A few days ago, I met with the very lovely and very generous anatomist Dr. Chang-Seok Oh, referred to me by my friend Ross MacFarlane (thanks, Ross!). I knew that Dr. Oh and I shared a love of historic anatomy, and that he had kindly offered to show me an anatomical collection in his friend's department; what I did not know that he had a whole day planned for me. First, he took me first to see the collection, housed at a Catholic university hospital in Seoul, where they were (rightfully) particularly proud of a mummy from the 1600s that had been unearthed at an excavation. They had some other interesting pieces as well:
After that, he drove me to his office in Sewon, about 20 minutes outside of Seoul. There, he shared with me his original copy of the 18th century book Ontleedkundige Tafelen, a book of great importance to Asian medicine as it was the first Western medical book translated for Eastern consumption, published in Japan in 1774 as Kaitai Shinsho. He showed me a side by side comparison between the original book and his facsimile of the 18th century Japanese version. I really liked the visual translation that occurs from the West to the East.
After this, he tasked his post-doc with taking me to Hwaseong Haenggung, a nearby palace, where we were both delighted to encounter a thrilling martial arts demonstration:
You can watch a thrilling video below, where I let the weapons get a bit too close for comfort:
|Then we got to pose with our faves.|
They were also filming for the popular Korean television period drama Dae Jang Geum, which is often showing when I am eating out.
After our big day in Sewan, Dr. Oh and his wife treated me to an wonderful dinner of table-roasted pork and a pitcher of beer on the roof of the express bus terminal.