Seen in Jeonju

Archive for August, 2012

Computer Problems…

27th August 2012

7807I am experiencing some technical problems with my laptop.. such as the disappearance of the number ‘NINE’ on both the keyboard and the number pad on the side, a constantly sticking ’s’ and ‘w’ that makes typing very slow, and the fact that my ‘print screen’ key refuses to work. Normally, I would simply type my posts at work, but with the new semester starting next week and the new language center I made for the university ready to start accepting students, I have been busy whenever I have stepped into my office.  I guess I will have to buy a new laptop… I will be posting regularly again as soon as possible… hopefully within this week


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Trailers for this week’s Korean Films: August 23rd

21st August 2012

There will be three Korean films opening in theaters this Thursday and I am going to begin with the one I have been expecting the most since I first saw the posters.. The Neighbors. One woman takes it upon herself to find the killer of her step-daughter, but can she unravel the mystery before the murderer strikes again?

The second film is a documentary in which several independent film actresses allow themselves to be followed by cameras during the course of their daily lives. The movie is entitled My Selves.

Finally we have 90 Minutes, a tale of blackmail and revenge starring Joo Sang-wook and Jangmi In-ae.

Other movies opening in Korean theaters this week include: You Are the Apple of My Eye (tw), Red Lights (es), Fortress of War (by), Dragon Pearl (au), Hysteria (uk), 5th Quarter (us), Janie Jones (us), Swing Vote (us), and Red State (us)

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Korean Box Office: August 17-19

20th August 2012


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New Korean DVDs: August 19-25

20th August 2012

no dvd

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The Independent: Saturday, July 11th, 1896

16th August 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 42 from Saturday, July 11th, 1896.  <<REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom>>  In this issue: The editor gives his opinion of the state of the Korean military and there are a lot of bulletins discussing foreign news.



The Korean army is a good deal in evidence these days and whatever may be said of the army as a whole, a good deal seems to be done by it in parts.  We hear every day of a victoryover the insurgents in some place or other.  They seem to fight fairly well and cannot be said to lack in bravery.  But this goes dead against all that has ever been said or written about Korean soldiers during these last years and there must be some reason for it.

So far as physique is concerned the Korean has a decided advantage over all eastern peoples with the exception of the northern Manchu soldiers who are stalwart, powerful fellows.  One of the marked characteristics of the Korean is his ability to walk long distances at a stretch.  He has a light, springy step that takes him along at four miles an hour all day long, and a hundred li, or thirty miles, is only a common day’s walk for a Koran travelling in the interior.  If need be he can raise the figure to forty or fifty miles a day and keep it up for days in succession.

From the earliest days of Koran history till the present time the crying need has been for proper leaders.  It is well known that in China and Korea military rank is not on an exact level with civil rank but is a step below, and so through all the centuries the best places in the army have been filled by men who were not bred to the profession of arms but who had enough influence to secure the best military positions in connection with other offices of a civil nature.  The consequence has been that until the present time the higher the military rank of a man the less in all probability has been his knowledge of military matters.  In other words no one would care to stake his career on military success if by any means he could achieve success as a civil officer.  Consequently the best things in the army have fallen into the mouths of civilians who were not at all skilled in the art of war or even in the managing of an army in time of peace so as to make it effective if a war should break out. Perhaps the latter is the more difficult of the two.

It is true in Korea as it is everywhere that soldiers are governed to a considerable extent by the opinion they have of their officers.  So when we put two and two together it is not difficult to see where the onus lies of the charge that the Korean army is not effective.  What the army could do if all drawn up together in battle array against an enemy of equal numbers we would not venture to say, but one thing is certain; the small companies of sildiers that go here and there fighting the insurgents are led by captains who have themselves perhaps known what a soldier’s life is and who are willing to go in front of their men into an engagement.  And we find them uniformly successful. The soldiers have confidence in the judgement and bravery, and follow unquestioningly.

The time must come when an army position will be as high an honor as a civil position.  Look at Germany, England, or France.  The military man is rather higher in general esteem than the civilian and there is a consequent emulation in the work of preparation for such positions, with the result that the best men come to the top and a well officered army is possible.  And in nine cases out of ten a well officered army is a good army.  See what Gordon did with the Chinese and what English officers are doing with Indians.

The military spirit, developed in the schools, is a good thing and in time the army will benefit from it, but first and foremost we must see the tiger put on an equality with the stork so that the army may offer a career which will satisfy the most amibitious youth of Korea.

Brief Notice

Col. Liebert of the Prussian service has accepted the Mission of organizing the Chinese army, and will leave for China next week. He will be accompanied by German drill instructors.

Dr. Prout’s cholera vaccine is said to be almost a certainty.

The British Navy Estimate for 1896-7 include a sum of 7,380,600 Pounds for new construction and provides for a strength of 93,750 officers and men.

Princess Chun, the mother of the Chinese Emperor died on the 18th June.

Dr Yerzin has experimented successfully at Canton with his injection serum of plague.  At the very first trial the patient was cured, the bubos went away and the fever went down.

Marquis Yamata left Marseilles on June 21st for home.

It is reported in Japan that Baron Nishi, the present Minister to St. Petersburg will succeed Count Mutsu in the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The noted French statesman M. Jules Simon died some time ago, and the Chamber of Deputies has voted ten thousand francstowards the cost of the funeral obsequies. The German Emperor sent a floral crown on the day of the funeral.

The French Senate passed the 1900 Exposition Bill.

Both Marquis Yamagata and Viceroy Li Hung Chang received a decoration from the Emperor of Russia.

The total amount of the Armenian Fund collected by the Independent is $210, and Mr. J McLeavy Broun, of the customs has kindly secured a London draft for 25 Pounds which will be sent to the American Representative in Constantinople to distribute the money among the suffering Christians of Armenia.

Policeman Yu Han Kiu came to the station in an intoxicated condition and abused the officer in charge. He was discharged immediately.

Two coolies were making repairs in one of the houses outside the little West gate, when the roof fell down and injured them severely.  They were taken to the Government hospital for treatment.

A child 3 years old while playing under the South Mountain, fell into a mud hole which was full of rain water. The child was drowned.

Lieut. Kim Kiu Sung captured twelve insurgents in Yang Keun including the one who was shot and the rest, eleven men, are now in prison.

Magistrate of Chi Re reports that a man named Cho Dong Sik, calling himself the commander-in-chief of the insurgents, threatened to invade Mu Ju district with 200 men.  The acting Governor of Tai Ku sent 60 soldiers to Mu Ju to give the invaders a fight.

The acting Governor of Song Do reports thta a band of insurgents came to Tiosan and carried away $2500 from the wealthy citizens of that district, and from there tehy went to Sin Ke district.

The Governor of Tai Ku reports that the insurgents do not attempt to fight with the Government troops, but they run away whenever tehy hear of the approachof the latter. They come together again as soon as the Government soldiers leave the place.  The Governor requests the War Office to let the troops remain in one place for some time so that it will be a permanent benefit to that locality.

The Korean Post Office received and delivered first and second class matter during the month of June to the extent of 15,408 pieces, an increase of 3,375 over the month proceeding.

Prof. Langley of the Smithsonian Instituition in Washington, has at last perfected his flying machine called “aerodrome.”  Two upward ascents of about half a mile were made at a speed of twenty miles an hour. The machine made in motion suggests a huge bird, soaring in large curves. When the steam gave out, the aerodrome sank gracefully and was picked up undamaged.

The Monroe Doctrine is a plank in the Republican platform with a very emphatic declaration that under no pretext will any increase of European dominion in America be permitted.  Hopes are also expressed of the eventual entire withdrawal of European rule from America.

The rebellion in Mashonaland is spreading, and the natives are massacring the whites in the outlying farms in the Salisbury and Mazoe districts.  All the outlying whites have been ordered into laager in Salisbury where there is a scarcity of men.  Troops from the Cape now at Mafeking have been ordered to Mashonaland.

It is really surprising to see how generous and public spirited these Koreans are. The contributions of the Independence Park are coming in constantly and the amount is nearly $1000. Among the many contributors Dr. H.N. Allen made a handsome donation to the Fund.

“How intense are the fires of love!” ejaculated the poet. “Yes,” answered the father of six marriageable daughters; “but they do take a lot of coal.”

Miss Summit– “Mr. Fiddlestick wanted to send you a birthday present, but I told him you had stopped having birthdays ten years ago. Was I right?”  Miss Palisade–”I believe so. I know it was two years after you stopped.”

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Index of Korean Films of the 1970s: Kim Jeong-hyeon

15th August 2012

Kim Jeong-hyeon was born on July 4th, 1942 in Jinju where he completed his education at the middle school level. He had one be involved with movies but without education or connections it seemed hopeless. He was considered to be good-looking so he attempted to audition as an actor, but failed. Instead, he wound up with a job as a cameraman and later an assistant director. From on site experience, he received the training he needed to become a director. 1976 was the year he debuted with If You Cry, You Are a Fool. However, he only made a handful of movies and the last film credited to him was in 1985.  He passed away on October 5, 2009.

His two films from the 1970s are depicted below. Click the thumbnail to view a full-sized image.  You can also view information for other films from this decade by clicking the tab at the top of the page marked ‘the 1970s’ 

kimjeonghyeon1976-- ifyoucry ,    kimjeonghyeon1979--thirdhangangbridge

Coming up next: Kim Jeong-yong

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New Films Opening This Week: August 16

14th August 2012

This week we have the opening of what started as a remake of Shin Sang-ok’s classic film Red Muffler.  The movie went through several name changes but is now called R2B which is shorthand for Return to Base.  It is directed by Kim Dong-won and stars the singer Rain (real name Jeong Ji-hoon) in the lead role alongside Yoo Joon-sang and Shin Se-kyeong. 


We also have the Total Recall remake as well as Carnage (fr), Cold Fish (jp), Dragon Eyes (us), Step Up 4 (us), and Intercepter (ru). Usually, new movies in Korea open on a Thursday but about half of the films listed here opened a day earlier because of the holdiay.. and R2B opened two days ealier than usual.

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Korean Box Office: August 10-12

13th August 2012


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Korean Films on DVD: August 12-18

11th August 2012

This coming week will see three new movies released in DVD format.

M2012070643006  M2012071343086  M2012080243295

Pictured above left is EUNGYO directed by Jeong Ji-woo and starring Park Hae-il and Kim Go-eun.   This film is being made available in both a 2- and 3-disc set.  Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for mature audiences/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 129 minutes plus 87 minutes of extras on the second disc and the OST in the three disc version/ Recommended Retail Price: (2-disc) 23,100 KRW, (3 disc) 25,300 KRW/ Available: August 14th.

In the center is LATE AUTUMN starring Hyeon Bin and Tang Wei, directed by Kim Tae-yong. Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean, English, and Chinese/ Rating: for ages 15+/ Format: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital: 5.1/ Running Time: 113 minutes/ Recommended Retail Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: August 17.

The third movie available this week is AS ONE and I admit to being surprised that this successful film is getting just a 1-disc release .. The movie stars Ha Ji-won and Bae Doo-na and it is directed by Moon Hyeon-seong.  Number of discs: 1/ Subtitles: Korean and English/ Rating: for ages 12+/ Format: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen/ Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/ Running Time: 127 minutes/ Recommended Retail Price: 25,300 KRW/ Available: August 17.

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The Independent: Saturday, July 9, 1896

10th August 2012

Continuing with my project of retyping the issues of Korea’s first English-language newspaper, The Independent, this week features the next edition, vol. 1 no. 41 from Thursday, July 9nd, 1896.  <<REMINDER: The Independent was written over 100 years ago and the opinions expressed within DO NOT reflect my own . –tom>> In this issue:   A resident of Pyeng Yang (Pyeongyang) sends in a report on the state of affairs there, the latest news on the coming railroad in Korea, and the governor of Namwon receives praise.



The railroad ball has evidently opened in Korea. The concession to Americans of a raodway between Seoul and Chelmupo and a definite agreement about the terms has wakened other investors to the railroad possibilities of Korea.  And now an agreement has been made with a French syndicate for the building of a railroad between Seoul and Wi Ju on precisely the same terms as those specified in the agreement with the American syndicate, with the exception that a longer time is gien for the commencement and finishing of the road.

The government grants the site for the entire road bed without any further concessions of land or other property.  The road is to be begun within three years and is to be completed within nine years.  At the end of 15 years the government will have the option of buying.

It will be noticed at a glance that this road will be different from the one between Seoul and Chemulpo in several striking particulars, but will be none the less valuable to Korea as a whole. The road from Seoul to Chemulpo will be the great artery by which all manner of goods from abroad will reach the capital.  It will not be a great distributor except insofar as the produce in the immediate vicinity is concerned, but this Seoul Wi Ju road will tap a very rich and populous part of Korea, running as it wiil through the heart of Whang Hai province. Pyeng Yang will mean more to it than Seoul will, for there it will touch a port, for of course Pyeng Yang will be opened to foreign trade.  Of course in time there will be more through-trade from Russia to Seoul but it can never compete in bulk with the ocean borne trade. It will then have Pyeng Yang as its powerful center and it will branch out its arms into Pyeng Yang and Whang Hai provinces, carrying the rich produce of these sections to the port for export and in turn distributing the products of western lands throughout the North.  It thus appears that while the Seoul Chemulpo road will do most of its business in transporting imports, the other will be a great avenue for exports as well, and in this sense will have a double advantage.  On the other hand a short road, easily kept in repair, between two such important points as Seoul and Chemulpo cannot but have the brighter prospect for immediate financial success. Its work is all ready for it the day it opens, but in the other case the traffic will have to be “worked up” and the more stubborn prejudices of the country people will have to be gradually overcome, and this takes time.  In many ways the French road will be just as much, if not more, beneficial to the Korean government as the other for it will do much to develop the resources of the country.  It will speedily open up the coal and lumber regions of the North and will make Pyeng Yang a rival of Chemulpo in the amount of imports and exports.

It will be of great mutual benefit for these two roads to arrange to run through cars from Chemulpo into Whang Hai province. This will give the French a valuable outlet southward and at the same time wold add to the trade of the American road.

We wish these enterprises all success and we believe that however unsettled the politics of Korea may seem from the outside, there are great times in store for her.  These great enterprises bring with them a steadying influence, a sort of commercial force center that must speedily bring to the front in Korean eyes the commorcial and industrial importance of Korea, politics as such will be less and less looked upon as a field of personal exploitation and intrigue and the distinctly productive elements in society will rise to their proper place. All succes to these railroad enterprises.

Brief Notice

Dr. J. H.  Wells writes an interesting letter to the Independent , giving the news of Pyeng Yang and its vicinity. He says that Mr WH Ragsdale who is at Puck Chin, about four days journey from Pyeng Yang in the gold mines, reports that a tiger has killed a woman, wounded two others and killed a dog in that village.

Over fifty Japanese are quietly pursuing their business in Pyeng Yang, and he thinks this has a stimulating influence upon the Korean merchants there teaching active and energetic business methods.  The country is prosperous and crops are successful this year. He went to see a coal mine near Pyeng Yang and found that there is a great demand for coal, but the mine is not worked with proper care and push.  His medical and surgical work has been very successful considering the lack of facilities in the way of buildings.  He sees over thirty patients a day.  There is no sign of cholera yet, but one suspicious case turned out to be cholera morbus.  The early rains flushing out the sewers and other filth from the city, to a large measure prevented the outbreak of cholera this year.  The foreigners in Pyeng Yang regretthe resignation of the Governor, as he has been very honest and faithful during his term of office there.  He further writes that “We hear with pleasure that this place is soon to be opened as a port.”  ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. I doubt not but that soon, following such a course, Korea would reap pecuniary rewards in customs, etc.  It will be wondered why it was not done before.  An immense country with great natural resources will be opened up, and the benefit of the step will be far reaching.”  He finsihes the letter by congratulating the Independent on its career and the course it has taken, and he says “Long may she wave.”

Dr. Jameson, Sir John Wilougbhy, Messrs White and Grey, and the Honorable Arther Coventry, have been committed for trial.  The rest of the prisoners were discharged. (Dr. Leander Starr Jameson led the failed raid that was meant to incite a revolution within the Boer Republic in South Africa that would allow British soldiers an excuse to invade and annex the territory–tom)

H.E. Li Hung Chang enaged two German officers to establish a military school on the German model.

The Powers have proposed to the Porte to appoint a Christian Governor in Crete.

The new Japanese Minister Mr. Hara arrived in Seoul last Monday.  He will present his credentials to His Majesty in a few days.

A band of insurgents entered Pyeng Yang district and murdered the Tax Collector of that place and another band looted Be Eun district and murdered the son of a petty officer connected with that magistracy.

Five citizens of Nam Won wrote a letter to the Independent, praising their Governor for the diligent manner in which he performs his duties. Fifteen districts under him have enjoyed peace and quiet, although the neighboring magistracies have been, and still are troubled by lawless looters, or “righteous army.”  They state that he goes about among the people and talks to them personally about the duties of pepple; hence the people understand the situation and are pursuing their avocations peacefully.

Hs Royal Highness, Prince Eui Wha has left Tokio (the neswpapers spelling, not mine—tom )and arrived in Kobe for the purpose of spending the heated term in the neighborhood of that port.

The mother of the Emperor of China, the widow of Prince Chun, is seriously sick and ther is little hope of her recovery.

H.E. Li Hung Chang again denies the secret treaty with Russia, but admits that arrangements have been made for Russia to have her railraod through Manchuria.

The Governor of Song Do, hearing of the arrival of insurgents in his district, left his office immediately and came up to Seoul.

The Fourth of July was celebrated in grand style by the USS Yorktown now in Chemulpo.  They invited the officers and crews of the war vessels in the harbor and the foreign residents in the port to the exercises.  They had a theatrical performance on board the vessel and boat races.  Other sports were indulged in on shore by the marines and blue jackets of the Yorktown.  They raised $600 for the celebration, and the whole event was a memorable one.  We congratulate Uncle Sam on the enthusiant and patriotic spirit which was manifested by his navy on the glorious Fourth on this far-away shore. Long live Uncle Sam’s Navy.

The projectors of the Independence Arch and park outside the West gate have organized themselves into a Society, and it will be known as the Independence Society. They will meet regularly every Saturday afternoon at the City Hall (Office of the Governor of Seoul), and will discuss and plan out the work.  The contributions come in continually and the treasurer has over $700.00  already. We hope the foreign residents will show their interest in the shape of handome pecuniary donations as this will encourage the worthy spirit of the Korean promoters. The Independent has contributed $30.00 towards the fund, and wishes that it could have been three thousand.

The last account of the total amount of contributions for the Armenian fund was $145.00 but since we have received fifty dollars from Americans in Wonsan. Ten dollars from Mr. S.A. Moffett and five dollars fro Dr. J.H. Wells of Pyeng Yang. The total amount is now $210.00. This was turned over to J. McLeavy Brown, Esq. of the Customs who has kindly consented to secure a London draft for us, and it will be forwarded to Constantinople. The letter of transmission will be written by Minister Sill to Minister Terrill.

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