ISSN : 0023-3900
The royal palaces of the Joseon dynasty in Seoul have long been major tourist spots for foreign visitors to Korea, but these places have been attracting more domestic visitors in recent years. The cultural politics of the UNESCO World Heritage list and the unremitting contestation among East Asian nation-states around the authorship of the past largely account for such newly found popularity of royal palaces among Koreans. This article examines this resurgence of domestic tourism focusing on how certain royal palaces in Seoul are being endorsed and consumed as emblems of tradition and national identity by the government as well as the general public, and how this process has enabled a reconfiguration of the past, especially the experience of Japanese colonialism in Korea. This article also argues that royal palaces are not just sites for collective memory, but sites for contestation and divergence of identities.