Martial Art History Books Popular in Korea

book biography of korean martial art masters

Book: Biography of Korean Martial Art Masters.

Five-volume Biography of Korean Martial Art Masters was published several years ago, but it is still much sought after in the DPRK.

Readers of the book say in unison that it recounts Korean history through the lives of famous martial artists and the more they read it, the more appealing they find it.

They also hold out hope that the book would be adapted for the screen on a historical theme.

Biography of Korean Martial Art Masters is an absorbing read as it tells about the outstanding skills of famous Korean martial artists, the journey of life of each of them and why they are still remembered by people.

The book was authored by Jo Chong Un.

writer jo chong un

Writer Jo Chong Un. (PT Photo)

Now in his early forties, Jo heard many stories about the patriotic generals, known and unknown, of the Korean nation who repulsed foreign invasion and defended the country from his father, a historian, in his childhood.

"My dad's old stories were so lifelike that I felt as if I went back to the past and lived in the same period. I just wanted to write all that seemed to be happening so vividly before my eyes. That is how I began to write historical novels," said Jo.

After finishing the writers training course at Kim Hyong Jik University of Education, he buried himself in writing a history book from the beginning.

He made painstaking efforts for several years and finally completed his book Biography of Korean Martial Art Masters. It was his first smash hit.

The book shows in detail that the Korean ancestors had regarded physical training as the right course of character building since ancient times and established the habit of attaching importance to military affairs by assuming it as the duty of all, men and women and old and young, to acquire martial art skills in particular, following up the traces of the patriotic generals who made their name with distinguished services in the fights to defend the country.

Jo introduced renowned Korean martial artists in the extended historical period from the mid-3rd century BC to the early 20th century in the five-volume book.

Practised writers including those of the Writers Union of Korea refer to it as a "book that tactfully shows the individuality of famous generals and talents" and a "book inspiring pride in the nation's orthodox martial art in the people".

After writing the book, Jo brought out historical novels King Yongnak and Oh, Heaven and Earth in succession to become more familiar to the readers.

He is now working on a new history book.

(Pyongyang Times)

* Original title: Writer Renowned for His History Books.

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