Freitag, 10. Oktober 2014

Korean nationwide archery competition 1961 in Seoul

By chance a got three photos from 1961, showing a Korean national archery competition in Seoul. With the help of my teacher in Koran language I found out some interesting Korean archery history. The Chinese inscription on one of the photos identified the building as Hwanghakjeoung and we found out that this building still exists. The 1961 event was the fourth competition; this nationwide archery competition for men and women was started in 1958. The inscription on the transparent shows the name of the sponsoring Korean daily newspaper Hankook. By internet we found some photos from the 1958 archery competition, sponsored by the same newspaper already.

The three photos are by Wide World Photo, an American stock photo agency, which still exists. Each photo still has its original caption, which is shown here too.

A visit of the actual site of the Hwanghakjeoung pavilion today showed nearly the same scenery as on the 1961 photos. The attending archers, which still use the traditional Korean bow, were highly interested in the old photos. The description of the pavilion is in English too, thus I learned some more historical details, which I let follow in abridged form.

The Hwanghakjeoung archery pavilion originally was built in 1898 at the area of the Gyeonghiugung Palace in Seoul.

In the year 1894 bows were excluded from military use, but Emperor Gojong gave command to use archery for the cultivation of mind and body of the Korean people. As a result of that command, the Hwanghakjeoung pavilion was built in the Royal Palace and opened to the public. It is said, that Emperor Gojong personally enjoyed archery and often visited Hwanghakjeoung.

During the Japanese government the Gyeonghiugung Palace was demolished and government buildings were erected instead of the Palace.

The Hwanghakjeoung was moved to its current site at Sajik-dong in 1922. Seoul had during the Joseon Dynasty five bow training places and this current site of the Hwanghakjeoung is one of these traditional ones. 

the Hwanghakjeoung pavilion

same sight and shoot length as in 1961

the old Chinese name of the pavilion

Further reading: