The Newsletter 95 Summer 2023

News from Northeast Asia

Ilhong Ko

In recent years, ‘Big Data’ and ‘data analytics’ have become the buzzwords of the research community. Some disciplines have been active in employing new digital technologies, while other disciplines have been less inclined to do so. In the case of Asian Studies, researchers specializing in East Asia have played a pivotal role in bringing about a ‘Digital Turn’ and are now actively engaged in several Big Data-related initiatives. In this issue of News from Northeast Asia, we examine how researchers based at Seoul National University Asia Center (SNUAC), faced with the need to develop flexible and open-ended approaches to fieldwork amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, have utilized text analysis as a useful research tool to gain new insights into the region of Northeast Asia.

Big Data analytics on Asia-related news articles can provide information on the key topics of interest concerning Asia, on how the topics of interest differ from country to country, and on how they change over time. This is demonstrated by Myungmoo Lee of Seoul National University Asia Center and Dohoon Kim of Ars Praxia in “Big Data Analytics of Northeast Asia’s Top 10 News Topics.” By identifying the common concerns shared by the countries of Northeast Asia, the results of the study may provide the basis for enhanced cooperation in the region. 

Text analytics can also be usefully applied to smaller data sets that do not fall within the category of ‘Big Data,’ one such example being the contents of UNESCO’s World Heritage List website. “Examining Asia’s Cultural Heritage on the UNESCO World Heritage List through Data” presents the results of text analytics that Minjae Zoh, Ilhong Ko, and Junyoung Park of Seoul National University Asia Center undertook on the ‘Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)’ content of 187 World Cultural Heritage Sites located in Asia. The results provide insights into both the distinctive and the universal aspects of the World Cultural Heritage Sites of Northeast Asia.

Ilhong Ko, HK Research Professor, Seoul National University Asia Center, Regional Editor of News from Northeast Asia. Email:


Big Data Analytics of Northeast Asia’s Top 10 News Topics
By Myungmoo Lee and Dohoon Kim
Read more

Examining Northeast Asia’s Cultural Heritage on the UNESCO World Heritage List through Data
By Ilhong Ko, Minjae Zoh, and Junyoung Park
Read more