This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Korea House, the site of Park Paeng-nyeon's Villa

Succubi in the Minister's House!

The Korea House which is located in the core of Namsan-gol Hanok Village (10 Toegye Avenue 36th Street/Toegyero 36-gil, Pildong 2-ga, Seoul Jung-gu) was previously used as the Residence of Park Paeng-nyeon (Hangul/Hanja: 박팽년/朴彭年; Born: 1417 - Died: 1456), a member in the Hall of Worthies during the reign of King Sejong the Great and one of the Six Martyred Ministers/Sayukshin during the reign of Young King Danjong and King Sejo.

This Cultural House was opened in 1981. It is a traditional Korean building that introduces the culture and lifestyle of Koreans, where you can experience traditional architecture and a classical atmosphere. The building was built in the style of the Joseon Dynasty's Jagyeong-jeon building at the Gyeongbok Palace. It is the only building built in the traditional architectural style. You will feel its antiquity as you enter the building. 

It is divided into the Haerin-gwan (a space for people to get acquainted with each other), the Traditional Theater, and three annex buildings (Munhyangnu, Nokeum-jeong and Cheongwu-jeong). At Haerin-gwan, you can enjoy traditional music at Garak-dang and try traditional food at Sohwa-dang. In the square of Garak-dang you can view a traditional wedding (on the weekends) or people playing folk games. Also, at the Traditional Theater, about 156 seats are available, and in the afternoons Human Cultural Assets or members of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts and the National Corps members present traditional music and dances. Sinayui, Salpuri, Pansori, the Drum Dance and the Bongsan Mask Dance are the most popular programs for foreigners. The programs are all explained in English and Japanese. 

In the Cultural Gift Shop you can view various crafts made by traditional craftsmen. It is always open and the crafts are for sale as well. There are pottery, ceramics, golden crafts, knots and embroidery etc; approximately 500 pieces of artwork made by craftsmen from 20 different fields. Next to the House of Korea is the Namsan-gol Hanok Village where visitors can explore traditional houses.

A Glimpse about Park Paeng-nyeon
Park Paeng-nyeon (1417–1456) was a scholar-official of the early Joseon Dynasty, and is known as one of the six martyred ministers. He was born to a yangban family of the Suncheon Park Clan, and was the son of high minister Park Jeong-rim. He passed the lower national service examination/Gwageo at a royal visitation in 1434, and was later appointed to the Hall of Worthies by King Sejong the Great. In the 1440s, he participated with other members of the Hall of Worthies in the creation of the Hunminjeongeum and the creation of the Hangul alphabet. He passed the higher literary examination in 1447, and rose to vice-minister of justice under Young King Danjong in 1454.

In 1455, Danjong was overthrown by Sejo - who was previously known as Grand Prince Suyang, arising the ire of Park and many other officials. Park continued to serve in high office; he was appointed as governor of Chungcheong in 1455, and again as vice-minister of justice in 1456. He joined in a plot to overthrow Sejo and restore Danjong in 1456, but the plot was uncovered through the betrayal of fellow plotter Kim Jil. Sejo admired Park's abilities and offered to pardon him if he were to deny his involvement and acknowledge Sejo as his king. When he refused to repent from his deeds, Sejo argued that it was useless to deny his authority now since Park had already called himself a "royal servant" and received royal grains from him. Park, however, denied this and it was indeed discovered that Park purposefully misspelled words "royal servant" in all of his reports (He wrote word meaning "huge"(巨) instead of "royal servant", 臣) and never used royal grains but instead stored them unused in a storage. Park died in prison from torture. All the males in his family were executed and females were enslaved.

A shrine to Park is located in Sinni-myeon, Chungju City, Northern Chungcheong Province. It was established in the 18th century, when Park and his fellows had come to be viewed as model subjects. Another memorial dating to 1688 stands in Jayang-dong, Daejeon Dong-gu, at the former site of his official residence. A few of Park's sijo poems have survived.

Window Shopping at Myeongdong - Shop until you DROP.

Myeongdong (Hangul명동Hanja明洞, literally 'bright town') is a precinct in Seoul Jung-guSouth Korea between ChungmuroEuljiro (Euljiro 1~7-ga), and Namdaemunno (Namdaemunno 1~5-ga) areas. It covers 0.99 km² with a population of 3,529 and is mostly a commercial area, being one of Seoul's main shopping and tourism districts. In 2011 and 2012, Myeongdong was listed as the ninth most expensive shopping street in the world. The postal codes for Myeongdong 1~2-ga are 100-021 and 100-022.

Myeongdong dates back to the Joseon Dynasty when it was called Myeongnyebang (Hangul: 명례방; Hanja: 明禮坊) and mostly a residential area. During the Japanese era the name was changed to Myeongchijeong 1~2-jeongmok/Meiji-cho 1~2-chome (Hangul: 명치정 1~2정목; Hanja: 明治町 1~2丁目) and became more of a commercial district, being influenced by the rising commerce in the neighboring Chungmuro area (Chungmuro 1~5-ga). It became the official district of Myeongdong in 1946, after Gwangbokjeol.

After the Korean War and into the 1960s, the economy blossomed and the financial sector from Namdaemunno and Euljiro gradually expanded into Myeongdong. The area flourished as city renovations took place and highrise buildings were built. Many department stores, shopping centers, restaurants, upscale shops and boutiques set up their businesses in Myeongdong and it became the mecca for the young and trendy in the 1970s.

Besides being a major commercial and financial district, Myeongdong has been a popular location for political demonstrations and protests, especially during the turbulent years of the 1980s and 1990s. Myeongdong Cathedral has been a frequent spot for many of these demonstrations and still is to this day.

As of March 2000, Myeongdong's has been designated as a special Tourism Promotion Area and is one of the stops on the official Seoul City Bus tour's main route.

Seoul's financial hub is divided between here and Yeouido where the Korea Stock Exchange is located. Major insurance, securities, financial services companies, and investment firms with headquarters in Myeongdong include CitibankSK Corporation, KB Kookmin BankKorea Exchange BankLone Star FundsSumitomo Mitsui Banking CorporationAIG Korea InsuranceHana Bank, and HongKong-Shanghai Banking Corp., The Bank of Korea is also in the vicinity.

Other notable landmarks in Myeongdong include the Chinese Embassy, which was first opened on January 4, 1949. YWCA headquarters, UNESCO Hall, Myeongdong Theater, and the oldest Catholic cathedral in Korea, Myeongdong Cathedral.

Except for early morning and late night delivery hours, the main street and most of the alleys are blocked off for pedestrians to roam freely without being hindered by traffic.

Myeongdong is one of Seoul’s main shopping districts featuring mid-to-high priced retail stores and international brand outlets, including Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Bvlgari and Louis Vuitton, as well as Korean cosmetics brands such as Nature Republic, MisshaThe Face Shop and Skin Food. It is a particularly popular area for young people and tourists as a center for fashion and sight-seeing. Several large shopping centers and department stores are in the district including Lotte Department StoreShinsegae Department StoreMigliore, M Plaza, and Noon Square.

In August 2012, as part of Lotte Department Store's expansion programme into China, a replica of the street of Myeongdong is featured in its new store in Tianjin, with outlets of MisshaThe Face Shop and Skin Food.

The floating population of Myeongdong is estimated to be around 2 million a day and in terms of floorspace rents, Myeongdong is one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world. Many hotels, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, and historical sites complete the diverse mixture of the area. In a poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that 13.4 percent named shopping in Myeongdong as their favorite activity in Seoul.

Culture Station Seoul 284, Seoul Jung-gu: Ye Olde Seoul Railway Station

Built in 1925, Seoul Train Station which is located at 1 Unification Road/Tongillo, Bongnae-dong 2-ga 122-28 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu; served as the gateway to Seoul for 80 years. But in 2004, the city added the KTX (Korea Train Xpress) bullet train and built a corresponding new station. Although the old Seoul Train Station was left unused, in 2011, it was renovated and built anew as a multicultural center. Along with the idea of renovation, the train station was renamed "Culture Station Seoul 284" through a publicized naming contest. Culture Station Seoul 284 represents a train station that is the center of a culture network located in Seoul as well as Korean Republic Historical Landmark No. 284

In 1900, when the Seoul to Incheon railway line was established, Seoul Station, built of wood, began its operations. The original name of Seoul Station was Namdaemun Train Station. In 1925, Southern Manchuria Railway Incorporation transformed the Seoul Train Station, using the Renaissance style. The train station was renamed to Gyeongseong/Keijou Train Station from Namdaemun Train Station. However, after the Gwangbokjeol, it was renamed to Seoul Train Station. In 1960, two more stations were added, one in the South and one in the West, due to the rapid development of Seoul and increasing demand for public transportation. In 2004, a new private company closed down the Seoul Train Station and built a new one. After the restoration of the train station in 2011, it became Korea's multicultural space named Historical Seoul Train Station.

When you first enter Cultural Station Seoul 284, you will see the Main Hall, the dome, and its 12 stone pillars. To replicate the original station, builders of the train station created an elevator for disabled people where the convenience store was once located. In place of the ticketing office, they installed a heating and air conditioning system. On the ceiling of the train station, there is a stained glass depicting Korean traditional dancing called “Kang Kang Su Won Le." You can learn about the train station by renting an audio set from the place where the ticketing office once existed. In the past, ticket prices differed by class (first, second and third).  Also, the ticket on the class determined which waiting room the individual could wait for the train. The third class waiting room was located to the right of the main hall and the first, second, ladies and VIP waiting room was located to the left of the main hall. This space is now being used as an exhibition hall.

The 2nd floor Recovery Exhibition was once used as a barber shop and restroom when it was first built. The train station was re-built in the same architectural form as the original. The finish, windows and decorations are displayed. The original wooden window frames and crevices are re-used to display the exhibit. “Seoul Train Station Grill” was known as the best Western restaurant during the Japanese occupation. This place, along with the Main Hall, are considered the most beautiful spaces of the Seoul Train Station. There is a spacious large eatery, food preparation room and a small restaurant in between the large eatery and office space.

After restoring the train station to its 1925 structure, any act damaging cultural property is forbidden by the Cultural Protection Law.  Culture Station Seoul 284 preserves cultural value and at the same time, we pursue active cultural space by connecting the past to the present.  Starting with the art project called Countdown, experimental and alternative plans followed and after the Japanese occupation, the Railroad Transportation Office, used by the US army, preserves the original form and used as a small theatre.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Rejoice! Sungnyemun is opened for Business!

Good idea, Merry. We hope there is no arson attacks at this gate. 

Extract from Yonhap News: Restored Sungnyemun gate to open to public this week by Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, April 29 -- The ancient gate destroyed in an arson attack more than five years ago will officially open to the public with a ceremony this weekend, officials said Monday.

   The Cultural Heritage Administration said it will hold a ceremony to mark the completion of the restoration of Sungnyemun, also known as Namdaemun meaning "south gate" in Korean, at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the site in central Seoul.

   The nation's No. 1 treasure was one of the four gates that protected Seoul, the then capital of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Severely damaged in the arson attack by an elderly man in January 2010, the gate underwent restoration with the participation of the nation's top-notch master carpenters and craftsmen, including those named intangible cultural treasures.

   The administration said the gate made of stone and wood was restored to resemble its original form when it was first built in the late 14th century.

   For this, the restoration team conducted historical and investigative research in order to repair the national treasure using traditional building materials and techniques. They fired hand-made roof tiles in a traditional kiln and used traditional instead of artificial paints for the dancheong, the multi-colored Korean decorative coloring, according to officials.

   The walls on both sides of the gate, which were demolished during the 1910-1945 Japanese colonial rule over Korea, have been rebuilt as well.

   The team also broadened the width of the stairway on its east side and lowered the ground around it by 30 to 50 centimeters in an effort to restore the gate to its original shape, officials said.

Despite the restoration, the gate's value as a national treasure remains intact, according to experts.

   "Many people think Sungnyemun was totally burnt down in the fire, but that's a misunderstanding," said Park Eon-kon, architecture professor at Seoul's Hongik University who headed the advisory group for the project. "Only part of it was destroyed."

   The restoration team actually reused some of the blackened logs from the original building while materials that were not reusable were preserved for study or exhibitions.

   "The gate's value as a national treasure remains intact because what we did was 'restoration,' not 'reconstruction' for recreating what has been lost," he said.

   "I did my best for the restoration project," Shin Eung-soo, a 71-year-old master carpenter who took charge of the carpentry work for the project, said, proudly pointing to the structure restored to its former splendor.

   "With this restoration project as an occasion, I hope all people in the country will pay more attention and love to their national heritage," he said.

   Lee Eui-sang, a 72-year-old mason who participated in the project, said the government's plan to restore Sungnyemun in a traditional way perplexed him at first.

   "I didn't know what to do because all the tools used by the nation's traditional masons disappeared in the middle of 1970s," he said. So, he had to travel around the country in search of old tools.

   "The past three years that I participated in the Sungnyemun restoration project were the most unforgettable experiences in my 55 years as a mason," he said.

   The Sungnyemun restoration project was carried out amid much national interest and support.

   The 24.7 billion won (US$22 million) project involved some 35,000 man-days, including scores of historians, field experts and thousands of workers, according to the cultural heritage administration.

   After the ceremony, the restored gate will be open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Mondays. The hours will be extended by one hour till 7 p.m. in May, the month it reopens.

   On May 4, all four royal palaces -- Gyeongbok, Changdeok, Changgyeong and Deoksu -- and Jongmyo Shrine will be opened for free admission in celebration of Sungnyemun's reopening, the office said.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Famous Queen of Joseon Dynasty, Part VII: Queen Jeongsun of Yeosan Song Clan

Queen Jeongsun of Yeosan Song Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 정순왕후 여산송씨/定順王后 礪山宋氏; Born: 1440 - Died: 1521) is the only consort of the young King Danjong, 6th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty. She is a daughter of Song Hyun-soo (송현수/宋玹壽), Internal Prince Yeoryang (Yeoryang Buwon-gun/여량부원군/礪良府院君) and coming from Yeosan Song Clan which is originated at Yeosan-myeon, Iksan City, Northern Jeolla Province. Her posthumous name is Queen Uideok Dallyang Jegyeong Jeongsun (의덕단량제경정순왕후/懿德端良齊敬定順王后). Perhaps, she was one of the most tragic royal consorts in Joseon Period.

In 1453, she was selected to be Queen out of many candidates and actually became the Queen a year later. However, when King Danjong was forced to abdicate from the throne by his uncle, Grand Prince Suyang, who later became King Sejo, and was exiled to Yeongwol County in Gangwon Province, Queen Jeongsun was deprived of her title as well. 

After King Danjong immolated by King Sejo's minions, she built a thatched-roof house outside Seoul’s Dongdaemun Gate (East Main Gate) and lived there for the rest of her life continuing to mourn her husband.

She died in 1521 when she was 81 years old and buried at 180-1 Sareung Avenue/Sareungno, Sareung-ri san 65-1 beonji, Jingeon-eup, Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province. The tomb’s name, Sareung (사릉/思陵) came from the fact that she had missed her dead husband so much.

Unlike other royal tombs, Sareung looks very simple. Its size is relatively small, and it does not have the “Byeongpungseok” stone border. There is only a “Muninseok” statue of a civil officer and “Seokma”, a statue carved in the shape of a horse.

However, Sareung is not open to public; it can only be visited for the purposes of scientific research, fieldwork, reports, education, and worship. In these cases reservations should be made in advance. Her tomb is accessible by using KORAIL-Gyeongchun Line to Station P126: Sareung Station (사릉역/思陵驛).

Famous Queen of Joseon Dynasty, Part VI: Queen Danui of Cheongsong Shim Clan

Queen Danui of Cheongsong Shim Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 단의왕후 청송심씨/端懿王后 靑松沈氏; Born: 1686 - Died: 1718) is the first consort of King Gyeongjong, 20th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty. She is 12th generation descendant of Shim On (심온/沈溫), father of Queen Soheon - Queen Consort of King Sejong the Great and 7th generation descendant of Shim Kang (심강/沈鋼), father of Queen In-soon - Queen Consort of King Myeongjong. Further ado, she is a daughter of Shim Ho, Internal Prince Cheong-eun (Cheong-eun Buwon-gun/청은부원군/靑恩府院君).

She was the Princess Consort of the Prince Successor, Yi Yoon (later King Gyeongjong). Unfortunately, she died two years before King Gyeongjong ascended the throne, replacing his father, King Sukjong. She was buried at the Royal Tomb of Hyereung (혜릉/), a part of Donggureung Tomb Cluster (동구릉/東九陵) which is located at 197 Donggureung Avenue/Donggureungno, Inchang-dong san 10-1 beonji, Guri City, Gyeonggi Province. Her posthumous name is Queen Gonghyo Jeongmok Dan-ui (공효정목단의왕후/恭孝定穆端懿王后).

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Famous Queen of Joseon Dynasty, Part V: Queen Jangnyeol of Yangju Cho Clan

Queen Jangnyeol of Yangju Cho Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 장렬왕후 양주조씨/莊烈王后 楊州趙氏; Born: December 16th 1624 - Died: September 20th 1688) is the second consort of King Injo, 16th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty. She is a daughter of Cho Chang-won (조창원/趙昌遠), Internal Prince Hanwon (Hanwon Buwon-gun/한원부원군/漢原府院君) and posthumously known as Queen Ja-ui Gongshin Hwiheon Gang-in Sungmok Jangnyeol (자의공신휘헌강인숙목장렬왕후/慈懿恭愼徽獻康仁淑穆莊烈王后).

Queen Jangnyeol succeeded Queen Illyeol of Cheongju Han Clan as the Queen of Joseon Dynasty in 1638, three years after Queen Illyeol passed away after giving birth to a prince. She was promoted into Royal Queen Dowager during the reign of King Hyojong (1649) as Royal Queen Dowager Ja-ui (자의왕대비/慈懿王大妃). 

She outlived the following two Kings which are Kings Hyojong (1649-1659) and Hyeonjong (1659-1674) and died during the reign of King Sukjong, 19th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty (1688). She was buried at the Royal Tomb of Hwireung (휘릉/徽陵), a part of Donggureung Tomb Cluster (동구릉/東九陵) which is located at 197 Donggureung Avenue/Donggureungno, Inchang-dong san 5-1 beonji, Guri City, Gyeonggi Province. Her husband, King Injo was buried together with her predecessor, Queen Illyeol at Paju Jangneung which is located at Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju City, Gyeonggi Province.

Famous Queen in Joseon Dynasty, Part IV: Queen Sindeok of Koksan Kang Clan

Queen Sindeok of Koksan Kang Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 신덕고황후 곡산강씨(神德皇后 谷山康氏; Born: 1356 - Died: 1396) is the second consort of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye, the Founder of Joseon Dynasty. She is the daughter of Kang Yoon-seong (강윤성/康允成), Internal Prince Sangsan (Sangsan Buwon-gun/상산부원군/象山府院君) and coming from Koksan Kang Clan which is originated from Sinch'ŏn County, Northern Hwanghae Province, DPRK. She is posthumously known as Empress Sunwon Hyeon-gyeong Sindeok, Empress Go of Korean Empire (순원현경신덕고황후/順元顯敬神德皇后). Perhaps, I can say she was posthumously known as the Empress Sindeok after the establishment of Korean Empire by Emperor Gojong Gwangmu in 1897.

Adopting a custom from the Goryeo Dynasty, King Taejo had two wives -- one from his hometown in Jeonju, Northern Jeolla Province (Queen Sinui of Anbyeon Han Clan), and one from the nation's capital, Seoul (Queen Sindeok of Koksan Kang Clan). Queen Sinui died a year before Taejong took the throne but had six sons and two daughters during the time the two were married. A further policy from the Goryeo Dynasty was to have a son from the first queen named Crown Prince to take over the throne, but between his love for Queen Sindeok and some persuasion from Prime Minister Jeong Do-jeon he had Queen Sindeok's second son named as Crown Prince.

When Queen Sindeok died in 1396, King Taejo built her tomb close to the city's fortress, currently located within central Seoul's Jeong-dong, and had Heungcheonsa Temple constructed nearby as a place to pray and spend time while visiting his wife's grave. While the king was in mourning his prime minister, Jeong Do-jeon, plotted to kill the sons of Queen Sinui to smooth the transition to the rule of Queen Sindeok's second son and cement his own position within the court. Queen Sinui's fifth son, Yi Bang-won, heard the news and raided the palace -- killing Jeong Do-jeon and both of Queen Sindeok's sons (Yi Bang-beon and Crown Prince Yi Bang-seok) in an event known as the First Strife of Princes.

It's reported that King Taejo, upset over the fratricide and saddened by the loss of his second wife, retired from the court after naming Queen Sinui's second son, Yi Bang-gwa (later King Jeongjong), as his replacement. Yi Bang-gwa assumed the throne under the name King Jeongjong but had ruled for less than a year before his brother Yi Bang-won (the same brother who had killed Queen Sindeok's sons) attacked a contingent of the royal forces and later coerced the king to name him Crown Prince. Giving in to his younger brother's rising aspirations, Jeongjong eventually abdicated and Yi Bang-won ruled from 1400-1418 as King Taejong.

There are two tombs which named as Jeongneung in Seoul, the First is Jeongneung in Seongbuk-gu which contains Queen Sindeok's body while the Jeongneung in Gangnam-gu contains King Jungjong's body. The interesting point is these two tombs have different Hanja notaions: 貞陵 for Seongbuk Jeongneung and 靖陵 for Gangnam Jeongneung.

The specific location for Seongbuk Jeongneung is 116 Arirang Avenue 19th Street/Arirangno 19-gil, Jeongneung-dong, Seoul Seongbuk-gu. Her tomb is accessible by using KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4 to Station 418: Sungshin Women's University-Donam Station (성신여대입구-돈암역(誠信女大入口-敦岩驛/Seongshin-yeodae Ipgu-Donam Yeok: Entrance to Sungshin Women's University-Donam).

Monday, 24 June 2013

Famous Queen in Joseon Dynasty, Part III: Queen Munjeong of Papyeong Yoon Clan

Queen Munjeong of Papyeong Yoon Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 문정왕후 파평윤씨/文定王后 坡平尹氏; Born: 1 February 1502 – Died: 29 December 1565) was the third consort of King Jungjong - 11th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty, replacing her distant cousin, Queen Janggyeong who died seven days after giving birth to future King Injong, 12th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty. She is a daughter of Yoon Ji-im, the Internal Prince Pasan (Pasan Buwon-gun/파산부원군/坡山府院君), and distant niece of Yoon Yeo-pil. 

She was regent for her son King Myeongjong when he was still too young to rule by himself until 1565. Known as a good administrator, she continued to rule even after he reached the age of majority. She gave out the land to common people that had been formerly owned by the nobility. It was only after her death that her son took over power. She was given the posthumous title Queen Seongnyeol Inmyeong Munjeong (성렬인명문정왕후/聖烈仁明文定王后).

According to unofficial chronicles, there is a tale of Munjeong finally showing love for her stepson King Injong, after decades of polite indifference (in reality behind-the-scenes hatred).
"As Injong went to pay his morning respects, Munjeong’s face started radiating with a smile only a mother could give to her child. Injong took it as a sign that the Queen Mother was finally acknowledging him as the king, and in particular as her own son. He ate the ddeok that his step-mother gave him, not knowing that it would be the beginning of the end. He fell ill slowly, not enough to create any suspicion, but quickly enough that historians would later pick up on the event. Three days passed before Injong mysteriously died (after only 9 months of rule)."

Queen Munjong’s son became King Myeongjong, while Munjeong became Queen Regent. The chronicles also tell that Munjeong was frequently visited by spirits at night after Injong’s death. Despite that, she moved her residence from Gyeongbok Palace to Changdeok Palace.

Queen Munjeong passed away on 29 December 1565 at Sodeok Hall, Changdeok Palace in the age of 63. She was buried at the Royal Tomb of Taereung (태릉/泰陵) which is located at 681 Hwarang Avenue/Hwarangno, Gongneung-dong, Seoul Nowon-gu. Her tomb is accessible by using SMRT Lines 6 (645) and 7 (717) to Taereung Station (태릉입구역/泰陵入口驛/Taereung Ipgu-yeok: Entrance to Taereung, Tomb of Queen Munjeong).

Famous Queen in Joseon Dynasty, Part II: Queen Janggyeong of Papyeong Yoon Clan

Ayumi celebrates 600th establishment of Goyang City at this tomb, seriously.
Queen Janggyeong of Papyeong Yoon Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 장경왕후 파평윤씨/章敬王后 坡平尹氏; Born: 1491 - Died: March 17th 1515) is the second consort of King Jungjong, replacing Queen Dangyeong of Geochang Shin Clan who dethroned seven days after dethronement of King Yeonsan the Terrible and instalment of Grand Prince Jinseong as King Jungjong, 11th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty (September 9th, 1506). She is a distant cousin of Queen Munjeong - the third consort of King Jungjong, daughter of Yoon Yeo-pil (윤여필/尹汝弼), Internal Prince Pawon (Pawon Buwon-gun/파원부원군/坡原府院君) and distant niece of Yoon Ji-im (윤지임/尹之任) - Internal Prince Pasan. In fact, she's coming from Papyeong Yoon Clan which is originated from Papyeong-myeon, Paju City, Gyeonggi Province.

However, Queen Janggyeong passed away seven days after giving birth to a son, Yi Ho (이호/李) who later became King Injong, 12th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty. Her posthumous name is Queen Sukshin Myeonghye Seonso Uisuk Janggyeong (숙신명혜선소의숙장경왕후/淑愼明惠宣昭懿淑章敬王后). She was buried at The Royal Tomb of Huireung (희릉/禧陵), a part of Seosamneung Royal Tomb Cluster (서삼릉/西三陵) which is located at Wondang-dong, Goyang DeogYang-gu, Gyeonggi Province.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Famous Queen in Joseon Dynasty, Part I: Queen Dangyeong of Geochang Shin Clan

Isumi-hime with the tomb of Queen Dankyung, one of King Jungjong's Consorts.

Queen Dangyeong of Geochang Shin Clan (Hangul/Hanja: 단경왕후 거창신씨/端敬王后 居昌愼氏; Born: 1487 - Died: 1557) is the first Consort of King Jungjong, the 11th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty (Born: 16 April 1488 – Died: 29 November 1544, Reigned: 1506–1544). She was a daughter of Shin Soo-geun (신수근/愼守勤) - Internal Prince Ikchang (Ikchang Buwon-gun/익창부원군/益昌府院君), who served as a minister during the era of King Yeonsan the Terrible, 10th Monarch of Joseon Dynasty (Born: 24 October 1476 – Died: 20 November 1506, Reigned: 1494–1506). Ironically, he was King Yeonsan's brother-in-law.

She married Grand Prince Jinseong (진성대군/晉城大君 - later King Jungjong) in 1499 and became Queen Consort of Joseon Dynasty in 1506 after dethronement of King Yeonsan the Terrible by officers who loyal to Grand Prince Jinseong (Park Won-jong/박원종, Seong Hui-an/성희안, Yoo Soon-jeong/유순정 and Hong Gyeong-joo/홍경주). 

Unfortunately, she was expelled from the palace seven days after ascended the throne and her political rivals killed her father; who dissatisfied with King Jungjong after ascended the Joseon Dynasty throne by dethroning Jungjong's brother, King Yeonsan the Terrible. King Jungjong was pressured by Queen Dangyeong's political rivals and forcibly dethrone her. The queen died in 1557 and buried in her family burial site which is located at 255-41 Hoguk-ro/Hoguk Avenue, Iryeong-ri san 19-beonji, Jangheung-myeon, Yangju City, Gyeonggi Province. King Yeongjo, the 21st Monarch of Joseon Dynasty (Born: 31 October 1694 – Died: 22 April 1776, Reigned: 16 October 1724 – 22 April 1776) reinstated the place as Joseonese Royal Tomb of Olleung (온릉/溫陵) in 1739.

She is posthumously known as Queen Gongso Sun-yeol Dan-gyeong (공소순열단경왕후/恭昭順烈端敬王后). In the modern day, Olleung is not open to public in order to preserve it. Her tragic story depicted from the Korean Drama entitled 'Queen for Seven Days' (7일의 왕비), portrayed by Park Min-kyung and Park Si-eun - as the younger Queen Dangyeong.

Allah Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun, Part IX: Islamic Quarter of Itaewon-dong, Seoul Yongsan-gu

Thanks to maskawaih (excuse for misspelling your name) because he has given an idea about this stuff. 

Itaewon-dong (Hangul/Hanja: 이태원동/梨泰院洞) is a city precinct of Seoul Yongsan-guSouth Korea. It is served by SMRT Line 6 via ItaewonNoksapyeong and Hangangjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, and U.S. Military personnel in Korea. Mainly, points around Hamilton Hotel.

Itaewon has two subprecincts which are Itaewon 1-dong and Itaewon 2-dong. The community centres for these two subprecincts are located at Bogwangno/Bogwang Avenue and Hoenamuro 13-gil/Hoenamu Avenue 13th Street respectively. The postal code for Itaewon-dong is 140-200. Perhaps, the postal code for these precincts are 140-201 and 140-202.

Many restaurants serving international dishes are found in this area including cuisine from India, Pakistan, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, and Mexico, foods that are not widely available in Korea. The Seoul Central Mosque is also located in Itaewon.

Itaewon is also, along with Insadong and N Seoul Tower, one of the most popular areas in Seoul for tourists. Major hotels such as the Hyatt and local landmark Hamilton Hotel can be found here as well as dozens of shops and services aimed at tourists. High quality leather products in Korea can be found here at reasonable prices (though haggling is expected) as well as various types of traditional Korean souvenirs. Counterfeit goods and clothing are ubiquitous and of varying quality, but some genuine goods which are produced in Korea for the international market as well as some authentic imports can sometimes be found here. Itaewon is also known to have various tailors that peddle their services for making custom-made suits.

Glossaries in this picture:
  • Imam Nawawi's Collection of 40 Hadiths or also known as "Al-Arba'un Al-Nawawiyyah (Arabic: الأربعون النووية)" is a collection of the forty (actually forty-two) chief traditions of hadiths has been frequently published along with numerous commentaries. Written by Abu Zakaria Mohiuddin Yahya Ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi (Arabicأبو زكريا يحيى بن شرف النووي‎), popularly known as al-Nawawian-Nawawi or Imam Nawawi (631–676 A.H. / 1234–1277 CE).
  • In the Shade of the Qur'an or Fi Zilalil Qur'an (Arabic: في ظِلالِ القرآن‎, fī ẓilāl al-qur'ān) is a highly influential commentary of the Qur'an, written during 1951-1965 by Al-Syahid Sayyid Qutb (Arabic: سيد قطب‎; 1906-1966). The most intersting fact about this book is most of the original 30 volumes (114 Surahs) were written (or re-written) while in prisonIt is considered by some to be a comprehensive and far-reaching commentary that takes a clear and lucid interpretation of the Qur'an.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Nokdu Alley, the dwelling place for the students of Seoul National University

We have known the dwelling places for the university students such as Hongdae Area (홍대앞/HongDae-ap), Daehangno (대학로) and Ehwa Womans University's Area (이대앞/Idae-ap). Nevertheless, Nokdu Alley in the Lower Han River Sector of Seoul is the main dwelling place for the university students in that area.

Nokdu Alley or Nokdu-geori is a street in Daehak-dong, Seoul Gwanak-gu. Located near Seoul National University Gwanak Campus, the alley was formed as a center of entertainment for students. The alley is crowded with many restaurants, markets, bars and pubs. In the vicinity, there are many private boarding homes, dormitories and lodges making dwelling place for students.

Nokdu Alley was formed in late 1970s, after Seoul National University was relocated. The name of the alley was derieved from the traditional pub (makgeolli house) Nokdu-jip (녹두집/Nokdu House), Which served as the center of the student activists at that time.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

COEX, the place where Gangnam Style was born

Ahhh... It seems Rikka is going through the PSY's Gangnam Style K-hole. PSY approves.
COEX Mall, containing COnvention centers, EXhibition halls and many malls, is an underground shopping mall located in  Seoul Gangnam-gu, South Korea. It is Asia's largest underground shopping mall with an area of about 85,000 square metres. The mall is located at Samseong-dong served by Samseong Station on Seoul Metro Line 2, at the intersection of Teheranno (Teheran Avenue) and Yeongdong-daero (Yeongdong Boulevard). The COEX Mall is adjacent to the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center, which is part of the COEX complex, run by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

Along with hundreds of shops, the mall houses two food courts, Megabox (movie theatres), COEX Aquarium, a large bookstore, and the Kimchi Field Museum. It also features a game area which is used to film computer game tournaments, which are broadcast on local television. There are also stages inside and outside the mall for seasonal events and public appearances by celebrities.

In May 2012, KITA (Korea International Trade Association) announced major renovation plans for the mall. It will spend ₩180 billion to the upgrade project. The renovation is needed to create passenger walkways between the new COEX Station on Metro 9, due for completion in 2014, with Samseong Station on Line 2. It is scheduled to start at the end of 2012 and for completed by November 2014. The floor space is expected to increaed to 173,025 square meters from its current 152,116 square meters. COEX complex full renovation is scheduled to begin in March 2013.

ASEM Tower is located in the coex Area but wait... There's PSY with his trademark horse-riding dance.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, Part II: Yeonmudae (I think Running Men have been there something...)

Running man competitors rendezvoused at this pavilion and this Negi-sensei's Chinese Apperenctice comes to the same place. No wonder those running men searched this pavilion in Hanja. 
Yeonmudae or Dongjangdae (English: Martial Arts Pavilion or Eastern Command Post) is located inside Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Situated on a relatively high hill between Changnyongmun (the east gate of the fortress) and Hwahongmun (a north floodgate), Yeonmudae is an excellent military observation post with sweeping views of the inside of the fortress. 

The specific location of this command post is located at 20 Changnyong-daero 103beon-gil (Changnyong Boulevard 103rd Street), Maehyang-dong, Suwon Paldal-gu, Gyeonggi Province.

After the fortress was completed in 1796, Yeonmudae was used as a training ground for troops for over two centuries, where they learned fighting skills involving swords, spears and arrows.

At Yeonmudae, visitors can learn archery while wearing traditional military attire; the fortress also offers a wide array of performances for visitors to appreciate traditional Korean culture. Yeonmudae is included in the Suwon City Tour.

Two screenshots of Running Man Episode 2 - Suwon:
Sigh... I wonder what is it in Chinese....

Ahhh... there you have it: Yeonmudae in Chinese Transliteration