Director, Institute for World Agriculture, Göttingen University

Agrarian structure, both the conditions of land tenure as well as the conditions of land operation, within a specific period of time and in a specific place is the combination of man, land, and technology under the prevailing economic, socio-cultural, and ecological conditions. As these are changing, agrarian structures ' have to frequently change and adjust to new conditions and requirements. The absence of such a change has consequences for agricultural production, rural development, and the political and social order in the society.

In this world, there are quite different land tenure systems. These tenure systems have developed under the influence of natural factors (climate, soil conditions, topography) and sociocultural factors (value systems, political ideologies, technological levels, population development, changes in price/cost relation, etc.). As these factors vary from country to country and from time to time, and are so intrinsic parts of cultures, in the case of land tenure issues it is very difficult to transfer experiences from one country to the other.

Keeping this limitation in mind, the first part of the paper briefly discusses changes in the relation between man and land in Germany during the period of transition from a rural to an industrial society. Part II reviews the historical development of the relation between man and land in Korea. Having merely the task of indicating the broad differences between the German and Korean historical backgrounds, it neglects minor controversial opinions on the history of land tenure in Korea, of which the author is aware. Part III outlines a number of current issues in the relation between man and land in Korea as seen by the author.