<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
<Travel to Korea> Mokpo, the mecca of “time slip travel”
In South Korea, where everything is constantly changing, Mokpo City in Jeollanam-do is a place where you can walk around with a 100-year-old map. It is the only city that remains almost exactly as it was 120 years ago.

Mokpo was opened voluntarily in 1897 with the birth of the Korean Empire. After that, Japan developed Mokpo for the purpose of exploitation. Rice, cotton, salt, and seaweed were robbed through Mokpo, and at the same time, the soul of the people was wiped out. After the end of World War II, Mokpo entered a period of stagnation, pushed by other cities. Due to the slow development and near neglect of Mokpo, buildings and houses from the Japanese colonial period still remain in the old city center. The slow development saved history. Mokpo, which has become an irreplaceable retro tourist destination, exudes the charm of modern history and modern romance.

Mokpo grew with the sweat and tears of the Koreans who lost their country. Before the end of World War II, Mokpo was just a small fishing village with 600 people living in 156 households in Namchon and Bukchon. However, in 1932, the population exceeded 60,000 and developed into the sixth largest city in Japan. This was so that Japan at the time could transport resources from the Honam region (now Jeollabuk-do and Jeollanam-do) more quickly and efficiently.

Former Yogiura was mostly rice paddies and tidal flats, so there was not much land for people to live in. Much of the land that exists today was created through reclamation and reclamation beginning in 1899. Japanese people lived in the new land. Koreans who came here to work did not have a place to live, so they moved their graves to create a place to live.

Mokpo's image is 'strong and rough'. There is actually something wrong here. Mokpo's industrial center was a five-way intersection about a four-minute walk from the station. It is the intersection of five roads leading to Mokpo Station, Korean Village, Japanese Village, and Mokpo Port.

There are restaurants, photo studios, inns, general stores, etc. in the area around the five-way intersection, but because Japanese and Koreans lived together, there were often conflicts. Exploitation and plunder by Japan were frequent, but the loss of the country meant that the Koreans could not stand up to the troubles they had with the Japanese. It was a difficult time to survive if you weren't strong-willed. Koreans did not give in to Japan and confronted them with tenancy disputes and labor movements. This is an episode where you can see the unyielding spirit of Mokpo people.

A trip to Mokpo begins with a walk through the modern historical and cultural space. Even today, the old road structure and modern buildings with high preservation value remain as they were 100 years ago. Starting with the auditorium of Mokpo Public Simsang Elementary School (currently Yudal Elementary School) built in 1929, cultural properties are lined up on both sides of the road leading to the Mokpo Popular Music Hall (former Honam Bank).

Notable buildings include a Japanese-style house, the former Mokpo Prefectural Hospital official residence, the former Mokpo Japanese Christian Church, shopping street housing, the former Toa Women's Chamber Mokpo branch, and the Mokpo Beach Red Brick Warehouse. Even if you don't dare to look for it, if you're walking, you'll naturally see signboards. You can encounter the world of the past while walking here and there.

Buildings 1 and 2 of the Mokpo Modern History Museum are must-see buildings. If you walk through the old city center, you will see a Western-style red brick building located on a high place. Construction started in January 1900 and was completed in December. The exterior of the building has been preserved almost exactly as it was at the time, and it has excellent architectural value.

If you look down on Mokpo city in front of the history museum, you can see the Mokpo port and the open city about 1km ahead. Even if you don't know much about feng shui geography, you can get a feel for what it feels like to be in a feng shui good place. Japan built this building with the desire to rule Korea for a long time. On the outside of the red brick building, a Rising Sun flag pattern is carved out of white bricks.

Inside, you'll find a marble fireplace, a rickshaw, a cotton gin, and ceramic tableware with the words "Decisive Battle" written on it. There is also a reference room about the liberation of Mokpo, and a corner where you can experience the Banzai Movement while wearing uniforms, hats, and glasses from the period of Japanese rule.

If you walk about 4 minutes from here, you will find the building of the former Toyo Takushoku Co., Ltd. Mokpo branch. It is currently used as Mokpo Modern History Museum 2. The main business of Toyo Takushoku Co., Ltd. was to transport resources such as Korean land and grain. Perhaps because it's a place that symbolizes "looting" in Japan, the well-groomed gray concrete exterior looks oppressive.

After the end of World War II, it was in danger of being demolished. It was used by the military police of the Mokpo Sea Area Defense Command, but it became a vacant building. In 1995, along with the demolition of the Korean Governor-General's Office in Seoul, the navy, which was the owner, also tried to demolish this place, which was chosen as a symbolic place during the period of Japanese rule. When the hydraulic excavator that started the removal work began to destroy the attached building, a staff member who worked at Mokpo Cultural Center rushed to stop it. Thanks to efforts to protect the historical site, the building was designated as a designated cultural property in the same year, and in 2006 it opened as the Mokpo Modern History Museum.

The Mokpo Music Hall of Fame building is a renovated Hunan Bank Mokpo branch built in 1929. This building is the only post-WWII building that has survived to date and is of great historical significance. Established and operated by the wealthy locals, the building is a trace of efforts to cultivate the power of the nation's capital to stand up to Japan, and its value is even greater.

At the Mokpo Popular Music Center, you can find records of Lee Nan-young's hit song "Tears of Mokpo," gramophones from the Japanese colonial era, and gorgeous stage costumes and musical instruments. There are also record cafes, modern culture VR experiences, Mokpo popular music stories, and other attractions that will make you stop.
2023/03/22 13:14 KST