Wednesday, December 28, 2011

House of Choi Champan [Choichampandaek]in Hongdong county

Agyang Pyeongsa-ri, famous for the setting place of the great historical novel ‘Toji’ (written by Gyeung Ri Park), is the land favored from the Seomjin River. Sosangpalgyeong was sung of the beauty of Agyang and people are proud of the landscape filled with the Korean beauty of Dongjungho and Sosangpalgyeong of Agyang located in Pyeongsarideul.

In Pyeongsa-ri known widely as the background of the great historical novel (Toji) written by Gyeong Ri Park that is a great epic poem of the Korean race from the Donghak Revolution to the recent history, it is planned to buy the land with the size of more than three thousand pyeong and to display the fourteen Korean buildings completed in the end of year 2002 and the legacy containing the life pattern of our nation in the latter part of the Joseon dynasty, and the 1st Toji Literature Festival that is a literature festival of the literary men was held here in November 2001.

 Moreover, it will become a literature village by holding the 2nd Toji Literature Festival in October 2002, creative poem writing classes, and literature classes. Moreover, characters of two heroes in the novel were developed and are being sold as the product for tourists.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Busan Christmas Tree Festival

     Lighting the way for a fairytale end to the year
     The Busan Christmas Tree Festival, one of the city’s leading winter festivals,
     got under way on Dec. 1, transforming Gwangbokno (road) in Jung District into
     a seasonal getaway bedecked with decorative lights to suit the theme.

     Gwangbokno will remain in high festive spirits until January 9. During the festival,
     the district and its local environs will be covered with Christmas lighting,
     including one section that resembles an illuminated town in a fairytale.

    Additionally, the area will be painted white with artificial snow each night to create
    the kind of atmosphere that befits sprigs of mistletoe, coniferous trees festooned 
    with tinsel and party-goers gorging themselves on food and drink.

      This year’s theme is “A Peace of Light,” while the venue occupies
      a 1,160-meter-long stretch of road that runs from the Gwangbokno
      entrance of Lotte Department Store to the intersection next to Gukje Market.

      Meanwhile, an iconic 12-meter-tall Christmas tree has been set up
     on Gwangbokno square and decorative illuminations form a tunnel of light
      in the sky.

     The stage in front of the large tree will feature street performances
     at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. weekday nights. Special performances are scheduled
     for weekends, as well as on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and December 31.
      Nearby cafes are also organizing concerts, plays and magic shows.

      Gwangbokno is full of people enjoying the bright seasonal lights on December 11.   
      The Busan Christmas Tree Festival runs until January 9.

Monday, December 12, 2011

JINJU, the city of beautiful river having history of a thousand years.

     Jinju is the most beautiful city of river.
    Well-matched name of Namgaram, the scene is very impressive.

Jinjuseong Fortress of the Holy Place of Loyalty.
constructed with stone , Jinjuseong Fortress is a representative tourist's attraction and historical site which represents the history and culture of Jinju.
Erected on the cliff of Namgang River , it was once a mud wall but rebuilt with stone
wall in the 5th year of King Woo;s reign (1379) of Gyoryeo Dynasty.
In 1592, General Kim si-min defeated about 20,000 Japances army with his 3,800 men,
which was one of the 3 great battles during the Japanese Invasion.

In the well managed parklike castle, there are Jinju National Meseum , Uigisa shrine, Pavilion of Yeongnampojeongsa , Imjindaecheop Gyeosasuneuidan,Changyeolsa,
Hoguksa Temple , Bukjangdae, Seojangdae, all of which show the real history and
attract the tourists in the beautiful surroundings.

CHOKSEONGNU PAVILION of pavilion erected on the cliff.
Erected graciously on the cliff of Namgang river, Chokseongnu pavilion is one of
3 great pavilion in Korea. It was in the 28th year of King Gojong in Gyoryeo danasty
(1241) and has been rebuilt 8 times. Harmonized with Namgang, Uiam Rock and
Jinjuseong Fortress Its the Famous scenic view out of the 8 Framous scenic views
un Jinju . Named Chokseongnu because of its location on the cliff, it was used as
a headquatter of commander during times of war and during times of peace, it was
a examination hall.

                                           Chokseongnu pavilion

                   The righteous place oh  Nongae - Uiam Rock

Sunday, October 23, 2011

7th Busan International Fireworks Festival

       7th Busan International Fireworks Festival

          Date: 2011. Oct 21(Fri) ~ Oct 29(Sat)
         Venue : Gwangalli Beach and Gwangan Bridge Area
         Organized : Supervised by Busan Metropolitan City, Visit Korea Committee /
        The Organizing Committee for Busan Culture & Tourism Festival

Foregin service center( telephone) 82- 51-441-3121

Monday, September 26, 2011

2011 Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koneana

Korea, the birth spot of the printing culture

The invention of printing is having a big contribution to the history of mankind. As this expanded the knowledge and accurate information through mass distribution of books, it crucially contributed to modernize the world. In the history of typography, Korea has the world’s best wooden block print and the world’s first metal-type book and has led the world into the printing technology as the birth spot of the printing culture.

Goryeo Daejanggyeong or Palman Daejanggyeong

Goryeo Daejanggyeong in Haein Temple is a collection of Buddhist scriptures and has known as the "Tripitaka Koreana". However, as the number of blocks was about 80,000, it is also known as "Palman Daejanggyeong". (*Palman means 80,000 in Korean.) The number 85,000 was considered countless or the great number in ancient India. Also, countless agonies of human are expressed as 84,000 agonies. The Sakyamuni Buddha’s various discourses on reaching nirvana out of sufferings and attaining to be Buddhahood are called the 84,000 Buddhist writings.

Immensity and perfection called mystery
The Tripitaka Koreana was completed in 1251. The number of wooden blocks is 81,350 and the total weight is 280 tons. It is about 3,200 meters, which is higher than the height of Mt. Baekdu(2,744m) when the entire 81,350 blocks are stacked. It is 150 ri(approximately 60 km), when they are placed in a line. Besides its enormous quantity, the quality is also excellent. As all blocks were consistent and beautiful like one trained person have worked on these, Chusa Jeong-Hui Kim, the master calligrapher from Joseon Era, said, "This was not done by a human being but was done by a Taoist hermit. In addition, there is almost no error or mistake and it is in a best condition as it was made in the modern. Therefore, the world is giving endless praises on Tripitaka Koreana by saying "This is the ultimate beauty of wood printing technology", "This is the world’s mystery" and etc.

Tripitaka Koreana designated as a world heritage site
The Tripitaka Koreana, which still remains perfect after 750 years, is the oldest wooden block Tripitaka and it has been complied into Tipitaka, the teaching of the Buddha. As the content of the Tipitaka was so accurate, it was spread all over the world and expanded the study of Buddhism and also influenced the world’s printing and publication. The Tripitaka Koreana is the essence of Goryeo culture, which is the most important in the Buddhist cultural history, and as its excellence has been known to the whole world, the Tripitaka Koreana (National Treasure No. 52) was listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 1995. The cultural value and the importance of Tripitaka Koreana have been reminded to our children that this is cultural heritage of mankind which we all need to preserve together. The Printing wooden blocks of the Tripitaka Koreana and the miscellaneous Buddhist scripture were designated by UNESCO as world record heritage in 2007.

The Chronological Table of the Tripitaka Koreana

           Tripitaka Koreana

A secret of preserving Tripitaka Koreana within the construction of Janggyeong Panjeon

The Tripitaka Koreana was completed in 1251 and it has been 750 years. How come the blocks made out of wood, which can be easily rot and damaged by insects, still in a perfect shape as the past? A secret of preserving Tripitaka Koreana for hundreds of years and all the history of wars is the construction of Janggyeong Panjeon, which is composition of technology and sincerity.

Precisely calculated simplicity

The Jang-gyeong-pan-jeon is simply constructed without any complexity to maximize the block preservation. This simplicity is precisely calculated and advanced construction technology, which considered the perfect harmony with nature.

Different size of lattice for air ventilation

The wooden block could be destroyed in the nature but the key of the secret to preserve the wooden block without destroying any is the different size of lattice. The lattice on the top and bottom of the wall and the front and back of the building are all different size so the air within the building will ventilate from bottom to top. This is to let the air evacuate after evenly spreading the dry air within the building. This simple difference maintains the cir convection but as well as proper temperature.

Shelf which controls the temperature and humidity by chimney effect

The shelf is made out of thick timber and it is tightly installed and each layer could hold 2 blocks so it could have good air ventilation. The block displayed densely on 5 layers of shelf and the niche between the blocks could control the temperature and humidity of blocks by chimney effect.

The charcoals on the floor will adjust the humidity

In addition, there are charcoal, clay, sand, salt and lime powder on the ground. This automatically controls the humidity by absorbing all the humidity after the rain but also provide humidity during the drought.

Perfect construction skills beyond modern technology

In other words, even we remodel the Jang-gyeong-pan-jeon today; it wouldn’t need any change as it is a perfect building with moist control function. Not only due to the skills to dry, polish and carve the block material, but the construction technology of Jang-gyeong-pan-jeon to preserve the blocks is also one of reason why we could enjoy the Tripitaka Koreana.

The old wisdom which preserved along with Tripitaka block

There wasn’t a name of science but we’ve found science and technology of our wise ancestors that have well used the nature through accumulated experience and the Tripitaka and Janggyeong Panjeon, which is well preserving the old wisdom, is very proud.

            URL :

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Walking, having fun and falling into Busan

Galmaet-gil Footpaths are hugely popular walkways linking the Busan sea and surrounding tour sites, offering truly irresistible places to take a stroll. The name combines two Korean words: galmaet, or "seagull," the symbol of Busan City, and gil, or "path." Galmaet-gil Footpaths incorporate beautiful natural scenery, great locations, local heroes, major symbols, historical sites and hillside mountain roads. There are 21 Galmaet-gil Footpaths courses in Busan City, with several more still under construction.

The current choice of Galmaet-gil Footpaths include six coastal paths, three riverside paths, eight forest paths and four downtown paths. With such a full selection, there’s something for everyone among the city's Galmaet-gil Footpaths.

The Galmaet-gil Footpaths run right across Busan City, providing idyllic walks to various rivers, urban areas and down by the coast. As visitors walk along the Galmaet-gil Footpaths, its paths running like veins between the sky, the shore, the forest and the shore-side rocks, they can feel the peace of the city and the beauty and composure of the walkways themselves.

Walkers can also feel nature breathe on more hidden roads passing through the mountains down to the sea. These coastal roads have been chosen by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs as one of the 52 most beautiful coastal roads in Korea.

The waves and sea provide the perfect backdrop to so many of these walks around the city. As one of the biggest tourist draws in the city, the Galmaet-gil Footpaths draws a constant supply of tourists as well. For more information on the courses, refer to the Busan map service web site (

Coastal Walk
The Gadeokdo Circular Walk combines bizarre-looking rocks with gorgeous views of the sea. Korean, Japanese and European style architecture dots the pathway, and the Gadeokdo Lighthouse provides another beautiful landmark.

 The highlight of this Galmaet-gil Footpaths is the stretch from Amnam Park, Jeolyeong Coastal Path, to Taejongdae Path. Starting from Amnam Park, the road leads over a bridge that connects to the Songdo Coastal Walk.

The route also includes a spell by Songdo Beach, the first beach to open in Korea in 1913. Walk along the Jeolyeong Coastal Walk as if riding the Jeolyeong horse, a horse said to be able to cut off shadows, and the course leads to Taejongdae, a stretch containing all the coastal beauty of Korea.

Beneath the Yeongdo Lighthouse is a 100-meter-high cliff, with a truly breathtaking trail running around the top. Have some steamed sweet potatoes here and think of ancient scholar Jo Eom, who first brought the savory snacks back here when returning from Japan, as part of the Joseon Tongsinsa mission during the Joseon Dynasty. Jo Eom is said to have planted Korea’s very first sweet potato plants right here in Yeongdo.

The Gwangalli, Igidae Cliffs and Jaseongdae-gil course connects to Igidae and Jaseongdae from Gwangalli Beach. Although it goes through downtown from Gwangalli to Namcheon-dong, it is in fact a coastal walk. Coming from the Igidae Coastal Walk, the path reveals the Gwangan Bridge, Dongbaek Island and Haeundae.

Oryuk Islets, a symbol of Busan City, is visible here, and the course also takes in the world’s one and only UN Memorial Cemetery.

Haeundae Three Fishing Villages Walk passes by the Sampo (meaning "three harbors") of Mipo, Cheongsapo and Gudeokpo.

The Igidae course boasts fantastic scenery, with long stretches right next to the sea

Riverside Walk

The Nakdong Estuary Walk is wonderful by sunset or in the morning. Along the banks of the Nakdong River, wild geese come into view across a field of reeds. Near Suyeong River, on the course running to Oncheoncheon street, visitors can find the APEC Naru Park in front of Centum City Shinsegae Department Store. This riverside park was created to commemorate the APEC Summit Talks in 2005, and walking the fantastic pedestrian course here, lined with apartment buildings, is enough to make strollers want to relocate to Busan City.

Hoedong Reservoir Philosophers Walk also boasts some of the best scenery in the city. The river, pond and wood tell their own beautiful story, and show how effectively man can co-exist with nature. The road offers a great getaway from the hassles of everyday life, and in spring and fall, the scenery is even more alluring.

Forest Walk
The starting place for the Mt. Geumjeong Trail is Beomeosa Metro Station. The old Beomeosa road and the rural area around the course make up one of the city’s most famous mountain courses, passing by three fortresses including Geumjeongsansung.

The Mt. Seunghak Trail passes by Daesin park, famous for its Japanese Cypress and Japan Cedar trees, and a dense forest leading to Gudeok Reservoir.

Passing by the Naewonjung Temple, Flower Village and Gudeok Cultural Park, the road then leads to the aeronautical radio center (Hangong Museon Pyosiso). This marks the top of the Mt. Gudeok, a mountain ridge with no curves.

The Mt. Jang Stony Trail is an easy mountain course for people who prefer something gentler than hiking. The walk includes plenty of resting areas and sites with exercise gear, so people can stop and rest or stretch along the way. The top of Mt. Jang also has a field of silver grass affording a stunning view of the ocean far below.

As one of the best known mountains in Busan City, Mt. Baikyang Trail contains many old temples and historical remains. The Mt. Hwangnyeong Trail has good views of Gwangalli Beach, with night views from the top of Bongsudae that are nothing less than fantastic. For another unforgettable, and considerably more energetic experience, take a mountain bike ride from Illgwang Theme Forest Trail

Downtown Walk
The Dongnae Culture Historical Remains trail runs through Dongnae, the ancient source of the city and now a trove of historical remains.

The Dongnae eupseongji was the site of a fierce battle during the Japanese Invasion. At the end of the walk in Oncheonjang, visitors can relax at an outside feet bath at Dongnae Spas, the oldest hot spring in Korea.
The Modern History's Walk passes by Taegeukdo village inhabited by believers in the native Taegeuk religions, who first settled here in the 1950s. To do some shopping, visitors can check out the Gukje Market and the Ggangtong Market. The Former Downtown Trail Jaseongdae-gil marks the starting and return points for the Joseon Tongsinsa, an expedition of Korean dignitaries to Japan that took place during the Joseon Dynasty. This trail also passes by the Nampo-dong theater street, the Jagalchi Market and the Gukje Market.

On the Busanpo trace-gil, walkers can drop by the Jagalchi Market, replete with traditional medicine merchants, dried fisheries stalls and a street full of fortune tellers. Drawing to a close, visitors can see the ships docked across the Yeongdo Bridge.

The Downtown Walk lets strollers find tasty restaurants only available in Busan City.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Korean Pop Music or K-Pop [ The Wonder Girls ]

‘The Wonder Girls’ are one of the top girl bands in South Korea. They are produced by singer and songwriter, Park Jin Young (JYP), who is known for spotting future stars. His company, JYP Entertainment achieved international attention after producing hugely successful sensations, ‘Rain’ and ‘god’. ‘The Wonder Girls’ made their debut in 2007 with their first single, “Irony” but became a household name with the song, “Tell me”. They have scored three consecutive number one hit singles with "Tell Me", "So Hot", and "Nobody". Having sky-rocketed to popularity with the song, “Tell Me,” the Wonder Girls began appearing in numerous TV shows and commercials. They also have their own cosmetics brand, “Wonder Girls Cosmetics” which is popular among their fans. In the spring of 2010, the Wonder Girls were the first Korean musicians to tour in the US, covering 20 major American cities. They rose to the No. 16 on's 2010 list of top stars under 21 years old. "Nobody" became an international hit single on Youtube, drawing a large audience in Asia, South America, and Europe. The Wonder Girls followed with a successful showcase in various regions in Asia.

Group Introduction

‘The Wonder Girls’ have many #1 hits including “Nobody,” “Tell Me,” and “So Hot.” The extremely popular, ‘Nobody’ was inspired by American culture and other influences such as the Motown girl groups from LA and an overall retro style. The Wonder Girls’ innocent personalities, adorable dance moves and fancy outfits have captured many Korean hearts. They also have an internationally following after entering the U.S market in 2010. The group attracted worldwide attention when well-known American celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, posted a clip from the music video, “Nobody” on his entertainment website. In addition, the British entertainment media company, Virgin Media, selected the Wonder Girls as one of the ‘Top 8 Girl Groups to Watch Worldwide’. The group consists of five members: Sun-ye, Ye-eun, Yu-bin, Hye-lim and So-hee. The Wonder Girls officially debuted on Feb. 10, 2007 on MBC's "Show! Music Core" and after winning many televised music competitions, the “Wonder Girls sensation” took off.

Member Profiles


Sun-ye is the leader of the Wonder Girls and was first discovered seven years ago on a SBS national talent show. She leads by example, not skipping a single dance or singing lesson. This dedication impressed Park Jin Young, and has led to great confidence and in Sun-ye to represent the group. Before their debut, Park once said Sun–ye was the only member of the group who was unquestionably ready. Sun-ye lost her mother when she was young and her father suffered from health problems. She grew up with her grandmother, who she has shown strong affection for in many interviews. It is well known that she bought her grandmother a home in 2009. Sun-ye has an outgoing personality and her favorite foods are ice cream and Tteokbokki.

Birth Name: Min Sun-ye
Date of birth: August 12, 1989
Blood Type: A
Height: 160 cm
Weight: 45kg
Talents: Piano
Hobbies: Watching movies, working out
Education: Currently on leave from the Division of Performing Arts, Dongguk University


In 2010, Hye-lim replaced Sunmi and became the newest member of The Wonder Girls. A JYP trainee since 2007, she is fluent in English, Korean, and Cantonese. She grew up in Hong Kong and her English name is Christina. She appeared as Lim in a video of the Chinese version of The Wonder Girls, which was released in early January 2010 on Daum TV pot and Her powerful dance and vocals drew much attention at the time. Her cute image earned her the nickname, Xiao Ping Guo (小苹果), or small apple, in China.

Birth Name: Woo Hye-lim
Date of birth: September 1, 1992
Blood Type: O
Height: 164 cm
Weight: 46kg
Talents:Chinese language
Hobbies: Dancing
Education: Applied Music Department, Lila Art High School


So-hee starred in a minor short film while still in elementary school. She is known as a talented actor and singer. In 2007, she fulfilled one of her childhood dreams by starring in the movie “I Like it Hot.” Her cute nickname, “dumpling” comes from her plump cheeks, and fans also love her flair for fashion.

Birth Name: Ahn So-hee
Date of birth: June 27, 1992
Blood Type: AB
Height: 165 cm
Weight: 43kg
Talents: Taekwondo
Hobbies: Reading, sleeping


Ye-eun was a member of the choir and dance club at her high school. In 2007, she was spotted at the MTV “UCC Star Competition.” Although she was the last member to join, she demonstrated her dedication to the group by practicing above and beyond what was asked of her. Park speaks highly of her in interviews and believes she is talented enough to produce a solo album one day.

Birth Name: Park Ye-eun
Date of birth: May 26, 1989
Blood type: AB
Height: 165 cm
Weight: 47kg
Talents: Singing
Hobbies: Reading the Bible
Education: Currently on leave from the Postmodern Music Department, Kyung Hee University


Yu-bin was born in Gwangju, Jeollanam-do Province and has lived in the US for more than two years. She was with the Good Entertainment Company before debuting with the Wonder Girls. Although her original management was behind Shinhwa and other Korean superstars, financial setbacks affected the release of her initial debut. However, when Hyun-a had to leave due to health issues, Yu-bin auditioned with JYP to replace her. She is now the lead rapper in the group and is also well known for her stunning looks. She also appeared in Shinhwa’s music video “Once In A Life Time” in 2006..

Birth Name: Kim Yu-bin
Date of birth: October 4, 1988
Blood type: O
Height: 163cm
Weight: 45kg
Talents: Water sports (Swimming, Scuba diving, etc)
Hobbies: Listening to music, collecting CDs
Education:Currently on leave from the Department of Performing Arts, Myungji University

Information About the Wonder Girls

Members: Sun-ye, Hye-lim, So-hee, Ye-eun, Yu-bin

Debut Date:February 10, 2007 with the Singles Album

Official Website: Click Here!

Wonder Girls’ Official Fan Club - Wonderful

Fans can join “Wonderful” by registering at the club’s official Daum café website. Becoming an official fan is actually quite competitive, since JYP Entertainment only selects a limited number of people every year. Those not selected as official fans can always be a part of the action through the Wonder Girls website. Also, many concert goers wave pearly wine-colored balloons and transparent pink wands to show their devotion to the band.

Official Fan Café Website: (Korean)

February 2007 Singles Album
September 2007 1st Album
June 2008 Singles Album
September 2008 Singles Album
November 2008 Digital Singles Album
June 2009 Digital Singles Album
May 2010 Single Album <2 Different Tears>

Major Achievements

2007 2007 Mnet KM Music Festival: Best New Female Group; The 8th Korea Visual Arts Festival: the Most Photogenic award; “Star of the year” selected by Sport Hankook

2008 17th Seoul Music Awards: Rookie of the Year; 20th Korean Producers & Directors Awards: Best Singer Award; 2008 Mnet KM Music Festival: Best Female Group Award, Best Music Video Award, Song of the Year

2009 2009 Asia Model Festival Awards: Asia Star Award; 18th Seoul Music Awards: Artist of the Year

Korean Pop Music or K-pop [ Big Bang ]

Korean Pop Music, or K-pop as it is commonly known, is currently Asia’s hottest music industry. Fans all over the world have been captivated by K-pop stars' good looks, amazing dance moves, and catchy tunes. Current K-pop sensations include, Rain, TVXQ, Big Bang, and the Wonder Girls. VisitKorea has prepared a guide to some of these music superstars. You can read about their road to success, find out.

* Introduction of  Korean Singers(   Big Bang )
The five members of Big Bang were the winners of an arduous singing and dancing audition process, which was screened on MTV Korea. The group has two rappers and three singers, and their songs are a unique blend of hip hop and pop songs. Big Bang’s energetic catchy songs have earned them a large following that spans all generations. The members of Big Bang play a role in writing their lyrics, in composing their music, and in their choreography. Some of the members have also launched solo projects, appearing in musicals, TV dramas, and entertainment shows.

Big Bang is a very popular Korean boy band. Its five members are known as T.O.P, Seungri, Daesung, G-Dragon, and Taeyang. They were launched by the famous management company, YG Entertainment on August 19th 2006, as part of the company’s 10th anniversary concert. Big Bang immediately received praise from critics, the public, and other singers for the members’ outstanding talent.

On September 23rd, 2006, the group made their debut on the tv music show, “Music Core”, but Big Bang became famous throughout the country even before their official debut, since MTV Korea had aired an eleven-episode documentary about the making of the band. So far, as many as 1 million copies of their albums have been sold and Big Bang is popular not only in Korea, but also in Thailand, Japan and other countries around the world.

Members of Big Bang

G.DRAGON has been training with YG Entertainment for 6 years, having joined the management group when he was only 13 years old. He is regarded as a skilled producer, and has worked on other singers’ albums as well as Big Bang’s.

During his childhood he appeared in movies and TV shows, but it was always his dream to become a singer. He takes his responsibility as the leader of the band seriously. He does not tolerate mistakes, but at the same time he encourages and supports the other members. He composed “Lies”, “Look at Me, GwiSun”, “Fool” and “We Belong Together”. G-Dragon is considered by many to be the most fashionable member of the group, and many teenagers copy his flamboyant urban style.

- Real Name : Kwon Ji-yong
-Date of Birth : August 18th 1988
-Blood Type : A
-Physique : 177cm, 58kg
-Talents : Rap, dance, beat box, song writing, and fluent in English and Chinese
-ducation : Kyung Hee Univ. Postmodern Music Department
-ativities: Participated in the 2001 Korea HIPHOPFEX, appeared on YG FAMILY and PERRY Albums, and several concerts

* T.O.P

 T.O.P earned his status as one of Korea’s biggest heartthrobs by stealing a kiss from Lee Hyori, one of Korea’s most famous female singers, at the Mnet Km Music Festival. T.O.P has an attractive husky voice and is considered to be the most masculine in the group. However, he is actually very reserved and sensitive. He likes to be alone and his hobby is collecting action figures.

T.O.P. acted in the drama “Iris” alongside actors Kim Tae Hee and Lee Byung Hun, and he will appear in the upcoming drama “My 19-year-old” with Seung Ri, another member of Big Bang.

- Real Name : Choi Seung-hyeon
-Date of Birth : November 4th, 1987
-Blood Type :181cm, 65kg
-Physique : B
-Talents : Rap, beat box, song writing, fluent in English
-Education : Danguk Univ. Film and Theatre Department
-Activities: Winner in KBS Radio’s “Rap Battle”, performances in various clubs


Even before Big Bang’s debut, Seung Ri was widely known in his hometown, Gwangju, because of his amazing dance skills. However, he failed many auditions beause of his short height. In YG Entertainment’s Big Bang audition, he was almost eliminated, but luckily he was given a second chance, and his singing, dancing skills, and stage presence impressed the producers so much that he made it into the group.

Seung Ri was the first member of the group to be in a musical, starring in Sonagi, and the second member to debut as an actor. He appeared in the film "Why Did You Come To Our House" which was released in April 9th 2009. He will also act with T.O.P in the upcoming drama My 19-year-old. He recently released his first solo album “Strong Baby”, so these days he has a pretty busy schedule. However he always practices his singing and dancing in order to give the perfect live performance for his fans.

-Real Name :Lee Seung-hyeon
-Date of Birth :December 12th, 1990
-Physique : 177cm, 60kg
-Talents : Dance, Singing, Fluent in English
-Education : Kyung Hee Univ. Postmodern Music Department
-Activities: Member of the dancing team, Ilhwa


Tae Yang became a trainee member of YG Entertainment when he was 13 years old. Since he was always training at YG Entertainment, he has never had a girlfriend, and so he is regarded as the pure, innocent band member by the fans. However, he is considered quite attractive due to his masculinity and dark skin color, and has more female fans in their 20s and 30s than any other member of the group. His first solo album Hot was a great success. Tae Yang likes urban hip-hop fashion and his hobby is collecting caps.

-Real Name : Dong Young-bae
-Date of Birth : May 18th, 1988
-Blood Type :174cm, 56kg
-Physique : B
-Talents : Rap, dance, beat box, song writing, fluent in English and Japanese
-Education : Daejin Univ, Theater and film Department
-Activities: Appeared on Jinusean’s A-YO Music Video, appeared on YG Family’s 
   Wheesung albums, and in several concerts

    - SINGER

In 2008, Dae Sung starred in the Korean adaptation of Cats, becoming the second Big Bang member to appear in a musical. He showed off his many talents by appearing on a TV music show as a MC and on the very popular SBS entertainment show Family Outing. On these tv shows he came across as a really friendly guy and so Dae Sung has many fans. He’s a great singer and performs well in many different genres. His trot single, “Look at Me, Gwisun”, was a hit with many fans, regardless of their age and gender. It’s thought that he resembles the Japanese animation character, Doraemon, so he receives many Doraemon dolls from his fans.

-Real Name :Kang Dae-sung
-Date of Birth :April 26th 1989
-Physique : 178cm, 63kg
-Talents : Singing, fluent in English
-Education : Kyung Hee Univ. Postmodern Music Department
-Activities: Passed the Big Bang audition while taking the MBC Academy course

Information on Big Bang
- Member : T.O.P, Seungri, Daesung, G-Dragon and Taeyang
- Date of Debut :August 19, 2006
- Official Homepage :
- Official homepage in Japan :

* Big Bang's official Fan Club VIP

Big Bang's official fan club calls itself "V.I.P." (a reference to the band’s second single: "Big Bang is V.I.P."). It is estimated to have around 300,000 members. Generally at concerts in Korea, most fans will wave balloons in a specific color to show their devotion to a band, however Big Bang fans don’t wave balloons, instead they wave bandannas and crown shaped glow sticks, which are decorated with the letters BB. You can get these at YgeShop ( or at concerts venues.

E-mail :

Address : YG Entertainment, Deokyang Building, 3rd Floor, 371-26 Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (zip code) 121-884

Official Fan Club :
Homepage :

2006 August 29, 2006 1st Singles Album
September 28, 2006 2nd Singles Album
November 12, 2006 3rd Singles Album
November 12, 2006 1st Album
2007 February 8, 2007 1st Live Concert Album
August 16, 2007 1st Mini Album
November 22, 2007 2nd Mini Album
2008 January 4, 2008 1st Singles Album in Japan
February 27, 2008 2nd Live Concert Album
May 28, 2008 2nd Singles Album in Japan
May 22, 2008 TAE YANG’s 1st Mini Album
June 16, 2008 DAE SUNG’s Solo Digital Singles Album
  < Look at Me, GwiSun >
June 30, 2008 G-Dragon’s Solo Digital Singles Album
August 8, 2008 3rd Mini Album
October 22, 2008 1st Album in Japan
November 5, 2008 2nd Album

Major Awards
2006 Seoul Music Awards New Artist
2007 M.NET/KM
      Music Festival Song of the Year/ Best Male Group/ Music Arrangement;
       the Korea Visual Arts Festival: the Most Photogenic award -Male Group

  Seoul Music Awards Digital Music /Top Artist / Artist Of The Year; M.NET/KM Music Festival: Artist of the Year/ Best Male Group of the Year/ Digital Music / Music Portal M.NET Award; Annual Korean People's Music Choice Awards - Netizen Award: Dance & Electronic Section Prize; Mnet20’s Choice HOT Trend Musician Award; The National Assembly of South Korea Pop Culture & Media Awards: Pop Music; Style Icon Awards: Best Male Singer

Seoul Music Awards High1 Award/ Best Album / Mobile Popularity; Korea PD Awards: Best Singer

Commercials and Other Activities
In the first half of 2009, Big Bang emerged as one of consumers’ top 10 favorite commercials models. The group has appeared in commercials for numerous products, such as cell phones, clothing, and drinks. They appeared in the Lollipop CM phone commercial and the song featured in the commercial, which was sung by Big Bang and YG’s brand new female group 2NE1, was No1 in all online music charts, which shows the extent of Big Bang’s popularity.

In addition to commercials, Big Bang have even appeared in the FPS video game, “Sudden Attack”. The game, which had featured K-pop star, Rain, in the past, used the Big Bang members as characters in the game, as well as Big Bang themed items, and the group’s hit songs as backgroud music.

The Big Bang members’ biographical book Shouting Out To The World! was released in January 28th, 2009. The 280-page book was written by the members and tracks Big Bang’s road to success. It starts from their debut in summer 2006 and gives inside details on their breakout success and then their triumph on the J-pop scene.

Commercials featuring Big Bang : SK Telecom MMS T PLAN(07), SK Telecom Ting(07), Male Cosmetics BB BUD(07~08), NII Clothing Brand(08), Baskin Robbins 31(08), LG CYON Edge Phone(08), i-Station(09), LG CYON Ice Cream Phone 2(09), Lotte Duty Free Shop(09), HITE Beer(09), LG CYON Lollipop(09), BHC Chicken(09), Maeil Dairy Industry Co. Café Latte (09)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Korean Traditional Liquors and Wines

 For  Koreans, alcohol has been a lifelong companion in times of sorrow and joy. Korean people have been brewing their own liquor since ancient times when they first began to practice agriculture. Since then, liquor has been enjoyed at every festival and event. Historical records show that Korean people began brewing a clear grain-based liquor before the 4th century. Since that time, Koreans have performed ceremonies when they make a ritual offering of the alcohol to their ancestors in appreciation for the bountiful annual harvest and to pray for future happiness. After making the ritual offerings, Koreans traditionally enjoy drinking the liquor while singing and dancing.

Korea’s traditional liquors are takju (탁주), cheongju 청주 (or yakju 약주), and soju (소주). The oldest is takju, which is made by fermenting grains like rice or wheat. When takju is strained to a refined clear liquor, it becomes cheongju (yakju), and when cheongju is distilled, it becomes soju. Today, takju is more commonly known as makgeolli, and it is enjoyed by the majority of Koreans as well as many visitors.

Makgeolli (Takju) – 막걸리 (탁주)
Makgeolli is unique to Korea. It is made by mixing steamed glutinous rice, barley, or wheat with nuruk, a fermentation starter culture, and water, and then leaving the mixture to ferment. It has a milky, opaque color and a low alcohol content of 6%-7%. It is also called takju (tak meaning opaque) or nongju (nong means farming) because it is traditionally enjoyed by farmers after a day of hard labor.

In Korea, the most popular types of makgeolli are ssal makgeolli (쌀막걸리) made of rice (ssal means ‘rice’) and dongdongju (동동주) in which unstrained rice floats on the surface (dongdong means ‘floating’). When drinking makgeolli, make sure to shake or stir it well before drinking. The best makgeolli is an intriguing blend of sweet, sour, bitter, and astringent tastes. You can try makgeolli almost anywhere in Seoul, particularly recommended are the traditional Korean taverns in the downtown Insa-dong or Myeong-dong areas. Outside of Seoul, there are also many establishments that sell makgeolli. You will also find a wide range of makgeolli or dongdongju at grocery stores, convenience stores, and department stores. Unpasteurized makgeolli will last for only 10 to 30 days, so make sure to check the expiry date.

Cheongju (Yakju) – 청주 (약주)
Unlike takju, which is thick and opaque, cheongju’s liquor is clear (cheong means clear). The brewing process is largely similar to that of takju, but the straining process is different. The main ingredients, rice, nuruk starter culture, and water are put in a jug and kept for 10 to 20 days at a temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius. During this time the mixture fe

rments and turns into liquor. Then a yongsu, a long cylindrical strainer made from closely woven bamboo strips, is inserted into the center of the jug. Clear liquor is collected inside the yongsu.

Cheongju is regarded as high quality liquor in Korea and is therefore difficult to find at general bars. It is usually available at department stores or grocery stores and comes in an elegant package, so it is a popular gift for special occasions or  holidays.

Gyeongju  Beopju (경주법주)
Gyeongju Gyodong Beopju liquor has been brewed for many generations by the Choi family living in Gyodong, Gyeongju. This 300 year old alcohol was designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset no. 86-3 in 1986. The liquor is brewed using glutinous rice and does not have any added chemicals. Its alcohol content is about 17% and the end product is a clear transparent liquor that is yellowish in color.

Like many grain-based types of liquor, Beopju’s unique sweetness spreads fragrantly inside your mouth. The main characteristic in Beopju’s brewing process is that after making the base liquor, it is then put through a second fermentation process. Thus, it takes about a hundred days to brew, and bottles that are available for sale have generally been matured for over a year.

Korean Thanksgiving day Chuseok [Aug. 15 of the lunar year]

Chuseok (추석) is by far the biggest and most important holiday in Korea. It is a time when family members from near and far come together to share food and stories and to give thanks to their ancestors for the abundant harvest.

This year (2011) Chuseok Day falls on Monday, September 12 (according to the lunar calendar) but the holiday is observed for a total of three days (Sept. 11 – Sept. 13). For internationals, Chuseok is a prime opportunity to go sightseeing in the major cities since many Koreans return to their hometowns in the countryside, leaving the city attractions relatively crowd-free. Visitors need note, however, that many places (especially stores and restaurants) may be closed for Chuseok Day or the entire Chuseok holiday.

Before we get into Chuseok events, let’s take a closer look at what Chuseok means to the average Korean.

Chuseok (Hangawi)
Chuseok is one of Korea’s three major holidays, along with Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Dano (the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year) and is also referred to as Hangawi (한가위), meaning “the ides of August” (August 15th according to the lunar calendar).

Hangawi/Chuseok was the day on which Koreans, an agrarian people throughout most of history, thanked their ancestors for the year’s harvest and shared their abundance with family and friends. Although the exact origin of Chuseok is unclear, the tradition can be traced back to ancient religious practices that centered around the significance of the moon. The sun’s presence was considered routine, but the full moon that came once a month, brightening the night sky, was considered a special and meaningful event. Therefore, harvest festivities took place on the day of the bright, full moon (Aug. 15 of the lunar year).

Chuseok Customs
On the morning of Chuseok Day, Songpyeon (a type of Korean rice cake) and food prepared with the year’s fresh harvest are set out to give thanks to ancestors through Charye (ancestor memorial service). After Charye, families visit their ancestors’ graves and engage in Beolcho, a ritual of clearing the weeds that may have grown up over the burial mound. After dusk, families and friends take walks and gaze at the beauty of the full harvest moon or play folk games such as Ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance).
Charye (ancestor memorial services)
On Chuseok morning, family members gather at their homes to hold memorial services (called Charye, 차례) in honor of their ancestors. Formal Charye services are held twice a year: during Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) and Chuseok. The difference between the two services is that during Seollal the major representative food is white Tteokguk, a rice cake soup, while during Chuseok the major representative food is freshly harvested rice. After the service, family members sit down together at the table to enjoy delicious food that symbolizes their blessings

- Beolcho (clearing the weeds around the grave) and Seongmyo (visiting ancestral graves)

Visiting ancestral graves during Chuseok is known as Seongmyo (성묘). During this visit, family members remove the weeds that have grown around the graves in the summer season, a practice which is called Beolcho (벌초). This custom is considered a duty and expression of devotion and respect for one’s family. On the weekends, about one month prior to the Chuseok holidays, Korea’s highways become extremely congested with families visiting their ancestral graves to fulfill their familial duties. The graves are then visited again during Chuseok.

- Ssireum (Korean wrestling)
Traditionally, during the Chuseok holidays the strongest people in each village gather together to hold wrestling competitions. During the match, two competitors face each other in the middle of a circular sandpit surrounded on all sides by cheering spectators. The last wrestler left standing after a series of competitions is considered the winner and is named the village’s strongest man, taking home cotton, rice, or a calf as his prize. Today, Ssireum (씨름, Korean wrestling) competitions are held around the time of Chuseok to determine the strongest man in Korea, but the competitions are not as big a part of the celebrations as they once were.

- Chuseokbim (Chuseok dress)
In the past, in preparation for Chuseok, the head of each household would buy new clothes for everyone in the house, including the servants. This custom is known as Chuseokbim and is still practiced today. These days, however, most families purchase clothing from department stores or boutiques instead of exchanging Hanbok.

Chuseok Food
Chuseok celebrates the rich harvest season when fruit and grain are abundant. Using the newly harvested grains, people make steamed rice, rice cake, and liquor.

- Songpyeon
Songpyeon (송편) is one of the representative foods of Chuseok. This rice cake is prepared with rice or non-glutinous rice powder that is kneaded into the perfect size (a little smaller than a golf ball) then filled with sesame seeds, beans, red beans, chestnuts, and a host of other nutritious ingredients. When steaming the songpyeon, the rice cakes are layered with pine needles, adding the delightful fragrance of pine. On the eve of Chuseok, the entire family gathers together to make songpyeon under the bright moon. There is an old Korean saying that says that the person who makes the most beautiful songpyeon will meet a good-looking spouse, so all the single members of the family try their best to make the best one!

- Liquors
Another major element of Chuseok is traditional liquor called Baekju (백주, white wine). The holidays are a time of thankfulness and generosity and drinking is a way in which many Koreans show their generosity and affection for their fellow countrymen.