philology - 1 (1.7%)

Candidate of Legal Sciences - 1 (1.9);

Candidate of Legal Sciences - 2 (3.3%)

Candidate of Political Science-3 (5.8);

Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences - 1 (1.9)

tiv 32.6% (43 people) in 1990 At the same time, the number of Korean historians decreased by 5.1%: in 2006-36 (27.5%), in 1990 - 43 (32.6%).

As can be seen from Table 3, in 1990 there were 83 people with academic degrees (62.9%); in the "Korean Studies" section of the 2006 handbook, there were 65 (49.6%), i.e. there was a decrease of 21.7%. The number of Korean scholars with a doctorate decreased from 23 to 13 (by 56.5%), including the number of doctors of philology decreased from 10 to 1 (+1.4), and the number of historical sciences - from 14 to 8 (by 57.1%). Let me add that in March 2007, the historian B. B. Pak defended her doctoral dissertation, and the number of Korean scholars - doctors of historical sciences, thus increased to 9. In 1990-2006, 1 doctor of political sciences, 3 doctors of economic Sciences and 2 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences appeared in Russian Korean studies. These are economist, chief researcher of the Center for the Study of Modern Korea IMEMO RAS V. V. Mikheev and political scientist, Rector of MGIMO A.V. Torkunov.

In 1990, there were 60 people with PhD degrees in the ACA (45.5% of all ACA members). According to the 2006 dictionary, this number is 52 people (39.7%). In both 1990 and 2006, candidates of historical sciences were in the lead (25 and 26 people, respectively). This is followed by candidates of Philology (20 and 14) and Economics (12 and 7). There were teachers of the Korean language - specialists in pedagogy, including 1 Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences (L. A. Voronina) and 2 graduate students. Let me add that since the beginning of 2007, after the dictionary was published, 2 PhD theses (E. A. Pokholkova, MSLU, and O. A. Trofimenko, USPI) on the vocabulary and grammar of the Korean language were defended, and 10 graduate philologists are preparing for the defense. Although the specialty "political science" appeared in our country only in recent years, in addition to the already mentioned corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences A.V. Torkunov, two candidates of political sciences are already working in Russia-A. Z. Zhebin and R. L. Kazaryan. A.V. Mansurov, who became a full professor at the Center for the Study of Security Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region in Honolulu in early 2007, holds an American doctorate in Political Science.

4 Doctor of Philology Kim Lechun, who was a member of the ASK, is listed in the 2006 biobibliographical Dictionary as "Orientalists of other specialties who have published works on Korea".

page 130

Table 4

Age groups of Russian Korean scholars (at the beginning of 2007)

Retirement age (over 60 years old, up to and including 1946)

36 people (28.4%*)

from 50 to 60 years old (born in 1947 to 1957)

28 people (22%)

from 41 to 50 years (born in 1958 to 1967)

12 people (7.9%)

from 30 to 40 years (born in 1968 - 1977)

31 people (24.4%)

Born in 1978-1981

20 people (15.8%)


Note: * The count is based on the number of 127 people who have died so far.

Today, there is not a single professional Korean scholar-librarian left in our country, including in the Russian State Library (formerly Leninka). In the Russian National Library (St. Petersburg), A. A. Artemyeva, who formally retired long ago, continues to work on a voluntary basis. Most universities that teach Korean studies do not have libraries with at least a minimal set of basic literature. The state of libraries is a serious problem that hinders not only the development of scientific Korean studies, but also the improvement of education in universities.

Thus, in 2006, there were 65 Korean scholars with academic degrees in Russia - 13.3% less than in 1990 (83 people). The number of doctors of sciences decreased by 56.5% (from 23 to 13), especially in philology (from 10 to 1), while 3 doctors of Economics and 2 corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences appeared. Among doctors and candidates of sciences, historians are numerically leading (34 people), followed by philologists (15) and economists (10). There were representatives of new specialties: political scientists and teachers. Today, there is not a single professional Korean scholar-librarian in Russia, and there is a serious lag behind the world's achievements in the field of computer science. The number of scientists working in the field of traditional Korean studies is steadily decreasing. Of the 33 theses on Korean studies defended in 1990-2006, 7 (22.2%) accounted for them.

Age structure. The patriarch of Russian Korean studies is M. N. Pak, an Honored Professor of Moscow State University (born in 1918), Doctor of Historical Sciences, and head of the International Center for Korean Studies (MCC) of Moscow State University. The youngest participant of the handbook is K. V. Khazizova, an employee of the MCC of Moscow State University (ISAA) (born 10.07.1981). The average age of doctors of sciences is 63 years; candidates-56.5 years.

According to Table 4, the smallest age group among Russian Korean scholars is people from 40 to 50 years old-12 people (7.%), the most numerous is people over 60 years old (28.4%). An extremely small number of teachers of the age of maturity and creative flourishing attracts attention - 40 - 59-summer ones. There are only 15 of them: 8 in the age category from 50 to 59 years and seven 40-49-year-olds (three of the latter teach abroad). As we can see, the teaching of Korean studies in Russian universities is currently carried out mainly by people of either retirement age (12 people), or young people aged 26 to 40 years (about 60-70 people). There is practically no middle link between them. This suggests a break in the continuity of Russian Korean studies. Of the teachers mentioned in the dictionary (62 people), 14 are people aged from 26 to 29 years (9 of them work in the FESU Higher School of Economics), 11 are aged 30 to 32 years, and 5 are aged 33 to 35 years (a total of 30 people, i.e. 48.3%). Including 45 teachers of Siberia and the Far East who are not included in the dictionary-

5 Among the participants of the "Korean Studies" section, only three were born in 1981.

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As mentioned above, recently graduated young teachers make up 58% of the total number of Korean studies teachers.

Thus, the smallest age group among Russian Korean scholars is people from 40 to 50 years old - 12 people (7.9%), the most numerous (36 people) - people over 60 years old (28.4%). The average age of doctors of sciences is 63 years; candidates - 56.5 years. About 60% of professional Korean studies teachers are young people under the age of 35. Attention is drawn to the small (15 people) number of teachers of the age of maturity and creative flourishing - 40 - 59-summer students (16.3% of the total number of teachers).

Conclusions. The above data indicate that at present it is premature to talk about both the "progressive" and even more so about the "explosive" nature of the development of modern Russian Korean studies. Only numerical indicators have significantly increased: the number of universities with Korean departments (mainly in Siberia and the Far East), teachers of Korean studies (mainly due to young people under the age of 35). and students (ten times more than in the Soviet period, despite the fact that only a small part of them find work in their specialty after graduation).

Scientific Korean studies has not yet been able to regain its position after the cataclysms experienced by our country in the early 1990s. The extremely small number of professional Korean studies teachers aged 40-59 years indicates a loss of continuity, when a layer of specialists reproduced themselves, preserving the cultural traditions of their environment. The situation is such that many Russian universities, where Korean studies have been taught in recent years, have teachers who are South Koreans (often missionaries or people without special education) or Russians who were educated in the Republic of Korea and therefore have little connection with the traditions and school of domestic Korean studies-by the way, one of the oldest in Europe.

The extremely low level of remuneration for teachers in Russian universities (in Moscow-about 10 thousand rubles, in the provinces-much less), which is no more than a third of what a graduate of the same university who has joined a private firm receives, leads to a drop in the prestige of the profession, causes an outflow of young talented specialists from the field this inevitably affects the level of knowledge of graduates and hinders the further development of scientific knowledge.

The growth in the number of students "per capita" of a teacher indicates a change in the quality of the educational process, its transition to a purely practical plane. Life and the market pose new challenges for universities. We need practitioners: economists, political scientists, Korean language teachers, tour operators, joint venture managers, and quickly and, even better, with scientific degrees. It is obvious that the system of teaching that developed in the Soviet years does not fully meet these requirements and it needs to be actively reformed with the involvement of specialists of a new formation. However, despite the lack of highly qualified personnel in the Korean departments of most universities that meet the requirements of today, the peculiarity of the current situation is that almost none of the young Korean scholars who have graduated from the Korean department of a Russian university and are studying for a master's or postgraduate degree in the Republic of Korea have an invitation from Russian universities getting a degree. Years of study in Korea, which require a huge amount of labor, are not counted in the length of service, and master's and doctoral degrees obtained in Korea (Ph. D.) degrees do not receive official recognition. It is precisely these factors, i.e. the lack of demand and lack of any interest in the native state, that make young specialists look for work to a much greater extent than the low salaries of teachers and scientists in Russia

page 132

abroad, and in some cases, sadly enough, to part forever with the specialty received at the cost of many years of effort.

The difficulty of finding employment in the specialty after graduation makes us think about whether modern Russia needs such a large number of Korean departments in universities. Wouldn't it be better to create only a few departments, bringing together the best of Russian Korean studies and providing them with decent working and creative conditions?

Traditional Korean studies, with which our science actually began and on which it still stands today as a foundation, is in decline, and the quantitative growth of Korean departments will not help here. This decline is particularly paradoxical today, when the information revolution is going on intensively, many documents and materials are being digitized in the world, when a lot of new information has become available to researchers and new boundless horizons are opening up for traditional work.

Is everything so hopeless? Having devoted 30 years of my life to Korean studies and constantly moving among Korean scholars, I often meet colleagues who, despite a small salary and low status, work fruitfully and are ready to give everything to this cause and even sacrifice their health. Such meetings inspire confidence in the better future of Russian Korean studies.

The present is closely intertwined with the past, and without knowledge of history, culture, art, everyday life, mentality, i.e. subjects of traditional science, there can be no complete understanding of the present. A person who doesn't know what hanbok is can't be a good translator. The tourism business cannot be successful if managers do not know the country's culture (isn't it because Russian tourism to Korea is still so poorly developed that professional Korean experts do not work in our tourism business?). Politicians cannot adequately participate in international meetings and set a political course without being armed with knowledge and understanding of the past: whether to take the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue, discussions on disputed territories, the impact of remnants of colonial heritage on the state of modern Russian-Korean relations, or the "war of stories" that has been unfolding for more than 10 years between the two the Korean states, on the one hand, and China, on the other. These issues are important for the country, and if there are no professionals to study them, the vacuum will be filled by amateurs. Both the modern book market in Russia, where there are almost no works on Korean studies written by professional authors, and the state of Korean collections in Russian libraries clearly show this. Only the efforts of enthusiasts and grants from foreign foundations will not solve the problems of Russian Korean studies. We need a decisive internal reform and consistent state support for science.

list of literature

Vorontsov A.V. Predislovie [Preface] / / Sovremennoe rossiiskoe koreevedenie [Modern Russian Korean Studies]. Reference edition, Moscow, 2006. (Series "Russian Korean Studies in the past and present", Vol. III). Sovremennoe rossiiskoe koreevedenie [Modern Russian Korean Studies], Moscow: Pervoe Marta Publ., 2006.


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