Reading “Korea and her neighbors” – 5, Sights and Costume


One of the ‘sights” of Seoul is the stream or drain or watercourse, a wide, walled, open conduit, along which a dark-colored festering stream slowly drags its malodorous length, among manure and refuse heaps which cover up most of what was once its shingly bed. There, tired of crowds masculine solely, one may be refreshed by the sight of women of the poorest class, some ladling into pails the compound which passes for water, and others washing clothes in the fetid pools which pass for a stream. All wear one costume, which is peculiar to the capital, a green silk coat—a man’s coat with the *’ neck” put over the head and clutched below the eyes, and long wide sleeves falling from the ears. It is as well that the Korean woman is concealed, for she is not a houri.

Bird, Isabella L. (Isabella Lucy), 1831-1904. Korea and her neighbors; a narrative of travel, with an account of the recent vicissitudes and present position of the country (Kindle position No.712-717). New York, Chicago [etc.] F.H. Revell Co..

You can read the book online or get PDF and Kindle book from here.



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