Monday, December 19, 2011

Old photos of Jeollanam-do and Gwangju.

1941 Jeollanamdo Provincial Office
Taken in front of the Jeollanam-do Provincial Office, 1941.

Sajik Park
Sajik Park observatory in the foreground, Gwangju and Mudeungsan in the background.

Building Chosun University 1951
Chosun University under construction, 1951.

For a while I've been collecting old photos of Jeollanam-do and Gwangju---politically part of South Jeolla province since 1986---and recently started to put them in one place. Finding pictures of what southwestern Korea used to look like is generally much harder than finding old photographs of Seoul, and even Pyeongyang. Some local governments, schools, and charitable organizations have fortunately documented and preserved the photographic history of the region.

Suncheon English class.
English class in Suncheon under Japanese rule.

Suncheon fortress, South Gate
Suncheon Fortress's South Gate in the 1920s, at the present-day location of the entrance of the 중앙시장 in "Old Downtown".

1960s Suncheon
Aerial view of Suncheon, 1960s.

About 200 more, and growing, on the Old Jeollanam-do Flickr gallery. Sources have been cited when possible, though a lot of these have circulated on numerous blogs throughout the years and it's hard to pin down dates, details, and credits. Frequently Naver bloggers will take old photos, put big watermarks across them, and disable right clicks, leading visitors to believe the best way to preserve local history is to make it inaccessible to everyone else.

Bbong Bbong Bridge 1960
뽕뽕다리 across Gwangjucheon, 1960.

Chonnam University 1959
Chonnam National University campus, 1959.

Gwangju cherry blossoms 1955
Cherry blossoms in Gwangju, 1955.


Mike said...

The classroom picture looks strange. All the students are awake.

Mike said...

And it's interesting to see what they're studying. It looks like a quote from Hamlet:
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.(Act 1, Scene 2)
. . . and sea routes from England to France.

BuckyHermit said...

In terms of classroom design, it looks EXACTLY like the classrooms at the school in Seoul that I taught at (besides the Japanese flag).

I'm really shocked at that.

Brian said...

Yep, if you colorized it a little and replaced the flag with a Korean one, it'd be practically identical.

Only difference is their 1930something English book was probably better than what they have today.

hoihoi51 said...

>The classroom picture looks strange. All the students are awake.

Mike said...

That's a fascinating clip about Japanese colonial education.

kushibo said...

Nice pictures, Brian.

Hope to see more great stuff in the new year.

새해 복 많이 받에세요.

Brian said...

Thanks, kushibo. I wouldn't hold your breath, though, I'm kinda done.

I blogged steadily through my first year back in the US and very sporadically during my second year, but ended up disappointed with about half the entries I put up. Except for some of the local news coverage--which I enjoyed researching and writing, and which didn't turn up anywhere else--a lot of the entries just weren't very good or readable compared to what I was able to do while looking, listening, and learning for myself in South Korea. I'm still interested in local goings-on in Jeollanam-do, but I don't follow news carefully anymore and don't feel the same interest in blogging thrown-together posts about what very few English teachers in Jeollanam-do might skim. Things have changed far too much among the K-blog scene since early-2010, mostly not for the better, and it's easier to just ignore them and not read them than to try to participate from half-a-world and several teacher-generations away. I ignore my Google Reader, do my best to avoid Facebook for all but my current projects and staying in touch with close real-life friends, and am happy to be away from daily, round-the-clock blog craziness for the first time in about four years.

I figured this collection of photos--which I had been working on for months, but had the unfortunate coincidence of coming out a few hours before all the "Kim Jong-Il died" posts everywhere else did--would be a decent one to leave atop the blog for a good while.

Brian said...

But I'm happy I never jumped the shark and put up any "sorry for not posting in a while~!" posts, the way far too many blogs die.

kushibo said...

Well, there's no law that says you have to blog every day. In fact, when things in real life have forced me to go dark for a day or two or three at a time, I've found that my hits actually go up.

To be honest, I haven't really noticed any lack of quality in your sporadic posting, and you do fill a niche in terms of focusing on a region that many neglect, so I encourage you to post the odd thing here and there that catches your eye, even if you don't keep watch on Korea-related or Chŏlla-related news so regularly.

I think some of your readership might be interested in some of the transitional stuff, as well. Your move back to the States is something that many will be facing in the foreseeable future.

(I've been holding back on a piece on how Hawaii seems at times, believe it or not, to be even more dangerous than Seoul driving.)

The Sanity Inspector said...

Remarkable pictures, thanks. Hope you're enjoying your blog retirement.

Brian said...

Thank you, sir. said...

This is great- I'm so happy I found this blog!

Vie Tebe said...

Nice Blog.. nice photos

thx for sharing

Kstylick said...

I miss your posts. Just like these photos they are to be cherished. Maybe we could follow each other on Bloglovin and/or GFC?

Please leave me a comment on my blog and I will follow you!