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

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Moe-Korea's Dev Log, Part X: Three Years and still going STRONG.

Its been three years since I stretched my fingers to start my blog based on Moe and Korean Stuffs in the final months of Imjin Year (2012). I started this blog when I worked together with my American Partner, Jo Ryan Salazar since I met him during DeviantART days in Gyeongin Year (2010). Our partnership for five years comes to fruition, when the blog has reached 100K pageviews in three years. 

I've received good reviews and backlashes from audiences about this blog. Even though I'm just a mere foreigner who adores Korea but not fluent in speaking Korean, I can utilize on how to type Hangul characters by using 2-Beolsik Typing Interface which is provided by Microsoft IME with a slight chance of typo error. Plus, I can understand a little bit of Korean Language. If I received a malicious comments from some Koreans with a handful of Ssangsiot-word (similar to f-word in English), I will delete those comments because of their immature and overemotional views.

First of all, I've associated all eight Rozen Maiden dolls which includes the fake seventh with six-digit South Korean Postal Codes, as mentioned in my article posted on September 21st 2013 (Gyesa Year) about on how I get the inspiration to start my blog. Now, I've fallen in love with Koihime Musou - a prolific erotic game (eroge) series produced by Baseson because most of the characters are using the same surnames as the Koreans. This eroge based on Chinese Three Kingdoms Period. I've surfed to Wikipedia about the biographies of warlords in English at the first time and I tried to read in Korean about them. Coincidentally, their surnames are absolutely same as the Koreans and some clans are rooted from Chinese Three Kingdoms Warlords for example, Jegal Clan or Zhuge Clan was founded by Zhuge Gui or Jegal Kyu in Korean, father of Zhuge Liang

I've written about three sections for Koihime Musou column which are Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans and Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans' Influence in Korea. About 80-90 posts are posted this far and the next post about them will be coming soon. In addition, I've tried to decode their names in Korean. Only a handful of girls having their names pronounced based on her personal and courtesy names. Unfortunately, their names seem to be 'burnt' and uncomfortable to pronounce it. So, I decided to choose their Korean Name based on Korean given name search engine in Korea such as Irumy Korean Name Analyzer. I have to think numerous times for choosing their proper names. When I choose their names which is easily to remember or comfortable to call them, I feel very relieved. 

Further ado, I would like to thank you for American, Korean and Malaysian viewers who supported my blog for three years. Thanks to you, my blog was reaching 100K pageviews milestone and I hope you will support us for spreading Moe Love to Korean Peninsula. 

ALLAH Kore Cumhuriyeti'yi Korusun.
Kore Cumhuriyeti Çok Yaşa!

God protects Korean Republic.
Long Live the Korean Republic!

하느님이여, 대한민국을 지켜 주소서.
대한민국 만세!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XXIII: Kah (가/賈)

Kah (가/賈), sometimes romanized Gah, Ga or Ka is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'merchant' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Jia. Jia/Kah is the 45th most common surname in Mainland China and 113th most common surname in Korean Peninsula. The Jias are the descendants of ancient emperor Huang Di. 

During Emperor Zhoukang's reign, he awarded Zi Gong Ming (son of Tang Shuyu) as the duke of Jia. Zi Gongming also known as Jia Bo, is commonly regarded as the forefather of the Jia family. During Chun Qiu, the Jia kingdom was eliminated by Jin. The duke of Jin thus awarded the kingdom to his uncle, Wu Shegu. Wu Shegu is also known as Jia Ji or Jia Ta. The duke of Jin wanted to make Jia Ji his commander in chief and make Zhao Xun his deputy. Yang Chufu (a high ranking judge), due to his connection with Zhao, convinced the duke of Jin to make Zhao the chief commander, and Jia his deputy. Because of this Jia hated Yang deeply. 

After the duke of Jia died, Jia suggested to appoint Gong Zi Le (brother of the deceased duke of Jin as the new duke and sent for him. Zhao, on the other hand wanted to appoint Gong Ziyong (another brother) as the new duke. Zhao ordered the assassination of Gong Zi Le, and in revenge, Jia ordered the assassination of Yang Chufu. Zhao caught and executed the assassin, and exiled Jia. His descendants began to bear the last name Jia.

Back in Korea, there are 9,090 people in 2,824 families who bear the surname of Kah, based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT). The Soju Lineage, a clan which is originated from Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, PROC is the most dominant among Kah Clan where this lineage consists of 9,025 people in 2,812 families.

Soju Kah Clan or Suzhou Jia Clan (소주 가씨/蘇州賈氏) was founded by Kah Yoo-yak or Jia Weiyao (가유약/賈維鑰) an army officer from Chinese Ming Dynasty who helped Joseon Dynasty against Japanese Invasion Forces during Jeongyu Incursion - the second round of Japanese Imjin Invasion. This clan is also known as Taean Kah Clan (태안 가씨/泰安賈氏), based on their clan-based village in Taean County, Southern Chungcheong Province, ROK.

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XXII: Dong (동/董)

Dong (동/董) or Tong in McCune Script is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'supervise' in Sino-Korean Language. There is a myth that the person who tamed dragons got the surname Dong. Throughout the history, there have been many records about the origin of surname Dong, which could be traced back to some 4,000 years ago, when Gaoyan Emperor, descendant of Huang Di (Yellow Emperor) ruled. The literal meaning of Dong refers to clover fern, which could be used to make cord. Huilian clan that was good at making cord regarded clover ferns as their totem.

It is said that Dong Fu, the grandson of Huilian was skilled in taming dragons (crocodile). One year, someone presented Shun Emperor with several flood dragons, which needed specially assigned person to raise and train, and the royal court gave this mission to Dong. Dong meticulously tamed these flood dragons and taught them various dances. Shun Emperor was greatly pleased by Dong's efforts and conferred the title of Huanlong and surname Dong to his clan. The offspring Dong took surname Dong ever since. The ancient site of surname Dong was within today's Shanxi province, where dukes ruled during Xia and Shang Dynasties and later State Jin annexed it.

According to historical records compiled in Han Dynasty, another branch of Dong surname originated from title of official, and they were the offspring of Jin Dian, the commander-in-chief of State Jin in Spring and Autumn period.

Back in Korea, there are 5,564 people in 1,731 families who bear the surname of Dong, based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT). Hence, this clan is placed at 127th place in Korean Surnames List. The Gwangcheon Lineage, a clan which is originated from Zaoqiang County, Hengshui City, Hebei Province, PROC is the most dominant among Dong Clan where this lineage consists of 4,130 people in 1,299 families.

Gwangcheon Dong Clan (광천 동씨/廣川董氏) was founded by Dong Zhongshu, also known as Dong Jung-seo in Korean (동중서/董仲舒; 179-104 BCE), a Han Chinese Scholar who traditionally associated with the promotion of Confucianism as the official ideology of the Chinese imperial state of Han Dynasty. The 43rd Generation-Descendant of Dong Zhongshu, Dong Chengxuan/Dong Seung-seon (동승선/董承宣) designated Myeongcheon County in Southern Hamgyeong Province, DPRK as their clan-based village. Dong Seung-seon was a Ming Dynasty Official who lived during the final years of Goryeo Dynasty and the Foundation of Joseon Dynasty, granted a dukedom which is known as Duke of Yeongcheon (영천군/榮川君).

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XX: Ma (마/馬)

Spoiler Alert.
Ma (마/馬) is a Korean and Chinese family name which literally means "horse". It is one of the most common family names in China. As of 2006, it ranks as the 14th most common Chinese surname in Mainland China, 74th most common Korean Surname in Korean Peninsula and the most common surname within the Chinese Muslim community, specifically the Hui people, Dongxiang people, and Salar people. However, this surname should not be identified with the Korean surname 'Ma' (마) which has the same pronunciation with the Chinese 'Ma' but has its own distinct history.

Ma Clan traced its origins from an honorific title borne by a prince of the state of Zhao during the Warring States period (403–221 BCE). He was awarded the title Noble Ma Fu after repeatedly distinguishing himself as a general, and subsequently, his descendants adopted part of the honorific title, Ma, as their surname.

There are two Chinese characters for the surname Ma (馬 and 麻), only one of which is frequent enough to be treated here (馬). Two clans use this character: the Mokcheon clan (originated from Mokcheon-eup, Cheonan Dongnam-gu, Southern Chungcheong Province) and the Jangheung clan (originated from Jangheung County, Southern Jeolla Province)

The founding ancestor for both Ma clans in Korea, Ma Ryeo (마려/馬黎) migrated to Korea from China during the Han Commanderies period (1st century BCE). The Ma clans played fairly important roles in the formation of Baekje Kingdom, one of the Korean Three Kingdoms. Ma Yook-chim (마육침/馬陸沈), a Baekje general who witnessed the Downfall of Baekje during the reign of King Uija was the founder of Mokcheon Ma Clan (목천 마씨/木川馬氏). Even though the records are not consistent, it seems that Ma surname was originally known as Yong and either during the reign of King Taejo Wang Geon of Goryeo (877–943) or King Gyeongsun of Silla (897–978), the clansmen changed their surname to Ma.

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 35,096 people in 11,076 families who bear the surname of Ma. Jangheung Lineage is the largest among two, where this lineage consists of 28,337 people in 8,985 families. Jangheung Ma Clan (장흥 마씨/長興馬氏) was founded by Ma Hyeok-in (마혁인/馬赫仁) during the reign of King Munjong Wang Hwi, 11th King of Goryeo Dynasty. Ma Hyeok-in was the second son of Ma Jeom-joong (마점중/馬占中) and younger brother of Ma Hyeon (마현/馬鉉). His elder brother, Ma Hyeon was a part of Mokcheon Ma Clan.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XIX: Maeng (맹/孟)

Maeng (맹/孟) is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'eminent and first in series' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Meng. The origin of the family name Meng can be traced back to Qingfu of one distinguished family of the State of Lu and Meng Zhi of one distinguished family of the State of Wei, both in the Spring and Autumn Period (772-481 BCE). They were both descendents of the surname Ji.

After the founding of the Western Zhou (c. 1100-771 BCE), the Duke of Zhou, son of King Wen of Zhou and younger brother of King Wu of Zhou, was granted Lu as his feudatory and established the State of Lu. Later after internal unrests broke out in the State of Lu, Qingfu, son of the Dukr Xiang of Lu took power but was exiled and escaped to the State of Ju. The offspring of Qingfu returned to the State of Lu after the situation there stabilized and were given the title of "minister" and the hereditary post of minister of works of the State of Lu and the surname Meng or Mengsun was conferred on them.

The other branch of the surname Meng were from the State of Wei in the Spring and Autumn Period (772-481 BCE). The State of Wei was established by Kang Shu, a younger brother of the King Wu of Zhou, who was also of Ji family. According to historical records, Duke Ling of Wei had an elder brother Meng Zhi and the children of Meng Zhi thus took Meng as their family name. It is also recorded on the pedigree of Meng families that Duke Ling of Wei had a son called Gong Meng, whose offspring later picked Gongmeng as their surname, and then Meng for short.

Since North Song Dynasty (960-1127), as the status of Mencius (372-289 BCE) was improved, the families of Meng started to expanded in population and mainly lived in then "Pingchang" and "Wuwei". Mencius, also known as Maeng Ga in Korean (Hangul/Hanja: 맹가/孟軻) is the progenitor of Sinchang Maeng Clan (신창 맹씨/新昌孟氏), a clan which is originated from the Commune of Sinchang-myeon, Asan City, Southern Chungcheong Province.

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 20,219 people in 6,230 families who bear the surname of Maeng, mostly originated from Sinchang Maeng Clan. Hence, this clan is placed at 89th place in Korean Surnames List.

Maeng Seung-hoon (맹승훈/孟承訓), the 39th Generation-Descendant of Mencius traveled to Silla Dynasty in 888 - 2nd Reigning Year of Queen Jinseong Kim Won from his hometown, Chinese Tang Dynasty and became a scholar in the turbulent Later Three Kingdoms Period. Maeng Ui (맹의/孟儀), Count of Sinchang (신창백/新昌伯) who was the 51st Generation-Descendant of Mencius designated Sinchang Prefecture (신창현/新昌縣) as the ancestral seat of Maeng Clan during the reign of King Chungseon Wang Jang (1275-1325), 26th monarch of Goryeo Dynasty.

The most notable clansman is Maeng Sa-seong (맹사성/孟思誠; 1360-1438), a government official who served Goryeo Dynasty during its final days and Joseon Dynasty since the foundation of that dynasty by King Taejo Yi Seong-gye. He became the Prime Minister of Joseon Dynasty, outlived First Three Kings of Joseon Dynasty: Taejo Yi Seong-gye, Jeongjong Yi Bang-gwa and Taejong Yi Bang-won. He died in the 20th Reigning Year of King Sejong the Great (1438).

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XVII: Gam (감/甘)

Gam (감/甘), sometimes romanized Kam, Kahm or Gahm is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'sweetness' in Sino-Korean Language, similar to Chinese Gan. Although the Hanja character for Gan is the same as that in the name of the western province Gansu, China, the two sources of the surname are not related to that of the province. One source of the surname is Gan Pan, a senior minister to the Shang dynasty king Wu Ding (1324–1266 BCE). The other source is a town named Gan in Shaanxi province that was granted to a descendant of Wu Wang (who established the Zhou dynasty in 1122 BCE).

The most dominant designated clan (본관/本貫) for this surname is Hoesan Gam Clan (회산 감씨/檜山甘氏), a clan which is originated from the Unified Changwon City, Provincial Capital of Southern Gyeongsang. This clan is also known as Changwon Gam Clan (창원 감씨/昌原甘氏) or Happo Gam Clan (합포 감씨/合浦甘氏), based on the district of Changwon MasanHappo-gu. Hoesan is the old name of the Unified City of Changwon

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 5,998 people in 1,910 families who bear the surname of Gam. Hence, this clan is placed at 123rd place in Korean Surnames List. There are 4,892 people in 1,552 families originated from Hoesan Gam Clan. In other hand, there are lesser lineages in this clan such as:
  • Geochang Gam Clan (거창 감씨/居昌甘氏; Originated from Geochang County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK - 522 people in 184 families)
  • Changnyeong Gam Clan (창녕 감씨/昌寧甘氏; Originated from Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, ROK - 372 people in 109 families)
  • Chungju Gam Clan (충주 감씨/忠州甘氏; Originated from Chungju City, Northern Chungcheong Province, ROK - 112 people in 37 families)
  • Buryeong Gam Clan (부령 감씨/扶寧甘氏; Originated from Buryeong County, Northern Hamgyong Province, DPRK - 65 people in 20 families)

Hoesan Gam Clan was founded by Gam Kyu/Gan Kui (감규/甘揆), a scholar who hailed from Mongol-controlled Chinese Yuan Dynasty, lived during the reign of King Chungjeong Wang Jeo (1338-1352), 30th Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. That time, Goryeo Dynasty became the vassal state of Yuan Dynasty. Queen Noguk, the consort of King Gongmin Wang Gi, 31st Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty granted him the position of MunhasirangPyeongjangsa (문하시랑평장사/門下侍郞平章事) and dukedom, known as Duke of Yeolleung (연릉군/延陵君).

The 15th Generation-Descendant of Gam Kyu, Gam Soo-hwa (감수화/甘受和) designated the ancient city of Yeolleung as the ancestral seat of Gam Clan. Later, the 16th Generation-Descendant of Gam Kyu, Gam Cheol (감철/甘喆) designated the city of Hoesan (present-day Changwon City) as the ancestral seat of Gam Clan and thus, the ancestral seat moved from Yeolleung to Hoesan.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Take Fivers: The Best Glasses Advertisment in Korea

Introducing the Damyang Jeon Glasses Trio, consists of Jeon Ha-jin (Assemblyman of Seongnam Bundang-eul, Saenuri), Tian Feng a.k.a Jeon Won-jin and Jeon Byung-hun (Assemblyman of Seoul Dongjak-gap, NPAD).

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part XIV: Noh (노/魯) - Final Part (후편)

Noh (노 in South Korean Format or 로 in North Korean Format/魯) sometimes romanized No, Roh or Ro is a common Korean Surname which means 'rash and vulgar', similar to Chinese Pinyin . The number of Koreans who bear the surname of 魯 are three times lesser than the Koreans who born with the surname of 盧 (cottage). Ironically, these two Hanja Characters are pronounced as Noh or Roh (노/로) in Hangul. Same as its counterpart - the 'cottage Roh', it is one of the Korean Surnames which followed Korean Beginning Sound Rule System a.k.a Du-eum Beopchik (두음 법칙/頭音法則).

According to several ancient genealogy texts including the Tang Dynasty Yuanhe Xing Zuan, Xing Pu (姓谱), and Xingshi Kaolue (姓氏考略), the surname Lu 鲁 originated from the ancient State of Lu, which was founded by Bo Qin, son of the Duke of Zhou, in the 11th century BC. During the Warring States period, Lu was conquered by the State of Chu, one of the seven major powers at the time, in 256 BC. Many people of Lu subsequently adopted the name of their former state as their surname. It is considered a branch of Ji 姬, the royal surname of the state of Lu.

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 67,032 people in 20,829 families who bear the surname of Noh. Hence, this clan is placed at 61st place in Korean Surnames List. There are three designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are:
  • Ganghwa Noh Clan (강화 노씨/江華魯氏) = Originated from Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole, ROK
  • Hampyeong Noh Clan (함평 노씨/咸平魯氏) = Originated from Hampyeong County, Southern Jeolla Province, ROK
  • JinGang Noh Clan (진강 노씨/鎭江魯氏) = Originated from Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, PROC

The Hampyeong Lineage is the largest among three, where this lineage consists of 25,408 people in 7,777 families. Hampyeong Noh Clan was founded by Noh Mok (노목/魯穆), an officer in Hampung Commandeers during the reign of King Injong Wang Hae (1109-1146), 17th King of Goryeo Dynasty. During the outbreak of Japanese Imjin Invasion (1592-1598), this clan showed their military finesse, defending Joseon Dynasty from Japanese Invading Forces.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Take Fivers: Bang Bang Bang by Big Bang - commemorated to 100K Pageviews

난 깨어나 까만 밤과 함께/Nan kkae-eona kkamanbamgwa hamkke
다 들어와 담엔 누구 차례/Da deureowa damen nugu charye
한 치 앞도 볼 수 없는 막장 게릴라/Han chi apdo bol su eomneun makjang guerrilla 
경배하라 목청이 터지게/Gyeongbaehara mokcheong-i teojige

찌질한 분위기를 전환해/Jjijilhan bunwigireul jeonhwanhae
광기를 감추지 못하게 해/Gwanggireul gamchuji mothage hae
남자들의 품위 여자들의 가식/Namjadeur-ui pumwi yeojadeur-ui gasik
이유 모를 자신감이 볼만해/Iyu moreul jasingami bulmanhae
난 보란 듯이 너무나도 뻔뻔히/Nan boran deusi neomunado ppeonppeonhi
니 몸속에 파고드는 알러지/Ni momsug-e pagodeuneun allergy
이상한 정신의 술렁이는 천지/Isanghan jeongsin-ui sulleongineun cheonji
오늘 여기 무법지/Oneul yeogi mubeopchi

난 불을 질러/Nan bureul jilleo
심장을 태워/Simjang-eul taewo
널 미치게 하고 싶어/Neol michige hago sipeo
B.I.G Yeah we bang like this
모두 다 같이/Modu da gachi

총 맞은 것처럼!/Chong majeun geotcheoreom!

빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!
빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!

다 꼼짝 마라!/Da kkomjjak mara!
다 꼼짝 마!/Da kkomjjak ma!
다 꼼짝 마라!/Da kkomjjak mara!
다 꼼짝 마!/Da kkomjjak ma!
오늘 밤 끝장 보자/Oneul bam kkeutjang boja 
다 끝장 봐/Da kkeutjang bwa
오늘 밤 끝장 보자/Oneul bam kkeutjang boja
빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!

널 데려가 지금 이 순간에/Neol deryeoga jigeum i sungan-e
새빨간 저 하늘이 춤출 때/Saeppalgan jeo haneuri chumchul ttae
돌고 돌아 너와 나 이곳은 발할라/Dolgo dora neowa na i geos-eun Valhalla
찬양하라 더 울려 퍼지게/Chan-yanghara deo ullyeo peojige

Hell Right!

We go hard 
불침번 밤새 달려 축지법/Bulchimbeon bamsae dallyeo chukjibeop
이 노래는 꼭지점 신이나 불러라 신점/I norae-neun kkokjijeom sinina bulleora sinjeom
큰 비명소리는 마성의 멜로디/Keun bimyeongsori-neun maseong-ui Melody
검은 독기의 연결 고리/Geom-eun dokgi-ui yeon-gyeol gori
사방 팔방 오방 가서 푸는 고삐/Sabang palbang gaseo puneun goppi

난 불을 질러/Nan bureul jilleo
심장을 태워/Simjang-eul taewo
널 미치게 하고 싶어/Neol michige hago sipeo
B.I.G Yeah we bang like this
모두 다 같이/Modu da gachi

G-Dragon and TOP (TOP's part in Capital Letters):
총 맞은 것처럼!/Chong majeun geotcheoreom!

빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!
빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!

다 꼼짝 마라!/Da kkomjjak mara!
다 꼼짝 마!/Da kkomjjak ma!
다 꼼짝 마라!/Da kkomjjak mara!
다 꼼짝 마!/Da kkomjjak ma!
오늘 밤 끝장 보자/Oneul bam kkeutjang boja 
다 끝장 봐/Da kkeutjang bwa
오늘 밤 끝장 보자/Oneul bam kkeutjang boja
빵야! 빵야! 빵야!/Ppangya! Ppangya! Ppangya!

Ready or not
Yea we don’t give a what
Ready or not
Yea we don’t give a what

Let’s go!
남자들은 위로/Namjadeur-eun wiro
get low
bang bang bang
let the bass drum go!

남자들은 위로/Namjadeur-eun wiro
get low
bang bang bang
let the bass drum go!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part II: Pang (방/龐)

Bang (방/龐) sometimes romanized Pang in McCune script and Chinese Language is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'High House'. Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 1,080 people in 314 families who bear the surname of Pang. Hence, this clan is placed at 171st place in Korean Surnames List. There are two designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are Kaesong Pang (개성 방씨/開城龐氏; Kaesong, DPRK - claimed by Gyeonggi Provincial Government, ROK), and Taewon Pang (태원 방씨/太原龐氏; Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, PROC).

The Kaesong Lineage is the largest among two, where this lineage consists of 847 people in 258 families. Kaesong Pang Clan was founded by Pang Du-hyon a.k.a Pang Douxian in Chinese (방두현/龐斗賢) - descendant of General Pang Yon a.k.a Pang Juan (방연/龐涓) of Chinese Zhou Dynasty (1046 BCE-256 BCE) during the reign of King Gongmin Wang Jeon (1330-1374), 31st Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. Pang Du-hyon designated Kaesong - the Royal Capital of Goryeo Dynasty (918 CE-1392 CE) as their ancestral seat.

Koihime Musou Girls and Korean Clans, Part I: Sun (순/荀)

Xun Yu's real name is Keifa (桂花) in Japanese or Gye-hwa (Hangul: 계화) based on Korean Revised Romanization and Sino-Korean Language. 
For those who don't know about Koihime Musou Girls, click this link.
A Korean Name consists of a family name followed by a given name, as used by the Korean people in both North Korea and South Korea. In the Korean language, ireum or seong-myeong usually refers to the family name (seong) and given name (ireum in a narrow sense) together. Then, the family names are subdivided into bon-gwan (clans), i.e. extended families which originate in the lineage system used in previous historical periods. Each clan is identified by a specific place, and traces its origin to a common patrilineal ancestor. 

Because of the many changes in Korean romanization practices over the years, modern Koreans, when using European languages, romanize their names in various ways, most often approximating the pronunciation in English orthography. Some keep the original order of names, while others reverse the names to match the usual Western pattern. In this column, we will reveal the Korean Clans or Surnames together with Koihime Musou Girls who are related to Korean Surnames. For the first thesis of this column, we are getting know with one of the unusual Korean Clans, the Sun Clan.

Sun (순/荀) sometimes romanized Soon is an uncommon Korean Surname which means 'Ancient State,' similar to Chinese Xun. Some sources found that the Iljik Son Clan (일직 손씨/一直孫氏), a lineage which is originated from Iljik-myeon, Andong City, Northern Gyeongsang Province is related to Sun Clan. The progenitor of Iljik Son Clan, Son Eung (손응/孫凝) was previously used the surname of Sun.

Based on the 2000 Korean Republic Census - provided by Statistics Korea (통계청/統計廳/Tonggyecheong/KOSTAT), there are 1,017 people in 308 families who bear the surname of Sun. Hence, this clan is placed at 174th place in Korean Surnames List. There are four designated clans (본관/本貫) for this clan which are YeonGok Soon (연곡 순씨/連谷荀氏; YeonGok-myeon, Gangneung City, Gangwon Province), Changwon Soon (창원 순씨/昌原荀氏; Changwon, Southern Gyeongsang), Imcheon Soon (임천 순씨/林川荀氏; Imcheon-myeon, Buyeo, Southern Chungcheong) and Hongsan Soon (홍산 순씨/鴻山荀氏; Hongsan-myeon, Buyeo, Southern Chungcheong)

The Hongsan Lineage is the largest among four, where this lineage consists of 842 people in 252 families. Hongsan Lineage was founded by Soon Kyung-jin (순경진/荀慶震) a Goryeo Scholar during the reign of King Mokjong Wang Song (980-1009), 7th Monarch of Goryeo Dynasty. Soon Han-yang (순한양/荀漢良), a Joseonese Minister under the reign of King Sejo (1417-1468) designated his hometown, Hongsan-myeon in Buyeo County, Southern Chungcheong Province as the designated clan for Soon Family after his retirement. 

Taegeukdo-Gamcheon Culture Village, Busan Saha-gu: Korea's Most Beautiful Favelas during Korean War

"Korea's Santorini." "Korea's Machu Picchu." "Lego Village." "Korea's Rio de Janeiro". These are the many nicknames the Busan Metropole's Precinct of Gamcheon 2-dong, Saha-gu - Taegeukdo Village or also known as Gamcheon Culture Village - has earned over the years.

Nested high in the hills of Busan Saha-gu, this quirky art-filled suburb has emerged from the dust of poverty and war to become one of Busan's more unique architectural and cultural offerings. Although it attracts thousands of camera-toting tourists every year, the village has recently attracted renewed interest by winning the 2012 UN-HABITAT Asian Townscape Award as well as a cultural excellence award from Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

And as you stare out upon the community from the bus stop in front of Gamjeong Elementary School, you instantly understand why. Spread out below you is a panorama of endless rows of low-rise cubicle homes climbing up the steep hillsides from the sea below, their cheerful blue, yellow and pink hues a delight to the eye. Narrow stone and concrete alleyways wind their way through the homes, yielding something new at every turn. Beloved by photographers throughout Korea, it might not be Busan's most famous tourist destination, but it certainly is one of its most picturesque.

Those shanty homes were built up into the brick-and-concrete Lego-like houses that you see today partially thanks to a man named Jangsan Cho Cheol-je (정산 조철제/鼎山 趙哲濟, Born: 1895 - Died: 1958). Cho founded Taegeukdo, a religion that believes that the Taegeuk, or yin and yang symbol, represents the true meaning of life and the universe. Practicing again after persecution and suppression during the Japanese occupation, Cho and his followers converted nearly 90 percent of the refugees living in Gamcheon with their gifts of rice and candy. With this help, residents were then able to funnel their earnings into rebuilding, and in 1955 the area became known as the Taeguk Village when Cho moved the religion’s headquarters there.

Taegeukdo Village’s unusual name reveals the community’s unique origins. During the Korean War, some 4,000 followers of the Taegeukdo religion, refugees from other parts of the wartorn land, settled in this neighborhood of Busan, erecting as their homes some 800 wooden shacks. Founded in 1918, Taegeukdo is an offshoot of Jeungsando, one of several new religious movements that arose in Korea in the social and political tumult that characterized Korea at the turn of the 20th century. The religion believes the Taegeuk - the yin and yang symbol found, among other places, on the Korean Republic National flag - captures the true nature, principle and mystery of the universe. 

In 1958, the 4,000 believers in Busan were joined by more from elsewhere in Korea. In the following decades, the village has changed relatively little. In the 1980s, some 20,000 people called it home, but since then the population has dropped to about 10,000, leaving a good many of the homes empty. The head temple of Taegeukdo can still be found in the village, although most residents are, in fact, not believers in the religion.

Although better established by the 1990s, Gamcheon and the Taeguk Village remained poorer than the rest of Busan, which busied itself by erecting skyscrapers and high-rises. In 2009, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism stepped in with the Dreaming of Machu Picchu in Busan project. Reparations were made, artists were hired to paint murals and 10 artworks were installed, some created with the assistance of the residents. In 2010 the follow-up Miro Miro project saw the addition of 12 more works, including alley paintings and path markers perfectly suited to the project as miro means 'maze' in Korean. These days, visitors can see trick art, sculpture, and even rooms or buildings remodeled around a singular art concept, such as the Book Cafe shaped like a giant coffee mug, or rooms interpreting themes such as ‘peace’ or ‘darkness’.

In recent years, Taegeukdo Village has gotten quite a bit of attention from the local press, photographers and filmmakers, so on weekends, tourists flock in from all over Korea, camera in hand. This has not been entirely welcomed by village residents, however. The community is not Busan's most affluent, and while tourists find its ramshackle alleyways and old-style homes charmingly quaint, some locals are sensitive to outsiders photographing what they consider symbol s of poverty . Not everyone is so sensitive - as this writer was walking about, one local resident saw my camera and guided me to a nearby rooftop where the views were particularly nice - but be aware of your surroundings, and if you see people in your viewfinder, please ask their permission before snapping the shutter.

Due to the position of the village, it is virtually bathed in sunlight from sunrise to sunset, making the Santorini comparisons all the more apt. More importantly, the sunlight accentuates the light hues of the village. From above, it looks like a quilt of blue roofs and pink and yellow walls. The cubicle homes are stacked one upon another almost like matchboxes and Legos, a product of a time when space was at a premium.

Taegeukdo Village presents a beautiful panorama from above, but to really appreciate its beauty, you need to jump in and wander about the alleys. The narrow passageways are bounded on both sides by row upon row of matchbook houses, interspersed with gates and steps. Also hidden in the jungle are various shops and neighborhood parks wedged into the precious little open space available. Every turn, every angle presents a new view. Higher up in the village, you're afforded beautiful vistas of Busan Harbor and the sea. Unfortunately, there’s no way to properly guide you around the maze - you're just going to have to explore. If it helps any, there are a couple of larger "roads" that might help you get your bearings. If worst comes to worst, up brings you to the top of the hill, and down brings you to the port of Gamcheon, so you needn’t worry about becoming a cautionary tale on the Discovery Channel.

While "redevelopment" might be something of a catchphrase in other cities, Busan has been keen top reserve Taegeukdo Village's "traditional" identity while at the same time bettering its residents' quality of life. In February, the city announced plans to transform the community into an "arts and culture village" by October 2010. To do this, about 300 empty homes are being transformed into galleries, book cafés and other cultural facilities, while local colleges and village residents are working together to produce installation art to be placed at various alleyway corners. Maps marking the galleries and art will be produced as well.

While the village's remaining 10,000 residents are now used to the influx of tourists, photographers and filmmakers, they are still wary of them, and many do not care to be the subject of photos. The village is open from 9:00 to 5:00, and is free of charge. For more information, and to buy the illustrated souvenir tourist map, you can head to the village's Haneul Maru Tourist Information Center and Observatory, where you'll also get a great view of the city.

Beautiful Scenery of Taegeukdo Village, photographed by Kim Sa-ik.
Looks like a Korean Rio de Janeiro.

The Bank of Korea Money Museum, Seoul Jung-gu: It's all about the MONEY.

The Bank of Korea Money Museum (Hanja: 韓國銀行貨幣博物館), opened in conjunction to the 50th anniversary (Golden Jubilee) of the establishment of the Bank of Korea (June 12th, 2000), introduces the history of the currency culture home and abroad through the history and related documents of the Bank of Korea (BOK). In doing so, the museum aims to raise public awareness on currency culture while highlighting the importance of price stabilization in the development of the economy.

It is located behind to the Main Building of BOK when you face to the entrance of the Museum with the same address (39 Namdaemun Avenue, Namdaemun 3-ga 110-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu). This museum was previously used as the main office of BOK since the Chosun Central Bank (Korean: Joseon Eunhaeng/조선은행/朝鮮銀行) established in 1905. This museum is gazetted as the 280th Korean Republic Historical Treasure in September 25th 1981 after the Office moved to the new tall building in front of the Museum Complex.

The museum is not just a cultural space, but also a great place for hands-on education. The museum currently preserves & presents around 4,500 kinds of international and domestic currency as well as documents related to the work done by the Bank of Korea. Other exhibitions explain the minting process and the recognition of counterfeits as well as displaying systematic research documents on money and the state economy.

The Bank of Korea Museum consists of 4 ZONES:
* ZONE 1 (Our Bank of Korea) 
Here, visitors may learn about the background/purpose of the establishment of the Bank of Korea, what they do in the bank, how the bank is organized and managed, and the origin of the central banking system. 
* ZONE 2 (The Lifecycle of Currency) 
This zone explains the manufacturing and circulation process of currency, how counterfeits are identified, how to exchange damaged currency, and the future of currency. 
* ZONE 3 (Money and the State Economy) 
Here, visitors may learn the importance of price stabilization and monetary and credit policies of the central bank through video clips, models and computer games. Also, you may learn more about what defines currency, interest rates and prices as well as the importance of price stabilization and the state economy, the monetary and credit policy of the Bank of Korea, and the role of the central bank in the economic development of Korea. 
* ZONE 4 (Currency Square) 
From ancient days to modern times, the currency of Korea is on display by era. Visitors to this zone can also see rare currencies from around the world. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XXI: Kyobo Life Insurance - Education, Books and Insurance.

Kyobo Life Insurance (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization:교보생명보험/敎保生命保險/Kyobo Saengmyeong Boheom) is a South Korean life insurance company headquartered at Kyobo Life Insurance Building - 1 Jongno, Jongno 1-ga 1-beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu. Kyobo Life is one of the big 3 life insurance companies in South Korea along with Samsung Life Insurance and Hanwha Life Insurance. The building which housed two embassies; Austria and Finland is sharing the same area with the Monument of 40th Reigning Anniversary of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu and located opposite to the Statue of Chungmugong Yi Sunshin, a Korean admiral who defend Korea-Joseon Dynasty from Invading Japanese Forces during Imjin Invasion (1592).

Kyobo Life was founded in 1958 under its previous name, Daehan Education Insurance Co., Ltd based on the philosophy of "promotion of education and formation of national capital." Since establishment, Kyobo Life has worked tirelessly to put its core values of customer-centricity, honesty and sincerity, challenge and creativity into action. Furthermore, Kyobo Life's transparent and sustainable management practices have built a trust-based relationship between the company and its customers. Kyobo Life has continuously pursued customer-driven management over the decade and it became the top quality service provider in the insurance industry. In April 3rd 1995, Daehan Education Insurance Co., Ltd. changed its name into Kyobo Life Insurance Co., Ltd.

Kyobo Life provides various insurance products and services to individual and corporate customers in South Korea. It offers various protection, annuity, and savings products and services, as well as financial consulting services to individual customers. The company also provides corporate pension plan, private health insurance, and optional corporate welfare system, as well as corporate welfare consulting services to corporate customers. In addition, it offers loan products, such as mortgage-backed securities and insurance policyholder loans.

The company won the Customer Satisfaction Management Award for 5 consecutive years from 2000 to 2004, becoming the first financial institution to be inducted to the 'Hall of Fame'. In addition, Kyobo Life became Korea's first and only life insurer to be honored as Asia's best insurer by winning the 'Life Insurance Company of the Year' award in the 2009 Asia Insurance Industry Awards. It also became Korea’s first life insurer to receive an A2 insurance financial strength rating from Moody’s in 2008 and has maintained the same A2 rating since then and throughout the recent global financial crisis.

In FY 2011 (April 2011 to March 2012), Kyobo Life recorded total asset of 66.9 trillion won and premium income of 10.8 trillion won, exhibiting healthy volume growth. The net income during the period stands at 583.6 billion won, with capital pegged at 5.4 trillion won. The company's solvency margin ratio as one of the financial soundness criteria is 247.1%, which is more than twice the recommended level.

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XX: Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 삼성화재해상보험/三星火災海上保險/Samseong Hwajae-Haesang Boheom; Korea Exchange Stock Code: 000810) is a multinational insurance which is headquartered at Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Building - 29 Eulji Avenue, Euljiro 1-ga 87-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu. Its principal products include automobile, long-term and commercial insurance, enterprise risk management, and annuities.

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance was incorporated on January 26th 1952, under the name Korea Anbo Fire Marine Reinsurance Co., and later renamed as Ankuk Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd. in March 2nd 1963. On December 6th 1993, the company changed its name into Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd.

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, provides non-life insurance products in South Korea and internationally. The company offers commercial non-life insurance products and services, such as house, general, and factory fire insurance products; ship, airplane, and freight insurance products; and technology, casualty, and liabilities insurance products. 

It also provides long-term non-life insurance products and services, including disease/casualty, property, savings, and personal pension products, as well as integrated insurance policy, which includes casualty, cancer, disease, and liability coverage. In addition, the company offers auto insurance products; and loan products comprising insurance policyholder loans, apartment mortgage loans, and credit loans. 

Further, it provides health screenings, bed care, medical check-up reservations, car management, car cleaning, car doctor, funeral costs support, home cleaning, legal and tax consultant, golf reservations, and travel support services. Additionally, the company offers car services, which include emergency road side assistance, auto check-ups, inspections, car scraping, and car cleaning services; claims appraisal services, such as property claims appraisal and commercial/long-term insurance appraisal; and virus vaccine, money tech/tax information, privacy safeguarding, and smart phone children protection services. The company has offices in USA, Europe, and Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XIX: HSBC Korea - A Banking Company from China FAILS to attract Korean Customers, REALLY?

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (Korea) Limited or simply known as HSBC Korea is a banking and financial services company headquartered at 37 Chilpae Avenue/Chilpae-ro, Bongnae-dong 1-ga 25-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu - a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited which is headquartered in Hong Kong and Shanghai, China. 

HSBC’s presence in Korea dates back to August 21st 1897 when it opened its first branch in Jemulpo Harbor (present-day Incheon Metropole) during the reign of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu, First Emperor of Korea in prior to the Foundation of Korean Empire. The bank offered current accounts to a diverse group of foreign merchants, traders and local entrepreneurs. It also helped finance the thriving port’s traded goods and took part in collective loans to invest in modernising infrastructure projects such as the Gyeongbu (Seoul-Busan) Railway Line, completed in 1905. 

In October 1974, the Bank of Korea invited HSBC to establish its own office for trade finance in Seoul. HSBC Korea provides banking and financial services in South Korea. It offers money market deposits and saving accounts, term and cluster term deposits, multi currency saving accounts, and FX term deposits; personal installment loans, home mortgage loans, and deposit backed loans; investment services; retirement planning services; and personal accounts.

However, HSBC Korea closed its retail branch network and wealth management businesses in South Korea, leaving only the global banking and markets unit that serves corporate clients effective on July 8th 2013. In March 20th 2014, the bank closed 10 of its branches in South Korea, leaving behind a single office to support the global banking and markets unit which helps corporates raise capital, trade and invest. The branches affected due to the closure are:
  • Samseong-dong, Seoul Gangnam-gu
  • Seocho-dong, Seoul Seocho-gu
  • Bangbae-dong, Seoul Seocho-gu
  • Apgujeong-dong, Seoul Gangnam-gu
  • Gwangjang-dong, Seoul Gwangjin-gu
  • Seongnam Bundang-gu, Gyeonggi Province 
  • Incheon
  • Busan
  • Daegu
  • Daejeon

HSBC spokeswoman said 230 staff in Korea will be affected by the closures. They will be offered a redundancy package or the choice of working at the bank until the wind-down is completed, she said by telephone.

HSBC is not alone among global banks in having struggled to make progress in retail banking in Korea. Standard Chartered Korea may take a more than $1 billion hit on its Korean business, analysts said last month, after an aggressive restructuring due to weak returns, a dispute with staff and tough regulations. Standard Chartered has had troubles with its First Bank business since it bought it in 2005 for $3.3 billion. It said in late June that it will assess whether to write off some of the $1.85 billion goodwill value it has assigned to the business.

HSBC itself tried to invest more heavily in Korea by buying a controlling stake in Korea Exchange Bank in 2007, before abandoning the attempt in September 2008 amid regulatory difficulties and the developing global financial crisis. The bank's decision to retain its global banking and markets unit in Korea makes sense, said Investec's Ian Gordon, allowing it to retain the profitable business of serving global clients who have a presence in the country.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XVIII: Standard Chartered Korea - A Banking Company from United Kingdom comes to Korea, FOR GOOD.

Standard Chartered Bank Korea Limited (Hangul/Romanization: 한국스탠다드차타드은행/Hankook Standard Chartered Eunhaeng), formerly SC First Bank or Standard Chartered-First Bank of Korea (SC제일은행/SC-Jeil Eunhaeng) is a banking and financial services company headquartered at 47 Jongno, Gongpyeong-dong 100-beonji, Seoul Jongno-gu - a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Chartered PLC which is headquartered in the United Kingdom. It was created by the acquisition of the former Korea First Bank by Standard Chartered in 2005. StanChart first opened in Korea in the late nineteenth century and was the first European bank to be invited back into the country in 1968. 

The foundation of Standard Chartered Korea traced back to 1929 under Chosun Savings Bank (조선저축은행/Joseon Jeochuk Eunhaeng). The company introduced an installment deposit product, first in Korea. A month before Korean War erupted in June 1950, Chosun Savings Bank changed its name into Korea Savings Bank (한국저축은행/Hankook Jeochuk Eunhaeng). 

In December 1958, the company changed its name into First Bank of Korea (제일은행/第一銀行/Jeil Eunhaeng), which is known until the acquisition made by StanChart in 2005. Under the terms of the share purchase agreement dated 10 January 2005 between Standard Chartered Bank and KFB Newbridge, KFB Newbridge exercised its rights to require the other shareholders of Korea First Bank to accede to the share purchase agreement and sell to Standard Chartered 100 per cent. of the shares in Korea First Bank. KFB Newbridge is a company established to hold the investment of private equity investors in Korea First Bank.

Standard Chartered has agreed, after arm's length negotiations with KFB Newbridge, to pay approximately 3.4 trillion won (US$3.3 billion) for a 100% interest in Korea First Bank. The agreed purchase price represents approximately 1.87x the net asset value of Korea First Bank as at 30 September 2004.

The consideration will be met by an institutional placing of new Standard Chartered shares of approximately 10%  of  Standard  Chartered's existing  shares  in  issue,  together  with  other funding resources. Assuming the acquisition and placing had completed as at 30 June 2004, Standard Chartered's tier 1 ratio would have been in the range of 7.4% to 7.7% and its core equity ratio would have been in the range of 5.7% to 6.0%. Based on Standard Chartered's forecasts for business growth and transaction benefits, the acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in 2006.

StanChart Korea primarily engages in the corporate and retail banking, investment, and foreign exchange and trust businesses in South Korea. The company operates through Retail, Corporate and Institutional, Commercial, and Other segments. It offers deposit products, including demand and savings deposits, regular savings, time deposits, equity-linked deposits, and foreign currency deposits; loans; funds and trusts services; cards; insurance products; working capital management, business expansion, business protection, and yield enhancement solutions; and priority and private banking services. The company also provides online, mobile, and other banking services. 

As of June 30th 2015, it had 300 branches. The company was formerly known as Standard Chartered First Bank Korea Limited and changed its name to Standard Chartered Bank Korea Limited in January 2012.

KorEconomics 101 (한국경제학개론), Part XVII: Samsung Life Insurance

Samsung Life Insurance (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 삼성생명보험/三星生命保險/Samseong Saengmyeong Boheom; Korea Exchange Stock Code: 032830) is a South Korean multinational insurance company headquartered at Samsung Life Insurance Building - 55 Sejong Boulevard/Sejong-daero, Taepyeongno 2-ga 150-beonji, Seoul Jung-gu and a subsidiary of the Samsung Group. It is the largest insurance company in Korea and a Fortune Global 500 company.

Samsung Life was a private company from its foundation in 1957 until it went public in May 2010. The IPO was the largest in South Korean history and made Samsung Life one of the country's most valuable companies measured by market capitalization. Its headquarters are situated across from Sungnyemun, a trademark of Seoul Jung-gu and the historic gate which is gazetted as the First National Treasure of the Korean Republic located in the heart of Seoul.

Samsung Life Insurance Co., Ltd. offers pension policies, private health insurance, corporate welfare policies, and other products; retirement pension products; loan products, including mortgage and credit loans to companies and families; and funds and trust management products. The company is also involved in real estate leasing business. It operates seven representative offices and three investment firms in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, India, and Vietnam. 

Founded in 1957 as Dongbang Life Insurance (동방생명/Dongbang Saengmyeong), the company quickly grew and attained a market leading position after just 18 months of operations. Since then, Samsung Life Insurance has maintained its market leadership in the industry through product innovation, marketing, and distribution. In particular, the growth was accelerated after the company was incorporated under Samsung Group in 1963.

In 1986, the company opened representative offices in New York and Tokyo. It has also expanded in overseas operation through a joint venture in Thailand in 1997 and China in 2005. The company was the first life insurance company in Korea to achieve 100 trillion won in assets in 2006. On May 12, 2010, Samsung Life Insurance went public and the shares went for 110,000 won, or $96/share in one of the largest initial offerings and a record for the country, raising $4.4 billion.