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Monday, 18 July 2016

Seoul Eunpyeong-gu: The Poorest District in Seoul

Eunpyeong-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 은평구/恩平區) is a district located in Northwestern Seoul Special City, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Goyang DeogYang-gu, Gyeonggi Province on West and North, Administrative Precinct of Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu on East, Seoul Seodaemun-gu on Southeast and South and Administrative Precinct of SangAm-dong, Seoul Mapo-gu on Southwest. The name of the district is a portmanteau of two boroughs within the walls in Seoul-Hanyang during Joseon Period, YeonEun-bang (연은방/延恩防) and Sangpyeong-bang (상평방/上平防). The postal codes of Seoul Eunpyeong-gu start from 03300 [2 Mount Bukhan Road/Bukhansanno] to 03506 [10~48 Jeungsan West Lane/JeungsanSeo-gil]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 서(SEO) 1000~9999.

Eunpyeong-gu is considered one of the poorest districts of Seoul. The Korean Association of Land Appraisal shows that apartment prices in Eunpyeong-gu were the lowest among all other districts in Seoul in 1998. The site of a redevelopment campaign in Eunpyeong-gu will provide some 15,000 new apartments between 2006 and 2009. In November 2006, it was announced that Eunpyeong will be the site of a planned ubiquitous city, which will display the latest in information and communication technologies.

Groups of clans began to settle down in Eunpyeong-gu in the Stone Age. As part of Seoul, the area of Eunpyeong-gu was called Wiryeseong in the Baekje period, Sinju in the pre-unification Silla Dynasty, Hansanju in the period of united Silla, and Hanju in the seventh reigning year of King Gyeongdeok (757). Later, Hanyang County was set up in today's Seoul area, from which Hanyang (another name for Seoul) has originated. 

During Goryeo Dynasty, Hanyang County was called Yangju, which was changed to Namgyeong in the 21st reigning year of King Munjong Wang Hwi (1087). The area was one of three geographically important locations along with Seogyeong (Pyongyang, DPRK) and Donggyeong (Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang). Then, the area was renamed as Hanyang Governorate in the 34th reigning year of King Chungnyeol (1308).

In 1394 (3rd Reigning Year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye of Joseon Dynasty), King Taejo Yi Seong-gye moved the capital from Gaegyeong to Hanyang Governorate and was renamed as Hanseong Governorate. The area of Seoul was reorganized with new administrative units of 5 Governorates (bu) and 52 boroughs (bang). The 5 bu (East, West, South, North, and Central) is similar to districts or wards (gu) in the present-day, and Eunpyeong-gu belonged to YeonEun-bang and Sangpyeong-bang in the north, from which the name 'Eunpyeong-gu' has originated.

After Japan's annexation of Korea, Hanseong Governorate became Gyeongseong Governorate, and new administrative units of 5 bu, 35 bang (within the wall), and 8 myeon (outside the wall) were applied according to the Gyeonggi Provincial Decree No.3 in April 1st 1911. In December 1913, the Japanese Colonial Government reorganized locations of each provinces, jurisdictions, and names of governorates and county, which began to be applied in April of the following year according to General Decree No. 111. As a result, Eunpyeong-myeon within jurisdiction over 36 smaller precincts and villages was installed in the area of YeonEun-bang and Sangpyeong-bang.

At that time, the jurisdiction of Gyeongseong Governorate was significantly reduced, allowing Eunpyeong-myeon to be separated and became part of Goyang County (present-day Goyang City), Gyeonggi Province. The Japanese Government General Decree No. 8 on February 14th 1936 modified the jurisdiction of Gyeongseong-bu by installing 5 villages (HongjeOe-ri, HongjeNae-ri, Buam-ri, Hongji-ri, and Sinyeong-ri) in Eunpyeong-myeon. In July 1940 the Seobu Local Office was set up in the area. 

In June 1943 the Seobu Local Office was closed by the Gyeongseong-bu Decree No. 163, and the gu system was implemented, converting Yongsan Local Office into Yongsan-gu, Dongbu Local Office into Dongdaemun-gu and Seongdong-gu, Seobu Local Office into Seodaemun-gu, and Yeongdeungpo Local Office into Yeongdeungpo-gu. Within four major gates, Jongno-gu and Jung-gu were set up, leading to establishment of a total of 7 gu. In October, part of Yeonhui-myeon was combined with Gyeongseong-bu, parts of Seodaemun-gu and Yongsan-gu were separated, and Mapo-gu was newly established. As a result, Gyeongseong Governorate contains 8 districts. 

After the liberation from Japan in 1945, Gyeongseong Governorate became Seoul City in September 1946, which was separated from Gyeonggi Province, and raised to the status of Seoul Special City, according to USAMGIK Ordinance No. 106. In August 13th 1949, 11 villages of Eunpyeong-myeon, Goyang County and 7 villages of Yeonhui-myeon were incorporated into the city, which was governed by Eunpyeong Local Office, according to the Presidential Decree No. 161. At that time, Eunpyeong-gu was included in Seoul. 

On March 12th 1973, the law (No. 2569) Gupabal-ri and Jingwannae/oe-ri, Sindo-myeon, Goyang County, Gyeonggi Province incorporated into Seoul, starting from July 1st, which became a jurisdiction of Eunpyeong-gu, according to Law No. 2569. On October 1st 1979, the Presidential Decree No. 9630 separated area from Seodaemun-gu, closing the local office, which is the beginning of today's Eunpyeong-gu. Now, Eunpyeong-gu has 11 administrative precincts on 16 legal precincts as shown on the map in the end of article (in Hangul and Hanja).

The District Office is located at 195 Eunpyeong Avenue/Eunpyeongno, Nokbeon-dong 84-beonji with its postal code: 03384. The mayor of this district is Kim Woo-young (Minjoo Party). In the other hand, Park Joo-min and Kang Byung-won (Minjoo Party) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Park Joo-min represents Seoul Eunpyeong-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Nokbeon-dong, EungAm 1~3-dong, Yeokchon-dong, Sinsa 1~2-dong, Jeungsan-dong and Susaek-dong), while Kang Byung-won represents Seoul Eunpyeong-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers  Bulgwang 1~2-dong, Galhyeon 1~2-dong, Gusan-dong, Daejo-dong and JinGwan-dong).

Seoul Dobong-gu: Northernmost District in Seoul and Home of Mount Dobong and Dobong Seowon

Dobong-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 도봉구/道峰區) is a district located in Northern Seoul Special City, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Uijeongbu City, Gyeonggi Province on North, Seoul Nowon-gu on East, Seoul Gangbuk-gu on South and West and Jangheung-myeon, Yangju City, Gyeonggi Province on Northwest. The geography on this area is dominated by Mount Dobong (740m above sea level at Jaun Peak), which is the namesake of the district. Dobong Seowon Confucian Academy is located on the foot of Mount Dobong in this district. The postal codes of Seoul Dobong-gu start from 01300 [88-13~88-17 Dobong Avenue 191st Street/Dobongno 191-gil] to 01489 [325~339-23 Madeul Avenue/Madeullo]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 머(MEO) 1000~9999.

It is assumed that humans have lived in Dobong-gu since the prehistoric age, but the assets or traces from that period have not yet been discovered. Considering this area is part of the Han River Valley of Seoul, this area may be included to the Han River Valley prehistoric cultural area.

Seoul, which is located in the lower stream of Han River has been the arena of competition among forces of three nations in Samguk Period, and it was first recorded in the history in the reign of King Goi (Reigned: 234 to 286), the 8th king of Baekje, when Baekje was expanding its territory from Han River to the south and the north, after completing its national structure as an ancient nation. As Dobong-gu has been a strategically important spot in terms of national defense since the ancient times, and it has an ideal condition for agricultural activities where water flows in front of the town backed by mountains, various nations have fiercely competed to preoccupy this area. 

After Baekje ruled this area under the name of Hanseong, the area became the territory of Goguryeo under the policy of southward movement of King Jangsu. In accordance with Gunhyeonje (군현제/郡縣制), the administrative system of Goguryeo, Maeseong County (Changhwa) was established in the present Dobong-gu and Yangju County sites. After ruled by Baekje again, the area became the territory of Silla. Yangju County (present-day Yangju City, Gyeonggi Province) including the present Dobong-gu.

King Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo renamed Naeso County as Gyeonju, and also renamed Hanyang County as Yangju. The governor of Yangju had jurisdiction over Gyeonju. In 1081 (9th Reigning Year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon), Gyeonju was incorporated into Yangju. In 1394 (3rd Reigning Year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye of Joseon Dynasty), the capital (Hanseong Governorate) was set up in Yangju, and the rest of Yangju area including the present Dobong-gu remained as Yangju. Two years later, names of five districts of Hanseong-bu were designated and boundary stones were established. Some parts of Dobong-gu were incorporated to Sungshinbang of Dongbu. It means that Dobong-gu was partially included to the outer district of Hanseong Governorate in the Joseon period. On Yeojidoseo (여지도서/輿地圖書), a compilation of the maps of the overall capital area published in times of King Yeongjo, two communes which are Nowon-myeon and Haedeungchon-myeon, belong to Dobong-gu.

In 1895 (32nd Reigning Year of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu Yi Myeong-bok), Yangju County was placed under jurisdiction of Hanseong County became the 3rd County of Gyeonggi Province under the royal order on the 13 Provinces Administration System. In 1912, when Korea was colonized by Japanese Imperialists, Nowon-myeon and Haedeungchon-myeon still belonged to Yangju County. Two years later, Nowon-myeon and Haedeungchon-myeon were incorporated into Nowon-myeon, and then the current geographical names such as Chang-dong, Dobong-dong, Banghak-dong, and Ssangmun-dong were designated. 

On August 13th, 1949, when four years had passed since the liberation, the districts of Seoul were expanded. The areas newly incorporated from Sungin-myeon, Goyang County to Seoul, and some parts of Dongdaemun-gu were all incorporated into Seongbuk-gu, and Sungin District Office had jurisdiction over Dobong-gu.  On January 1st, 1963, some area of Nohae-myeon, Yangju County was incorporated into Seongbuk-gu, and newly built Nohae District Office of Seongbuk-gu had jurisdiction over Dobong-dong, Banghak-dong, Ssangmun-dong, and Chang-dong.

On July 1, 1973, Dobong-gu was newly designated with jurisdiction over 22 administrative dongs by incorporating areas managed by Sungin District Office and Nohae District Office. The number of precincts in Dobong-gu increased to 35 in 1979 and Nowon-gu was separated from Dobong-gu on January 1st 1988. On March 1st 1995, 18 precincts including Mia-dong, Suyu-dong, and Beon-dong were separated from Dobong-gu to be designated as Gangbuk-gu, and 15 dongs including the legal precincts of Ssangmun-dong, Banghak-dong, Chang-dong, and Dobong-dong formed in the present day.

The District Office is located at 656 Madeul Avenue/Madeullo, Banghak 1-dong 720-beonji with its postal code: 01331. The mayor of this district is Stephen Lee Dong-jin (Minjoo Party). In the other hand, Elisabeth Yin Jae-keun (Minjoo Party) and Kim Seon-dong (Saenuri) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Elisabeth Yin represents Seoul Dobong-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Ssangmun 1-dong, Ssangmun 3-dong and Chang 1~5-dong), while Kim Seon-dong represents Seoul Dobong-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Ssangmun 2-dong, Ssangmun 4-dong, Banghak 1~3-dong and Dobong 1~2-dong). Seoul Dobong-gu consists 14 administrative precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja):

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Seoul Mapo-gu: K-Popping District of Seoul and Korean Catholics Execution Site during late Joseon Period

Mapo-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 마포구/麻浦區) is a district located at Western Seoul-upon-Han, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Seoul Yongsan-gu and Seoul Jung-gu on East, DeogEun-dong Administrative Precinct, Goyang DeogYang-gu, Gyeonggi Province on West, Seoul Gangseo-gu and Seoul Yeongdeungpo-gu on South - separated with Han River and Seoul Seodaemun-gu and Seoul Eunpyeong-gu on North. The name "Mapo" comes from the name of an old ferry across the Han River, and can roughly be translated as "hemp ferry." The postal codes of Seoul Mapo-gu start from 03900 [1~3 Gayang Boulevard/Gayang-daero] to 04214 [1~13 Old Mallijae Street/Mallijaeyet-gil]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 저(JEO) 1000~9999.

Seoul Mapo-gu is well known to Hongdae area, the place where the university students - especially from Hongik University and Sogang University spend their leisure and night life after hectic lecture period. Seoul-SangAm World Cup Stadium at 240 World Cup Road, Seongsan-dong 515-beonji is the home turf of FC Seoul in K-League Classic and Korean Republic National Football Team which became the opening venue of FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan in 2002. Furthermore, media broadcasting companies such as Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) are located at Digital Media City, Sangam-dong - along with K-pop label companies including CJ E&M, YG Entertainment, Woollim Entertainment, A Cube Entertainment and Star Empire Entertainment.

A nation which first occupies the Han River area gained supremacy in the period of Samguk Period. For example, a fraction of Goguryeo immigrants of Buyeo by descent moved south and built the country system by conquering and assimilating the existing native society, and the country was called Baekje. Baekje encroached on the field of activity of the existing people of Mahan and extended its power to a nearby political force through conquest, stood face to face with the pressure of Nangnang and Daebang Commanderies and a southward invasion of the northeast force in the time of King Onjo.

Goguryeo attacked Han River area changing the territory into the southern regions from the north, west coast and gained about 58 fortresses and 700 hamlets. Then, the forces of King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo advanced to Seoul-Hanseong about 40,000 armies and militias attacked the northern side of Baekje and gained 10 fortresses such as Seokhyeonseong, and Gwammiseong, which was lasted for four years. 20th King of Goguryeo, King Jangsu gained total control of Hanseong in 475 by encircling the fortress and killing King Gaero, 21st King of Baekje. The following year after the Siege of Hanseong, King Munju, son of King Gaero and 22nd King of Baekje moved its capital from Hanseong to Ungjin (present-day Gongju City, Southern Chungcheong Province).

Meanwhile, King Jinheung of Silla set up 10 militaries in midstream and upstream of the Han River in 551. The Silla forces advanced into the Han River basin came to be a basis of the domination of Three States and set up the administrative district to control the Han River area in 557. The Silla named a district with Seoul as the center Bukhansanju or Sinju and repeated the rule and abolition of the district several times. The meaning of Sinju includes the most important region for defensive reason, too. The districts of Seoul were renamed as Hanyang county instead of renaming Hansanju into ‘Hanju’ when King Gyeongdeok ruled in 757. Since then, Mapo area became the place where ships are harbored in Seoul from Yellow Sea.

However during the Turbulent Later Three Kingdoms period, Han River area became  the site of rivalry among local barons in the end of the Silla. Gung Ye, one of the Yang Gil’s men, among the barons submitted about 10 castles to the jurisdiction of Hansanju and appointed public office in 895, since then, this area came to be ruled by Gung Ye and formed a new kingdom which is called HuGoguryeo-Taebong (Later Goguryeo-Taebong).

Gung Ye moved to Gaeseong and pushed on Chungju and Cheongju after taking about 30 castles within the jurisdiction of Hwanghae Province and Hansanju. Then, he renamed Gaeseong into ‘Majin’ (the name of country was changed as Taebong in 911) and called the era name of ‘Mutae’. He moved the capital to Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province and expanded his power from south to Sangju, Northern Gyeongsang. At that time, Gung Ye had to cross the Han River to push into the south because there were current Gwangjang Bridge, Hangang Bridge, and Mapo Bridge. However, his influence was short-lived. In 918, four of his own top generals – Hong Yu (홍유/洪儒), Bae Hyeon-gyeong (배현경/裵玄慶), Shin Sung-gyeom (신숭겸/申崇謙) and Bok Jigyeom (복지겸/卜智謙) – overthrew Taebong and enthroned Wang Geon, one of Gung Ye's followers and the previous chief minister, of his nation, as king with his regnal name of Taejo. Gung Ye is said to have escaped the palace, but was killed shortly thereafter either by a soldier or by peasants who mistook him for thief.

The 27th King of Goryeo, King Chungsuk with Princess Jo Guk-jang visited to Hanyang in August 1325 and temporary palace was set up at the spot overlooking the Han River on the hill of Yongsan and stayed there. However, the princess passed away 9 days after she gave a birth to a son, Prince Yongsan 20 days later. Even though the queen died of the poor postpartum care because the temporary shelter was provided by the humid river, the spot has very important meaning in terms of the temporary palace that they used.

Rumors about the location of the temporary palace of Yongsan are ambiguous. The most reliable one among the rumors is that the location is near the north of the Han River Bridge and near Nanjido. Because the northern end of Han River Bridge was a strategically significant for the Joseon Dynasty Defense and the neighborhood of Nanjido was a place that a castle was built as a mountain in Joseon Dynasty period to light a signal fire from Yangcheon.

Meanwhile in the latter times of Goryeo Period, Japanese pirates appeared in Ganghwa Island, including the lower areas of Han River. The pirates threatened the marine connection and caused the residents to evacuate to the safest place. The Han River was used as marine transportation carrying the local taxes in Goryeo Dynasty, but the transportation was blocked due to the invaders. This situation had an effect on Gaegyeong (Gaeseong in the present-day DPRK) and a controversy over the relocation of Hanyang has been surfaced and effective two years after the fall of Goryeo Dynasty. The people who taken the initiative in opening a new Dynasty insisted the relocation of Hanyang where the earth energy is expanding from Gaegyeong and the issue was performed at once. Also, the need to deal with the old nobility’s opposition, who is formed with the Royal House of Gaeseong Wang as center along with Yi Seong-gye's accession to the throne, accelerated the will of the transfer of the new capital.

The first reason King Taejo Yi Seong-gye set up the capital at Seoul-Hanyang is the importance of the human geographical location parallel to the Han River. In the volume 1 of the Revised Augumented Survey of Korean Geography (신증동국여지승람/新增東國輿地勝覽) a writer says that the Han River is surrounded like one’s collar and belt in the south, the high hill is connected in the left side, and the wide sea surrounds in the right side.

Therefore, the lower reaches of the Han River in the western Mapo come to be included. The Mapo is considered as a major street to go Gaegyeong and it served as a base for powerful faimilies in the early years of Goryeo because the Mapo, a lower reach of Youngsan River, is the way to go to Siheung passing by the sandy beach.

Meanwhile, in the Saengrijo of Bokgeochongron in Taekriji (human geography book), Lee Jung-hwan wrote that the capital is moved to the Hanyang because marine transportation is convenient. Grains paid as tax in Korean Peninsula were gathered to the Hanyang and the place that the ships is able to be safely anchored was built because general necessities within a capital city are provided by ships through the Han River. The grains nationwide were provided through the 5 rivers of the Han River.

In January 1866, Russian ships appeared on the east coast of Korea demanding trading and residency rights in what seemed an echo of the demands made on China by other western powers. Korean Christians with connections at court saw in this an opportunity to advance their cause and suggested an alliance between France and Korea to repel the Russian advances, suggesting further that this alliance could be negotiated through Bishop Berneux. The Heungseon Daewongun seemed open to this idea, but it was possibly a ruse to bring the head of the Korean Catholic Church out into the open; upon Berneux's arrival to the capital in February 1866, he was seized and executed. A round-up then began of the other French Catholic priests and Korean converts.

Several factors contributed to the Heungseon Daewongun's decision to crack down on the Catholics. Perhaps the most obvious was the lesson provided by China, that it had apparently reaped nothing but hardship and humiliation from its dealing with the western powers - seen most recently in its disastrous defeat during the Second Opium War. No doubt also fresh in the Heungseon Daewongun's mind was the example of the Taiping Rebellion in China, which had been infused with Christian doctrines. 1865 had seen poor harvests in Korea as well as social unrest, which may have contributed to a heightened sensitivity to the foreign creed. The crackdown may also have been related to attempts to combat factional cliques at court, where Christianity had made some inroads.

As a result of the Korean dragnet, all but three of the French missionaries were captured and executed: among them included Bishop Siméon Berneux, as well as Bishop Antoine Daveluy, Father Just de Bretenières, Father Louis Beaulieu, Father Pierre-Henri Dorie, Father Pierre Aumaître, Father Martin-Luc Huin - all of whom were members of the Paris Foreign Missions Society, and were canonized by Pope John Paul II on 6 May 1984. An untold number of Korean Catholics also met their end (estimations run around 10,000), many being executed at a place called Jeoldusan in Seoul Mapo-gu on the banks of the Han River.

In late June 1866, one of the three surviving French missionaries, Father Félix-Claire Ridel, managed to escape via a fishing vessel, thanks to 11 native converts, and made his way to Chefoo (today known as Yantai), China in early July 1866. Fortuitously in Tianjin at the time of Ridel‘s arrival was the commander of the French Far Eastern Squadron, Rear Admiral Pierre-Gustave Roze. Hearing of the massacre and the affront to French national honor, Roze became determined to launch a punitive expedition against Korea. In this, he was strongly supported by the acting French consul in Peking, Henri de Bellonet.

On the French side, there were several compelling reasons behind the decision to launch a punitive expedition. These had to do with the increasing violence against Christian missionaries and converts within the Chinese interior, which after the Second Opium War in 1860 had been opened up to westerners. As Korea was a vassal state of China, the massacre of westerners and Christians in Korea was seen within the context of anti-Western behavior in China by diplomatic and military authorities in the west. Many believed a firm response to such acts of violence was necessary to maintain national prestige and authority.

In response to the event, the French chargé d'affaires in Beijing, Henri de Bellonet, took a number of intitiatives without consulting Quai d'Orsay. Bellonet sent a note to the Zongli Yamen threatening to occupy Korea, and he also gave the French Naval Commander in the Far East, rear admiral Pierre-Gustave Roze instructions to launch a punitive expedition against Korea, to which Roze responded: "Since [the kingdom of] Joseon killed nine French priests, we shall avenge by killing 9,000 Koreans." Thus, the Byeongin French Invasion on Korea was commenced in response of Korean Catholics killings by Joseon Dynasty.

The District Office is located at 212 World Cup Road, Seongsan-dong 370-beonji with its postal code: 03937. The mayor of this district is Park Hong-sup (Minjoo Party). In the other hand, Lawrence Roh Woong-rae and Son Hye-won (Minjoo Party) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Lawrence Roh represents Seoul Mapo-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Gongdeok-dong, Ahyeon-dong, Dohwa-dong, Yonggang-dong, Daeheung-dong, Yeomni-dong and Sinsu-dong), while Son Hye-won represents Seoul Mapo-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Seogang-dong, Seogyo-dong, Hapjeong-dong, Mangwon 1~2-dong, Seongsan 1~2-dong, Yeonnam-dong and SangAm-dong). Seoul Mapo-gu consists 16 administrative precincts (행정동) on 26 legal precincts (법정동) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Busan Dongnae-gu: Ancestral Seat of Dongnae Jeong Clans, Home of Dongnae Pajeon and Site of Former Dongnae County

Dongnae-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 동래구/東萊區) is a district in Central Busan Metropole, Republic of Korea. It has a population of 284,649 (based on Korean Republic Census 2011) and an area of 16.63 sq km. The district was once a Separate County known as Dongnae County, the principal port of southeastern Korea. It is the ancestral seat of Dongnae Jeong Clans, two distinct clans which bear two different Hanja Notations (鄭 and 程). The notable resident of this district is Park Soo-ho, Korean StarCraft II Pro Gamer who known as DongRaeGu. Due to his success in events such as the GOMTV Global Starcraft II League and Major League Gaming, he was recognized by the district and was allowed to officially represent the district by being able to place Busan Dongnae-gu Insignia and the slogan of Eolssu Dongnae on his uniform. The postal codes of Busan Dongnae-gu start from 47700 [101~117 Geumgang Avenue 59th Street/Geumgangno 59beon-gil] to 47906 [185 Oncheon-Cheonnam Avenue/OncheonCheonnamno].

Numerous historical relics are preserved in the area especially in Bokcheon-dong. Heosimcheong - Asia's largest spa and bathing place for the Kings of Silla Kingdom, is located in Oncheon-dong. Busan Dongnae-gu is well known for Pajeon, which is 'Green Onion Pancake'. The most notable and delicious pajeon available in Dongnae Halmae Pajeon (Eng: Dongnae Grandma's Pajeon), a restaurant which is located at 43-10 Myeongnyun Avenue 94th Street/Myeongnyunno 94beon-gil, Bokcheon-dong 367-2 beonji, beside Busan Dongnae-gu Office. Designated as Busan Folk Restaurant No.1, it has preserved the distinctive taste of its Dongnae Pajeon (Korean pancake) for four generations.

The foundation of Busan Dongnae-gu traced from the state of Dongno-guk (독로국/瀆盧國), according to Sanguozhi (Samgukji) or Geochilsan-guk (거칠산국/居漆山國), according to Samguk Yusa under Byeonhan Confederacy during Han Commanderies Period. During 1st Century of Common Era, King Talhae-Isageum of the Royal House of Gyeongju-Wolseong Seok, 4th King of Silla subjugated Jangsan-guk and Geochilsan-guk into Silla Territory and its name changed into Geochilsan County (거칠산군/居柒山郡). Later in 757, King Gyeongdeok of the Royal House of Gyeongju Kim, 35th King of Silla revamped the administration divisions of Silla Kingdom and Geochilsan County changed its name into Dongnae County (동래군/東萊郡) and divided into two smaller prefectures - Dongpyeong (동평현/東平縣) and Gijang (기장현/機張縣, present-day Gijang County, Busan Metropole).

However during Goryeo Dynasty Period, Dongnae County was prone to be attacked by Japanese Pirates. Thus, King Hyeonjong Wang Soon demoted this county into prefecture as Dongnae-hyeon in 1018 (9th Reigning Year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon) and placed under the state of Ulju (울주/蔚州, present-day Ulju County, Ulsan Metropole). In 1397, (6th Reigning Year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye of Joseon Dynasty), King Taejo installed an army camp known as Dongnaejin Garrison (동래진/東萊鎭). In 1547 (3rd Reigning Year of King Myeongjong Yi Hwan), the area was upgraded into Protectorate, known as Dongnae-dohobu (동래도호부/東萊都護府). However in 1592, Japanese Forces under Toyotomi Hideyoshi invaded Korea after the invaders won the Siege of Busanjin which was the first battle in the Japanese Imjin Invasion (1592-1598). The Siege of Dongnae was taken place in this county which resulting decisive Japanese victory and Dongnae-dohobu demoted to Dongnae-hyeon. Joseon Generals such as Song Sang-hyeon, Jeong Bal and Yoon Heung-shin were KIA during the invasion and they were enshrined at Chungnyeolsa Shrine in the same district. A year after the invasion, King Seonjo reinstated Dongnae-dohobu as military protectorate.

In 1896, Dongnae Governorate changed its name into Dongnae County and placed under jurisdiction of Southern Gyeongsang Province. Ten years later, the Commune of Gupo-myeon, Yangsan County (present-day Gupo-dong, Busan Buk-gu) was included into Dongnae and reinstated its status as Governorate. In October 1910 - two months after Japanese Imperialists annexed Korean Empire, Dongnae Governorate changed its name into Busan Governorate. Four years later, Dongnae County was formed and reinstated after separated from Busan Governorate. In 1949, Busan Governorate was promoted into Busan City. The District Administration System (구제/區制) at Busan was introduced in 1957, consists of first six districts in this city - Busan Jung-gu, Busan Seo-gu, Busan Dong-gu, Busan Yeongdo-gu, Busan Busanjin-gu and Busan Dongnae-gu. The Greater Dongnae County was annexed to several districts in Busan Metropole such as Busan Suyeong-gu, Busan Haeundae-gu, Busan Geumjeong-gu, Busan Saha-gu, Busan Buk-gu, Busan Seo-gu, Busan Busanjin-gu, Busan Nam-gu and Gijang County.

The District Office is located at 55 Myeongnyun Avenue 94th Street/Myeongnyunno 94beon-gil, Bokcheon-dong 381-beonji with its postal code: 47808. The mayor of this district is Jeon Kwang-woo (Saenuri). In the other hand, Lee Jin-bok (Saenuri) serve as the district assemblyman for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Busan Dongnae-gu consists 13 administrative precincts (행정동) on nine legal precincts (법정동) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Seogwipo City, Jeju Island: Home of Jeju United FC

Seogwipo City Hall Seohong Main Office at 105 Central Avenue/Jungangno, Seohong-dong 440-1 beonji, Zip code: 63584.

Seogwipo (Hangul/Hanja: 서귀포시/西歸浦市) is the second-largest city on Jeju Island, settled on a rocky volcanic coastline in the southern part of Jeju Province, Republic of Korea. In July 2006, Seogwipo's boundaries were expanded to include the entire southern half of Jeju island. A UNESCO World Heritage site and 2002 FIFA World Cup host, it had a population of 155,641 as of December 31st 2013. The postal codes of Seogwipo City start from 63500 [552~744 NoEul-Haean Avenue/NoeulHaeanno, Daejeong-eup] to 63644 [7~58-7 EduCity Road 50th Street/Educity-ro 50beon-gil, Daejeong-eup].

Hundreds of Seogwipo’s oldest archeological artifacts were found in Saengsugwe Cave near Cheonjiyeon Falls on the south coast of Jeju. Afterafter an extensive excavation by a team of experts from Jeju National Museum in November 2010, hundred of Stone Age artifacts were unearthed. Another ancient location in Seogwipo is the village of Hamo-ri, Daejeong-eup. Artifacts found there during a 2005 excavation include pieces of earthenware and shell mounds from the Neolithic Age.

In the beginning, Seogwipo was a part of Tamna, an ancient kingdom of Jeju. The kingdom traded with other nations across the Korean peninsula and China during the period of the Three Kingdoms (1st century BCE to 7th century CE). The small port of Seogwipo was used to send tributes to Yuan, an ancient kingdom in China. Tamna briefly reclaimed its independence after the fall of Silla in 935. However, it was subjugated by the Goryeo Dynasty in 938, and officially annexed in 1105. In 1300, among the 14 villages that made up Tamna Prefecture were Hongno and Yerae, two regions of modern Seogwipo. Tamna maintained local autonomy until 1404, when King Taejo Yi Seong-gye of the Joseon Dynasty placed it under firm central control. During the Joseon era, three fortresses were built in the Seogwipo area. In 1416, southern Jeju Island was divided into the prefectures of Jeongui and Daejeong. The former included Hongno, and the latter, Yerae, which had been the urban centers of Seogwipo City.

In 1914, during the period of Japanese colonial rule, Jeongui prefecture and Daejeong prefecture were merged into Jeju-gun (gun meaning an administrative district bigger than a prefecture), and the two centers of Seogwipo became Jeongui-myeon and Daejeong. In 1915 the names were changed a second time, to Right (U) township and Left (Jwa) township. In 1935 the two townships were given the names they still have today: Seogwi and Jungmun. Seogwipo was greatly affected by Japanese colonial rule - it was used as a base that supplied marine products, and a whale processing plant was built near the port of Seogwipo. Twelve artificial caves made by the Japanese army still remain along the coast near Sammae Peak.

After the end of the colonial period, Seogwipo felt the hardship of the 1948 Jeju Uprising and its aftermath. When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Seogwipo Port became crowded with thousands of refugees. After the war ended with stalemate between North Korean and South Korean Forces, the island was rebuilt. As people's livelihoods stabilized, mandarin orange farming became the most profitable crop for the islanders. The Satsuma mandarin had been brought to Korea from Japan in 1911 by a Catholic missionary named Esmile J. Taque. Few farmers grew mandarins in the 1950s, and the orange commanded such high prices that mandarin tree was called daehangnamu (대학나무), meaning "the source of money for college tuition". The government supported mandarin farming from the early 1960s and rapidly increased the amount of farms. Now, mandarins from Jeju are a winter staple throughout South Korea.

In the meantime, Seogwipo's status as an administrative district improved. In 1946, the island became Jeju-do (province) and reorganized into Bukjeju-gun to the north of Mount Halla and Namjeju-gun to the south, which Seogwi-myeon and Jungmun-myeon belonged to. After Jeju-eup (town) became Jeju-si (city) in 1955, Seogwi-myeon became Seogwi-eup in 1956 and was combined with Jungmun-myeon, which created Seogwipo-si and became independent from Namjeju-gun in 1981. In addition, a plan to reorganize the administrative district to combine Jeju-si and Bukjeju-gun, and Seogwipo-si and Namjeju-gun passed through the local referendum in 2005. As a result, Seogwipo City was expanded to cover Namjeju-gun in 2006 and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province was established.

Seogwipo City Hall Beophwan Annex at 55 Sinjung Avenue/Sinjungno, Beophwan-dong 731-beonji, Zip code: 63565.

Modern Seogwipo City has changed remarkably since its days as a small village, and has renewed itself since Korean War. The Jungmun Tourism Complex is considered a premier Jeju tourist landmark. The Jeju World Cup Stadium in Beophwan-dong welcomed thousands of visitors in 2002 during the South Korean/Japan World Cup. It is the home pitch of Jeju United FC, a team which compete in K League Classic 2016 season. People from all over the world come to the International Convention Center Jeju in Jungmun for conventions. The Jeju Olle trails along the Seogwipo coast are most popular among hikers.

Seogwipo's atmosphere is similar to other Korean seaside towns - old love motels with tacky fixtures and neon signs, run-down old businesses, a harbor bound in concrete. However, it also has lush gardens and citrus farms that are bordered with black rock fences. The whole town is small enough for people to walk across easily. The Olle Market in downtown Seogwipo is a traditional daily market. Also, Seogwipo offers the most beautiful nighttime scenes in Jeju.

The current city mayor is Hyun Eul-saeng (unaffiliated). In the other hand, Thomas Wie Seong-kon (Minjoo Party) serves as the city assemblyman for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Seogwipo City consists three towns (eup), two communes (myeon), twelve administrative precincts on 22 legal precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul, Hanja and English).


Downtown Seogwipo

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Incheon Namdong-gu: Administrative Center of Incheon Metropole and a part of the Former Incheon Nam-gu

Namdong-gu (남동구/南洞區) is a district in Southeast Incheon Metropole, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Incheon Nam-gu on West, Incheon Bupyeong-gu on North, Bucheon Sosa-gu, Gyeonggi Province on Northeast and Siheung City on East and South. It is the principal seat of Incheon Metropolitan Government where Incheon City Hall is located at Mirae Square, Guwol 1-dong. The postal codes of Incheon Namdong-gu start from 21500 [971 Gyeongwon Boulevard/Gyeongwon-daero] to 21700 [1039 A-am Boulevard/Aam-daero].

Incheon Namdong-gu is a combination of the communes of Namchon-myeon (남촌면/南村面) and Jodong-myeon (조동면/鳥洞面) in Incheon Governorate (인천부/仁川府/Incheon-bu) after transferring the jurisdiction to Bucheon County, Gyeonggi Province (present-day Bucheon City, Gyeonggi Province) as Namdong-myeon (남동면/南洞面) in 1914. In 1940, the jurisdiction of Namdong-myeon returned back to Incheon Governorate. 

Incheon Namdong-gu was the first area separated from Incheon Nam-gu in 1988. The precincts included in the formation of this new district are Guwol-dong, Ganseok-dong, NamchonDorim-dong, JangsuSeochang-dong, NonhyeonGojan-dong, Mansu-dong Unyeon-dong and Susan-dong. For your information, the precincts within Incheon Namdong-gu were originally a part of Incheon Nam-gu after the introduction to district division system (구제/區制) in 1968.

Since its establishment in 1988, Namdong-gu has increased its influential power by forming pleasant residential environment, such as commercial and industrial urban area, land development, formation of large-scale apartment complexes, based on the affluent developmental potential that integrates rural and urban areas. Currently, major governmental organizations specialized in administration, culture, finance, and economy including Incheon City Hall, Education Bureau, Incheon Culture and Arts Center, agricultural wholesale market, Sorae Port, which is a renowned attraction in Incheon, and various business facilities, are densely packed in this area. Especially, about 4,400 businesses are concentrated on 9.57 sq km land of the Namdong Industrial Complex that is the Mecca of the Korean industry, carrying out the pivotal role of economic revitalization. 

Mount Manwol, Mount Cheolma, and Mount Geoma form a boundary with Incheon Bupyeong-gu from the north and east while Sorae Port which is adjacent to the sea has wide marine ecology park in the scale of 3.5 million sq m from the west. Also, it is adjacent to Siheung and Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province - connecting through Suin Industrial Road as the boundary from the southeast. A large-scale industrial complex is located in the Namdong Industrial Complex in NonhyeonGojan-dong, serving the role of a bridgehead for the external trade in the Yellow Sea area.

The District Office is located at 633 Sorae Avenue/Sorae-ro, Mansu 6(yuk)-dong 1008-beonji with its postal code: 21589. The mayor of this district is Jang Seok-hyeon (Saenuri). In the other hand, Andrew Park Nam-choon and Paul Yoon Kwan-seok (Minjoo Party) serve as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Andrew Park represents Incheon Namdong-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Guwol 1-dong, Guwol 3~4-dong, Ganseok 1-dong, Ganseok 4-dong, NamchonDorim-dong, Nonhyeon 1~2-dong and NonhyeonGojan-dong) while Paul Yoon represents Incheon Namdong-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Guwol 2-dong, Ganseok 2~3-dong, Mansu 1~6-dong, and JangsuSeochang-dong). Incheon Namdong-gu consists 19 administrative precincts (행정동) on 11 legal precincts (법정동) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Seoul Gwanak-gu: Hometown of Field Marshal Inheon Kang Gam-chan, Home of Seoul National University Main Campus and Mount Gwanak

Gwanak-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 관악구/冠岳區) is a district located in Southern Seoul Special City, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Seoul Dongjak-gu on North, Seoul Seocho-gu on East, Anyang Dongan-gu, Gyeonggi Province on South and Seoul Geumcheon-gu on West. The geography on this area is dominated by Mount Gwanak (632m above sea level), which is the namesake of the district. Seoul Gwanak-gu is a hometown of Field Marshal Inheon Kang Gam-chan, a Goryeo General who saved Korea from Khitan Forces where he was born at Nakseongdae-dong (Bongcheon 7-dong) in December 22nd 948CE. The postal codes of Seoul Gwanak-gu start from 08700 [572~578 Siheung Boulevard/Siheung-daero] to 08866 [72~148 Miseong Drive/Miseong-gil]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 소(SO) 1000~9999.

Seoul Gwanak-gu is densely populated where 513,186 people living in the area of 29.57 km², based on the Korean Republic Census in 2014Originally a part of Siheung County, Gyeonggi Province, it was transferred to Seoul with the rapid expansion of the National Capital Area (Sudogwon-Gijeon Region) due to its population growth and rapid industrialization in 1960s. The area which is dominated by Mount Gwanak was quickly changed the town into a mosaic of dense residential and industrial areas. Partitioned from Yeongdeungpo District and established as a district in 1973, it now neighbors the Seocho, Dongjak, Guro and Geumcheon Districts and exercises jurisdiction about 21 Administrative Precincts under 3 Legal Precincts.

Large slum quarters were formed by migrant populations from all over Korea who sought jobs in industrialized Seoul. A series of redevelopment projects from 1970s, and the relocation of Seoul National University to the district where the Original Campus in YeonGeon-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu was occupied by the Faculty of Medicine of SNU, led to a reduction of slum quarters and indigent textile industries and transformed the town into a residential uptown neighborhood of Seoul. The area is also heavily populated by SNU students from surrounding provinces

Central commercial zones include Seorim-dong, Daehak-dong and Cheongnyong-dong near Seoul National University. These areas also form a large zone of private dormitories and small houses, which primarily target university students and national examination takers (고시생/考試生/gosi-saeng) looking for an environment that is favorable for studying. Restaurants, supermarkets, bars and pubs in the area are centered in Nokdu Alley (Nokdu-geori) in Daehak-dong and near Seoul National University Station. Other commercial zones for residents are located along the Southern Ring Road (남부순환로/南部循環路/NambuSunhwanno)  and two main roads. The main shopping district, the Bongcheon Central Market (봉천중앙시장/奉天中央市場/Bongcheon Jungang Sijang), is located at Jungang-dong, north from Station 228: Seoul National University Station on Seoul Metro Line 2.

The District Office is located at Gwanak-gu District Government Complex, 145 Gwanak Avenue/Gwanak-ro, Cheongnyong-dong [Bongcheon 4(sa)-dong] 1570-1 beonji with its postal code: 08832. The mayor of this district is Yoo Jong-pil (Minjoo Party - as seen on the congratulatory banner after winning the mayoral seat of Seoul Gwanak-gu in 6th Korean Republic Local Elections in 2014). In the other hand, Kim Sung-sik (People's Party) and Oh Shin-hwan (Saenuri) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Kim Sung-sik represents Seoul Gwanak-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Boramae-dong, Euncheon-dong, Seonghyeon-dong, Jungang-dong, Cheongnim-dong, Haengun-dong, Cheongnyong-dong, Nakseongdae-dong, Inheon-dong, Namhyeon-dong and Sillim-dong), while Oh Shin-hwan represents Seoul Gwanak-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Sinsa-dong, Jowon-dong, Miseong-dong, NanGok-dong, Nanhyang-dong, Seowon-dong, Sinwon-dong, Seorim-dong, Samseong-dong and Daehak-dong).

Seoul Gwanak-gu has only three legal precincts which are Namhyeon-dong, Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong. Namhyeon-dong is a standalone precinct while Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong divided into 14 and 12 administrative precincts respectively before 2008. The administrative precincts of Seoul Gwanak-gu was reduced from 27 to 21 in September 1st 2008 and the admin precincts' names within Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong are changed as shown on detailed names and administrative map below, in Hangul and Hanja:
  • Namhyeon-dong 
  • Bongcheon-dong
    • Bongcheonbon-dong and Bongcheon 9(gu)-dong = Euncheon-dong
    • Bongcheon 2(i)-dong and Bongcheon 5(o)-dong = Seonghyeon-dong
    • Bongcheon 4(sa)-dong and Bongcheon 8(pal)-dong = Cheongnyong-dong
    • Bongcheon 1(il)-dong = Boramae-dong
    • Bongcheon 3(sam)-dong = Cheongnim-dong
    • Bongcheon 6(nyuk)-dong = Haengun-dong
    • Bongcheon 7(chil)-dong = Nakseongdae-dong
    • Bongcheon 10(sip)-dong = Jungang-dong
    • Bongcheon 11(sibil)-dong = Inheon-dong
  • Sillim-dong
    • Sillimbon-dong = Seowon-dong
    • Sillim 1(il)-dong = Sinwon-dong
    • Sillim 2(i)-dong = Seorim-dong
    • Sillim 3(sam)-dong and Sillim 13(sipsam)-dong = NanGok-dong
    • Sillim 4(sa)-dong = Sinsa-dong
    • Sillim 5(o)-dong = Sillim-dong
    • Sillim 6(nyuk)-dong and Sillim 10(sip)-dong = Samseong-dong
    • Sillim 7(chil)-dong = Nanhyang-dong
    • Sillim 8(pal)-dong = Jowon-dong
    • Sillim 9(gu)-dong = Daehak-dong
    • Sillim 11(sibil)-dong and Sillim 12(sibi)-dong = Miseong-dong

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Seoul Nowon-gu: 'No One' resides in this district? NAH... Everyone lives in the district of 'No One' because it is the highest population density in Seoul and Education Hub in Northern Seoul.

Nowon-gu, or known as Rowon-ku in North Korean Dialect (노원구 or 로원구/蘆原區) is a district located in Northeastern Seoul Special City, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Seoul Dobong-gu and Seoul Seongbuk-gu on West, Seoul Jongno-gu on Southwest, Seoul Jungnang-gu on South, Guri City, Gyeonggi Province on Southeast, Namyangju City on East and Uijeongbu City on North. Its name means "Reed Field", derived from the Hanja characters for reed (蘆 Standard South Korean Dialect: No/North Korean Dialect: Ro) and field (原 won). According to 2014 Korean Republic Census which is provided by Statistics Korea (KOSTAT), Nowon-gu has the highest population density in Seoul, with 582,552 people living in the area of 35.44 km².

The district is bordered by Mount Surak and Mount Buram, on the northeast. The Jungnang and Danghyeon Streams flows through the western part of Nowon, from Gongneung-dong to Wolgye-dong. The Joseonese Royal Tomb Cluster of Taegangneung, the place where Queen Munjeong of Papyeong Yoon Clan with her son, King Myeongjong Yi Hwan - 13th King of Joseon Dynasty and her daughter-in-law, Queen Insun of Cheongsong Shim Clan were laid to rest in this district. The postal codes of Nowon-gu start from 01601 [11 Nuwon 2nd Street/Nuwon 2(i)-gil] to 01914 [3~38 Hwarang Avenue 47th Street/Hwarangno 47(sasipchil)-gil]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 버(BEO) 1000~9999.

In ancient times, Nowon was a vast field of reeds. According to historical documents and records, the name ‘Nowon’ has been used since the time of the Goryeo Dynasty, but it was usually written as ‘Nowon Station’ rather than just 'Nowon' because of its important role as a major line of communication. It is often called 'Madeul'. Ever since the station was positioned in the vast field of reeds and was officially referred to as 'Nowon', people who weren’t familiar with the name 'Nowon', which was a geographical name written with Hanja characters, came up with a different name. They put together the word ‘Ma’ which was derived from the scene of Horses (‘Ma’) running around the field and ‘Deul’ which was derived from the word field (‘deul’) and came up with the archaic Korean name ‘Madeul’. Both names of 'Nowon' and 'Madeul' well depict the characteristics of the area at the time. 

Nowon was previously belonged to Baekje during the early period of the Samguk Period until it was invaded by Goguryeo under the reign of King Jangsu in 475 (63rd Reigning Year of King Jangsu) and belonged to Maeseong County. Later, its ownership returned to Baekje again due to the Baekje's liberation efforts of the coalition forces of Baekje and Silla in 551. Later in 553 (14th Reigning Year of King Jinheung), Nowon was placed under Silla rule and during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of unified Silla Kingdom (757), and it belonged to Raeso County. The name Raeso County changed to the State of Gyeonju during Goryeo Dynasty and was transferred to Yangju County during the 9th reigning year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon (1018) and the status remained intact until the end of the Joseon Dynasty. 

During Goryeo-Joseon Dynasties Period, stations were positioned in important places along traffic routes to accommodate travelers. Nowon was an important traffic route that connected the north and south regions. Especially during the Joseon Dynasty, it was close to Seoul-Hanyang, which was the capital, and was in important place that led to Gangwon and Hamgyeong Provinces. For this reason the station was built and the area was known as ‘Nowon Station’. According to Yeojidoseo (여지도서/與地圖書), which is a compilation of each state of government during the Joseon dynasty under the reign of King Yeongjo, there were 34 ‘Myeons (subdivision of a county) in Yangju-mok of Gyeonggi Province. Among which were Nowon-myeon and Haedeungchon-myeon and the present Nowon-gu area was included in the area. 

The name 'Nowon' was in use is from early Goryeo to almost the end of the Joseon Dynasty. The name disappeared on the 1st of April in 1914 when it was unified with Haedeungchon-myeon and became ‘Nohae-myeon’ due to the change of administrative district during the Japanese Colonization. The name Nohae-myeon also disappeared when it was transferred to Seongbuk-gu of Seoul in 1963 and to Dobong-gu in 1973 during the process of full-scale urbanization. Nowon-gu, after having gone through various transitions, was divided from Dobong-gu on January 1st 1988 by readjustment of the administrative districts and became reborn as the present day Nowon-gu. After it became an autonomous district, the name ‘Nowon’, which best describes the characteristics of the area, was selected as the permanent name and known until today. 

The district is home to numerous educational institutes such as Kwangwoon University, Sahmyook University, the Korea Military Academy, Sejong Science High School, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Induk University and Seoul Women's University. The large number of schools, universities, and hagwon have given the "gu" the reputation of being the so-called "educational district" of northern Seoul, just like Gangnam and Seocho Districts of southern Seoul.

The District Office is located at 437 Nohae Avenue/Nohae-ro, Sanggye 6.7(yuk-chil)-dong 701-1 beonji with its postal code: 01689. The mayor of this district is Andrew Kim Sung-hwan (Minjoo Party). In the other hand, Augustine Koh Yong-jin (Minjoo Party), Woo Won-sik (Minjoo Party) and Founder of AhnLab Incorporated, Charles Ahn Cheol-soo (People's Party) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Augustine Koh represents Seoul Nowon-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Wolgye 1~3-dong and Gongneung 1~2-dong), Woo Won-sik represents Seoul Nowon-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Hagye 1~2-dong, Junggyebon-dong, Junggye 1~4-dong and Sanggye 6.7-dong), while Charles Ahn represents Seoul Nowon-byeong (3rd Electoral District that consists all Sanggye-dong Precincts EXCEPT Sanggye 6.7-dong)Nowon-gu consists 19 administrative precincts (행정동) on five legal precincts (법정동) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).

Ansan, Gyeonggi Province: Hometown of the Victims of Sewol-ho Sinking and Education Hub in Gyeonggi Province

Ansan (Hangul/Hanja: 안산시/安山市) is a city located at Western Bound of Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea. It lies Southwest of Seoul Special City, South of Incheon Metropole and is part of the Seoul National Capital Area a.k.a Sudogwon-Gijeon Region. It is connected to Seoul by rail via KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4 (dubbed as Ansan Line) and KORAIL Suin Line. Ansan is situated on the Yellow Sea coast and some islands lie within its jurisdiction. The largest and best-known of these is Daebu Island. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this city is 40(Hangul at range: 가, 나, 다, 라, 마, 거, 너, 더, 러, 머, 버, 서, 어, 저, 고, 노) 1000~9999.

Ansan City is adjacent to Anyang, Gunpo, Uiwang and Suwon Gwonseon-gu on East, Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province and Dangjin City, Southern Chungcheong Province on South, Siheung City and Incheon Yeonsu-gu on North, the chains of Deokjeok, Jawol and Yeongheung Islands in Ongjin County, Incheon Metropole on West and Silmi Island, Incheon Jung-gu on Northwest. It was first developed in accordance with the Industry and Population Decentralization Policy of Seoul city and artificially developed with strict planning scheme to be an environment and residents oriented city. The City is located at the Southwest of Seoul (within 30km radius away) and is open to Yellow Sea. It has relatively smooth geographical feature in the inland along with low hill areas in Northern (Mount Gwangdeok and Mount Masan) and Southern areas (Mount Nabong and Mount Chilbo). Numerous streams as of Banwol Stream, Ansan Stream and Hwajeong Stream are passing through downtown areas with wide alluviums in vicinity. Most of them are cultivated and used as rice fields.

The first humans in Ansan were in the New Stone Age, and many shell middens and prehistoric remains are found at Oido Island and Lake Sihwa in Siheung City, Choji-dong and Daebu Island in Ansan Danwon-gu. In the Seonbu-dong and Wolpi-dong area, over 10 stone dolmen tombs can be found. Also in 1995, Old Stone Age relics were found while constructing the Interstate 10: Seohaean Expressway. Most dolmens in Ansan are north dolmen, but the dolmen in Seonbu-dong is table-shaped and another table-shaped tomb was found in HagOn-dong, Gwangmyeong. There are many ancient relics found in the city.

The Mahan Confederacy in Chen Shou's Records of the Chinese Three Kingdoms (삼국지/三國志/Samgukji/Sanguozhi) preserves writings about the chiefdom state. Ansan was previously belonged to Baekje Kingdom before King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo expanded his forces to conquer the city. It was known as Janghanggu Prefecture (장항구현/獐項口縣) or Gosayaholcha Prefecture (고사야홀차현/古斯也忽次縣). In 757, King Gyeongdeok of Silla revamped the administrative divisions of Silla by simplifying the long name of certain prefectures into two Hanja characters only. Thus, Janghanggu Prefecture changed its name into Janggu County (장구군/獐口郡). In the Turbulent Later Three Kingdoms era, Ansan was owned by Taebong-HuGoguryeo during Silla Hyogong's 4th reigning year (AD 900). After then, Gung Ye, the ruler of Taebong was overthrown by Wang Geon and Ansan was turned over to Goryeo. Wang Geon rose to the power by founding Goryeo Dynasty and bestowed his regnal name of Taejo in 918.

In 1018 (9th Reigning Year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon), Ansan became as Prefecture (Ansan-hyeon) and placed under jurisdiction of the State of Suju (수주/水州 - present-day Suwon City, Gyeonggi Province). In 1308 (34th Reigning Year of King Chungnyeol), Ansan-hyeon elevated its status as county (Ansan-gun) because it is the birthplace of King Munjong Wang Hwi, 11th King of Goryeo Dynasty. The magistrate stationed in this county in order to preserve law and ordinance of the citizens of who reside there.  

Ansan belonged to Gyeonggijwa-do (Left Gyeonggi province) in the Joseon dynasty. In 5th Reigning Year of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye (1396), Ansan-eoso (Ansan fishery) that is now under direct control of a detached building of Saongwon (the Department of foods and meals in the Joseon dynasty) was set up. After Gyeonggijwa-do and Gyeonggi-u-do (Right Gyeonggi province) were unified in the third reigning year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won (1402), Ansan is still located in the Unified Gyeonggi Province.

In 1895, Ansan was placed under jurisdiction of Incheon Governorate. The short-lived 23 Governorates Administration System (부제/府制) ended in 1896 where Ansan rejoined Gyeonggi Province under 13 Provinces Administration System. In 1914, Ansan County was dissolved by separating into two new counties which were known as Siheung County (present-day Siheung City) and Suwon County (present-day Hwaseong City). Communes of Seonggot-myeon, Bukbang-myeon and Wolgok-myeon of Gwangju-Gyeonggi County were consolidated into Banwol-myeon in 1906 under Ansan County. Eight years later, it was placed under jurisdiction of Suwon County.

In 1976, the communes of Suam-myeon and Gunja-myeon of Siheung County, together with Banwol-myeon of Hwaseong County were incorporated into Banwol New Industrial Town (반월신공업도시/半月新工業都市/Banwol Sin-gongEop Dosi). Ten years later, Banwol NIT changed its name into Ansan City, taken from the old Ansan County in 14th Century. In December 26th 1994, the remained areas of Banwol-myeon, Hwaseong County and Daebu-myeon (Daebu, SeonGam and Pungdo Islands), Ongjin County were annexed to Ansan City. Some portions of Siheung City such as Hwajeong-dong, Jangsang-dong, Jangha-dong and Suam-dong were consolidated to Ansan City in April 20th 1995. In November 2002, the District Administrative System (구제/區制) was introduced and Ansan divided into two districts, Danwon-gu on West and Sangnok-gu on East.

The city hall is located at 387 Hwarang Avenue/Hwarangno, Gojan 2-dong 515-beonji with its postal code: 15335. The current City Mayor is Je Jong-kil (Minjoo Party). While Kim Myeong-yeon (Saenuri), Park Soon-ja (Saenuri), Jeon Hae-chul (Minjoo Party) and Kim Chul-min (Minjoo Party) serve as the city assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Kim Myeong-yeon and Park Soon-ja represent Ansan Danwon-gu while Jeon Hae-chul and Kim Chul-min represent Ansan Sangnok-gu. Ansan City consists two districts, 24 administrative precincts on 30 legal precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).

Detailed Map of Ansan City

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Ansan Danwon-gu, Gyeonggi Province: Administrative Center of Ansan City, Hometown of Joseon Renowned Artist - Kim Hong-do and Victims of Sewol-ho Sinking

Danwon-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 단원구/檀園區) is a non-autonomous district, located at the Western Bound of Ansan City, Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea. Located at Seoul National Capital Area (Sudogwon-Gijeon Region), it is bordered with the chains of Deokjeok, Jawol and Yeongheung Islets, Ongjin County, Incheon Metropole on West, Siheung City on North, Ansan Sangnok-gu on East and Hwaseong City on South. Ansan Danwon-gu was formed on November 2002 after the Introduction to District Administrative System (구제/區制) in Ansan. The district is the principal municipal seat of Ansan City, located at the Second Precinct of Gojan (Gojan 2-dong).

The namesake of the district is taken from the pen name of Joseon renowned artist, Kim Hong-do (김홍도/金弘道; Born: 1745 - Died: 1806). As a full-time artist, he was together a pillar of the establishment and a key figure of the new trends of his time, the 'true view painting'. Kim Hong-do was an exceptional artist in every field of traditional painting, even if he is mostly remembered nowadays for his depictions of the everyday life of ordinary people, in a manner analogous to the Dutch Masters. In addition, Ansan Danwon-gu is a hometown of victims of Sewol-ho Sinking where the majority of them are Danwon High School students. 262 victims were perished in this sinking excluding the high school vice-principal, Kang Min-kyu who committed suicide after he survived from that incident.

The postal codes of Ansan Danwon-gu are shown on below:
  • 15208 [325~425 Sunhwanno] to 15255 [5~20 Wadongno 7(chir)an-gil]
  • 15261 [559 Samil Avenue/Samillo] to 15272 [467~497 Samillo]
  • 15329 [45~55 Hwajeong Avenue/Hwajeongno] to 15355 [312 Hwarang Avenue/Hwarangno]
  • 15357 [11~17 WonGojan Avenue/WonGojanno] to 15485 [14 Ansan-Cheonnam Avenue/AnsanCheonnamno]
  • 15597 [278 Gangchon Avenue/Gangchonno] to 15619 [5~48 Cheomdan Avenue 207th Street/Cheomdanno 207beon-gil]
  • 15637 [1901~1927 Daebu-Hwanggeum Avenue/DaebuHwanggeumno] to 15654 [2-51~143 Pungdo Drive/Pungdo-gil]

The District Office is located at 685 Central Boulevard/Jungang-daero, Choji-dong 666-2 beonji with its postal code: 15396. The current District Officer is Hwang Ha-june (unaffiliated). In the other hand, Kim Myeong-yeon and Park Soon-ja (Saenuri) serve as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Kim Myeong-yeon represents Ansan Danwon-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Wadong, Wongokbon-dong, Wongok 1~2-dong and Seonbu 1~3-dong) while Park Soon-ja represents Ansan Danwon-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers  Gojan 1~2-dong, Hosu-dong, Choji-dong and Daebu-dong). Ansan Danwon-gu consists 12 Administrative Precincts on 15 Legal Precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul and English).