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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Silla Superiority Complex, Part XXIX: Tomb of General Kim Yu-shin, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang


The tomb of General Kim Yushin (Born: 595 - Died: 673) is Historic Site No. 21. It is located in a scenic area thick with pine trees, on the eastern hill of Mt. Songha (Specific Location: 44-7 Chunghyo 2nd Street/Chunghyo 2-gil, Chunghyo-dong san 7-10 beonji, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang Province).

Known as the ‘Hero and Unifier of Silla Kingdom,’ General Kim Yushin was the great grandson of King Guhae, the last king of the Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty, and the son of Seo Hyeon, the great general of the Silla Kingdom. Yushin joined the Hwarang (aristocratic youth military corps) at 15 and began dreaming of ways to unify the peninsula’s three kingdoms. Kim Yushin gained his political foothold by establishing a strong relationship with nobleman Kim Chunchu and made a name for himself through his valor on the battlefield.

When Kim Chunchu eventually succeeded to the throne as the 29th king of the Silla Kingdom (changing his name to King Taejong-Muyeol), Kim Yushin rose through the ranks and was eventually promoted to the extraordinarily high-ranking position of Sangdaedeung (in the year 660, 7th year of King Muyeol’s reign). Kim then went on to defeat the Baekje in cooperation with the Tang Dynasty, also later conquering the Goguryeo (in the year 668). The Tang Dynasty, turned against the Silla after the collapse of Goguryeo, but was defeated by Kim Yushin’s army in cooperation with the armies of Goguryeo and Baekje. With the fall of the Tang, Kim finally realized his dream of unifying the three kingdoms and was appointed the highest government post in Silla in honor of his heroic achievement.

The tomb of General Kim Yu-shin is a large tomb measuring roughly 30m in diameter. The relief carvings of 12 Oriental zodiac gods (half man, half animal) stand guard around the tomb, brandishing weapons. The elaborately decorated tomb is second in grandeur only to those of royalty, further underscoring Kim Yushin’s major contribution in unifying the three kingdoms.

The path to this tomb is also a sight not to be missed. The street leading up to the tomb is called Heungmuro, and has been selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Streets in Korea. The street is full of cherry blossoms in spring and is famous for being a great place to take a walk or go for a drive.

Take Fivers: Kore wa Zombie desu ka = Korean Zombie Desk Car?

Mixing individually cool things together does not make a cooler thing. Let it be known throughout the universe. If you put Meatloaf in Chocolate, It will not magically become awesome. If you put Ninjas in space, It will not spontaneously become a cool thing. Just because you have cool ideas, doesn’t mean you can slack off and forget about execution, and more importantly: Sense. Such is the case with Korean Zombie Desk Car (Actually called “Kore wa Zombie desuka” (which means “Is this a zombie?).

Another wordplay, eh? So, we have generated the craziest idea which associated the main characters of Kore wa Zombie desuka to five flagship Korean cars. Please look forward onto it!

Uh Oh. This zombie loves Korean Republic so much! 

Haruna: Buick Lacrosse-Alpheon CL300 LW9 V6 Epsilon II Platform

Eucliwood Hellscythe: Hyundai Equus-Centennial VS460 V8 Tau Engine

Kirara Hoshikawa (Sarasvati): Kia Cadenza K7 VG350 V6 Lambda Engine

Seraphim: Renault Samsung Tailsman SM7 Nova RE35 V6

Yuki Yoshida (Maelstrom): SsangYong Chairman W V8 5000

Friday, 30 January 2015

Korean Play Ball, Part IV: kt wiz - everything is in small caps.


kt wiz (Hangul: 케이티 위즈) is a South Korean professional baseball team founded in 2013. They were a member of the Freedom Division of the Korea Baseball Futures League, which is not affiliated with Korea Baseball Organization. On January 11 of 2013, Korean Baseball Organization officially approved of kt Baseball Club' admission to Korean Professional Baseball League start off 2015 season.

Their home stadium is Suwon kt wiz park a.k.a Suwon Baseball Stadium in 893 Gyeongsu Boulevard/Gyeongsu-daero, Jowon-dong 775-beonji, Suwon Jangan-gu, Gyeonggi Province. This stadium was the home of the Hyundai Unicorns of the Korea Baseball Organization from 2000 to 2007, but Unicorns was changed into Nexen Heroes and moved its home stadium to Mokdong Baseball Stadium. The stadium with a capacity of 14,465 spectators is now the home of the kt wiz.

kt wiz, the 10th professional baseball team in Korea which was the result of local baseball fans’ strong desire combined with the passion for creating a team to represent Suwon was newly launched with a team name, Wiz (abbreviation to the word Wizard in English), implying a willingness to become an ideal team with its mysterious power.

kt wiz is organizing coaching staff to become giants through long term plans. Large-scale expansion and renovation are to be done to its baseball stadium in Suwon and Yeoju, which will provide practice field to its farm team has the best quality facilities including auxiliary stadiums, training centers and restaurants. kt wiz has been focusing on fostering a strong team based on systemic baseball and solid infrastructure in the long term. After training in camp and playing in the 2014 Futures League, kt wiz will make successful debut in the first division league in 2015 to show magical baseball as its name implies.

Taking advantage of the 'BIC Tainment developed based on kt’s ICT technology, it plans to provide baseball fans with distinctive baseball content as well as a ballpark where everyone can enjoy a pleasant and comfortable baseball games.

In response to great support that citizens of Gyeonggi and Suwon have shown, kt wiz will carry out its vision of being a great team pursuing fun and entertainment by providing a pleasant leisure culture, and in the meantime, developing a variety of new marketing strategies.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Korean 6th Gear, Part III: Kia Motors

Kia Motors Gwangju Plant in Naebang-dong, Gwangju Seo-gu
Kia Motors Corporation (Hanja: 起亞自動車), headquartered in Seoul Seocho-gu, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 2.7 million vehicles in 2012 and almost 2.75 million vehicles in 2013. As of December 2013, the company is 33.88% owned by the Hyundai Motor Company. According to Kia Motors, the name "Kia" derives from the Sino-Korean words ki ("to come out") and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as "arise or come up out of Asia" or "rising out of Asia".

Kia was founded on June 9, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand – and has operated as one of the country's Chaebols since then. In 1951 Kia began building complete bicycles. In 1952, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry, and later built motorcycles (starting in 1957), trucks (1962) and cars (1974). The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant. Kia built the small Brisa range of cars until 1981, when production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation, meaning Kia had to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks.

Starting in 1986 (when only 26 cars were manufactured, followed by over 95,000 the next year), Kia rejoined the automobile industry in partnership with Ford. Kia produced several Mazda-derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea and for export into other countries. These models included the Kia Pride, based on the Mazda 121, and the Avella, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.

In 1992, Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States. The first Kia-branded vehicles in the United States were sold from four dealerships in Portland, Oregon in February 1994. Since then, Kia expanded methodically one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia, and a few years later the United States line expanded with the addition of the Sportage. By 1995, there existed over one hundred Kia dealerships across thirty states, selling a record 24,740 automobiles.

However, during the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997; in 1998 Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51% of the company outbidding Ford Motor Company which had owned an interest in Kia Motors since 1986. After subsequent divestments, Hyundai Motor Company owns less than 50% of the company.

Since 2005, Kia has focused on the European market and has identified design as its "core future growth engine"—leading to the hiring of Peter Schreyer in 2006 as Chief Design Officer and his subsequent creation of a new corporate grille known as the 'Tiger Nose'.

In October 2006, Kia Motors America broke ground for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point, Georgia, representing a $1 billion USD investment for the company. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia opened in February 2010, after Kia recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share.

In August 2014, the company received international attention when Pope Francis of the Catholic Church rode in one of their compact cars, the Kia Soul, during a five-day visit to South Korea. The Kia Soul drew bigger attention than two other vehicles used by the Pope, their Kia Carnival and Hyundai's Santa Fe, because it appeared in the high-profile welcoming ceremony of his arrival at the Seoul Airport on 14 August.

Kia Motors Hwaseong Plant in Ihwa-ri, Ujeong-eup, Hwaseong City, Gyeonggi Province
Beginning in 2006 Kia identified design as its "core future growth engine" – leading to the 2006 hiring of Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer. Schreyer had previously worked at Audi (designing the Audi TT) and Volkswagen and had won the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany. Schreyer has since been central to a complete restyling of Kia's lineup, overseeing design activities at Kia's design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Namyang Design Center in Korea.

With the Kee concept vehicle, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007, Kia introduced a new corporate grille to create a recognizable 'face' for the brand. Known as the Tiger Nose, Schreyer indicated he wanted "a powerful visual signal, a seal, an identifier. The front of a car needs this recognition, this expression. A car needs a face and I think the new Kia face is strong and distinctive. Visibility is vital and that face should immediately allow you to identify a Kia even from a distance." commenting on the new signature grille in 2009: "From now on, we'll have it on all our cars".

Kia Motors Sohari Plant in Soha-dong, Gwangmyeong City, Gyeonggi Province

About Kia Motors Sohari Plant
The Sohari Plant was Kia Motors first integrated automobile manufacturing plant, established in 1973 on 498,908 square metres (5,370,200 sq ft) of land. Subsequently, the plant manufactured Kia's first internal combustion engine, followed by the manufacture of its first automobile, the Kia Brisa (1974–1982). In 1975, Kia exported its first vehicle, the Brisa pickup, to the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar.

The South Korean government forced Kia to halt car production in 1981, assessing the Korean auto market as too competitive. In 1986, the government allowed the company to resume manufacturing with its agreement to build the Ford Festiva for export.

The Sohari Plant manufactured the Kia Pride/Rio and its rebadged variants the Ford Festiva and Mazda 121, as well as the subsequent Kia Avella and its variant, the Ford Aspire. The factory currently manufactures the Kia Carnival/Sedona (and its variant the Hyundai Entourage, 2007–2009), Kia Rio and Kia K9 Quoris/K900, with an annual output of 340,000 vehicles.

The plant is located in Soha-dong, Gwangmyeong, South Korea, near the country's capital of Seoul in the Gyeonggi province — with ready access to labor, other resources and transportation facilities, as well as the Seoul metropolitan area.


Current Lineups (Korea unless stated):
  • Kia K9 Quoris (Full-size luxury car; 4-door sedan) - made in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia K7 Cadenza (Full-size Executive car; 4-door sedan) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia K5 Optima (Mid-size; 4-door sedan) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia K3 Cerato-Forte (compact; 4-door sedan) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia K3 Cerato-Forte Koup (compact; 2-door coupe) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia K3 Cerato Forte Euro (compact; 5-door hatchback) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia cee'd (compact; 5-door hatchback) - made in Žilina, Slovakia
  • Kia cee'd_sw (compact; 5-door station wagon) - made in Žilina, Slovakia
  • Kia procee'd (compact; 3-door hatchback) - made in Žilina, Slovakia
  • Kia Venga (mini-MPV; 5-door hatchback) - made in Nošovice, Moravskoslezský Region, Czech Republic
  • Kia Picanto (City car; 5-door hatchback) - made in Seosan, Southern Chungcheong
  • Kia Ray (Electric-powered Mini MPV; 5-door hatchback) - made in Seosan, Southern Chungcheong
  • Kia Rio/Pride (Subcompact car; 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback) - made in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia Carnival/Sedona (4-door minivan) - made in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia Soul (Compact; 5-door hatchback) - made in Gwangju Seo-gu
  • Kia Carens (Compact MPV; 4-door wagon) - made in Gwangju Seo-gu
  • Kia Mohave (Mid-size SUV; 4-door wagon) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia Sorento (Mid-size Crossover SUV; 4-door wagon) - made in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province
  • Kia Sportage  (Compact Crossover SUV; 4-door wagon) - made in Gwangju Seo-gu

Korean Joga Bonito, Part VI: FC Anyang - Successor of Anyang LG Cheetahs


Football Club Anyang (Hangul: 안양시민프로축구단) is a South Korean professional football club based in the city of Anyang, Gyeonggi Province. Founded in 2013, the team is a successor of Anyang LG Cheetahs (nowadays FC Seoul), the team which moved its home turf to Seoul in 2003 - ten years before the foundation of FC Anyang. 

Its home stadium is Anyang Stadium, located at 389 Pyeongchon Boulevard/Pyeongchon-daero, Bisan 3-dong 1023-beonji, Anyang Dongan-gu, Gyeonggi Province. The stadium with the capacity of 17,143 spectators is accessible by using KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4 to Station 442: Beomgye Station. 

They currently compete in the K League Challenge, the second highest tier of Korean football league, founded in the same year of FC Anyang's Foundation. The team's motto is Esperanto: Civitano, Paradizo, Feliĉo meaning "Citizen, Paradise, Happiness (or Felicity)" and it is printed on the emblem.

FC Anyang's Foundation is traced back to the former Club in the Korea National League, Goyang KB Kookmin Bank FC. It was planned that, subject to meeting certain financial requirements, the winner of the National League in 2006 would be promoted to the K-League. However Goyang Kookmin Bank caused controversy by winning the league but declining to move up. 

Team owners Kookmin Bank cited a Korean law where banks in Korea were not allowed to be involved in profitable ventures outside of banking which of course a professional football team could be. However the more likely reason is the large financial losses that most K-League teams endure each year as the league struggles for sponsorship money and suffers through low crowd numbers. 

On top of that any National League champion seeking promotion from the second tier is required to pay an 'entry fee' of around 2 million US dollars simply to join the league. Goyang Kookmin Bank received several threats from the League ranging from being thrown out of the competition, to fines, to point deductions for the upcoming 2007 season. In the end the side received a points deduction penalty, to be split into ten point deductions in the first and second stages of the 2007 season.

Goyang KB FC was dissolved in 2012 and the former players of the club began a movement, together with Anyang Municipal Government to establish a brand new side in Anyang, with an initial goal of creating a municipal professional football team to participate in the 2013 K League Challenge. During the course of 2013 deals with several major sponsors, including KB Kookmin Bank and Gatorade Korea were negotiated. On October 10th 2012, the club's name, FC Anyang, was announced, and the club was officially founded on February 2nd, 2013.

FC Anyang made a debut in the firstly-introduced K League Challenge in 2013 and finished at fifth place with 45 points. The club managed to maintain the fifth place in K League Challenge 2014 season with 51 points. However, the club didn't qualify to K League Challenge play-offs for the promotion to the first tier of the league, K League Classic. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Korean Joga Bonito, Part V: FC Seoul


FC Seoul (Hangul: FC 서울) is a South Korean professional football club based in Seoul, South Korea, that plays in the K League Classic. It is currently owned by GS Sports, a subsidiary of GS Group. Its current home ground is Seoul World Cup Stadium, also known as SangAm Bowl; located at 240 World Cup Road, Seongsan-dong 515-beonji, Seoul Mapo-gu.

The club was officially founded as Lucky-Goldstar FC in 1983, by the Lucky-Goldstar Group (럭키금성 그룹) and reborn as FC Seoul in 2004 due to Decentralization Policy of K-League. FC Seoul have won 5 League titles, 2 League Cups and 1 FA Cup. FC Seoul is one of the most successful and popular clubs in the K League Classic, with financial backing from the GS Group. In 2012, FC Seoul was evaluated as the most valuable football brand in the K League Classic.

FC Seoul was officially announced on 18 August as the new club and founded on 22 December 1983, and started out in 1984 as Lucky-Goldstar Football Club, owned and financially supported by the Lucky-Goldstar Group (currently LG Group), with the Chungcheong region as its franchise and Hwangso (meaning bull) as its mascot.

In order to launch the professional football club, Lucky-Goldstar Group had a preparation period from 1982 and demanded that the original franchise should be Seoul. In the 1984 season, the club finished seventh out of the eight clubs. The club fared better in the 1985 season when they won the championship with the help of Thailand national football team player Piyapong Pue-On, who was the top scorer, as well as the top assistor.

From the beginning of 1988, Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso pushed forward a relocation to Seoul[9] At the end of the 1989 season, the Korea Professional Football League (renamed as the K League in 1998), worried about the financial stability of the clubs, invited a number of clubs to play in Seoul. Thus, the Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso, which had always wanted to be based in the capital, moved to Seoul Stadium (Currently Dongdaemun Stadium) in Seoul at the end of 1989 The club finished first season in Seoul as champions. The club changed its name to LG Cheetahs in 1991 to mirror the LG Twins, a professional baseball team also owned by LG Group. 

After several seasons in Seoul, the club was forced to move in 1996, as part of the K League's decentralization policy. This policy was carried out to stimulate the growth of football in the provinces. In addition, in 1995, Korea was bidding to host the 2002 FIFA World Cup. This warranted the construction of a soccer-specific stadium in Seoul. The three clubs based in Seoul – LG Cheetahs, Ilhwa Chunma, and Yukong Elephants did not want to recognize the decentralization policy. Ultimately, it proved necessary for the Korean government to issue an eviction order to the disaffected clubs. However, the government did guarantee if the clubs built a soccer-specific stadium in Seoul, the clubs could have a Seoul franchise and return to Seoul.

As a result, 3 clubs were evicted from Seoul to other cities. This entailed the move of the LG Cheetahs to the Anyang Sports Complex in the city of Anyang, a satellite city of Seoul, 21 km away. The club was now known as the Anyang LG Cheetahs. In the upcoming years, a solid base of supporters was formed, and it established a strong league rivalry with the Suwon Samsung Bluewings. This rivalry was partly fueled by the fact that LG Group and Samsung Group, which owned the Suwon club, were also considered rivals in the business world, especially in electronics. The club continued to grow and in 2000, they won their third Championship, behind the firepower of striker Choi Yong-soo.

For the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan, 10 brand new stadiums of World Cup standards were built in Korea. After the World Cup, the Korean World Cup Organizing Committee and the KFA actively supported the move of regional K League clubs into the new stadia. This was designed to avoid or at least minimize any financial losses through having to maintain a stadium in playing condition without regular income. 

However, due to the previous decision by the K League to exclude any member club from being based in Seoul, Seoul World Cup Stadium remained vacant, except as a host of some international friendlies. Thus, the city government of Seoul and the KFA both actively sought for a K League club to play at the stadium to take on the cost of maintaining the stadium. Initially, it was intended to create a new club, but when it later transpired that any club playing in Seoul World Cup Stadium would have to pay partially for the construction fees of the stadium, this would have placed an unreasonable burden on a fledgling club. Thus, the KFA tried to lure one of the current clubs to Seoul. 

The Anyang LG Cheetahs, with the financial backing of the LG Group, who not only viewed the move back to Seoul as a way to increase its advertising presence, but had the right to come back to Seoul because it had its franchise moved by force in 1996, as part of the K League's decentralization policy. Anyang LG announced in February 2004 that it would pay the share of the construction fees (which turned out to be 15 billion won, or at that time 15 million USD). This proposed move provoked a significant amount of controversy from the Korean football fans as KFA and K League failed to launch a new football club based in Seoul due to a high Seoul franchise fee. Regardless, KFA and K League ultimately permitted relocation of Anyang LG Cheetahs.

Şenol Güneş managed FC Seoul for a three-year period from December 8, 2006. The club started the 2007 season with 3 consecutive wins and a draw, and a spectacular result in the Seoul–Suwon derby match with FC Seoul defeating Suwon Samsung 4–1. Following a draw with Gwangju Sangmu in round 16, FC Seoul was defeated 1–0 by Suwon Samsung . 80% of the regular squad was injured and FC Seoul failed to qualify for the play-off phase of the season. However, they succeeded in getting into the final of the K League Cup. The second season under Güneş was different. There were no major injuries and although Park Chu-Young, the ace of FC Seoul at that time, was transferred to Ligue 1 club AS Monaco, the "Double Dragons" of FC Seoul (Lee Chung-yong, Ki Sung-yueng) made a big progress and Dejan Damjanović scored 14 goals. This resulted in a second place finish in the K League regular season, and progress to the playoffs. FC Seoul defeated Ulsan Hyundai in the play-off semi-final but was defeated by Suwon in the final. Despite the loss, the club still qualified for the 2009 AFC Champions League. The Şenol Güneş era ended on November 25, 2009, with the manager returning to Trabzonspor.

FC Seoul's 2009 AFC Champions League campaign began with a 2–1 win over Indonesian side Sriwijaya FC. However, 3 winless matches followed with losses to Gamba Osaka and Shangdong Luneng and a 1–1 draw again against Luneng. It looked impossible for Seoul to qualify for the Round of 16, but a dramatic come-from-behind victory over reigning champion Gamba Osaka and Sriwijaya's unexpected victory over Shandong Luneng meant FC Seoul finished in second place in Group F. On June 24, 2009, FC Seoul beat Kashima Antlers 5–4 on penalties after a 0–0 draw in the Round of 16 clash and advanced to the Quarter-finals, but were beaten 4–3 on aggregate by Qatari club Umm-Salal. FC Seoul's appearance in the AFC Champions League was its first since the Asian Club Championship Era.

FC Seoul appointed Nelo Vingada as manager on December 14, 2009. Vingada won the K League and League Cup with FC Seoul. FC Seoul had 20 wins, 2 draws, and 6 losses in the 2010 season under Vingada's management.

FC Seoul recorded an attendance of 60,747 against Seongnam Ilhwa on May 5, 2010 at Seoul World Cup Stadium, this is the highest single-match attendance record in South Korean professional sports history. FC Seoul also recorded the single-season (League, K League Championship, League Cup) highest total attendance record – 546,397 and the single-regular & post season (League, K League Championship) highest average attendance record of 32,576.

On December 13, 2010, FC Seoul wanted to extend Vingada's 1 year contract but FC Seoul and Vingada could not come to an agreement over the salary conditions, resulting in Vingada returning home to Portugal.

On August 25, 2010, FC Seoul beat Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3–0 to become the 2010 League Cup winner. FC Seoul were also crowned K League champions as a 2–1 win over Jeju United in the second leg of the play-off series final saw them triumph 4–3 on aggregate in K League Championship final, thus, achieving their first double in FC Seoul's history. The crowd of 56,769 at the 2nd leg also set the record of the highest attendance in K League Championship history.

FC Seoul legend Choi Yong-soo was hired to manage the club in 2012, after previously serving as the assistant manager and caretaker for the club in 2011. In 2013, AFC Champions League campaign has earned Choi Yong-soo the 2013 AFC Coach of the Year award, becoming the second Korean in succession to win the prestigious individual accolade following last year’s winner Kim Ho-kon.

Korean Joga Bonito, Part IV: Gangwon FC - The Football Club which plays THREE Home Pitches

Primary Gangwon FC Home Stadium - Gangneung Stadium, 69 JonghapUndongjang-gil, Gyodong 2-10 beonji, Gangneung, Gangwon Province
Gangwon FC (Hangul/Hanja:강원 FC/江原 FC) is a South Korean football club. Based in Gangwon Province of South Korea, Gangwon FC was founded in 2008 and joined the K-League as its 15th club for the 2009 season. The club plays home matches in three different stadia; located at Gangneung, Wonju and Chuncheon.

Former Gangwon Provincial Governor, Kim Jin-sun announced a schedule for the foundation of the 15th professional football club to participate in the K-League on April 28, 2008. A committee, the "Foundation of Football Club in Gangwon Preparation Committee", was organized on 18 June 18, 2008 to facilitate the foundation. Preparations had advanced sufficiently that by 17 November 2008, 14 players had joined Gangwon FC in a first nomination. On November 20, 2008, Gangwon FC organized its first full squad, a total of 23 players, including nine players from the 2009 K-League draft. Gangwon FC was formally founded on 18 December 2008 in time to enter the 2009 edition of the K-League.

Secondary Gangwon FC Home Stadium - Chuncheon-Songam LePorts Town, 136 Sports Town Street, Songam-dong 301-beonji, Chuncheon, Gangwon Province
Gangwon played its first ever K-League match against Jeju United on 8 March 2009, at Gangneung Stadium, winning 1-0 with a decisive goal from Yoon Jun-ha. With this victory, they became the first ever team to win their debut game in K-League. Gangwon FC continued their winning start to the season with a further four victories on the trot and causing a sensation in the first half of 2009 K-League. Unfortunately Gangwon was unable to maintain their initial success, and by round 19 had fallen into the lower half of the league table. By the conclusion of their first season in the K-League, they placed 13th of fifteen clubs.

Kim Young-hoo finished as top scorer for the club with 13 goals (good enough to place joint 3rd in the overall "Top Scorers"). Kim was awarded K-League Rookie of the Year for his efforts during the season. Gangwon FC was award the Fair Play Award for the 2009 season.

In the 2009 Korean FA Cup, Gangwon entered the competition in the round of 32 stage, and defeated their first opponent Incheon Koreail FC in a penalty shootout after a 2-all draw. They then faced the Jeonnam Dragons, losing 1:0. The club fared little better in the 2009 K-League Cup, finishing bottom of their group with only a single win (against Daejeon) to show for their efforts.

Tertiary Gangwon FC Home Stadium - Wonju Stadium, 311 Seowon Boulevard/Seowon-daero, Myeongnyun 1-dong 342-beonji, Wonju, Gangwon Province
Gangwon FC had a difficult season in 2010, even though first striker Kim Young-hoo scored 13 goals in the league. The club finished 12th out of 15 clubs. The 2011 season was the worst season since its establishment. Gangwon finished last in the league and the entire team only scored 14 goals in thirty matches.

In the 2012 season, K-League imposed a new promotion-relegation structure: bottom two teams in the top-tier league were to be relegated to second division. In the 43rd round, Gangwon managed to remain in the top-tier of K-League by Baek Jong-hwan's decisive goal that won the away game against Seongnam Ilhwa by 1-0. By one point, it avoided relegation.

In the 2013 season of K-League Classic, the first historical season in which K-League imposed compulsory relegation of bottom three teams and where the team that finished third from the bottom had to play the promotion-relegation playoffs against the champion of 2013 K-League Challenge, the second-tier league, Gangwon finished the season in the third place from the bottom inside the relegation zone, subsequently lost to Sangju Sangmu Phoenix over the two-leg relegation playoffs, and was relegated to the K-League Challenge.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Korean Play Ball, Part III: Nexen Heroes - Need New Tires? Support Nexen Heroes for Nexen Tires Special Promotions!


Nexen Heroes (Hangul: 넥센 히어로즈) are a South Korean professional baseball team based in Seoul. They are a member of the Korea Baseball Championship and compete in the annual KBO Championship which culminates in the Korean Series. The Heroes mascot is Teokdori (턱돌이; Mr. Jaw).

The franchise was originally known as the Sammi Superstars and had subsequent incarnations as the Chongbo Pintos and Pacific Dolphins. The team was renamed the Hyundai Unicorns after being sold to Hyundai in 1996, and was relocated from Incheon to Suwon. The Unicorns won the KBO championship four times (1998, 2000, 2003 and 2004), with only the Haitai Tigers (now Kia Tigers) having a better record of championship victories. But in 2008, the team was disbanded.

After that, Centennial Investments founded a new team called Woori Heroes. Unlike the other Korean Professional Baseball teams, the Heroes are owned by a collection of individuals headed by Lee Jang-seok, instead of being owned by its naming sponsor. But during the 2008 season, Woori broke the naming sponsor deal, citing that the Heroes has not paid the full founding fee to the KBO yet, forcing the team to trade most of its star players for cash. For the rest of 2008 season and the 2009 season, the team used only "Heroes" for its name. 

On February 8, 2010, naming rights were sold to Nexen Tires. The Heroes play their home games at the Mokdong Baseball Stadium in 939 Anyang Stream Road/Anyangcheonno, Mokdong 914-beonji, Seoul Yangcheon-gu. The stadium with the capacity of 12,500 spectators is accessible by using SMRT Line 5 to Station 521: Omokgyo Station (Mokdong Stadium) [Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 오목교역 (목동운동장앞)/梧木橋驛 (木洞運動場앞)/Omokgyo-yeok (Mokdong Undongjang-ap - In front of Mokdong Stadium)].

Like other baseball teams in Korea (and contrary to most professional teams in other sports around the world) the team is known primarily by the name of the sponsor, occasionally as their nickname, and never as the city in which they are based. Remember, if you want to change your old tires to Nexen Tires, please show your undying support to your beloved team - the Nexen Heroes. Drive this team to victory, folks!

Korean Joga Bonito, Part III: Ansan Police FC


Ansan Police Football Club, commonly known as Police FC, is a South Korean football club. Police FC's players comprise Korean professional footballers who are serving their two-year military duty; mandatory to all able-bodily Korean Males. Police FC have played in the K League Challenge since 2013 and, starting from the 2014 season, play their home games in Ansan.

Originally founded as National Police Department FC in 1961, the club changed its name to Seoul Police Department FC in 1962 then back to its original name in 1967. During its history it won a number of competitions such as the Korean President's Cup National Football Tournament and the Korea Semi-Professional Football League in the 1960s before it was dissolved in November 1967. The club was reinstated in 1996, and it partly consisted of players serving their compulsory two-year military duty, similar to the other military club Sangju Sangmu FC.


Ansan Police FC's Home Pitch: Ansan Wa~ Stadium
Ansan Wa~ Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium at 260 Hwarang Avenue/Hwarangno, Choji-dong 666-1 beonji, Ansan Danwon-gu, Gyeonggi Province. It's currently served as home stadium for Ansan Police FC. 

While under construction it was known as 'Ansan Stadium'. After the public subscription during the construction, the formal name 'Ansan Wa~ Stadium' was selected. 'Wa' means harmonious cheering and the wave notation (~) represents the extension of that sound. The stadium was opened in 2006 and has a capacity of 35,000 people. 

It is used mostly for football matches and athletics. 2013 HSBC Asia 5 Nations Rugby was held in Wa~ Stadium. The stadium is located next to Station 451: Gojan Station (Korea University Ansan Hospital) on KORAIL-Seoul Metro Line 4.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Korean Play Ball, Part II: Doosan Bears and LG Twins - Jamsil Derby, Round One


Jamsil Baseball Stadium (Hanja: 蠶室野球場) is a baseball stadium located at 25 Olympic Road, Jamsil 2-dong 10-beonji, Seoul Songpa-gu. The stadium holds 26,000 people and was built from April 1980 to July 1982. It makes up the Seoul Sports Complex along with the nearby Seoul Olympic Stadium, and hosted the baseball events during the 1988 Summer Olympics. It is the home of the LG Twins and Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball League. 

The area of Jamsil Baseball Stadium is 26,331 sq m, it has one basement level. It is three stories high with a center-field distance of 125m, side distances of 100m. The stadium has 59 entrances consisting of 49 inner gates and 10 outer gates. The parking lot allows 2200 cars to park. There are also other parking lots around so you can park at any of them if the parking lot is full. You can reach Jamsil Baseball Stadium with subway line 2, or you can take a bus. There is a nursing room and playroom for children, you can also rent a stroller. The stadium is designated as non-smoking area, but there are small smoking areas available.

Jamsil Baseball Stadium was renovated in 2007, about 1.5 billion won was spent. Grass on the field was replaced, drains were installed, and sprinkler were upgraded to prevent heavy rain damage. After 2012 baseball season, Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation changed the soil of ground for easy maintenance and prevention of injuries. They changed all seats except 3rd floor, made locker room for away team athletes, re-model of restroom for viewers. It takes cost 38 hundred-thousand won.

Tickets range from 4000 to 50,000 won. Since the stadium is 30 years old, many people demand teams to build new stadiums as baseball has become more popular. When they first built the stadium, a builder didn't assign enough space for stores and restaurants, so some of the cafeterias are still in temporary buildings. But due to the budget, Seoul and two teams are still discussing building a new stadium.


About Doosan Bears
The Doosan Bears (Hangul: 두산 베어스) are a professional baseball team based in Seoul, South Korea. They are a member of the Korean Baseball Organization.

The club was founded in Daejeon, South Korea in 1982 as the "OB Bears", and moved to Seoul, South Korea in 1985 before being officially renamed the "Doosan Bears" in 1999. The Doosan Bears (formerly the OB Bears) won the Korean Series in 1982, the inaugural KBO season. They have won three Korea Series titles (1982, 1995, 2001) and play their home games at Seoul's Jamsil Baseball Stadium. Jamsil Baseball Stadium is also used by LG Twins.

The Bears have retired numbers 21 and 54. The number 54 is in memory of the catcher Kim Young-Shin who died young, and the number 21 is the legendary pitcher, Park Chul-Soon, whose nickname is "Phoenix." Park won the Most Valuable Player award in the 1982 Korean Series. On the following year, he was injured but won the award again. He continued to play when injured throughout his career and had much success. He is still held in high esteem from not only most Bears fans but many Korean baseball fans.


About LG Twins
LG Twins (Hangul: LG 트윈스) is a Korea Professional Baseball team based in Seoul, South Korea. The club was first established as MBC Chungyong owned by Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation until 1989, when they were taken over by the LG Group. The LG Twins play their home games at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, which they share with their rival, Doosan Bears. Chungyong first used Jamsil Baseball Stadium since 1982, the first year of Korean pro baseball league, and Bears started using the same stadium 3 years later, in 1985.

The Twins won the Korean Series in 1990 - that is the first year with their new names - and 1994. The Korean Series MVP was Kim Yong-su in both Series. Kim's number, 41 is now the only retired number of the team.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Korean Play Ball, Part I: Lotte Giants - Meet the Most Enthusiastic Supporters in Korea!

Sajik Baseball Stadium, 45 Sajik Avenue/Sajik-ro, Sajik 2-dong 930-beonji, Busan Dongnae-gu - the Largest Karaoke in the world
The Lotte Giants (Hangul: 롯데 자이언츠) are a professional baseball team based in the southeastern city of Busan, South Korea, and one of the original franchises of the Korea Baseball Organization league. The Lotte Giants are owned by the South Korean-Japanese Lotte conglomerate, which also owns the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball.

From 1982 through 1986, they played at Gudeok Baseball Stadium and since then have played at Sajik Baseball Stadium. They won the KBO Championship, the Korean Series, twice in 1984 and 1992. Starting 2014, they played at Ulsan Munsu Baseball Stadium, the secondary home pitch of Lotte Giants. 

The team drew about 1.38 million spectators during the 2009 season, a record which remains as the most attendance in a single season in any Korean sports league. They are often called the Busan Seagulls (부산 갈매기) because the official bird of the city of Busan is seagulls, and their main fight song is Busan Seagulls. The secondary fight song is Come Back to Busan Harbor.

The Lotte Giants were founded as an amateur baseball team of the Korea Baseball Association in Seoul, South Korea, on 6 May 1975, when there was no professional sports team in Korea. On 22 February 1982, the Giants became professional and moved to Busan, the second largest city after Seoul in South Korea.

Munsu Baseball Stadium, 44 Munsu Avenue/Munsu-ro, Okdong san 5-beonji, Ulsan Nam-gu - The Secondary Home Pitch of Lotte Giants
The Lotte Giants made their the Korea Professional Baseball league debut against the Haitai Tigers at Gudeok Baseball Stadium in Busan Seo-gu on 28 March 1982. They defeated the Tigers 14-2, but finished in 5th place out of six teams with a .388 winning percentage. Choi Dong-won, Yu Do-yeol, and Sim Jae-won of the Korea national baseball team postponed joining the Giants to play for the country in the 1982 Amateur World Series held in Seoul, South Korea. This might be one of the reasons the Giants had such a disappointing season.

In 1984, the Giants won their first Korean Series title in the third season after the Korea Professional Baseball league was launched. They beat the Samsung Lions 4-3 in the Korean Series. They were led by Choi Dong-won, one of the most dominant pitchers in Korea Professional Baseball league, who finished 1984 with 27 wins, 223 strikeouts, and a 2.40 ERA and won the regular season MVP Award. In the 1984 Korean Series, he appeared in 5 out of 7 games, had a 4-1 record (1 shutout, 3 complete games, and 1 five-inning relief appearance), and pitched 40 innings in 10 days.

The Giants suffered many game losses (41 losses) in the first half of the season because of rookie manager Yang Seung-ho's trial and error. As time passed, manager Yang found the way to make the best use of the players, and the Giants finished the regular season in second place at 72-56-5. However, they were defeated by the SK Wyverns, which finished in third place in the regular season, in the best-of-five playoffs. Thus, they didn't make it to the Korean Series. According to the league's rules on standings—the teams playing in the Korean Series have the first and second places respectively—their final place is a step down from the second place of the regular season.

During the off-season, the club failed to reach an agreement with star player Lee Dae-ho, who later signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball, while it obtained free agents Lee Seung-ho, a former SK Wyverns left-handed reliever, and Chong Tae-hyon, a former SK Wyverns underhand closer.

The Lotte Giants retired Choi Dong-won's squad number 11 on September 30, 2011 after he died of colon cancer in September 14, 2011. The number is the club's first-ever retired number since the club was founded in 1975. He was portrayed by Jo Seung-woo in the 2011 film, Perfect Game about the two top pitchers him and his rival Sun Dong-yeol in the Korea Baseball Organization league during the 1980s.

Korean Joga Bonito, Part II: Bucheon FC 1995


Bucheon FC 1995 is a South Korean professional football club located in the city of Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province which is currently a member of K League Challenge. The club was founded by a group of former Bucheon SK supporters after the move of Bucheon SK to Jeju (now known as Jeju United) at the beginning of 2006. 1995 is a significant number for Bucheon FC because Bucheon SK was founded in that year after the club relocation with its previous name - Yukong Elephants from Dongdaemun Stadium, Seoul to Bucheon.

Its current home ground is Bucheon Stadium, located at 482 Sosa Avenue/Sosa-ro, Chunui-dong 8-beonji, Bucheon Wonmi-gu, Gyeonggi Province. The stadium with the capacity of 35,545 spectators is accessible by using SMRT Line 7 to Station 752: Bucheon Stadium.

Within weeks of the relocation of Bucheon SK, fans of the club began a movement to establish a brand new side in Bucheon, with an initial goal of creating a team to participate in the 2007 Korea National League season. The financial requirements for entry to the National League were so great and that, coupled with the launch of the K3 League (nowadays Challengers League) in 2007, led to them readjusting their target and focusing on entry to the K3 League in 2008.

During the course of 2007 deals with several major sponsors, including Daum Communications and SK Energy were negotiated. On October 25, 2007, the club's name, Bucheon FC 1995, was announced, and the club was officially founded on December 1. The team got an approval to join a member of K League from 2013 season on December 5, 2012.

Bucheon FC 1995 made a debut in the firstly-introduced K League Challenge in 2013 and finished at seventh place with 33 points. However, this club finished at the last place in K League Challenge 2014 season with 27 points due to series of losses.

Korean Joga Bonito, Part I: Busan IPark


Busan IPark (Hangul: 부산 아이파크) is a South Korean professional football club based in Busan Metropole, South Korea that currently competes in the K League Classic. Its current home ground is Busan Asiad Main Stadium, located in 344 World Cup Road, Geoje 2-dong 1299-beonji (Previous landlot number: 123 World Cup-gil), Busan Yeonje-gu. The stadium with the capacity of 53,864 spectators was used for 14th Asian Games and FIFA World Cup in 2002.

As one of the original five members of the Korean Super League, Busan IPark holds the distinction of being one of three clubs (the others being Pohang Steelers and Jeju United) to continuously compete in the K-League since 1983, the league's inaugural season. Initially, the club was simply called Daewoo in reference to the company that originally owned and financed it.

After being at the top of the league for most of the 1983 season, Daewoo finished second in its league debut conceding the title to Hallelujah FC by a single point after a goalless draw against Yukong Elephants (now known as Jeju United FC) in the Masan Series. In its sophomore season, the club turned professional, renamed itself as Daewoo Royals, and clinched its first league title after defeating Yukong Elephants by an aggregate score of 2-1 in the 1984 K-League Championship playoff. The Royals reached the playoff after winning the second stage of a league which now included the likes of Lucky-Goldstar Hwangso (now known as FC Seoul) and Hyundai Horang-i (now known as Ulsan Hyundai).

Daewoo Royals headed into 1986 K-League season as continental champions after clinching the 1985–86 Asian Club Championship, becoming the first Korean side to accomplish this feat, on January 29, 1986 defeating Al-Ahli 3-1 at extra time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Despite continental success, the team suffered a dismal season and failed to reach the 1986 K-League Championship playoff after finishing fourth in the first stage of the league and third in the second.

After finishing at the top of the league with 46 points, the Royals clinched their second league title in 1987, but in the 1988 season, the Royals finished at the bottom of the league for the first time in their club's history. After a couple more years of failure, the Royals recaptured the league title in 1991 (making it their third) finishing ten points ahead of their closest competitor that season, Hyundai Horang-i. The Royals' momentum did not last as the club struggled in the ensuing seasons finishing at or near the bottom of the league.

At the end of 1995 season, K-League sides began the process of 'localizing', and the club became known as Pusan Daewoo Royals (부산 대우 로얄즈) in reference to its city of residence. In 1997, Pusan Daewoo Royals lifted its fourth league title becoming the first team to have won the K-League Championship four times. The Royals were also the first team to have won the league twice (in 1987) and thrice (in 1991).

Although the 1998 season marked the emergence of an exciting young forward named Ahn Jung-hwan, the Royals finished mid-table. But, the club managed to qualify for the 1999 K-League Championship playoffs after placing fourth in regular season. During the playoffs, the Royals managed to knock out Chunnam Dragons and Bucheon SK to secure the right to face defending champions, Suwon Samsung Bluewings, a club which was at the pinnacle of its meteoric rise. The Bluewings denied the Royals the chance to become the first club to win five league titles in K-League history after winning both legs of the final in an aggregate score of 4-2.

As a company-owned club, the Royals' success was invariably linked to the health and success of its owner, Daewoo corporation. In the late 1990s, the company began to suffer from major financial difficulties and parted ways with its once successful sports franchise. IPark Construction, the domestic construction division of Hyundai, secured ownership of the club acquiring all its past history and records. The new owners not only renamed the club as Busan i.cons ("con's" refers to construction; Hangul: 부산 아이콘스), but also changed the club's home colors from blue to red and moved it from Busan Gudeok Stadium, Busan Seo-gu to Busan Asiad Stadium in Busan Yeonje-gu.

Under new ownership, the club seldom challenged for the title finishing mid-table or toward the bottom of the league in the '00s. Aside from winning the FA Cup for the first time in club history in 2004 under the guidance of Scottish manager Ian Porterfield (defeating Bucheon SK in a penalty shootout), the trophy cabinet remained largely empty.

On the onset of the 2005 season, the owners changed the club's name to Busan I'Park(currently Busan IPark). After winning the first stage, Porterfield's Busan side reached the 2005 K-League Championship playoffs, but lost to a traditionally lightweight, but then-inspired Incheon United side led by Chang Woe-ryong. That same year Busan IPark managed to reach the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League only to suffer heavy defeat to eventual winners, Al-Ittihad, by an aggregate score of 7-0.

For the 2008 season, Hwang Sun-hong took over as manager. Although Busan did not win any silverware during his tenure, he did manage to bring in players such as Kim Chang-Soo, Jeong Shung-hoon, Yang Dong-hyun and Kim Geun-cheol while injecting the team with much needed youth by giving prospects such as Han Sang-woon, Park Hee-do, and Park Jong-woo first team opportunities. In his final season in charge of Busan, Hwang managed to lead his side to the 2010 Korean FA Cup Final only to suffer a 1-0 defeat to Suwon Samsung Bluewings under acrimonious circumstances with Hwang getting visibly upset and losing his temper over questionable calls against his side and cynical play by the Bluewings.

For the 2011 season, the board appointed Ahn Ik-soo to take over Hwang Sun-hong who had left to manage his former club side, Pohang Steelers. Under Ahn (known as the "Terminator" during his player days), Busan managed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2005 after finishing fifth on the league table in regular season. Ahn's Busan side was knocked out in the first round of playoffs by Suwon Samsung Bluewings by a familiar scoreline of 1-0.

In February 2012, adjustment was made to the club's name by dropping an apostrophe making the official name read Busan IPark.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Yeouido Park, Seoul Yeongdeungpo-gu: A Park in the Core Island of Yeouido-dong


Yeouido Park (Hanja: 汝矣島公園) is a large recreational area located at 68 Yeoui Parkway/YeouiGongwonno, Yeouido-dong 2-beonji, Yeouido Island, Seoul Yeongdeungpo-gu. It was once originally covered with black asphalt, and people frequented the place for bicycling and roller-skating. The construction began in 1997, and opened officially in February 1999. It is now the place where many people in the city come to rest and enjoy strolling around, play sports, and cultural events. 

The park is divided into theme-based sections: the Traditional Korean Forest, Grass Square, Culture Square, and Nature’s Ecosystem Forest. In the Traditional Korean Forest, only traditional Korean trees are planted, and it has a pond and an octagonal pavilion, with a trail walk that completes the feel of an elegant Korean garden. Grass Square has a low hill, with grass field and various trails, and nearby there are evergreens and deciduous trees to reflect the changing of the seasons. Many performances and events are held at the Cultural Square, and because there are many zelkova trees lined up nearby, it is a great place to rest. One particular part of the park that is most enjoyed is the Nature’s Ecosystem Forest – it is where you can observe nature and learn from an ecologically sensitive pond and forest, right in the middle of the city. Composed of a swamp area, waterline area, grassland area, and a forest, you can observe various kinds of life forms living in these areas. 

One of the must-see areas is the Yunjunro Street, behind the National Assembly Building. This place is famous for having the loveliest cherry blossom street in Seoul. Cherry blossom trees, 30 to 40 years old, line up for about 6km, and is very popular in the spring.

Next to the traditional Korean forest is the open space of the grassland area punctuated by only a small pond; it’s perfect for relaxation. A mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees has been planted around the edges of the grassland providing wonderful seasonal displays. In this area stands a statue of King Sejong the Great (the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty) which became a national talking point when it was erected due to its enormous size.

In Yeouido Park there are many sports equipment rental shops so there’s generally no need to bring your own kit. Basketballs, bicycles and inline skates are all available to hire and there are also wheelchairs for disabled people and battery-operated toy cars for young children.

After strolling around Yeouido Park, why not take a Han River Ferry Cruise from the nearby quay? It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery along the Hangang as it flows through Seoul. Night cruises are particularly spectacular.

Yeouido Park is accessible either by using SMRT Line 5 to Station 526: Yeouido or Seoul Metro 9 to Station 915: Yeouido (Line Interchange to SMRT Line 5) and Station 916: National Assembly Station.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Aranggak Pavilion, Miryang, Southern Gyeongsang: The Legend of Six-Sensed Miryang Magistrate and a Vengeful Ghost


Located in 324-1 Jungangno, Naeil-dong 39-beonji, Miryang, Southern Gyeongsang Province, Aranggak Pavilion (Hanja: 阿娘閣) sits in a bamboo forest near to Miryang River (Miryang-gang/밀양강). It is said to have been built to appease the spirit of a young woman named Arang, who met an unfortunate death. 

Arang is a figure in the folklore of the Miryang area of Korea. According to the legend, she was the daughter of a magistrate (busa) of Miryang during the Joseon Dynasty. Her wicked nanny conspired to have the servant Baekga seize her at night and rape her; however, she resisted and Baekga stabbed her to death. Her father, thinking she had eloped with a stranger, resigned his position in shame.

After her death, she becomes a ghost and appears to every district magistrate (highest-ranking officer in a region) to appeal for the investigation of her unfair death, but each district magistrate dies of a heart attack. Whenever a new magistrate was appointed, Arang's corpse would appear; soon no-one would take the position

Then, a new district magistrate by the name Lee Sang-sa is dispatched to the area. Unlike his predecessors, Lee listens to the story of the ghost and finds Baekga who had killed her and punishes him. He had Baekga seized and executed later. Thereafter, her spirit ceased to trouble the town. He found Arang’s body and holded a religious ceremony on her behalf. Aranggak was also built in her memory. 

Every year, an event called Arangje (The Arang Festival) is held on April 16 by the lunar calendar in Aranggak Pavilion. Young maidens dressed in white hanbok perform a religious ceremony to soothe the sorrow of Arang. There is also a saying that the spirit of Arang will preserve the love of those couples who visit the pavilion together.


K-Drama: Arang and the Magistrate
Arang and the Magistrate (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 아랑사또전/阿娘使道傳/Arangsattojeon; also known as Tale of Arang) is a 2012 South Korean historical television drama, starring Lee Joon-gi, Shin Min-ah and Yeon Woo-jin. The period horror-romance is based on the folklore of Arang, who died unjustly and returns as a ghost in order to reveal the circumstances surrounding her death. It aired on MBC from August 15 to October 18, 2012 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes.

A nobleman named Kim Eun-oh (Lee Joon-gi) comes to town searching for his mother after hearing a rumor that she is staying at the village of Miryang. He has the special ability to hear, see and even touch spirits, but pretends he doesn't because he gets annoyed when spirits come up to him asking for a favor.

Arang (Shin Min-ah) lost all her memories when she became a ghost and is unable to rest in peace until she finds out how she ended up dead. However, after appearing to three magistrates, none of them survive the fright of seeing her. When she finds out that Eun-oh is able to see her, she begs for his help.

At first, Eun-oh rejects her request. However he changes his mind after seeing that Arang is somehow in possession of the hairpin that he gave his mother at their last meeting. He believes that if he helps her, Arang will regain her memories and give him information about his mother. He exasperatedly (then affectionately) nicknames her “Amnesia” and as the town's newly installed magistrate, he teams up with her to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death, which may involve the mysterious nobleman Joo-wal.

Arang and Eun-oh's actions, meanwhile, are being tracked by the Jade Emperor and Yeom-ra, who fear that there is far more going on than an amnesiac ghost and a supernaturally talented magistrate.

The drama was Lee Joon-gi's comeback acting project after being discharged from military service in February 2012.This also marked the first historical drama for Shin Min-ah and return to television since My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox in 2010.

The series was filmed at MBC Dramia in Gyeonggi Province. The first behind-the-scene photos were released on June 22, 2012 showing scenes shot on location in Namyangju on May 23. This was followed by more teaser photos released on July 11, 2012, showing action scenes and an intimate scene of the two leads, Lee and Shin laying down together.

Ahead of the series' premiere, MBC aired the special episode How to Enjoy Arang and the Magistrate 100 Times More on August 8, 2012. It included never-before-seen clips, special behind-the-scenes stories, and detailed the characters and their relationships. It was the first drama special produced by MBC in five years since The Legend in 2007.

The drama's rights was sold to Japan for a record-breaking ₩200 million per episode, which amounts to ₩4 billion for the 20-episode series, the highest per episode for MBC, surpassing the previous record set by Moon Embracing the Sun.