So we thought it would be nice to expand on your theory and give you all a little bit more insight into the stories behind the pattern meanings. What better way than to take you with us on a virtual tour of Korea and beyond! We will visit the birthplaces of scholars, a restaurant that witnessed the start of a revolution, a railway assassination site, a heavenly lake atop an extinct volcano, memorial parks and tombs, battle grounds, temples and a great wall built to defend against a Tang invasion. We can’t be there in person but between myself, Mr Newman, and the rest of the NMA teaching team we will be running, walking and cycling the journey of over 2,000 miles, keeping you up to date with our progress and sharing virtual postcards as we reach each location.
Are you ready to join us on our Tour Through Time?
Current Stop: Kangso-Kun County
Distance So Far: 1,307 miles
And we’re off! Well, Nick is! Our journey starts in Hwa Dae, Myonchon County in what is now North Korea. This is the birthplace of Major General Choi Hong Hi, the founder of Tae Kwon-Do. He was born here on 9th November 1918 whilst it was under Japanese rule and left at the age of 15 when his father sent him away to study calligraphy under Hang Il Dong, who was also a master of Tae Kyon, an ancient Korean art of foot fighting. From Hwa Dae we will be travelling 109 miles North West to the border of North…Keep reading
109 miles later and we are tired, soggy, and Rich is a little broken, but we are here at the highest peak in Korea; the Paektu (white-headed) Mountain. Atop this extinct volcano lies Lake Chon Ji, the “Heavenly Lake”, where the water is so clear and calm that you can literally see the heaven meeting the earth. This was also supposedly the home of Korea’s legendary founder Dan Gun. To celebrate our arrival we will be completing a bonus exercise of 109 mountain climbers before continuing our journey 271 miles North into China to the city of Harbin, but who…Keep reading
In March 1909 12 patriots including Ahn Joong-Gun swore an oath to sacrifice themselves for “the restoration of independence and preservation of peace in the East” forming the Donguidanjihoe society. As part of this they all cut off the first joint of their ring finger to show their faith in the cause. When the Resident-General of Korea, Hiro-Bumi Ito arrived at Harbin on 26th October 1909 it was to meet with Russian Finance Minister General Kokotseff. Russia was starting to get nervous about the Japanese after they had gifted “territorial rights” to Kando, a Korean city, to the Chinese on…Keep reading
After travelling 116 miles we arrive at the start of a great wall situated in present day China, but no it isn’t the great wall of China! This lesser known wall was built in 631AD by Governor Yong-Gae and is known as the “Cheolli Jangseong”, or Thousand Unit Wall, being a thousand “Li” (Chinese miles) long. The Li has varied over time but 1 Li is now known to be roughly 0.5km. The wall took 16 years to build and had numerous military garrisons posted along it. It was built by Governor Yong-Gae in response to a Tang invasion of…Keep reading
So after travelling 314 miles along the Cheolli Jangseong (Thousand Unit Wall) we have now arrived at Geonan, one of the major military garrisons, in present day Gaizhou. The Cheolli Jangseong was a formidable defence built at a time of relative peace between the Goguryo Dynasty and Tang Empire. Some believe that the building of the wall and subsequent dethroning of the King of Goguryo by Yong-Gae was a simple lust for power, where others felt they were important steps to strengthen Goguryo at a time when it was submitting to the Tang in the interests of maintaining peace. Ancient…Keep reading
We have travelled 122 miles to the coast and the Lushunkou District (formerly known as Port Arthur) where Ahn Joong Gun was imprisoned for the assassination of Hiro Bumi Ito. Ahn claimed he was a Lieutenant General in the Korean Resistance Army and demanded to be treated by the Japanese as a prisoner of war not a common criminal. He listed 15 offenses he believed Hiro Bumi Ito had committed which justified his execution. He was shown sympathy by his Japanese captors, with public prosecutor Mizobuchi Takao reportedly telling him “From what you have told me, it is clear that…Keep reading
Well that was a long stint! 230 miles of solely running since our last stop at the Lui Shung prison. A few of us have slowed due to injury but we are still going! We have now arrived at the Chongchon River and the site of the Battle of Salsu in 612AD. It began when Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty invaded Goguryo with well over 1 million men. It is said that the army was so large it took 40 days to depart and that the line of soldiers stretched back for 250 miles. King Yeong-Yang of Goguryo ordered…Keep reading
43 miles of running and we arrive in Kangdong at the site of the Mausoleum of Dan Gun on the slopes of Mount Taebak. The story of Dan Gun starts with the God Hwanin who sent his son Hwang-Ung to build a new country. Hwang-Ung settled on the slopes of the Paektu Mountain and one day met a tiger and a bear who asked to be transformed into human form. Hwang-Ung gave them 20 cloves of garlic and some mugworts and instructed them to eat only that and wait in a cave for 100 days. The tiger grew hungry and…Keep reading
33 miles later we arrive in Kangso-Kun County, Pyongyang, now part of North Korea. On 1st February 1883 Cho Man-Sik was born here. Cho Man-Sik, also known by his penname Ko Dang, was an activist within Korean’s Christian movement and an elder in the Presbyterian Church he attended in Pyongyang. From June 1908 to 1919 he studied law in Tokyo at Meiji University. He was influenced By the likes of Ahn Chang Ho and became involved with the Korean Independence Movement following Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910. Cho took part in the Sam Il marches of 1st March 1919…Keep reading