Ibike Korea People-to-People Program

   
 

   

Photo essay: Jinju

   

Jinju is a gem of a city, rich in culture and history.
Points of Interest: Jinju Castle, museum, antique district, (Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival (Oct))

  Jinju City Jinju CityThe old section of Jinju City, between the Namgong River and hills, is built on a very human scale and, with the exception of a couple of big roads, is a very people-friendly and bicycle-friendly city.
  transport in the market, Jinju City transport in the market, Jinju CityTransporting large quantities of goods through the narrow streets of the market is difficult so specialized solutions have been developed.  In some case traditional "A" framed backpacks are the only tool that is practical.
  Sweets for sale in the market, Jinju Sweets for sale in the market, JinjuSweets for sale in the market, Jinju.
  Fish mongers in the market, Jinju Fish mongers in the market, JinjuFish mongers in the market, Jinju.
  Baby octopus for sale in the market, Jinju Baby octopus for sale in the market, Jinju.
  bicycle safety awareness course for kids Bicycle sculpture, Jinju, KoreaPart of the riverside trail facility in Jinju is this bicycle safety awareness course for kids.  It incorporates a variety of intersections, signs, signals, stripping, curb penetrations and traffic situations.
  display of international traffic signs Part of the bicycle safety awareness course for kids in Jinju is a display of international traffic signs and their explanations.
  Water skier pulled by an oversize jet ski Water skier pulled by an oversize jet ski on the Namgang River, Jinju.
  Chokseongnu (pavilion), Jinjuseong (Jinju Castle or fortress) Chokseongnu (pavilion), Jinjuseong (Jinju Castle or fortress) at night.Chokseongnu (pavilion), Jinjuseong (Castle or fortress), served as a military command post in times of war and as a place of entertainment in times to peace. It was first constructed in 1241.  It is in the upper right corner of the photo to the left.  The photo to the right was taken at night and the roof line is lit.
  Chokseongnu (pavilion), Jinjuseong (Castle or fortress)

Uiam rock (Rock of Patriotism), JinjuNongae, national heor, Jinju mascotIn the foreground (left photo) is Uiam (rock of patriotism).  The name commemorates the actions of the city hero Nongae, a local gisaeng (professional female entertainer).  The legend goes that when Jinjuseong fell to the Japanese army (1593), Nongae (lower right photo) allured the Japanese commander to Uiam Rock and martyred herself by grabbing him and jumping into the river -- drowning the commander, as well as herself. A stylized Nongae is the mascot of the city (right).

  Chokseongnu (pavilion), Jinjuseong (Castle or fortress) Nongae, national heroJinjuseong is a fortified highland along the Namgang River which dates back to the Three Kingdoms era, and is the focal point of Jinju history, especially during the Imjinwaeran (Japanese Invasion, 1592-98), but it chronicles a lot of Jinju history up through the Joseon period.
  General Kim Simin In 1592, despite enormously unfavorable odds, General Kim Simin and his 3,800 troops defended Jinjuseong from a 20,000 strong Japanese army siege, accomplishing a celebrated victory. A year later, the earlier defense prompted the goriest massacre in Korean history where 70,000 military men, government personnel and civilians were slaughtered in a retaliatory attack from a reassembled 100,000 strong Japanese army.  The brutal Japanese occupation lasted for five years. Gen. Kim died from wounds from the first battle.
  Ssangchung-Sajeokbi Ssangchung-Sajeokbi commemorates the accomplishments of generals Jemal and Jehong.  The two national heroes organized loyal volunteer militias to assist the government and military in the fight against the Japanese invasion of 1592.  Jinjuseong has similar monuments to commemorate the achievements of General Kim Simin, and the people who gave their lives in defense of Jinju in the 12th century.
  Loyal Monk Militia Tree The Loyal Monk Militia Tree (a zwlkova tree) stands in front of the main entrance of Sanseong Seongjangcheong, the headquarters of the Loyal Monk Militia (Hoguksa).  During the Japanese invasion in 1592, the monk soldiers piled stones and sheaves of straw around the tree and drove back the Japanese with the stones, boiling water and burning sheaves of straw.  The tree is more than 500 years old.
  Changyeolsa Shrine Changyeolsa ShrineChangyeolsa Shrine was built in 1595 to enshrine the memorial tablets of the patriots who died in action during the 2nd Jinju Battle in 1593.  The tablet of  Kim Simin and 39 other patriots are enshrined here.
  Cheonggye Seowon Cheonggye Seowon (shrine) was built to commemorate Jeong Sinyeol, who played an active role in fighting against the Kitan.  It also remembers Jeong Cheonik, who succeeded in multiplying only one cotton seed many times over three years, and distributed a million seeds to the people.  Jeong Cheonik also invented and distributed cotton gins, spinning wheels and improved looms.  Thanks to him the people were able to dress in cotton instead of traditional linen.
  30 monuments from the Joseon period Here are more than 30 monuments from the Joseon period that have been gather from other location to be displayed together.
  Replica of a soldier in the Imjinwaeran, Jinju National Museum Replica of a turtle boat, Jinju National MuseumWithin Jinjuseong is the Jinju National Museum.  The museum has a very interesting exhibit on the Imjinwaeran (Japanese Invasion, 1592-98), itsReplicas of a Super Chongtong main focus, made up of a variety of art media, artifacts and displays.  There is also an exhibit on ceramics and porcelain.

Outside, around the Jinjuseong other replicas are displayed.  The piece shown here is a Super Chongtong missile and launcher from the Joseon period.

  Porcelain exhibit in National Jinju Museum

It is interesting that in the initial stages of the Imjinwaeran the Japanese captured Korean artisans and scholars as a "technology transfer" to Japan.  This allowed Japan to quickly advance their porcelain industry, printing culture and neo-Confucius scholarship.  Laborers were also captured to fill its depleted labor force. Later in the occupations Koreans -- males and females, young and old -- were being captured and sold to Portuguese traders.  Estimates on the number of slaves taken range from 20,000 to 100,000 and higher.

  Gongbukmun (gate), Jinju Castle Gongbukmun (gate), Jinju CastleGongbukmun (gate). Its name consists of three meaningful characters: Gong putting your hands together and lifting them to your chest in reverence; Buk, north, the direction from Jinju to the residence of the King; and, Mun, Moon gate.
  Insa-dong Antique Street, Jinju Insa-dong Antique Street, Jinju Insa-dong Antique Street, Jinju Insa-dong Antique Street, JinjuJust outside of Gongbukmun is Insa-dong Antique Street, Jinju. Stretched along several blocks, vendors display their large inventory of all sizes and shapes of stone, ceramic, bronze, silver, wood, lacquer, inlayed, screens, etc.
  Strolling at Jinju Castle Picnic at Jinju CastleBeside its historical significance and position as a cultural repository, the castle is also a popular place to Jinjuites to relax as well.  People picnic, stroll, relax in the several pavilions, their are music venues, cultural events and you can have your portrait painted -- day or night.  It is the "Grand Central Park" of Jinju.

Portrait painting at Jinju Castle Portrait painting at Jinju Castle -- night time

  Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival

Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival

Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalIn early October, Jinju hosts an annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival. If it is at all practical to visit Jinju during the Festival don't pass up the opportunity.

The festival is most active, energized, and lighted from 6pm to midnight.  Each year it seems to get larger and more elaborate.

The floating lantern festival has its origins in the period of the JapaneseJinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Invasion. With only 3,800 troops, Gen Kim Si-min's army killed 20,000 Japanese in October 1592, repelling the first invasion.  During the invasion the general raised lanterns in the sky and floated lanterns on the river to send military signals to loyal troops and other supporters outside of the castle.

  Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Jinju Castle lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalBattle of Jinju lanterns, Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalAt night the floats/lanterns on the river and land are lit and there is music, food, games, vendors and a carnival atmosphere along both sides of the Namgang River. A lot of the lanterns depict historical events -- complete with bloody combatants, where appropriate.  There are also floats for Korea folklore, sports and international icons (i.e. Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, etc.) The white heron is the Jinju bird.
  Student with books lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival leopard lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Tiger lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Wedding ceremony lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Nongae and Uiam Rock lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival
  Bull fight lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Girls studying lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival White heron lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Textile seller lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Merchants selling lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival
  Children playing lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Acrobat lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Children playing lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Children playing lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Warrior lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival
 
  Tunnel of lanterns, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Tunnel of lanterns, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalMore personal size lanterns are also part of the event.  Individuals and businesses that want to support the festival can by a red lantern for 10,000 won and make a dedication.  These are hung on a long arched structure that forms a tunnel of lanterns several hundred meters long.  The are also opportunities to express your personal creativity by designing and making your own personal lantern. Some of these were legitimate works of art.
  Peruvian pan pipes, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Korean folk musicians, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalThere were stages on both sides of the river with a variety of Korean and foreign music from elsewhere in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.  One group the raise eyebrows was an Andean pan-pipe group wearing North American plains Indian headdresses (left).  On another stage Korean women, playing a mix of traditional and modern instruments jazzed up a variety of tradition, folk and modern melodies.
  Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalAn event would be an event without food the Namgang Yudeung Festival is no exception.  Besides typical Korean snack food there is pigs roasting on a spit, mandu, corn on the cob, ice cream, sweets and soup shops.
  Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalLots of people and bright lights, you can imagine that the carnival vendors are in attendance as well.  There are knife sellers, chop-o-matic sellers, mega socks shops, kimchi vendor, dollar stores, silk booths, leather goods, toy stores, lingerie and the list could go on.  Don't forget the games of chance (darts at a balloon, rings over a bottle, ball in the basket) where if you spend enough and are also lucky you can take home and oversized stuffed animals -- this arrangement seemed to be most attractive with teenage boys with dates to give any booty too.
  Jinju's annual Korean Drama Festival

Cheondoong (천둥) drumming performance, Jinju

Jinju's annual Korean Drama FestivalPart of the Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival is the Korea Drama Festival.  It has several venues and multiple events.  The photo to the left is of a competition akin to Korea Has (Drama) Talent.  Each of the contest performed two short dramatic piece of a highly contrasting nature.  They were then judged and the winners moved on to the next round. The photo on the right is a historical drama set at the time of the Japanese invasion and Korean resistance.

Pomegranite tree  lantern, Jinju's Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) FestivalThe historical drama was precede by a Cheondong drumming performance.  Cheondong is very similar to Japanese Taiko drumming. Cheondong (천둥) translates as "thunder."

  Jinju's annual Namgang Yudeung (Lantern) Festival This young festival goer was anointed with a traffic policeman's hat and light-wand and is practicing his technique for directing traffic.

The week-long Namgang Yudeung Festival is filled with events and ceremonies.  On one visit we arrived for the parade. 

Police motorcycle escort, Jinju parade The parade had much strong themes imbedded in it than most parades I have seen.  Interspersed between performances were pieces with themes of history, culture and economic development.  Marching band, Jinju paradeHere you can see for yourself:

The parade started normally enough with a police motorcycle escort and a marching band.


The next section was cultural.  First a horse and cart that didn't have a specific purpose to our eyes.  This was followed by an all woman traditional Korean drum and gong band.  The next contingents like they might be the

civil and military officials from an Joseon emperor's court, followed by the king, himself, in a rolled throne, with an entourage.  This would make the drum that followed the royal drum.
Float showing defense of the Castle, Jinju parade Float showing defense of the Castle, Jinju parade catapult, Jinju parade canons, Jinju parade
There was another contingent of traditional dressed gentlemen.  The theme then moved into the defense of Jinju.  There was a float depicting the Japanese attacking the Castle.  Most of the attackers had very bloody arrow wounds. This would have been the first Battle of Jinju, which the defender won, despite being many times out numbered.
rocket launchers, Jinju parade Japanese prisoners, Jinju parade Japanese prisoners, Jinju parade Japanese prisoners, Jinju parade Girl band in mini skirts, Jinju parade
With the battle victory they showed off their weapons (catapults, canons, and rocket launchers) and captured prisoners both in barred carts and walking tied together. On their heels was an all girl band in mini-skirts. I lost track of the connection here. The distraction didn't last long.

The next contingents were back in period dress.  The first perhaps being the civil elite of the victorious Jinju, followed by military brass. The next group looked like they might be introducing the development and commerce theme, but first a few more traditional entries including a company of fan dancers.
Women with placard of municipal accomplishmentsThe signs the women are carrying list various projects the city is pursuing: Hosting investments by large business; expanding sporting facilities; establishing a home-decoration park, building environment-friendly roads etc.
Adult literacy float, Jinju parade Weaving silk float, Jinju parade Woven silk cloth, Jinju parade
The next theme that I could pick out was about adult literacy and the weaving of silk.
dance academy including traditional dancers, fan dancers, ballerinas, modern dance and a half dozen guys ready to do some break dancing and street acrobatics dance academy - modern dancers
The next couple groups were mostly girls and women, first in historic dress and then what looked to be members of a dance academy including traditional dancers, fan dancers, ballerinas, modern dance and a half dozen guys ready to do some break dancing and street acrobatics.
Display for farming in the 1950, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1950, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1950, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1960, in the Jinju parade
The message of the next phase of the parade was rural development.  I started with a float labeled '1950' with a farm on it with a decidedly low yield. The float was followed by men carrying farm produce in tradition back carriers, followed by cows pulling carts. The next float was labeled
Display for farming in the 1960, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1960, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1970, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1970, in the Jinju parade 
'1960'. The farm it display was a little more robust.  The farm produce was being moved by hand pulled carts and the individual transportation was by bicycle. The next float was '1970'.  The greenhouse were sturdier and the crop yield was visibly higher. The farmers in this period had walk-behind tractors to help plow the field and transport the produce off the farm.  For personal transportation they had motor-cycles.  Continuing the pattern the
Display for farming in the 1970, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1980, in the Jinju parade Display for farming in the 1980, in the Jinju parade Local dignitaries in Jinja parade 
next float was '1980'.  The farm was irrigated, the green house was more sophisticated and the output was higher.  The farmers were driving fancy tractors to aid them in their work.  The display of agriculture progress was followed by contemporarily dressed dignitaries -- perhaps local government officials.
bloodied soldier in Jinja paradeThe last large contingent of the parade depicted bloodied, mangled soldiers.  Perhaps this is a remembrance that the Second Battle of Jinju was lost to the Japanese and 17,000 soldiers, officials and civilians were massacred.  There was nothing sugar coated about their make-up.  It was a sobering end to the parade.
  Bull fighting ring, Jinju Part of the Lantern Festival is a bull fight.  The bulls are not killed and there is no matador.  Somehow handlers entice two bulls to fight each other.  The event seems to lack drama, but it draws a small crowd.  Maybe they came to hear the American western music that is played over the public address system.
 

Heoyang Geoje-si (Central)

Hadong (South and West)

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