Reconstruction of Memory and Reinterpretation of Tradition at Royal Palaces in Seoul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The royal palaces of the Joseon dynasty in Seoul have long been major tourist spots for foreign visitors to Korea, but these places have been attracting more domestic visitors in recent years. The cultural politics of the UNESCO World Heritage list and the unremitting contestation among East Asian nation-states around the authorship of the past largely account for such newly found popularity of royal palaces among Koreans. This article examines this resurgence of domestic tourism focusing on how certain royal palaces in Seoul are being endorsed and consumed as emblems of tradition and national identity by the government as well as the general public, and how this process has enabled a reconfiguration of the past, especially the experience of Japanese colonialism in Korea. This article also argues that royal palaces are not just sites for collective memory, but sites for contestation and divergence of identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-242
Number of pages35
JournalKorea Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2021.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Authors. All rights reserved.


  • heritage tourism
  • historic nostalgia
  • identity
  • Korea
  • nighttime opening
  • royal palaces


Dive into the research topics of 'Reconstruction of Memory and Reinterpretation of Tradition at Royal Palaces in Seoul'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this