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Daeseongjeon Shrine, Confucian School, Ganneung

Daeseongjeon Shrine, Confucian School, Ganneung


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KOREAN DREAMER

The Uiheunghyanggyodaeseongjeon (Daeseongjeon shrine of Uiheunghyanggyo) Provincial Tangible Cultural Properties #198 is situated in Eumnae-ri, Uiheung-myeon. The Daeseongjeon Building of the Uiheung-Hyanggyo (Confucian School) was a public educational institute that also functioned as a Confucian shrine during the Goguryo(918-1392) and Joseon(1392-1910) periods. This was first established in 1392 in Subuk-dong near here, but was destroyed during the Japanese Invasion of 1592-98 and which was reconstructed. It was then moved here later and reconstructed in 1641.
Daeseongjeon, the shrine where memorial tablets for Confucius and his disciples are enshrined, is a three by three kan structure (kan is a traditional unit of measure referring to the space between two columns) with a gabled roof.
The round pillars stand on square plinths and the eaves are bracketed in a column head style.
The roof is noted for the employment of complicated supports for the collar beam.
The memorial tablets in the shrine are the only original ones in the province.
They escaped the destructive fires of the Japanese invaders as they were hidden in a cave in Mt.Seonamsan during the war. The Uiheunghyanggyodaeseongjeon (Daeseongjeon shrine of Uiheunghyanggyo) Provincial Tangible Cultural Properties #198 is situated in Eumnae-ri, Uiheung-myeon.

The Daeseongjeon Building of the Uiheung-Hyanggyo (Confucian School) was a public educational institute that also functioned as a Confucian shrine during the Goguryo (918-1392) and Joseon(1392-1910) periods. This was first established in 1392 in Subuk-dong near here, but was destroyed during the Japanese Invasion of 1592-98 and which was reconstructed. It was then moved here later and reconstructed in 1641.
Daeseongjeon, the shrine where memorial tablets for Confucius and his disciples are enshrined, is a three by three kan structure (kan is a traditional unit of measure referring to the space between two columns) with a gabled roof.
The round pillars stand on square plinths and the eaves are bracketed in a column head style.
The roof is noted for the employment of complicated supports for the collar beam.
The memorial tablets in the shrine are the only original ones in the province.
They escaped the destructive fires of the Japanese invaders as they were hidden in a cave in Mt.Seonamsan during the war.

Hwasansanseong, a Castle Site, Monuments #47 can be found in Hwabuk-ri, Goro-myeon. The construction of a fortress was started here in 1709, during the reign of King Sukjong by Yun Suk, a military commander.
However it was never completed, because of widespread disease among the residents of the area and repeated poor harvests.
The remains of the north gate and the drainage system reveal much about the building of mountain fortresses during the mid-Joseon period.
There are also traces of a double drainage system, arched gates and parts of a rock-covered, earthen wall.

Hwichanyeosamokpan(the Wood printing block of Hwichanyeosa) classical books consisting of 830 sheets, Provincial Tangible Cultural Properties #251 belonging to the Burim Hong Clan is kept at 296 Namsan-ri, Bugye-myeon.

   Panorama of Daeyul-ri where there’s a traditional  village.

This pavilion, Gunwidaeyullidaecheong (Daecheong in Daeyul-ri,Gunwi,) Provincial Tangible Cultural Properties #262 Provincial Tangible Cultural Properties #262 is in Daeyul-ri, Bugye-myeon.

I could find only one festival mentioned in the county’s homepage, the Ilyeon Samgukyusa Cultural Festival. It is celebrated every year on the 8th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar at the Ingaksa Temple which now serves as a sanctuary of long history and brilliant culture. There will be many programs held including a sacrificial service to the Great Priest Ilyeon.

What is the Samguk Yusa? It is a printed book consisting of 6 volumes bound in 2 books. The date of compilation is unknown but it is estimated to be between 1281 and 1283. Until now, the wooden blocks of Koryo have not been discovered the complete version was reissued by the Gyeongju governor Lee Gye-Bok in 1512.The book, together with Samguk Sagi, compiled by Kim Busik, are the oldest historical chronicles of Korea that exists today.

Samguk Sagi was an official historical chronicle commissioned by the Emperor which was written by a military officer .It was written stylishly with nicely arranged fluent and brilliant expressions whereas the Samguk Yusa was an unofficial one, written by an individual Zen priest, Ilyeon, where the writing style was not that brilliant. Choe Nam-Seon whose pen name was Yuktang once criticized the book and even said “if I had to make a decision between Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa, I would not hesitate, but pick the latter.”
However, the Samguk Yusa contains a value that cannot be found in the Samguk Sagi.

Samguk Yusa and Samguk Sagi are history books of the Three Kingdoms of Ancient Korea Goguryo, Baekje and Silla, but form history together with the Gojoseon records, Wiman Joseon (last dynasty of Gojoseon) and Gaya (confederacy of territorial polities). Especially important are the records of Gojoseon that describes 5000 years of Korean history and the Dangun legend, the founder of the first Korean kingdom. If these records did not exist, then the Koreans would have no choice but to base their history before the Samguk time, on the historical materials of China, like the chapter of Dongyi in the Book of Wei. Furthermore, Samguk Yusa did not match the writing norms of that time. This is the reason why this book has become an even more valuable treasure.
Samguk Yusa contains many legends, including the Dangun legend. Samguk Yusa is indeed the only book that writes about the legends and ancient folktales and is truly a piece of record of the Koreans’ narrative literature. Furthermore, 14 Hyanggas (poems written in the native writing system) are recorded in the Samguk Yusa together with 11 poems recorded in the Gyunyeojeon, they are considered jewels and are the most important treasures of writing. The number of recorded Hyanggas are few and Samguk Yusa is unique in that it containsg what Sam Dae Mok, known as the book of compiled Hyanggas, does not have. Moreover, it contains many records that were lost or intentionally left out in the Samguk Sagi. Abundant materials of Buddhism, as well as many aspects of religion, ideology, customs, anecdotes, etc are precious materials.
Due to the fact that the writer compiling this book was not a military officer, but a Buddhist monk, the contents vary sometimes in comparison with the reference books, or falsely passed on material that were gathered and recorded. Therefore, this book is, as the title suggests is just a compilation of existing stories.

Picture ofJangsajinuibyeongjanyujeok(Relics of Jang Sajin) Monuments #122 stretching from Ocheon-ri to Byeongsu-ri, in Hyoryeong-myeon.

Mt.Palgonsan, Mt.Amisan and Dongsan Valley produce some very beautiful natural views in Gunwi.

Gwangseokjae Provincial Cultural Properties Materials #214 in Bonghwang-ri, Sobo-myeon is an Ancestral Shrine

Gunwihyanggyo Cultural Properties Materials #185 in Dongbu-ri, Gunwi-eup are 6 Units of the Confucian School

Gunwi is well known for its fruits like apples pears and grapes vegetables like garlic, onions, corn, and cucumbers and other food products like sesame oil, apple juice and traditional oil-and-honey pastry.

Gunwi Apple, produced at the foot of Mt.Palgongsan, are very sweet and of high quality.

Golden Pear, cultivated by organic farming, features high sugar content and rich fruit juice.

Gunwi Onion has softer but thinker cortex than that produced in other regions, so that it has good storability.

Gunwi Garlic tastes very hot and is juicy, Its bulb is so solid that it has good storability.

  Black Pearl Grapes are sweet, very big and have few seeds.

Chemical-free Cucumbers are fresh and taste good and are exported to foreign countries. Only organic manure is used to fertilize the plants.

Daecheong Watermelons are very sweet.

Lastly I want to introduce you to the Gunwi Arts and Sports Center which the people of Gunwi are very proud of. S atisfying the area's cultural needs as well as aiding in the creation of regional culture, the Gunwi Arts & Sports Center is equipped with performance halls, exhibition rooms, a reference room, and an outdoor square, as well as the Sungdeok Remains Exhibition Hall. And so ends our visit to Gunwi, the Garden City.


Filming locations of 'Moonlight Drawn by Clouds'

The period-piece soap opera "Moonlight Drawn by Clouds" (구르미 그린 달빛) has successfully seduced the world. I know you're also mesmerised by Park Bo-gum and impatiently want to go to visit him and the ancient Korean filming locations.

"Even though I closed my eyes, I see you. Do you know how much I miss you?"
"눈을 감아도 그대가 보이네요. 그리워하는 이 맘 그댄 아나요?"

There was a spark in my mind that urged me on to action as I was writing this post and as the song "Misty Road" (안갯 길), from the TV show's official soundtrack, played in the background. I want to book a ticket and fly there right now, but my feet are tied, as I’m busy getting ready to move.

Listed here are a few filming locations of major scenes from the show, scenes that featured Crown Prince Lee Young, Kim Yoo-jung (as Hong Ra-on), Jinyoung (as Kim Yoon-sung) and Kwak Dong-yeon (as Kim Byung-yeon).

The Bamboo Grove and Jeonju Sago at the Gyeonggijeon Shrine (경기 전정전)

This shrine is one of the main historical sites in Jeonju. It was erected in 1410 and holds the portrait of King Tae-jo, the founder of Joseon.

Not only this TV show, but movies such as "Masquerade," "My Way" and the TV show "Painter of the Wind" were also filmed or partially filmed at this shrine.

There is a charming, lush bamboo grove in Jeonju.

Hong Sam Nom, the eunuch Ra-on, attempts to run away from the palace. Unlucky, she was stopped by Silver Spoon, the Crown Prince, who was happy to meet her again after Ra-on left him in the pit. "반갑다, 멍멍아," or, "Nice to meet you, Puppy Dog!"

Master Jung Deok-ho quickly disappears after hearing the voice of Princess Myung Eun.

The injured Ra-on is carried by his eunuch friends.

They're coming from the bamboo grove to the Jeonju Sago.

It was below this building, which stores a copy of "The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty" (조선 왕조 실록, 朝鮮 王朝 實錄), that Prince Lee Yeong punished Ra-on with a kiss for disobeying him.

Jeonju Hyanggyo Confucian School (전주향교)

The Myeongnyundang Lecture Hall appears quite frequently, as it serves as Ra-on’s and Kim Byung-yeon's residence on the show. It's also where Kim Yoon-sung and the crown prince spent many happy moments when they were young.

Ra-on offers a chicken leg to the crown prince in this garden before the hall.

A scene is filmed at the Jeonju Hyanggo, between the ginkgo trees.

Because it's winter, many of the trees are missing their leaves.

The crown prince supervises the dancers while Ra-on is busy documenting their dance.

These two scenes were filmed outside the Daeseongjeon Confucian Shrine (대성전 , 大成殿). They just changed the buildings' names for TV.

This shooting location is between the Daeseongjeon and the inner gate.

The Ilweolmun Gate (일월문, 日月門) can be seen from the Manhwaru Pavilion.

Sosuseowon Confucian Academy (영주 소수서원)

Yoon-sung suggests to Ra-on that they sit down underneath the tree. It's one of the pine trees located in the pine forest facing the Munseonggongmyo, near the Gyeongryeomjeong Pavilion just outside the Sosu Museum.

You can clearly see the traditional roofs of the Jirakjae (지락재) and Hakgujae (학구재) halls, that is, the Historical Museum and the Jangseogak Library in the background.

Suwon Haenggung Palace (화성행궁)

They also were able to film a teaser for 'Moonlight Drawn by Clouds' there.

Visitors to the Haenggung Palace (화성행궁) enjoy the sights in front of the courtyard at the Bongsudang Hall.

The Bongsudang Hall acts as the living quarters for the crown prince. Eunuch Jang introduces the building to Ra-on as the 'palace of the crown prince.' In episode three, Ra-on kneels here before being slapped by Queen Kim.

Gudeurae Sculpture Park (구드래 조각 공원)

Filming also took place at the Gudeurae Sculpture Park.

The final scenes were filmed in Buyeo.

I remember the above picture when I searched at the Visit Korea website to find some information about Bukcheon.

I can veritably close my eyes and see myself wearing Hanbok and strolling around this beautiful field, full of blossoming cosmos flowers. Shades of pink and white blend with the blue sky, with its floating cottony white clouds.


KOREAN DREAMER

Today we are back on the road and heading for the dynamic city of Gyeongsan. Gyeongsan-si lies adjacent to Daegu Metropolitan City to the west, Gyeongju-si to the east, Yeongcheon-si to the north and Cheongdo-gun to the south.
Now, let’s take a look at the symbols of this city as laid out on the city’s homepage.


Wonhyo (617-686) was a great Buddhist priest during the Unified Silla Kingdom. His family name was Seol. He was born in Apryang-gun, Gyeongsan. At the age of 15, he entered a Buddhist monastery.

One legend tells of how he attained enlightenment. On his way to study in Tang, China with the priest Uisang, he happened, one night, to sleep in a cave. In the middle of the night, Wonyo was awakened by severe thirst and drank water which turned out to be stagnant water in a human skull. Then immediately, he obtained enlightenment, declaring that "the ultimate truth lies not outside oneself but within oneself." Then he turned his back on Silla. He left the priesthood and turned to the spreading of the Buddhadharma as a layman. He married Princess Yoseok and fathered Seol Chong, who is considered to be one of the great Confucian scholars of Silla.

Wonhyo was not only a luminous Buddhist scholar, but thinker. He also contributed greatly to turning aristocratic Buddhism into the people's religion. He was not biased towards any one sect, but harmonized with one truth in Buddhism.

He is thought to have founded Korea's only riverside temple, Silleuksa or Shilleuksa, located in Gyeonggi-do. Today Silleuksa is a sacred pilgrimage site and a repository of seven Treasures. A 500-year-old aromatic juniper tree and a 600-year-old ginkgo tree stand on the temple grounds. It is worth a visit as it is not far from Seoul, (only about an-hour’s trek from Seoul.) Don’t worry you can even go there by car or bus. In 1977, the temple land was developed for tourism and development. Public establishments and other tourist conveniences are now in place and ready for use. There are many other establishments nearby, including shops, convenience facilities, rest areas, arcades and an amusement park. The Silleuksa Temple tourist resort makes board and lodging possible and offers tours to the Royal Mausoleum of King Sejong and the Moka Buddhist Museum.

While Wonhyo was staying at the Bunhwangsa temple located in Gyeongju , he wrote a number of books. A research center and a shrine, the Bogwangjeon hall, dedicated to Wonhyo's legacy, are located at the Bunhwangsa, due to its strong association with Wonhyo,

Seol Chong was a great scholar during the middle of the Silla Kingdom. His other name was Chongji. He was the son of Wonhyo and Princess Yoseok. He belonged to the aristocracy, the 6th bone-rank order. According to the Jeungbomunheonbigo, he was the founder of the Gyeongju Seol clan. He is also known as a great scholar who compiled and perfected the Idu writing system. He is regarded as one of 10 sages of the Silla Kingdom, one of the three finest writers of the Silla Kingdom, and one of 18 Korean Confucian sages who have been enshrined in the Korean National Confucian Shrine. He left Hwawanggye, a satirical writing about a king, and inscriptions on a Buddha statue. His memorial shrine was built at Hadae-ri, Namsan-myeon, in 1923.

Ilyeon (1206-1289) was born in Jangsan-gun, Gyeongsan. He was the most revered priest in the Buddhist circle during the intervention of the Mongols. He won the confidence of King Chungryeol and became a kukjon, the supreme head of the Buddhist hierarchy, in 1283.

Although he was a priest, he was a filial son to his mother. Always, he wished to stay close to his mother in Gyeongsan even while staying at Kwangmyongsa in Gaeseong, capital of the Goryeo Dynasty, as the kukjon. During his life, he stayed long at temples on Mt. Biseul and Mt. Unmun close to Gyeongsan.
He left such writings such as the Samguk Yusa and Jungpyeonjodongowi. A memorial pagoda stands at Ingaksa where he spent his last years. After his death, Gyeongsan-hyeon, his birthplace, was elevated to the chief eup from a branch eup of Donggyeong Gyeongju in 1317.



Don’t these dogs look cute? Do you know that the Sapsalgae are the oldest endemic dogs in Korea? Sapsalgae are the representative indigenous species of dogs widely distributed in the south-eastern region of the Korean peninsula and are designated and protected as Natural Monument #368.

Sapsalgae are medium sized and slightly longer than tall. Their adult coat is long and abundant, and comes in various colours including solid and/or mixed shades of black, golden yellowish-blonde, reddish-orange, browns, and salt-and-pepper greys. Their hair falls over the eyes. Their ears are drooping and their muzzles aren’t as sharp-pointed as the Jindo dogs. Their tails are raised, and they have big heads.

The dogs have bold and brave natures, and are faithful to their owners. They appear to have been bred exclusively as house dogs their 'work' spiritual rather than physical. Traditionally, these dogs were believed to dispel ghosts and evil spirits and even misfortune.

During the Silla dynasty, the nobles raised Sapsalgaes. The dogs were pets for aristocratic families of the Silla Kingdom. General Kim You Shin took them as military dogs to wars. Sapsalgae were the noble dogs in the palaces.

During the Joseon period, they appeared in songs, folk tales and paintings, thus sharing the joy and sorrow with the Korean people. During the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) even these dogs were victims to the Japanese policy to annihilate Korean traditional cultures and their numbers were greatly reduced. Consequently the Sapsalgae were in danger of becoming extinct.

Many Koreans themselves thought that the Sapsalgae were little long furred imported foreign dogs when in true fact they were the native dogs of Korea. That was why veterinary Professor Tak Yeon Bi and Kim Hwa Sik from Gyeongbuk University, wanted to correct this misconception by giving the Sapsalgae the true recognition due to them.


They collected 30 pure breeds of Sapsalgae in the Gyeongbuk area and the Southern Gang won mountains from the late 1960's and presented the results of the study about them. The group of Sapsalgae now existing are descendents of them. These Sapsalgae were raised and kept in farms in Daegu in 1972. At first there were 7-8 dogs only, but after they were moved to farms in Gyeongsan, they managed to search for more Sapsalgae, the number of Sapsalgae increased in the tens in 1989. An effort was made to make the Sapsalgae a Natural Monument 'endemic dog', and it proved fruitful because it was designated Natural Monument #368 on March 7, 1992. To look after the interests of the Sapsalgae, with regards to their breeding and preservation etc. the “Association for Sapsalgae Conservation of Korea," was formed.

As pure breeds among 200 dogs, the Gyeongsan Sapsalgae were found to be good, skilled and intellectual individuals and comparable to the German Shepherds, big and handsome, very impressive like lions when running, expressing their warm hearts through their bodies and eyes when they see their masters.

Recently, the number of Sapsalgae has reached approximately 500 dogs. At present, the original species of this dog is collectively raised in the Hayang-Eup area of Gyeongsan.

The Sapsalgae is planned to be elevated to a world class dog, and to be able to enter an event for famous dogs of the world. Although the Sapsalgae has been identified and recognized by both leading Korean dog societies, the Korean Canine Club (FCI affiliate) and the Korean Kennel Club, the only Korean dog that has official international recognition is the Jindo.

Let us now visit one of the famous houses in Gyeongsan. Nanpogotaek, Tangible Cultural Asset #80 in Gokran-ri, Yongseong-myeon, was built in 1546 by Choe Gongcheol, an official who defended Jeonju during the Japanese Invasion of 1592-98. It is recorded in his biography that the house survived the invasions. The style of construction, however, suggests that it was remodeled around the 17th century. One of the end tiles on the roof is inscribed with the words "the 14th year of Gagyeong," which indicates the house was renovated in 1809. The house once consisted of a main living area, a men's quarters, a master's quarters, a servants' quarters, a mill house, a stable, and an ancestral shrine but only the main living area, the servants' quarters and the shrine remain. The roof of the main building is a rather imaginative variation of a hipped-and-gabled roof. The hall has paneled doors and an attic extends over the rooms at both sides of the hall.

The Hayanghyanggyo(Confucian School in Hayang) in Gyo-ri, Hayang-eup, Cultural Properties Materials #107 , consists of eight buildings. On the sloped land, Waesammun Myeongryndang, Naesammun, and Daeseongjeon were built in a row, and at the back of the Myeongryundang, are Dongjae and Seojae and in front of the Daejseongjeon, are the Jeonsacheong and the Gimulgo.
The Dongjae and·Seojae (the student dormitories) are usually located in front of the Myeongryundang in the Jeonhakhumyo-type of construction, but at Hayang Hyanggyo they are located at the back of the Myeongryundang. The Daeseongjeon has 3-rooms in the front and 3-rooms at the side, whereas the Myeongryundang has 5-rooms in the front and 2-rooms at the side. There are tablets for Gong Ja and other sages from Korea and China in the Daeseongjeon.
But now, only the Daeseongjeon, the Myeongryundang, the Naesammun and the Waesammun remains.

Stromatolite is the accumulative structure where small deposits piled over and over on the earliest living organisms on the earth. It is very rare geology information and it is very hard to be seen in Korea. Groups of stromatolite fossils in Eun Ho Li, Gyeong San has been very well preserved and it is very rare even in the whole world. Stromatolite fossils are the oldest fossils in the world, about 3 billion years old, and it lived on the planet in the precambrian era. It can be found in many places in the world but not like Eun Ho Li where it has groups of it with well preservation.

Gyeongsan Guyeonjeong, Treasure #415 in Nae-ri, Jinryang-myeon was a pavilion built by Jikhae Kim Ik-dong and located on the cliff of the Geumho riverside, at the back of Daegu University.

It is a 𔃲-rooms in the front, 2-rooms at the side’ scaled Paljak tile-roofed house. On the map, the front faces the Northeast, which is overlooking the Geumhogang (river). The front part is the main floored room, and the back part is an underfloor-heated room. At the back of the underfloor-heated room, a narrow wooden veranda was built for easy access to the pavilion.

Now I would like to tell you about the Sanggam Chohwamunbyeong (Bottle with inlaid grass design) Treasures #239 which belongs to the Yeongnam University and is kept in the Yeongnam University Museum in Dae-dong.
This relic has a Maebyeong-type appearance with a round body, a slender waist, and wide legs. It has a grayish and glossy texture and the inlaid work is transparent.

On the body, the vine flower pattern has a white inlay accented with a black inlay. The shoulder has a thick band of dark green and white inlay. The mouth has a lotus pattern in black..

Goryeo celadon gave way to Buncheong ware on which designs were being inlaid with techniques further advanced using the surface method not the thin- line method.

On the swollen surface of the main body, with a vigorous and daring touch, patterns of flowers and bindweeds are being inlaid in white, while the open spaces in between them in black, which make vivid contrast with each other.
This explains clearly the transition process from Goryeo to the Joseon Era. This valuable porcelain was found among the ashes of a burnt house belonging to Jang Taeksang, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs.




Another item of great value is the saddle of Choe Mun-byeong (1557

1599) who played an active part in the resistance against the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. It is kept at the (Daegu National Museum.) in Gyeongsan.

When the Japanese invaded Joseon in 1592, he gathered resistance troops at Hyangri, and defeated the enemy at Cheonjangsan, and in cooperation with another leader, Park Gyeong-jeon, he defeated the enemy at Dugok, Seonam, and Gajihyeon.

As a result, he was appointed superintendent in 1593.upon the recommendation of Park Jin, a senior government official titled Dongjijungchubusa, He was posthumously honoured as the Mayor of Seoul.

The saddle has been kept in an unusually good condition and has all the accessories such as the Deungja, Baeddi, and Godeulgae and is of great value. Angyo, the part that sticks out on both the front and back of the saddle, is framed by wood and covered with Bongnyun (two-fold screen for saddle), which is made of carved bone and tightened with metal pieces around the margin. The outer part of the Angyo is covered with porcupine skin and pieces of bone made into flower shape are attached on three locations. Underneath the Angyo is carved out in a round shape and the pieces of bone are attached around its frame. The seating area is made of leather. The footrest is made of metal and the footrest is made in a circular shape. Both sash and whip are made from jute and cotton fabrics.

The Apryang relics, Historic relics #218, is located at Seonhwa-ri, Jinryang-eup, Gyeongsan-si, on a low hill that overlooks Apryang field.
This was the military drilling ground used by General Kim Yusin(595-673)when he was the military commander of Amnyangju.
There were three military drilling grounds, one in Amnyang-dong, another in Nae-dong and a third in Seonhwa-dong.
Silla established its forward base in Amnyangju and General Kim Yusin gave his soldiers military and spiritual training here in preparation for the unification of the three kingdoms.

Gyeongsanimdangdonggobungun(Ancient tombs in Imdang-dong, Gyeongsan) , Historic Site #300, is located on the north-western hill of ‘Daedong’ village. The old tombs on the hill of Imdang-dong are what was built in the early Three States.The mounds scattered about this hill are tombs that are believed to have come from an ancient tribal, walled-town called Apdokguk.
It has been recorded in the Samguksagi (the History of Three States written by Kim Busik) that the king of Apdokguk State surrendered Silla in the 23rd ruling year of King Pasa.

The Apdokguk State is estimated to have been located in the neighbourhood of Amnyang-myeon where the tombs of Imdang-dong exist.

After some grave robbers were caught in 1982, the Yeongnam University Museum excavated the tombs. The excavation revealed that some of the tombs consisted of vertical holes cut into the rocks and some of the chambers created out of piled up rocks. Some of the mounds also showed that large jars had been used as coffins.

Many burial items including personal ornaments like hat decorations and gold rings and earrings, earthenware vessels and horse equipment were excavated from the tombs. At the same time, pieces of Mumuntogi were retrieved that were recognized as the relics belonging to the Bronze Age.


As the remains of more than one person were found in the tombs, the tombs are believed to be that of tribal chiefs or other leaders since it was a custom to entomb living people with the remains of high-ranking people.

One of the tombs has been restored in such a way that its interior can be viewed.
The more than 2,000 items excavated from here are housed at the Yeongnam University Museum.

Gyeongsanjoyeongdonggobungun(Ancient tombs in Joyeong-dong ), Historic Sites #331 , consists of the whole area of Bujeok-ri, Amnyang-myeon, Gyeongsan-gun, Joyeong-dong Gyeongsan-si.
About 10 tombs are scattered in the low and flat hill area around Joyeong-dong, Gyeongsan-si. Yeongnam University Museum performed two excavations here in 1988 and 1989 and 6-7 tombs were restored after the excavation.

Various types of tombs such as the jar coffin tombs where the dead were put into jars, the pit type stone chamber tombs and the tunnel type stone chamber tombs were found here. Most of the excavated tombs were the pit type stone chamber tombs.

The excavated relics included earthenware, ornaments such as gold and bronze crown, belt, earrings, weapons, and horse gear.

Considering the inside structure of the tombs and the excavated relics, it was presumed that these tombs were built between the 3rd and 5th centuries.
Presently, there is a grass field around the tombs and they are protected by a fence.


It has been more than 40 years since the cultivation of grapes started in Gyeongsan, in the sixties. With good soil and abundant sunshine the grapes produced are very big with high sugar content. The M.B.A. grapes, cultivated in the Namcheon area, have been recognized all over Korea for its superior quality. The Geobong grapes, produced in the Namsan area, is fully delivered to large department stores across the country by contract and it cannot be tasted even at the original production site.

The peaches cultivated in Gyeongsan are a kind of Cheondo peach and the cultivation area is expanding thanks to the proper climate and natural features for peaches.
Especially, in the Yongseong region, a mountainous back land with a big temperature gap, the peaches are very sweet. The Namsan region has abundant sunshine and fertile land, so its peaches are big and have good colour and flavour.

Gyeongsan has a heavenly climate that has almost no natural disasters such as typhoons and floods etc. with plenty of sunshine, so it is the best place to cultivate jujubes. The large fruit with rich mineral contents is well known across the country.

It started out as an apple alternative in the early 1970s, and has been produced at such an enormous rate that it has been recognized as the largest jujube producing district in the country. Most of the jujubes are grown in Apryang, Jinryang, Jain and Hayang, where the climate and soil are most suited.

And with this we have come to the end of today’s visit to Gyeongsan. So till we meet again, good-bye.


Seokjeon Daeje at Munmyo Shrine

Munmyo, literally meaning "Confucian shrine", is also called Seoul Munmyo or Sungkyunkwan Munmyo. It is located at Sungkyunkwan seowon (Confucian school) and is another name for the famed Daeseong-jeon, "Great Sage Hall" there. The first munmyo or shrine was for the honoring and venerating of Confucius and his disciples, a practice that spread widely in Tang China (618-690 and 705-907). Munmyo practices were brought to Korea during the United Silla period (668-935) but didn't become widely practiced until Kim Taejo (reigning 1392-1398) started the Yi or Joseon Dynasty.

During the Joseon Dynasty, other notable scholars from the Goryeo and Silla periods were added, based on their knowledge of Confucianism, and subsequent scholars of the Joseon Dynasty were similarly added. Only scholars who were deemed to be extremely learned, of good character, and who made significant contributions to Confucianism were to be remembered, honored and venerated. Only a total of 18 munmyo bae-hyang, a title of the highest honor for a scholar, have been added to the list of Chinese scholars, thus, the 18 Sages of Korea.

  • The 5 Sages (오성): Confucius, Yangzi, Zengzi, Zisi Zi, Mencius
  • The 10 Wise Confucius Disciples (공문10철): Min Sun, Ran Geng, Ran Yong, Zai Yu, Duanmu Ci, Ran Qiu, Zhong You, Yan Yan, Bu Shang, Zhuansun Shi
  • The 6 Men of Virtue from the Song Dynasty (송조6현): Zhou Dunyi, Cheng Hao, Cheng Yi, Shao Yong, Zhang Zai, Zhu Xi
  • The 18 Sages of Korea (동국18현):Choe Chiwon, Seol Chong, An Yu (An Hyang), Jeong Mong-ju, Kim Gwoeng-pil, Jeong Yeo-chang, Jo Gwang-jo, Yi Eonjeok, Yi Hwang, Yi I, Seong Hon, Kim Jang-saeng, Song Siyeol, Song Jun-gil, Pak Se-chae, Kim Inhu, Jo Hun, and Kim Jip (in chronological order of enshrinement)

The ritual has deep cultural significance, and across the peninsula in some 200+ Confucian village schools the ritual is performed in the spring and the fall, based on the lunar calendar. Technically, it is performed on the Sangjeong (上丁, 상정), the first day with the celestial stem of 丁(정) in a month, in the second and eighth months of the lunar calendar.

The rite entails inviting the spirits to the shrine by burning incense, playing harmonious music, dancing to the points of the universe, offering enticing foods and pouring spirits in front of each Confucian scholar's ancestral tablet for the paying of deep respects. The process is very ritualized and throughout the ceremony a master of ceremonies recites instructions in Classical Chinese whereupon a translator relays them in Korean.

performing absolutions before participating in the ritual
Spirits are welcomed to the earthly ceremony and given their own walkway, the spirit road. All others, including the king, are not to walk on the spirit road, thus the presence of volunteers to warn people away. When Korea was more ritualistic and more highly regulated by Confucianism, to cross the spirit walk was taboo, unless someone stopped, bowed deeply from the waist, before respectfully stepping across. (Source)

After the purification and symbolic cleansing of participants, court musicians play the Myeongan Tune (명안지악) while dancers move harmoniously in the Yeolmun Dance (열문지무). Dancers and court musicians both are grouped in the perfect bagua number of 64, particularly dancers perform in an eight-by-eight grid (팔일무, the "dance of eight"). This number is based on the bagua, literally "eight symbols" (Chinese), which are eight trigrams used in Taoist cosmology that encompass concepts of yin-yang, the five elements, principles of pungsujiri (geomancy) and more. Based on the ancient Chinese Confucian classic I Ching, the bagua consists of the 64 possible pairs of trigrams, the so-called "hexagrams". Therefore, the number of 64 dancers and 64 musicians implies a perfected harmony between the yin and yang, the elements, and the flow and balance between all things celestial and earthly.

the dancers in eight person by eight person alignment symbolizing the perfect harmony of completeness

Dancers perform two dances, the Yeolmun Dance and the Somu Dance (소무지무), the Civil (or Scholars) Dance and the Military (or Generals) Dance. The Civil Dance pays respects to the scholarly, the learned, the poet and the scribe. For both dancers and musicians, performers wear red, the color of congratulations. During the Civil or Scholars Dance, the dancers wearing the black hats connoting 'literature' and hold a 적 (?) in their right hand and a bamboo flute in the left. The dancing is performed to the Seongan Tune (성안지악), switching briefly to the Seoan Tune (서안지악) while the dancers change their headgear and hand-held accessories for the Military or Generals Dance, whereupon the music resumes with the Seongan Tune.

dancers properly attired for the Civil (Scholars) Dance
(black hat and accessories: cheok and bamboo flute)
the red hat, symbolic axe and shield for the Military (Generals) Dance

For the Military Dance, the headgear is red, not for the congratulation intimation of the robes but to symbolize weaponry. The right hand holds a symbolic axe and the left a symbolic shield decorated with a dragon, an auspicious symbol of power and celestial energy. According to Cho In-souk, architect and avid historian, the melody is representative of politeness, eloquence and reflection, and with the flowing hand and body movements is a wish to activate permanent peace and welfare for all people on earth as given by heaven. The dance movements are gestures and body positionings to the four cardinal directions, reaching upward to heaven and pulling the energy downward to earth. The dance represents the whole universe. These two dances are for the literati scholars who not only studied literature but also practiced martial arts according to the teachings of Confucius.

a court musician playing the chuk, the wooden box
The court musical instruments are rarely seen in public but during traditional Confucian rites may appear in ceremony to invoke the spirit world. The instruments used include flutes (hun, so, and bamboo flutes), zithers (seul andgeum), stone chimes (pyeongyeong), bronze bells (pyeonjong), various drums played with sticks, tiger-shaped wooden scraper (eo), wooden box (chuk), and wooden clappers (bak).

In years previous Seokjean daeje was performed on dates according to the solar calendar. However, this spring ceremony marks the return of the ceremony to the carefully regulated dates according to the lunar calendar. One of the reasons given is that this year the lunar calendar date is particularly propitious, so performing such a portentous ceremony on such a propitious date brings augur and vitality.

A particularly excellent resource on the history and steps in the ceremony is Ceremony in Honor of Confucius and the Great Sages – Seokjeondaeje (釋奠大祭, 석전대제). A detailed Korean version is linked in also.


Daeseongjeon Shrine, Confucian School, Ganneung - History

Seoul&rsquos public transportation system is one of the best in the world and the city&rsquos buses are easy to figure out, even for visitors. It&rsquos possible to tour Korea&rsquos top universities via one bus route, blue bus no. 273! Blue bus no. 273 runs across Seoul, connecting 9 major universities in the city. Bus No. 273 connects Daehak-ro and Sinchon, so it&rsquos possible to visit some of Korea&rsquos best universities, like Korea University, Sungkyunkwan University, Ewha University, Yonsei University and Hongik University. While riding the bus, it&rsquos common to see university students wearing their school colors or school jackets. Visit the universities listed in this article and see Seoul's scenic university campuses.

Feel the Romance of Campus Life at Yonsei on Baekyang-ro

Yonsei University was established in 1957 when Yonhi University and Severance Medical School came together and agreed to merge into one institution of higher learning. Baekyang-ro is the road that leads into the university this road runs through the entire campus. Baekyang-ro is lined with many trees, making for a pleasant walk. Many notable Yonsei buildings can be spotted on both sides of the road. When walking from the main gate deeper into the campus, visitors will be able to see Yonsei&rsquos eagle statue perched atop a high pillar. The eagle seems to be soaring high and is located on the left-hand side of the road. The eagle is Yonsei&rsquos school symbol and mascot. Near the heart of the campus is the ivy-covered, gothic-style brick buildings: Underwood Hall, Stimson Hall, Appenzeller Hall. The buildings surround an English-style garden and courtyard that also has a statue of Dr. H. G. Underwood. The area is a popular photo spot and visitors should take time to get their own snaps when at Yonsei.

Behind Underwood Hall is Yonhi Hall, and the building may be recognizable to fans of Korean films and dramas. Yonhi Hall is a popular filming location and some of the most famous works filmed there are the movies &ldquoMy Sassy Girl&rdquo and &ldquoThe Classic&rdquo as well as the drama &ldquoReply 1994.&rdquo Furthermore, a monument dedicated to the beloved poet Yun Dong-ju is also here. Yun&rsquos most famous poem, &ldquoForeward&rdquo is engraved on the monument. Furthermore, there are excellent walking trails throughout the campus grounds. The trails are not just popular with Yonsei students locals often visit just to take a walk.

Yonsei University, Sinchon Campus

50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-1599-1885


Restaurants Popular with Yonsei Students

Sinchon is well-known as a student district which has meant that incredible, low-priced restaurants thrive in the area.

Tasty, Low-Priced Eateries to Enjoy

Offering a fresh take on Korean classics, diners can order baekban (Korean set menu) and try pumpkin sikhye (sweet rice punch).

Gwangyeon Building, 26 Myeongmul-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-362-2848
Daily 11:30-21:30

Well-presented han-jeongsik (Korean table d'hote) in a bright and fresh atmosphere.

529 Seongsan-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-365-1984
Daily 11:00-22:00 closed on national holidays

Try healthy Korean cuisine, with a focus on mountain vegetables, barley rice, and cheonggukjang (rich soybean paste).

12 Yonsei-ro 5da-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-325-7771
Daily 11:30-21:30 / Breaktime 15:00-17:00 (closed Sundays)

Gothic Architecture and Cutting Edge Research

From the main entrance to Korea University&rsquos campus, visitors can see sweeping views of brick gothic-style buildings. Korea University&rsquos main hall was designed by the first generation Korean architect, Park Dong-jin. In front of the main hall is the spacious campus Ccentral plaza, popular with students as a meeting point and a resting place. Located beneath Ccentral plaza is a three-story underground complex. Thanks to this complex, Korea University is the first university in the country to have an underground campus. The complex contains several facilities such as reading rooms, a café, a health center, and more. There is also a bakery that sells bread made by the university&rsquos food research institute. The bread is called &ldquoKorea University Bread&rdquo and there is a souvenir shop too. Visitors can also stop by the Korea University Museum, which documents 100 years of history and displays cultural treasures, artifacts, and works of art. Visitors can enjoy art from notable Korean artists such as Park Su-geun and Jeong Gyeong Ja.

Korea University, Anam Campus

145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
+82-2-3290-1114

Restaurants Near Korea University

There are many well-established restaurants that offer great food at reasonable prices near the university.

Where to Go for a Bite to Eat

This restaurant appeared in the comic "Gourmet," created by the famed comic artist Huh Young-man.

2 Jegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-953-1095
Daily 9:30-04:00


Nageunae Pajeon (Korea University Branch)

Dine on the best seafood pajeon (green onion pancake with seafood) in the area!

9-3 Jegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
+82-2-926-9077
Daily 16:00-22:30

Have samgye-tang (ginseng chicken soup), a classic Korean dish that&rsquos both healthy and tasty!

Tiger Building, 8 Gaeunsa-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
+82-2-924-5551
Open year round 10:30-21:30

A Centuries-Old Historical Campus

Sungkyunkwan University was established during the Joseon Dynasty in 1398 and Sungkyunkwan&rsquos Seoul campus is located in the Myeongnyun-dong neighborhood. The campus melds the historic and traditional with the modern. Though Sungkyunkwan is one of Korea's best universities, during the Joseon Dynasty it was the top institution of higher learning. The first building visible from the university&rsquos entrance is a Confucian shrine, the Daeseongjeon Shrine. Ancestral tablets of Korean and Chinese Confucian scholars are enshrined here. Behind the shrine is Myeongnyundang, a lecture hall for Confucian scholars. The buildings are surrounded by ginkgo trees that are believed to be over 400 years old.

Take a leisurely stroll around the buildings, the same way that scholars would have centuries ago. Past the shrine and hall, further into the campus is Bicheondang. Though the current building in a reconstruction (the original burned down during the Korean War), during the Joseon Dynasty, Bicheondang was the university&rsquos exam hall. Visitors to the campus should also visit the 600th Anniversary Hall. The 600th Anniversary Hall houses the university&rsquos museum. The museum has displays and exhibitions on a variety of subjects, including Confucian culture and the school&rsquos illustrious history. Another popular spot at Sungkyunkwan is the law school building&rsquos rooftop. The views of Seoul at night are particularly beautiful. The popular Hallyu actor from "Descendants of the Sun," Song Joong Ki is an alumnus of Sungkyunkwan.

Sungkyunkwan University, Humanities and Social Sciences Campus

25-2 Sungkyunkwan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-760-0114


Diverse Arts Performances and a Plethora of Restaurants in Daehak-ro

Sungkyunkwan University is located next to the famed arts mecca, Daehak-ro. Daehak-ro is full of venues of all sizes that host concerts, musicals, and arts performances. Furthermore, the area is popular for its restaurants and cafes. Daehak-ro is fun to visit whether traveling alone, with friends, or with family!

Daehak-ro's Cafes and Restaurants

This cafe is well known as a filming location from the drama &ldquoMy Love From the Star.&rdquo The popular Hallyu actor Kim Soo Hyun filmed a scene where he drank tea with Lawyer Jang.

119 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-742-2877
Open year round 10:00-23:00

A tasty, reasonably priced eatery offering fusion Korean cuisine.

Seokma Building, 63 Daehak-ro 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-765-8273
Open year round 11:30-22:00

A healthy han-jeongsik (Korean table d'hote) restaurant, Dulpul uses no artificial flavorings. Meals here are healthy, tasty, and made with seasonal ingredients.

24 Daemyeong 1-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
+82-2-745-9383
Open year round 11:30-21:30


KOREAN DREAMER

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, starting from 1st April, two double-decker buses, imported from Germany, will be traversing the city, giving visitors a convenient and beautiful downtown City Tour of Daegu. But the buses will undergo a series of trial runs from the 12th to 27th before being officially open to the public. The buses will run every day from 10:00 – 18:00 except on Mondays, running at 2 hourly intervals.

Standard Route: Dongdaegu Stn (Departure) -> Exco -> Opera House -> Jungang-ro -> Daegu Oriental Medicine Market -> Duryu Park (Ubang Land) -> Seomun Market -> 2.28 Park -> National Debt Repayment Memorial Park -> Daegu National Museum -> Dongdaegu Stn (Arrival)

The City Tour is a downtown tour circuit designed to showcase the city's historic and cultural attractions by allowing visitors brief stops at each point of interest to sightsee, explore, and experience. Scheduled program include: five regular travel circuits, the Palgongsan Mt. circuit route, and other themed courses featuring interactive programs such as strawberry-picking and taffy-making.

The introduction of the double-decker tour bus service is expected to not only revitalize city tourism, but also liven up the city’s whole atmosphere in preparation for upcoming international events scheduled to be held in Daegu.

I shall be telling you about the tourist spots of Daegu, area by area. So how about starting with the downtown area first, Dalseong Park and the Daegu-hyanggyo Confucian Academy

The Dalseong Park, Daegu was constructed on an old site of an artificial earthen mound fortress. This area had been the capital of the tribal state of ancient Daegu area. The Dalseong Fortress was constructed in 261 and has been designated Historical Site #62.

Dalseong Park, Daegu happens to be the oldest park in Daegu. Dalseong Park derived its name from the name of the ancient fortress Dalseong. Dalseong Park, Daegu houses a zoo which is very popular amongst tourists all across the globe. Opened in 1970 the Zoo is home to various creatures including elephants, lions, fur seals, ostriches, etc. Tourists visiting the Dalseong Park, Daegu will certainly come cross a number of monuments dedicated to the stalwarts of Daegu like the statue of Choi Je-u, the founder of Donghak an Eastern Scholastic Religion boom in 1860 and the statue of the nationalist poet, Lee Sang-hwa. Other popular tourist attractions within the park include the Gwanpungnu Pavilion, the old gate of Gyeongsang-gamyeong and a local history hall. On entering the Dalseong Park, Daegu one will notice well trimmed grass gardens beautifully adorned with flowers. Elms, zelkova, as well as some aboriginal Korean trees make the Dalseong Park, Daegu all the more beautiful.

Visiting Hours at the Dalseong Park:

Daegu- Dalseong Park, Daegu remains open from 5 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Daegu Hyanggyo Confucian Academy

Established in 1398 at Gyo-dong, the Daegu Hyanggyo Confucian Academy, was an academy for Confucian philosophy. In 1592, it was entirely burnt down during the Japanese Invasion and in 1599, it was rebuilt near Dalseong Park and in 1605, it was moved back to the Gyo-dong area. In 1932, it was settled down on its present location. Every year during spring and autumn, Confucianists in the Gyeongsangnam-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do provinces arrange memorial services honoring Confucius. The Daegu Hyanggyo Confucian Academy, Daegu has old school buildings bounded by beautiful gardens. At present, lectures on old Chinese characters and traditional Korean manners and etiquette are organized at this space and on weekends and holidays traditional Korean wedding ceremonies are organized at this beautiful garden. The Daegu Hyanggyo Confucian Academy, Daegu comprises of the Daeseongjeon Hall, which is a single-story building with a multi-cluster bracketed structure with a gabled roof and the Myeongnyundang, which is used as a classroom.. In this Hall, ancestral tablets are preserved and an ancestral memorial service is organized every year and this Hall is designated  Cultural Properties Materials #1 (Daegu).

Next, the seaside area of Mang-u Park, Otgol Village (Gyeongju Choe's Head House), Dalseong Oriental Arbor Vitae Forest, Bullo-dong Wood Crafts Zone, Bullo-dong Tomb Park and the Historic site of General Sin Sung-gyeom.

 This is a statue of Gwak Jae-u in Mang-u Park in Daegu.

General Gwak Jae-u (1552�) was a Korean patriot from Uiryeong in 1592, nine days into the Japanese Invasion of Korea, he formed a militia to fight against the Japanese army.

Gwak, Jae-u disrupted Japanese supply lines around the Nakdong River in many guerrilla actions. Gwak also had the distinction of winning Korea's first land victory of the war - The Battle of Uiryeong. In part of a two-pronged offensive into Jeolla, Ankokuji Ekei led 6th division men from the south. Ankokuji needed to cross the Nam River to reach Uiryeong, an objective. He had his men find the shallowest parts of the river and mark them with stakes. While Ankokuji's army slept, Kwak's men moved the stakes to deeper sections of the river. When the crossing began, the Japanese soldiers found themselves in the deep water, and Kwak's army attacked then. In multiple attempts to cross, Ankokuji suffered many losses, and was forced to abandon his attack on Uiryeong. The battle gave the Korean government respect for Kwak's abilities, and he was placed in command of the Korean forces in and around Uiryeong and the nearby Samga.

In 1597, in the Battle of Hwawangsan he defended the Hwawangsan Mountain Fortress. Gwak Jae-u's pen name was Mang-udang. He was called the "Red Robe General" after his habit of wearing red costumes dyed with blood of maidens murdered by Japanese and riding a white horse in battle.

Head House of Gyeongju Choi Family Daegu.

One kilometer east of the Daegu Airport is a village of the Gyeongju Choi’s clan (Otgol Village), where typical houses of the ruling yangban class of the Joseon Dynasty are found. At the northern part of the village lies the head family house, Bakbulgotaek, built in 1616 by Choi Dong-jip, a Confucian scholar. Designated Daegu Folklore Material #1, the house consists of a 400year old women’s quarters, master’s quarters, master’s study and shrine.

The Dalseong Forest of Oriental Arborvitae, Daegu has been designated Natural Monuments #1 and is a must see for any nature lover or environmentalist. Trees in the Dalseong Forest of Oriental Arborvitae, Daegu are rooted in the rugged rocks and the thick wood forms a flora. There are several thousand Oriental arborvitae trees growing on a stone cliff 100 meters high and 60 meters wide.

Platycladus, a distinct genus of evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae, containing only one species, Platycladus orientalis, also known as Chinese Arborvitae or Biota forms the main cover in this forest and hence the name. It is a small, slow-growing tree,  15-20 m tall and 0.5 m trunk diameter (exceptionally to 30 m tall and 2 m diameter in very old trees) and is widely used as an ornamental tree, both in its homeland, where it is associated with long life and vitality. The wood is used in Buddhist temples both for construction work, and chipped, for incense burning.

Bullo-dong Wood Artifacts Complex

Forming a complex in the area of Bullo-dong, Bongmu-dong and Jimyo-dong of Dong-gu, around 70 wood artifact shops are found within the development. The market share of wood artifacts produced in Daegu amounts to about 70-80% of the national production, and their quality is guaranteed. The artifacts are made from Chinese juniper wood only through handicrafts. Wood blocks, beads and other Buddhist items, tea tables, telephone tables, vessels and other daily commodities, and various traditional service utensils are the main woodcrafts produced in the Daegu Wood Artifacts Complex. Wood artifacts are sold at inexpensive prices at this place. Additionally, these local specialty goods are exhibited and sold at the Cultural Souvenirs area in the Daegu Tourist Information Center.

Some of the tumuli were excavated in 1938 and 1963. They were found to have rock-lined, pit-type chambers topped with stone plates. Many funerary items were found including gold and gilt-bronze ornaments, iron weapons, and unglazed pottery vessels with stamped and incised designs. The ancient tombs are estimated to have been built about the 5th or 6th century in the Three Kingdoms period. They are estimated to be those of the aboriginal ruling powers of this region at that period

Shin Sung-gyeom, was a famous general of the Silla Kingdom. Shin is remembered today for giving his life for Wang Geon, Goryeo’s King who had come to help Silla fight against Hubaekje at the Dongsu battlefield near present-day Daegu . According to the legend, the two exchanged armor so that the king would be able to escape from the battlefield and return to Goryeo. While Wang Geon escaped from the battle field disguised as a soldier to his kingdom, Shin and the remaining army fought bravely against the Hubaekje army. But eventually his army was routed and in the woods Shin was shot with arrows and was killed by the enemy. He was beheaded and his head was sent to Gyeon Hwon, King of Hubaekje

In Daegu there’s a landmark of a tomb of a Japanese national. Strange isn’t it?Yes, it's the tomb of Mitsusaki Rintaro who was the chief of Gibu-town in Japan in the Meiji age. He settled in Daegu with his family in 1914 and worked as a farmer. He saw the local farmers suffering from the dry weather and flooding, so he drew a plan of an irrigation reservoir, that he proposed to build, which he presented to the Japanese governor. But the Japanese governor refused to build it because the reservoir was good for the Koreans, but not for the Japanese. He was upset and said "we should think of the Korean people." Eventually he met the governor-general of Joseon who gave him 12.000Yen (presently 1 billion Yen) which he used for the building of the irrigation reservoir.

When he died he was buried near the reservoir according to his will. The Suseong plain became a residential area and the streets filled with restaurants. The Suseong Pond was changed into a resort place for citizens.

And now I’m going to tell you about another Japanese national who became a naturalized Korean because he was a follower of Confucianism and who also became famous..

Nokdong-seowon (Confucian Academy) is located in Urok-ri, Gachang-myeon. This academy was dedicated to General Kim Chung-seon who achieved great feats of arms during the periods of Hideyoshi's Invasion and the Manchurians's Invasions.

This academy is frequented by many Japanese tourists because the general was originally Japanese. General Kim considered humanity (Confucian Ideology - Joseon's State Ideology) seriously from his childhood and he kept something in his mind against the Hideyoshi's Invasion of Joseon from the beginning. During the invasion he was the commander of the Right Side Troops of Hideyoshi's Army. When he landed at Busan Port, he immediately became a subject of Joseon. Right after becoming a naturalized Korean, he participated in the battles of Gyeongju and Ulsan, and achieved great military feats for Joseon. Thereafter whenever there was military disputes with neighboring nations he himself participated in battles and achieved great feats. The academy was built by Confucians in this region in 1789 and was dedicated to the general. Later the academy was demolished by Regent Daewongun (King Gojong's father) at the end of the 19th century and restored in 1914. On the premises, a lecture hall, Nokdongsa Shrine, and Hyangyangmun Gate(sun facing gate) are situated.

Inheung-seowon Confucian Academy was built to pay tribute to Nodang Chu Jeok(1246¡�). He was a founding father of the Chugye Chu Clan and a scholar in the reign of King Chungyeol of the Joseon Dynasty. The academy was established in 1825 during the 25th year of the reign of King Sunjo of the Joseon Dynasty by Confucian scholars from all over the nation, and by Chu Se-mun, his 20th descendant. It is maintained as it was since being saved from the Confucian academy demolition policy of King Gojong's father. On the premises are five buildings including the Confucian academy and a shrine. Thirty-one wood blocks of the Myeongsim-bogam book written by Chu Jeok are kept here. Because it is at the entrance of Inheung Village, this place can be visited along with the village.

Might as well include another seowon that is not in this area though. Dodongseowon Confucian Academy Daegu was a local private organization that held memorial services for great scholars and studied Confucianism in the Joseon era. Dodongseowon was established in 1568 in order to commemorate the scholarship and virtues of Kim Gwoingpil, one of the great scholars. However, it was burnt down during the Japanese invasion and a shrine was rebuilt on the same site in 1604. This shows a traditional structure of seowons built in a simple and frugal way in the mid Joseon Dynasty. King Seonjo granted the tablet of the seowon written by the king himself in 1607. Dodongseowon Confucian Academy is well known for its beautiful scenery in the Dalseong-gun District, with a 400year old gingko tree standing in the yard. The academy has been well preserved and has been designated Treasure #350.

Twelve Distinguished Hyeonpung Gwaks' Shrine

Starting from Dodong-seowon Confucian Academy, drive to Guma Highway past Hyeonpung-myeon, then you will come across the sign board of Hyeonnam Elementary School on the road side. Turn toward the sign board and follow the road, then you will get to the shrine. The shrine was built in the period of King Yeongjo(the 18th century), and kept 12 Jeongryeo of Gwaks'family which were collected from this neighborhood. A Jeongryeo was a policy of the Joseon Dynasty, to honor, with a certifying stele such good deeds as loyalty, filial respects, chastity, etc. It was very rare that so many jeongryeo were given to one clan in the whole nation. The story of a daughter and a daughter- in-law who committed suicide following the death of their farther who was killed in battle, the story of a chaste wife who was killed to save her husband, and many other stories of the Gwaks¡¯clan which are transferred generation after generation with this shrine make us, modern people, reconsider our daily life.

The Hwawon Area includes Mt. Apsan, Daegu Arboretum, Inheung Village, Yongyeongsa Temple and the Hwawon Resort

I have already talked about the Yongyeonsa Temple in my last post so I shall not go into it today.

Mt.Apsan and Apsan Park are 4.5 km south of downtown Daegu and is the largest park in Daegu and is a popular tourist destination on the Biseulsan Range.The name 'Apsan' means 'front' and 'mountains', meaning that the mountain is in 'front' of Daegu. Fabulous views of Daegu can be seen from the top. You can choose to either take one of the hiking trails to the top or take the gondola.

  Mt. Apsan Park has clean air and green forests, and it is well equipped with various resort facilities. This park is the most familiar natural resort area for the citizens. The mountain ridge from Mt. Biseul to Mt. Sanseong and Mt. Daedeok forms the main ridge of Mt. Apsan. Smaller ridges spread out from the main ridge like the ribs of a fan, and form valleys in between. Mt. Apsan is well known for its many valleys, amongst them the Keungol Valley, the Gosangol Valley, the Anjiranggol Valley, the Yongdugol Valley, the Maejagol Valley, and the Dalbigol Valley. The cable cars show panoramic views of the mountain. At the observation platform of the upper terminal, the whole view of Daegu City comes into sight. Besides these, there’s the War Memorial Museum of the Nakdong River Battle which took place during the Korean War. In the same area is a small amusement park. And a little further up from here is where the cable car can be boarded to take you to the peak.

Daegu is a very nature-conscious land that loves it flora. It is greatly concerned with maintaining the eco-system balance, and is striving towards restoring the spoiled ecosystem. One of the initiatives that it has taken towards this is by setting up the Daegu Arboretum, Daegu, in May 2002. Built on a former landfill, this arboretum is a conscious move on the part of the Daegu City Government in providing its citizens with an opportunity to experience the importance of forests, and in educating them about preserving and fostering nature.

The Daegu Arboretum, Daegu is home to local as well as rare plants. There are about 1,000 herbs, plants and trees planted in the Daegu Arboretum, Daegu, which covers an area of around 230,000 sqm. Though this area, which is situated in 284 Daegok-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, was used as a landfill between 1986 and 1990, it was transformed by the City Government, and made into a botanical garden that includes more than 1,000 species of unique plants.

The Daegu Arboretum, Daegu, has gardens with giant cactuses, medicinal herbs, wild flowers, and potted plants. The different types of gardens that can be found at the Daegu Arboretum, Daegu are # a wild plant garden, a rock garden, a hydroponic garden, a broadleaf tree garden, a coniferous tree garden and an aromatic plant garden. Apart from it, there is a luscious greenhouse, cottonwoods, groves with different kinds of trees, and, a pond with aquatic life. There are also several trails that are helpful for walking, as well as large grassed areas where one can sit down and enjoy a picnic

Inheung Village(Nampyeong Moon Clan's Original Residence Area), a collective habitat is located in Bon-ri. It was constructed at the end of the Joseon Dynasty by Moon Gyeong-ho who was the 18th generation grandson of Moon Ik-jeom. In this village, nine buildings of traditional gentry houses and two pavilion buildings stand in the original form of the late Joseon Dynasty building style. Moon Gyeong-ho leveled the ground and divided the land into squares with straight roads to build a village according to Jeongjeonbeop (the ancient manual or regulations of using land).

The village itself has been preserved intact. It is designated as Folklore Material #3. The representative buildings of this village are the Subongjeongsa Pavilion, Gwanggeodang Lecture Hall, and Insumungo Library. Subongjeongsa Pavilion stands at the entrance of the village and it was used for meeting guests or for having clan meetings.Gwanggeodang Lecture Hall was built to educate the youth of the clan. Insumungo Library contains about 10,000 volumes of books which are listed in Gyujanggak (the central library of the Joseon Dynasty), and a separate reading room is prepared.Find a cozy sentiment of your hometown, or enjoy a simple beauty of a traditional Korean rural village in this old village.

The neighborhood of Hwawon Resort commands a scenic beauty as its name Hwawon (flower garden) does. The most conspicuous area is the scenery of the western side where the villages of Seongsan-ri and Gura-ri are located. It is said that king Gyeongdeok of the Silla kingdom was so attracted to the scenic beauty that he visited this place nine times. So it is called Gura-ri (coming nine times). Seongsanri is the place where the Nakdong River flows around Mt. Seongsan embracing it. Since long ago, this area has been frequented by numerous heroes and poets. The Seongsan-ri Observation Tower will show you the beauty of this area at a glance. Mt. Seongsan-ri has been a natural fortress. Its northern side has been blocked by steep cliffs and the Nakdong River. The other sides were blocked by artificial walls. Old ruins of earth mounds which were built during the Silla Dynasty in defense of the fortress still remain on top of the mountain. The natural beauty of this area actually came to be known with the construction of the Hwawon Resort by the Japanese. The resort was renovated  in 1958 .Two traditional old houses were moved from the Andong Dam to this resort. .

Hwawon Resort encompasses the cobalt-blue water of the Nakdonggang River, the shear cliffs and a vast sandy beach. The royal family of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. to A.D.935) used to visit here to enjoy the native flowers, giving this place its name "Hwawon," meaning "Flower Garden." On Sanghwadae Stand, visitors enjoy the best view of the flower gardens. The white sandy bank adds to the beauty of the area.  Facilities include a boat marina, a swimming pool, a children’s playground, and an observatory.

I guess that’s about all for today. Shall tell you about the wonderful shopping in Daegu in my next post.

Special thanks and appreciation to the following:
Photos and articles © courtesy


Confucian Liquor-drinking Ceremony at Sungkyunkwan Seowon

Today is the 2565th birthday of Confucius. Typically a jesa ceremony is held on Confucius' birthday at Sungkyunkwan also known as Mumnyo (shrine). However, to commemorate such a special birthday the jesa date was moved up to earlier in the month. Yet on this day a Confucian liquor-drinking ceremony was held, probably to pay highest respects to Confucius, ten of his disciples, and 18 of Korea's most venerated Confucian scholars including (in the chronological order of enshrinement at Daeseongjeon located within the temple grounds) Choe Chiwon , Seol Chong , An Yu ( An Hyang ), Jeong Mong-ju , Kim Gwoeng-pil, Jeong Yeo-chang, Jo Gwang-jo , Yi Eonjeok , Yi Hwang , Yi I , Seong Hon , Kim Jang-saeng , Song Siyeol , Song Jun-gil , Pak Se-chae, Kim Inhu, Jo Hun, and Kim Jip .

Attendance was respectable!
Note the massive gingko tree in the fenced-in area just beyond the seated audience.
This is the famous 500-yr-old gingko tree (National Monument No. 59).
The ceremony takes place on the receiving platform of Myeongryundang,
the most famous of the halls and open daily to the public.

Like many Confucian ceremonies, the liquor-drinking ceremony too was highly ritualized, with many of the participants learning the ceremony as they performed it . I was amused. The group frequently did not bow collectively, got confused over who would go first and in which direction, and when they got on the prepared platform, sat on incorrect cushions. One of the academians from Sungkyunkwan University officiated at the ceremony and dressed in yellow, the color denoting the highest position, grabbed a microphone and directed the marching mechanics from his place in the front row of the audience (look in above picture).

A respectable audience did gather to see the ceremony and purchase tea (or liquor?) at the opposite end of the madang, underneath the massive and much-celebrated 500-year-old gingko tree (National Monument No. 59).

Confucian principles are based on hierarchies, and therefore, serving one's elders or superiors first is adamant.
Hands show respect, and here the left hand holds back the sleeve of the right arm in keen deference . much like the Westerner holds out the right hand when meeting someone, to give them regards of sorts.
Serving is done by carrying a fully laden table and transferring the food and/or drink to the respected person's private table.

The name Munmyo is also used when referring to the shrine. Munmyo is a general term for a Confucian shrine, and Munmyo Bae-hyang is a title and is considered the highest honor a scholar could achieve during the Joseon dynasty. (Only 18 scholars were accorded this honor - the 18 Sages of Korea or the 18 Confucian Scholars of the East.)

The Munmyo origins come from China where scholars starting with Confucius and his successors of his teachings were honored and venerated. During the Tang dynasty, Confucianism spread through China and was transported to Korea (in the United Shilla period). However, Munmyo wasn't fully developed until 1398 under King Taejo of Choseon hence, the point of origin for Sungkyunkwan or Munmyo shrine is 1398. The shrine is not just a stone tablet but a whole complex of buildings, the two most famous being the Meongryundang (which is featured on the 1,000 won bill) and where many ceremonies including the liquor-drinking ceremony today are held) and the Daeseongjeon, a building with two stairs and paths leading up to it, the stairs and path (on the right) for the living, and the other (on the left) for Confucius and his venerated Munmyo Bae-hyang. The paved walk is the spirit gate. For anyone needing to cross the madang and therefore needing to pass over the spirit walk, one must bow deeply to pay honorable respect to the spirits, and then humbly and quietly pass over the spirit gate. One is never ever to walk on the spirit walk!


Daeseongjeon Shrine, Confucian School, Ganneung - History

Gyochon Traditional Village ¿ Photo by Claire Lee/ The Korea Herald

From ancient tombs to Buddhist temples, walking in Gyeongju brings history to life.

HOME to some of the most exquisite ancient relics in the country, Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, has long been the top destination for school trips in Korea.

Almost all Koreans should have a fond or not-so-fond memory of visiting Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto as kids, always all lined up one after the other – “you will get lost if you leave the line” – while guided, threatened and lectured by their school teachers.

The city, the capital city of the Silla Kingdom (BC 57-AD 935), can be much more fascinating for grown-ups who travel alone, without having to worry about “getting lost”, “leaving the line” or having to walk at the same pace as everyone else.

Gyeongju, like many other tourist destinations, is the kind of city that requires going at one’s own pace and time. It is one of the best cities in Korea for walking tours – “a museum without walls, under the open sky” – showing off its ancient tombs, scenic Buddhist temples, and stone pagodas one after the other.

Here are some recommended courses for walking tours of Gyeongju, which is also a designated Unesco World Heritage Site.

Course 1: Daereungwon-Cheomseongdae-Gyochon traditional village

Gyeongju’s downtown area is filled with the city’s most iconic sites and relics, including Daereungwon and Cheomseongdae, which are only about 15 minutes from each other.

Daereungwon, a park that houses 23 large tombs of Silla kings and noblemen – the most famous being Cheonmachong – is a great place to walk among the tombs that look like small hills.

Cheonmachong is believed to date from the fifth century, built for an unknown king of the Silla Kingdom.

Measuring 47m in diameter, 157m around and 12.7m tall, it has a wood-lined chamber where one can see a gold Silla crown, a showcase of the lavish lifestyle of the Silla royals, on exhibit.

Near the Cheonmachong site is a residential area consisting of hanok, or traditional Korean houses, boasting a serene, peaceful atmosphere.

Daereungwon to Cheomseongdae is an easy walk, surrounded by other large tombs outside the Daereungwon Complex as well as tasteful hanok buildings, all blended harmoniously into Gyeongju’s unique landscape. The curves of the tombs complement the gentle mountain ridges spreading out like a folding screen in the background.

Once you’ve arrived at Cheomseongdae, the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in East Asia, head to Gyochon Traditional Village, one of Gyeongju’s oldest villages. From Cheomseongdae, the walk takes about 15 to 20 minutes on a road surrounded by trees and plants, including calabashes.

Gyochon is a village of old hanok houses, some of which are important tangible cultural properties designated by the country. It is a small, slow and quiet village, and one can spot its residents, mostly elderly, riding bikes and chatting with each other in their gardens.

Yet there are a number of modern touches, too. Cafes in the village serve patbingsu and Americanos in stylish, modernised hanok buildings reminiscent of those in Samcheong-dong, Seoul.

One of the most famous sites in the village is Gyeongju Hyanggyo, a Confucian academy and shrine, where the national educational institute “Gukhak” of Silla was initially established in 682, two years after King Sinmunwang came to power. The institute was later turned into a hyanggyo, a Confucian academy, during the Goryeo and Joseon periods.

Silla’s Gukhak is believed to be the first state-run education institute on the Korean Peninsula that operated like today’s universities.

“During the Japanese invasion of 1592-98, the property was destroyed by fire,” reads the English-language explanation in front of the property, which is Tangible Cultural Property No. 191 of North Gyeongsang Province.

“In 1600, the Daeseongjeon hall and the Jeonsacheong were reconstructed in the 37th year of King Seonjo of Joseon.”

Also in the village is the home of the Gyeongju Choe clan, which has been designated as Important Folklore Material No. 27. The hanok property was built around 1700, and is said to have been an immense mansion of 99 kan before being damaged by fire in 1970.

“Ninty-nine kan was the maximum space allowed for the house of non-royals during the Joseon period,” said a local tour guide. “One kan corresponds to the space between two pillars.”

The Choe family was believed to have moved to today’s Gyeongju in the mid-Joseon period and became among the wealthiest landowners in the region for 12 generations. One of their descendants is Choe Jun (1884-1970), who financially supported a number of independence movement organisations against the Japanese colonial rule, and founded two institutions of higher learning in the Gyeongsang region – Gyerim College and Daegu College. The two schools were later merged into today’s Yeungnam University.

His birthplace, part of the head residence of the Choe clan, feels rather humble from today’s perspective, but has the distinctive elegance of hanok architecture and serenity.

The walking course is also enjoyable with a bike, especially in Gyochon Village.

Course 2: Gyeongju National Museum-Bunhwangsa Temple-Hwangnyongsa Temple Site-Anapji

Even if you are not a fan of museums, Gyeongju National Museum is worth a visit for one of its relics alone – the Bell of King Seongdeok, which is more commonly known as the Emille Bell.

The massive bronze bell is the largest extant bell in Korea. It was created in 771, during King Hyegong’s reign. And according to the well-known folk legend, a child from a poor family was sacrificed to complete the bell – she was thrown into the pot of molten bronze to create a “perfect-sounding” bell.

When the bell was finally cast, it produced a mournful echoing sound, sounding like a child repeatedly crying “emille” an ancient Silla word for “mommy”. People have called it the Emille Bell ever since.

“It may well be the most remarkable bell in Korea judging by its beautiful shape and patterns, the careful attention paid to the invisible parts such as the decorative lotus flower patterns on the uppermost plate, and a sound that stirs the deepest emotions,” says the museum’s explanation.

The bell was originally at Bongdeoksa Temple, the guardian temple of King Seogdeok. It was moved to the current Gyeongju National Museum’s outdoor garden in 1975.

The bell can be seen even on Mondays when the museum is closed as the garden is open all week.

After the museum, walk toward Bunhwangsa Temple. The stroll passes through the lovely rural scenery of Gyeongju, consisting of endless rice paddies, trees and cosmos flowers. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to get to the temple from the museum, and one can save time by riding a bike.

Bunhwangsa Temple, built in 634 during Queen Seondeok’s reign, was where Wonhyo (617-686), one of the most eminent scholar-monks of the period, spent much of his time.

Stepping into the temple, its famous stone pagoda greets visitors. The National Treasure No. 30 is 9.3m tall and is known to be the oldest dated pagoda from the Silla Kingdom.

“The pagoda’s figure is smooth and strong and it is one of the best pieces of work in Silla’s stone monuments,” says Kim Young-nam, the author of Kyongju: Old Capital of Shilla Dynasty.

One of the most beautiful landscapes encountered during the walk can be seen while walking from Bunhwangsa Temple to Hwangnyongsa Temple Site. The road is surrounded by an endless field of pastel cosmos flowers, with the gentle ridges of mountains in the far background.

On their way to the Hwangnyongsa Temple Site, visitors will notice two stone pillars, blending beautifully with the surrounding pink and white flowers in the late afternoon sun. The 3.6-m-tall pillars are called Dangganjiju, flagpole supports, and were used to hoist flags during Silla Buddhist ceremonies.

The last destination of the course is Anapji, an artificial pond constructed in 674 during the reign of King Munmu. The splendid pond was created as part of the Silla palace complex, and along with other famous relics such as the gold crowns, demonstrates the lavish lifestyle and taste of Silla royals.

Course 3: Bulguksa Temple to Seokguram Grotto

For those who wish to hike in Gyeongju, a hiking course from the famous Bulguksa Temple to Seokguram Grotto takes about two hours to complete, and is entirely uphill. If you want to take it easy, hike from Seokguram Grotto to Bulguksa Temple instead.

Seokgatap, one of the two famous stone pagodas of Bulguksa Temple, is currently undergoing a three-year restoration. And what are believed to be the sarira (relics) of Sakyamuni, taken last year from the pagoda, are being exhibited for the first time at the temple.

The pagoda went through its first full disassembly for the restoration process last year. The second roof was removed, revealing a gilt bronze casket containing the sarira of Sakyamuni.

“The relics inside the pagoda remained undisturbed for almost 1,000 years before being discovered in 1966, when the pagoda underwent repairs after being damaged by thieves,” said a temple staff member.

“While reliquaries were put in a museum for public display, the sarira were placed inside the pagoda.”

The sarira are being exhibited until March of next year, and will not be displayed in public again once the current showing is over, the staff said.

What to eat in Gyeongju

Gyeongju is not particularly known for its food, but there are a number of options available for those who would like to get a taste of Gyeongsang cuisine. The city offers a lot of Korean soft tofu stew, ssambap – rice wraps with vegetables – and its well-known Gyeongju bread, a small pastry filled with red bean paste.

Restaurant Dosol Maeul is known for its hanjeongsik, consisting of mackerel pike kimchi stew biji jjigae, stew with soy pulp, pork and kimchi and dakbokkeumtang, a spicy chicken and potato stew, among others. Well-ripened kimchi and kimchi pancakes are a bonus.

The dishes are saltier than what one would find in other regions in Korea, with a rich, rustic flavour. The restaurant also offers vegetables, some steamed and some fresh, which can be used as a wrap for rice and other side dishes of the meal.

The restaurant, located near Cheonmachong and Cheomseongdae, set in a hanok, or traditional Korean house – a perfect place to taste a table full of traditional Korean food. One can choose to eat in the property’s outdoor garden when the weather accommodates.

Gyodong Ssambap is a restaurant that specialises in ssambap with sweet bulgogi. The bulgogi is made with local beef from Gyeongju.

“Gyeongju has maintained a long history of raising superb Korean beef since the Silla period,” the restaurant says.

Those who are looking for other options may want to try Gondalbi bibimbap, which includes the wild herb gondalbi foraged in nearby Munboksan Mountain, among other bibimbap ingredients. The herb is known for its calming, pleasant aroma and its hint of bitterness.

Instead of the usual gochujang, Korean hot pepper paste typically used in bibimbap, this dish is complemented with a unique sauce that is made of soybean paste and powdered anchovies.

It may not be for everyone, but is recommended for those who would like to try bibimbap done in a different style. – The Korea Herald/ Asia News Network


Watch the video: Haemihyanggo Joseon Local Confucian School, Walking Around Korea (May 2022).