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

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lake Yeongnang, Sokcho, Gangwon Province: The Proof of Everlasting Friendship during Silla Dynasty period

Lake Yeongnang (Hanja: 永郞湖) in the precinct of Geumho-dong, Sokcho, Gangwon Province is actually a naturally formed lagoon with watershed area of 1.21 sq km and a circumference of 7.8 km. The name ‘Yeongnang-ho’ originated in Silla Period (57 BC – AD 935), when a young man named Hwarang and his friend Yeongnang were returning from the Mount Kumgang at the present-day DPRK a.k.a North Korea and they encountered a lake. Awestruck at the beauty of the lake they named it after Yeongnang. 

Nearby Lake Yeongnang is a resort with a golf course (Yeongnang Country Club) and canoe rentals, as well as many pedestrian pathways that joggers enjoy in morning. When visiting the lake, one must be sure to stop by the Beombawi Rock; 'Beom' means tiger in English. This rock takes on the form of a tiger. Many visitors climb this rock to enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Take a bike ride around Lake Yeongnang which takes about an hour on bike to get fully around the lake. Some stops along the way include Beombawi, a rock shaped like a crouched tiger which offers views of downtown, pagodas and temples (e.g: Sokcho-Bogwangsa and Sokcho-Wongaksa). 

Sinpo Market, Incheon Jung-gu: Enjoy your Dakgangjeong (Sweet Fried Crispy Chicken) after visiting Old Incheon Japanese Consulate (Incheon Jung-gu Office)

Located at 11-5 Woohyeon Avenue 49th Street/Uhyeonno 49beon-gil, Sinpo-dong 3-2 beonji, Incheon Jung-gu - Sinpo Market (Hanja: 新浦市場) which covers 3,300 sq m of area dates back to the late 19th century when vendors began selling fresh vegetables to the Japanese, Chinese, and Westerners who settled in the area. Sinpo Market was officially registered as a market in 1970 and now boasts over 140 stores. It is located 600 meters from the Old Incheon Japanese Consulate (present-day Incheon Jung-gu Office) in 80 Sinpo Avenue 27th Street/Sinporo 27beon-gil, Gwandong 1-ga 9-1 beonji.

An increasing number of tourists and international merchants have visited Incheon by ferries and cruise ships, turning the local market into an international shopping area over the past few decades. The information desk and office at the market even provide a variety of services (translation services, trade and shopping information, etc.) for tourists and merchants from home and abroad. 

Sinpo Market has long been Incheon's representative traditional market place. Sinpo-dong Market is located next to sophisticated fashion shops of Sinpo-dong Culture Street. Quaint yet handy stores such as mills, general stores, hardware stores, and OEM surplus clothing stores are visible in this market. 

It is also a place to savor some of Incheon's local specialty snacks such as spicy cold noodles (jjolmyeon), dumplings, handmade thick cut noodles (kalguksu), and the Chinese-influenced puffy bread, gonggalbbang, all prepared in their original old fashioned way. Ganghwa Susam (undried insam) is Incheon's specialty product and contributed to making Sinpo Market famous. Recently, you can see a lot of tourists and seamen from the Philippines and Russia. There are stores for Russians and Filipinos and restaurants offering a range of foreign foods. 

The red color of dakgangjeong, which has served as a signature dish in the market for 27 years with its garnish of chopped pepper and peanuts, is a mouth-watering sight. The first bite is spicy enough to bring a tear to people's eye, but it leaves a refreshing taste in the mouth that keeps them coming back for more.

Mandu, or dumplings made with thin dough and filled with meat or vegetables, are another signature dish. They come in different colors, and the filling gives even small portions a certain heaviness. One restaurant owner hails passersby with the promise that at his establishment the dough is colored not with pigment but with vegetables or fruit: cherry for the pink dough, mugwort for the green, and pumpkin for the yellow.

Following a recent renovation, Sinpo Market has been entirely revamped into a new appearance. With roads repaved in orange-colored ascon (an asphalt-concrete mix), and sidewalks redone using rubber blocks, the place conveys a safer, more cozy feeling to pedestrians. The area around the market, now equipped with arches, promotional towers and other information posting structures, appears urban and stylish. 

The market is conveniently located for sightseeing. Near Incheon Station on KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 1, there is a historical district with old buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the country's first Western-style park, Freedom Park. Chinatown is also not far. 

The best way to look around Incheon is to take the city tour bus. It offers three courses -- downtown, Incheon International Airport and Ganghwa Island. For the downtown and airport courses, it leaves Incheon Station at 10 a.m. every day but the Ganghwa Island course runs once on Saturday and Sunday only.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Gwanghallu Garden, Namwon, Northern Jeolla: LOVE is in the air.

Gwanghallu Garden (Hanja: (廣寒樓苑) in 1447 Yocheon Avenue/Yocheonno, CheonGeo-dong 78-beonji, Namwon City, Northern Jeolla Province is a Korean-style park complete with ponds, streams, bridges and pavilions where legends says two famous lovers in Korean lore, Seong Chunhyang (a favorite heroine in Korean literature) and Lee Mong-ryong (son of an aristocrat), spent their evenings.

Also known as Gwangtongnu (광통루/廣通樓), Gwanghallu Garden was originally built by Joseon Prime Minister, Hwang Hui in 1419 (2nd Reigning Year of King Sejong the Great). Because of its surreal beauty, Governor Jeong In-ji gave the garden the name ‘Gwanghallu’ in 1444, comparing it to a palace on the moon. It is famous as the location where Lee Mong-ryong and Seong Chunhyang (two lovers from a well-known Korean folk story) first met. 

In the 1920’s Chunhyangsa Temple was established in the neighboring area and a portrait of Chunhyang was hung in a place of honor. On May 5th of every year, the garden is the venue of the Chunhyangje Festival, celebrating the deep and lasting love of the famous couple. 

Namwon City, where the garden is located, contains many historical relics such as the Maninuichong Tomb, Gwanghallu, Ojak Bridge, Gyoryong Fortress, Hwangsan Great Battle Monument Site, and Silsangsa Temple, as well as tourist courses such as the Namwon Tourist Site, Susang Amusement Park, Chunhyang Theme Park, Music Fountain, and Mount Jiri National Park.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Aww... not that AHN again...

Awww.... Mayaka called that surname again!

Ahn.... Hyan? You said... Ahn Hyang???

That's right, Mayaka. This is Hoeheon AHN Hyang. Goryeo Confucian Scholar who hailed from Sunheung-myeon, Yeongju, Northern Gyeongsang.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Hwangji Pond, Taebaek, Gangwon Province: The Main Source of Nakdong River

Hwangji Pond (Hanja: 黃池蓮못) is a source of the Nakdong/Rakdong River (525km), the longest river in South Korea (The longest river in Korea is Amrok River in North Korea - 790km). The pond is an important joint of underground water flow through the valleys of Mount Taebaek, Mount Hambaek, Mount Baekbyeong and Mount Maebong, the mountains surrounding the city of Taebaek, Gangwon Province

There are three sections of the pond: Sangji (high pond), 100m in diameter, Jungji (middle pond), 50m in diameter and Haji (low pond), 30m in diameter. Although it is small in size, the pond supplies 5,000 tons of water a day that flows to the open Yeongnam Plains. 

Being located at the center of Taebaek City and Taebaek Mountains a.k.a Taebaek Sanmaek (Specific Location: Hwangji-dong 623-beonji), Hwangji Pond is a popular destination for the citizens of Taebaek for cultural and recreational purposes. The night view of the pond is also beautiful, which makes it a perfect place for a couple’s night out. The water is very clean and lenoks can be found here, which only live in high quality water.

The Nakdong River flows from the Taebaek Mountains to the South Sea or Korean Strait, that separates Korea from Japan. The river originates from the junction of the Cheoramcheon and Hwangjicheon streams in Dongjeom-dong, Taebaek City, Gangwon Province. From there to its mouth it winds for about 506 kilometres (314 mi). The width of the river ranges from only a few metres in its upper reaches, to several hundred metres towards its estuary.

Major tributaries include the Yeong, Geumho, and Nam rivers. Together with its tributaries, the Nakdong drains most of North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang provinces, along with small portions of North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and Gangwon. The total watershed is 23,384 square kilometres (9,029 sq mi).

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Imagine if Yukiho Hagiwara is being f-ed by someone, she called WHO?

This is happened when the certain producer f-ed with androphobic Yukiho in their office.

That means.... Professor Charles Ahn Cheol-soo's hypothesis is accepted.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Imagine if Mayaka Ibara is being f-ed by someone, she called WHO?

This is happened when Fukube f-ed with Mayaka in their school.

You've been backfired, Mayaka. Thomas Ahn Jung-geun doesn't like this stuff. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part VII: Ecolian-Gwangsan Country Club, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu - Golfing Around Gwangju Metropole-Naju City Municipal Border

Ecolian-Gwangsan Country Club in 29 Omongnae Drive/Omongnae-gil (오목내길), Yeonsan-dong san 118-beonji, Gwangju Gwangsan-gu was opened for golfing in June 2011. This country club is flanked with the countryside area of Yugok-ri, in the commune of Noan-myeon, Naju City, Southern Jeolla Province. Consisting only 9 holes, this golf course is too small to play. 

The access to the Ecolian-Gwangsan is easier either by accessing to Interstate 12: Muan-Gwangju Expressway and exit to EXIT 7: SeoGwangsan/West Gwangsan IC or using Gwangju City Bus route no. 603 from Songjeong-dong.

P/S: I think this golf course has a potential to expand more interesting courses because there are many land lots required to expand them. The main problem is the management bureau of this country club must discuss with the landlords about the proposed expansion area for Ecolian-Gwangsan Country Club. 

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part VI: Palgong Country Club, Daegu Dong-gu - Autumn in my Heart... I guess?

Palgong Country Club which is located at Dohak-dong san 1-beonji, Daegu Dong-gu - provides beautiful scenery of Downtown Daegu Metropole with its elevation 500~700m above sea level. The country club is flanked with three peaks around Mount Palgong area which are Satgat Peak (삿갓봉), Eunhae Peak and Nojeok Peak.

It is difficult to get there by using bus because the distance between the bus stop which is situated next to 1396 Palgongsanno to the country club is 2.5km. That means, driving by car (either by own car, rented car or even the taxis) is recommended to the golfers for those who are willing to play golf at the remote club.

Palgong Country Club has 18 holes to play, divided into two courses which are Out-Course at 1st~9th hole and In-Course at 10th~18th hole. During autumn season, it is the best place to watch beautiful autumn foliage surrounding Mount Palgong.

P/S: Daegu Dong-gu is President Roh Tae-woo's birthplace. If he says that Nell is a boy, I'm gonna freaking kill that bloody president.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part V: Hallasan Country Club, Jeju - Golfing around the highest peak in South Korea.

Nestled between Mount Halla (elevation: 1,950m above sea level) and its parasitic cones (Korean Jeju Dialect: 오름/Oreum), Hallasan Country Club which is located at Odeung-dong 57-beonji, Jeju City, Jeju Self-Governing Province provides beautiful scenery of Downtown Jeju with its elevation 400~450m above sea level. It is located next to Jeju Planetarium in Seondulmokdong Street/Seondulmokdong-gil.

The country club has 18 holes to play; divided into two courses which are Mountain Course on 1st~9th hole and Ocean Course on 10th~18th hole. The interesting fact about these courses is they are located near to Mount Halla National Park a.k.a Hallasan National Park, the highest peak in South Korea.

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part IV: Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, Incheon Yeonsu-gu - Here comes the Legendary Golfer!

Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea which is located at 209 Academy Road, Songdo-dong 117-1 beonji, Incheon Yeonsu-gu is the focal point of Songdo IBD's environmentally focused green space program. It will be an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Nicklaus Design.

From the tournament tees, the course will play to more than 7,300 yards, presenting a challenge to even the most talented golfers. Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea also hosted a 2010 Champions Tour event, the Posco E&C Songdo Championship, which is Asia's first Champions Tour event. Within the golf course, there will be a Western-style fairway community including 179 detached single family villas.

The golf club which consists 18 courses divided into two sectors: Urban Course at 1st~9th hole and Links Course at 10th~18th hole. The Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will host the 2015 Presidents Cup which will be the first time the event is held in Asia.

Jack Nicklaus' letter for Pangya Golfers.
Dear Fellow Pangya Golfers,

As a golf course designer, it is a privilege to work on the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.

Our goal is to create an enjoyable golf experience for players of all skill levels. We are confident that we will support and enhance the vision for New Songdo City, the most sophisticated new urban center in Asia and one of the most exciting development projects in the world today.

This new golf course will be planned and constructed to the highest standards of quality. From the tournament tees, the course will play to more than 7,300 yards, presenting a challenge to even the most talented golfers. We also will ensure that the course is playable and enjoyable for golfers of all ability levels, by providing multiple tees and strategy options.

In addition to the Signature Golf Course, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will offer fairway living and a true golf community lifestyle. The development team has planned the community so that each of the villas will face the golf course, with unobstructed views of fairways, greens and tees. There also will be a clubhouse and spa.

In every respect, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea will be a great place to play golf and a wonderful place to live. I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the success of New Songdo and the future growth and prosperity of the City of Incheon.

Best wishes, 
Jack Nicklaus

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part III: Haeundae Country Club, Gijang County, Busan Metropole - Golf and Busan Vacance FTW!

Haeundae Country Club is a golf course which is located outskirts of Busan Haeundae-gu with its specific location at 265 Byeongsan 2nd Avenue/Byeongsan 2-ro, Byeongsan-ri san 6-beonji, Jeonggwan-myeon, Gijang County, Busan Metropole. It has three courses named royal, silk and golden. Each course has nine holes. Therefore, this golf course has 27 holes. 

Haeundae Country Club is nestled between natural forest and the East Sea (Sea of Japan). It is famous for its great layout of the course and the great service, too. It has a club house, five tea houses, 200m driving range, parking lot which accommodates 454 cars, restaurant and drivers waiting room.

Golfing with Pangya Girls, Part II: Yuseong Country Club, Daejeon Yuseong-gu - Beautiful Golf Course with Mount Gyeryong as a Backdrop.

Located at the foot of Mount Gyeryong and opposite to Hanbat National University, Yuseong Country Club is the only regular 18-hole golf club situated in 200 Memorial Parkway/Hyeonchungwonno, Deongmyeong-dong (덕명동) 215-7 beonji, Daejeon Yuseong-gu. The area is rich in tourism resources including science, cultural and natural assets, while its mountainous surroundings provide a pleasant environment and clean air. The golf club has cultivated a number of world-class golfers including Pak Se-ri and Jang Jeong, and, as one of the most prestigious golf clubs in central Korea, has helped to popularize golf in Korea.

Run for about 5 minutes from Yuseong toward Mount Gyeryong National Park a.k.a Gyeryongsan National Park and Yuseong Country Club appear displaying an attractive entrance. Straightly standing tall pine trees covering the sky greet the visitors. Yuseong Country Club is characterized by beautiful courses and healthy grass that has been grown with anti-fungal bacteria and less chemical herbicides since 1991. Courses inside the Country Club are said to be as beautiful as Miss Koreas, so are adored by many golfers. Its beautiful and challenging courses are enough to make it very attractive.

Pungpaejigwan, Jeonju Wansan-gu, Northern Jeolla: The envoys are coming to Jeonju!

The Jeonju Governorate Office a.k.a Jeonju Gaeksa (Hangul/Hanja: 전주객사/全州客舍) is assumed to had been built along with the construction of Jeonju Governorate fortress during the early Joseon Dynasty. It is also recorded that later in the 3rd year of King Seongjong (1473), Jo Geun - the governor of Jeonju Governorate, rebuilt the office with the money left over from building the Jeonju Historic Library. The office is located at 59 Chunggyeong Avenue/Chunggyeongno, Jungang-dong 3-ga 1-beonji, Jeonju Wansan-gu, Northern Jeolla Province.

The Inn was the place to pay homage to the king by keeping a memorial tablet carved with [ㅇ/ieung] letter in the niche of the north wall, in the center of the hall. It was also a place for a messenger from the royal court to stay and to deliver a message from the court. Since it was built on the Royal House of Jeonju Yi Ancestral Area, a horizontal tablet which read from right to left: "Pungpaejigwan (Hanja: 豊沛之館)," one of the old sayings, was laid on it. In the past, the main building was divided into the main Inn and on east-west wing Inn.

Gaeksa or Gaekgwan (객관/客觀) was set up in each village and used as accommodations or a party venue for foreign visitors. During Joseon dynasty, it was used as a religious place in which ancestral tablets were enshrined and traditional rituals toward the Royal Palace were observed on the first day of a month or the day of the full moon.

Meet SeeU, First Korean Vocaloid - Made in Seoul.

SBS Tanhyeon Production Center (SBS Artech Headquarters)
Address: 111 ilhyeon avenue/ilhyeonno, Tanhyeon-dong 140-beonji, Goyang IlsanSeo-gu, Gyeonggi Province
SeeU (시유) is a Korean VOCALOID developed and distributed by SBS Artech Co. Ltd. - a subsidiary of Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), and was released in 2011 of October in South Korea and later in December for Japan. Her voice is provided by Korean female singer, Kim Dahee (member of the K-Pop idol group 'GLAM'). Dahee recorded in Korean and Japanese for the two voice banks.

Her name in Korean is rendered as "시유" (Siyu) and in Japanese it is "シユ" (Shiyu). During an interview with SBS Artech manager Kim Hyo-eun, it was said SeeU's name came to mind after thinking of a line from the movie Avatar. The line "I See You" popped into her mind and became the inspiration for 'SeeU'. According to SBS, this is only one of several meanings of her name.

SeeU was given a moe-esque design and is aimed more specifically to the general and Vocaloid Otaku fandom. SBS stated SeeU was created to be a "cute and lively yet mysterious looking 17 year old girl." Her outfit was designed with a school uniform in mind. Her official illustrations and design was created by KKUEM.

Her cat ears/nekomimi are speakers. According her illustrator, these ones actually are detachable. Her neckband is a CD player. Soundwaves light up on the rectangle at her flat-shoes and on the upper part of her top (chest). There's a pause button at the back of her clothes, a power button at the ribbon on her neckband and an "on" button on one of the buttons at the front of her top. During a virtual interview starring SeeU conducted by SBS Artech, SeeU revealed her clothing size to be XXS.

VOCALOID3 Library SV01 SeeU Limited Edition was produced for her launch in 2011, which include a SeeU Demo song CD, photo frame, stickers, badges, phone strap, manual booklet and an illustration book called "SEEU COME INTO THE WORLD". SBS also promoted SeeU to the public by printing her illustration on face packs and on the side of taxi cars.

During Nico Nico Chokaigi 2012‘s “VOCALOID NEWS", SBS Artech stepped forward and claimed to be producing an album for SeeU. On October 19, 2012, SBS Artech teamed up with Big Hit Entertainment and released an album called SV01 SeeU's Compilation Album featuring seven notable songs from the UGC contest. The album is was released in Japan and translated into Japanese lyrics on October 29, 2012.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Allah Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun, Part XII: Jeju Abdul Taib Mahmud Islamic Center

The Islamic Center on Jeju Island opened on the June 1, 2002 (H.1423) with aims of offering a prayer place for Muslims who visit this island located in the Southern part of the Korean peninsula and also to propagate Islam to the people there. The center is located at Jeonghan Officetel - 42 Noyeon Avenue/Noyeonno, Nohyeong-dong 939-beonji, Jeju City, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. Currently, the Friday prayer is led by Professor Bashir Kim Dae-yong (김대용) who just returned from Qatar where he had lived for 12 years.

Professor Bashir Kim, is engaging in lecture on the science of tourism at the Jeju Halla University. He is putting his utmost efforts and energies for Islamic propagation while managing directly the ‘Open Forum’ to give a better understanding of Islam to university students and youths in Jeju area.

The group from the Daya Builders Sdn Bhd, led by Hj Iskandar Nor, spent few days in Jeju island as a part of their visit to South Korea. They were impressed with the Centre which is the only Islamic centre in the island and planned to make a second visit very soon. The Centre, established in June 2002, was a branch of Korea Muslim Federation (KMF) in Jeju island.

In 2008, Regional Islamic Da'wah Council of Southeast Asia & the Pacific (RISEAP) President and State Governor of Sarawak-Malaysia, Tun Dr Hj Abdul Taib Mahmud made a donation to the centre as a result the centre has expanded and set up a da’wah office which plays a significant role in introducing Islam to the Koreans. The centre was later renamed as Dr Abdul Taib Mahmud Islamic Center.

RISEAP has launched several da’wah activities in Korea through its member organization, Korea Muslim Federation (KMF) set up in 1965.  Among da’wah activities conducted by KMF were talks and discussions on Islam, Muslim family gatherings and youth camps. In order to introduce the beauty of Islam more effectively to Koreans, non-Muslims were always invited to attend all da’wah activities.

Sangdong Lake Park, Bucheon Wonmi-gu, Gyeonggi Province: A Lake Park which is located near to Bucheon-Incheon Municipal Border

Sangdong Lake Park (Hanja: 上洞湖水公園) is a well-known recreational space that opened in Bucheon on March 31, 2003. The park is surrounded by the lake, which is home to various species of fish and plants. Located at 15 Jomaru Avenue/Jomaru-ro, Sang 2-dong 549-beonji, Bucheon Wonmi-gu, Gyeonggi Province, the park is easily accessible by using SMRT Line 7 Subway to Station 757: Samsan Gymnasium Station in the neighboring precinct of Bugae 3-dong, Bupyeong-gu, Incheon Metropole or by car - using Interstate 100 LOOP: Seoul Ring Expressway and exit to EXIT 24: Jungdong IC.

This park is located near to the neighboring precinct of Bugae 3-dong, Incheon Bupyeong-gu. In the vicinity of the park is Aiins World, an amusement park that displays miniature re-creations of famous buildings from around the world. By referring to Daum Maps, the distance from Thomas Ahn Jung-geun Park to Sangdong Lake Park is about 2km by driving via Gilju Avenue/Gilju-ro and it takes seven minutes to reach there.

From Tsugumi's Place to Sayori's Place -using Daum Maps.

Oops. The Bucheon Shirasaki Sisters are in HEAT!

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part XVIII: Surisa, Gunpo, Gyeonggi Province

Located halfway up the southwestern side of Mount Suri, the eponymously named Surisa Temple (Hanja: 修理寺) was built under the reign of King Jinheung of Silla (534CE - 576CE; Reigned: 540CE - 576CE). The mountain was also called bulgyeon, which means “seeing Buddha,” as it was said that a member of the royal family had a vision of the Buddha while praying at the temple. Located at 347-181 Sokdal Avenue/Sokdallo, Sokdal-dong 329-beonji, Gunpo City, Gyeonggi Province, the temple is a part of Yongjusa Temple, which is a regional headquarters for the Jogye Sect of Buddhism.

The founder of the temple is unknown although the Venerable Monk Unsa, who was of imperial birth, named the temple, which means ‘one would see Buddha in person and become Buddha himself in the future’. The temple used to be larger, maintaining 36 buildings on the premises and 132 hermitages spread over the mountain, but these facilities were completely destroyed during the Japanese Imjin Invasions of Korea from 1592-1598 and the Korean War from 1950-1953. 

The temple that stands today was reconstructed by monk Chungwoon in 1955. The road leading to the entrance of Surisa Temple offers gorgeous scenery with a beautiful forest and valley lining its sides; it is as if the mountain itself surrounds the temple like a painted screen.

Saseondae, Imsil, Northern Jeolla: The Legend of Four Immortals, Four Fairies and a flock of crows

Saseondae (Hanja: 四仙臺) in 68-7 Saseon 2nd Street/Saseon 2-gil, Gwanchon-ri 222-beonji, Gwanchon-myeon, Imsil County, Northern Jeolla Province located on the bank of Owoncheon Stream in the upper region of Seomjin River. A village within Saseondae which is called Saseonnyeo village, located 8km northbound from Imsil County office in Ido-ri, Imsil-eup and 22km southbound from Jeonju. It is hilly districts surrounded by mountains, which is 220m above sea level. A watercourse, which originated from Mt. Maisan at Jinan, has the shape of river when it comes to Bangsu-ri, Gwanchon-myeon and becomes Owon stream flowing through the myeon from the east to the west. 

Saseondae, which is made up as the beautiful national resort in the breathtaking landscape around Gwanchon-ri, Deokcheon-ri, is highlighted by a lot of people now. Bangsu stream at Bangsu-ri, where some hundred-year-old Guimok trees make up woods along the stream, is one of the place many people love to visit as a natural resting resort. The four villages of Saseonnyeo village are Sigi village, Deokgok village, Nongwon village, and Jucheon village. 

The name Saseondae originates from a legend of four immortals and fairies. The legend has it that two immortals of Mount Maisan in Jinan and two immortals of Mount Unsu in Imsil gathered by Owoncheon Stream to enjoy the beautiful nature. Looking down at the immortals were four fairies, who fascinated by the picturesque scenery of the region, came down from the sky to join the hermits. Since then, the place has been called Saseondae and the stream Owoncheon. 

Unique rock formations, woods and clear water surrounding Saseondae create a magnificent harmony. The Unseojeong Pavilion (Regional Tangible Cultural Asset No. 135) situated in the dense forest of Saseondae also adds beauty to the scenery. Furthermore, visitors to Saseondae may also enjoy the handcrafted works of noted sculptors from the nearby art village in Ogung on display at Saseondae Sculpture Park.

Various events are held around Saseondae every year. In the beginning of April [Folk game contest of eup, myeon], in which events such as yutnoli, seesaw, kicking jegi, Tuho noli, flying kite, rolling hoop, playing top, and jachjigi are held in the square of Saseondae. [National contest of taking a picture of semi-nude], which is a large festival of people interested in the picture to develop the picture art and improving the understanding of semi-nude photography at the sightseeing resort in Saseondae. [The 15th of January by the lunar calendar of praying good harvest to the moon] is held along with supplementary events such as the ceremony of praying to the moon, burning out moon house, playing farming music and big party of Imsil residents on January 15 by the lunar calendar around Saseondae. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Samhak Island, Mokpo, Southern Jeolla: Do you feel lonely on this island?

Samhak Island (Hanja/English: 三鶴島/Islet of Three Cranes) is made from reclaimed land in a project started in 2000 producing the circular shape of the three islands. It belongs to the Administrative Precinct of Samhak-dong and its legal precinct of Sanjeong-dong, Mokpo City, Southern Jeolla Province. This island is located near to Mokpo KTX Station. 

Samhak Island has the legend that three women in Mount Yudal who loved a young general became three cranes and fell after their death. The site they fell is believed to become the island. The island has significant importance for Mokpo citizen's culture and emotions. Samhakdo light constructed by Samhakdo restoration business is adding romantic ambience in Mokpo coastal waters.

Samhak Island was the dream of Mokpo residents, along with Mount Yudal, before it became the land it is today. This island is filled with the loneliness of women waiting to see their husbands who voyaged out to sea, the hope of merchants waiting for their fishing boats, and the sorrow of people who have passed away. Samhakdo is a rich area where the people of Mokpo share their emotions.

Imsil Cheese Village, Imsil, Northern Jeolla: Do we say KIMCHI instead of CHEESE?

The cheese produced in Korea is called Imsil Cheese, following the county name of Imsil, Northern Jeolla. Imsil cheese is the unusual mission legacy of a Catholic priest from Belgium who took the Korean name of Ji Junghwan. He arrived in the farming village of Imsil, in the mid-1950s, when the economy was still shattered from the Korean War. He started a farmers’ milk cooperative. This cooperative eventually became the Imsil Cheese Factory, which exists today and produces high quality cheese and yogurt for the Korean market.

A pizza franchise using Imsil cheese has become a widespread business in South Korea since 2004, under the name of Imsil Cheese Pizza. Nearby livestock farms produce the dairy products required for the manufacture of the cheese.

A group of enterprising cheese manufacturers decided to branch out into making cheese pizza. In time, Ji Junghwan’s Imsil Cheese Pizza became one of the most popular brands, and today it can be found throughout Korea. Pictured on every box is the Belgian missionary priest, probably the only missionary in the world to have left a pizza chain as part of his legacy. 

Korea’s very first Cheese Village, in Imsil County, Northern Jeolla Province, offers visitors the opportunity to take part in cheese-making programs, as well as experience life in a countryside-farming village. The area is very popular with families with children, and now foreigners have started journeying to the Cheese Village to taste original Korean cheese.

The Imsil Cheese Village, located in 4 Cheese-maeul 1-gil, Geumseong-ri 610-1 beonji, Imsil-eup, Imsil County, Northern Jeolla, was the very first village in Korea to start making cheese back in 1966.  The village’s citizens personally manage a cheese-making experience program for guests. Experience programs are available daily all year long, excluding Mondays, but reservations are required, and you must be sure to call at least three days before visiting.  The village offers one-day programs for individuals, and two-day programs are available for groups of twenty or more.  Lunch and other optional experience programs are available depending on the time you visit.  The programs start at 10:10 am, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm and last between three and three and a half hours. 

In order to provide a more complete farming village experience, visitors may choose one or two optional experience programs (maximum of two) to accompany the basic program. Optional programs include feeding milk to calves or harvesting various seasonal vegetables. Fees for the optional experience programs are not included in the basic package prices, but are only 3,000-4,000won per program. (Grassland Sledding / Calf Milk-Feeding / Mill Experience / Goat milk Soap Making, and more)

Since the Imsil Cheese Village Experience Program begins early in the morning, it’s a good idea to leave Seoul the afternoon before, and take a tour around the Jeonju Hanok Village first. After spending a night at one of the Hanoks (traditional Korean houses) in the Hanok Village, you can then make the thirty to forty minute journey to the Imsil Cheese Village the next morning, and this way your trip will be more relaxing and enjoyable.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Jung-gu: Zaha Hadid's Greatest Masterpiece in Korea

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park (DDP) is a large urban development project in 281 Eulji Avenue, Euljiro 7-ga 2-1 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu which includes a park, exhibition spaces, and restored parts of the Seoul-Hanyang Fortress. Originally planned for completion by 2010 to coincide with Seoul's designation as World Design Capital that year, but construction only started in April 2009, and the DDP was officially inaugurated on March 21, 2014. Organizers hope to make Dongdaemun the fashion hub of South Korea and possibly the entire Asia-Pacific region.

The DDP has been designed as a cultural hub at the centre of Dongdaemun - even though the complex is located in the core district of Seoul Jung-gu, a historic district of Seoul that is now renowned for its 24-hour shopping and cafes. DDP is a place for people of all ages; a catalyst for the instigation and exchange of ideas and for new technologies and media to be explored. The variety of public spaces within DDP include Exhibition Halls, Convention Halls, Design Museum, Library, Lab and Archives, Children's Education Centre, Media Centre, Seminar Rooms and Sky Lounge; enabling DDP to present the widest diversity of exhibitions and events that feed the cultural vitality of the city.

The DDP is an architectural landscape that revolves around the ancient city wall and cultural artefacts discovered during archaeological excavations preceding DDP's construction. These historic features form the central element of DDP's composition; linking the park, plaza and city together.

The design is the very specific result of how the context, local culture, programmatic requirements and innovative engineering come together - allowing the architecture, city and landscape to combine in both form and spatial experience - creating a whole new civic space for the city.

The building features a shapely facade made up of 45,000 aluminium panels of varying sizes and curvatures. This was achieved using advanced 3-dimensional digital construction services, making DDP the first public building in Korea to utilise the technology. The complex is made up of eight storeys, of which four sit above ground level and four are set below the plaza. Facilities include exhibition galleries, convention and seminar rooms, a design museum, and a library and education centre. Voids puncturing the surface of the park offer a look down into the spaces below, and also allow daylight to permeate the building.

Described by the designers as "a field of pixilation and perforation patterns", the backlit facade is speckled with minute perforations that allow the building to transform from a solid entity by day into an animated light show by night.

The DDP Park is a place for leisure, relaxation and refuge - a new green oasis within the busy urban surroundings of Dongdaemun. The design integrates the park and plaza seamlessly as one, blurring the boundary between architecture and nature in a continuous, fluid landscape. Voids in the park's surface give visitors glimpses into the innovative world of design below, making the DDP an important link between the city's contemporary culture, emerging nature and history.

The 30,000 square metre park reinterprets the spatial concepts of traditional Korean garden design: layering, horizontality, blurring the relationship between the interior and the exterior – with no single feature dominating the perspective. This approach is further informed by historic local painting traditions that depict grand visions of the ever-changing aspects of nature.

DDP encourages many contributions and innovations to feed into each other; engaging the community and allowing talents and ideas to flourish. In combination with the city's exciting public cultural programs, DDP is an investment in the education and inspiration of future generations.

DDP's design and construction sets many new standards of innovation. DDP is the first public project in Korea to implement advanced 3-dimensional digital construction services that ensure the highest quality and cost controls. These include 3-dimensional Building Information Modelling (BIM) for construction management and engineering coordination, enabling the design process to adapt with the evolving client brief and integrate all engineering requirements.

These innovations have enabled the teams (Zaha Hadid Architects and Samoo Architects & Engineers) build DDP to control the construction with much greater precision than conventional processes and improve efficiencies. Implementing such construction technologies make DDP one of Korea's most innovative and technological advanced constructions to date.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hallelujah Korea, Part XI: Samseongsan Sacred Site, Seoul Gwanak-gu - Final Resting for Three French Catholic Priests during Gihae Catholic Persecution

Samseongsan Sacred Site (Hanja: 三聖山聖地) which is located at the foot of Mount Samseong (Specific Location: Samseong-dong san 57-14 beonji [Previous land lot: Sillim 10-dong san 57-14 beonji], Seoul Gwanak-gu) is the final resting place for three french catholic priests: Saints Laurent-Joseph-Marius Imbert (Korean Name: Beom Se-hyeong), Pierre-Philibert Maubant and Jacques-Honoré Chastan. These three priests were executed by Joseonese Officials during Gihae Catholic Persecution a.k.a Gihae Bakhae (기해박해/己亥迫害).

On 10 August 1839 (Gihae Year), Imbert, who was secretly going about his missionary work, was betrayed. Realizing that it was only a matter of time before he was arrested and killed, he celebrated Mass and surrendered himself to those who lay in waiting for him. He was taken to Seoul where he was tortured to reveal the whereabouts of foreign missionaries. Believing that his converts would be spared if all foreign missionaries came out from hiding and gave themselves up, he wrote a note to his fellow missionaries, Pierre-Philibert Maubant and Jacques-Honoré Chastan, asking them to surrender to the Korean authorities as well.

They did and the three of them were imprisoned together. They were taken before an interrogator and questioned for three days to reveal the names and whereabouts of their converts. As torture failed to break them down, they were sent to another prison and beheaded on 21 September 1839 at Saenamteo, Seoul Yongsan-gu. Their bodies remained exposed for several days but were finally buried on Mount Samseong.

The three martyrs were one of the 79 Korean Martyrs beatified in 1925 and were among the 103 Korean Martyrs canonized by Pope John Paul II in Seoul on 6 May 1984.

General Kim Yushin: Great-Grandson of ex-King Guhyeong of Geumgwan Gaya and Silla Dynasty unifier

Kim Yushin (Hanja: 金庾信; Born: 595CE – Died: August 18th 673CE) was a general in 7th-century Silla. He led the unification of the Korean peninsula by Silla under the reign of King Taejong-Muyeol the Great of Silla and King Munmu the Great of Silla. He is said to have been the great-grandchild of King Guhae a.k.a King Guhyeong of Geumgwan Gaya, the last ruler of the Geumgwan Gaya state. This would have given him a very high position in the Silla bone rank system, which governed the political and military status that a person could attain. He was coming from Gimhae Kim Clan, which is originated from its progenitor, King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya.

Much of what we know about Kim's life comes from the detailed account in the Samguk Sagi, Yeoljeon 1-3, and the much briefer record in the Samguk Yusa, vol. 1.

Kim Yushin was the son of General Kim Seohyeon (the second son of General Kim Moo-ryeok) and Lady Manmyeong, who was a daughter of Kim Sukheuljong (hangul 김숙흘종 hanja 金肅訖宗, King Jinheung of Silla's younger brother). He was born in Gyeyang, Jincheon County in 595, became a Hwarang warrior at just 15 and was an accomplished swordsman and a Gukseon (국선, 國仙; Hwarang leader) by the time he was 18 years old. By the age of 34 (in 629) he had been given total command of the Silla armed forces. Three years later, Kim Yushin's cousin, Princess Deokman, became Queen Seondeok of Silla and kept Kim Yushin as commander in chief of the royal army. During the reign of Queen Seondeok of Silla (632-647), Kim Yushin owned ten thousands private soldiers, won many battles against Baekje and became one of the most powerful men in Silla.

Kim's first military engagement in command is believed to have occurred around 629 AD, and through it he quickly proved his capabilities as a warrior. Silla was in a constant struggle with its neighbor to the west, Baekje, over territory. There had been gains and losses on both sides, and the struggle lasted for many years. It was during this period that Kim rose through the ranks of the military, rising to the position of general and becoming a skilled field commander.

Baekje and Silla had formed an alliance to counter Goguryeo's power and its intentions to push southwards, and together they launched a successful attack on it, Silla taking the northern territory and Baekje the one south of the Han river. But Silla broke the alliance and attacked Baekje in order to claim both territories for itself. After this betrayal, Baekje allied with Goguryeo. When Goguryeo and Baekje attacked Silla in 655, Silla joined forces with Tang Dynasty China to battle the invaders. Although it is not clear when Kim first became a general, he was certainly commanding the Silla forces by this time. Eventually, with the help of the Silla navy and some 130,000 Tang forces, Kim attacked the Baekje capital, Sabi, in 660, in one of the most famous battles of that century, the Battle of Hwangsanbeol.

The Baekje defenders were commanded by none other than General Gyebaek, although the Baekje forces consisted of about 5,000 men and were no match for Kim's warriors, which numbered about ten times as many. Baekje, which had already been experiencing internal political problems, crumbled. Kim's Silla forces and their Tang allies now moved on Goguryeo from two directions, and in 661 they attacked the seemingly impregnable Goguryeo kingdom, but were repelled. The attack had weakened Goguryeo, though. In 667 another offensive was launched which, in 668, finally destroyed Goguryeo.

Silla still had to subdue various pockets of resistance, but their efforts were then focused on ensuring that their Tang allies did not overstay their welcome on the peninsula. After some difficult conflicts, Silla eventually forced out the Tang troops and united the peninsula under their rule.

Many stories exist about Kim Yushin. It is told that he once was ordered to subdue a rebel army, but his troops refused to fight as they had seen a large star fall from the sky and took this to be a bad omen. To regain the confidence of his troops, the General used a large kite to carry a fire ball into the sky. The soldiers, seeing the star return to heaven, rallied and defeated the rebels. It is also related how General Kim ingeniously used kites as a means of communication between his troops when they had become divided between islands and the mainland.

Another story relates how, while Silla was allied with the Tang Dynasty against Baekje, an argument broke out between Kim's commander and So Jung-Bang, a Tang general. As the argument escalated into a potentially bloody confrontation, Kim's sword was said to have leaped from its scabbard into his hand. Because the sword of a warrior was believed to be his soul, this occurrence so frightened the Tang general that he immediately apologized to the Silla officers.

Throughout his life Kim Yushin had felt that Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla should not be separate countries but united. He is regarded as the driving force in the unification of the Korean Peninsula, and is the most famous of all the generals in the unification wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Kim Yushin was rewarded handsomely for his efforts in the campaigns. In 668, King Munmu bestowed upon him the honorary title of Taedaegakgan (태대각간, 太大角干), something like "Grand Sub-Chief." He reportedly received a village of over 500 households, and in 669 was given some 142 separate horse farms, spread throughout the kingdom. He died four years later, leaving behind ten children.

Kim Yushin lived to the age of 79 and is considered to be one of the most famous generals and masters of Korean swords in Korean history. He is the focus of numerous stories and legends, and is familiar to most Koreans from a very early age. Following his death on 18 August (the 1st day of the 7th lunar month) 673, General Kim was awarded the honorary title of King Heungmu, and was buried at the foot of Songhwa Mountain near Gyeongju in southeastern Korea, in a tomb as splendid as that of kings.

Kim Yushin had two sisters, Kim Bohee and Kim Munhee (Hangul: 김문희, Hanja: 金文姬). Kim Munhee, later known as Queen Munmyeong (Hangul: 문명왕후, Hanja: 文明王后), married Yushin's childhood friend King Taejong-Muyeol the Great of Silla, who is credited for having led the unification of the Korean peninsula under Silla. King Taejong-Muyeol and Munmyeong were the parents of King Munmu the Great of Silla and Kim Inmun.

Kim Yushin's third wife, Lady Jiso (智炤夫人), was the third daughter of King Taejong-Muyeol of Silla. Yushin had ten children. His second son, Kim Wonsul, would later play a central role in completing the independence of Silla from the Tang Dynasty.

Kim Yushin is remembered by his people to have been one of the greatest generals in Korean history. His ultimate legacy is the unifying of the Korean nation. One of his ten children, his second son Kim Wonsul, became a general during the time of King Munmu of Silla, and he was essential in unifying Silla.

The Battle of White Horse Site, Cheorwon, Gangwon Province: UN-Chinese Collision Course during Korean War

The Battle of White Horse (Hangul/Hanja: 백마고지전투/白馬高地戰鬪 or Baengma-goji, Chinese: 白马山战斗; pinyin: Bái Mǎ Shān Zhàn Dòu), was another in a series of bloody battles for dominant hilltop positions during the Korean War. Baengma-goji was a 395-metre (1,296 ft) hill in the Iron Triangle, formed by Pyeonggang at its peak and Gimhwa-eup and Cheorwon at its base, was a strategic transportation route in the central region of the Korean peninsula.

White Horse was the crest of a forested hill mass that extended in a northwestsoutheast direction for about two miles (3 km), part of the area controlled by the U.S. IX Corps, and considered an important outpost hill with a good command over the Yokkok-chon Valley, dominating the western approaches to Cheorwon. Loss of the hill would force the IX Corps to withdraw to the high ground south of the Yokkok-chon in the Cheorwon area, would deny the IX Corps use of the Cheorwon road net, and would open up the entire Cheorwon area to enemy attack and penetration.

During ten days of battle, the hill would change hands 24 times after repeated attacks and counterattacks for its possession. It was one of the most intense position-grasping battle for a small hill during the course of the Korean War. Afterwards, Baengma-goji looked like a threadbare white horse, thence its name of Baengma, meaning a white horse.

On October 3, 1952, a defecting Lieutenant from the 340th Regiment (114th Division People's Volunteer Army, under interrogation revealed that an attack on White Horse was imminent.

Being corroborated by other intelligence, the IX Corps reinforced the ROK 9th Division with 22 tanks from the 53rd Tank Squadron and the U.S. 73rd Tank Battalion's C Company, artillery, rocket launchers, and antiaircraft weapons to be used in a ground role. Major General Kim Jong-oh (Division Commander), stationed the 30th Regiment under Regimental Commander Im Ik-sun in charge of the left forefront and the 29th Regiment under Commander Kim Bongcheol in charge of the right fore-front on the threatened hill and held the 28th Regiment under Commander Lee Ju-il in reserve. On the flanks of White Horse he positioned the tanks and antiaircraft guns to cover the valley approaches. Searchlights and flares were distributed to provide illumination at night, and a flare plane was made available to supply additional light on call during the hours of darkness. From the Fifth Air Force came extra air strikes against enemy artillery positions adjacent to White Horse.

On October 6, an intensive air raid was carried out on several places around Baengma-goji where the Chinese were anticipated to assemble. The Chinese responded by opening the floodgates of the Pongnae-Ho Reservoir, which was located about seven miles (11 km) north of the hill, evidently in the hope that the Yokkokchon which ran between the ROK 9th and the U.S. 2nd Division would rise sufficiently to block reinforcements during the critical period. Simultaneously, they threw a battalion-sized force at Hill 281 (Arrowhead), two miles (3 km) southeast of White Horse across the valley, to pin down the French Battalion astride the hill and to keep the 2nd Division occupied. Before the night was over six additional companies joined in the action. The French held firm and inflicted heavy casualties upon the attackers. As a diversion to the main attack, it proved effective but expensive.

At 19:15, the 340th Regiment sent four companies up to the northwest end of the White Horse Hill complex to engage the 10th company and its supporting forces in an attempt to secure a break-through. At 02:00 the following morning, four B-29 strategic bombers dropped 1,000 pound bombs on Hajinmyeong-dong, and an assortment of 81 artillery guns (32 155-millimeter guns, 32 105-millimeter guns, 7 4.2-inch heavy mortars and 10 tank guns) dealt intensive heavy fire; nevertheless, the Chinese breakthrough widened further, though suffering an estimated 500 casualties the first night. Disregarding the heavy losses, the Chinese committed the remnants of the original two battalions and reinforced them with two fresh battalions from the same division the following day. Cutting off a ROK company outpost, the Chinese pressed on and forced the elements of the ROK 10th Company to withdraw from the crest. Less than two hours after the loss of the peak, two battalions (the 2nd and 3rd) of the ROK 28th Regiment mounted a night attack that swept the Chinese out of the old ROK positions by 23:05. Again the Chinese losses were heavy and a Chinese prisoner later related that many of the companies committed to the attack were reduced from 190-200 to less than 20 men after the second day of fighting.

With such serious losses, the Chinese switched its attack forces from the 340th Regiment to the 334th Regiment, reserving the 342nd Regiment for the assault on October 9. Elements of the 342nd fought their way to the crest during the afternoon of October 9, only to lose it to a ROK 28th Regiment counterattack that night. On October 10, the still fresh 29th Regiment made a counterattack and seized White Horse, and the 28th Regiment was immediately assigned to defend the right flank of the hill. The same day at 0430, the Chinese 342nd Regiment recaptured the hill in an attack on the ROK 29th Regiment that had been defending the main peak; in two hours, though, the hill was seized back in an instant counterattack, only to be lost again at 0815. In the tiresome war of attrition, the UN forces relied on their overwhelming advantage in artillery support and close-range air support. The UN forces apparently were fortunate, for a Chinese prisoner later related that Fifth Air Force planes had caught elements of the 335th Regiment, 112th Division, in an assembly area north of Hill 395, inflicting heavy casualties upon the regiment, and had delayed its commitment to the attack.

Regardless of casualties, the Chinese continued to send masses of infantry to take the objective. On White Horse, the Chinese kept funneling their combat troops into the northern attack approaches where Eighth Army artillery, tanks, and air power would wreak havoc. The Chinese determination to win White Horse made sitting ducks out of their infantry as the IX Corps defenders saturated the all-out assaults with massed firepower of every caliber.

By October 12 there was a break in the bitter struggle. The 1st Battalion of the 30th Regiment struck out from the attack line. The 29th Regiment, which had mounted a counterattack four hours before the attack by the battalion, was stalled just 40 meters from the enemy position. When no progress was made in the two-hour attack, the 2nd Battalion was sent in on the right flank for a pincer movement. The 3rd company which was in the vanguard of the 1st Battalion was not making sufficient advances because of Chinese resistance, so the commander of the 1st company, close behind the 3rd company, was ordered to launch an overriding attack and succeeded in approaching the attack line. White Horse was recaptured at 13:20, after five-hours of intense battle.

On October 13, under close-range air cover by 141 warplanes, the 28th Regiment was committed to Nakta-neungaseon, but the strong Chinese resistance forced it to withdraw to White Horse six hours after the attack on the ridge had begun. On October 14, the 29th Regiment executed another attack, and at 10:40, the 22nd Battalion of the Regiment routed the Chinese troops from Nakta-neungseon, thus seizing full control of White Horse. (Chinese source: The 38th Army was ordered during the night of the 14th to abandon the action due to the start of "Battle of Triangle Hill" which PVA determined to win).

The 38th Army committed four regiments - the 334th, 339th, 340th, and 342nd regiment. Chinese side claimed it suffered a total of 6,700 casualties (South Korean source: The 38th Army committed seven regiments out of its total of nine regiments and sustained a total of 14,332 casualties (8,234 identified deaths, 5,097 presumed deaths, 1,001 wounded, and 57 prisoners)

The 9th Division of South Korea committed three regiments - the 28th, 29th, and 30th regiment and suffered a total of 3,422 casualties (505 dead, 2,562 injured and 391 missing), plus over 400 more casualties in the 1st Battalion of the 30th Regiment. (Chinese source: The 9th Infantry Division committed four regiments and suffered a total of 9,400 casualties with almost 7,000 identified deaths)

The American Fifth Air Force made a total of 745 sorties and poured more than 2,700 bombs of various kinds, together with over 358 napalm bombs, onto the hill. Chinese forces rained no less than 55,000 shells during the nine-day battle period, and the South Korean forces fired over 185,000 shells.

Both the 38th Army and the 9th Infantry Division, after suffering heavy casualties, had to withdraw to the rear. Following the battle, the ROK Army 9th division gained the nickname White Horse Division.

Allah Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun, Part XI: Daejeon Islamic Center, Daejeon Yuseong-gu

 "أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لآ إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله - وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رسول الله"  -  Turkish version!
 Fuyukai-desu - Daejeon-desu - Islam-desu!
Islamic Center of Daejeon (ICD) was established in December 2006 and located in 193 Daehak-ro, Eoeun-dong 106-6 beonji, Daejeon Yuseong-gu, South Korea. It lies in the midst of a triangle containing Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Information and Communication University (ICU) and Chungnam National University (CNU).

Daejeon Metropole is located about 2 hours driving south-west of the capital Seoul, with a population of about 1.2 million residents. The Muslim community in Daejeon is comprised of people who are mainly graduate students, researcher and scientists who come from different Muslim countries to join Daejeon's various universities and research institutes. There are also a few Muslim laborers living within the limits of the city.
The efforts of Daejeon's tiny Muslim community have succeeded in establishing the Islamic Center in December of 2006 with the goal of serving Islam and the Muslim community in Daejeon. The first group prayer at ICD was held on Friday 29 December 2006, and was followed the next day by the Eid prayer of Eid-ul-fitr.

Gracious and Groovy Gaya (3G), Part IV: Royal Tomb of King Guhyeong, Sancheong, Southern Gyeongsang - Final Ruler of Geumgwan Gaya

King Guhyeong of Geumgwan Gaya (Hanja: 仇衡王), also often King Guhae (Reigned: 521-532) was the tenth and final ruler of Geumgwan Gaya, a Gaya state of ancient Korea. He was the son of King Gyeomji and Queen Suk. He married Queen Gyehwa, who was the daughter of the suijil Bunjil. They had three sons, each of whom later became a gakgan, or general: Kim Sejong, Kim Mudo and Kim Moo-ryeok (Kim Yu-shin's grandfather).

Faced with an onslaught of Silla forces under King Beopheung, King Guhyeong chose to surrender freely, and brought his family and his treasures to Silla. He was received with ceremony and his family were admitted to the second-highest rank of the Silla bone rank system, the "true bone." The king was given the rank of Sangdaedeung, and permitted to keep his former territory as sigeup stipend land. According to the Samguk Yusa, this occurred either 520 or 490 years after the kingdom's legendary founding by King Suro.

This stone grave which is located at Hwagye-ri san 16-beonji, Geumseo-myeon, Sancheong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province is known to be the tomb of King Guhyeong, the 10th King of the Gaya Kingdom. He is also known as King Guhae or King Yang, and is the great-grandfather of Kim Yu-shin. Since becoming the King of Gaya in 521 CE, he reigned for 11 years until he handed over his country to King Beopheung of the Silla Kingdom in 532 CE.

There are two different scholarly opinions about this tomb. One is that it should be classified as a stone pagoda and the other, a royal tomb. The reason why this was regarded as a pagoda is that there are similarly shaped stone pagodas in the Andong and Uiseong regions. The basis for it being called Wangneung, or royal tomb, is that there is a record in Dongguk Yeoji Seungram (an ancient history book published during the rule of King Seongjong in the Joseon Dynasty) and in Saneum-hyeon Sancheonjo (a record of events in the region) of it being a tomb. The notes state that "there is a structure with steps on the four faces, in the form of nine dragons piled up of stones at a distance of about 16 km (40 ri in traditional Korean scale) from the village, so people believe it must be a royal tomb".

The record describing the name of the king buried in this tomb can be extracted from a record of travels called Wangsan Shimneunggi written by Hong Ui Young, a Joseon Dynasty scholar. In addition, there’s also an entry  in Wangsansagi, a book on the history of Wangsansa Temple (a temple located west of the tomb) that the person buried in the tomb is King Guhyeong.

Unlike ordinary graves, the tomb is built at the middle part of the hill's slope. The tomb has a unique appearance made up of steps and layers, with the highest point being 7.15 meters high. There are seven layers at the front and no steps at the back due to it being built on an inclined surface. The overall shape of this tomb is different from the pyramids built on level ground. The top of the tomb is oval in shape. At the center, there is a stone tablet with the words "Royal Tomb of King Yang of the Garak Nation". In front of the tomb, there are several stone pieces that have been added to the original tomb. 

During the 17th Year of King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty (1793), a wooden box that was passed down from generation to generation in Wangsansa Temple was discovered. The box contained portraits of King Guhyeong and his queen - Queen Gyehwa, their clothes, an archery bow, and other objects. To preserve these, a royal building called Deogyangjeon Hall was constructed. To this date, a memorial service is held here in spring and autumn of every year.

Allah Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun, Part X: Rabitah Al-Alam Mosque, Anyang Manan-gu, Gyeonggi Province

 "أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لآ إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله - وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رسول الله"  -  Korean version!
The Anyang Mosque (Hanja: 安養聖院) in 45 Samdeok Avenue 37th Street/Samdeok-ro 37beon-gil, Anyang 5-dong 618-132 beonji, Anyang Manan-gu, Gyeonggi Province is a remodeled Christian church building purchased with private funds of 50 million won by the late Imam Hussein Yoo Chang-sik (유창식), it opened in April 1986 (H.1406). Originally, it was a 2 storey building with children’s housing and a lodging house on the first floor, and a prayer hall at the second floor. In 1990s, when many foreign Muslim workers came to this area, the prayer hall at the second floor became too small to accommodate all of the foreign Muslim workers. They had to build a 3rd floor with their charity fund of 100 million won which made it possible to rebuild the current prayer hall with a 100 people capacity.

This Mosque at Anyang changed its name to the ‘Rabitah Mosque’ in December 1985 (H.1406) because the funds for remodeling and management of the Mosque was donated by the World Muslim League (Rabitah) in Saudi Arabia. However, the Mosque has experienced many difficulties with its management. The financial problems were solved by funds raised from the council for the Mosque Management--comprised mainly of Bangladesh laborers.

Br. Najmul Hak had been taken charge of the services as an Imam of this Mosque after the late Imam Hussein Yoo passed away in December 1999 (H.1420). The wife and family of the late Imam Yoo proceeded to sell the Mosque building. Meanwhile the council for the Mosque management made decision to stop the sale of the Mosque and has collected 150 million won through fund raising. They continue to keep good relations with Korean Muslim Federation (KMF) by talking with the late Imam Yoo’s family to resolve this crisis.

Inside Gyeongbokgung, Part VIII: Gyotaejeon Queen's Chamber

Gyotaejeon Hall (Hanja: 交泰殿), is a building used as the main residing quarters by the queen inside Gyeongbok Palace during the Joseon Dynasty. The building is located behind Gangnyeongjeon, the king's quarters, and contains the queen's bed chamber. It was first constructed in around 1440, the 22nd year of King Sejong the Great.

King Sejong, who was noted to have a frail health later in his reign, decided to carry out his executive duties in Gangnyeongjeon, where his bed chamber is located, instead of Sajeongjeon. Since this decision meant many government officials routinely needed to visit and intrude Gangnyeongjeon, King Sejong had Gyotaejeon built in consideration of queen consort's (Queen Soheon of Cheongsong Shim Clan) privacy.

The building was burned down in 1592 when the Japanese invaded Korea during Imjin Invasion, but was reconstructed in 1867. Nevertheless, when Daejojeon of Changdeok Palace was burned down by a fire in 1917, the Japanese government disassembled the building and recycled its construction materials to restore Daejojeon. The current building was reconstructed in 1994 according to its original design and specifications. The building, like Gangnyeongjeon, does not have a top roof ridge called yongmaru.

Amisan (아미산/峨嵋山), a famous garden created from an artificial mound, is located behind Gyotaejeon. Four hexagonal chimneys, constructed around 1869 in orange bricks and decorative roof tiles, adorn Amisan without showing their utilitarian function and are notable examples of formative art created during the Joseon Dynasty. The chimneys were registered as Korea's Treasure No. 811 on January 8, 1985.

OH HELL YEAH! Stir her 'bleep' up, Miketsukami!