This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book introduces the reader to the field in which shamans work, the ‘field of misfortune’, and explains the significance of the unique feature of shamanic ritual in comparison with other forms of Korean ritual, which is that, in shamanic ritual, the spirits are able to speak. It explores the reasons why a Korean widow hired a shaman to cure her back pain, although it had been clearly identified through X-ray examination as a minor disc disorder. The chapter discusses the origins of the prejudice against shamanism which is found throughout Korean society, regardless of gender and class differences. It also explores some of the ways in which the dominance of women within Korean shamanism has been wrongly explained, as well as demonstrating the logic behind the prejudice against shamanism.