Seen in Jeonju

Archive for February, 2012

The Independent, May 9th, 1896

15th February 2012



There lies in the treasury a sum of $15,000 appropriated for the purpose of street improvement in Seoul. There is no more necessary work to be done than this. The condition of some of the main thoroughfares of this city is a disgrace to the government and any attempt to block the progress of reform in this particular is little short of criminal. Attention should first be paid to those streets loading to the city gates for these are the main arteries of trade and travel. The main street of the city from the West gate to the East gate is in fairly good condition as is also the South gate street.  The next is importance are the streets leading from the South gate and the little West gate which form a junction in what is called “furniture street,” terminating in the main street between Chong No and the palace boulevard. This is probably the most neglected street in the city, in spite of the fact that it is one of the most used thoroughfares. In wet weather it is simply a running stream of mud and filth through which the chair-men flounder. <Chair-men refers to the people who carried the seated nobles and officials when they went out in public–tom> The road has been encroached upon by houses on either side until the original sewers are entirely lost and the street itself becomes a channel of a filthy stream, dangerous alike to health and decency.  Korean officials coming to the foreign quarter to call on legations or consulates must pass through this street as likewise must the foreign representatives in going to the Foreign Office or elsewhere.  Even at considerable cost, the government must exercise the right of eminent domain and buy up at a fixed market price the houses that have encroached upon the street, pull them down and open up the sewers on either side. There is dirt enough piled up on the sides to fill in the center and make proper street, and all that would be required is the labor of the coolies.  The sale of the houses which are pulled down would largely cover this if the work is honestly carried out. This work would benefit not only the officials and foreigners but also the crowds of wood merchants and other country men who are continually using the street.  Other parts of the city also demand attention, notably the street leading to the so called “Deadman’s Gate” or the little East gate.  It would be well also to widen the street between the so called Mulberry Palace and the West gate. Outside the city two roads require attention, namely from the South gate to the river and from the West gate through the Peking pass.  This latter should be made thoroughly and permanenty passable for carts or other vehicles for it is the main route to the North. 

Brief Notices

In a recent lecture before the students of Columbia, New York, Dr. M.I. Pupin showed some remarkable effects of the New Roentgen rays. A glass tube was used, shaped like the letter T, from which the air was exhausted. At two-places, the base and left arm of the tube, a platinum wire entered and terminated in a disk. When a current of electricity of high tension was applied there was a distinct luminsity in the tube between the two disks. If the luminosity was diminished the rays from the disk in the left arm of the tube instead of following the electricity to the disk in the base of the tube passed across to the right arm and showed the peculiar blue tint known as finorescence. Dr. Pupin showed the photograph of a hand perforated with shot. A light shadow indicatd the flesh, a darker shadow was made by the bones and black marks showed where the shot lodged. Another result was shown in a photograph of a diamond ring. The setting came out balck and clear, but the stone was so light a shadow as to be scarcely perceptible. A ring holding an imitation diamond was also photographed by the rays. Though the stone was so like a real diamond the difference in the photograph was very decided. It was distinctly black like the setting of the ring.

The Magistrate of Chi Pyung reports that insurgents number 1200 are robbing and looting in that district and similar reports are received from two other districts in the eastern provinces.

The Governor of Chun Chun reports that two policemen were sent to a village on an official errand but were caught and killed by the rebels.

Col. Pak Nak Won reports that the insurgents are getting worse in Chun Eui, Mok Chun, Jin Chun and An Sung districtsand he has dispatched fifty soldiers to those places.

Kang Sang Nam and Yi Chung Sun of Ky Yang who were implicated in the murder of three Japanese have been tried and sentenced as follows. Kang Sang Nam receives 100 blows and is imprisoned for life with labor and Yi Chung Sun receives 70 blows and imprisoned for a year and a half with hard labor.

The prisoners who were implicated in the affairs of Oct. 8th and Nov. 28th have been tried and sentenced to be banished to several islands. They are still in prison awaiting the dispatch of a steamer to Chulla and Kyung Sang Provinces. One of them, Wu Nak Sun has already been sent to Pak Yung island off Whang Hai province.

The Chaplain of the Russian man-of-war Admiral Nakhimoff, Father Abel, and two Lieuts. T.P. Shamsheff and W.K. Neoupolkoeiff made a short visit to Seoul on Monday, and returned to the port yesterday. Lieut. A.K. Nebolsine who had charge of the guards at the legation has been replaced by Lieut. S.L. Hmeleff.

We notice in several of the China and Japan papers the statement that “The public trials of Koreans charged with complicacy in the coup d’etat of October last and the disturbance of November 28 was concluded on the 15th of April, but  the court reserved judgement, it being understood that the judges could not agree. The impartiality of the court was afterwards impunged and the King has ordered a new trial.”  This is something new to us.  So far as we can learn there was no disagreement between the judges and His Majesty has never ordered a new trial.

We would remind our readers again of the baseball game this afternoon at the Hun Yun An at 2 o’clock.

Prince Min Yung Ik who has been staying for some years in Hong Kong has sent for his wife to join him. <The nephew of the murdered Queen Min, Yung Ik (more frequently written Yong Ik) was among the first Korean ambassadors to Europe and the USA. He survived being shot in an assassination attempt where his life was saved by Dr. Allen. After the murder of his aunt, he fled to China where he earned a degree of fame as a painter before his death in 1913–tom>

The French papers do not consider the meeting between the Emperor William and King Humbert as possessing any political importance <the two monarchs were the rulers of Germany and Italy–tom>

The Russian warship, Navarin, a first-class ironclad of 9476 tons and two first-class gun boats have been ordered to sail for the Pacific. Russia evidently intends to be prepared for all emergencies in the Orient. <This ship took part in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion. It returned to the Pacific after a stint in the Baltic Sea but was sunk at the Battle of Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War–tom>

The Naval Training School in Kang Wha has been abandoned, and Prof. Caldwell who had been in charge of the school resigned and went home by the Higo Maru on Thursday.

The new Finance Minister, Sim Sang Heun, has not yet come to Seoul from his country home and the Vice Minister Yi Chai Chung has sent in his resignation.

The Russian Vice Consul M. Rospopoff sailed for Japan on Monday.

The steamer Shimagawa will leave Chemulpo at noon today for Japan via Fusan; and the Tayashima will leave Chemulpo for Japan at 4 o’clock this afternoon.

The wife of Kim Tai Young gave birth to girl triplets a few days ago. The mother and one of the triplets have died since and th remaining two infants were bought to the English Mission Hospital in Chong Dong and cared for by the Sisters in Charge.

Posted in The Independent: 1896 | Comments Off

Trailers for Korean Movies opening Feb. 16th

13th February 2012

This week, we have one Korean film opening in theaters and it will be a strong contender for the first place slot on the weekend box office charts despite how strongly Nameless Gangster has been performing.  The film is Howling, directed by Yoo Ha and featruing two exceptional stars in the leading roles, Song Kang-ho and Lee Na-yeong.  The movie is based on an award-winning Japanese novel with the English title of Hunter written by Asa Nanomi in 1996.

But while this is the only Korean film opening this week, there are other movies including the critically acclaimed US film, The Artist. Other films include Fay Grim (us), Descendants (us), Ghost Rider 3D (us), One For the Money (us), The Grey (us) and Woman in Black (uk/ca).

Posted in video & trailers | Comments Off

Korean Box Office: February 10-12

13th February 2012


The upper regions of this past weekend’s box office doesn’t look too much different from the previous week with two exceptions. Dancing Queen and Unbowed once again swapped positions  with the latter falling to Number 3. The other difference is the appearance of an animation from Iceland that took over the fourth place spot. That was no doubt helped by the fact that Thor was dubbed into Korean for the young audience it was intended for.  Nameless Gangster stayed came in on top once again and now has gathered nearly 2.5 million viewers in just two weeks. 

There is another change though.. this one in the information I am reporting in the image above. For the past several years, I had been showing the number of screens any given movie was being shown on. However, the source of this data, KOFIC, is now providing the number of screenings a movie gets over any given period of time.  This makes a big difference. For example, if you were to look at the number of screens Dancing Queen was released on (427) and compare it to the number Unbowed had (378) you might easily draw the conclusion that Dancing Queen came in ahead of Unbowed because it was on more screens. But, from the information we have now, we can see that Unbowed was actually screened more times over the same three day period and thus must have had fewer people at each show.

How does a movie get more screens but less showings?  That is easy. Very often a film shares a screen. Movies for young viewers often show in the morning or afternoon hours but their screenings are reduced at night and replaced by movies that adults would prefer. Or films that are on their way out may get only one or two showings a day, and the remainder of the time the screen is used for more popular movies.

Using the new information, I worked out something I have been calling MEQ (Met Expectations Quotient)– calling it to myself anyway because I have not talked about it with anyone. First I divide the number of showings a film received by how much it made in a given period (weekend–NOT the total number since opening data I show above). This yields a very small number which I multiply by a thousand so I can work with it more easily. I take that result and subtract it from one hundred giving me MEQ.  The closer to 100, the better.  For example, Nameless Gangster had 9550 screenings and was seen by 830,027 people this weekend. Dividing the latter into the former and I get .011505 which I multiply by a thousand to move the decimal point to 11.505.  Subtracting this from 100 gives me a MEQ of 88.49 which is quite good.  In fact, going back and calculating all the MEQs since the beginning of the year, I find a mean of 77.9 and a standard deviation of 11.97 which I will call 78 and 12 for convenience.  Basically, any MEQ falling between 90 and 66 is acceptable, maybe not economically but statistically.  What does it mean– I mean besides the fact that I seem to have too much time on my hands… Higher than 90 means it could have been screened a few more times and still made money. Lower than 66 means some buyers over-estimated how popular a film would be and gave it too many showings.

Here are what the MEQs look like for this week…  Nameless Gangster- 88.49, Dancing Queen- 81.65, Unbowed- 77.26, Thor- 84.54, Tarbosaurus- 84.70, Papa- 67.57, Star Wars- 67.81, War Horse- 58.72, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- 58.78, Happy Feet 2- 69.43

Since starting these calculations, the lowest MEQs I have seen was 42.1 on last week’s I Don’t Know How She Does It followed Neverending Story which in its second week of released only earned a 43.0.  The movie with the highest MEQ so far is Nameless Gangster. During its opening weekend last week it scored 90.23

I don’t know if I will continue posting these numbers as they really only show how well the buyers plan. I just find it fun to play with the numbers.

Posted in Box Office | Comments Off

Love Marriage (1958)

12th February 2012

58-047~3romantic comedy dvd setLove Marriage, directed by Lee Byeong-il and released in theaters back in 1958, is a part of the Romantic Comedy DVD Set (right), a collection featuring 3 romantic-comedies from the 1950s.  The other two movies in the set are Holiday in Seoul (1958) and A Female Boss (1959). The former film is quite good and I had watched it almost as soon as I received the DVD. I admit that I put off watching the latter and Love Marriage. Reading the descriptions of them, I felt that they probably had not aged very well and would seem too dated.  Well, there is no denying that the film is dated, but I should have given them a chance earier because they are in no way bad. In fact, in today’s film there are quite a few good points, interesting characters and some fascinating views of the rapidly changing society of post-war Korea.  It is true though that the entire premise may seem a little… archaic, but it was fun nonetheless.

The story focuses on the three daughters of Dr. Ko, eldest Sook-hee, Moon-hee and youngest Myeong-hee their various romances. When the movie opens,it is four years earlier and we are at the wedding of Sook-hee to Seung-il. We follow the pair to their honeymoon destination. There, Seung-il is struck with a sudden bout of guilt and confesses to his bride that she is not his first love but that he never regreted breaking up with his ex. He begs forgiveness which Sook-hee readily gives. She has been bought up in a very progressive home, but apparently had never read Tess of d’Urbervilles for she freely admits that Seung-il is not her first either, and that in her case, her first love died suddenly.  Oops… It is a good thing that they hadn’t unpacked yet because Seung-il is out of there faster than a bat out of hell.  Sook-hee returns home alone and retires to the second floor of the family home and stays there… for four years!

Sook-hee’s mother blames herself and her husband for allowing the pair to marry for love instead of following traditions and arranging the marriage. She vows that she will not make the same mistake twice and takes control of Moon-hee’s love life. Step one, get rid of the tutor who has been teaching Gwang-shik, the Ko’s only son who is struggling with English in middle school.  The growing affection between the two must be nipped in the bud if she is to go through with her plans of marrying Moon-hee off to her friend’s son Wan-seob who has recently returned from studying in the USA and is now a manager of a nylon company.  As attractive as that sounds, Moon-hee is having none of it and she also shuts herself upstairs in the house, hardly ever coming out and eating very little.

That leaves Myeong-hee, the bright, stubborn and thoroughly modern youngest daughter of Dr. Ko.  She is so modern that shortly after we are introduced to her, she comes into the room wearing capri pants .. three years before Mary Tyler Moore made them famous on the Dick Van Dyke show.  She has more than a liberal sense of fashion. She also has very liberal ideas about woman. She will never marry, she announces, because all men are stupid and she dreams of entering politics where she will outwit every representative in parliment.  But for now, she is in her last year of high school. Her parents are not worried about her proclimations for, although they admit she is more than a match for almost any man, she will have to marry after she graduates.  And her father has the perfect candidate, his woman-hating assistant Yeong-su. If anyone can win his frozen heart, he figures it would be Myeong-hee.

While those introductions make it sound as if the movie will be nothing short of antique, it is the characters, situations and scenes that make it good. Take, for instance, the upstairs space. We are told a strange story about the upper floor of the house. Gwang-shik tells his tutor that the room is haunted by the ghost of a woman, so abused by her mother-in-law and unhappy in her marriage, that she took her own life there. Gwang-shik even admits to being afraid of his oldest sister as she moves around like a woman more dead than alive. Moon-hee eventually joins her sister and we can see that despite its overly busy decor, it is a place of somber isolation with an atmosphere akin to a convent. More than anything, this is due to actress Choi Eun-hee who masterfully plays the role of Sook-hee.

Sook-hee’s change is dramatic from when we had first seen her. At her wedding and honeymoon, she wears decidely western clothes, however in the upstairs room she wears nothing but hanboks.. and white ones at that. White is a symbol of mourning and you can tell she has not smiled in the entire four years she has been there. The clothes in the movie are symbols of the characters thoughts and philosophies.  Sook-hee, when believing in love and the free will to choose, followed western fashions, as do her sisters who believe they can date as they wish. But once she returns home, she adopts the traditional dress of Korean women and with it their more conservative thoughts. Her mother, for her part, only wears the hanbok.  Myeong-hee has insights into this and, in a clever bit, mixes the two fashions of traditional and modern with eye-searing resutls, as her father keeps urging her to wear modern clothes while her mother has ordered her to wear a hanbok to meet a potential husband.

The characters discuss clothes more than once and Wan-seob at one point talks about how American women pick styles to reflect their characters. This sends the older woman into peals of laughter which only increases when the young man continues that in American their is a belief of ‘ladies first.’  Characters throughout the movie sprinkle English into their conversation as well to show how modern they are. Maybe you remember Kim Soo-mi in the movie Unstoppable Marriage in 2007?  Her character liberally used, and butchered English, to raise herself up in the eyes of others. That happens here as well and while it seems odd, it never tips into being ridiculous until the golf scene. There the audience can feel just how pretentious the characters are being dressed in glaring golf styles and speaking English constantly to show off. The movie then uses the grounded Yeong-su to pull everyone back in and remind the wayward Myeong-hee that she is a Korean woman and she needs to stop acting like a foreigner.

Even the all but forgotten Gwang-shik is a greater meaning. Near the end of the film, he walks off leading his father and traditional grandfather by the hand. His mother calls out to “Take care of your grandfather!” to which he readily agrees and the way the shot is framed we know right away that the mother’s plea was not directed so much at Gwang-shik as to the youth of Korea so they do not forget the generations past as they move forward with the changing times.

Love Marriage is a film that deserves a second and deeper look. It is much more than a rusty old love story, but a drama full of contrast and symbolic imagery where progressive ideas clash with tradition and somehow both come out in a good light. It might not be as deep as something like The Aimless Bullet which would eventually follow and paint a very bleak picture of that era but, as the box says, it is a comedy.  Many of the better known Korean films of this era dealt with poverty or the differences between the haves and have-nots. In Love Marriage, there is no such struggle and everyone in it is clearly in the upper tier of society. It may be hard to track down, but finding the DVD will provide a very different look at life in Korea in the late 50s than some of the more serious films of the time were doing.

Posted in 1950s, Review | Comments Off

DVD Releases: Feb. 12-18

11th February 2012

This week there are four Korean movies being released on DVD.  One of them, War of Arrows, I listed last week, but the release date was pushed back until Feb. 17th.  The rest are listed below.  I want all of these…. does that make me greedy?

dancing zoo

RyangKang-do; Merry Christmas, North! (pictured left)– directed by Kim Seong-hoon and Jeong Seong-san. Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for all ages/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 95 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: February 16th.

Dancing Zoo (center)– directed by Kim Hyo-jeong and Park Seong-yong, starring Han Hee-jeong and Moon Gu.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: ages 15+/ Format: 16:9 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0/ Running Time: 115 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price:  22,000 KRW/ Available: February 17th.

Hong Gil-Dong 2084 (right)– directed by Lee Jeong-in and voiced by Dong Ho, Kim Seung-yeong and Jeong Jae-heon.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: ages 15+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 93 minutes/ Suggested Retail Price: 22,000 KRW/ Available: February 17th.

Posted in DVDs: New Releases | Comments Off

Korean Blogathon 2012

10th February 2012


The following pst is lifted wholesale, with permission, from New Korean Cinema (  Last year was an amazing event and I can’t wait for this year’s to start!

Last year New Korean Cinema played host to the Korean Blogathon – a week which was used to try to shine the spotlight on Korean films and the people who are writing about them online. The response blew us away – over the seven days many great articles emerged from some brilliant writers and this created some interesting discussions about many varied aspects of Korean film and filmmakers. It was such a great event that we promised the Blogathon would return…. so here we go!

This year cineAWESOME! will be doing the heavy lifting by organising and hosting the event, but New Korean Cinema will be involved through both posting our own articles throughout the week as well as mirroring all of the links generated by everyone participating throughout the week on this years Blogathon page.

In order to spread the links as far as possible, all of this years links will also be mirrored by KOFFIA, Hangul Celluloid, Modern Korean Cinema and VCinema, so it’s a great opportunity to gain some exposure while discovering the many other great bloggers writing about Korean cinema within the online community.

For more information on this years event check out the Press Release from cineAWESOME! below:

Following last years successful Korean Blogathon (thanks to everyone who joined us!) New Korean Cinema and cineAWESOME! will be hosting the event again this year from 5th to the 11th March.

What’s the Korean Blogathon?

It’s a way to try to encourage as many people – including YOU! – to share and discover opinions and ideas about Korean cinema. It’s open to anyone – wherever you are around the world and whichever language you speak.

For one week we try to encourage as many people as possible to get involved writing about Korean cinema. Anything you want. Over the course of the seven days this kicks up some really interesting posts – and, most importantly, people are able to read what you’ve written and discover films and ideas that they’ve never come across before, maybe learn a little about Korean film history, or maybe even discover websites and blogs they were previously unaware of.

Ideas for blog posts might include reviews, top tens, opinions on favorite directors / actors / genres, whatever you want – it just needs to be related to Korean cinema in some way. Last year we had fifty blogs participate, generating one hundred and fifty posts!

Check out the links for last years event here. This year the event will be hosted by cineAWESOME! and mirrored at New Korean Cinema.

All you need to do to join us is to write a post – or as many posts as you want over the seven days – on your blog or website during the week of 5th to the 11th of March then send an e-mail to with your link to and we’ll post a link to you from the site. You can also post your own links on our Facebook page or we will do it for you, and we’ll Tweet links to your posts throughout the week: the Twitter tag for the week will be #koreablog.

So don’t forget: 5th to the 11th March is the Korean Blogathon. Get involved!

Posted in News | Comments Off

Index of 1970s Korean Movies– Jeong Jin-woo

9th February 2012

Jeong Jin-woo is one of my favorite directors of the 60s and 70s.  I especially like Early Rain from 1966 of which one of the films, Love in the Rain, is a remake.  From the decade that this post covers, I really enjoyed I Saw the Wild Ginseng.  Debuting as a director in 1963 and continuing through the early 90s, Jeong made 16 films during the 1970s.  Ten of these I had previously uploaded information for, so here are the remaining six. The info for the other films, and for many other directors, can be viewed by clicking the tab marked “the 1970s” at the top of this page. Click the thumnails below and expand to see a full sized image of these plates.

jeongjinwoo1975 endofanaffair, jeongjinwoo1975 loveintherain,jeongjinwoo1977 threefighters, jeongjinwoo1979 isawthewildginseng, jeongjinwoo1979 roseswallowedthorn, jeongjinwoo1979 scholaryulgok Up Next: Jeong So-yeong

Posted in K-Movie Index | Comments Off

The Independent: Thursday, May 7, 1896

7th February 2012

PB2603111The Independent vol. 1, no. 11

Brief Notice

A silversmith, Kim Man Su, has been counterfeiting ten sen pieces with a copper body overlaid with silver. This has been going on for some six months but the day before yesterday he ws arrested by the police.  They found in his shop sixteen counterfeit coins and apparatus for making the same. It does credit to the police force that they have been able to ferret out the case and bring the man to justice.

The newly commissioned army officers are taking a course of military tactics in the Royal Military School in Ke Dong. They will finish the course in three months.

It has been ordered by the Police Department that the names ofthe people living in each house be written on a pine board and posted at the gate or door of the house. Also births, deaths, and marriages must be reported to the police. Guards are placed at each of the city gates who will be investigate each corpse that is carried out and will ascertain the cause of death, the name of the burial ground and the number of the house where the deceased lived. We are glad to hear that the police are taking steps in this direction and hope they will perfect a system whereby vital statistics can be tabulated.

The Russian Admiral, E. Alexeieff, made a short visit to the Russian Legation in Seoul last Saturday and returned to the port on Monday. <Admiral Alexeieff was the Russian Viceroy to the Far East– tom>

Al the missionaries agree that tone ofthe most difficult modern languagesto acquire is the Chinese. Rev. J.F. Master says on this subject, “The great difficulty in acquiring the spoken language is the tones, the intersyllabic aspirates and the utter lawlessness of idiom. There are only about 700 distinct sounds in the language and a few month’s practice will easily master their pronunciation but it must be remembered that to each of these sounds there is attached a sort of metrical scale ranging from an octave to an octave and a half, giving a variety of tones which only a musical ear can detact… After learning Cantonese a few months I tried to preach a sermon… Some hearers remarked how much Chinese resembled English. Wrong tones, confusion of long and short vowels and blunders in aspirates had done all the mischief.

Mr. James Grasham of Chicago Ill. had invented a mechanical device for increasing the speed of steam-ships, whereby he claims that the Atlantic trip can be reduced by eight hours.

We notice in Japanese papers the statement that Russia and Japan are about to conclude a secret treaty concerning Korean affairs and that the two powers intend to establish a joint protectorate in this country. We give the report for what it is worth but we have no other evidence of it tha the statement of the Japanese papers. <This proves to be very important. During the course of 1896 this issue comes up several times with the Japanese papers denying such a treaty exists and then, in 1897 when the treaty (or most of it) is revealed publicly, several issues of the Independent are spent examining its ramifications for Korea–tom>

There will be a game of baseball on Saturday afternoon at the Hun Yun An between the Americans and British.  We expect it will be an exciting match and it will pay everbody to be present and watch the contest. The game will be called at two o’clock.

When the Korean government employed a Japanese named Okamoto as advisor in the War Office, he was provided with a house to live in while he was in Korean employ. After the affair of Oct. 8th, Okamoto was recalled to Japan by his government and the house was occupied by another Japanese not connected with the government, probably a friend of Okamoto.  A few days ago, the Korean government had use for the house and asked the occupant to move, but he wanted twenty days to get ready to move. When the time had expired he still refused to go saying that the house had been given to Okamoto permanently and that he had rented it from him.  The authorities made a thorough investigation of the records in the War Office or City Hall but there is nothing to show that the house was given to him. We are informed that the Governor of Seoul has asked the Japanese Consul, Mr. Uchida, to have the Japanese removed from the place. <This issue will be revisited, but not yet solved, in the May 14th issue–tom>

The Police Training School has been moved from Pak Dong to the mint building near the small West gate and the French school has been moved to Pak Dong.

Five new policemen have been selected from the Police Training School after examination of candidates.

Mr. Carl Wolter is in town <Carl Andreas Wolter was an associate of Mr. Heinrich Constatin Eduard Meyer. Meyer was a successful German businessman in Asia and he had Woltor establish the H.C. Eduard Meyer & Co. in Chelmupo in 1883. It was the only German trade company of that period. Meyer relocated to Hamburg as Korea’s honorary Consul in 1886 to represent Korean interests in Germany. Wolter took over the firm in 1907 and renamed it Wolter & Co. He and his family left shortly after for Europe and he left the firm in the care of Paul Shirbaum who continued to operate it until the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950.–tom>

Mrs. O. R. Avison is improving rapidly. <This is the wife of Dr. Oliver R. Avison, the man who shares credit for introducing modern medical techniques to Korea along with Dr. Horace Allen of the USA. Although born in England, he was a Canadian citizen after moving to Toronto when he was an infant. He was selected by the Presbyterian Church Mission Board in New York to run the government hospital in Korea. He arrived with his wife and 3 children in 1893. After struggling with epidemics and the growing population of Seoul, he secured donations from a U.S. benefactor (Mr. Louis Severance) and completed a new, modern hospital across from the Namdaemoon railroad station in 1904. He also new that the missionaries should not be running the hospital forever, so he immediately started a training school to teach medicine to Koreans. It became known as the Severance Medical College and his first class of graduates stayed on to teach the new generation of Korean doctors. Avison acted as President of the College. In 1916, his friend and founder of the Chosun Christian College (also known as Yonhi College) passed away, and he stepped into the role of President of that school which had only been in operation for a year. These two colleges eventually merged and became Yonsei University, one of the most prestigious universities in Korea today.  Dr Avison retired in 1935 and returned to North America. He passed away in Florida in 1956. There is a statue of him on the grounds of the Yonsei Nursing College to this day–tom>

At the request of the official in charge of the Government Schools we send the Independent to each of the students now in school.

Attention Bicyclists.  Home cities usually have a good track for bicycles. If such a thing is necessary where they have plenty of good roads, how much more desirable would such a track be here. The Government has kindly consented to allow us to build a cinder track around the drill ground in front of the Ha Tah Gam, inside the East Gate where the ball games are played.  The ground inside the track could be used for baseball, cricket, tennis, ect.  The large pavillion at that point will furnish ample shelter for ladies and others who wish to see sports. The grounds are just far enough away to give one a little necessary exercies while they are reached by the broad street, furnishing good access by bicycle, jinrikisha or other conveyance.<Jinrikisha is the Japanese term for Rickshaw–tom>


We notice in the North China Herald’s weekly issue of Apr. 24 that the Korean correspondent of that paper states that, “Its (The Independent’s) first editorial claims for its impartiality, but like everything else here, I am afraid it is entirely American or Russian.”  The gentleman argued entirely from his fears and not at all from facts. We would ask anybody to show a paragraph where American or Russian interests have been sonsulted in the columns of the Independent.  He says ‘American or Russian’ as if there were some understanding between the two powers or as if their interests lay parallel.  So far as we can discover the only thing they have in common is their satisfaction in the escape of His Majesty from a dangerous position and we should not be far from the mark if we were to state that both Americans and Russians would be pleased to see His Majesty return to his palace at the earliest possible moment consistent with the best interests of himself and his subjects.

He says that, “The Russians took the lead in politics.”  This statement shows a woeful lack of knowledge of the facts.  Our readers will see in another column of this issue that the Japanese, so far from having  “lost all political influence,” are still strong in the peninsula, at least that their claims to interest are not being overlooked.

The statement that by the help of the Russians the Americans have taken a similar position in commercial matters hitherto held by the Japanese, is likewise laughable.  A contarct for a railroad has been made with an American firm but how that proves American commercial superamcy is a question.  There are several thousand Japanese merchants in Korea. It will cause a smile in Seoul to reat that by the help of the Russians the Americans obtained this “commercial supremacy.”

The statement that the term sof the railroad contract “were kept secret” is somewhat questionable, for a day or so afterit was made the columns of the Independent containted the gist of the whole thing.  

It is not claimed that the present condition of thing here is satisfactory to those who wish well for Korea for her own sake.  All are waiting anxiously to see the present government develop some plan of action that will tend to bring things to a normal level. The very fact that there seems little progress shows that neither Russian nor any other outside influence is being brought strongly to bear upon the present government. Whether the outcome will be a protectorate, single or joint, time alone will tell. Meanwhile Korea needs a strong, steady hand and a clear head to steer her through these present troubles to the better times which we believe are to come.

Posted in The Independent: 1896 | Comments Off

Trailers of Korean Films for release on Feb. 9

6th February 2012

This week, there is just one Korean film to be released and it is likely to have just a limited screening in the arthouse theaters scattered around the country. The movie is a documentary called Two Lines (formerly known as Must We Get Married?) It follows a couple, one of whom is the director, who have been living together for many years, who now find they have many choices to make when the woman becomes pregnant. At the end of the tagline in Korean at the end of the trailer calls the film the ‘anti-marriage documentary’ which sets it far apart from what most dramas and romances would have us believe is the ideal in Korea. Here is the trailer:

The other movies that are opening this week are from all over the world. From Asia we have Slapstick Brothers and Cut from Japan and Legendary Amazons from China. Films opening this week originating in Europe are Thor (Iceland), Same Same But Different (Germany), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (France), Mr. Nice (England) and War Horse which is a British and American co-production. From North America we have Star Wars: Episode 1 in 3D.

Posted in video & trailers | Comments Off

Korean Box Office: Feb. 3-5

6th February 2012


This was a very good week for Korean films. The top five movies in the box office chart were all Korean movies.   The new film, Nameless Gangster, bumped everything down at least one place as it took the top spot away from UnbowedDancing Queen, Tarbosaurus and Papa filled out the top five.  After earning more that 7.5 million viewers, Mission Impossible dropped to number 10 and will probably drop out of the top ten list next week. 

One thing I like about the new KOFIC website is that it now shows the number of screenings a film has within a given time period which is actually more useful than just the number of screens.  I have been playing with those numbers a little and may have some interesting things to show later this week.

Tomorrow I will post the trailers for the new Korean movies and a list of the international films opening in Korean theaters this week.

Posted in Box Office | Comments Off