Sun Myung Moon, The Early Years, 1920-53
By Michael Breen
Notes on Korean Names and Spelling
Korean names are difficult for readers of English at the best of times, and are downright confusing when they appear as frequently as they do in this text. The reader may wish to consult the list of names, at the end of the book (p. 188), of people who figure in the narrative.
Korean names start with a one syllable or, in rare cases, a two syllable family name. The two syllables which follow are the given name, for example, someone named Kim Kyung ja would be called Miss Kim in formal circumstances and Kyung ja by her friends. Of these two .syllables, one is a generational name shared by siblings and cousins. So, Kyung ja's cousin might be called Kyung mee. Sometimes given names only have one syllable.
In the west, many Koreans invert their names. Moon is known in Korea as Moon Sun myung. In the west he is known as Sun myung Moon. I have maintained this inverted form as readers will be more familiar with it. However, in the text I have hyphenated the first two syllables to maintain consistency with other Korean names, and to re mind readers that his given name is 'Sun myung', not 'Sun', as he is sometimes mistakenly called. An exception has also been made, for the same reason of familiarity, with Syngman Rhee, the first south Korean president. In Korea he is Rhee Syng man.
There is no uniformly accepted system or rendering Korean words into the English alphabet, so I have transliterated for accuracy and simplicity. Where necessary, simplicity has been sacrificed for accuracy; For example, in the place names Heungnam, Heuksok dong and Dok heung ri, the 'e' could be dropped. However, it is retained to distinguish the vowel, which is like the 'u' in the southern English rendering of 'hurt', from the 'u' in 'hung' Long words have been broken up by hyphens to make them easier to read. With well known names, the author has accepted the common spellings. The city of Pusan, for example, should be and often is spelled 'Busall' I.ikewise, Syngman Rhee should really be Lee Seung man
Reverend Sun Myung Moon's signature
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