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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province: Bustling Satellite City of Seoul-Hanseong that serves as a Fortification to the Capital City since Silla Period

Seongnam (Hangul/Hanja: 성남시/城南市) is the second largest city in Gyeonggi Province after its Provincial Capital, Suwon and the 10th largest city in the Republic of Korea. Its population is approximately one million (977,991 inhabitants in May 2016). Located at the Central Gyeonggi Province, Seongnam is a satellite city of Seoul. It is largely a residential city located 26km southeast of Seoul and belongs to the Seoul National Capital Area a.k.a Sudogwon-Gijeon Region. The postal codes of Seongnam City start from 13100 [1279~1301 Daewang-Pangyo Road/DaewangPangyo-ro, Seongnam-Sujeong] to 13646 [83 Wirye Boulevard/Wirye-daero, Seongnam-Sujeong] and its passenger vehicle registration plate code is 36(Hangul at range: 가, 나, 다, 라, 마, 거, 너, 더, 러, 머, 버, 서, 어, 저, 고, 노, 도, 로) 1000~9999.

Seongnam City is bordered with four mountains on East which are Mount Namhan (522m), Mount Cheongnyang (479m), Mount Geomdan (535m) and Mount Bulgok (312m); separated with Gwangju-Gyeonggi and Hanam City, Mount Cheonggye (618m) on West; separated with Uiwang and Gwacheon Cities, Yongin Suji-gu and Yongin Cheoin-gu on South and Seoul Seocho-gu and Seoul Songpa-gu on North. Seongnam literally means "South of the Fortress" because Namhan Fortress (Namhan Sanseong) is located within the city (Seongnam Sujeong-gu).

Seongnam, the first planned city in Korea's history, was conceived during the era of President Park Chung-hee for the purpose of industrializing the nation by concentrating electronic, textile, and petrochemical facilities there during the 1970s and 1980s. The city featured a network of roads, to Seoul and other major cities, from the early 1970s on. Today, Seongnam has merged with the metropolitan network of Seoul. Bundang-gu, one of districts in Seongnam, was developed in the 1990s.

Due to the geographic advantage of the city’s proximity of Seoul, the city offers convenient transportation. Seongnam City is the center of logistics with diverse potentials for development, and the city is also equipped with highly qualified human resources. Excellent residential areas and numerous culture centers also add attractiveness to this city. Seongnam City ranks as a city with the most satisfactory living conditions. 

Seongnam City is equipped with high-tech information industry complexes like Pangyo Techno Valley, Yatap Valley and Wirye Medi-Bio Valley, and is the hub of Korea’s high tech industries and research. Moreover, the city is putting in a lot of efforts to preserve the ecology, and it focuses on being an environmental-friendly city where nature and human beings coexist in harmony. In addition, it is a city of culture and arts where various performances and exhibitions are hosted all year round. 

Above all, as a new town in the metropolitan areas, Seongnam is growing as the cradle of IT & high-tech industries with its techno and business parks. Seongnam has great conditions, ideal for many industries. It is operating a networking system with local universities, providing comprehensive support of excellent human resources, finance, technology and distribution. Many companies and research centers such as  KT (formerly Korea Telecom), Korea Gas Corporation, KEPCO, and Korea Land Corporation are moving into Seongnam to work in such successful environment.

The City Hall is located at 997 Seongnam Boulevard/Seongnam-daero, Yeosu-dong 200-beonji, Seongnam Jungwon-gu with its postal code: 13437. The city mayor is Lee Jai-myung (Minjoo Party). While Shin Sang-jin (Saenuri), Kim Tae-nyeon (Minjoo Party), Prof. Luciano Kim Byung-wook (Minjoo Party) and Kim Byung-kwan (Minjoo Party) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Seongnam City consists three districts (Sujeong-gu on Yellow, Jungwon-gu on Pink and Bundang-gu on Green)46 Administrative Precincts on 44 Legal Precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul).

Monday, 27 June 2016

Seongnam Bundang-gu, Gyeonggi Province: The Most Affluent and Populous District in Seongnam City

Bundang-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 분당구/盆唐區) is the largest and most populous district of Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, a major city in the Seoul National Capital Area (Sudogwon-Gijeon Region), Republic of Korea. The name of the district is the portmanteau of the former villages of Bunjeom-ri (분점리/盆店里) and Dangu-dong (당우동/唐隅洞). The postal codes of Seongnam Bundang-gu are shown below:
  • 13381 [31~32 Yanghyeon Avenue 375th Street/Yanghyeonno 375beon-gil]
  • 13440 [353~357 Yanghyeon Avenue/Yanghyeonno] to 13441 [400 Yanghyeonno and 55 Jangmi Avenue/Jangmi-ro]
  • 13447 [247~257 Tancheon Avenue/Tancheonno] to 13448 [762~764 Daewang-Pangyo Avenue/DaewangPangyo-ro]
  • 13455 [231-1~378 Haogae Avenue/Haogae-ro] to 13471 [179~193 West Pangyo Avenue/SeoPangyo-ro]
  • 13473 [160~188 SeoPangyo-ro] to 13529 [8 Pangyo Station Road 146th Street/PangyoYeok-ro 146beon-gil]
  • 13531 [572 DaewangPangyo-ro] to 13533 [49~91 East Pangyo Avenue/DongPangyo-ro]
  • 13535 [42~58 DongPangyo-ro] to 13569 [2~11-5 Seongnam Boulevard 772nd Street/Seongnam-daero 772beon-gil]
  • 13571 [74~166 Imae Road/Imae-ro] to 13592 [2 Sunae Avenue/Sunae-ro]
  • 13594 [50 Bundang Avenue/Bundangno] to 13638 [6~20 Seongnam Boulevard 2nd Street/Seongnam-daero i-beon-gil]

Bundang was formerly consists of two communes of Gwangju-Gyeonggi County (later as Gwangju-Gyeonggi City), some portions of Dolma-myeon (Bundang-dong, Sunae-dong, Jeongja-dong, Seohyeon-dong, Imae-dong and Yatap-dong) and Naksaeng-myeon (Geumgok-dong, Gumi 1-dong, Pangyo-dong, Sampyeong-dong, Baekhyeon-dong and Unjung-dong) and  some portions of Suji-myeon, Yongin County (present-day Yongin Suji-gu - Current Status: Gumi-dong, Seongnam Bundang-gu)In May 27th 1991, the local office of Bundang was installed in Seongnam Jungwon-gu which consists Bundang-dong, Imae-dong, Unjung-dong, Geumgok-dong and Pangyo-dong as a preparation to the formation of Seongnam Bundang-gu. After that, five precincts were separated from Jungwon-gu to form Seongnam Bundang-gu in September 17th 1991, according to Seongnam Municipal Ordinance No. 1152.

In the early 1990s, the Bundang area became a planned community as a response to alleviating the excessive demand for apartments in the similarly affluent, but much older Gangnam area. Before this period of expansion, however, there was mostly farmland in this area. There are still a few farms in the Bundang area, particularly in the Pangyo area. As the demand for more housing continues, Bundang is expected to continue expanding.

The primary site of construction was situated along a ten kilometer strip of the Gyeongbu Expressway, with the expectation that high quality homes would be built there. The government assigned the heavy responsibility of carrying out its construction plans to the Korea Land Corporation, a government-owned construction company that had carried out other large scale construction projects in the country. Throughout the development process there were mass demonstrations of local residents protesting the construction, petitions, and demands for countermeasures against the redevelopment project. Despite these numerous difficulties, through dialogue and compromise residents, construction was completed with little incident. Construction began on August 30, 1989 and was completed on December 31, 1996 at a cost of 4.16 trillion won.

Bundang is one of South Korea's wealthiest and highest developed areas, being the nation's first and largest completely artificial city built in the early 1990s. Many high-rise luxury condos moved in the early 2000s, with a second planned city built in the late 2000s called Pangyo New Town (판교신도시/板橋新都市/PanGyo Sindosi) in the same district. Apartment prices are the second highest in Gyeonggi Province after Gwacheon and 10th highest nationwide, higher than many central Seoul districts such as Mapo-gu or Jongno-gu. Apartments around Pangyo Station and the high-rise luxury condos around Jeongja Station and Sunae Station rival prices in the most expensive areas in the country. Unlike older cities such as Seoul, Bundang has no telephone poles overground, resulting in a clean cityscape with well-designed streets.

Bundang is the headquarters of Korea's leading IT companies such as Naver and KT. Pangyo's Technovalley is home to the country's leading game, entertainment and technology companies such as KakaoTalk, Samsung Techwin, AhnLab, Nexon, NCSOFT and Hancom. Due to its close proximity to Seoul's affluent commercial center, Gangnam District, many residents also commute to Gangnam Station via the Shinbundang Line, which takes only 15 minutes from Jeongja Station. The Bundang Line subway connects many of the city's popular commercial areas to southeast Seoul, Yongin and Suwon. The city has a well-developed bus network reaching Seoul's central districts in 30~40 minutes due to being located at an intersection of Gyeongbu Expressway and Seoul Ring Expressway.

Bundang is home to many Koreans who lived overseas and the European-styled cafe streets serving brunch and pastas in Pangyo Avenue France, Baekhyeon-dong and Jeongja-dong reflect their culture. The city has a high percentage of parks and greenspace, most notably Bundang Central Park and Yuldong Park, which is built around the Bundang lake. Also, there is a jogging course with the 'Tancheon stream'. The Bundang's Seoul National University Hospital is among the largest in South Korea.

The District Office is located at 50 Bundang Avenue/Bundangno, Sunae 1-dong 1-beonji with its postal code: 13594. The current District Officer is Yoon Ki-cheon (unaffiliated). In the other hand, Kim Byung-kwan and Professor Luciano Kim Byung-wook (Minjoo Party) serve as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Kim Byung-kwan represents Seongnam Bundang-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Seohyeon 1~2-dong, Imae 1~2-dong, Yatap 1~3-dong, Pangyo-dong, Sampyeong-dong, Baekhyeon-dong and Unjung-dong) while Prof. Luciano Kim represents Seongnam Bundang-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers  Bundang-dong, Sunae 1~3-dong, Jeongja-dong, Geumgok-dong and Gumi-dong)Seongnam Bundang-gu consists 22 Administrative Precincts on 18 Legal Precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul).

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Seongnam Sujeong-gu, Gyeonggi Province: First Two Districts formed in Seongnam City, Home of Seongnam-Seoul Air Base and Namhan Fortress

Sujeong-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 수정구/壽井區) is a non-autonomous district, located at Northern Bound of Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea. Sujeong is a portmanteau of two precincts in this district, Sujin-dong (수진동/壽進洞) and Bokjeong-dong (복정동/福井洞). It is the home of Seoul-Seongnam Air Base, where this air base is used as a VIP airfield by the President of Republic of Korea, other VIPs and heads of state. The postal codes of Seongnam Sujeong-gu are shown below:
  • 13100 [1279~1301 Daewang-Pangyo Road/DaewangPangyo-ro] to 13148 [8~12 Huimang Avenue 466th Street/Huimangno 466beon-gil]
  • 13259 [412~446 Gongwonno] to 13268 [35~76 Huimang Avenue 533rd Street/Huimangno 533beon-gil]
  • 13270 [340 Gongwonno]
  • 13272 [332 Gongwonno] to 13354 [3~10-1 Sanseong Boulevard 295th Street/Sanseong-daero 295beon-gil]
  • 13379 [3 Sanseong-daero and 2~6 Sujeong Avenue/Sujeongno]
  • 13382 [154 Yeosu Boulevard/Yeosu-daero]
  • 13442 [409~417 Dallae Inner Road/Dallaenae-ro] to 13446 [6~86 Tancheon Avenue 339th Street/Tancheonno 339beon-gil]
  • 13448 [766~768 DaewangPangyo-ro] to 13453 [1~9 Dunto Road 5th Street/Dunto-ro o-beon-gil]
  • 13644 [1003~1061 Heolleung Avenue/Heolleungno] to 13646 [83 Wirye Boulevard/Wirye-daero].

The formation of Seongnam Sujeong-gu started in July 1st 1988 where Seongnam Municipal Government installed its local office that consists administrative precincts of Sinheung-dong, Taepyeong-dong, Sujin-dong, Dandae-dong, Eunhaeng-dong, Bokjeong-dong, Sinchon-dong, Godeung-dong and Siheung-dong. On May 1st 1989, the district administrative system (구제/區制/Guje) was introduced in Seongnam and this city is divided into two districts which are known as Sujeong-gu on West and Jungwon-gu on East. Only Dandae 1-dong, Dandae 4-dong and Eunhaeng 3-dong remained in Sujeong-gu with the rest of its precincts and subsequently changed their precinct names into Dandae-dong, Sanseong-dong and Yangji-dong respectively.

In 1990, Taepyeong 4-dong was formed from the portion of Taepyeong 2-dong. In November 2015, a new precinct which is called Wirye-dong formed from the portion of Bokjeong-dong. A month later, Seongnam Sujeong-gu, Seoul Songpa-gu and Hanam City formed a new town which is called Wirye New Town (위례신도시/慰禮新都市), the combination of Wirye Precincts on three different entities which previously served as the Stronghold of Baekje Kingdom from 18BCE to 475CE during Samguk Period.

The District Office is located at 283 Sujeong Avenue/Sujeongno, Sinheung 2-dong 30-beonji with its postal code: 13259. The current District Officer is Hahn Shin-soo (unaffiliated). In the other hand, Kim Tae-nyeon (Minjoo Party) serves as the district assemblyman for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Seongnam Sujeong-gu consists 16 Administrative Precincts on 17 Legal Precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul).

Seongnam Jungwon-gu, Gyeonggi Province: Administrative Center of Seongnam City and the origins of Seongnam Bundang-gu

Jungwon-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 중원구/中院區) is a non-autonomous district, located at Central Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea. The name of the district is a portmanteau of two precincts in this district, Jungdong (중동/中洞 - nowadays Jungang-dong 중앙동/中央洞) and Sangdaewon-dong (상대원동/上大院洞). Jungwon-gu is the principal municipal seat of Seongnam City, located at Yeosu-dong Precinct. The postal codes of Seongnam Jungwon-gu are shown below:
  • 13149 [584~608 Sanseong Boulevard/Sanseong-daero] to 13258 [21 Simin Road 66th Street/Siminno 66beon-gil]
  • 13345 [UG204-5~244-16 Sanseong Boulevard/Sanseong-daero]
  • 13353 [UG244-13~276-2 Sanseong-daero]
  • 13355 [3~49-1 Gwangmyeong Avenue/Gwangmyeongno] to 13373 [14~26 Seongnam Boulevard 1130th Street/Seongnam-daero 1130beon-gil]
  • 13375 [60~78 Sanseong-daero] to 13378 [147 Yeosu Boulevard/Yeosu-daero]
  • 13381 [182 Yeosu-daero]
  • 13383 [3-1 Dunchon Boulevard 52nd Street/Dunchon-daero 52beon-gil] to 13409 [1-2 Cheil Avenue/Jeillo]
  • 13413 [2558~2590 Gyeongchung Boulevard/Gyeongchung-daero] to 13422 [176~203 Dochon North Avenue/Dochonbuk-ro]
  • 13424 [69~99 Dochon South Avenue/Dochonnam-ro] to 13431 [36-6~61 Seongnam Boulevard 1048th Street/Seongnam-daero 1048beon-gil]
  • 13433 [469 Yanghyeon Avenue/Yanghyeonno and 50~80 Yeosuul Avenue/Yeosuullo]
  • 13436 [459~465 Yanghyeonno] to 13439 [5~13 Yanghyeon Avenue 405th Street/Yanghyeonno 405beon-gil]

The formation of Seongnam Jungwon-gu started in July 1st 1988 where Seongnam Municipal Government installed its local office that consists administrative precincts of Seongnam-dong, Jungdong, Dandae-dong, Eunhaeng-dong, Sangdaewon-dong, Yeosu-dong, Bundang-dong, Imae-dong, Unjung-dong, Geumgok-dong and Pangyo-dong. On May 1st 1989, the district administrative system (구제/區制/Guje) was introduced in Seongnam and this city is divided into two districts which are known as Sujeong-gu on West and Jungwon-gu on East. The annexed precincts and renamed precincts are shown on below, according to Seongnam Municipal Ordinance No. 931 an 932 (precincts in Seongnam Jungwon-gu unless stated):
  • Dandae 1-dong = Dandae-dong, Seongnam Sujeong-gu
  • Dandae 2~3-dong = Geumgwang 1~2-dong
  • Dandae 4-dong = Sanseong-dong, Seongnam Sujeong-gu
  • Eunhaeng 3-dong = Yangji-dong, Seongnam Sujeong-gu

In May 27th 1991, the local office of Bundang was installed in Seongnam Jungwon-gu which consists Bundang-dong, Imae-dong, Unjung-dong, Geumgok-dong and Pangyo-dong as a preparation for the formation of Seongnam Bundang-gu. After that, five precincts were separated from Jungwon-gu to form Seongnam Bundang-gu in September 17th 1991.

In 2001, the Adminstrative Precinct name of Yeosu-dong was changed into Hadaewon-dong, which means 'Lower Daewon Precinct' in English. Six years later (December 13th 2007), Hadaewon-dong was divided into two administrative precincts according to Seongnam Municipal Ordinance No. 2176. That time, Dochon-dong Administrative Precinct was introduced where three legal precincts, Yeosu-dong, Dochon-dong and Galhyeon-dong are included in this new administrative precinct. According to the Seongnam Municipal Ordinance No. 2510, administrative precinct of Jungdong changed its name into Jungang-dong (Central Precinct in English) effective on November 7th 2011.

The District Office is located at 36 Cheil Avenue/Jeillo, Seongnam-dong 3129-beonji with its postal code: 13171. The current District Officer is Park Chang-hoon (unaffiliated). In the other hand, Shin Sang-jin (Saenuri) serves as the district assemblyman for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Seongnam Jungwon-gu consists Eleven Administrative Precincts on Nine Legal Precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul).

Seongju, Northern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of Seongju-Seongsan Yeo Clan and Ancient Capital of Seongsan-Byeokjin Gaya

Seongju (Hangul/Hanja: 성주군/星州郡) is a county located at Southwestern Bound of Northern Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. Seongju literally means "Starry State" (from the Hanja 星(성; Seong) for star, 州(주; Ju) for state) in Sino-Korean Language where the county insignia shows radiant red star over Mount GayaIt is in pentagonal shape overall - sharing the same shape as the state of Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus, Malaysia - surrounded by harboring regions of Habin-myeon and Dasa-eup, Dalseong County of Daegu Metropole and Chilgok County, Northern Gyeongsang on East, Gimcheon City on West, Goryeong and Southern Gyeongsang Province's Geochang and Hapcheon Counties on South. The county is the Ancestral Seat of Seongju-Seongsan Yeo Clan, founded by Yeo Ja-yeol and Yeo Yang-yoo, latter descendants of Yeo Im-cheong - brother of the progenitor of Yeo Clan, Yeo Eo-mae. The postal codes of Seongju County start from 40000 [2~265 Dalchang Alley/Dalchang-gil, Byeokjin-myeon] to 40066 [1~644 Chambyeol Avenue/Chambyeollo, Suryun-myeon].

Its northwest region is divided into two plain regions created with Nakdong River and its tributary watercourses. Sandy soils from Nakdong River and Daega Stream shores are widely distributed throughout the region. Although the region is in temperate, seasonal climate zone, its round valley-shaped topography and inland location displays strong characteristics of continental climate with extreme differences in temperature of summer and winter. The region’s yearly average temperature is 14.1°C, with annual rainfall of 850∼1,300mm that is concentrated during the months of June through September. 

The name of Eumnak (邑洛, walled town) state located in the Seongju area during the Samhan Period is not known. It is also not clear that this state belonged to Jinhan or Byeonhan but this state might have changed its alliance frequently whenever the need arose due to its geographical conditions.

Seongju Area has been widely known as the territory of Seongsan-Byeokjin Gaya written in Samguk Yusa. So the ancient tumulus have been considered to belong to Seongsan Gaya. But after series of archaeological excavations, not only the tomb structure and the plan features but also retrieved artifacts are similar to those of tombs of Silla Kingdom: The ratio of the length to width in tomb chamber is 3:1 in case of Siila tombs and tombs in Seongju area.

There was a special meaning that Seongju was called Seongsan-Byeokjin Gaya written in Samguk Yusa. So the ancient tumulus have been considered to belong to the Confederacy. It was due to specific political situations at that time during the period of the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea or early Goryeo period. However, it is quite difficult to consider that Seongju was absolutely irrelevant to Gaya originally. Therefore, it is understood that Seongju had been incorporated into Gaya temporarily.

In addition the retrieved artifacts excavated from the tombs in Seongju area are similar to those from Silla tombs. Potteries from tombs in Seongju are also similar to those of Silla tombs both in kinds and in types although there are some regional diversities in potteries from Seongju area. Some archaeologists have categorized the unique features of potteries from Seongju area as the Seongju type pottery, which is a variety of Silla potteries.

However, The diadems from Seongju area and its ornamental artifacts are thought to be prestige goods of Silla style distributed by the central government of Silla Kingdom to a local political entity. Therefore the tomb information reveals that the Seongju area belonged to the cultural sphere of Silla Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period and the various potteries from the tombs in Seongju imply that Seongju area had been under the influence of Silla Kingdom or it had been annexed to Silla Kingdom around second part of the sixth century CE along with Daegu area. It is proven that there is no record regarding Seongju after the late 4th century. This is the fact which is clear proven through the archeological materials. It’s because that most of the archeological materials excavated from ancient tombs in Seongju are from Silla, not Gaya.

During the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla (757), the prefectural name of Bonpi-hyeon was changed into Sinan-hyeon. In the final years of Silla Kingdom, Sinan-hyeon changed its name into Byeokjin County (벽진군/碧珍郡). In 940 (23rd Reigning Year of King Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo), Byeokjin County changed its name into Gyeongsan Governorate (경산부/京山府). Forty years later - 6th reigning year of King Gyeongjong Wang Joo (980), it changed its name into Gwangpyeong County (광평군/廣平郡). In 995 (14th reigning year of King Seongjong Wang Chi), it was known as Daeju (대주/岱州and placed a magistrate who administered the county, known as Daejudodallyeonsa (대주도단련사/州都團鍊使).

In 1012 (third reigning year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon), Daejudodallyangsa was dissolved and replaced with Jigyeongsanbusa (지경산부사/知京山府事), the Governor of Gyeongsan Governorate six years later. That time, this Governorate consists of a county and 14 smaller prefectures. The areas of Gyeongsan Governorate are shown on below:
  • Goryeong County (고령군/高靈郡) and Gari Prefecture (가리현/加利縣) = present-day Goryeong County, Northern Gyeongsang
  • Yangmok Prefecture (약목현/若木縣/현 칠곡) and  Palhyeon Prefecture (팔현/八縣)  = present-day Chilgok County, Northern Gyeongsang
  • Indong Prefecture (인동현/仁同縣) = part of Chilgok County and Administrative Precinct of Indong-dong, Gumi City, Northern Gyeongsang
  • Jirye Prefecture (지례현/知禮縣) and Geumsan Prefecture (금산현/金山縣) = present-day Gimcheon City, Northern Gyeongsang
  • Hwanggan Prefecture (황간현/黃澗縣) and Yangsan Prefecture (양산현/陽山縣) = present-day Yeongdong County, Northern Chungcheong
  • Gwanseong Prefecture (관성현/管城縣), AnEup Prefecture (安邑縣/안읍현) and Isan Prefecture (이산현/利山縣) = present-day Okcheon County, Northern Chungcheong
  • Daegu Prefecture (대구현/大丘縣), Hwawon Prefecture (화원현/花園縣) and habin Prefecture (하빈현/河濱縣) = present-day Daegu Metropole

In 1295 (21st Reigning Year of King Chungnyeol), this area changed its name and elevated its status as Protectorate, bearing the name of HeungAn-dohobu (흥안도호부/興安都護府). For the first time, the name of Seongju is used in 1308 where Seongju-mok (성주목/星州牧) was formed in Goryeong County and later included in Gyeongsan Governorate on 1310 (2nd Reigning year of King Chungseon).

In 1400 (First Reigning Year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won of Joseon Dynasty), Seongju-mok was formed after the dissolution of Gyeongsan Governorate. However in 1614, Seongju-mok was dissolved due to Yi Chang-rok's rebellion against King Gwanghae. It was renamed as Sinan Prefecture (신안현/新安縣) and separated from Goryeong County. Later in 1623, King Gwanghae was dethroned by Western Faction and installed Grand Prince NeungYang Yi Jong as the Next King of Joseon Dynasty with his regnal name, King Injo. King Injo restored Seongju-mok and elevated its status as prefecture (Seongju-hyeon) eight years later. The short-lived 23 Governorates Administration System (부제/府制) ended in 1896 where Seongju Prefecture changed its name into Seongju County and included in the present-day Northern Gyeongsang Province.

The County Office is located at 3200 Seongju Avenue/Seongju-ro, Gyeongsan-ri 283-1 beonji, Seongju-eup with its postal code: 40042. The chief of this county is Kim Hang-kon (Saenuri). In the other hand, Lee Wan-young (Saenuri) served as the assemblyman for Goryeong, Seongju and Chilgok Counties in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Seongju County contains a town (eup) and nine communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Hamyang, Southern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of Hamyang Yeo Clan, Home of Two National Parks in Korea and the Black History of Sancheong-Hamyang Massacre

Hamyang (Hangul/Hanja: 함양군/咸陽郡) is a county located at Western Bound of Southern Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. Located at the Southeastern Region of Yeongnam, the county bordered with Namwon City and Jangsu County of Northern Jeolla on West (Honam Region), Geochang and Sancheong Counties of Southern Gyeongsang on East and Hadong County on South. It is the Ancestral Seat of Hamyang Yeo Clan, founded by Yeo Ja-jang and Yeo Jon-hyeok, sons of Yeo Im-cheong - brother of the progenitor of Yeo Clan, Yeo Eo-mae. The postal codes of Hamyang County start from 50000 [27~818-293 DeogYu-Wolseong Avenue/DeogyuWolseongno, Seosang-myeon] to 50057 [3~38 Hajeong Alley/Hajeong-gil, Macheon-myeon].

Located at the cragged terrain within Sobaek Range (Sobaek Sanmaek), Hamyang is flanked with three mountains which are Mount DeogYu (1,614m above sea level), Mount Jiri (1,915m - the second highest mountain in South Korea after Mount Halla in Jeju Island) and Mount Gibaek (1,331m). Only two mountains (Mount Jiri and Mount DeogYu) are gazetted as National Park by Korea National Park Service (국립공원관리공단/國立公園管理公團). Despite of mountainous terrain in this county, Anui Basin on North and Hamyang Basin on South are formed due to mountain erosion. There are two mountain passes that passing from the neighboring Northern Jeolla Province to Hamyang which are Pallyangchi Pass (520m above sea level) and Yuksipchi Pass (640m). Nam River and its tributaries - Wicheon and Imcheon Streams flow from NamdeogYu-san Mountain (1,507m above sea level).

Hamyang was founded during Silla Kingdom Period where it was known as Sokham County (속함군/速含郡) or Hamseong County (함성군/含城郡). During 16th reigning year of King Gyeongdeok (757CE), Hamseong County changed its name into Cheollyeong County (천령군/天嶺郡) and divided into two smaller prefectures, Unbong-hyeon and Ian-hyeon. During the 2nd Reigning Year of King Seongjong Wang Chi of Goryeo Dynasty (983), it changed its name into Heoju County (허주군/許州郡) and placed a magistrate who administered the county, known as Heojudodallyeonsa (허주도단련사/許州都團鍊使). The name of Heoju County was changed into Hamyang Prefecture (含陽縣) during the first reigning year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon (1010), using different Hanja Notation. After that, the first Hanja notation of Hamyang (含 - Cherish in Sino-Korean) changed into which means 'united' in Sino-Korean Language.

Three years after Downfall of Goryeo Dynasty and foundation of Joseon Dynasty by King Taejo Yi Seong-gye (1395), Hamyang Prefecture elevated its status as County and the prefecture of Ian-hyeon changed its name into AnEum-hyeon during the reign of King Taejong Yi Bang-won (later as Anui-hyeon in 1767 - 43rd Reigning Year of King Yeongjo). However, Hamyang County was demoted into Hamyang Prefecture during the reign of King Injo (1629). Hundred years later - during the reign of King Yeongjo (previous-day Prince Yeon-ing Yi Geum), Hamyang elevated its status as Governorate, known as Hamyang-bu (咸陽府). In 1788 (12th Reigning Year of King Jeongjo Yi San the Great), the governorate restored its status into County. However in 1895 (22nd Reigning Year of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu Yi Myeong-bok), Anui-hyeon was separated from Hamyang after elevated its status as County (Anui-gun). The short-lived 23 Governorates Administration System (부제/府制) ended in 1896 where Anui and Hamyang Counties were included in the present-day Southern Gyeongsang Province.

In 1914 - Japanese Colonization Period, Anui County was dissolved. Seven communes of Anui - Hyeonnae-myeon, Hwanggok-myeon, Chojeom-myeon, Daedae-myeon, Jidae-myeon, Seosang-myeon and Seoha-myeon annexed to Hamyang County while the other five communes - Dongni-myeon, Namni-myeon, Gohyeon-myeon, Buksang-myeon and Bukha-myeon annexed to Geochang County. Thus, Hamyang had 13 communes at that time (Wiseong-myeon, Seokbok-myeon, Jigok-myeon, Hyucheon-myeon,  Yurim-myeon, Sudong-myeon, Byeonggok-myeon, Macheon-myeon, Anui-myeon, Daeji-myeon, Seoha-myeon and Seosang-myeon). Then, Daeji-myeon was annexed to Anui-myeon and Wiseong-myeon changed its name into Hamyang-myeon in 1933. Twelve years after Korea gained independence from Japan (1957), Seokbok-myeon annexed to Hamyang-myeon and at the same time, Hamyang-myeon elevated its status as town (읍/邑/eup) and the administration of Hamyang County was focused on Hamyang-eup until today.

Hamyang County records the bleakest moment of Sancheong and Hamyang Massacre (Hangul/Hanja: 산청・함양 양민학살 사건/山清・咸陽良民虐殺事件), a massacre conducted by a unit of the South Korean Army 11th Division during the Korean War. On 7 February 1951, 705 unarmed and innocent citizens in Sancheong and Hamyang, Southern Gyeongsang Province of South Korea were killed. The victims were civilians and 85% of them were women, children and elderly people. The 11th Division also conducted Geochang massacre two days later. The division's commanding general was Choi Deok-sin who later defected to North Korea with his wife, Ryu Mi-young after their exile in the United States.

The County Office is located at 35 Goun Avenue/Gounno, Ullim-ri 31-2 beonji, Hamyang-eup with its postal code: 50036. The chief of this county is Lim Chang-ho (Saenuri). In the other hand, Kang Seok-jin (Saenuri) served as the assemblyman for Sancheong, Hamyang, Geochang and Hapcheon Counties in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Hamyang County contains a town (eup) and 10 communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

MunGyeong, Northern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of the Royal House of Yeongsun Tae and the City which received 'Good News'

MunGyeong (Hangul/Hanja: 문경시/聞慶市) is a city located at Northwestern Bound of Northern Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. The local government, economy, and transportation networks are all centered in Jeomchon Precinct (Ye Olde Jeomchon City), the principal town. Mungyeong has a lengthy history, and is known today for its various historic and scenic tourist attractions. This city is the Ancestral Seat of the Royal House of Yeongsun Tae which is the Royal Household of Balhae Kingdom (698-926) - founded by Dae Jung-sang, father of Dae Jo-yeong (later King Go of Balhae).

The city's name means roughly "hearing good news." The city of MunGyeong was created after Jeomchon City and rural MunGyeong County were combined in 1995. It is now an urban-rural complex similar to 53 other small and medium-sized cities with a population under 300,000 people in South Korea. The postal codes of MunGyeong City start from 36900 [2890-42~3078-54 Geumcheon Avenue/Geumcheonno, Dongno-myeon] to 37003 [223-3~795 Cheonghwa Avenue/Cheonghwa-ro, NongAm-myeon].

MunGyeong extends a total of 40 km from west to east, and 37 from north to south. Its shape very roughly approximates a right triangle, with the hypotenuse corresponding to the peaks of the Sobaek Range. The northern tip is in Dongno-myeon, at 36°52'10'' N latitude. The southern extremity lies in NongAm-myeon, at 36°41'40'' N. The easternmost edge of the city can also be found in Dongno-myeon, at 128°22'42'' E longitude. On the west, MunGyeong comes to an end in GaEun-eup, at 127°52'48'' E.

Mungyeong City stands on the border between Northern Gyeongsang and Northern Chungcheong provinces. On its northern and western borders, it adjoins the Northern Chungcheong districts of Danyang County, Jecheon City, and Chungju City on the north and Goesan County on the northwest. Within Northern Gyeongsang province, MunGyeong adjoins Yecheon County to the east and Sangju City to the south.

The topography of MunGyeong is dominated by the Sobaek Range, which form the line between Northern Gyeongsang and Northern Chungcheong provinces. The city's highest point lies on this line, at 1161-meter Munsu peak of Mount Worak in Dongno-myeon. The city's terrain, cut by numerous valleys, slopes down from the Sobaek peaks toward the valleys of the Nakdong River and its tributary, the Yeong. At their meeting-point in Yeongsun-myeon, the rivers are barely 200 m above sea level. Above the valleys, the soil is thin and outcroppings of igneous or sedimentary bedrock are common. Millions of years of erosion have created spectacular cliffs and escarpments in many areas, some of which have become major attractions for local tourism.

Located in the shadow of the Sobaek Range and west of the Taebaek Range, MunGyeong has a markedly inland climate. The number of frost-free days is significantly lower than it is in more coastal areas of South Korea. Annual temperature fluctuates around 11°C (52°F), and annual rainfall around 1,300 mm (51.2 in). There are roughly 90 days of heavy rain per year, of which about 30 fall during the monsoonal rainy season in July and August.

The Mungyeong area is believed to have been controlled by a mixture of Jinhan and Byeonhan states during the Samhan period in the first centuries of the Common Era. The Jinhan state of Geungi-guk may have been located near Sanyang-myeon. Byeonhan states such as Sabeol-guk and Gosunsi-guk, which probably controlled the Hamchang area of Sangju, may also have extended their control over adjacent areas that are now part of Mungyeong. However, this stage of local history is almost entirely hypothetical, since very little evidence of any kind remains.

At any rate, the rising power of Silla controlled the area by 505. Capitalizing on the territory's strategic potential, Silla set up various mountain fortresses in the area to control movement in and out of western Korea. Control of transit through the area would have gained even greater importance after Silla's 553 seizure of the Han River valley on the western side of the mountains. At this time the low Haneuljae Pass near Mount Poam was probably the favored crossing, in contrast to the higher MunGyeong Saejae pass which came into favor in the Joseon period.

As Silla reorganized its administrative structure under King Seongdeok in 757, the MunGyeong area was placed under the province of Sangju, and divided among various hyeon, or prefectures. During this Unified Silla period the temple of GwanEumsa, of which all but a few traces have vanished, was constructed near Haneuljae in present-day MunGyeong-eup.

In the early Goryeo period, in 983, King Seongjong Wang Chi reorganized local government yet again. Most of MunGyeong remained divided into assorted hyeon, under the central jurisdiction of Sangju. In 1390, MunGyeong-gun (Mungyeong County) begins to appear in the records, although not with its current boundaries.

In the Joseon period, the Eight Provinces were laid out and thus MunGyeong became part of Gyeongsang, which it remains. During later Joseon times, the road from Seoul to Busan was established running over MunGyeong Saejae. Beginning in the 18th century, gates were erected on the road to control traffic and protect travelers from brigandage. These gates are still preserved today.

The first railroads were constructed in the area during the period of Japanese occupation. Jeomchon Station was opened on December 25, 1924. However, the pace of resource extraction did not accelerate greatly until the post-war period, under the first South Korean government led by Syngman Rhee. Construction on the GaEun Line, with the goal of improving access to the coal deposits around GaEun, began on January 18, 1953, before the official end of the Korean War (the line was completed in 1955).

Local self-governance was established in the early years of the Republic of Korea, but abruptly cancelled following the military coup of 1961. After the end of military dictatorship, local representative government was reinstituted in 1991. At that time, the present-day territory of MunGyeong was divided between Jeomchon City and MunGyeong County. The city acquired its present-day borders on January 1, 1995, when the two former units were merged to form MunGyeong City.

The MunGyeong economy during much of the 20th century was based on coal mining. However, these mines were closed in the 1980s, and since then the municipal government has focused on developing tourism, agriculture and light industry in the region. Because of its mountainous condition, most of MunGyeong's land (roughly 75%) is unsuitable for farming. Nonetheless, the agricultural sector continues to play an important role in the local economy as well. Some local produce is sold directly in the area, but most is exported to major urban centers on South Korea. Orchard farming, particularly apple growing plays an important role, with 4.4 km² of land devoted to orcharding.

The local government has set up various institutions to promote agricultural and industrial development, including "agro-industrial complexes" located around the rural districts. These efforts have met with some success, as for example the area under orchard cultivation expanded significantly in the late 1990s.

The culture of Mungyeong is generally speaking similar to that of other rural areas in Gyeongsang province. It is marked by a relatively strong persistence of Korean Confucian values. The city retains ties to traditional arts. Various Korean folksongs, including the Mungyeong Saejae arirang, are distinctive to the district. However, the most intensely promoted art form in the district is Mungyeong's traditional ceramic craft, which dates to the Joseon period and is still practiced by many master potters in the area. The city is also well known for its traditional tea bowl festival since 1999.

Local cuisine, although broadly similar to South Korean cuisine in general, does contain some local flourishes. The North Gyeongsang specialty jjimdak (찜닭), a spicy chicken and noodle dish, and Chuncheon-style chicken galbi are widely available.

Numerous tourist attractions have been promoted throughout the city of Mungyeong. By far the best-known of these around the country is MunGyeong Saejae, the mountain pass where the old road from Busan to Seoul passed over the Sobaek Range and out of the Gyeongsang region. The three gates which controlled traffic on that road are now maintained as tourist attractions.

Various other places around MunGyeong are renowned for their scenery. Among these is the Jinnam Bridge area, which a regional newspaper called the Yeongnam Ilbo once called "one of the eight wonders of Northern Gyeongsang." There are three museums in Mungyeong: the historical museum at MunGyeong Saejae, a ceramics museum nearby, and the Coal Museum in GaEun-eup. Additional local tourist attractions include spas, a shooting range, a paragliding area, and the Gyeongcheon Lake reservoir in the east.

Parkland takes up a significant portion of MunGyeong's total area. The Songnisan National Park covers part of GaEun-eup in the southwest. MunGyeong Saejae is itself a provincial park, covering a substantial area of MunGyeong-eup. Also covering part of MunGyeong-eup and a considerable chunk of Dongno-myeon is Mount Worak National Park.

The municipal government has striven to convert the coal-mining tradition into a tourist attraction as much as possible. For example, a Coal Museum has been set up in GaEun, which was once the heart of the mining district. Likewise, the former GaEun Line railroad has been converted into a bicycle path.

The City Hall is located at 225 Danggyo Avenue/Danggyo-ro, Mojeon-dong 220-beonji, with its postal code: 36982. The mayor of this city is Ko Yoon-hwan (Saenuri). In the other hand, Choi Kyo-il (Saenuri) served as the assemblyman for Yeongju City, Mungyeong City and Yecheon County in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). MunGyeong City contains five Administrative Precincts (행정동) in eleven Legal Precincts (법정동), two towns (eup) and seven communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 


Downtown MunGyeong-Jeomchon Administrative Precinct

My Mouth is on FIRE! - Korean Spicy Trail, Part I: CheongYang, Southern Chungcheong

The chili pepper (also chile pepper or chilli pepper, from Nahuatl chīlli [ˈt͡ʃiːli]) is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. In Australia, Britain, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and in other Asian countries, it is usually known simply as chilli. The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids. That's why the people who ate chili feel the heat and at the same time, it helps them to ease depression and stress. 

Korean Spicy Trail is a column that provides the audiences about cities and counties around Korea which are famous with Chili Pepper. In this column, we will discuss about one of the county in Korea that is famous with chili pepper, CheongYang County.

CheongYang (Hangul/Hanja: 청양군/靑陽郡) is a county in Southern Chungcheong Province, Republic of Korea. Located at the Central Region of Hoseo, the county bordered with Gongju City on East, Boryeong City and Hongseong County on West, Buyeo County on South and Yesan County on North. The postal codes of CheongYang County start from 33300 [9-7~68 Dokgol Alley/Dokgol-gil, Hwaseong-myeon] to 33368 [19~140 Hwasan Avenue/Hwasanno, Jangpyeong-myeon]

As a Southern part of the the Charyeong Range (차령산맥/車嶺山脈/Charyeong Sanmaek), CheongYang flanked with Mount Chilgap (561m above sea level; gazetted as Provincial Park) and Mount Wolsan (575m), Mount Gubong (180m), Mount Woo, Mount Bibong and Mount Daebak. It also boasts a wide range of plain including Jangsu and Ganam Plains. A predominantly rural area, it is known throughout Korea for the spicy chili peppers which are grown there. Another noted local specialties are wolfberry, cherry tomato, melon, chestnut, snake's beard and shiitake mushroom.

In the era of Mahan Confederacy - one of the confederacy during Samhan Period (1st Century BCE to 3rd Century CE), CheongYang was located in Goradopyeong along the Jicheon river and Saroguk (사로국/斯盧國) was located along the Yongcheon Stream. After Mahan Confederacy annexed by Baekje Kingdom during Samguk Period, there are three former prefectures in CheongYang which are Yeolgi-hyeon, Goryangburi-hyeon and Sasiryang-hyeon. The areas which are included in three prefectures (added with the change of prefecture names during Baekje - Silla - Goryeo periods) are shown as below:
  • Yeolgi-hyeon - Yeolseong-hyeon - Jeongsan-hyeon = Jeongsan-myeon, Mok-myeon, Cheongnam-myeon and Jangpyeong-myeon (East Mount Chilgap)
  • Goryangburi-hyeon - Cheongjeong-hyeon - CheongYang-hyeon = Cheongyang-eup, Daechi-myeon, Ungok-myeon and part of Namyang-myeon (West Mount Chilgap)
  • Sasiryang-hyeon - Sillyang-hyeon - Yeoyang-hyeon = Bibong-myeon, Hwaseong-myeon and a part of Janggok-myeon in the present-day Hongseong County

In the reign of King Seongjong Wang Chi, the administrative district was changed into 10 Provinces (도/道), 12 States (주/州) and 510 Prefectures (현/縣). In the 9th reigning year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon (1018), according to the local administrative reform, CheongYang Prefecture was included into Cheonan Governorate. It was later integrated into Yanggwang Province and finally it was called Chungcheong Province in the 5th Reigning year of King Gongmin (1355). 

In the 13th year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won, (1413) there were two prefecture in that area which were Cheongyang-hyeon and Jeongsan-hyeon. In the 5th year of King Hyeonjong Yi Yeon (1664), according to the local administration reform, Cheongyang-hyeon was integrated into Jeongsan-hyeon. In the 32nd year of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu Yi Myeong-bok (1895), Cheongyang-hyeon and Jeongsan-hyeon were re-separated and the both became Cheongyang-gun and Jeongsan-gun. CheongYang-gun had 9 communes (면/面) including Dongsang, Dongha, Seosang, Seoha, Namsang, Namha, Buksang and Bukha. While Jeongsan-gun had 8 communes which includes Daebak, Baekgok, Bokdong, Inghwadal, Cheongso, Jangchon, Gwanhyeon and Jeokgok.

Four years after the Annexation of Korean Empire by Japanese Imperialists, Cheongyang-gun and Jeongsan-gun were integrated into one according to the land reform in 1914. As a result of the integration of CheongYang-Jeongsan counties, 10 communes and 115 villages (리/里) were newly created that included diverse communes across Hongju-gun (Hongseong-gun), Gongju-gun (Gongju-si), Buyeo-gun and Daeheung-gun (Yesan-gun). In 1942, Cheongjang-myeon was renamed as Cheongnam-myeon and Eumnae-myeon as CheongYang-myeon. In 1979, CheongYang-myeon was elevated its status as a town (읍/邑) and became CheongYang-eup, a town which is served for the Principal Seat of CheongYang County.

The County Office is located at 222 MunhwaYesul-ro, Songbang-ri 100-beonji, CheongYang-eup with its postal code: 33323. The chief of this county is Lee Seok-hwa (Saenuri). In the other hand, Chung Jin-suk (Saenuri) served as the assemblyman for Gongju City, Buyeo and CheongYang Counties in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020).  CheongYang County contains a town (eup) and 9 communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Incheon Yeonsu-gu: Area of the Former Incheon Nam-gu and International Business Hub in Incheon Metropole

Gamo Clan Insignia represents two cranes facing each other. These two cranes are representing for Incheon Metropole and Incheon Yeonsu-gu because they are the official birds of these entities.
Yeonsu-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 연수구/延壽區) is a district in Southern Incheon Metropole, Republic of Korea. To the east is Incheon Namdong-gu, on its north border is Incheon Nam-gu, and the Yellow Sea (West Sea/Seohae) is on the west and south sides. Mount Munhak rises in the north, and Seunggi Stream (승기천/承基川/Seunggi-cheon) flows south to the Yellow Sea. The postal code of Incheon Yeonsu-gu start from 21900 [123~160 Dokbae Avenue/Dokbae-ro] to 22014 [23 Harmony Road 303rd Street/Hamoni-ro 303beon-gil].

Yeonsu-gu is located on the coast that is 32km west from Seoul, the capital of Republic of Korea. It is a dynamic city where 300 million people live together on the land having an area of 45.568 sq km. It was formed surrounding Neungheodae Pavilion (능허대/凌虛臺) that embraces the unique historical tradition of the early Baekje Period when the bilateral relations between Baekje and China was vitalized. As a newly rising city adjacent to the outskirt of Incheon Metropole that is equipped with beautiful sea and cities surrounded by pleasant natural environment, it is being developed as the center of Northeast Asia while building a new port connected to the Port of Incheon.

Yeonsu-gu is divided into a typical residential city that is formed by modern urban development plan and into a garden city that harmonizes natural forest, green space, and large-scale apartment complexes, having the shoreline that boosts the beautiful glow of the setting sun and Mount Cheongnyang and Mount Munhak, which are the famous mountains in Incheon, as the boundary. 

According to the Revised Version of the Augmented Survey of Korea (신증동국여지승람/新增東國輿地勝覽/Sinjeung Dongguk Yeoji Seungnam), the first name of Incheon was Michuhol which was named by Prince Biryu, the elder brother of King Onjo, the founder of Baekje, who settled down there. Incheon was the main target of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla to scramble for in the era of Three Kingdoms a.k.a Samguk Period. It had many changes in the territory to belong to and in the 14th year of King Jinheung of Silla (553CE), it belonged to Hansan-ju which was a new state of Silla. In the period of King Gyeongdeok, it was called Soseong Prefecture as the administrative center of Yuljin County. 

In the 9th year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon of Goryeo (1018), it belonged to Soo-ju, and in the period of King Sukjong Wang Ong, it was raised to Gyeongwon County since it was hometown of Queen In-ae of Incheon Yi Clan. Then, this county placed a magistrate which is known as Ji-in-ju-sa because it was also the hometown of Queen Sundeok of the same clan in the period of King Injong Wang Hae. In the 2nd reigning year of King GongYang (1390), it was elevated to Gyeongwon Governorate. After the downfall of Goryeo Dynasty and the foundation of Joseon Dynasty by King Taejo Yi Seong-gye, it was called Inju. After that, it was named Incheon County in the 13th year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won, and in the 6th year of King Sejo, it was promoted as a Incheon Protectorate since it was hometown of Queen Soheon of Cheongsong Shim Clan, King Sejo's Mother and consort of King Sejong the Great. 

The Yeonsu-gu area was including the villages of Ongam-ri, Meokam-ri, Manghae-ri, Dongmak-ri, Cheokjeon-ri, Hanjin-ri, Hambak-ri, Ya-dong and Ok-dong of Meonugeum-myeon, Incheon Protectorate, and was included in expanded Incheon Governorate administrative area. During Japanese Colonial Period, it was reincluded in Munhak-myeon of Bucheon County (present-day Bucheon City, Gyeonggi Province) in 1914. Since the introduction of district administration system of Incheon in 1968Ongnyeon-dong, Seonhak-dong, Yeonsu 1~2-dong, Cheonghak-dong and Dongchun-dong are included in Incheon Nam-gu. According to the Article 4802 of Law on December 16th 1994, these precincts were annexed and on March 1st 1995, Yeonsu-gu opened its District Office which includes 5 legal precincts and 8 administrative precincts. 

On May 1st 1996, Dongchun 2-dong was divided into Dongchun 2-dong and Cheongnyang-dong. On March 1st 2003, Ongnyeon-dong was divided into Ongnyeon 1-dong and Ongnyeon 2-dong. On December 18th 2003, the administrative name of Cheongnyang-dong was changed to Dongchun 3-dong. On January 1st 2007, Dongchun 2-dong was divided into Dongchun2-dong and Songdo-dong. On January 1st 2012, Songdo-dong was divided into Songdo 1-dong and Songdo 2-dong. In addition, Yeonsu Cheonghak Library was opened in July 27th 2012.

The District Office is located at 115 Woninjae Avenue/Woninjae-ro, Dongchun 3-dong 923-5 beonji with its postal code: 21967. The mayor of this district is Lee Jae-ho (Saenuri). While Park Chan-dae (Minjoo Party) and Min Kyung-wook (Saenuri) serve as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Park Chan-dae represents for Incheon Yeonsu-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Ongnyeon 2-dong, Seonhak-dong, Yeonsu 1~3-dong, Cheonghak-dong and Dongchun 3-dong) while Min Kyung-wook represents for Incheon Yeonsu-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Ongnyeon 1-dong, Dongchun 1~2-dong and Songdo 1~3-dong).

Incheon Yeonsu-gu now consists 13 administrative precincts (행정동) on 6 legal precincts (법정동) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Gumi, Northern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of Indong-Oksan Jang Clan, Industrial Hub in Daegu-Gyeongbuk Region, Hometown of President Park Chung-hee and Starting Point of Saemaul Movement

Gumi (Hangul/Hanja: 구미시/龜尾市) is the second largest city in Northern Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. It is located on the Nakdong River, half way between Daegu Metropole and Gimcheon, also lies on the Interstate 1: Gyeongbu Expressway and Gyeongbu Line railway which are the principal traffic routes of the country. Gumi is located 277km south of Seoul Special City and 167km north of Busan Metropole. The postal code of Gumi City start from 39100 [12-2~168 Mudeung 1st Street/Mudeung 1(il)-gil, Mueul-myeon] to 39458 [215~550-45 Janggun Avenue/Janggunno, Jangcheon-myeon].

The city has the largest inland industrial complex (24.7 sq m) and covers an area of 615 sq m, occupying 3.2% of the entire province’s land area. It is an industrial center of the country with many companies, including Samsung Electronics and LG Display. The primary industries are electronics, textiles, fibers, rubber, plastic and metal products. In Gumi, 1,772 companies employ over 80,000 workers. It is the largest scale in Korea. In 2009, the city exported the largest amount in the country and accounted for 96.9% of trade surplus of Korea in 2000 to 2009. 

Gumi has a long history and traditions as the birthplace of Korea’s culture and values. Excavations in the Gumi region near the Nakdong river have revealed ancient tombs and artifacts dating back to the Gaya period and indicate that the region is indeed the origin of Korea’s ancient culture. During the Silla kingdom period, Buddhism was first introduced to Koreans in this region, and the first Korean Buddhist Temple, Dorisa, was also founded here. The Joseon period saw a great flourishing of Seongrihak (Neo-Confucianism) in this region, home to many scholars such as Ya-eun Gil Jae, Gangho Kim Sukja, and Jeompiljae Kim Jongjik, and patriots including Ha Wiji, one of the six martyred ministers (Sayukshin), Lee Maengjeon, one of the six loyal subjects, and Heo Wi, a patriotic general during the last years of Joseon.

In the Three Kingdoms period, Gumi was a territory of Silla Kingdom where this area was known as Ilseon County (일선군/一善郡). In 614 (36th Reigning Year of King Jinpyeong), it changed its name into the State of Ilseon (일선주/一善州/Ilseon-ju). After the Unification under Silla Period, Ilseon-ju was dissolved in 687 (7th Reigning Year of King Sinmun). In 757, King Gyeongdeok revamped the administrative divisions of Silla where Ilseon County became Sungseon County (숭선군/崇善郡) and Sadonghwa Prefecture (사동화현/斯同火縣) changed its name into Indong Prefecture (인동현/仁同縣).

In 995, King Seongjong Wang Chi - 6th King of Goryeo Dynasty changed the name of Sungseon-gun into Seonju (선주/善州). During the 9th Reigning Year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon (1018), Indong Prefecture was absorbed into Gyeongsan Governorate (경산부/京山府 - present-day Seongju County). In 1143 (21st Reigning year of King Injong Wang Hae), Seonju changed its name into Ilseon Prefecture (일선현/一善縣) and led by a officer which is called Jiseonjusa (지선주사/知善州事). In 1390 (2nd Reigning Year of King GongYang), a magistrate office (감무/監務/gammu) was built at Indong Prefecture.

During the reign of King Taejong Yi Bang-won of Joseon Dynasty, Seonju County changed its name into Seonsan County (선산군/善山郡). Fortunately, Seonsan and Indong Counties were become the protectorates (Seonsan-dohobu and Indong-dohobu). According to the Revised Version of the Augmented Survey of Korea (신증동국여지승람/新增東國輿地勝覽), Gumi is known as Gumyeo (구며) and consists of Upper Gumi (상구미/上龜尾) and Lower Gumi (하구미/下龜尾). The old name of Gumi City, Gumyeo was also recorded in the Goryeo Chronicles (고려사/高麗史), Annals of Joseon Dynasty - King Sejong the Great's Chapter (조선왕조실록-세종장헌대왕실록/朝鮮王朝實錄-世宗莊憲大王實錄) and Great King Sejong's Annals of Geography (세종실록 지리지/世宗實錄地理志). The old name of Gumyeo is changed into Gumi (구미/龜尾) because it is utilizing Idu Script. The former Seonsan and Indong Counties were colloquially known as Hwaui and Oksan Counties respectively.

In the past, agriculture, mainly in Seonsan County, was the backbone of Gumi’s industry. However, supported by the government’s early 1970s export-driven growth policy, the Gumi National Industrial Complex was founded and set Gumi on the road to becoming a city with Korea’s largest inland high-tech export-oriented industrial complex. 

Currently, Gumi has four national industrial complexes which cover 24.3 sq km and include the Goa, Haepyeong, and Sandong agricultural industrial parks and small-sized plants, where about 3,200 businesses operate and 110,000 people are employed. The industrial complexes mainly produce semiconductors, mobile phones, LCDs, and displays. In 1999, Gumi became the first industrial complex in Korea to surpass the 10-billion dollar mark in exports in the high-tech electronics and IT industries. In 2005, Gumi’s exports reached the 30-billion dollar mark, representing 6% of the nation’s exports. In addition, the city has per capital GRDP of $56,826 as of 2012, which is the highest among elementary-level local governments with a population over 300,000. With the creation of Gumi’s fifth national industrial complex called High-tech Valley covering 9.34 sq km and an expanded national industrial complex with an area of 2.46 sq m across Sandong-myeon and Haepyeong-myeon, which will serve as the city’s future growth engines, Gumi will become a single huge industrial empire covering 37.7 sq km. 

Gumi City has diversified from high-tech IT industries like mobile and display into new growth ones, including carbon fiber, auto parts, electronic medical devices, national defense, and renewable energy. The city is strengthening business support and R&D functions such as Gumi Electronics & Information Technology Research Institute and Gyeong-buk Creative Economy Innovation Center. It also created Geumo Techno Valley centering on the former Kumoh National Institute of Technology, which will evolve into a global hub for future growth industries with competitive advantages. 

In April 2010, Gumi announced its intention to become the country’s first “Carbon Zero City”. Since then the city has implemented the Planting 10 Million Trees movement and other activities to become a green city, such as building a bike-friendly center city and adopting the world’s first-ever wirelessly-charged electric buses. Furthermore, to revitalize the Nakdong River and its riverside into a premier waterfront park, the city has developed the “7 Scenes and 6 Amusements for the Nakdong River” project and begun to implement it in phases.

Gumi’s agricultural industry is producing rice, yacón, mushrooms, melons, paprika, and Sujeom chestnut sweet potatoes. Marketed under the brand of Gumi’s specialty foods, these products are popular across the country. In addition, Gumi is becoming a high-tech agricultural city with the help of systemic support from Gumi City Agriculture Technology Extension Center and agricultural wholesale markets.

Furthermore, in 2008, Gumi was designated as a global special education area aimed at building the foundation for global talent cultivation. The city has since cultivated highly skilled talent and established Gumi Municipal Scholarship Foundation to raise funds of 100 trillion South Korean Won. It is now evolving into a city of top-notch education.

By implementing local governance, Gumi City has undergone various changes to unleash its unlimited growth potential. The city has now become a leading force behind Korea’s economic success and the center of Northern Gyeongsang. In recent national and international assessments, the city has been recognized as a competitive and leading city in Korea by winning the grand prize at the National Local Governments’ Welfare Policy Evaluation (outstanding performance for 10 consecutive years), winning the grand prize at the 10th Regional Industrial Policy Awards, ranking first among cities of Korea in performance of Globalization and also in competitiveness evaluation at the Korea Local-autonomy Competitiveness Indices.

The city hall is located at 55 Songjeong Boulevard/Songjeong-daero, Songjeong-dong 50-beonji with its postal code: 39281. The current City Mayor is Nam Yoo-jin (Saenuri). While Park Seung-joo and Jang Seok-choon (Saenuri) serve as the city assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Park Seung-joo represents Gumi-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Songjeong-dong, Wonpyeong 1~2-dong, Jisan-dong, Doryang-dong, SeonjuWonnam-dong, Hyanggok 1~2-dong, Gongdan 1~2-dong, Gwangpyeong-dong, SangmoSagok-dong, Imo-dong, Sinpyeong 1~2-dong and Bisan-dong) while Jang Seok-choon represents Gumi-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Seonsan-eup, Goa-eup, Mueul-myeon, Okseong-myeon, Dogae-myeon, Haepyeong-myeon, Sandong-myeon, Jangcheon-myeon, Indong-dong, Jinmi-dong, Yangpo-dong). Gumi City consists two towns (eup), six communes (myeon), 19 Administrative Precincts on 30 legal precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).


Downtown Gumi