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About Jeju

Jeju Province

Jeju Province (officially the Jeju Special Autonomous Province) is one of the nine provinces of South Korea. The province is situated on and coterminous with the nation's largest island of Jeju (also Jejudo), formerly transliterated as ChejuCheju Do, etc., or known as Quelpart to Europeans. The island lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of South Jeolla Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946. Its capital isJeju City.

The island contains the natural World Heritage Site Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes. Jeju Island has a temperate climate and even in winter, the temperature rarely falls below freezing point.

Native name제주도/濟州島

Jeju Island.jpg

Jeju Island, South Korea


Official logo of Jeju Province
Location of Jeju Province



Early history

According to legend, three demi-gods emerged from Samsung-hyeol which is said to have been on the northern slopes of Mt. Halla and became the progenitors of the Jeju people who founded the Kingdom of Tamna.

It has also been claimed that three brothers—including Ko-hu—who were the 15th descendants of Koulla, one of the Progenitors of the Jeju people, were received by the court of Silla, at which time  the name Tamna was officially recognized, while the official government posts of Commander, Prince and Governor were conferred by the court upon the three. However, there is no concrete evidence of when the "Three Names" (Samseong-Ko, Yang and Pu) appeared nor for the exact date of when Ko-hu and his brothers were received by Silla. It may be supposed that the "Three Names" Founding Period occurred during the Three Kingdoms (GoguryeoBaekje andSilla) Period on the mainland of Korea.

Taejo, founder of Goryeo, attempted to establish the same relationship between Goryeo and Tamna as Tamna had had with Silla. Tamna refused to accept this position and the Goryeo court dispatched troops to force Tamna to submit. Ko ja-gyeon, chief of Tamna, submitted to Goryeo in 938 and sent his son, Prince Mallo, to Goryeo's court as a de facto hostage. In 1105 (King Sukjong's 10th year), the Goryeo court abolished the name Takna which had been used up to this time and, from that year on, the island was known as "Tamna-gun" (district) and Goryeo officials were sent to handle the affairs of the island.

Tamna-country was changed to Tamna-county in 1153 during the reign of King Uijong and Choi Cheok-kyeong was posted as Tamna-Myeong or Chief of Tamna. During the reign of Gojong of Goryeo, Tamna was renamed "Jeju" which means "province across the sea".

In 1271, General Kim Tong-jeong escaped with what remained of his Sambyeolcho force from Jindo and built the Hangpadu Fortress at Kwiil-chon from where they continued their fight against the combined Korean government-Mongolian army but within two years, faced by an enemy army of over 10,000 troops, the Sambyeolcho was annihilated.

During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Jeju islanders were treated as foreigners and Jeju was considered as a place for horse breeding and exile for political prisoners. In the 17th Century, Injo of Joseon issued an edict prohibiting islanders from travelling to the Korean mainland. Consequently, Jeju islanders staged several major uprisings, including the Kang Je Geom Rebellion (1862), Bang Seong Chil Rebellion (1898), and the Lee Jae Su Rebellion (1901).




Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
 on Jeju Island

Waves crashing on Jeju seashore



Cheonjiyeon Waterfall in Jeju


Society and culture

Because of the relative isolation of the island, the people of Jeju have developed a culture and language that are distinct from those of mainland Korea. Jeju is home to thousands of local legends. Perhaps the most distinct cultural artifact is the ubiquitous dol hareubang ("stone grandfather") carved from a block of basalt.

Another distinct aspect of Jeju is the matriarchal family structure, found especially in Udo and Mara, but also present in the rest of the province. The best-known example of this is found among the haenyeo ("sea women"), who were often the heads of families, because they controlled the income. They earned their living from free diving, often all year round in quite cold water, without scuba gear, in order to harvest abalonesconches, and a myriad of other marine products. It is thought that women are better at spending all day deep-water diving because they resist cold better. In the early 1960s, 21% of women on the island were free divers, providing 60% of the island's fisheries revenue. However, because of rapid economic development and modernization, as of 2014 only about 4,500 haenyeo, most aged over 60, were still actively working.



Bangsatap are small, round towers made of many stones. There are many Bangsataps and you can see them near the countryside in Jeju. People usually pile up many stones, making a shape like a tower in order to protect themselves from the bad luck in their village. They built Bangsatap according to the theory of divination because they believe that geography is very important in choosing the right place for them. It is also a good example to demonstrate religious belief in Jeju island because it is an object in which people put faith: people put a rice paddle inside the Bangsatap to gather as much money as possible, as well as an iron pot to overcome disaster and fight fire in their village. Nobody knows that when the Bangsatap was built over the year previous.



, abalone porridge

Jeju Island is the southernmost and largest island isolated from the Korean peninsula. Due to its lack of fresh water, paddy farming is only done on a small scale on the island, with the cultivation of cereal crops such as milletbarnyard millet, buckwheat, and barley being the main feature of agriculture. Therefore, the traditional Jeju meal generally consists ofjapgokbap which is a bowl of steamed multiple grains as a main dish, with various salted dried fish called jaban as banchan (side dishes), and a soup based on doenjang (soybean paste) such as baechuguk made with Napa cabbage,kongnipguk made with soybean leaves, or muguk made with daikon. Jeju dishes are made with simple ingredients, and the taste is generally salty. Raw seafood called hae is commonly consumed as a part of the meal. The warm weather affects Jeju cuisine in that gimjang, preparing kimchi in late autumn for winter consumption, is not necessary to Jeju, as it is in the other provinces. Only a small amount of kimchi is pickled by Jeju locals. Representative main dishes in Jeju cuisine are porridge made with fish, seafood, seaweeds, or mushrooms. Examples include jeonbokjuk made with abaloneokdomjukmade with Red tilefishgejuk made with crabs, gingijuk made with small crabs called bangge (Helice tridens),maeyeoksae juk made with young miyeok (미역) (wakame), and chogijuk made with shiitake.

Gamgyul is a type of orange similar to the Mandarin orange or tangerine, commonly harvested in Jeju island. Black pig is a delicacy on the island as well. Black pigs are famous for their black hair and their meat for its chewy texture. The meat is nutritious but does not have the unique smell of pork. Black pigs other notable features are their long faces, narrow snouts and small ears that stand up

Myths and legends

The myth of Seolmundae Halmang is well known in Jeju. According to this myth, Seolmundae Halmang (Grandmother Seolmundae) could reach from Seongsan Ilchulbong to Guan Tal island at Aewol in a single stride, and with two strides to Mount Halla. She was very strong, had 500 children, and built Mount Halla with seven scoops of earth.

One day, Seolmundae Halmang was making soup for her sons while they were out hunting. While they were gone, she fell into the pot and drowned. On their return, they hungrily ate the soup, without knowing that it contained their mother. However, the youngest son knew. He told the truth to the rest of the sons, and the whole family cried, and eventually turned into 500 stones.






Jeju Stone Statue Park Statue

Rapeseed fields in Jeju Island

Tourism commands a large fraction of Jeju's economy. Jeju's temperate climate, natural scenery, and beaches make it a popular tourist destination for South Koreans as well as visitors from other parts of East Asia. The most popular tourist spots on the island are Cheonjeyeon and Cheonjiyeon waterfalls, Mount Halla, Hyeobje cave, and Hyeongje island. There is a variety of leisure sports that tourists can take part in Jeju including golf, horse riding, hunting, fishing, mountain climbing, etc. Depending on the season, Jeju hosts many festivals for tourists including a penguin swimming contest in winter, cherry blossom festival in spring, the midsummer night beach festival in summer, and Jeju horse festival in autumn, among others. For most tourists, traffic to and from the island is mainly taken through Jeju International Airport and transport within the island by rental cars. Some local products are popular with tourists, including Jeju's special tile fish and mandarin oranges, as well as souvenirs and duty-free shopping.

Jeju was chosen as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature through the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign by the New7Wonders Foundation. The campaign saw hundreds of millions of votes and the top seven wonders were announced on 11/11/11.

Museums on the island include Nexon Computer Museum ( 넥슨컴퓨터박물관 ).

Tourist attractions

Hallim Park      __  is one of the oldest and most popular tourist attractions on Jeju.

Olle                     __    is a word in the local dialect which refers to the paths between houses and public roads.

Manjanggul      __  is one of the longest lava tubes in the world. Manjang Cave, situated at Donggimnyeong-ri, Gujwa-eup, North Jeju, 30 kilometers east of Jeju City, was designated as Natural Monument No. 98 on March 28, 1970. 

Sangumburi Crater  __  is the crater of an extinct volcano.


Sangumburi volcanic crater

Mt. Halla  __  is the mountain of one of the three gods. It stands at the center of Jeju Island, spreading east and west.

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeju_Province


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