Following Japan’s defeat in 1945 the Soviet Union and United States agreed to split the post-war control of the Korean peninsula between themselves. On August 10, 1945 two young U.S. military officers drew up a line demarcating the U.S. and Soviet occupation zones at the 38th parallel. The divide should have been temporary, a mere footnote in Korea’s long history, but the emergence of the Cold War made this a seminal event. Seeking to ensure the maintenance of their respective influences in Korea, the U.S. and USSR installed leaders sympathetic to their own cause, while mistrust on both sides prevented cooperation on elections that were supposed to choose a leader for the entire peninsula. The United States handed control over the southern half of the peninsula to Syngman Rhee, while the Soviet Union gave Kim Il-sung power over the north. In 1948, both sides claimed to be the legitimate government and representative of the entire Korean people.
August 15, 1948
Syngman Rhee declares the formation of the Republic of Korea in Seoul, claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea..
September 8, 1948
Kim Il-sung declares the formation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Pyongyang, also claiming jurisdiction over all of Korea.
Kimhae City is the ancient region of the Gaya Kingdom. It is located west of Busan City in South Korea.
Gaya kingdom began in 42 A.D. when King Sooro was born near present day Kimhae. According to tradition six eggs were dropped from heaven and were to become six kings. The area named Goo Ji Bong in Kimhae City is the birthplace of King Sooro. The story says that this area is where the 500 year history of the Gaya Kingdom was born. It is also the birthplace of Goo Ji Ga, the poetry from that time era in Korea’s literary traditions. King Sooro is named as the father of all the Kims of Kimhae City.
Plaque in Kimhae describing Goo Ji Bong area as the birthplace of King Sooru. He founded the Karak nation and became the father of all the Kims originating from Kimhae.
As I mentioned in my post on the Shilla Dynasty, Shilla Dynasty overtook Gaya Kingdom in 562 AD.
Map of Gaya from Wikipedia site
The Kimhae Museum has an excellent display of many artifacts and history of Gaya. The people of Gaya Kingdom were well known for their iron working skill. They traded their iron works with Japan and other East Asian countries. The video shown below gives a very interesting summary of Gaya’s history.
Some artifacts from Kimhae Museum:
All photos from Wikipedia
This iron helmet illustrates the skill of iron-working and importance of iron from the Nakdong River valley.
Horn-shaped cup from Gaya that may illustrate connection of Persian culture through the Silk Road to Korea.
Photos from our visit to the Queen of King Sooro’s tomb and Kimhae Museum.
These photos were taken with a crappy digital camera in 2004 when we had an especially cool fall, which made the trees turn deeper colors. The photos are from Jung-li, Masan City, South Korea. We arrived here October 31 2001 and stayed until May 2005. We so enjoyed our time teaching in Masan.
Koreans love these fall grasses
Korean feather reed grass
red maples outside our apartment
the river in fall
I walked along this river everyday. It was so peaceful. Jung-li is a suburb of Masan and is a very small community land wise. I could easily walk the whole town in a couple hours.