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Yang Hi Choe Wall

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Nationality  Korean–Australian
Name  Yang Choe-Wall
Role  Writer

Yang Hi Choe-Wall
Born  1932 (age 82–83)Seoul, Korea
Occupation  Writer, researcher and academic
Known for  Korean classical literature

Yang Hi Choe-Wall (최양희 崔洋姬 born 1932) is a Korean–Australian academic, writer and researcher specialising in Korean literature of Chosŏn period (1392–1910). She was Fellow / Associate Professor in the Division of Pacific and Asian History, the Australian National University. Choe-Wall is the winner of the 2013 Daesan Literary Awards, who is now retired and living in Sydney.


Early years

Yang Hi Choe-Wall was born in Seoul, Korea, the fourth child of a family of six children. Her father Ch'oe, Chae-sŏ,1908–1964 (Choe Jaisou 최재서 崔載瑞) was a distinguished professor of English literature, a leading Korean intellectual and a prolific literary critic, who published 18 books and over 300 articles in three languages.

Choe-Wall grew up in Seoul during the Japanese annexation of Korea and remained in that city during the Korean War (1950–1953). She attended primary and early part of secondary schools in Seoul, where all subjects were taught in the Japanese language until 1945.


Choe-Wall gained her BA degree at the Chung-Ang University, graduating with First Class Honours in English Language and Literature in 1956. She then commenced her MA degree in the Department of English of the Yonsei University, and from 1963 to 1965 and briefly in 1970 held appointment with Hongik University as lecturer in English language.

In October 1965 Choe-Wall moved to Australia with her young family (Miki Wick-Kim and Dai-Kyu Kim), having accepted an appointment with the Australian National University Library in Canberra as librarian of the Japanese collection.

Because of serious illness she severed her full-time service with the University library in 1974, and while recuperating /working part-time received her Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies from the Australian National University in 1974. Her thesis Hanjung-nok : Memoirs of a Yi Dynasty Court Lady was later published as Memoirs of a Korean Queen. In 1980 she did her Graduate Diploma in Library and Information Science at Charles Sturt University, New South Wales. Choe-Wall was awarded her PhD in Asian Studies (Sino-Korean Literature) from the Australian National University in 1985. Her PhD thesis was Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn (Heo Nanseolheon) and Her Hanshi – A study of the life and work of Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn – a late sixteenth century Korean poet. This was published as Vision of a Phoenix with the book now in its 4th edition.

In 1984 she was appointed lecturer in Korean at the Australian National University. This was followed by an appointment as Fellow / Associate Professor of the Australian National University. in 1993. She retired from the Australian National University in 1996, but as a Visiting Fellow of the University continued to work on the Encyclopaedia of Korea as Project Director and Chief Compiler until 1999.

Choe-Wall's main research interest is to introduce Western readers to Korean Classical literature. She researched and translated literary works of Joseon period (1392–1910), and published extensively in English.


  • The 2005 Korean Literature Translation Award for her work Vision of a Phoenix.
  • The 2013 Daesan Literary Awards for her work The Jehol Diary.
  • Selected works

    OCLC/WorldCat Identities overview statistics for writings by and about Yang Hi Choe-Wall include approximately 13+ works in 45+ publications in three languages and 2,070 + library holdings. The books have been published primarily in English, but also in Korean and French.

  • Memoirs of a Korean Queen, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. ISBN 0-7103-0052-2.
  • The Korea Fact Book (co-authored with Ray Wall and Stephen Wall), Sydney, Doubleday, 1988. ISBN 0-86824-368-X.
  • 오스트레일리아의 역사, (co-translated with 문우상 of A Short History of Australia by Manning Clark, Penguin, 1986), Seoul, Eulyoo Publishing Co., 1990.
  • Mémoires d'une reine de Corée, (translated by Claude Bouygues of Memoirs of a Korean Queen by Yang Hi Choe-Wall), Paris, Éditions Philippe Picquier, 1996. ISBN 2-87730-274-1.
  • Vision of a Phoenix: The Poems of Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn (Cornell East Asia Series, 117), Ithaca, New York, Cornell University, 2003. ISBN 1-885445-42-3 hc.
  • Memoirs of the Red Queen, London, Kegan Paul, 2004. ISBN 0-7103-1159-1.
  • The Jehol Diary" (Chapter 1–3 of Yŏrha ilgi by Pak Chiwŏn, (1737–1805), translated with introduction and notes, Folkestone (UK), Global Oriental and Leiden, Brill Publishers, 2010. ISBN 978-1-906876-17-3.
  • The Encyclopaedia of Korea (1999), ANU – Digital Collections: Open Access Research, Canberra,, Australian National University, 2013.,
  • "The Sino-Korean Poetic Tradition of the Late 16th Century". East Asian History (Papers on Far Eastern History), The Australian National University's Department of Far Eastern History, March 1986, Vol. 33, pp. 139–157.
  • "The Poetic thought of Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn: the renowned Sino-Korean Poetess". East Asian History (Papers on Far Eastern History), The Australian National University's Department of Far Eastern History, 1987, Vol.36, pp. 93–108.
  • "The Impact of Taoism on the Literature of Mid-Chosŏn, 1568–1724" Korean Studies: New Pacific Currents, Honolulu, Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii, 1994, pp. 113–124. ISBN 0-8248-1598-X.
  • "최양희:한중록의 영역에 부쳐", 한국문학의 외국어 번역:현황과 전망, Seoul, 민음사, 1997, pp. 27–43. ISBN 89-374-1122-9.
  • "나의 아버지 최재서 (Jaisou Choe)". 대산문화, Seoul, The Daesan Foundation, 2014, Vol. 51, pp. 138–142. ISSN 1599-9882.
  • MA thesis: Hanjung-nok : Memoirs of an Yi Dynasty Court Lady, Canberra, The Australian National University, 1974.  Choe-Wall, Yang Hi– Open Access Theses and Dissertations, Center for Research Libraries (
  • Ph D thesis: Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn (Heo Nanseolheon) and Her Hanshi – A study of the life and work of Hŏ Nansŏrhŏn – a late sixteenth century Korean poet, Canberra, The Australian National University, 1984.  Choe-Wall, Yang Hi– Open Access Theses and Dissertations, Center for Research Libraries.( )
  • Arirang (TV network) – interview with Choe-Wall, Yang Hi / Stephen Epstein (2007).
  • References

    Yang Hi Choe-Wall Wikipedia