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‘The 100 Strengths of Seogwipo’
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승인 2010.12.16  15:27:06
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On Oct. 28, Seogwipo City announced “The 100 Strengths of Seogwipo” — a wide-ranging list of Seogwipo treasures both human and natural, varying from natural scenery spots, art, history and sports, to personalities and attractions.

The candidates for inclusion were submitted online from July 26 to Aug. 26 by Seogwipo residents and anyone else with a familiarity with the region. The initial 499 candidates — based on submission counts — were passed on to Vision 21, the advisory organization of Seogwipo City, to be further assessed, evaluated and filtered through.

Finally, a group of judges comprised of three external experts, six Vision 21 members, and one civil servant carefully selected the final 100 based on criteria of validity, creativity, potential, and effectiveness.

In the final part of this series, we examine two art and history, three sports, two people, and three signature strengths of Seogwipo:

Art and History

1. Daejung-hyun Fortress

▲ All phots courtesy Seowgipo City Hall

Built in 1416 to provide the region of Daejung-hyun (now Daejung-eup) with both self-defense and organized administration, the origin of the Daejung-hyun Fortress goes back to the Chosun Dynasty era. The circumference of the fortress walls is 1614m with an average height of 5.1m. Inside the fortress, visitors can still relive the experience of a bygone Jeju, with many original and undamaged artifacts adding to the atmosphere.

2. Baekjoilsonjimyo

Baekjoilsonjimyo, or the tomb of the offspring of Grandfather Baek, is a tomb that holds the remnants of 132 lives silenced as part of the wave of massacres on Jeju following World War 2. In the summer of 1950, these 132 people who had been arrested for alleged political activity were mass-slaughtered at the ammunition dump at Altterieu Airfield. After the massacre, the bereaved families went looking for the deceased only to be forbidden entry by the military and police.

In the summer of 1957, the bereaved families once again sought the remains of their loved ones only to find a mass of indistinguishable bone parts. To honor the victims, the families collected the remnants and buried them in a tomb they named the Baekjoilsonjimyo. Every year on July 7, the families and their descendants gather together to pay their respects to their wrongfully persecuted ancestors.

Sports Strengths

3. Sports infrastructure in harmony with pristine natural conditions.

Seogwipo proclaims to be the sports mecca of Jeju, combining state-of-the-art facilities with pristine natural conditions. Optimized for off-season training, the World Cup stadium and its assisting stadium, Kangchanghak Ballpark, with the Jeju Off-season Training Center are both capable of delivering professional-level athletic infrastructure in an excellent climate and setting.

4. 226km of Challenge! Korea Triathlon Jeju

Since 2000, Jeju, through the Korea Triathlon Jeju, has offered the only Ironman course in Korea for world triathletes. Professionals and amateurs alike claim the event as being one of the world’s best due to Jeju’s beautiful natural surroundings and rewarding volunteer work system. Among the 3.8km swim, 180.2km cycling, and 42.195km marathon courses, the cycling course that embraces the shoreline road, oreum, ocean, and prairie is a particular standout for participants.

5. Oh Hee Joon, Jeju’s world-class mountaineer who lived and died in the mountains

An adventurous and proud son of Seogwipo, Oh Hee Joon had climbed the world’s top 10 cloud-kissing mountain peaks (all over 8,000m altitudes) until he died at the age of 37 pioneering the New Korean Route of Mt. Everest.

Some of his great mountaineering accomplishments in the Himalayas include; climbing the Cho Oyu (8,201m), Broadpeak (8,047m), Lotze (8,516m), K2 (8,611m), and Everest (8,848m). He is also one of the few men to have achieved the feat of a mountaineer’s “Grand Slam,” having climbed the seven tallest peaks and having planted feet on the three terrestrial extremities, the South and North poles, and Mt. Everest.

People Strengths

6. Jamnyeo (Haenyeo)

The famed and historical slogan of Jeju, the three abundances (Samda), cannot be explained adequately without mentioning the abundance of women (Yeoda). Yeoda does not stem its meaning from the physical number of women in Jeju, but rather derives from the existence of Haenyeo, diving women, who were for many years the driving force behind Jeju’s economy. These strong women not only dived 100m into the water to provide food for their community, but also have a proud history of resisting occupation, fiercely fighting against the Japanese colonists in the 1930s. One can only find these unique women in Jeju and limited parts of Japan.

7. Soam Hyun Joong Hwa (1907~1997)

Born in Seogwipo, the great calligrapher Soam Hyun Joong Hwa was the first to introduce the calligraphic method of Yukjohaeseo into Korea in the 1950s. The method would later have become a significant influence on modern calligraphy not only in Korea, but also China and Japan. While his creations had been submitted to the National Art Exhibition during the 1950s and 1960s, from 1979 he returned home to Jeju to rest his genius until his death in 1997, producing several creative and master quality calligraphy works during that time.

Signature Strengths

8. Gapado

Covered in the comforting and nostalgic scenery of blue barley fields, the island of Gapado houses one of the most well preserved natural environments on Jeju. Clean, fresh seafood like conch and seaweed produced on Gapado are of a quality rarely found elsewhere. The well-known hospitality of the residents on this rural island and its fishing villages is guaranteed to warm the heart of every weary traveller.

9. Marado

At the southernmost end of Korea is the small yet charming island of Marado. The island is car-free by voluntary assent with only electric vehicles and bicycles allowed. In such a pollution-free environment, it is of no surprise that the seaweed, sea urchin, and abalone here are of the highest quality.

10. Seogwi ‘Forever’

In order to shop for some of the highest quality products on Jeju, one must be sure to visit the Seogwi “Forever” market. With quality assured, a package of the best “Seogwi” products available at the market includes: Seongsan silver sabre fish, Seongsan winter radish Soleo, Pyoseon soy paste, Pyoseon summer citrus tree, Bakyakbong deodok root (known for herbal restorative properties), Sumang-ri bracken, Anduk Korean beef, Daejung bedrock water, Jeju salted Jari fish, Bumseom salted conch, Halla shiitake, and Jungmun antibiotic-free pork.

ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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