South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a sovereign state in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. The earliest Korean pottery dates to 8000 BC, with three kingdoms flourishing in the 1st century BC and its rich and vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites. Annexed into Imperial Japan in 1910, Korea was divided after its surrender in 1945, peace has since mostly continued with the two agreeing to work peacefully for reunification and the South solidifying peace as a regional power with the worlds 10th largest defence budget. South Koreas tiger economy soared at an average of 10% for over 30 years in a period of rapid transformation called the Miracle on the Han River. A long legacy of openness and focus on innovation made it successful, today, it is the worlds fifth largest exporter with the G20s largest budget surplus and highest credit rating of any country in East Asia.
It has free trade agreements with 75% of the economy and is the only G20 nation trading freely with China, the US. Since 1988, its constitution guarantees a liberal democracy with high government transparency, high personal freedoms led to the rise of a globally influential pop culture such as K-pop and K-drama, a phenomenon called the Korean Wave, known for its distinctive fashionable and trendy style. Home of the UN Green Climate Fund and GGGI, South Korea is a leader in low carbon growth, committed to helping developing countries as a major DAC. It is the third least ignorant country in the Index of Ignorance, ranking eighth highest for peaceful tolerance. It is the worlds largest spender on R&D per GDP, leading the OECD in graduates in science, the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a form of its name. The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, and thus inherited its name, the modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Companys Hendrick Hamel.
After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the name for the entire territory. The new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon, in 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk. The name Daehan, which means great Han literally, derives from Samhan, the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted, there were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea was adopted as the name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the part of the Korean Peninsula
The surrounding ten rock faces have a small number of engravings as well. The rocks consist of shale and hornfels oriented toward the north, as an overhanging cliff they are in the structure of a rock shelter. Three hundred and four representations can be seen, of which 166 figures are animals and 108 are unidentified motifs, representations of cetaceans are the most frequent, being 14. 4% of the figures. The engravings of whales and deer were made in most cases by carving out the body, while those of land animals mostly consist of outlines, such difference suggest difference in the time of production, given the overlapping relationships of the depictions. At the site, cetaceans are most important, followed by deer and land animals in order, and there are a small number of turtles, fish. The figures are side views of the body with a somewhat exaggerated penis or front images of people with mask-like faces spreading their four limbs. There are engravings of hunting animals with a bow, raising their hands.
Shapes and features enable the species to be discriminated, Most of them are whales and concentrated on the left main rock face. Ungulate mammals like deer and predatory animals like tigers, animals whose species can be identified include large cetaceans such as the northern right whale, the humpback whale, the right whale, the grey whale, and the sperm whale. Sea animals, Whale engravings are in general 20 to 30cm long, Most show whales swimming in a group upward as if seen from a birds-eye view. Sideway engravings of whales are made in a method in which the tail is carved sideways to show the horizontal tail of the whale. Other rock art shows a whale with her baby on her back, whale jumping scenes. These engravings are assessed to provide important information about the hunting, the three turtles on the upper left of the main rock face appear to be guiding whales swimming in a group. Since sea turtles come to the shore to spawn between early spring and summer, they are regarded in ancient myth as symbolic animals crossing the boundary of sea.
In the case of fish, heads of fish looking like sharks are depicted sideways, on engravings there is the suggestion of a wooden fence, but since the inner outlines resemble fish and land animals are lacking the possibility of a fishpound has been considered. Land animals, Most of the animals are shown in a side view. Some species can be classified according to the shape of body, skin patterns, the length of tail and legs, and these include sika deer, red deer, musk deer, roe deer, and water deer. Sea birds are placed around whales as they are hunting prey
The fortress encompassing 12 km in length protects a vast area utilized as an emergency capital city of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. It stands on the Namhansan, containing fortifications that date back to the 17th century, and it can be accessed easily from Seoul through Namhansanseong Station of Seoul Subway Line 8. Due to such an advantage, Namhansanseong served as a commanding post since the Unified Silla era in the 7th century. Unified Silla constructed Jujangseong fortress where Namhansanseong sits today, to raise men, in the 13th century during Goryeo Dynasty, Namhansanseong was a stronghold against the Mongol Invasion. Consequently, it became a mountain fortress, the likeness of which is rarely found anywhere else in the world. Furthermore, Namhansanseong had been managed and operated for over 300 years since its construction in 1624. Specifically, it was the battlefield of the second Manchu Invasion to acquire hegemony in East Asia during the Ming-Qing dynasty transition in 1636. It was the symbol of the Joseon dynasty for sovereignty.
The rich history of Namhansanseong shows the exchange of Buddhist, folk religion, the 17th century mountain fortress Namhansanseong was constructed as a planned city both to serve as an emergency capital city during wartimes and an administrative center in normal times. Common traditional villages are located on flat lands adjacent to mountain fortress built for shelter in emergencies. Namhansanseong was a self-sufficient defensive fortress where the administrative town was placed within the fortress together with the Emergency Palace. Thus, it performed various functions such as defense, business, since the 17th century, Namhansanseong has been dominantly inhabited with over 4,000 in population and has been managed and preserved by the residents for generations. The characteristics of Namhansanseong have changed a lot throughout the course of history, the fortress served as a military and administrative center with the Emergency Palace and administrative office from 1627 to 1917. It was the center of the resistance movement centering on Buddhist monk soldiers temples when the Joseon Dynasty fell.
However, the fortress experienced demolition and the temples were forced into closure by the Japanese in 1907, the fortress lost its function as the town center due to the relocation of the Gwangju County Office in 1917, resulting in a downgrade to a remote mountain village. Then, the fortress suffered population loss and material loss during the Korean War, nowadays Namhansanseong has become a tourist attraction point in the vicinity of Seoul, after undergoing large-scale wall restorations and being designated as a provincial park since the 1970s. It has seen an increase in the number of restaurants. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2014 and it is necessary to monitor the management system in Namhansanseong
Yangdong Folk Village
Yangdong Folk Village is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty. The village is located in Gangdong-myeon, sixteen kilometers northeast of Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, mt. Seolchang stands to the north of the village. The village is designated as Important Folklore Materials No.189 by the South Korean government, the size, degree of preservation, numerous cultural assets, beautiful natural setting all contribute to the importance of Yangdong Village. It is an example of the yangban lifestyle and Neo-Confucian traditions. The village is listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a World Heritage site with Hahoe Folk Village in 2010, the village was founded by Son So. The household of the Wolseong Son clan was placed on an auspicious site according to Korean theories of pungsu, Son So and his wife, the daughter of Yu Bok Ha had a daughter who married Yi Beon of the Yeogang Yi family. The marriage produced one of the eighteen sages of Korea, Yi Unjeok, the village of Yangdon has continued since its auspicious beginning in the 15th century.
Although some of the village is unoccupied today, the overall the village has over 160 tile-roofed, fifty-four historic homes over 200 years old have been preserved. The village preserves folk customs as well as buildings of traditional Joseon Dynasty architecture. Seobaekodang is the home of the Wolseong Son Family. Mucheomdang, is the house of the Yeogang Yi family. Hyangdan is National Treasure No.412, ihayangjeon and Simsujeong pavilions, and the Ganghakdang village school are notable structures of the village as well as Gwangajeong and Sonsoyeongjeong. Tonggamsokpyeon, a book printed on movable type and National Treasure No. 283, is located in the village. A picture of the village as you enter it, the village follows the topography of the mountains and valleys and is shaped like an auspicious Hanja character. This arrangement has been carefully preserved, the homes of the Wolseong Son and Yeogang Yu clans, as well as their descendants homes are located on the high ground of the mountains and valleys.
The lower-class homes, characterized by their roofs were built on lower ground. The villages organization highlights the social stratification characteristic of Joseon Dynasty society
Incheon, officially the Incheon Metropolitan City, is a city located in northwestern South Korea, bordering Seoul and Gyeonggi to the east. Inhabited since the New Stone Age, Incheon was home to just 4,700 people when it became a port in 1883. Today, about 3 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan. The citys growth has been assured in modern times with the development of its due to its natural advantages as a coastal city. It is part of the Seoul Capital Area, along with Seoul itself and Gyeonggi Province, Incheon has since led the economic development of Korea by opening its port to the outside world, ushering in the modernization of Korea as a center of industrialization. In 2003, the city was designated as Korea’s first free economic zone, as an international city, Incheon has held numerous large scale international conferences, such as the Incheon Global Fair & Festival in 2009. The 17th Asian Games Incheon 2014 was held in Incheon on 19 September 2014, Incheon has established itself as a major transportation hub in northeast Asia with the world-renowned Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port.
The city is home to the Green Climate Fund, an international organization addressing environmental issues. The first historical record of the Incheon area dates back to 475 AD, during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo, by the name of Michuhol, the area underwent several name changes with successive kingdoms and dynasties. In Goryeo era, Incheon was called Gyeongwon or Inju, the current name was turned to Incheon in 1413. Later, Incheon County became Incheon Metropolitan Prefecture, old Incheon consisted of todays southern Incheon and northern part of Siheung City. The city centre was Gwangyo-dong, where the office and the local academy were located. Another historical name of the city, was not widely used until the opening of the port in 1883, after the opening of the Incheon port, the city centre moved from Gwangyo to Jemulpo. Today, either Jemulpo or Gwangyo-dong is considered Deep Incheon and it was renamed as Jinsen during Japanese rule in Korean peninsula. In 1914, the Japanese colonial government merged outer parts of old Incheon with Bupyeong County, through 1936 and 1940, some part of Bucheon County was recombined into Incheon City, by which some part of old Bupyeong was annexed into Incheon.
Incheon was originally part of Gyeonggi Province, but was granted Directly Governed City status on July 1,1981, Incheon was known as Inchon prior to South Koreas adoption of a new Romanization system in 2000. The city was the site of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, during the Korean War, Incheon was occupied by North Korean troops on 4 September 1950. Eleven days later, Incheon was the site of the Battle of Inchon, the result was a decisive UN victory and it was recaptured on 19 September 1950
Seoraksan National Park
Seoraksan National Park is a national park in South Korea. It listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a tentative World Heritage site, the government designated the area as a nature reserve in 1965 and UNESCO designated it as a biosphere reserve in 1982. It was the first Korean national park to be named under the National Park Law in 1970, located on the east-central Korean peninsula, the reserve includes Injegun and Sokchosi. It is popular with tourists and nature enthusiasts and it is home to many rare taxa of flora and fauna. The reserve has an area of 163.6 square kilometres and includes many mountain peaks measuring over 1,200 metres above sea level, the ranges are composed largely of dissected granite and gneiss. The annual precipitation is about 1,000 millimetres in Inner Soraksan and 1,300 millimetres in Outer Soraksan, the park is valued for its floral diversity. There are about 1,013 species of known, with 822 vascular plant species. Pine trees such as the Siberian pine are abundant on the slope while the northern slopes of the mountain range are characterized by oaks.
Thuja grow in the deep valleys, dwarf pines and yews grow on low and high slopes. Juniper and Manchurian fir can be found, other plants include forsythias and saw-worts. Rare plants in the reserve include Hanabusaya asiatica,1,562 animal species have been classified so far. Local fauna include the Asian black bear, Siberian flying squirrel, Chinese sparrowhawk, Chinese minnow, endangered animal taxa include Tristrams woodpecker, Korean goral, and Korean musk deer. Cultural landmarks in the include the Buddhist temples Baekdamsa and Sinheungsa
Korea is a historical state in East Asia, since 1945 divided into two distinct sovereign states, North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by China to the northwest and it is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. Korea emerged as a political entity after centuries of conflict among the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Later Silla divided into three states during the Later Three Kingdoms period. Goryeo, which had succeeded Goguryeo, defeated the two states and united the Korean Peninsula. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym Korea, was a highly cultured state that created the worlds first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Yuan Dynasty during the 13th century greatly weakened the nation, following the Yuan Dynastys collapse, severe political strife followed, and Goryeo eventually fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1388.
The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by peace and saw the creation of the Korean alphabet by Sejong the Great in the 14th century. During the part of the dynasty, Koreas isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the Hermit Kingdom, by the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. Despite attempts at modernization by the Korean Empire, in 1910 Korea was annexed by Japan and these circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their incapability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. To date, both continue to compete with each other as the sole legitimate government of all of Korea. Korea is the spelling of Corea, a name attested in English as early as 1614. It is a derived from Cauli, Marco Polos transcription of the Chinese 高麗. This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo or Koryŏ, Goryeos name was a continuation of the earlier Goguryeo or Koguryŏ, the northernmost of the Samguk, which was officially known by the shortened form Goryeo after the 5th-century reign of King Jangsu.
The original name was a combination of the go with the name of a local Yemaek tribe. The name Korea is now used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk, the name references the Samhan—Ma, and Byeon—who preceded the Three Kingdoms in the southern and central end of the peninsula during the 1st centuries BC and AD. It has been linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Manchuria
Naganeupseong is a Korean fortress in Nagan-myeon, Jeollanamdo, South Korea. Naganeupseong is the only remaining Joseon dynasty castle in Jeollanamdo and it finely has the old images of Joseon folk village and castle, with about 100 houses and government offices. Nowadays, there still are 85 households and 229 people living there and it has the biggest feature that it was built on the plain fields and has the narrow stone walls around the castle. It was firstly built in 1397 Taejo Joseon, by the general Kim Bin-gil after the defeat of Wokou to protect its area. It was surrounded by a wall but changed to a stone wall during king Sejong. Naganeupseong at the UNESCO World Heritage site
The Seokguram Grotto is a hermitage and part of the Bulguksa temple complex. It lies four kilometers east of the temple on Mt. Tohamsan, in Gyeongju and it is classified as National Treasure No.24 by the South Korean government and is located at 994, Jinhyeon-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsanbuk-do. The grotto overlooks the East Sea and rests 750 meters above sea level, in 1962, it was designated the 24th national treasure of Korea. In 1995, Seokguram was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Bulguksa Temple and it exemplifies some of the best Buddhist sculptures in the world. It is said to have built by Kim Daeseong and originally called Seokbulsa. Construction began in 742 when Gim Daeseong resigned his position in the court or in 751. This time period was the peak of Unified Silla. The grotto was completed by the Silla court in 774, shortly after Gims death, an old legend stated that Gim was reincarnated for his filial acts in his previous life. The legend relates that the Bulguksa Temple was dedicated to Gim’s parents in his present life while the Seokguram Grotto was dedicated to Gims parents from a previous life and it is now one of the best known cultural destinations in South Korea.
A viewing of the sunrise over the sea, which is visible from near the seated Buddhas perch, is especially popular, india began a tradition of carving the image of Buddha in stone, holy images, and stupas into the cliff walls and natural caves. This practice was transferred to China and Korea, the geology of the Korean Peninsula, which contains an abundance of hard granite, is not conducive to carving stone images into cliff walls. Seokguram is a grotto made from granite and is unique in design. The small size of the grotto indicates that it was used exclusively by the Silla royalty. The grotto is symbolic of a journey into Nirvana. Pilgrims were to start at Bulguksa or at the foot Mt. Tohamsan, there was a fountain at the entrance of the shrine where pilgrims could refresh themselves. Inside the grotto, the antechamber and corridor represented the earth while the rotunda represented heaven, the centerpiece of the granite sanctuary is a Buddha statue seated in the main chamber. The identity of the Buddha is still debated, the Buddha is seated on a lotus throne with legs crossed.
The Buddha has an expression of meditation
Ganghwa County is a county in Incheon Metropolitan City, South Korea, where Ganghwa Island, as well the minor islands around it, is located. Ganghwa has been recognized as preserved most important history of peninsula from the age to modern times. Dangun, the founder of Gojoseon, is said to have made an altar on top of Mani-san, in the 9th century, Unified Silla established a garrison on the island to combat piracy. The commander Wang Geon established his reputation at the garrison. In the 13th century, the court of Goryeo took refuge on the island as Mongol forces invaded in 1232, after Goryeo capitulated to the Mongols, the elite forces on the island rose up, beginning the Sambyeolcho Rebellion. In the early 19th century, Catholicism was introduced into Korea despite its official proscription by the Korean court, the Korean court clamped down on the illicit French missionaries, massacring French Catholic missionaries and Korean converts alike. At the first battle, the Korean infantry division lost heavily, an ambush by Korean forces on a French party attempting to occupy the strategically located Cheondeung Temple on the island‘s south coast resulted in French casualties.
French realization that they were far outnumbered and outgunned forced them to abandon the island, in 1871, following the General Sherman Incident, the United States Navy launched an expedition on the soldiers at Ganghwa Island, resulting in the Battle of Ganghwa. In 1875 a Japanese ship, explored into the areas in name of measuring the coastline. When a crew boat was sent to the island, Koreans fired a few shots back, the Japanese argued that this was an aggression and demanded a treaty. Early in the year, Japan sent a large force of the Imperial Japanese Navy. That agreement, concluded on Ganghwa Island, officially opened Korea to Japanese external trade for the first time during the 19th century, Ganghwa was raised to the status of a county in 1906, and incorporated into the Incheon Metropolitan City in 1995. About 70% of Ganghwas citizens are engaged in farming, mainly rice and forestry are other occupations practiced. Hwamunseok is a well-known traditional fancy matting, since the Goryeo dynasty, hwamunseok has been produced and exported to China and Japan.
The mats are produced in the handicraft industry. Thereafter, various designs have developed and manufacturing techniques have been improved. The Ganghwa turnip is a specialty of the area and it has been cultivated since the 5th century. This is recorded in the 17th-century Dongui Bogam book of oriental medicine, in Ganghwa county, dolmens are registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site
Bulguksa is located on the slopes of mount Toham. The temple is classified as Historic and Scenic Site No.1 by the South Korean government, in 1995, Bulguksa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the Seokguram Grotto, which lies four kilometers to the east. The temple is considered as a masterpiece of the age of Buddhist art in the Silla kingdom. It is currently the temple of the 11th district of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Among the earliest woodblock prints in the world, a version of the Dharani sutra dated between 704 and 751 was found there in 1966 and its Buddhist text was printed on a 8 cm ×630 cm mulberry paper scroll. The temples records state that a temple was built on this site under King Beopheung in 528. The Samguk Yusa records that the current temple was constructed under King Gyeongdeok in 751, the building was completed in 774 by the Silla royal court, after Gims death, and given its current name Bulguksa. The temple was renovated during the Goryeo Dynasty and the early Joseon Dynasty, during the Imjin wars, the wooden buildings were burned to the ground.
After 1604, reconstruction and expansion of Bulguksa started, followed by about 40 renovations until 1805, after World War II and the Korean War, a partial restoration was conducted in 1966. Upon an extensive investigation, major restoration was conducted between 1969 and 1973 by the order of President Park Chung Hee, bringing Bulguksa to its current form. The famous stone structures are preserved from the original Silla construction, the temple is located on the slopes of Tohamsan, in Jinheon-dong, Gyeongju. The entrance to the temple, has a double-sectioned staircase, the stairway is 33 steps high, corresponding to the 33 steps to enlightenment. The lower portion, Cheongungyo is 6.3 meters long and has 17 steps, the upper portion, Baegungyo is 5.4 meters and has 16 steps. There are two pagodas on the site, which is unusual. The three-story Seokgatap which stands at 8.2 meters is a traditional Korean-style stone pagoda with simple lines, Seokgatap is over 13 centuries old. Dabotap is 10.4 meters tall and dedicated to the Many Treasures Buddha mentioned in the Lotus Sutra, in contrast to Seokgatap, Dabotap is known for its highly ornate structure.
Its image is reproduced on the South Korean 10 won coin and Seokgatap are Korean National Treasures nos.20 and 21, respectively. The terrestrial and the two celestial abodes are manifested in Bulguksa, the terrestrial with a Shakyamuni Buddha Lotus Sutra, the large temple site is centred on two courts
Gobeunok or Gogok are comma-shaped or curved beads and jewels that appeared in prehistoric Korea through the Three Kingdoms period. Gogok is romanized as kogok and kokkok or kokok. They are found in Siberia and Northeast Asia, but are most numerous in Japan, although usually made from jadeite which mined in Japan, they have been discovered made from many different materials such as nephrite, clay and glass. They range in size range from 1 to 10 cm, have a hole in the middle of the round part for threading. Used as earrings and necklaces, and as decoration on crowns, some are further decorated with gold or silver attachments. The curved nature of the beads and their similarities to bear claws has led to a theory of Scytho-Siberian influence. In Korea, jade gogok are found at prehistoric sites, throughout the Korean peninsula, nephrite gogok are found inand Bronze Age sites in stone burial chambers. This probably indicates that gogok were symbols of prestige and power buried with the elites of society, the most famous examples of gogok in Korean art are from the Three Kingdoms period, in Silla royal crowns, earrings and belts.
These treasures were found in the mounds and royal mausoleums of Silla, Baekje. They declined in use from about the middle of the 6th century, the origin of gogok is contested by archaeologists because these jewels are common in Kofun tombs of Japan, where they are known as magatama. One archaeologist, James Keally, who believes gogok originated in Japan cites the fact that gogok have been reported in Jōmon sites in Tohoku as early as about 1000 BCE, Korea Britannica article Doosan World Encyclopedia article Yahoo Korea Encyclopedia Magatama Crown of Silla List of Korea-related topics