Kim Ho-dong

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Kim Ho-dong (Korean: 김호동; Hanja: 金浩東; often written in English-language literature as Hodong Kim or Ho-dong Kim) (born 1954) is a Korean historian, professor at Seoul National University. His research interests include nomadic societies of Central Asia and their interaction with the Chinese state.


Kim Hodong studied with Min Tuki in Seoul, and did his doctoral graduate work at Harvard University, where he was a student of Joseph Fletcher, Jr. Omeljan Pritsak, Philip A. Kuhn, and Thomas Barfield were on his dissertation committee as well.

Currently he is a Professor of Asan History at the Institute of Historical Research of Seoul National University. He also served as the president of the Korean Association for Central Asian Studies from 2003-2006.


Kim's best known work is his 2004 book, "Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877", which had developed from his Harvard doctoral dissertation. This book offers a comprehensive treatment of the rebellion of Xinjiang Muslims (Hui, Uyghurs, and other smaller groups) against the Qing Empire in the 1864-1877, and the career of the Kokandian adventurer Yaqub Beg who had managed to become the ruler of a large part of the region. An extensive background on the power struggle between the Qing, the Khojas, the Kokand Khanate, and the indigenous local interests for power in Kashgaria in the preceding hundred years is provided as well.

The book draws heavily on the contemporary and near-contemporary Xinjiang Muslim sources, in particular Mulla Musa Sayrami's (1836-1917) Tarikh-i amaniyya and Tarikh-i hamidi, and Mulla Bilal's Ghazat dar mulk-i Chin.[1]) It is the title of Mulla Bilal's work that became, in its English form, the title of Kim Hodong's book as well.

"Holy War in China" makes good use of the Chinese sources as well, as well as documents from the Russians, British, and Osmanlis who had come into contact with the rebels.

Despite its title, the book concentrates primarily on the rebellion in Xinjiang, discussing contemporaneous Muslim rebellions in the inner provinces of China only to the extent it is necessary for the Xinjiang narrative.

Kim is a co-editor of The Cambridge History of the Mongol Empire.

Books by Kim Hodong[edit]

  • Kim Hodong, "Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877". Stanford University Press (March 2004). ISBN 0-8047-4884-5. (Preface contains some autobiographical information. Searchable text available on
  • Kim Hodong, "The Mongol Empire and Korea: The Rise of Qubilai and the Political Status of the Koryǒ Dynasty". Seoul National University Press (June 2007). ISBN 978-89-521-0780-0. (in Korean)