Korean Raccoon-kai in Seoul (November 2014)
We had KSR (Korea Society of Raccoon) dinner at Jangsaran, Itaewon, Seoul, from 18:00 on November 17, 2014. As Imanishi san was going to participate in a symposium at the Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University, on the 18th, we had this gathering matching to her schedule.
As it was Monday evening, it was not convenient for some KSR members, and our members from the Seoul National University could not attend because of their preparation for next day, and yet altogether 7 people gathered. They are: Mrs. Imanishi (Managing Director of Atsumi International Foundation), Dr. Kim Woong-Hee (Chaiman of KSR, 1996 Raccoon), Dr. Park Young-June (2002 Raccoon), Dr. Han Kyoungja (2005 Raccoon), Dr. Hyun Seungsoo (2006 Raccoon), Dr. Kim Kyongtae (2010 Raccoon), Dr. Chong Soonil (2011 Raccoon), and Dr. Lee Saebom (2013 Raccoon). It was a happy surprise to Hyun san, from whom we have heard nothing for a long time. The gathering was bustling, but I made a mistake having forgot to take commemorative pictures.
KSR have been held at Insadong or Gwanghwanum so far, but I chose Jansarang this time which locates halfway between Gangbuk (north of the river) and Gangnam (south) and halfway also between Gangseo (west) and Gangdong (east) so that they can join as much as ever they can. Park san stopped by before his lecture from 7:30. I was anxious about whether he was in time for his lecture though he finished his dinner quickly and went to the school. Dr. Lee Nae-chan (the first chairman of KSR) gave me a call and joined the meeting after eight saying "I am in a break now."
Itaewon is a multinational town where there are American military base, mosques, many embassies and residences of "Zaibatu" etc. Recently, Gyungridan Street gained popularity of the young because many stylish shops and fancy cafes are there. I am interested in the street historically because I can find out different world if I across an alley. I wished everybody could enjoy street-walking as I chose this place because of its different atmosphere from usual places. But, time flied when I was chatting with them whom we met again after a long time. I hope they will enjoy "deep" Itaewon next time.
(by Han Kyoungja, trans. by Kawamura Kazuo)