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The wedding of Kaz and Ilsu


     After our trip to Sokcho, Ilsu plans took us to Kyongju however, before we arrived at Kyongju we stopped off at the 16th century village of Hahoe (pronounced ha’way) which is part of the city of Andong. Hahoe is very interesting due to it being a 16th century village still intact with very little outside influence.  When I was in Hahoe I could not help but think about the time I first experienced Bath England.  Here we have two cities with architecture existing today, which were built near the 16th and 17th centuries and at the same time thousands of miles apart.  Of course the two cities function entirely differently, one being a imperialist nation of tremendous world power in the heat of their expansion and the other a quiet village in a reclusive country that had won its freedom from the Mongols only 150 years before. Furthermore, it was in the middle of a dynasty that was one of the longest running in the history of the world.  The differences between the two make it even more fun to compare, especially considering the architecture in both cities is still present today for us to enjoy.
     Hahoe was a village started by one single family, the Pungsan Yu clan.  Year after year more of the clan moved to the village and built many houses of historical significance.  There was at one time a noted prime minister in the village as well as a Confucian school.  The village eventually split between two families of the clan one occupying the northern part of the village and the other occupying the south.
      The city is laid out in the form of a lotus flower nestled on the banks of the Hwachun stream a tributary of the Nakdonggang River.
       One of the odd things about this town is that even though it is a national treasure sworn to be preserved, there are people living in this village. Furthermore most of the important architecture was littered with the things of modern day life such as lawn maintenance equipment, children’s toys, cars parked in the yard and clothing hanging on lines to dry.  So I have to admit that I did not gravitate toward shooting pictures of these residences however, I might have done so if I had known that they were of historical significance.  Even so, I believe I did get some nice shots that will give you an idea of the village.

     The following picture is of a structure I believe has historical significance though I don’t have any information about it at this time.

Andong city 2

     The next picture shows some of the thatch roofed houses that were used by the servants to the aristocracy that lived in the village.

Andong city 3

     The picture below shows us a typical street in the village.

Andong city 4

     Below is another house of the aristocracy.

Andong city 1

     Again you can see the servants houses mixed in with their employers in this typical neighborhood photograph below.  

Andong city 5

     The picture below shows a garden in front of the backdrop of the evening sun filtering through the southern mountains in this an area where the lower class lived.

Andong city 6

     This is my favorite picture (below) that I took at the Hahoe village in Andong.  This structure built by Yu Sungnyong (1542-1607) to serve as his Jungsa or retreat was built in 1573 when he came home to mourn the death of his father.  He was a Confucian scholar and statesman of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and served in the office of special councilors. This house is perched on a knoll which looks out over the Hwachun stream a tributary of the Nakdonggang River and contains two rooms with heated wood floors.  Restoration was performed in 1781 on the gabled roof of the Yonjaru pavilion west of the house and then it was extended in 1979.

Andong city fav

     This following picture is Ilsu’s favorite from the Hahoe village / Andong section due to it being nostalgic of her grandfather estate in Noan San.   

Andong city looking south

     As we were walking through the streets of the village Ilsu pulled me behind one of the buildings to show me this 600 year old tree.  It seems that if you write your name on a piece of paper and wrap the paper around the hemp rope which encircles the tree the local monks will pray for you.  Many people including the man in the photo pose in front of the tree to have their picture taken.

Andong tree

     I took the following three pictures to show the huge variety of changseung totem poles a particular vendor was willing to sell.  The changseung come in two forms, one being a guardian deity (or pair of deities) the other being caricatures of simple town folk.  The expression on the faces of these are either serious as in the guardian or ‘tokkaebee’ or humorous as a self portrait of humanity.  I think almost all of these totems were intended to be humorous.

andong vendor

andong vendor 2

Andong vendor 3

      If you have any questions or comments I would be happy to answer them. You can contact me by the link below.


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The Art of Kaz Maslanka