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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hongseong, Southern Chungcheong: Ancestral Seat of Yeoyang Jin Clan, Hometown of Korean Anarchist Kim Jwa-jin and Provincial Capital of Southern Chungcheong since 2012

Hongseong (Hangul/Hanja: 홍성군/洪城郡) is the Provincial Capital of Southern Chungcheong, Republic of Korea; regardless of its status as county. The county is the ancestral seat of Yeoyang Jin Clan where Yeoyang is one out of eleven Prefectures in Hongseong during Goryeo Period, now known as Janggok-myeon Commune. It is the hometown of Choi Yeong - Goryeo General during the Declination of Goryeo Dynasty, Seong Sammun - one of the Six Martyred Ministers a.k.a Sayukshin and Baeg-ya Kim Jwa-jin, the great-grandfather of Korean Actor, Song Il-gook on his mother's side - anarchist in the verge of Japanese Colonization Period. 

Hongseong is bordered with Seosan City on North, Yesan County on Northeast, CheongYang County on Southeast, Boryeong City on South and Anmyeon Island, Taean County on West which is separated by Cheonsu Bay. The postal codes of Hongseong County start from 32200 (10~484 GalsanSeo-gil, Galsan-myeon) to 32299 (274~423 Hongjangnamno 272beon-gil, Janggok-myeon).

Hongju was perviously known as Unju (운주/運州) during the reign of King Seongjong Wang Chi of Goryeo. A government official called, dodanryeonsa, was sent in 995 to govern the area, and jijusa in 1012. Then, it was renamed as Hongju (홍주/洪州). Its administrative unit status was raised to a "mok" in 1358, and a jijusa began governing the area in 1368.

Gyeolseong-gun was originally called Gyeonggi-hyeon in the Baekje Kingdom, but it came to be known as Gyeolseong in the Silla period and was the Yeonghyeon of Seorim-gun. In 1018 during Goryeo Dynasty, it became transferred to Unju, and had a gammu in 1172. Many of the residents fled the area when it was invaded by the Japanese Pirates during the reign of King Woo. For this reason, a fortress was built to attract more settlers.

In 1413 - 13th Reigning Year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won of Joseon, a hyeongam was sent to govern the area. Then in 1895, its administrative unit status was raised to "gun" and in 1914, Hongju-gun, Gyeolseong-gun and some of the areas of Boryeong-gun were integrated together to establish Hongseong-gun. The administrative unit status was raised for Hongju-myeon to Hongseong-eup in 1941 and Gwangcheon-myeon to Gwangcheon-eup in 1942.

According to the nationwide changes to the administrative divisions in February 1983, Daesa-ri, Gobuk-myeon, Seosan-gun and Wa-ri, Gyeolseong-myeon were transferred to Galsan-myeon, Wollim-ri, Daepyeong-ri and Unyong-ri of Hongdong-myeon to Gwangcheon-eup, Jung-ri, Gyeolseong-myeon to Seobu-myeon, as well as Naebeop-ri of Hongbuk-myeon and Guryong-ri of Hongdong-myeon to Hongseong-eup.

The changes in the administrative division resulted in 2 towns and 9 communes: Hongseong-eup and Gwangcheon-eup as well as Galsan-myeon, Gyeolseong-myon, Guhang-myeon, Geumma-myeon, Seobu-myeon, Eunha-myeon, Janggok-myeon, Hongdong-myeon and Hongbuk-myeon.

In 2012, the provincial administration of Southern Chungcheong was moved to Naepo New City, Hongseong from Seonhwa-dong, Daejeon Jung-gu. A year later, Chungnam Provincial Police Agency which was previously located same place as Southern Chungcheong Provincial Government moved to the same area but in different county - Sapgyo-eup in Yesan County. The old provincial office in Seonhwa-dong was gazetted as Korean Republic Tangible Asset No. 18

The county office is located at 27 Amun Alley/Amun-gil, Ogwan-ri 98-beonji, Hongseong-eup with its postal code: 32228. The chief of the county is Kim Seok-hwan (Saenuri). In the other hand, Hong Mun-pyo (Saenuri) served as the assemblyman for Yesan and Hongseong Counties in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Hongseong County contains two towns (eup) and nine communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Changwon, Southern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of Changwon Hwang Clan, Environment Capital of Korea and Provincial Capital of Southern Gyeongsang since 1983

Changwon (Hangul/Hanja: 창원시/昌原市) is the Provincial Capital of Southern Gyeongsang, Republic of Korea. It is the 8th most populated city in country, with an established population of 1,069,697 people - based on 2016 Statistics, provided by Statistics Korea (KOSTAT). It encompasses a land area of 747.12 square kilometres (288.46 sq mi) on the southeastern coast of South Korea. The population of southeastern Korea, known as Yeongnam Maritime Industrial Region (Yeongnam MIR) that includes Busan Metropole, is more than 6,478,000. Changwon is known as a heavy industrial city, only covers 7% of Southern Gyeongsang Province but holds 33.6% of its population; it also accounted for 38.5% of the total 2.1821 trillion won budget of the province. 

Located at the Southern Bound of Southern Gyeongsang Province, Changwon is bordered with Goseong-Gyeongnam on Southwest, Jinju City on West, Haman County on Northwest, Changnyeong County and Miryang City on North, Gimhae City on Northeast, Busan Metropole on East and Geoje City on South which is separated by Masan Bay and Jinhae Bay. The postal codes of the Unified Changwon City starts from 51100 [440~581 Keosan Alley/Geosan-gil, Buk-myeon Commune, Changwon Uichang-gu] to 51797 [756~1726, Hoejin Avenue/Hoejinno, Jinjeon-myeon, Changwon MasanHappo-gu].

Changwon, which boasts 2000 years of history, used to be a trading center of Northeast Asia, manufacturing iron and exporting it to China and Japan during the Proto-Three Kingdoms Period of Korea. It also played a strategic role in the defeat of Japanese pirates during the Joseon Dynasty. At present, Changwon is recreating itself as a world masterpiece city and one of the most competitive cities in Korea based on Masan Districts' history and culture, Central-Changwon Districts' industry and environment and Jinhae District's logistic and oceanic resources.

It is not clear when people started living in Changwon, but according to the artifacts and data uncovered so far, it has been estimated that people started living in Changwon during the Neolithic Age. The Bronze Age began in Korea around the 10th century BCE and people probably started living in Changwon from that time. The majority of the pattern-less earthenware objects excavated from the lowest layer of the Seongsanpaechong Shellmound seems to have been made during the later period of he Bronze Age. The tradintion of pattern-less earthenware was transmitted to the makers of Gimhae earthenware, which appeared during the Proto-Three Kingdoms Period of Korea.

Changwon was previously known as Taksun-guk (탁순국/卓淳國) during Samguk Period where this state was administrated by the Greater Gaya Kingdom, one of the Kingdoms in Gaya Confederacy. In 676 (16th Reigning Year of King Munmu the Great of Silla), King Munmu the Great changed its name into Gulja County (굴자군/屈自郡). In 757 (16th Reigning Year of King Gyeongdeok) it was renamed Uian County (의안군/義安郡) during the reorganization of all Silla provinces.

In 1018 (9th Reigning Year of King Hyeonjong Wang Soon of Goryeo), the magistrate office was installed in the state which is known as Geumju (금주/金州) and divided into two smaller Prefectures which were known as Uian (의안현/義安縣) and Happo (합포현/合浦縣). These two prefectures were renamed during the 8th reigning year of King Chungnyeol Wang Geo of Goryeo (1282), where Uian Prefecture became Uichang Prefecture (의창현/義昌縣) and Happo Prefecture became Hoewon Prefecture (회원현/會原縣). Hoewon, Happo and Uichang are the former names of Changwon where these areas are included as the districts of Changwon (present-day: Changwon MasanHappo-gu, Changwon MasanHoewon-gu and Changwon Uichang-gu).

During Joseon period, Changwon first appeared in July in the 8th reigning year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won (1408) when two prefectures, namely Uichang and Hoewon, were combined to create a higher administrative division, Changwon Governorate (창원부/昌原府/Changwon-bu). In 1415 (15th reigning year of King Taejong Yi Bang-won), Changwon Governorate was ascended to become Changwon Protectorate (창원도호부/昌原都護府/Changwon-dohobu), and later during the 34th Reigning Year of King Seonjo (1601), it was ascended to become the Greater Changwon Protectorate (창원대도호부/昌原大都護府/Changwon-daedohobu), after Japanese Imjin Invasion (1592~1598). Ungcheon Prefecture (웅천현/熊川郡) in the Jinhae Region was ascended to become Ungcheon Protectorate (웅천도호부/熊川都護府) during the 5th reigning year of King Jungjong (1510) but demoted into Ungcheon Prefecture again in 1512.

After Korea's liberation from Japan in August 15th 1945, Masan Governorate was renamed as Masan City and Jinhae-eup of Changwon County was ascended to become Jinhae City in 1955. After Changwon District was ascended to become Changwon City in 1980 the three cities developed into independent administrative bodies. Notably since the establishment of the Masan Export Free Zone in 1970 and the development of the Changwon National Industrial Complex in 1974 the cities have grown together as an economic center of Korea.

Since ancient times, Changwon, Masan, and Jinhae have grown as central cities of industry, culture and administration in Yeongnam Province. Finally on July 1st 2010, the three cities united to create Unified Changwon City, Korea's first Autonomous Integrated Administration Area and rapidly became one of Korea's most competitive cities. With the construction of a regional specialized growth belt, Unified Changwon City is being recreated as a world masterpiece city by strengthening its industrial foundations to the world-class level and by strengthening the education, culture and welfare of the city and its citizens.

The city hall is located at 151 Central Boulevard/Jungang-daero, Yongho-dong 1-beonji, Changwon Uichang-gu with its postal code: 51435. The current city mayor is Peter Ahn Sang-soo (Saenuri). While Park Wan-soo, Roh Hoe-chan, Raphael Lee Joo-young, Yoon Hahn-hong and General (Rtd.) Kim Sung-chan serve as the city assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). The district representatives of Changwon City for the National Assembly are shown on below:
  • Park Wan-soo [Saenuri]: Changwon-Uichang
  • Roh Hoe-chan [Justice Party]: Changwon-Seongsan
  • Raphael Lee Joo-young [Saenuri]: Changwon-MasanHappo
  • Yoon Hahn-hong [Saenuri]: Changwon-MasanHoewon
  • General (Rtd.) Kim Sung-chan [Saenuri]: Changwon-Jinhae

The Unified Changwon City consists five districts, two towns, six communes, 54 administrative precincts on 194 legal precincts as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Jangsu, Northern Jeolla: Ancestral Seat of Jangsu Hwang Clan and the Only Quake-Prone County in Korea

Jangsu (Hangul/Hanja: 장수군/長水郡) is a county located at Eastern Bound of Northern Jeolla Province, Republic of Korea. Jangsu County is bordered with Jinan and Muju Counties on North, Geochang County, Southern Gyeongsang Province on East, Hamyang County, Southern Gyeongsang on Southeast, Namwon City on South and Imsil County on Southwest. The postal codes of Jangsu County start from 55600 (1~331-25 Gyehyang Avenue/Gyehyangno, Gyebuk-myeon) to 55662 (2~513-3 Yujeong Avenue/Yujeongno, BeonAm-myeon).

Jangsu was formed during Goryeo Dynasty Timeline and absorbed into the administration under Namwon Governorate (남원부/南原府/Namwon-bu) with its older name, Jangsu Prefecture. It is placed under Jeolla Province and elevated its status as county when the 23 Governorates Administration System took place in 1895. A year later, Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu of Korean Empire revamped its administrative system by using 13 Provinces Administration System where Jangsu County is placed under Northern Jeolla Province.

About 76% of the land is mountainous, Jangsu is a popular vacation spot for its clear water and clean air from the deep valley. One of Korea's eight tallest mountains, Mount Jangan stands tall in the county; it is where a watershed for Seomjin River is located as well as the source region of the Geum River.

Jangsu apples, famous for their high sugar content and beautiful color, Omija and Gobdol (agalmatolite) Stoneware, cow raised on the clean highland area with an altitude of 700m, and an indigenous species of pig of Jangsu County are special local products of the county.

It is also the place of the oldest Confucian school, Jangsu Hyanggyo, which survived the Japanese Imjin Invasion of Korea in 1592 and remained intact. In addition, it is the birthplace of Nongae, a Gisaeng who sacrificed herself, along with a Japanese general into the river, killing them both. 

On August 28th 2016, A magnitude-2.3 earthquake hit Jangsu County in Northern Jeolla Province on Sunday. According to a Meteorological Office official in Jeonju, tremors from the quake were barely felt and no damage has been reported. The quake is the first reported in the province since a magnitude-3.9 quake hit Iksan city on December 22nd 2015.

The County Office is located at 10 Hobi Road/Hobi-ro, Jangsu-ri 176-7 beonji, Jangsu-eup with its postal code: 55634. The chief of the county is Choi Yong-deuk (Minjoo Party)In the other hand, Ahn Ho-young (Minjoo Party) served as the assemblyman for Wanju, Jinan, Muju and Jangsu Counties in 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Jangsu County contains a town (eup) and six communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja). 

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Hapcheon, Southern Gyeongsang: Ancestral Seat of ChoGye Joo Clan, Hometown of Disgraced President Chun Doo-hwan and Home of Tripitaka Koreana

Hapcheon (Hangul/Hanja: 합천군/陜川郡) is a county located at Northwestern Bound of Southern Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. Hapcheon County is surrounded by Changnyeong and Uiryeong Counties to the southeast, Geochang and Sancheong Counties to the west and Goryeong and Seongju Counties of Northern Gyeongsang Province to the north. This county is the place where the Tripitaka Koreana kept in Haeinsa Temple and Disgraced Korean Republic's President in the Freaking Fifth Republic, Chun Doo-hwan was born in 1931 at Naecheon-ri, Yulgok-myeon Commune. The postal codes of Hapcheon County start from 50200 (1645-8~1836 Mount Gaya Road/Gayasanno, Gaya-myeon) to 50253 (34-7~195-93 Chogok Alley/Chogok-gil, Cheongdeok-myeon).

The Mount Gaya range on the boundary line between provinces to the north as the main range, there are many big and small mountains that branch out from the range. There are Mount Maehwa, Mount Bigye which is bordered with Geochang County, Mount Dumu, Mount Odo, Mount Hwangmae which is bordered with Sancheong County and also mountains like Mount Akgyeon, Mount Geumseong, Mount Uiryong and Mount Gajeom, Mount Misung to the north. Also there are Mount Jagul, Mount Mita located south of Mount Dumu so the terrains are packed with famous mountains and open fields are rarely seen around these mountain areas. Except for the eastern region, it is high and rugged with mountainous terrains overlapping with each other and Nakdong River flows on the eastern region.

As one of major streams in Hapcheon and as a branch of Nakdong river, Hwang River that passes through the county originates from Mount Deogyu In Geochang County. Then, many streams converge and head south at Bongsan-myeon and passes through the communes of Yaro-myeon and Myosan-myeon, Goryeong County of Northern Gyeongsang and reaches Deokgok-myeon. Hwanggang, a river that flows from west to east, passes through 6 myeons out of 17 eups and myeons from south to west so many administrative areas and living zones are established according to the flow of the river. The river is wide but not that deep.

The foundation of Hapcheon started where the Stonewares are excavated in Gyodong of Hapcheon-eup and Daemok-ri of Daeyang-myeon and as well as the Stone Age artifacts during the construction of Hapcheon Multipurpose Dam. Hapcheon belonged to Byeonhan in Samhan Age (Byeonhan, Jinhan and Mahan), there were tribe nations of Daraguk (다라국/多羅國; in Hapcheon-eup), Chopalhyeguk (초팔혜국/草八兮國; in Chogye-myeon) and Saigiguk (사이기국/斯二岐國; in Samga-myeon). In particular, there are a number of ancient tombs located in Dabyeong-myeon (Chang-ri, Hageum-ri and Daeji-ri), Yaro-myeon (Geumpyeong-ri and Wolgwang-ri) and Samga-myeon (Yangjeon-ri). With the excavation of Okjeon Ancient Tombs in Seongsan-ri of Ssangchaek-myeon, it is assumed that may have been a power ruling force in the regions.

In 562, The Greater Gaya, a kingdom in Gaya Confederacy was destroyed by Kim Isabu and Sadama, the generals of Silla Kingdom in the 23rd year of King Jinheung, 24th King of Silla and Hapcheon was reverted to Silla. In the 11th year of the 27th Monarch of Silla Kingdom, Queen Seondeok Kim Deok-man (642CE) - Daeya Fortress was fallen to the hands of General Yunchung of Baekje where the lord of the castle, Pum-Seok Kim and Hwarang General Jukjuk died in the battle. However, Hapcheon was degraded from 'Ju' (State) into 'Gun' (County) in December 757CE (16th Reigning Year of King Gyeongdeok, 35th Monarch of Silla, thus renamed as GangYang-gun.

During Goryeo Dynasty Period, GangYang-gun was raised into the state of Hapju and had Yaro-myeon, Gasu-myeon, Samga-myeon as the subsidiary Communes in the 9th Reigning Year King Hyeonjong Wang Soon of Goryeo, 8th King of Goryeo (1018). In the 3rd Reigning year of King Chungsuk Wang Man, 27th King of Goryeo (1334), with the help of services from Cheong Soon-ki and Byun Woo-seong, Chogye Prefecture was raised to a status of County and a governor was staitioned to rule over the area. Later in 1373 (22nd Reigning year of the King Gongmin Wang Ki, 31st King of Goryeo), Gammu (Magistrate Office) was installed in Samgi Prefecture.

Moving on to the contemporary Korea, the county office was transferred from Yaro-myeon to Hapcheon-ri 789-beonji (Present-day 119 Dongseo Avenue/Dongseo-ro, Hapcheon-eup) in 1893. Two years later, Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu Yi Myeong-bok revamped the administrative regions of Korea where the region became Hapcheon County according to the 13 Provinces Administrative System. In 1914 - during Japanese Colonization Period, Samga and Chogye Prefectures were absorbed by Hapcheon County (17 myeons), Gungyu-myeon by Uiryeong County and Sinwon-myeon by Geochang County. In 1979, Hapcheon-myeon was raised to a status of eup (town) and now consists of 1 eup and 16 myeon (communes). The annexation of the areas out of Hapcheon occured in 1983 where Gwonhye-ri and Mukbang-ri of Jeokjung-myeon was incorporated into Burim-myeon of Uiryeong County. Six years later, Part of Osan-ri, Daeyang-myeon was incorporated into Bongsu-myeon of Uiryeong County and part of Oeto-ri, Samga-myeon into DaeUi-myeon of that same county.

As mentioned earlier, the county office is located at 119 Dongseo Avenue/Dongseo-ro, Hapcheon-ri 789-beonji, Hapcheon-eup with its postal code: 50231. The chief of this county is Ha Chang-hwan (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). Hapcheon County contains a town (eup) and 16 communes (myeon) as shown on the map below (in Hangul and Hanja).