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Korean History

Protectors of an Ancient Time

 

Originally Published at TeyMarieAstudillo.com

Today, we have satellites, aircraft, bombs, guns – a whole slew of modern warfare technology that countries use to protect themselves from other nations.

But in ancient times, the only thing that separated people from a potential invasion or destruction by a foreign nation or their soldiers was a simple brick and mud wall.

These defense walls were the common protectors of cities and sovereign lands in ancient times. We can see the remanence of them all over the world – from The Great Wall of China to The Walls of Constantinople in Turkey.

Which brings me to the Seoul Fortress Wall.


Seoul Lantern Festival

I was skimming through some photos in my camera and found a lot of pictures from last year’s Seoul Lantern Festival which my husband and I came to see before we went to the Philippines in November. I was going to talk about the festival and share the photos in my blog, but I suffered from “temporary amnesia” as a result of my preoccupation with our business in the PI. Now I’m back in Korea, back to sanity, back to blogging… but I miss my Mom and the family back home. I can’t wait to see them again this summer.


Seoul Lantern Festival

I was skimming through some photos in my camera and found a lot of pictures from last year’s Seoul Lantern Festival which my husband and I came to see before we went to the Philippines in November. I was going … Continue reading

Why The Korean War Has Been "Forgotten"

This past Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice that ended the hostilities between North and South Korea.  Lasting from 1950-1953, the war that was catalyzed by conflicting negotiations over the reunification of post-World War II divisions resulted in over 2.8 million casualties, separated tens of thousands of families, and left both Koreas in shambles. 

Despite these tragedies, the war is often referred to as "the Forgotten War" since the majority of the world quickly lost interest in the fighting soon after it began, mostly due to the fact that the war was unable to produce any positive political outcomes.


Where Have All The Korean Ruins Gone?

There isn’t a whole hell of a lot left of the Shilla Dynasty. Aside from two spectacular sets of ruins in Gyeongju—Seokguram and Bulguksa, of course—and a few decent sculptures in the local museum, nearly everything this thousand-year old culture created has been completely destroyed. Part of me suspected that this was due to a lack of artistic fervor, but absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence: it’s also possible that the last millennium of Korean history was turbulent enough to nearly erase the Shilla from existence.


Wishing Trees and Rice Chests: Suwon's Hwaseong Haenggung

Once a resting shelter and vacation destination for kings, the grounds of Hwaseong Haenggung in Suwon, South Korea are now a site where locals and tourists can learn about Korean royal history and culture. Despite recent renovations, every inch of the palace has a story to tell.  So much so, in fact, that when I visited there recently, I could almost sense the spirits of Korea’s dynastic leaders luring me back in time for a glimpse into the country’s captivating past.

One of the first things I noticed about Hwaseong Haenggung was that it was quite small compared to other royal structures I have visited throughout Asia.  I soon learned, however, that what the palace lacks in size, it makes up for in grandeur.

The Busan Modern History Museum


History Books About Korea

On the northern side of Yongdusan Park is the Busan Modern History Museum, which takes visitors on a stroll through the recent past of the city. It might as well call itself the Busan Museum of Japanese Aggression, because that’s basically the focus of every exhibit.


Let’s Not Have Shaman Rituals In The Forest!

The sign reads:
무속행위금지
산림내 무속행위를 하지 맙시다
(무속행위는 100만원이하 과태료 처분)

Shaman Rituals Prohibited
Let’s Not Have Shaman Rituals In The Forest
(Fine For Shaman Rituals Less Than $1000)

It’s a sad and a wonderful thing, at the same time, for a modern nation to have this kind of problem—of people dancing around too much in the forest. Google images tells me that a Moo-soke-haeng-wee, or Shaman Ritual, looks like this—


History of Korea through Korean Dolls

Cheonmin Couple

This is an attempt to not only simplify Korean History but also make it interesting using Korean Dolls as props. The idea is to educate the kids about the history of Korea, who might otherwise find this subject boring. We have also made an attempt to highlight the social class structure that existed in Korea during the Chosun Dynasty. Understanding the Social Class structure should give an understanding about the people of Korea and why Korean Society focuses a lot on higher education.

The Ancient age

Kojoseon – 10th century B.C to 108 B.C
Puyo – around the 5th century B.C to 494
Chinguk – from before the 6th century B.C. to 9 A.D.


Topics In Korean History

 

Korean History

People often ask me, “Why are you interested in Korean history? Isn’t it just so sad?”

Well, they are partially right. Much of Korean history -ancient and modern- is a tragic story of suffering and wasted lives, but throughout it rings a beautiful story of a people who have managed to maintain a unique culture in the face of enormous difficulties.

The Rose of Sharon - The Flower of Eternity. South Korea's National Flower.

The Rose of Sharon/The Flower of Eternity. South Korea's National Flower.


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