Pekka Korhonen
Tehty Macilla

Research interests:

My main fields of interest are in political and world political theory, rhetorical and narrative theory, as well as conceptual history. I have done research especially on the history of the concept of Asia during the past 2500 years in various languages from classical Greek, Roman, Medieval and modern European authors to more recent Chinese, Japanese and American formulations of the concept. Related fields of research are the various processes of Asia Pacific integration, Asia-Europe relations, and East Asian politics, especially between Japan, all Chinas and both Koreas.

My side interests are in world demography, family politics, maps and history of cartography, politics of popular art - manga, anime and music, especially little known aspects of North Korean music - religious architecture, as well as boreal and temperate dendrology.

East-West Conceptual contestations

Academy of Finland funded research project 2015-2018

The project is on conceptual contestations between East Asia and the West/Euro-America. The idea is to enhance understanding of the political changes taking place in the contemporary world system by investigating the intellectual roots and cultural heritage of different conceptualizations of the structure and functioning of the world in East Asia and the West. This takes place by investigating traditional Asian conceptualizations, their amalgamation with Western concepts, and their usages in contemporary discourse, all this in light of constant conceptual changes in the West. This is grounded on the theoretical perspective that conceptual transformation reflects political changes in the world. There is a special emphasis on China, because of its present phenomenal rise to the world economic and political scene, but general view is on the whole region, Japan, the Koreas and Southeast Asia included.

On North Korean religion and religious music

Unhasu Orchestra Discography:

Moranbong Band Discography:


Rock Gospels: Analyzing the Artistic Style of Moranbong Band

Is He or Is He Not? Political Authority, Media Appearance, and the DPRK Leadership Question

Música [religiosa] moderna en Corea del Norte / Modern North Korean [Religious] Music’, in Wonjung Min (editora) Comunicación política, diplomática y sociocultural entre Corea y el mundo, Santiago de Chile: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2017, Kindle Edition loc. 1944-2527, Available for free at Amazon:


Adam Cathcart & Pekka Korhonen (2017) ’Death and Transfiguration: The Late Kim Jong-il Aesthetic in North Korean Cultural Production’, Popular Music and Society, Vol 40 (4), pp. 390-405. Authors’ final version:

Pekka Korhonen & Adam Cathcart (2017) ’Tradition and Legitimation in North Korea: The Role of the Moranbong Band’, Review of Korean Studies Vol 20 (2), pp. 7-32. Authors’ final version: