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Memories of Sookmyung--the house in Noryangjin [message #8907] Tue, 26 September 2006 22:55 Go to next message
Stefan Ewing is currently offline  Stefan Ewing
Messages: 77
Registered: May 2005
Member
Dear KS list members:

(Apologies for any confusion yesterday. The second email I sent out
yesterday was different from the first one, but might have appeared like a
reposting.)

I have received more information from the lady enquiring about the house in
Noryangjin. I have the vain hope that this might help in locating it, as
it's possible that someone here has heard of her great grandfather--or his
wife--who lived there.

The lady's great grandfather was one Nomura Seinosuke (Kanji/Hancha version
of name in attached document), who lived in Seoul during the Japanese
colonial period and became the principal of Sookmyung Girls' High School in
1940. (The school was first established in 1906 as "Myeongsin Girls'
School"; the university's predecessor, Sookmyung Institute, was founded in
1912.) Mr. Nomura is mentioned in the school's chronology, under the entry
for 1940 here: http://sookmyung.hs.kr/info/04.asp .

I have read that there were many progressive Japanese educators who took
their responsibilities in Korea to heart, and Mr. Nomura appears to have
been one of them. He cared for the students in his charge, and the feeling
was reciprocal to the point that one of his charges wrote a book about her
experiences. To quote my correspondent:

"He was a very good Christian man and was well liked among his students.
One of his students named Choe Hesook wrote about how he influenced her life
in a book. The book was written in Korean and Japanese. The Japanese title
was Hanno Kanatani. He encouraged her to go to college when that sort of
things wasn't really done back then. She also writes in her book that one
of her friends wanted to help as a nurse in the Japanese army to get money
for her family. He told her not to do this and to stay in school. She
later found out those 'nurses' were used as comfort women. She was very
grateful to him for that."

I also have one more detail about the house. Mr. Nomura "enjoyed living
there because he could see the ocean from the hill where his house was."
(Could this reinforce the idea that the house might have been along the
eastern ridge south of the Han'gang Daegyo?) Beyond that, all she knows is
that its address at the time was 205 Roryoshin (205 Noryangjin). I know the
addressing system in Seoul was just revamped radically within the last few
years, and I'm sure that even before then, the address would have changed a
few times--but as I asked yesterday, does anyone know of a database or
physical archives where one might be able to look up a property by its
former address?

Her great grandfather did return to Seoul 15 years before he passed away,
and the house was still there (I don't know when he passed away), so perhaps
there's some faint hope that it still exists! This story has so intrigued
me that if I were in Seoul, I would gladly look for the house or try to
undertake the research myself.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide information on any of the
following:

* Any Japanese-era maps of Seoul that are detailed enough to show property
information (fire insurance or local police station neighbourhood maps,
perhaps, if those still exist or are available);
* Resources for searching for historical property information (i.e., land
registry offices);
* Mr. Nomura Seinosuke (a Google search for his name in Han'gu^l and
Kanji/Hancha turned up nothing);
* Ms. Choe Hyesook or the book she wrote (even the Korean title?);
* A more detailed history of Sookmyung than what's available online via the
university's own website or the Naver encyclopedia; or
* The location of the house itself, if it's still standing.

Yours very sincerely,
Stefan Ewing

***

>Just a quick follow up...
>
>I have found two panoramas of the Noryangjin area from the 1930s, although
>I can't pick out the house being looked for. I wonder how much more
>extensive the neighbourhood was than what appears in those photos. The
>pictures are the 3rd and 4th ones down on this page:
>
>http://www.seoul.go.kr/life/life/culture/history_book/pictu re_seoul2/6/1203346_3019.html
>
>Judging by the house's setting in the photo I linked to earlier (and
>judging by the house's appearance, the family must have been well off), I
>wonder if might have been located along the ridge in the background of both
>photos.
>
>A more general question: I haven't taken the time to explore Noryangjin
>myself, though I have often wanted to, since it was one of the first
>built-up areas south of the Han River. All I've seen of it has been from
>the subway, or zipping along the Olympic Daero. Are there still many old
>buildings standing there, or has it been as completely redeveloped as
>everwhere else south of the river?
>
>Thanks again,
>Stefan Ewing
>
>***
>
>Dear KS list members:
>
>A lady has contacted me asking to locate a house in Seoul that her great
>grandparents lived in, and if possible take a picture of it. As I live in
>Canada, there's not much I can do for her. I've attached her email (minus
>personal information) below. A few notes:
>
>1) She sent along an old photo of the house, available through this link:
>http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleImage.do?pid=3ca0x3uS7Dtn2 m2QPhNf1jQmK8LudAokAkSvv4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D
>
>2) In the address she's provided, Roryoshin appears to be the Japanese name
>for Noryangjin
>(http://www.fallingrain.com/world/KS/11/Noryangjindong.html ).
>
>3) Dr. Cwiertka asked this question back in April (which is how this lady
>found out about the Army Map Service's 1946 map of Seoul, I guess), but can
>anyone think of any additional Japanese-era maps of Seoul, beyond those
>mentioned in the spring? (The thread starts here:
>http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2006 -April/005530.html)
>
>How might she match the address of her great grandparents' house to a
>modern-day address? Are there archives anywhere storing property records
>from the colonial era?
>
>Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
>Stefan Ewing
>
>***
>
>Dear Stefan,
>
>Thank you for posting the Keijo map from Texas University. We went to the
>genealogical library in Salt Lake City looking for a map and so far this
>one has been the best. Do you know where I can find a more detailed map of
>Keijo (a map with street names in Japanese or romanized English)?
>
>My great grandparents use to live in 205 Roryoshin, Eitohoku, Seoul. I am
>looking for their old house. I also posted a picture of there house just
>in case anyone happens to be in the neighborhood. If you do see it, could
>you take a snapshot of the house for me?
>
>Sincerely,
>Esther ...

____________________________________________________________ _____
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Re: Memories of Sookmyung--the house in Noryangjin [message #8908 is a reply to message #8907] Wed, 27 September 2006 16:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Iain Sands is currently offline  Iain Sands
Messages: 3
Registered: September 2006
Junior Member
Hi, Stefan:

Interesting story! I was interested because I spent three years teaching at
Sookmyung Women's University from 1999-2001. Indeed, the university started
as a high school before becoming a two-year college, then a full-fledged
university, and it now enjoys a high reputation in Korea.

As far as the house goes - I hate to be pessimistic but I know Seoul quite
well and to be honest there is not much standing around that area from that
era. Noryangjin is now a built up working class area on the periphery of
central Seoul, and there is a high chance that any older buildings from that
era will have been bulldozed to make way for housing blocks sometime between
the 1960s and now! It's well known for its Hagwons (private academies) and
the famous fish market there. The best bet might be for someone in Seoul who
speaks Korean to go to the dong office with a photo and the address and make
some enquiries. Good luck!

Iain Sands
MA Program, School of Asian Studies
University of Auckland



On 9/27/06, Stefan Ewing wrote:
>
> Dear KS list members:
>
> (Apologies for any confusion yesterday. The second email I sent out
> yesterday was different from the first one, but might have appeared like a
> reposting.)
>
> I have received more information from the lady enquiring about the house
> in
> Noryangjin. I have the vain hope that this might help in locating it, as
> it's possible that someone here has heard of her great grandfather--or his
> wife--who lived there.
>
> The lady's great grandfather was one Nomura Seinosuke (Kanji/Hancha
> version
> of name in attached document), who lived in Seoul during the Japanese
> colonial period and became the principal of Sookmyung Girls' High School
> in
> 1940. (The school was first established in 1906 as "Myeongsin Girls'
> School"; the university's predecessor, Sookmyung Institute, was founded in
> 1912.) Mr. Nomura is mentioned in the school's chronology, under the
> entry
> for 1940 here: http://sookmyung.hs.kr/info/04.asp .
>
> I have read that there were many progressive Japanese educators who took
> their responsibilities in Korea to heart, and Mr. Nomura appears to have
> been one of them. He cared for the students in his charge, and the
> feeling
> was reciprocal to the point that one of his charges wrote a book about her
> experiences. To quote my correspondent:
>
> "He was a very good Christian man and was well liked among his students.
> One of his students named Choe Hesook wrote about how he influenced her
> life
> in a book. The book was written in Korean and Japanese. The Japanese
> title
> was Hanno Kanatani. He encouraged her to go to college when that sort of
> things wasn't really done back then. She also writes in her book that one
> of her friends wanted to help as a nurse in the Japanese army to get money
> for her family. He told her not to do this and to stay in school. She
> later found out those 'nurses' were used as comfort women. She was very
> grateful to him for that."
>
> I also have one more detail about the house. Mr. Nomura "enjoyed living
> there because he could see the ocean from the hill where his house was."
> (Could this reinforce the idea that the house might have been along the
> eastern ridge south of the Han'gang Daegyo?) Beyond that, all she knows
> is
> that its address at the time was 205 Roryoshin (205 Noryangjin). I know
> the
> addressing system in Seoul was just revamped radically within the last few
> years, and I'm sure that even before then, the address would have changed
> a
> few times--but as I asked yesterday, does anyone know of a database or
> physical archives where one might be able to look up a property by its
> former address?
>
> Her great grandfather did return to Seoul 15 years before he passed away,
> and the house was still there (I don't know when he passed away), so
> perhaps
> there's some faint hope that it still exists! This story has so intrigued
> me that if I were in Seoul, I would gladly look for the house or try to
> undertake the research myself.
>
> Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide information on any of the
> following:
>
> * Any Japanese-era maps of Seoul that are detailed enough to show property
> information (fire insurance or local police station neighbourhood maps,
> perhaps, if those still exist or are available);
> * Resources for searching for historical property information (i.e., land
> registry offices);
> * Mr. Nomura Seinosuke (a Google search for his name in Han'gu^l and
> Kanji/Hancha turned up nothing);
> * Ms. Choe Hyesook or the book she wrote (even the Korean title?);
> * A more detailed history of Sookmyung than what's available online via
> the
> university's own website or the Naver encyclopedia; or
> * The location of the house itself, if it's still standing.
>
> Yours very sincerely,
> Stefan Ewing
>
> ***
>
> >Just a quick follow up...
> >
> >I have found two panoramas of the Noryangjin area from the 1930s,
> although
> >I can't pick out the house being looked for. I wonder how much more
> >extensive the neighbourhood was than what appears in those photos. The
> >pictures are the 3rd and 4th ones down on this page:
> >
> >
> http://www.seoul.go.kr/life/life/culture/history_book/pictur e_seoul2/6/1203346_3019.html
> >
> >Judging by the house's setting in the photo I linked to earlier (and
> >judging by the house's appearance, the family must have been well off), I
> >wonder if might have been located along the ridge in the background of
> both
> >photos.
> >
> >A more general question: I haven't taken the time to explore Noryangjin
> >myself, though I have often wanted to, since it was one of the first
> >built-up areas south of the Han River. All I've seen of it has been from
> >the subway, or zipping along the Olympic Daero. Are there still many old
> >buildings standing there, or has it been as completely redeveloped as
> >everwhere else south of the river?
> >
> >Thanks again,
> >Stefan Ewing
> >
> >***
> >
> >Dear KS list members:
> >
> >A lady has contacted me asking to locate a house in Seoul that her great
> >grandparents lived in, and if possible take a picture of it. As I live
> in
> >Canada, there's not much I can do for her. I've attached her email
> (minus
> >personal information) below. A few notes:
> >
> >1) She sent along an old photo of the house, available through this link:
> >
> http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleImage.do?pid=3ca0x3uS7Dtn2m 2QPhNf1jQmK8LudAokAkSvv4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D
> >
> >2) In the address she's provided, Roryoshin appears to be the Japanese
> name
> >for Noryangjin
> >(http://www.fallingrain.com/world/KS/11/Noryangjindong.html ).
> >
> >3) Dr. Cwiertka asked this question back in April (which is how this lady
> >found out about the Army Map Service's 1946 map of Seoul, I guess), but
> can
> >anyone think of any additional Japanese-era maps of Seoul, beyond those
> >mentioned in the spring? (The thread starts here:
> >
> http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2006- April/005530.html
> )
> >
> >How might she match the address of her great grandparents' house to a
> >modern-day address? Are there archives anywhere storing property records
> >from the colonial era?
> >
> >Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
> >Stefan Ewing
> >
> >***
> >
> >Dear Stefan,
> >
> >Thank you for posting the Keijo map from Texas University. We went to
> the
> >genealogical library in Salt Lake City looking for a map and so far this
> >one has been the best. Do you know where I can find a more detailed map
> of
> >Keijo (a map with street names in Japanese or romanized English)?
> >
> >My great grandparents use to live in 205 Roryoshin, Eitohoku, Seoul. I
> am
> >looking for their old house. I also posted a picture of there house just
> >in case anyone happens to be in the neighborhood. If you do see it,
> could
> >you take a snapshot of the house for me?
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >Esther ...
>
> ____________________________________________________________ _____
> Buy what you want when you want it on Sympatico / MSN Shopping
>
> http://shopping.sympatico.msn.ca/content/shp/?ctId=2,ptnrid= 176,ptnrdata=081805
>
>
>

Re: Memories of Sookmyung--the house in Noryangjin [message #8915 is a reply to message #8907] Mon, 02 October 2006 06:25 Go to previous message
<ken.kaliher is currently offline  <ken.kaliher
Messages: 8
Registered: April 2005
Junior Member

Stefan,

 

   While the Korean Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs began back in 1997 marking buildings in Seoul and many other locations with uniform address signs based on street names and sequential numbers, the chaotic old Japanese address system remains in use to this day. 

   On the very day that your postings appeared (Sept. 27), however, the Ministry helpfully announced that the systematic new address system will finally be implemented, gradually, by 2011.  A service to go on line next year will provide conversions from old addresses to new ones, and all the new signs are to be up by 2009, the Korea Times reported Thursday.  Both systems may be used until 2011, the Times said.

-

   As for �the house in Noryangjin,� I quickly located land lot 205 in my Seoul city atlas, and Sunday set out to go exploring. 
   Lot 205 sprawls across a hillside which runs from a narrow commercial street up to the Yo^ngbon Primary School on the crown of the hill. 
Most of the 200 or more properties with addresses now beginning 205- are three- or four-story red brick �villa� residences of relatively recent vintage, jammed shoulder to shoulder in the typical modern Seoul style, with no grass, or even dirt, around them.  The newest, flashiest buildings in the area house dozens of kosiwo^n -- Spartan, multi-story dormitories for those cramming for various entrance or employment exams.

   About three-fourths of the way up the hill, however, I happened upon a distinctive property behind a long, high wall covered with thick, broad-leafed vines.  It was the only single family residence I saw anywhere in the area, and the only one with an actual garden (literally -- there was a vegetable patch beside the lawn).  While the wall was readily identifiable from the photo of Mr. Nomura�s home, however, one glance confirmed that the large house on the lot was not that in which he had lived.

   I made note of the address, Noryangjin 1-dong, 205-35, and as I rang the doorbell, a sixtysomething grandmother approaching up the alley identified herself as the occupant.  As I explained my mission, a younger woman, owner of a nearby kosiwo^n, appeared and joined our conversation.  We quickly confirmed that this lot was most certainly the site of Mr. Nomura�s former home.  Any ocean views, however, had long since been obliterated by the surrounding villas and the adjacent high-rise Uso^ng Apartment complex.

   The grandmother said she and her son had bought the 150-pyong property five years earlier, for 1 billion won, from the family of one Pak Tu-a, a prominent local landowner who had built the current house in 1969.  (She knew nothing about him or the property before then.)  And I had not come a moment too soon, for they had just sold the house, and were moving out one week later (on Oct. 8).  The new owners would be tearing down the building -- stone wall, vines, garden and all -- to build yet another five- to seven-story kosiwo^n.

   As the other woman and I strolled back down the alley, we bemoaned the loss of that magnificent wall and its vines.  Then she told me that, before the grandmother and her son had bought the house, it had stood vacant for 15 years because of some sort of family feud over the property.  Thus they got it cheap, as it was a hyungga (house of evil, or haunted house).  The grandmother�s son, meanwhile, was apparently a mudang (shaman) of some repute, and the huge magnolia tree dominating the home�s garden was often festooned with a shaman�s red and white paper streamers. 


   Perhaps the property has many stories of its own to tell from years gone by....

 

Ken Kaliher

Seoul

 

P.S.  I took some photos with my newly acquired digital camera, but my USB ports are not cooperating, and I haven�t been able to download them.  If Esther is interested, I�m sure I can eventually send them to you to forward.  Ditto for a section from my Seoul atlas showing lot 205 and the location of the old property.





----- Original Message -----



From: Stefan Ewing <sa_ewing@hotmail.com>



Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 11:55 am



Subject: [KS] Memories of Sookmyung--the house in Noryangjin







> Dear KS list members:
>
> (Apologies for any confusion yesterday. The second email I sent
> out
> yesterday was different from the first one, but might have
> appeared like a
> reposting.)
>
> I have received more information from the lady enquiring about the
> house in
> Noryangjin. I have the vain hope that this might help in locating
> it, as
> it's possible that someone here has heard of her great grandfather-
> -or his
> wife--who lived there.
>
> The lady's great grandfather was one Nomura Seinosuke
> (Kanji/Hancha version
> of name in attached document), who lived in Seoul during the
> Japanese
> colonial period and became the principal of Sookmyung Girls' High
> School in
> 1940. (The school was first established in 1906 as "Myeongsin
> Girls'

> School"; the university's predecessor, Sookmyung Institute, was
> founded in
> 1912.) Mr. Nomura is mentioned in the school's chronology, under
> the entry
> for 1940 here: http://sookmyung.hs.kr/info/04.asp .
>
> I have read that there were many progressive Japanese educators
> who took
> their responsibilities in Korea to heart, and Mr. Nomura appears
> to have
> been one of them. He cared for the students in his charge, and
> the feeling
> was reciprocal to the point that one of his charges wrote a book
> about her
> experiences. To quote my correspondent:
>
> "He was a very good Christian man and was well liked among his
> students.
> One of his students named Choe Hesook wrote about how he
> influenced her life
> in a book. The book was written in Korean and Japanese. The
> Japanese title

> was Hanno Kanatani. He encouraged her to go to college when that
> sort of
> things wasn't really done back then. She also writes in her book
> that one
> of her friends wanted to help as a nurse in the Japanese army to
> get money
> for her family. He told her not to do this and to stay in school.
> She
> later found out those 'nurses' were used as comfort women. She
> was very
> grateful to him for that."
>
> I also have one more detail about the house. Mr. Nomura "enjoyed
> living
> there because he could see the ocean from the hill where his house
> was."
> (Could this reinforce the idea that the house might have been
> along the
> eastern ridge south of the Han'gang Daegyo?) Beyond that, all she
> knows is
> that its address at the time was 205 Roryoshin (205 Noryangjin).
> I know the

> addressing system in Seoul was just revamped radically within the
> last few
> years, and I'm sure that even before then, the address would have
> changed a
> few times--but as I asked yesterday, does anyone know of a
> database or
> physical archives where one might be able to look up a property by
> its
> former address?
>
> Her great grandfather did return to Seoul 15 years before he
> passed away,
> and the house was still there (I don't know when he passed away),
> so perhaps
> there's some faint hope that it still exists! This story has so
> intrigued
> me that if I were in Seoul, I would gladly look for the house or
> try to
> undertake the research myself.
>
> Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide information on any
> of the
> following:
>

> * Any Japanese-era maps of Seoul that are detailed enough to show
> property
> information (fire insurance or local police station neighbourhood
> maps,
> perhaps, if those still exist or are available);
> * Resources for searching for historical property information
> (i.e., land
> registry offices);
> * Mr. Nomura Seinosuke (a Google search for his name in Han'gu^l
> and
> Kanji/Hancha turned up nothing);
> * Ms. Choe Hyesook or the book she wrote (even the Korean title?);
> * A more detailed history of Sookmyung than what's available
> online via the
> university's own website or the Naver encyclopedia; or
> * The location of the house itself, if it's still standing.
>
> Yours very sincerely,
> Stefan Ewing
>
> ***
>
> >Just a quick follow up...
> >

> >I have found two panoramas of the Noryangjin area from the 1930s,
> although
> >I can't pick out the house being looked for. I wonder how much
> more
> >extensive the neighbourhood was than what appears in those
> photos. The
> >pictures are the 3rd and 4th ones down on this page:
> >
> > http://www.seoul.go.kr/life/life/culture/history_book/pictur e_seoul2/6/1203346_3019.html
> >
> >Judging by the house's setting in the photo I linked to earlier
> (and
> >judging by the house's appearance, the family must have been well
> off), I
> >wonder if might have been located along the ridge in the
> background of both
> >photos.
> >
> >A more general question: I haven't taken the time to explore
> Noryangjin
> >myself, though I have often wanted to, since it was one of the
> first

> >built-up areas south of the Han River. All I've seen of it has
> been from
> >the subway, or zipping along the Olympic Daero. Are there still
> many old
> >buildings standing there, or has it been as completely
> redeveloped as
> >everwhere else south of the river?
> >
> >Thanks again,
> >Stefan Ewing
> >
> >***
> >
> >Dear KS list members:
> >
> >A lady has contacted me asking to locate a house in Seoul that
> her great
> >grandparents lived in, and if possible take a picture of it. As
> I live in
> >Canada, there's not much I can do for her. I've attached her
> email (minus
> >personal information) below. A few notes:
> >
> >1) She sent along an old photo of the house, available through
> this link:

> > http://pictures.aol.com/ap/singleImage.do?pid=3ca0x3uS7Dtn2m 2QPhNf1jQmK8LudAokAkSvv4xQp5Fd3Ig%3D
> >
> >2) In the address she's provided, Roryoshin appears to be the
> Japanese name
> >for Noryangjin
> > (http://www.fallingrain.com/world/KS/11/Noryangjindong.html) .
> >
> >3) Dr. Cwiertka asked this question back in April (which is how
> this lady
> >found out about the Army Map Service's 1946 map of Seoul, I
> guess), but can
> >anyone think of any additional Japanese-era maps of Seoul, beyond
> those
> >mentioned in the spring? (The thread starts here:
> > http://koreaweb.ws/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreaweb.ws/2006-
> April/005530.html)>
> >How might she match the address of her great grandparents' house
> to a
> >modern-day address? Are there archives anywhere storing property
> records

> >from the colonial era?
> >
> >Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,
> >Stefan Ewing
> >
> >***
> >
> >Dear Stefan,
> >
> >Thank you for posting the Keijo map from Texas University. We
> went to the
> >genealogical library in Salt Lake City looking for a map and so
> far this
> >one has been the best. Do you know where I can find a more
> detailed map of
> >Keijo (a map with street names in Japanese or romanized English)?
> >
> >My great grandparents use to live in 205 Roryoshin, Eitohoku,
> Seoul. I am
> >looking for their old house. I also posted a picture of there
> house just
> >in case anyone happens to be in the neighborhood. If you do see
> it, could
> >you take a snapshot of the house for me?
> >
> >Sincerely,

> >Esther ...
>
> ____________________________________________________________ _____
> Buy what you want when you want it on Sympatico / MSN Shopping
> http://shopping.sympatico.msn.ca/content/shp/?ctId=2,ptnrid= 176,ptnrdata=081805
>
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