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Hangil Memorial Hall

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 4, 2009

November 27, 2009

All Pictures

The Japanese occupation of Korea


The writing in this museum was mostly in Korean. When I got home I couldn’t find any information about this museum or the events that were described there. What I do know I’ve pieced together from books I’ve read, wikipedia.org, and a pamphlet I got from the museum with a tiny bit of English in it.*

* I lost the pamphlet in my move to Thailand so now I have no information about the museum. If anyone has any information about the resistance on Jeju island, please leave a comment below.

In the late 19th century many Western countries were colonizing Asian and African countries with the benefit of trade and economic power. Japan saw this and began to think. Would they soon be crippled economically? How long before some European country slithered its way into Tokyo like the British did to India?

Japan, in order to protect itself, needed to be bigger, stronger, and more modern. It needed help. It looked to Korea, its closest neighbor, but Korea, at the time was heavily influenced by China. Japan needed to get in and break that bond.

Japan wanted Korea to sign a treaty that would allow Japan to trade with Korea and, at the same time, disconnect Korea from its protection by China. This treaty was called The Treaty of Ganghwa. (Yes, the same island I love to go to for camping.)

Korea, having had bad experiences with the French occupying the island of Ganghwa, and some fights with the Americans over trade, didn’t want to enter any more trade agreements with anyone. The Japanese weren’t going to take no for an answer and forced the Koreans to sign the Treaty of Ganghwa. The Japanese got a better deal than the Koreans in the pact.

In 1905 Japan occupied Korea. In 1910 Korea was officially annexed. If you have read anything about Japan around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, you know that Japan was sadistic and cruel to its enemies which was basically anyone not Japanese.

revenge (A Japanese soldier tied up by Koreans)

The Koreans did not like the annexation by Japan at all. There were many protests and demonstrations by the Koreans hoping to get the Japanese out of their country. The results of these protests were normally the imprisonment, beating, torture, and execution of the Korean resistors.

There are numerous accounted and unaccounted incidences of Japanese cruelty towards the people of Korea. The brutality was not saved for just protesters, though. If a village were thought to be hiding rebels, all the people in the area would be rounded up and killed. At the museum, we saw pictures of mass graves for murdered children. The Japanese also used many Koreans females as “comfort women“.

While under the Japanese rule, many roads and railway systems were built. This was done mainly to help the Japanese military with easy access throughout Korea to ensure Japan’s hold on the country. The roads are still used today and the railway system is the basis of today’s KTX.


The annexation of Korea ended in 1945 when Japan surrendered to the US. Korea was carelessly split into two countries. The north was under the protection and influence of Russia. And the south was under the protection and influence of the United States. None of these countries fully trusted any of the other countries.

To foreigners living in Korea, it would seem that the relationship between the Korea and Japan is strained with petty squabbles over tiny rocks in the Sea of Japan. Even the name “Sea of Japan” will cause anger to Koreans who say that the water should be called the “East Sea”.

But overall, relations between Korea and Japan are pretty good considering all that has happened between the two countries. Japan has never officially apologized for all the heinous and inhumane acts committed against the Korean people and it probably never will. Korea does trade and conduct business with Japanese companies, though you will still see people of the older generation picketing outside a Toyota or Honda dealership in Seoul.

The Japanese on the other hand adore K-pop, K-dramas, and Korean celebrities. They seem not to fully understand what happened with Korea, why Koreans dislike Japan, and a small fringe group of Japanese wonder why the Koreans in Japan don’t “go home”. But, Japan is this way with many countries. Unlike in Germany, students in Japan are not taught the negative aspects of Japan’s history, so most Japanese really don’t understand the cause of the tension.

All Pictures

South Korea

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible or most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.






Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets, muggers, or scam artists. Use common sense and you will be okay. Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

You should watch out when crossing the street, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and little old ladies will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 year and had a fantastic time.

Jeju Island

How to get there:

  • 33°30’26.8″N 126°29’32.8″E

From Seoul or Incheon:

  • By Boat fromthePortofIncheon
    • Depending on the time of year the fare to Jeju by boat will be cheaper than flying. But for us, traveling in the non-peak season for air travel, it was almost double the price of a cheap flight.
    • Cost: about 65,000KRW  one-way or more depending of the accommodations
    • Phone: 721-2173
  • ByPlanefromGimpo Airport
    • The best way to find cheap flights is to go wikipedia, look up the airport of your destination (Jeju International Airport) , find out what airlines fly there and from where. Then go down the list of airlines. Check out their website for flights costs. It doesn’t hurt to check out a few flight search engines like orbitz or priceline. We got our tickets from JejuAir with the help of a Korean speaker. They were less than 200,000KRW for 2 round trip tickets.

From outside Korea:


  • Public transportation on Jeju Island is a real pain. Rent a car or scooter or bring a really interesting book.
  • Even though it is called the Hawaii of Korea, it is not warm there in the winter.

Gimpo Airport

to get there:

  • 37°33’31.2″N 126°47’40.0″E

From Seoul

  • By Subway:
    • It’s easy, just go to Gimpo Airport subway station. If you live anywhere near a line 9 station, then you can take advantage of the express train to Gimpo.
  • By Bus:
    • All the airport limousines to Incheon Airport from Seoul stops at Gimpo Airport. Just look out for the bus stops with a plane on them. These buses cost 8,000KRW without a T-money card and 7,500KRW with one.



  • Gimpo Airport is not even close to being as nice as Incheon airport.
  • There is a movie theater over at the international terminal, but there is not much to do or eat once you go past the security check.
  • Make sure to eat before you go past the security check. There is a restaurant inside but every time I’ve seen it, it was either not opened yet, already closed, or there was nothing decent to eat.

Jeju City Bus Terminal

How to get there:

  • 33°29’58.9″N 126°30’53.7″E

From the Airport:

  • Take the #100 city bus.
  • They use the English word for “terminal” so when the stop is near you will hear the word in English.
  • You can use your T-Money card on all public buses on this island.


Jeju IntercityTerminal
2441 Ora 1-dong, Jeju City


Yeha Guesthouse

How to get there:

  • 33°29’59.7″N 126°31’33.9″E
  • by taxi: 3 minutes from Jeju Airport (3,000KRW)
  • by bus:
    • take the #100, get off at Jeju bus terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.
  • fromJeju Port Terminal:
    • Take the #92 bus (1,000KRW),
    • get off at the Jungangno crossroads near the KB bank.
    • Then transfer to the #100 bus (1,000KRW)
    • get off at Jeju Bus Terminal.
    • From there, it is a 3 minute walk. Just go straight in the direction the bus was going.
    • You will cross a little bride.
    • After you pass the intersection after the bridge look out for the guesthouse on your right.
    • You will have to cross a parking lot to get to it.

Yeha Guesthouse 561-17,
Samdo 1-dong Jeju-si, Jeju Island


  • +82-64-713-5505


E-Mail: yehaguesthouse@hotmail.com


  • It’s way better than staying at a love motel.
  • It comes with free breakfast,
  • free internet,
  • free wireless internet,
  • free laundry,
  • free international phone calls,
  • free use of the kitchen…
  • Most of all, it’s clean.
  • If you book your stay through hostelworld you’ll get lower rates.

Hangil Memorial Hall

How to get there:

  • 33°32’29.8″N 126°38’34.6″E
  • Take the bus from Jeju City Bus Terminal gate 4.
  • Say that you want to go to Hangil Memorial in Jocheon.

Address: 1156 Jeju jocheoneup Jocheon-ri-gu

제주 제주시 조천읍 조천리 1156번지


  • 064-783-2008


  • 500KRW


  • 9:00-18:00 Museum,
  • Outside area is always available
  • Closed Jan 1, Lunar New Year Holidays, Chuseok




One Response to “Hangil Memorial Hall”

  1. […] read some of my blog entries like the one about the Seodaemun Prison or the one about the Hangil Memorial Hall, you already know that Japan was up to some no good shenanigans during the early part of the […]


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