Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jinju fortress

A wonder around the fortress at Jinju is eye opening. Officially the Koreans call it a castle but it isn't in the british sense of the word. This wall is a depiction (and mysteriously a celebration) of some of the wars. You have to be silent when you visit.
This bell is rung out to warn the town folk of invasion and has been chimed by many of Korea's heroes.
Sometimes it is hard to show the inside of buildings that have been beutifully hand painted.
Many of the living areas were quite nice too though.
This is actually a buddhist monumnet on the left of the picture. I didnt go to close as people still pray there and were doing so as I went past. All of this is within the fortress walls.
This is a museum that has been built inside. It describes two famous battles. Why they were fought (more of a strategy than a slaughter) and how they were won and lost. Even when the Koreans lost to the Japanese they damaged the forces enough to make further invasion impossible.
There are many stories of heroes hidden in these houses.
I've never been one to miss a picture of a cannon. Even one from 1592. The main weapon that the Koreans used though was boiling water. It makes sense really, try climbing over afortress when people are throwing boiling water at you.
All of the commanders are given memorial tablets that look more like grave stones. No one knows many of the final resting places but they are all honoured.
During the war there were close to 70,000 townsfolk. The fortress was designed to hold 10,000 people. Guess why this was built?
Many of the items in Jinju commemerate leadership achievements. Some of it seems like propaganda but this man was loved by many. He was never honoured by the Korean kings for (ahem!) political reasons but his actions inspired many and created many stories of heroism.
The locals were proud and honoured him as only Koreans can. The plaques describe his efforts during two Japanese invasions and make it sound like he won the first almost single handed.

This woman is an interesting patriot. She is also remembered as a hero with words chosen carefully.
This is her memorial tablet out on the rocks by the river side. She was fed up of Japanese tyranny and so lured a Japanese commander here before throwing him off the rocks. David beats Goliath.
She is described delicately as a 'female professional entertainer' and is a heroic inspiration to many of the women struggling against Japanese 'oppression'. While I wasn't exactly imaging a woman in a clown outfit as I read this it still struck me as odd that a Korean (usually reserved people) decided to point out that she was a prostitute fed up of rapists. So much for womens lib. (doesn't really exist but Korea has signs of taking on board western ideals even if some of the older locals are traditional)


Chloe said...

i really love your tours. everything is so colourful.

Devil Mood said...

It IS nice, but what enchants me the most about it is the silence...I think it must be wonderful being there, all quiet, just the birds singing...I love silence!

Cathy said...

Hello Steve...I haven't been by in awhile. Thanks for the tour, and I'm glad you are well!

DayByDay4-2Day said...

I like the way you have included yourself in all the photos. YOur looking well.

Anonymous said...

Hi! How strange Steve. I just typed Jinju Fortress into Google as somewhere to visit and your blog came up! Stuart.