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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Korea-Japan Friendship Center, Dalseong County, Daegu Metropole: Kim Chung-seon's defection from Japan to Korea. Sounds sweet.


The Dalseong Korea-Japan Friendship Center (Hanja: 達城韓日友好館) at 206 Urok Street/Urok-gil, Urok-ri 175-1 beonji, Gachang-myeon, Dalseong County, Daegu Metropole was opened on May 3, 2012 to highlight the philanthropy of General Mohadang Kim Chung-seon (모하당 김충선/慕夏堂 金忠善; Japanese name: Sayaka/沙也可; Born: 1571 - Died: 1642) and promote friendship between Korea and Japan.

In addition, General Kim Chung-seon is a progenitor of Gimhae-Urok Kim Clan (김해-우록 김씨/金海-友鹿金氏); originated from this place. Even though Gimhae Kim Clan is initially originated from Gimhae in Southern Gyeongsang Province, the branches of this clan are differentiate clearly by two clan progenitors which are King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya (which is known as Garak Kim Clan) and General Kim Chung-seon himself.

Kim Chung-seon was a Japanese general who served under General Katou Kiyomasa who defected to Korea during the Japanese Imjin Invasion (1592~1598). Shortly after arriving on Korean soil as a commander of a Japanese army, Choi together with his subjects defected to Korea, a choice that has been traditionally attributed to his respect for Korean culture. He transferred the technology of manufacturing rifles to the Korean army and contributed greatly in battles in Gyeongju and Ulsan. 

A great number of tourists visit the center to learn about history, including students and their parents, as well as numerous Japanese tourists who visit to commemorate the spirit of General Kim. The center features exhibition rooms, a 3-D theater, a tea ceremony room, relics, manifestations of traditional games in Korea and Japan, documents from Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, and a site for experiencing archery, all of which can be utilized free of charge.