Old Incheon: A Walk through Korean History since 1876

Saturday, November 10, 2012 -
1:30pm to 6:00pm
Various neighborhoods in Incheon
W 20,000 for members and W 25,000 for non-members
Tour Leader: 
Dr. Robert J. Fouser

During this excursion of old Incheon, we will explore the many layers of Korean history since 1876 when the Treaty of Ganghwa with Japan forced Korea to open three ports to trade, one of which was Incheon. Incheon, or Chemulpo as it was called at the time, developed soon after to serve the needs of foreign traders. Trade brought Western missionaries, who built churches and schools; Chinese traders established a community that became Korea's largest Chinatown. Many of the buildings and other landmarks of this early "international history" still remain. After Japan annexed Korea in 1910, Incheon quickly developed into a city that served Japan's purposes in Korea. A number of houses and other buildings from Japanese colonial era remain, giving a rare glimpse into the organization of urban space at the time. Incheon played a central role in the Korean War when General Douglas McArthur made a dramatic amphibious landing that eventually drove North Korean forces north toward the Chinese border. A famous statue of McArthur in Freedom Park honors this dramatic event. From the 1970s onward, Incheon grew east toward Seoul, causing the hollowing out of the old city center, and rancorous debates over redevelopment.

We will begin our tour at 13:30 at Exit #3 of Dowon Station (near the end of subway line #1) and walk through Baedari, an area designated for redevelopment, that has recently attracted artists and has become a center for anti-redevelopment movements. The area also has some important historical buildings. From there, we will make our way to heart of old Incheon by going through a neighborhood contain Japanese Western-style houses build during the colonial period. As we make our way to Freedom Park, we will visit several historically important old schools and churches, including the Dap-dong Catholic Church. We will walk through Freedom Park, stopping to enjoy the vistas of the port of Incheon, on our way to Chinatown where will we eat jjajangmyeon (and/or something else delicious!), an Incheon invention, and visit several historically important buildings in the area. The tour will end at about around 18:00 at Incheon Station (the terminus of subway line #1). The walk is mostly flat, but there are a number of ups and downs; comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

About the Excursion Leader
Robert J. Fouser was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He holds a B.A. in Japanese language and literature and an M.A. in applied linguistics, both from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from Trinity College Dublin. He studied Korean language intensively at Seoul
National University in 1983-84 and taught English in Korea for seven years, mostly at Korea University, during the mid-1980s and early 1990s. From 1995 to 2008, he taught foreign language education at Kyoto University and other universities in Japan and developed the Korean program in Kagoshima University. Since 2008, he has been teaching Korean as a second/foreign language education at Seoul National University. He has written numerous articles on Korean art and culture, and has translated Understanding Korean Literature by Kim Hunggyu into English. He currently writes a biweekly column entitled "Bukchon Journal" for The Korea Times.

PHONE NO. (MOBILE) _________________________ (OFFICE / HOME)
Please make a excursion payment before Wednesday on November 7, 2012 to the following account:
Shinhan Bank Account # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)

Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 but we are short staffed and there are meetings elsewhere often: please call or email before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796
Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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