Han is a concept in Korean culture, attributed by some as a national cultural trait. Han denotes a collective feeling of oppression and isolation in the face of overwhelming odds. It connotes aspects of lament and unavenged injustice.
The minjung theologian, Suh Nam-dong describes han as a "feeling of unresolved resentment against injustices suffered, a sense of helplessness because of the overwhelming odds against one, a feeling of acute pain in one's guts and bowels, making the whole body writhe and squirm, and an obstinate urge to take revenge and to right the wrong -- all these combined.
Modern history such as the liberation by the surrender of Japan to the Allies rather than to the Korean Liberation Army, the Korean War and the subsequent division of the nation also contribute to the culture as missing glorious history and unresolved han. Han permeates Korean cultural expression, for example, in Korean shamanism and Pansori.
The Television show The West Wing also referenced the trait in Episode 5.4 (entitled "Han"). The episode concludes with Bartlet, the President of the United States, realizing his own personal understanding of the esoteric concept; "There is no literal English translation. It's a state of mind. Of soul, really. A sadness. A sadness so deep no tears will come. And yet still there's hope."