Early 20th century Korea. The Japanese, long antagonist of the Korean people, have finally pushed their way into authority and have annexed Korea to their own island nation. Koreans from top to bottom of the peninsula are in agony. Hear the grief expressed by author Younghill Kang's uncle as he receives the 18moa news. From The Grass Roof:

That night I went into my uncle's studio and lay down on the mat, crying miserably. By and by I heard [my uncle] walking around and muttering in the next room. With my wet finger I made a hole in the paper door and looked through. He stood there at the outer door and just shook his fist in the face of the sky.

"Oh, stars and moon, how have you the heart to shine? Why not drop down by thunderstorm and cover all things up? And mountains, with your soul shining and rustling in the green leaves and trees and grass, can't you understand that it is over now? This national career of the people who have lived with you all these many ages, who have slept in your bosoms, whose blood you have drunk, whose muse you have been for the countless years? You spirits of waters, you ghosts of the hollows, don't you see how death has just come to this people established among you for the 4,000 years since the first Tan-Koon appeared on the white headed mountain by the side of the Sacred Tree? Don't you know the soul of Korea is gone, is passing away this night, and has left us behind like the old clothes?"

Was Korea ended then? A pristine country, contemporary of Homeric times and of Golden Ages- far, far removed from the spirit of the Roman Empire and all later modernity until this day... I cried and cried myself to sleep.

No, Korea. It was not the end after all. The Americans came. The Russians came. Two Koreas were formed from the ashes of World War II and the subsequent Korean War. And still she survived and survives. Her soul? Not dead, but seriously damaged. But in honesty one must add, this was a soul given to idolatry, as the above passage points out quite well. Korea has had to pass through the fire, but perhaps only long enough to burn out of her that which does not bless the one true God. Korea can be born again, in a very literal and wonderful way, if Christ is given His rightful place in the Korean heart. Something to pray about.