Buddhist Temples and Torture Prison

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March 21st 2006
Published: March 21st 2006
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I was slightly skeptical about wandering around this city alone today, being completely illiterate, but I found it a lot easier than expected. Jennifer had to work all day so I ventured out on a solo mission to hike the Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside. It is Seoul’s most famous shamanist shrine with Buddhist Temples, interesting rock formations (Zen rocks), natural springs and a fortress wall bordering it. I was very surprised by the amount of garbage left everywhere, I assume by visitors and shamanists themselves. It was everywhere. I was also surprised by these 2 little brat dogs that came running out of one of the temple homes while I was heading up the hillside. There were smaller than a cat, dressed in pretty little sweaters and one actually nipped at me; I was shocked. The little shits were scolded by there owners and locked inside, I continued on. When I got near the top I chilled out for a bit and overlooked the smoggy city and enjoyed the warm weather the sunshine brought today. I then slowly made my way back down, watching the small Buddhist Ceremonies being held all over the hillside by groups and individuals. I was expecting
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside WalkInwangsan Shamanist Hillside WalkInwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk

Zen Rocks, women come here to pray for a son
something a lot more beautiful and enlightening, but found myself eager to be getting out of there. Next stop Seodaemun Prison History Hall which I could see wasn’t a very far walk from where I was.

The Seodaemun Prison History Hall, originally named Gyeongseong Gamok, was built in the early 1900’s. It was built to imprison, torture and kill Korean independence fighters. The exhibits were VERY graphic, and I found the place quite eerie. They have a lot of graphic full size replications of the tortures accompanied by recorded voices and screaming. Really disturbing tortures, like sticking needles under the fingernails and electrocuting. The Japanese were merciless with there prisoners, men and women. And once again found myself eager to get on my way. It was history lesson for sure…. I was most likely taught all this stuff in high school and never paid attention.

Only having 2000wan left ($2) and my stomach growling I had to find a bank. After wandering around I spotted an English sign for one. When I got there I completely f’d up my math and took out $700 instead of $70. Ah well live and learn I guess, I won’t have to worry about having to finding another bank machine before I leave here. So I got some weird cheesy veggie pocket and ate a late lunch in the park

And that was the day’s adventure…..

Additional photos below
Photos: 11, Displayed: 11


Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside WalkInwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk

Um Ya they have the same symbol and the Nazi's
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside WalkInwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk

Little Nazi sticks, Mom I was thinking of sending some home so you can take them out when you have dinner guests;)
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside WalkInwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk
Inwangsan Shamanist Hillside Walk

Ceremony in progress. See what I mean, not such a beautiful site.
Seodaemun Prison History HallSeodaemun Prison History Hall
Seodaemun Prison History Hall

A mounment to eulogize the spirits of the Koreans killed here

22nd March 2006

just looking at the prison is freaky' with that big ol leafles tree in front that pic is menacing !! super cool thou haha'
15th June 2007

Speechless WARLOCK
I visited the place with my future wife who is Korean. I wanted to know as much as I could about Korea. History is one of my hobbies so this was right up my ally. I could hardly contain my excitement about visiting a historical site in Korea, a country which I had never been before and have only seen it in magazines and television. It was an added plus being with my yobo and it was a beautiful day. Little did I know what lay ahead. This place is not for the faint hearted. I was shocked speechless at the sheer brutality of this place. It's truly frightening. All at once my mind was flooded with horrific representations of the torture that was administered to the Korean people by their Japanese invaders. A book by Iris Chang came to mind called the Rape of Nanking and the stories of the comfort women in Korea. By the time I left the museum I could not speak for at least forty five minutes. The tour is a definate education, and I got more than I bargained for. The tour is definately worth the price of admission for any history buff but beware.This is not a feel good tour. It's a hard and difficult education on the cruelty of man.

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