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Korea in the Framework of Latvian-Far Eastern Cross-Cultural Relations in the 19th-20th Centuries.

Latvian-Far Eastern cross-cultural relations in the early modern period and late modern period were determined by the changing socioeconomic, political, and religious situation of the Baltics. This was related to the particular European (and Western) understanding of Asia, the strong link between Russia and the Far East, and the specific and heterogeneous situation of Latvian society. In this context, Korea works as a kind of litmus test and even mirror of the Latvian world outlook.

1. Overture to Latvian-Korean Cross-Cultural Relations

As inhabitants of the Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire, Latvians were politically related to Central Asia and the Far East, which were also a part of that far-flung empire. However, the historical link of the Baltic peoples to the German language and culture opened up Far Eastern cultural history for the Latvian intelligentsia through the prism of German Orientalism, which had promoted a positive reception of Eastern religions and civilizations as far back as the 18th century. (1) In this sense, a significant contribution to the popularizing of non-European folklore was made by Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), who lived and worked in Riga from 1764 till 1769. The interest of European scholars in the Baltic languages (Lithuanian and Latvian) regarding their similarity to Sanskrit was especially important for Latvian intellectuals; as a result, in the 19th and 20th centuries these intellectuals developed theories about ancient Latvians having originated in India (2) and attempted to synthesize elements of Baltic pre-Christian religion with Hindu and Buddhist teachings, which later helped them to maintain an open-minded attitude towards the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Buddhist heritage. On the other hand, these views were intertwined with a yearning to do away with the privileges of the German nobility, resulting in critical attitudes toward "Western enslavers" as one of the national stereotypes, which in turn continues to hinder understanding of the huge contribution made by German-speaking scholars in Latvia in introducing the Far Eastern cultural heritage to Europe. (3) In the context of international relations, states, despite their past, are perceived as unique, separate entities, which creates the interpretation of "Latvia" as a cultural-historical continuum. However, given that in Europe the various strata of society--and even urban and rural inhabitants--often formed groups speaking different languages, as was the case in the Baltics, the study of ethnically and regionally very heterogeneous European history demands an open and non-stereotypical approach. Unfortunately, in Latvia the consequences of modern nationalism still manifest themselves in an insufficient understanding of the cultural heritage of the so-called Baltic Germans, who even as far back as 1918, when the Republic of Latvia was founded, were referred to as "oppressors of the Latvian people." At the same time, in the predominantly Catholic region of Latgale in eastern Latvia, where the social elite had long spoken Polish, many influential scholars, travelers, and writers, such as Ferdynand Ossendowski (1876-1945), who will be discussed later in this article, belonged to the Polish community. In tracing the history of Korean and Asian studies in Latvia, this article respects the contributions of all "Latvians" who belong(ed) to the kaleidoscope of ethnic, religious, and linguistic communities that are (were) Latvia.

2. Pioneers of Korean Studies from Latvia

Due to colonial interests in China and Manchuria and the grand Trans-Siberian Railway project, the end of the 19th century was in general marked by an exceptional intensification of Far Eastern studies. With regard to Korean studies, let us remember, among others, the encyclopaedic three-volume Opisanie Korei published by the Russian Ministry of Finance in 1900, which covers everything from shamanism to language. However, traditionally, it was the children of Baltic German aristocrats, townspeople, and pastors who held important of fices in the public administration of the Russian Empire and played significant roles in diplomacy and educational institutions. (4)

In the Korean context, an outstanding place is occupied by Carl Friedrich Theodor von Weber (1841-1910), (5) who was born in Latvia (Liepaja) and is considered one of the pioneers of Korean studies on a global scale. In April 1885, in connection with the official opening of the Russian diplomatic mission in Seoul, Weber was appointed the first charge d'affaires of the Russian Empire in Korea, where in a short time he gained authority and influence unique to a foreign representative. (6) These were the most difficult years for the Korean state in terms of foreign policy, notwithstanding the fact that in 1897 the Choson monarchy joined the rank of empires. (7) Processes of modernization, such as the end of slavery and the Korean enlightenment, were developing in parallel with increasing Japanese expansion. Nor could Korea withstand Western imperialism. (8)

In this situation, Weber advocated for Russian-Korean interaction. He was one of the prime movers behind the the Russian-Korean treaty of 1884, (9) and he personally arranged the flight of the Korean King Kojong to the Russian Legation, beyond the reach of Japanese soldiers. (10) He also took care to preserve the sophisticated court protocol of the Korean monarchy, including the construction of a building in the Korean style, serving traditional Korean cuisine, etc., in which an important role was played by his subordinate Marie Antoinette Son(n)tag (1838-1922), justly referred to as the "Uncrowned Empress of Korea." (11) Interestingly, in the play Hotel Sontag (sontag hotel) by Korean author Cha Beom-Seok (1924-2006), which premiered in 1976 at the National Theater in Seoul, Weber and the legendary Ms. Sontag are the only Europeans portrayed as friends and supporters of the aspirations of the Korean people for independence. (12)

It must be admitted, though, that despite his best intentions, Weber, like other diplomats of large imperialist countries, objectively facilitated the colonial interests of his own state (in this case Russia). The Joseon government, in turn, cared first and foremost about protecting its own interests in the power struggle between Russia, Japan, and other large colonial players. (13) Of course, it cannot be denied that Russia tried hard to gain the trust of the Joseon royal family. (14) Latvians today know very little about this aspect of modern Korean history and culture, let alone the fact that modern 20th-century Korean studies has its genesis in diplomats, travelers, and employees of the imperial Russian education and finance systems who were of Baltic (and Latvian) origin. After returning to St. Petersburg, the aforementioned Weber published two works: (15) one on the transliteration of the names of Korean cities (16) and the other on the Korean way of reading Chinese characters. (17)

Another orientalist of the Russian Empire who held the Korean cultural and historical heritage in high esteem was the Baltic German aristocrat Otto Karl Julius Rosenberg (1888-1919). Rosenberg was born in Friedrichstadt (now Jaunjelgava) in Latvia and attended St. Petersburg University, where beginning in 1906 he studied Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese, and Japanese. In 1912 Rosenberg was sent to Japan, where he studied Buddhist philosophy. He defended his thesis, "Introduction to the Study of Buddhism from Chinese and Japanese Sources," in 1918. (18) His book The Problems of Buddhist Philosophy was published in German in 1924 and brought him worldwide recognition. (19) A compilation of his works was published in Russia in 1991. (20) Rosenberg objectively assessed the role of Korea in introducing Buddhism to Japan, stressing that the Indian heritage, having been transformed through the prism of Chinese and Korean cultures, brought with it many elements of these cultures. (21) He also stressed the importance of Korean missionaries in disseminating Buddhism in Japan in the 6th century. (22)

3. Latvians Taking the Reins in Asian and Korean Studies

Picking up the baton from Baltic German scholars at the beginning of the 20th century, Latvians increasingly turned to Orientalism and Asian studies by learning the languages of Far Eastern peoples. A distinguished place among these researchers should be given to the first Latvian sinologist, Peteris Smits (1869-1938). Smits began studying the Mandarin Chinese and Manchurian languages at the University of St. Petersburg in 1892; he later learned Mandarin Chinese and taught Russian at Peking University. From 1899 he taught Chinese and Manchurian at the Vladivostok Far East Institute, and in 1918 he was appointed to the position of professor there; he became the dean of the Faculty of Philology and Philosophy at the same institution in 1919. (23) Because he spent the beginning of his career in Russia, he is also known as the founder of the new Russian school of sinology. Smits devised a new method of teaching Chinese, which went on to be used in Russian universities.

It is difficult to say to what extent Smits was occupied by studies of Korea; this issue has not yet been clarified. However, taking into account Smits's broad scientific scope and outlook, we may assume that he was aware of the issues of Korean culture, history, and linguistics. This also logically follows from the particulars of his regional studies of Far Eastern languages and traditions. It is known that Smits traveled to Korea before becoming a professor of Chinese at the Vladivostok Far East Institute in 1899. (24) In the context of Korean culture, Smits's studies are interesting due to a number of considerations. First, his philological writings on the Tungus Manchurian languages and Siberian peoples (Negidals, Orochs, Ulch, etc.) may be used as comparative material when considering the close links of ancient Korea with this region. (25) It should be remembered that Smits was the first European scholar to visit almost all the nations in Siberia and the Far East who actually spoke the Manchurian language, and his research proved that the Tungus Manchurian languages belong to a separate language group. (26) Being a sinologist by profession, Smits wrote extensively about philology, folklore, mythology, and the history of literature, including themes related to Latvia and Latvians, and therefore it is not easy to find his research related specifically to Koreans. The Korean theme usually shows up within other, more extensive compositions, but it is precisely Smits's unique cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach that is so valuable today. When making his conclusions, he relied simultaneously on linguistics, history, ethnography, and archaeology, even though this method was not yet widely used in science at the time.

Smits's findings regarding the Korean language and ethnogenesis are very interesting from the vantage point of cultural history. In his work Introduction to Linguistics (1934) (27) he stresses the link between Koreans and Paleo-Asians:
   I do not see any special reason for separating Koreans and Japanese
   from Paleo-Asians as well as the extinct Balha.... (28) Although we
   do not have sufficient grounds to speak about any Paleo-Asian
   language group, being long-time neighbors, they have, to a wide
   extent, developed similar phonetics and have partly originated from
   the common initial people. The Korean, ancient Japanese, Ainu,
   Gilyak, (29) Koryak, Kamchadal, and Ket languages do not have words
   beginning with voiced consonants. In other Paleo-Asian languages
   voiced consonants are limited and perhaps occurred later.... (30)


Justifying his findings with philological arguments, Smits nevertheless remains a sufficiently cautious and careful scholar and does not make simplified conclusions or identify all the above-mentioned peoples with a single, homogeneous, unified ethnos, taking into consideration their anthropological, cultural, historical, and linguistic differences. He opposed Japanese scholars trying to identify Koreans with Japanese by seeking similarities as close as those between, for example, Germans and the Dutch. He referred specifically to The Common Origin of the Japanese and Korean Languages (1910) by linguist Shozaburo Kanazawa (1872-1967), which declared Korean to be nothing more than "a branch dialect of the Japanese language" and analogous to the language of the Ryukyu Islands. (31) Japanese arguments similar to those put forth by Kanazawa became one of the principal arguments supporting the expansion of the Japanese colonial empire and were used to justify treating Korea, Manchuria, and Mongolia as regions rather than nations, thus justifying further conquests on the Asian continent "in the name of shared racial heritage." (32) Smits completely rejected this approach, stressing that Kanazawa was only able to present about 150 words as common to the Korean and Japanese languages, of which "a majority are either introduced culture words or questionable comparisons." (33) Of course, he did not deny the objective cultural and historical links between Koreans and Japanese, (34) as well as the fact that Koreans and Japanese belong to a broader region defined by the Paleo-Asian lifestyle and traditions and in which all ethne have interacted as "old Northeast Asian neighbors and comrades in fate." (35)

It would be of particular value to take a closer look at Smits's connection to his contemporaries, namely, the well-known researchers of Asian peoples and languages Sergei Mikhailovich Shirokogorov (1887-1939) and Gustaf John Ramstedt (1873-1950). Much is still unknown in this regard, however, even based on the very limited source materials available to the author of this article, these men did maintain at least a distant scientific dialogue and took interest in each other's work. For example, Shirokogorov cited Smits's work regarding the study of Tungusic languages; he used Smits's Language of the Negidals and the Language of the Olchas for comparative purposes. (36) Carsten Naeher's article in the German language, published in 2002 in Trends in Manchu and Tungus Studies, is dedicated to Smits's contribution to the classification of Tungusic languages. (37) Unfortunately, Shirokogorov's "Letter to Professor Dr. P. P. Schmidt" (1932) was unavailable to the author of this article. (38) More information specifically related to Korea was revealed by reading Smits's letters to Ramstedt, a specialist in Altaic languages. For example, in a letter written to Ramstedt in the German language and dated to 1924, Smits expressed his joy at Ramstedt's support of his hypothesis, which he later formulated in the aforementioned Introduction to Linguistics (1934). Smits wrote that he included Korean and Japanese in the Paleo-Asian group. (39) In the case of Korean, he referred to ancient similarities between the Korean and Nivkh (40) languages. (41)

Regarding Korean culture, Smits highly rated the importance of Korea both as a carrier of Chinese civilization to Japan and as an especially fundamental location of genesis for cultural phenomena, among which he specifically stressed the Korean writing system (Hangul) developed by King Sejong the Great that was completed in 1443 (42) and is today included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

4. Social Transformation and Wars as Facilitators of Latvian-Korean Intercultural Communication

The growing interest of Latvian intellectuals in other cultures, especially those of the Near, Middle, and Far East, was encouraged by the rapid social transformation of the Baltic provinces beginning in the mid-19th century and intellectuals' related disappointment with the values of Western culture. Following the abolition of serfdom, the majority of peasants were simply evicted from the land, and the cities were flooded by a mass of new workers who were drawn to the ideas of socialism and Marxism. By the end of the 19th century, Latvia's agrarian society had quickly turned into an urban one. By 1897 30 percent of the population lived in cities, and by 1914 more than 45 percent were urban dwellers. (43) Many Latvian engineers and builders sought jobs in Central Asia or the Far East, where they participated in extensive construction projects, for example, the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway (1898-1903). Many also found jobs in the tertiary sector. (44)

Later, Latvians arrived in the Far East as soldiers in the Russian military forces during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). Several thousand Latvian soldiers and officers took part in this war, which was largely fought in Korea. After the establishment of the independent Republic of Latvia in 1918, some military officers from this war held high rank in Latvia's armed forces, while others became eminent politicians; the second president of Latvia, Gustavs Zemgals (1871-1939), and the Latvian general and minister of war Janis Balodis were veterans of the Russo-Japanese War. (45) One can fully agree with Songmoo Kho that the Russo-Japanese War also prompted study of Korea and the Korean language. (46) Reports of the war published in Western Europe were sometimes accompanied by lengthy digressions on Korean history and culture, as, for example, in the monumental three-volume edition Der Russisch-Japanische Krieg. (47) It is difficult to say to what extent the mobilized Latvians became familiar with Korean traditions, lifestyle, and culture during the extreme circumstances of war. This aspect calls for extensive research in archives, libraries, and private collections and the hunt for memoirs, notes, unfinished studies, etc. by veterans of the Russo-Japanese War.

Finally, many Latvians went to this region during the Russian Civil War. During the First World War and the Russian Civil War, Siberia and the Far East in general (including China and Manchuria) became significant centers for Latvian political groups and organizations. According to Nadina Rode, as a result of migration to cities, FFarbin and Shanghai were home to around 1,700-2,000 Latvians in the interwar period. (48) Inspired by the proclamation of the independent Republic of Latvia on 18 November 1918, Peteris Smits also joined the patriotic Latvian movement, participating in the organization of the Imanta Regiment, which consisted of Latvian soldiers who, unlike the majority of Latvian soldiers, did not join the Bolsheviks but instead repatriated to Latvia. (49) Evidence of Smits's political activities is provided by a letter from Vladivostok that was found in a French counterintelligence archive of that time and is the personal property of the author of the present article. In that letter, dated 30 November 1918, a person named "Martel" apparently associated with French counterintelligence reports on the need to communicate with Latvian organizations, and specifically with Professor P. Smits, in order to inform him about the plans of the French government. (50)

A report from the French counterintelligence archive concerning dated 3 December 1918 mentions another Latvian essayist and future historian in the Far East, Arveds Svabe (1888-1959), as a representative of the Latvian association in Shanghai who is authorized to support Latvian independence, economic reconstruction, and political representation at the peace conference in Paris. (51) Svabe was the secretary of the Latvian National Council in Vladivostok from 1918 to 1919. (52) It was at this time that his interest in the poetry of the Far Eastern peoples emerged, which resulted in a translation of Japanese poems (1921) and a collection of poems titled Gong-gong (1922). Both Svabe and Smits later studied folklore, mythology, and history, and Svabe's collection Gonggong even mentions the Paleo-Asians, a theme that was very close to Smits, as well as motifs of shamanism, which plays an important role in the religion of the Korean people. (53)

Along with the activities of the Latvian community supporting the newly established Republic of Latvia, there is very interesting evidence regarding Latvian-Korean contacts during that time in connection with the activities of Latvian Communists. Whether as refugees during the First World War, while fighting on the Bolshevik side in the Russian Civil War, (54) while establishing sections of the Communist Party in former and present European colonies, or while studying Oriental cultures during the first years of the USSR, Latvians obtained more and more information about Asian countries and traditions and the worldview of the peoples living there. This potential was used by the USSR for diplomacy and the development of international relations with the nations of the Far East. For example, a Latvian named Eugen G. Spalvingk (Eizens Spalvins, 1872-?) was one of the founders of Japanology in Russia, (55) and Julijs Smurgis (1890-1938) was responsible for popularizing the ideas of the Soviet Communist party in China. (56)

In the Korean context there is very interesting information regarding the Latvian Communist Karlis Jansons (1882-1939), who was known by the nicknames Charles Johnson and Charles E. Scott. Having actively participated in the Russian revolution of 1905, which took a dramatic and bloody form in Latvia, he emigrated to the USA in 1908, where he helped to found the American and Canadian Communist parties and served on the Central Committee of the United Communist Party of America. (57) After the October Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the Soviet Union, Jansons played an active role in the work of the Soviet Communist party, carrying out complicated counterintelligence operations and expanding the international Communist movement and Soviet diplomatic service. He arrived in Moscow when the American Bureau broke up on 1 December 1921 and the legal party was formed. (58) Recognizing Jansons's talents, the Soviet government entrusted him with organization and coordination measures in the Far East, evidence of which is compiled in the monograph written in Russian by Valentin Steinberg and published in Moscow in 1983. (59) Jansons was commissioned to assist in coordinating the first conference of the Pacific Red International of Labor Unions (Pacific Profintern), which took place in Wuhan (Hankou), China, on 20-26 May 1927, and to which Korean representatives, among others, were invited. (60)

The following were set forth as the aims of the conference in China: combating colonialism and protecting oppressed peoples, eliminating racial and national stereotypes, restoring national independence for occupied countries (e.g., Korea), and preventing another world war. (61) A resolution was adopted to issue an English version of Red Labor Union International magazine specifically for the Pacific region; it immediately published works by Korean Communists alongside those of their Chinese and Japanese colleagues. (62) Soon Jansons went to Shanghai, which developed into the center of the Pacific Profintern on account of the fact that the Pan-Pacific Trade Union Secretariat as a coordinating center for Asia and the Pacific (naturally, including Korea) was founded there in 1927. (63)

It is likely that Jansons developed a special link with Korea, which is today evidenced by only a few, but important, facts. For example, in connection with preparations for the Profintern's fifth congress in 1930 in Moscow, he was ordered to prepare a report specifically for Korea. (64) At the same time, Jansons was given a very complicated assignment, namely, to ensure the delivery of delegates from the Pacific region to the Profintern congress, because Soviet counterintelligence had learned that a number of countries were unwilling to allow their citizens to participate as delegates to the congress in Moscow. (65) Jansons had correctly chosen Manchuria as a crossing point, but it turned out to be very difficult for the representatives from Korea, which was occupied by Japan, to get to Vladivostok in order to proceed to Moscow--Japanese intelligence was active and well informed ... However, all four Korean delegates successfully crossed the border and arrived in Vladivostok. Later, having undergone enormous difficulties, a fifth Korean participant arrived. (66) Jansons's subsequent career was marked by a rapid climb up the organizational ladder at Profintern until 1937, when he, like many other Communists and much of the "Old Guard," was killed during Stalin's Great Purge. (67) Certainly many materials related to the activities of Jansons and other Latvian diplomats and scholars in the Far East can be found in archives and document collections in Moscow. Such research could also be of interest to Korean colleagues.

As in Korea, (68) in Latvia Marxism played a huge role in the modernization of the nation in the 20th century. Early Latvian Marxists developed a close link between the ideas of social justice and national cultural identity, attempting to unite under their governance all morally active elements of the nation, especially the youth. Evidence of such a synthetic approach is, for example, manifested in the worldview of the prominent 20th-century Latvian poet and playwright Rainis (1865-1929), which included elements of Marxism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (Sufism). (69) Like many Latvian Marxists, Rainis was also an active participant in the 1905 revolution.

In addition to those Latvians who found themselves in the Far East during the Russo-Japanese War and the Russian Civil War, others ended up there, specifically in Siberia, as a result of the deportations carried out against the 1905 revolutionaries by tsarist authorities. Contacts between these deportees and Siberian peoples such as the Yakuts, whose traditions of shamanism were so precisely and in such great detail described in the memoirs of Ansis Leitis, are extremely interesting. (70) From the point of view of the study of traditional religions, especially shamanism, this information is also very useful in the context of Korean studies. It should be remembered that shamanism (musok or mugyo) was practiced in Korea before the arrival of Buddhism in the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BCE-CE 668), and Korean Buddhism adopted many shamanistic practices. But shamanism persisted after the adoption of Confucianism and, despite the modernization of Korean society and profound historical changes, survived the introduction of Christianity as well. (71) For comparison, Yakut society also continued to practice shamanism after Russia's introduction of Orthodox Christianity. (72)

While the memoirs of Leitis and other deportees are useful for Korean studies (especially the study of religions) mainly as comparative material, a substantive portrait of the Koreans of that era appears in the works of Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski (1876-1945), a writer, explorer, and politician born in Latvia. Born into a family of Latvian-Polish aristocrats with Tatar origins, Ossendowski became famous in the 20th century because of his adventurous life as well as his anticommunist activities, depictions of religious-mystical discoveries experienced in Asia, and itineraries written in an intriguing adventurous style, which also include direct personal experience. He repeatedly traveled to Asia (both to the Far and Middle East) due to the Russian-Japanese War, the First World War, and the Russian Civil War. In his book published in English, Man and Mystery in Asia (1924), he shows Koreans in multifaceted aspects in different environments and spins the ordinary, the legendary, and the tragic into a single thread. In a description of a Korean suburb of Vladivostok, Ossendowski describes the Koreans, "children of the Land of Morning Calm," as people "garbed in white or pink cotton trousers and short coats, with hair strangely dressed in a little knot and covered with a horse-hair hat like a milliner's form in which it looked like a bird in its cage ... " (73) With regard to the Korean suburb, he states that

In this quarter, in these mole-hills, in this labyrinth of muddy and dirty alley-ways, on these heaps of refuse from the town, these strangers lead a life quite separate from that of the other inhabitants and beyond the law. Only at times when an epidemic of cholera, small-pox or plague raged, the Russian authorities ordered all Koreans to leave the district of the fortress and, on pain of severe punishment, obliged them to go, hungry and cold, in the direction of the Korean frontier, to the banks of the river Tumen. The town was set on fire, and this as the strongest disinfectant; and, after a year, over the burnt refuse and ruins of the hovels, a new town raised itself and new Korean inhabitants led the same life, occupied with theft, fortune-telling, catching of fish and crabs and with maintaining opium dens as well as secret dwelling places of criminals of every description. The police hesitated to go in its labyrinth of twisted streets where danger lurked round every corner. (74)

Further, it becomes clear that Ossendowski is describing poor Koreans who, despite tremendous difficulties, had migrated elsewhere in order to earn money to support their families at home. Ossendowski depicts their fate during the risky border crossing, whereby they ensured transport and trade in the regionally most valuable goods in a very dramatic manner. Russian Cossacks called such Koreans "White Swans." Ossendowski reveals a conversation with one of the local Cossacks:

"What do you mean by White Swans?" I asked. "Koreans, sir, Koreans," he replied gaily. "They come from the Amur gold mines, the Sungacha, the Mai Ho and Imperator Bay and carry on their backs a lot of precious things: gold dust, panti, ginseng, amber, mushrooms, river pearls, sables, ermine and marten skins. And how could we allow them to take all this when it would be good use to us Christians?" And they laughed again. "How do you do this?" I inquired, guessing the truth. "It is a very simple thing. We arrange zasidki on the roads and just wait. The Koreans travel singly, as they distrust one another, and skulk along the smallest trails. When the Cossacks hear the noise of steps or an axe or see at night the glow of the fires on the tree tops, they creep up on the White Swan and take from him what he has in his pack. Sometimes the Korean tries to defend himself with his axe or knife, and then a bullet quiets him forever." (75)

Such Cossack cruelty and manner of self-enrichment is in general true, if we recall comparative information regarding the extensive Jewish massacres, the acts of Cossack penal battalions during the 1905 revolution in the Baltics, or events of the Russo-Japanese War. There is a great deal of literature related to this theme, and these facts are considered general knowledge. What may come as a surprise is the Cossack perception of Koreans as "non-Christians" because, given the growing importance of Christianity in Korea beginning in the late 19th century, there is a good chance that many of the "White Swans" were Christians. The number of Protestants among the Korean population increased rapidly from the 19th century onward, and in time Christianity became an important factor of Korean national identity in the country's fight against Japanese colonial rule. (76) Nevertheless, the Cossack's view is understandable when bearing in mind that for Cossacks, their Orthodox Christian identity was not a matter of faith but rather of ethnicity and had been defined during the extensive time they had spent living among peoples who practiced Islam (in the Black Sea basin and the Caucasus) and among Siberian peoples who observed traditional religions.

The Russian Empire made Orthodox Christianity a cornerstone of its modern nationalism. This primarily affected the Cossacks as military sentinels and expanders of the empire who permanently lived and fought in the border regions. The Cossacks depicted in Nikolai Gogol's works, for example, view the Catholic Poles as "non-Christians." (77) In Ossendowski's writings, Cossacks are depicted as individuals who, like representatives of the Western colonial powers, saw other peoples and cultures stereotypically; the Cossack in the conversation described above shows no understanding at all of the actual faith and religion of the Koreans. Ossendowski vividly describes the Cossacks' cynicism regarding Koreans in general. When he learns about the killing of "White Swans," he protests: "But it is a crime!" To which the Cossack replies: "Are these really men? They are reptiles, and they are as numerous as ants! Now such hunts are rare, as they begin to use railroads and ships and only the poorest ones wander through the forest." (78)

Of course, Koreans strictly maintained their traditions despite the transformation of Korean society and the expansion of Christianity. Indeed, it was traditional shamanism that to a certain extent enabled Protestantism to take root among the Korean people. (79) It is interesting, then, that Ossendowski mentions "fortune-telling" as a specifically Korean occupation in the suburbs of Vladivostok, (80) as in Korea, too, fortune telling and divination practices made their way into Christianity, in certain cases adopting biblical terminology and a Christian facade while preserving the essence of ancient Korean beliefs. Yee-Heum Yoon shows that shamanistic practices continue within the Korean Protestant movement in the form of kajong-jedan, or family altars. (81) According to Yoon,
   fortunetelling altars are used mainly for curing and bringing good
   luck. The nature of these activities is more like traditional kibog
   rather than the belief system of Christianity. The main difference
   is that the diviner uses the Bible as a tool for prognostication:
   opening it at random and predicting the future from the first
   sentence that he reads.... Diviners make interpretations based on
   their personal religious experiences. These interpretations tend to
   be anti-doctrinal and anti-intellectual. The spirit and attitude of
   this movement, then, is not born from mainstream Christianity but
   rather from the ethos of kibog. (82)


Ossendowski's stories are based on the contrast of one's own identity with that of others. This is seen even in the depiction of Siberian forests, which in his opinion seem as strange and undiscovered to a "Westerner" (83) as the Koreans and Chinese who lived in them: "Here in this endless virgin forest where a white man is only rarely met, many Chinese and Koreans find for themselves a shelter and means of life. They are the real proprietors of these unexplored forests knowing them thoroughly ..." (84) Such a feeling is reflected to no lesser extent in the recollections of the Siberia-based Latvian writer Ansis Leitis, where he justifies his astonishment with Yakut traditions by claiming that they are "people completely strange" to Europeans. (85) However, the reflection of Korean "otherness" given by the Latvian-Polish aristocrat Ossendowski, regardless of the presence of tolerance and a gentleman's mentality, cannot hide the way of thinking of an arrogant Western orientalist of the 20th century, so accurately criticized in the works of Edward Said. (86) For Ossendowski, Koreans blend into a homogeneous mass without individuality; they cannot be understood simply because they are not "Western people," as is readily apparent in the following passage: "[W]ith sunburnt dirty, brown nice faces and language coming from the throat sounding like the barking of a dog--these were Koreans ..." (87)

European perceptions of Koreans underwent a shift when, as a result of the Second World War, Europeans began to feel the relativity of their world outlook. This is how Latvian Sinologist and Japanologist Edgars Katajs (born 1923), who lived in China at the time, described the Korean soldiers in the Chinese People's Liberation Army immediately after the war:
   The guys are stately, lean, their ranks are impeccable, their step
   is firm. Strong voices begin a song. The melody is undoubtedly with
   fighting spirit. And the sounds, the sounds characteristic of the
   Korean language! Listening to the song made my flesh crawl in
   rapture. And I was not the only one. As soon as the Kuomintang
   troops learned that they would be opposed by the Korean squad, they
   immediately fled. (88)


5. The Reception of Korea in Latvia, 1918-40

Latvian intellectuals never lost sight of Korean history, literature, and art, even when the country was under Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945, though the Latvian government also maintained good diplomatic relations with Japan, which prior to World War II was the only Asian country with a representation in Latvia. (89) For example, the monumental Latvian Conversational Dictionary, published in 1933, provided an excellent overview of Korean history, economy, culture, language, and literature, including contemporary writing. (90) Kim Dong-in (1900-51), who is considered a pioneer of realism and naturalism in modern Korean literature, was first on a list of writers and poets recommended for the Latvian reader. (91) It was precisely Korean literary realism that fascinated Latvians, perhaps unsurprisingly given the extensive popularity of this genre in Latvia even before the First World War. (92) During Latvia's first period of independence, realism, particularly depictions of rural life, reigned supreme in Latvian literature. After all, Arveds Svabe, the editor of the Latvian Conversational Dictionary, was himself a writer who, in addition to poetry saturated with national romanticism and Asian motifs, also wrote socially critical, realistic novels and short stories. (93)

6. Latvian-Korean Cultural Contacts after the Second World War

Taking into account the complex history of Korea and the prospects for improved relations between the two Koreas--South and North--it is important to examine cultural contacts between Latvia and North Korea before the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in 1991. Despite the Soviet occupation and the annexation of Latvia by the USSR after the Second World War, many Latvian cultural achievements paradoxically took place precisely while the country was officially the Latvian SSR rather than during its subsequent years of independence. This refers to both the preservation of Latvia's excellent musical traditions and the founding of many museums and research institutes, thanks to which Latvians today may be proud of their traditions of maintaining their identity, especially in the areas of literature, art, and music. (94) While contacts with the Western world were restricted or at times even nonexistent during the Soviet era, Latvians enjoyed extensive relations with the Middle and Far East, including all the "twinned countries" of the USSR, including India, China, and North Korea.

Several poems by Rainis (pseudonym of Janis Plieksans, 1865-1929) were translated into Chinese, a conference commemorating Rainis was held in Beijing in 1959, and a film about the distinguished Latvian poet was shown in China and was a huge success. (95) A Korean translation of Towards the New Coast (Uz jauno krastu) by Soviet Latvian writer Vilis Lacis was published in 1955 in Pyongyang (North Korea). And in 1957 the well-known Latvian writer Andrejs Kurcijs (1884-1959) published a Latvian translation (translated from a Russian translation) of Korean writer Kang Kyong-ae's (1906-44) masterpiece The Human Problem (Ingan munje, 1934). A novelist and poet, Kang was also involved with the feminist movement. For Kurcijs--an intellectual, socialist, and admirer of good literature--the translation of Kang's work was a logical and organic necessity given the writers' shared belief in art as a connector of social and emotional aims.

The success of North Korean literature in Soviet Latvia can be explained by similar motifs in the socially critical and realistic literature of the two countries, which in Latvia emerged even before the Soviet occupation, while in Korea it emerged during the Japanese occupation. This is especially relevant with regard to the 1955 translation into Latvian of Korean novelist Ri Ki-yong's (Lee Gi-y, 1896-1984) monumental novel Soil (Ddang, 1949), which was translated from an edition of this work published in Russian in Moscow in 1953. (96) Like the most famous postwar Communist writers of Latvia, (97) who were already mature essayists before the Soviet annexation of Latvia, Ri Ki-yong had been active in literature since the 1920s. (98) Soil was published in a luxurious edition in a cover featuring imitations of Korean folk ornaments, and became an integral part of the personal libraries of many Latvian families during the Soviet era.

7. Contacts between Latvia and South Korea after the Collapse of the Eastern Bloc

After regaining independence in 1991, Latvia intensified its relations with the economically and technologically very developed South Korea, the giant of the Asian and global economy. However, in the shadow of economic cooperation we tend to overlook interactions between Latvia and South Korea in the field of culture, which has recently grown stronger as the result of the activities of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Latvia. This is confirmed by the many conferences, joint compilations of articles, study of the Korean language in Latvia, outstanding musical and art events, etc. Like Latvians, Koreans are holders and bearers of many religions, denominations, and spiritual-philosophical traditions. In this regard, it should be noted, for example, that the founding of the Zen Center in Riga is credited to the Korean monk and Zen master Seungsahn (1927-2004), (99) who is known as the founder of the international Kwan Um School of Zen.

8. Conclusions

From the vantage point of European-Far Eastern relations, the problem is that all of these assessments of Korea, China, or Japan--both positive and negative, and in spite of changes over time--have not been objective evaluations of the Far East but rather diagnoses of the spiritual condition of Europe and the Western world itself. Many evaluations of Far Eastern countries were dominated by purely formal, external technological and economic criteria, leading to the belittling of these countries when they were classified as "economically backward" and praise after the beginning of the economic boom. Their ecological, medical, and similar knowledge, which had been well preserved under the conditions of their traditional economies, have often been left out of the focus of the evaluators.

The Latvian population can be proud of its thinkers who did not follow the stereotypical mainstream of Western ideology. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, when comparing Europe and China, the Baltic German thinker Hermann von Samson (1826-1908) stated that the importance of Western technological and other "achievements" should not be overestimated, stressing their temporality. (100) Technologies can be quickly mastered, but the same cannot be said about the East's tremendously multifaceted and intelligent methodologies of education, pedagogy, and training, which continued to exist in Asia throughout its "economic stagnation" and include the effective psychological mobilization of human capacities, which is still intensively applied there.

In turn, Otto Karl Julius Rosenberg stressed that "[In understanding the 'soul of the East'] it is not sufficient to take into account and memorise certain phenomena. It is necessary to experience them the way they are experienced by the Eastern man." (101) These instructions should be especially considered by contemporary Latvian politicians, diplomats, economists, scholars, and representatives of Asian studies, taking into account the dominance of stereotypical and partial thinking in the Baltics in the 21st century. In the contemporary dialogue between Korea and Latvia, it is important to remember that there are other areas, apart from politics and economy, that are becoming more and more topical in our modern, fragile eco-environment. These are not related to the immediate political-economic state of affairs, but they open up new horizons and yet-undiscovered opportunities from the vantage point of mental and physical health and the ethical-philosophical development of a person. The rich and multifaceted cultures of Korea and Latvia are a real treasure chest in this context, and ones that still await their discoverers.

University of Latvia

Faculty of Humanities

Department of Asian Studies

Visvalza 4a

Riga LV-1050, Latvia

klavinskaspars@gmail.com

This work was supported by the Seed Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2018-INC-2230004).

(1) Gerhart Hoffmeister, Deutsche und europdische Romantik (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1990), 156; Annemarie Schimmel, "Herder und die persische Kultur," Spektrum Iran: Zeitschrift fur islamisch-iranische Kultur 8,3 (1995): 25-38.

(2) Kaspars Klavins, "Le role de l'lnde dans l'identite lettonne du 19e au 21e siecle," in Regards occidentaux sur l'Inde: Actes du Colloque international des ler, 2 et 3 mars 2007 a Amiens, ed. Danielle Buschinger and Cecile Leblanc (Amiens: Presses du "Centre d'Etudes Medievales," 2007), 58-63.

(3) For example, the contributions made by Alexander von Stael-Holstein (1877-1937), Hermann von Samson (1826-1908), and Otto Karl Julius Rosenberg (1888-1919).

(4) Alfred Eisfeld and Boris Meissner, Der Beitrag der Deutschbalten und der stAdtischen Russlanddeutschen zur Entwicklung des Russischen Reiches von der zweiten Halfte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg (Cologne: Wissenschaft und Politik, 1999).

(5) Sylvia Brasel, "Carl Friedrich Theodor von Waeber (1841-1910)--ein deutschstammiger russischer Diplomat, engagierter Kulturmittler und uberzeugter Lutheraner in Korea im Vorfeld der Kolonialisierung durch Japan," Theology and Worldview 2 (2014): 11-33.

(6) Songmoo Kho, Korean Studies in Russia (1677-1930) (Helsinki: Helsingin yliopiston monistuspalvelu, 1980), 4.

(7) Kyung Moon Hwang, A History of Korea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 140.

(8) Ibid., 149.

(9) Sylvia Brasel, "Marie Antoinette Sontag (1838-1922): Uncrowned Empress of Korea," Transactions 89 (2014): 83-98.

(10) Kojong was the last king of the Joseon dynasty and the first emperor of Korea under the regnal name of Gwangmu. His son Sunjong was also politically weak and not assertive as a Korean stakeholder; he succeeded Gojong as emperor from 1907-10. On 22 August 1910 he was forced to sign the annexation treaty that made Korea a Japanese colony until 1945. Cf. Hoo Nam Seelmann, Lautloses Weinen: Der Untergang des koreanischen Konigshauses (Wurzburg: Konigshausen und Neumann Verlag, 2011).

(11) Brasel, "Marie Antoinette Sontag."

(12) Ibid.

(13) Kyeongin Ilbo Special Reporting Team, The Wars in Incheon that Changed World History, trans. Guihwa H. Blanz (Incheon: Dione Publishing Company, 2018), 112.

(14) Ibid., 113.

(15) Kho, Korean Studies in Russia, 11.

(16) K. I. Veber [Weber], Probnaia transkriptsiia vsekh gorodov Korei (St. Petersburg, 1908).

(17) K. I. Veber [Weber], O koreiskom iazyke i koreiskom chtenii kitaiskikh ieroglifov (St. Petersburg, 1908).

(18) Agnese Haijima, "Japanese Studies in Latvia: A Historical Perspective and the Present Situation," Japanese Studies around the World 2014: Japanese Studies in Florescence, no. 18 (2014): 36-47, file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/seni_018_38_9_9_38_49%20(2). pdf.

(19) Otto Rosenberg, "Die Probleme des buddhistischen Philosophic," Materialien zur Kunde des Buddhismus 7/8 (1924).

(20) Otto Rozenberg [Rosenberg], Trudy po buddizmu (Moscow: Nauka, Glavnaia redaktsiia vostochnoi literatury, 1991).

(21) Ibid., 55.

(22) Ibid., 199.

(23) "Peteris Smits" (biography), on the website of the University of Latvia library, https://www.biblioteka.lu.lv/home/e-resources/collections/speccollections/schmidt/; Arveds Svabe, ed., "Smits Peteris," Latviesu konversacias vardnlca 22 (1940): 41770-71.

(24) Eriks Sarts, "Ar amplitudu no Raunas lidz Peterburgai un Pekinai," Latvijas Vestnesis, no. 420/423 (1880/1883), published 16 December 1999, https://www.vestnesis.lv/ta/ id/14663.

(25) Peter Schmidt [Petris Smits], "Der Latwandel im Mandschu- und Mongolischen," Journal of the Peking Oriental Society 4 (1900): 29-78; Karlis Straubergs, "Profesors Petris Smits," Latvijas Vestures Instituta Zurnals 3, no. 7 (1938): 467-70.

(26) Haijima, "Japanese Studies in Latvia," 37.

(27) Petris Smits, Ievads valodnieclba (Riga: Valters un Rapa, 1934).

(28) Ibid., 82.

(29) The former name of the Nivkh people.

(30) Smits, Ievads valodnieclba, 83.

(31) Stephen Vlasos, "Lineages and Lessons (for National Myth Formation) of Japan's Postwar National Myths," in National Myths: Constructed Pasts, Contested Presents, ed. Gerard Bouchard (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 243-58.

(32) Robert Thomas Tierney, Tropics of Savagery: The Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), 29.

(33) Smits, Ievads valodnieciba, 84.

(34) Ibid.

(35) Ibid, 82.

(36) S. M. Shirokogoroff [Shirokogoroff], "Study of Tungus Languages Languages (a review article on P. P. Schmidt's The Language of the Negidals and the Language of the Olchas)," Journal of the North China Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 55 (1924): 261-69. In fact, this refers to two essays by Smits: Peter Schmidt, "The Language of the Negidals," Acta Universitatis Latviensis 5 (1923): 3-38; and Schmidt, "The Language of the Olchas," Acta Universitatis Latviensis 5 (1923): 229-88.

(37) Carsten Naeher, Giovanni Stary, and Michael Weiers, eds., Proceedings of the First International Conference on Manchu-Tungus Studies, Bonn, August 28-September 1, 2000, 2: Trends in Tungusic and Siberian Linguistics (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz 2002).

(38) S. M. Shirokogorov to Professor Dr. P. P. Schmidt, 25 February 1932, available on the Mindfactor website, https://mindfactor.ru/questions/1157918/.

(39) Harry Halen, ed., "Letters by Peter Schmidt to G. J. Ramstedt," in Per Urates ad Orientem: Iter polyphonicum multilingue. Festskrift tilldgnad Juha Janhunen pa hans sextiodrsdag den 12 februari 2012 (Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seura, 2012), 118, https://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust264/sust264_halen.pdf.

(40) Smits calls the Nivkh people by their former name, the Gilyaks.

(41) Halen, "Letters by Peter Schmidt to G. J. Ramstedt," 118.

(42) Smits, levads valodnieclba, 85.

(43) Jan Arveds Trapans, The Emergence of a Modern Latvian Nation: 1764-1914 (Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1979), 568.

(44) Edgars Katajs, Zem desmit valstu karogiem (Riga: Jumava, 2003), 63.

(45) Eriks Jekabsons, "Latviesu piedallsanas Krievijas-Japanas kara 1904-1905.gada," Tevijas Sargs, no. 2 (2014): 26-27; Katajs, Zem desmit valstu karogiem, 63; Nadina Rode, "Latviesi Kina 1918-1940. Harbinas piemers," Latvias Universities Zurndls. Vesture, no. 2 (2016): 147.

(46) Kho, Korean Studies in Russia, 11.

(47) Ernst Graf zu Reventlow, Der Russisch-Japanische Krieg (Berlin-Schonberg: Internationaler Welt-Verlag, 1905-06).

(48) Rode, "Latviesi Kina 1918-1940," 159.

(49) Svabe, "Smits Peteris," 41770-71.

(50) Z-656-2-Lettonie. Vladivostock, 30 November 1918. This letter does not mention the recipient. Signed by "Martel," a person apparently associated with French counterintelligence.

(51) Letter of 3 December 1918 to the consul general of France in Shanghai, Z-659-1-Lettonie.

(52) Arveds Svabe, ed., "Svabe Arveds," Latviesu konversdcias vardriica (1940), 22: 41947-51.

(53) Arveds Svabe, Gong-gong (Riga: Vainags, 1922), 29-35.

(54) Andrew Ezergailis, The Latvian Impact on the Bolshevik Revolution: The First Phase. September 1917 to April 1918 (Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 1980).

(55) Tekla Saitere, interview with Elena Staburova, Diena, 30 November 2001, https:// www.diena.lv/raksts/pasaule/krievija/tu-esi-tikai-maza-dala-11188333.

(56) Iulii Smurgis, Kitai i ego rabochee dvizhenie (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo Profintema,1922), 56; Julij Smurgis, "Die Arbeiterbewegung in China," Inprekorr, no. 164 (1922): 166-68.

(57) Peteris Jerans, ed., Latvijas padomju enciklopedija (Riga: Galvena enciklopediju redakcija, 1983), 4: 421.

(58) "Memories of C. E. Ruthenberg by J. J. Ballam: Excerpt from an Interview Conducted by Oakley C. Johnson and Ann Rivington, 3 June 1940/' available on the Marxists Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/cpusa/1940/0603-ballam-johnsoninterview.pdf.

(59) Valentin Shteinberg, Charlz Skott, ego druz 'ia i vragi: O Karle lansone (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1983).

(60) Ibid., 197.

(61) Ibid.

(62) Ibid., 225.

(63) Ibid., 197.

(64) Ibid., 229.

(65) Ibid.

(66) Ibid, 230-31.

(67) Ibid., 251.

(68) Kyung Moon Hwang, A History of Korea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), 2010, 180.

(69) Kaspars Klavins, "Reception of Islamic Civilisation in Latvia in the Context of the Middle and Near East from the 18th Century to the Middle of the 20th Century," Religiski-filozofiski raksti 24 (2018): 15-38.

(70) Ansis Leitis, Trimdinieka atminas (Riga: A. Gulbis, 1933).

(71) Robert Koehler, Religion in Korea: Harmony and Coexistence (Seoul: Seoul Selection. The Korea Foundation, 2012), 11.

(72) V. N. Basilov, Izbranniki dukhov (Moscow: Politizdat, 1984), 110-17.

(73) Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski, Man and Mystery in Asia (London: Edward Arnold, 1924), 81.

(74) Ibid., 82.

(75) Ibid., 92.

(76) Donald Baker, "Sibling Rivalry in Twentieth-Century Korea: Comparative Growth Rates of Catholic and Protestant Communities," in Christianity in Korea, ed. Robert E. Buswell, Jr. and Timothy S. Lee (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2006), 291-92.

(77) For example, in his historical novella Taras Bulba (1835).

(78) Ossendowski, Man and Mystery in Asia, 93.

(79) Seo Jinseok, "New Perspective of Korean Indigenous Religion as a Vernacular Religion in the Context of Idolizing Political Characters," in The Present State and Future Direction of Korean Studies in the Socio-Cultural Context in Central and Eastern Europe, ed. Cho Eunsuk et al. (Ljublana: Faculty of Arts, 2018), 61.

(80) Ossendowski, Man and Mystery in Asia, 82.

(81) Yee-Heum Yoon, "The Diversity and Continuity of Shamanism in Korean Religious History," Rediscovery of Shamanic Heritage, ed. Mihal Hoppal and Gabor Kosa (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 2003), 261.

(82) Ibid., 261-62.

(83) Ossendowski uses the term generated by European colonialists: "white man."

(84) Ossendowski, Man and Mystery in Asia, 125.

(85) Ansis Leitis, Trimdinieka atminas (Riga: A. Gulbis, 1933), 47.

(86) Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978).

(87) Ossendowski, Man and Mystery in Asia, 82.

(88) Katajs, Zem desmit valstu karogiem, 195.

(89) Information from the portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia "Bilateral Relations between the Republic of Latvia and Japan," http://www. mfa.gov.lv/arpolitika/divpusejas-attiecibas/latvijas-un-japanas-attiecibas.

(90) Arveds Svabe, ed., "Korejiesu literatura," Latviesu konversacijas vardnica (Riga: A. Gulbis, 1933), 17655-66.

(91) Ibid., 17665. This is the correct page number, because the conversational dictionary came out in multiple volumes and pagination began with the first volume.

(92) Information from the database of the National Library of Latvia "The Most Prominent Representatives of Literary Realism in Latvia," http://www.jpb.lv/faili/file/Lit_real_ aut_L(3).pdf.

(93) Svabe, "Svabe Arveds," 22: 41947-51.

(94) Andrejs Grapis, Stdja: Voldemara Kalpina laiks (Riga: Pils, 2011). Information from the portal of the Museum of Latvian Literature and Music, http://rmm.lv/20l 6/03/voldemara-kalpina-muzeologijas-inkubators/. Katajs, Zem desmit valstu karogiem, 195.

(95) Georgijs Mackovs, Latviesu padomju literaturas starptautiskie sakari (Riga: Latvijas PSR Zinatnu Akademijas izdevnieclba, 1962), 50.

(96) Li Gi Jens, Zeme (Riga: Latvijas Valsts izdevnieclba, 1955).

(97) For example, Andrejs Upits (1877-1970) and Vilis Laris (1904-66).

(98) Lee Kyung-ho, "Yi Ki-young," in Who's Who in Korean Literature (Seoul: Hollym, 1996), 499-501.

(99) Information from the Riga Zen Center portal, https://rigazen.wordpress.com/skolotaji/dzen-meistars-sung-sans/.

(100) Gregor von Helmersen, Hermann von Samson (Riga: Verlag von Jonck & Poliewsky, 1908), 300.

(101) John Barlow, "The Mysterious Case of the Brilliant Young Russian Orientalist," Bulletin of the International Association of Orientalist Librarians IAOL 44 (2000): 1.
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